A Travelling Fellowship unravels 3D chromatin structure

Three-dimensional chromatin architecture is vital for cell functionality. In recent years, there’s been a marked increase in the effort to bridge the gap between transcription activity and 3D chromatin structure. A Travelling Fellowship from Journal of Cell Science helped Silvia Galan travel from the Structural Genomics lab, led by Professor Marc A. Marti-Renom at the Centre for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, to Professor Juanma Vaquerizas’ lab at the Max Planck Institute in Germany. As part of her PhD, she spent 3 months learning from the group, who are known for their extensive knowledge and expertise in early development and chromatin structure.

A successful back-up plan leads to publication

Hummingbird images captured during the experiment

In 2014, Dr Sridhar Ravi, University of New South Wales, received a Travelling Fellowship from Journal of Experimental Biology. Using the grant, he visited labs run by Professor Andrew Biewener and Professor Stacey Combes in the Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Although the original experiments didn’t quite go to plan, the team’s back-up plan was a success and earlier this year a paper based on the data from the trip was published.

New imaging approach unveils a bigger picture

As intelligent problem-solvers and devious escape artists with the ability to change colour, skin texture and shape, octopuses have captured the minds of researchers for good reason. Hydrostats make up the octopus’ most well-known feature, its eight arms. These muscular structures lack skeletal support, which provides octopuses with a high degree of flexibility that is visible in their ability to explore and manipulate small objects. 

Photoimmunotherapy – shedding a new light on glioblastoma treatment

Dr. Malgorzata Kucinska in the lab

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a grade IV brain tumor, is the most common malignant primary brain cancer in adults. Patients with GBM have a poor prognosis following standard therapy, with a 5-year survival rate of only 3-5%. Although novel therapies against GBM have been tested, the standard care has remained unaltered for over 15 years.

Collaboration spawns new findings

The research project of PhD student Filomena Caccavale at the Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn in Naples, Italy, has focussed on the role of nitric oxide (NO) during embryonic and larval development of the cephalochordate Branchiostoma lanceolatum (amphioxus).

The mysterious case of the cassowary casque

For biologists around the world, the UK’s Natural History Museum is one of the most significant icons in the field. Housing 80 million items spanning 4.5 billion years, the Museum first opened its doors in 1881 and is known as the leading centre of natural history and research in the world. Todd Green had the privilege of travelling from Oklahoma State University, USA to Tring, UK to visit the location first established by Lord Walter Rothschild in 1892.

Anti-ageing in the Greenland Shark

The Greenland Shark, Somniosus microcephalus, has remarkable longevity and is the longest-living vertebrate known to science. The decline of shorter-lived species involves the loss of DNA integrity via the loss of DNA repair mechanisms. The longevity of the Greenland Shark suggests resilience to this age-related functional decline.

To test the hypothesis that Greenland Shark DNA is unique in this respect, Pierre Delaroche travelled from Dr Holly Shiels’ lab at the University of Manchester to the University of Copenhagen’s Arctic Station on Disko Island in Greenland with Professor John Fleng Steffensen. 

Putting forces under the microscope with a Travelling Fellowship

The three-dimensional mechanical forces generated during the activation of T lymphocytes have been quantified at unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution. To do so, Postdoctoral Researcher Huw Colin-York from the Fritzsche Group, which studies Biophysical Immunology at the University of Oxford, travelled to the laboratory of Prof Dong Li at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biophysics, Beijing, courtesy of a Travelling Fellowship from the Journal of Cell Science.

Expanded understanding of leukaemia treatment

Transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC – stem cells that produce new blood cells) is a common treatment for several leukaemias. Following transfusion, HSCs migrate from the circulatory system into bone marrow niches, where they begin a process of self-renewal and proliferation that supports lifelong normal blood cell production.

Transfer of experience

Intranasal insulin has been shown to improve memory in both humans and mice. However, in most cases less than 0.05% of insulin delivered via the intranasal route actually reaches the brain. Buccal epithelium is routinely used as an in vitro model for investigating peptide uptake, but Elizabeth Rhea, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington, USA, wished to investigate its potential as a model for screening enhancers of intranasal insulin delivery.

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