Sep 24, 2020

Histone degradation after DNA damage enhances repair

DNA damage can occur anywhere in the genome, but most DNA is wrapped around nucleosomes making it inaccessible to the repair machinery. Researchers from the Gasser group now show that DNA damage induces histone depletion, which increases the accessibility and flexibility of the D...

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Sep 21, 2020

How to make a replication origin in multicellular eukaryotes

Loading of replicative helicases onto DNA is a key event during the initiation of chromosomal DNA replication. It takes place at specific chromosomal regions termed origins and is facilitated by the ORC protein complex. By resolving the cryo-EM structures of DNA-bound ORC, resear...

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Sep 14, 2020

Congratulations to the winners of the FMI science prizes 2020

Due the covid-19 situation, we could not hold our FMI 50th Anniversary Symposium as planned. Instead, we organized a video conference - for FMI members and our Scientific Advisory Board - to celebrate science virtually. The Award ceremonies for our three annual science prizes wer...

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Sep 08, 2020

LifeTime - Researchers partner to improve European healthcare

The FMI is a partner of the pan-European LifeTime initiative. In two publications, researchers involved with the initiative - including FMI group leader Susan Gasser - present a detailed roadmap of how to leverage the latest scientific breakthroughs and technologies over the next...

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Sep 07, 2020

How to identify new molecular glue degraders

Molecular glue degraders are a new class of drugs that work by facilitating an interaction between a disease-causing target protein and a ubiquitin ligase complex, tagging the target protein for degradation. In this new video, members of the Thomä group, in collaboration wit...

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Sep 03, 2020

ERC Starting Grant for Johannes Felsenberg

FMI group leader Johannes Felsenberg is among this year's recipients of a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). He will use the grant to study the neural processes that allow memories to be changed, using the fruit fly Drosophila as a model organism...

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Aug 31, 2020

FMI is a partner in the new EU “HCA|Organoid” project

The EU research project “HCA (Human Cell Atlas)|Organoid” was launched today. It aims at validating organoids as faithful models of human biology, combining single-cell profiling and organoid technology. Towards this goal, Europe’s leading organoid researchers a...

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Jul 21, 2020

A developmental clock with a checkpoint function

The group of Helge Grosshans characterized the "C. elegans oscillator", over 3,700 genes that are rhythmically expressed during the larval development of C. elegans. They demonstrated the coupling of the oscillator with molting and got insights into how it is wi...

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Jul 07, 2020

Structural insights into Fe-S protein biogenesis

The cytosolic iron sulfur assembly (CIA) pathway is required for the insertion of Fe-S clusters into proteins, including many DNA replication and repair factors. Despite its essential cellular function, this pathway remains enigmatic. A new integrative structural and biochemical ...

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Jun 22, 2020

Building corticocerebellar neural circuits

In a comprehensive study, researchers from the Rijli group found that a single Hox transcription factor expressed in a group of neurons of the pontine nucleus - the cerebral cortex most important brainstem relay to the cerebellum - determines the wiring onto these neurons of spec...

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Jun 11, 2020

How transcription factors recognize binding motifs on chromatin

In a video (5’35’’) combining interviews and figures, the team behind the latest collaboration from the Thomä and Schübeler labs - Alicia Michael, Ralph Grand and Luke Isbel - explain how they developed an assay identifying where the preferable sites f...

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Jun 02, 2020

A genome-scale map of DNA methylation kinetics

While the first genome-wide DNA methylation map in mammalian cells was established over 10 years ago, such maps only provide snapshots and do not inform about the actual dynamics of this epigenetic mark. Researchers from the Schübeler group now quantified actual rates of met...

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May 12, 2020

A novel pathway ensuring chromosome stability in early mice embryo

The Peters group studies chromatin formation and regulation in mammalian germ cells and during early embryonic development. Now researchers from the group identified a novel pathway that is essential for maintaining the integrity of heterochromatin, and therefore for securing chr...

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Apr 28, 2020

Silvia Arber elected to the American National Academy of Sciences

FMI group leader Silvia Arber is among the 26 international members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) this year. Members are elected to the NAS in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Membership is a widely accepted ...

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Apr 24, 2020

RNA degradation contributes to heterochromatic gene silencing in higher eukaryotes

The Gasser group discovered that silencing of heterochromatic regions - and more specifically of hundreds of Polycomb-target genes enriched for H3K27me3 - can occur through selective RNA degradation, and not only through transcriptional repression. The study links the epigenetics...

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Apr 15, 2020

Dirk Schübeler appointed as new FMI Director

Professor Dirk Schübeler has been appointed as the next Director of the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research. Schübeler has been a group leader at the FMI since 2003 and is an internationally renowned scientific leader in the field of gene regulation. He...

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Apr 08, 2020

The Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research turns 50

On April 8, 1970, the founding charter of the FMI was signed. For 50 years, the FMI has stayed true to its initial mission: To promote basic research in the fields of biochemistry and medicine, and to train young scientists. Today, with over 340 associates, the Basel-based resear...

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Apr 05, 2020

The circuitous path to adulthood

Genes that time the transition to adulthood are well-studied in the roundworm C. elegans, and at least partially conserved in mammals, where they regulate the onset of puberty. Juvenile worms turn into adults when a protein called LIN-29 accumulates in sufficient amounts. By stud...

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Mar 31, 2020

ERC Advanced Grants for Dirk Schübeler and Nicolas Thomä

The European Research Council (ERC) has announced the recipients of this year's ERC Advanced Grants. We are delighted that two FMI group leaders are among the grantees: Dirk Schübeler will receive funding for his project "Overcoming chromatin restricted DNA access", and so w...

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Mar 24, 2020

Research group of Andreas Lüthi receives Swiss Brain League Research Prize 2020

This year, the biennial Swiss Brain League Research Prize, which is endowed with 20,000 CHF, is awarded to the research group of Andreas Lüthi from the FMI and Jan Gründemann. The researchers have investigated how "internal states" such as anxiety, stress, hun...

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Mar 19, 2020

Coronavirus – measures at the FMI

In light of the increased spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the FMI put in place strict measures in an effort to slow down the infection rate and to protect the health and safety of our associates. These measures reduce ongoing research activities, but ensure essential operat...

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Mar 16, 2020

The importance of gene position for muscle development and integrity

Mutations in the nuclear structural protein lamin A produce rare, tissue-specific diseases called laminopathies. To study these diseases, researchers from the Gasser group introduced a mutation inducing a human laminopathy in C. elegans and monitored its effect on chroma...

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Mar 03, 2020

A glitch in the Matrix: Using virtual reality to understand how fish predict the future

Scientists from the Friedrich group have developed a new virtual reality system that allows them to manipulate the sensory environment of adult zebrafish at will, while simultaneously analyzing neural activity. This approach can be used to explore how the brain processes complex ...

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Feb 25, 2020

FMI ranks first in success rates for ERC grant applications

The selection of research projects to be funded by the European Research Council (ERC) is highly competitive; therefore, the funding of a project by the ERC is a key indicator for research excellence. In the latest data provided by the ERC covering the years 2014-2018, the FMI ac...

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Feb 11, 2020

Connecting two important processes in gene expression

RNA decay plays a fundamental role in gene expression by controlling the quality and quantity of messenger RNAs. However, it has proved difficult to study and is still shrouded in mystery. Scientists from the Bühler group now uncovered key targets, components and functions o...

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Jan 21, 2020

Reconstructing structure and function of a neuronal circuit

The function of neuronal circuits is thought to be determined largely by specific connections between neurons. But this assumption has been difficult to test because the reconstruction of the synaptic connectivity of a neuronal circuit - its "wiring diagram" - is a major challeng...

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Jan 09, 2020

The Computational Biology platform - Data scientists at the FMI

Michael Stadler has been leading the FMI Computational Biology technology platform since 2008. In an interview, he explains how the platform is set up and how it supports the FMI research groups, he shares what he likes most about his job, and he talks about the future of computa...

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