The ERC recognises the excellence of PRBB researchers

The research group of Biomedical Genomics from the Research Programme on Biomedical Informatics (GRIB), led by Núria López-Bigas, has been awarded an European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant. These grants are aimed at the development of innovative and excellent projects conducted by young postdoctoral researchers of a consolidated career between 7 and 12 years. The project that received the ERC, named “NONCODRIVERS” aims at identifying mutations involved in tumour development in non-coding regions. It is set to start in 2016 and to last for five years. You can read more about this here. The ERC has also recognized the work of another female … Continue reading The ERC recognises the excellence of PRBB researchers

Recreating the images of the mind

On “Back to the future” day, October 21st, 2015, Luís Seoane, member of the Complex Systems Lab at the IBE (UPF-CSIC) led by Ricard Solé, wrote a blog post called “Images of the mind”. In it, he discusses how much technology has advanced in the last 30 years. Our present is not quite the ‘future’ of the characters of the film directed by Robert Zemeckis, produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Michael J. Fox. But we have gone a long way. In this post, Seoane focuses on Brain Computer Interfaces, which are bringing back motility and communication to injured patients, and on which he himself has worked prior … Continue reading Recreating the images of the mind

El·lipse: Last edition of 2013!

The 2nd CEXS-UPF Symposium on Evolutionary Biology that took place in November at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) opens this edition of El·lipse, the park’s monthly newspaper. Also on the topic of evolution, Salvador Carranza (IBE) tells us about his research on reptile phylogeny. Other news include new findings on senescence and embryo development, lung cancer diagnosis, ‘mini-kidneys’ created from human stem cells, the benefits of long-term breastfeeding, new molecules involved in metastasis or computational models to decipher biological problems. On a more personal note, Baldomero Oliva (UPF) tells us about his scientific career and the secret to become … Continue reading El·lipse: Last edition of 2013!

Common causes of complex diseases between Europeans and Asians

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revolutionized the field of complex disease genetics in the last six years. Many disease associations (i.e. genetic variants that increase risk for a specific disease) have been detected using this technique, but the reported variants tend to explain only small fractions of risk. Also, the causal variants that generate the associations unveiled by GWAS have not been identified. And their frequency and degree of sharing across different ethnical populations remains unknown. Arcadi Navarro, from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (UPF-CSIC), set out to study the degree of sharing of disease-associated variants across populations, in order … Continue reading Common causes of complex diseases between Europeans and Asians

Studying how evolution has shaped our genome- Arcadi Navarro (UPF) explains

In this video you can hear Arcadi Navarro, from the Institute for Evolutionary Biology (IBE), a mixed centre from the CSIC and the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF). His group studies how evolution has shaped our genomes and those from other … Continue reading Studying how evolution has shaped our genome- Arcadi Navarro (UPF) explains

Studying two very particular ethnic groups: from Pygmies to Basques

Pygmies, everyone knows, present the lowest height among humans – adult men grow to less than 150 cm. One can find pygmy populations not only in Africa, but also in Australia, Brazil and several countries in Asia. The fact that populations in such diverse locations all have short stature in common suggests the presence of strong selective pressures on this phenotype, but this has never been proved. David Comas and colleagues from the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE: CSIC-UPF) have recently published in the journal Human Genetics the first genetic hint of adaptive evolution in the African Pygmy phenotype. They have developed a … Continue reading Studying two very particular ethnic groups: from Pygmies to Basques

Positive selection on the insulin signal transduction pathway across human populations

The insulin/TOR signal transduction pathway is involved in metabolic disorders such as obesity, insulin resistance and diabetes. The prevalence of such disorders is dramatically different among human populations. Therefore, applying population genetics analysis to describe how natural selection acted in different populations on the genes involved in this pathway may provide key insight into the etiology of these diseases. A recent paper published in Molecular Biology and Evolution does just that. The authors, from Jaume Bertranpetit’s lab at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IBE: CSIC-UPF), have combined genotype data from nearly 1,000 individuals from 39 human populations from around the world … Continue reading Positive selection on the insulin signal transduction pathway across human populations

The Genographic Project confirms that humans emigrated from Africa through Arabia

Modern humans emigrated from Africa along a southerly route, via Arabia, rather than a northerly path through Egypt, as had been thought up to now. This is the main result of a study coordinated by David Comas, Francesc Calafell and Jaume Bertranpetit, from the Institute of Evolutionary 
Biology (UPF-CSIC) and published in the October online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution. The paper, in which geneticists from the USA, the Netherlands, India, Russia and China participated, also reveals that our ancestors spread into Eurasia along a route located between Iran and India, and not through the Middle East as scholars had thought. … Continue reading The Genographic Project confirms that humans emigrated from Africa through Arabia