“Without 3D information it is very difficult to understand how the genome works”

Marc A. Marti-Renom is interested in three-dimensional structures. After eight years in the US dedicated to the world of proteins, the biophysicist returned to his native country, first Valencia and then Barcelona, to specialise in RNA and DNA folding. In 2006 he set up his own group, which today is divided between the CNAG, where there are ten people, and the CRG, where there are two. “We do the experimental part, the sample preparation, here in the CRG, and the sequencing and analysis happens in the CNAG”, he explains. For his research he requires a large sequencing and computing capacity, … Continue reading “Without 3D information it is very difficult to understand how the genome works”

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