Horses with spots and giraffes with stripes

Shigeru Kondo (Institute of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Japan) gave one of the last talks at the “Computational approaches to networks, cells and tissues” meeting that took place this week  at the PRBB Auditorium. Co-organised by James Sharpe (CRG) and Hernán López-Schier (HZM), the meeting was supported by QuanTissue, a collaborative European network to bridge the gap between the traditional developmental cell biology, biophysics and systems biology. And so it did! Most of the nearly 200 participants were physicysts or mathematicians, as one could tell from their presentations and posters full of complicated mathematical formulae. But the subjects they studied … Continue reading Horses with spots and giraffes with stripes

8th European Zebrafish Meeting – registration open!

The “8th European Zebrafish Meeting” will be held at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya, 9-13 July 2013.  Organisers include Berta Alsina, from the CEXS-UPF, as well as Angela Nieto (CSIC-Alicante), Paola Bovolenta (CSIC-Madrid), Jose Luis Gómez-Skarmeta (CSIC-Sevilla), Enrique Martin Blanco (CSIC,Barcelona) and Miguel Angel Pardo (Azti-Tecnalia, Derio). The meeting is intended to serve as a platform of communication for researchers working in zebrafish, a community that has expanded exponentially over the last decade. The  European biannual meeting. Among many others, topics will cover new advances in life imaging, patterning, disease models, gene regulation and genomics, circuits and behaviour, drug screening and cancer. Prof … Continue reading 8th European Zebrafish Meeting – registration open!

Phosphorylase kinase PhKG1, a new target for anti-angiogenesis therapies

A team of researchers from the CMRB directed by Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte has discovered two novel inhibitors of the phosphorylase kinase subunit G1 (PhKG1) that has been identified for the first time to be involved in angiogenesis in vivo. Furthermore, they found that PhKG1 mRNA levels are elevated by more than two-fold in the majority of human tumors (breast, colon, kidney, lung, liver and thyroid), except in prostate cancer. The study was published in Oncogene. Pathological angiogenesis, the growth of microvessels from existing vasculature, is associated with tumor progression and is a pre-requisite of tumor growth and metastasis. Therefore, inhibitors … Continue reading Phosphorylase kinase PhKG1, a new target for anti-angiogenesis therapies

Regenerating broken hearts

Chris Jopling joined the CMRB as a postdoctoral research scientist in June 2007. Since then, he has been investigating heart regeneration in zebrafish. The technicians M. Carme Fabregat and Guillermo Suñé, as well as Veronika Sander, another postdoctoral researcher, collaborate with the English biochemist in this line of research. They are all trying to find out which genes are involved in heart regeneration in the zebrafish, Danio rerio. “You can cut off up to 20% of a ventricle of an adult fish, and in one month it is completely regenerated”, explains Jopling. Mammals are able to regenerate some tissues, such … Continue reading Regenerating broken hearts

New animal models for biomedical and biotechnology research: The zebrafish

Juan Martín-Caballero at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park animal facilities – Photo: © Diario Médico The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is frequently used in drug discovery and key aspects of developmental biology. Mostly because of its quick development time (its organs are fully formed after just 48 hours) and transparent embryos. Above all, in research into regenerative medicine, because the fish is able to regenerate part of its caudal fin or, even, more than half of its heart. One of the main lines of research carried out with this animal model is that to discover the genes involved in regenerative processes. … Continue reading New animal models for biomedical and biotechnology research: The zebrafish