Little big fly

  In this photo taken by Cristina Morera Albert, of the CMRB, a house fly is observed with a scanning electron microscope (SEM). This type of microscope uses electrons and electromagnetic lenses to “illuminate” a sample allowing visualising the sample in 3D at high magnification. In this case, we observe the compound eyes of the fly and its thorax, which is divided into three segments: prothorax, mesothorax and metathorax. The thorax is covered by hairs called bristles, which are always arranged in the same place and have a sensory function. One can also see the wings, which protrude from the … Continue reading Little big fly

Converting stem cells into gametes is the most difficult transformation

Cristina Eguizabal came from Cambridge, UK, to the CMRB two and a half years ago to try to get male haploid cells (spermatozoids) from human pluripotent stem cells. She uses both human embryonic cells (hES) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). The first are obtained through fertility clinics from unused fertilised embryos. The hES are isolated from the embryos and derived into cell lines at the Stem Cell Bank of the CMRB, on the 4th floor of the PRBB, where Eguizabal is working under the coordination of Anna Veiga. iPS cells, on the other hand, can be derived in vitro … Continue reading Converting stem cells into gametes is the most difficult transformation

“At the PRBB you have created the right atmosphere and spirit”

An interview recently published in Ellipse, the monthly magazine of the PRBB Hermann Bujard was from 2007 until 2009 the  director of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), which started 45 years ago with 13 member states and now has now up to 27. Bujard has worked both in academia and in industry, having also been scientific director at Hoffmann La Roche. Now currently working on malaria, he visited the PRBB and told us about his vision of science. What is the role of EMBO?  EMBO has played an important role in the development of modern life sciences in Europe. We identify and … Continue reading “At the PRBB you have created the right atmosphere and spirit”

Breaking the difraction barrier

  In this pseudocolored image by Gemma Perez from the UPF, we can observe the improvement in resolution of Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy (right), compared with confocal microscopy (left). STED is one of the recently developed super-resolution methods that have broken the diffraction limit in light microscopy, and the CRG/UPF Advanced Light Microscopy Unit has one of the only two STED systems currently available in Spain. The dots in the image show the distribution of PatL1, a component of Processing Bodies (PB), dynamic cytoplasmatic granules that are conserved among eukaryotes. PBs are too small and sometimes are in too … Continue reading Breaking the difraction barrier