El·lipse: Celebrating the 5th PRBB Open Day

The 5th Open Day at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) opens this edition of El·lipse, the park’s monthly newspaper. Other news include the celebration of the CRG 10th anniversary, new proteins important for cell division or for tumour growth, how stem cell dysfunction links cancer and ageing or a new drug against skin cancer. You will also learn about the “Jennifer Aniston” neurone from Rodrigo Quian, from the University of Leicester (UK), or about the effects of radiations from mobile phones on our health, a subject that Elisabeth Cardis (CREAL) and her group are studying. You can read a multimedia … Continue reading El·lipse: Celebrating the 5th PRBB Open Day

Finding the genes underlying complex genetic diseases

Complex genetic disorders often involve multiple proteins interacting with each other, and pinpointing which of them are actually important for the disease is still challenging. Many computational approaches exploiting interaction network topology have been successfully applied to prioritize which individual genes may be involved in diseases, based on their proximity to known disease genes in the network. In a paper published in PLoS One, Baldo Oliva, head of the Structural bioinformatics group at the GRIB (UPF–IMIM)  and Emre Guney, have presented GUILD (Genes Underlying Inheritance Linked Disorders), a new genome-wide network-based prioritization framework. GUILD includes four novel algorithms that use protein-protein interaction data to predict gene-phenotype associations at genome-wide scale, … Continue reading Finding the genes underlying complex genetic diseases

Learning about aging from induced stem cells

Research on human aging is a hot topic nowadays, due to a growing aging population and the consequent prevalence of aging-associated diseases such as Alzheimer’s, arthritis or cardiovascular diseases. Researchers at the CMRB review  the use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) to study the fundamental mechanisms underlying aging in this article published in Current Opinion in Cell Biology. Indeed, hiPSC-based models of aging and aging-related diseases are facilitating the study of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying aging. For example, the use of iPSCs from patients with accelerated aging (like those with Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome) could recapitulate the aging process in … Continue reading Learning about aging from induced stem cells

Amyloids: the good, the bad and the ugly

Amyloids – insoluble fibrous protein aggregates that share specific structural traits – are well known for their involvement in diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, prions diseases and even diabetes 2 and some cancers. As evil as they seem, however, they also have a kinder side. Stavros Hamodrakas, head of the Biophysics and Bioinformatics laboratory at the Faculty of Biology, University of Athens (Greece), talked today at the PRBB about functional, non-pathogenic amyloids. He actually was the first person to propose that the silk moth eggshell (or chorion) was a natural, protective amyloid. The chorion is a multi-layered structure that protects the egg from … Continue reading Amyloids: the good, the bad and the ugly

“Alzheimer’s is the price we pay for a life of thinking” – Ageing brain research group of the CEXS-UPF

All four of the PhD students in the ageing brain research group of the CEXS-UPF studied biology at the UPF. “It is our direct source of students!”, says Paco Muñoz López, head of the group and professor at that university. A postdoctoral researcher completes the group, which focuses on nitro-oxidative stress and its link to Alzheimer’s disease. “The most important risk factor in Alzheimer’s disease is age –says Muñoz–. About 10% of the population over 65 suffer Alzheimer’s, but the percentage goes up to 50% in over 80 year-olds. I think it’s just the price to pay for a life … Continue reading “Alzheimer’s is the price we pay for a life of thinking” – Ageing brain research group of the CEXS-UPF