The CRISPR-Cas system: the latest trend in gene modification

Article written by Rosa Martínez Corral. In less than a decade, the field of genome engineering has been revolutionised by a series of techniques that now allow to accurately, efficiently and economically modify virtually any point in the genome of any organism. It all started in the early 1990s, when a pattern of repetitive sequences was observed in the DNA of certain bacteria. It was subsequently seen that many other types of bacteria also possess these patterns and, after years of research, these random observations have led to a revolution with strong implications both for research and therapy. These repetitive sequences … Continue reading The CRISPR-Cas system: the latest trend in gene modification

New genes and functional innovation in mammals

In her latest post, Mar Albà, head of the Evolutionary genomics lab at the UPF-IMIM, explains her group’s research into new genes and their role in mammalian-specific adaptations. You can read the paper she refers to in bioRxiv, the preprint server for biology! “Many human genes have counterparts in distant species such as plants or bacteria. This is because they share a common origin, they were invented a long time ago in a primitive cell. However, there are some genes that do not have counterparts in other species, or only in a few of them. These genes have been born much more … Continue reading New genes and functional innovation in mammals

Francisco Mojica: “I’m incredibly proud of having been part of the CRISPR revolution”

This is a longer version of an interview published by Maruxa Martinez-Campos in the July 2016 issue of El·lipse, the PRBB newspaper. Francisco M. Mojica is a microbiologist from Alicante, Spain, where he did his PhD and where he still teaches. He was the first to publish the workings of the CRIPSR-Cas system which has in recent years taken biomedicine by storm due to its many potential applications. Mojica, who recently received the Jaime I award for basic research, came to the PRBB to explain the history of CRISPR and what it means.   How did you discover CRISPR? It was … Continue reading Francisco Mojica: “I’m incredibly proud of having been part of the CRISPR revolution”

The four battlefronts in the war against Antibiotic Resistance

The World Antibiotic Awareness Week took place last 14-20 November, and the Antibiotic Resistance Initiative ISGlobal team took the chance to explain to the world what are the main difficulties on the fight against antibiotic resistance – a serious problem that threatens our ability to treat infectious diseases and poses a serious risk to the progress made in global health in the past decades. They summarise the issues in four battlefronts: 1- New antibiotics 2- Diagnosis 3- Mechanisms of antibiotic resistance 4- Surveillance You can read the whole report here. Continue reading The four battlefronts in the war against Antibiotic Resistance

LabTechnician position open at the IBE

      The González lab at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-UPF), which focuses on understanding how organisms adapt to the environment, is seeking a lab technician to join their research team. You can read more about this position – with a starting date around February 2017 – here. You can read a bit about the lab’s citizen science project “Melanogaster: Catch the fly!” in this post. And here you can see a post about a recent publication of the lab where they discovered several naturally occurring independent transposable element insertions in the promoter region of a cold-stress response gene in the fruitfly … Continue reading LabTechnician position open at the IBE

Pervasive translation of lncRNAS

Ribosome profiling is a sequencing technique that detects regions in mRNAs that are being translated. Using this technique, researchers have observed mysterious patterns of translation in many transcripts believed to be non-coding (lncRNAs, or long non-coding RNAs). The patterns are very similar to those observed in protein-coding genes but the translated proteins are generally smaller. Aside from their sequence, we know nothing about these peptides. Are they functional? Do they reflect some background noise of the translation machinery?       You can get some insights from a a recent study published in bioRxiv by the group led by Mar Albà at the … Continue reading Pervasive translation of lncRNAS

See you soon, Computational Oncogenomics lab!

Núria López-Bigas started her lab on Computational Oncogenomics at the GRIB, within the PRBB, ten years ago. After a very successful decade, we are sad to see her leaving. We wish her all the best in her lab’s new adventure, and we hope the very fruitful interactions she has started with the different groups at the park will continue to prosper. In her last post on her blog, Núria says thanks to the GRIB, the UPF, the PRBB community and the PRBB Intervals programme… We want to say, thanks to you Núria, for the great research you have done and for … Continue reading See you soon, Computational Oncogenomics lab!

A tutorial on Burrows-Wheeler indexing methods

Guillaume Filion’s latest post is aimed at those wanting to understand the details of how the Burrows–Wheeler transform (an algorithm used in data compression) works. It may be of particular interest to those genomics researchers working on alignments, since, Filion says, the Burrows-Wheeler indexing is used to perform the seeding step of the DNA alignment problem, and it’s exceptionally well adapted to indexing the human genome. For those of you who are not afraid of the small mathematical details, you can see this “The grand locus” post here. Continue reading A tutorial on Burrows-Wheeler indexing methods

Open Science: not only a matter of outcomes, but also of processes

Post written by Toni Hermoso, bioinformatician at the CRG.   It’s been almost a decade since the term “Open Science” first appeared in Wikipedia. The page was created by Aaron Swartz and initially redirected to the “Open Access” entry. Some years later this young activist committed suicide as a result of the pressure from the judicial charges against him after having uploaded many privative licensed articles to the Internet. Parallel to these events, Creative Commons licenses, a set of recommendations intended to foster sharing in the digital world, became increasingly popular, and many novel publishing initiatives took advantage of them … Continue reading Open Science: not only a matter of outcomes, but also of processes