Scientific News

27 Feb 2015

dSysMap (which stands for “Disease-mutations Systemic Mapping”) is a computational tool to interpret the effect of genetic mutations on the development of complex diseases.

The tool allows researchers to explore how alterations in more than 2,000 proteins affect the diverse biological functions in which these molecules are involved.

The Pan-Cancer consortium has included the tool in order to gain a more global view of the causes of tumour development.

23 Feb 2015

A study published in Nature Genetics by researchers at IRB Barcelona explains the basis for the classification of colon tumours in good or bad prognosis by analysing the tissue surrounding the tumour cells.

The scientists are currently developing a test that enables the identification of patients at risk of relapse after surgical removal of the tumour by measuring 4-6 genes expressed by the tumour microenvironment.

The researchers also propose to test in patients a particular drug that blocks the metastatic capacity of colorectal cancers in mice.

This drug has been tested using novel technology that allows the growth of mini colon cancers, also known as organoids, derived from patient samples.

5 Feb 2015

Chemists at IRB Barcelona patent and present a shuttle capable of transporting molecules into the brain; this achievement could facilitate the treatment of diseases with no therapy available.

98% of drugs targeting the central nervous system are discarded because they are unable to cross the physical barrier that protects the brain.

The IRB Barcelona scientists, together with clinical teams, are now evaluating the potential of their shuttle for rare and orphan diseases.

23 Jan 2015

Researchers in Barcelona discover more potential candidates on the route to tailored, photo-switchable therapies by disproving design limitation

10 Dec 2014

Researchers at IRB Barcelona identify a family of efficient and selective molecules to combat the parasite Plasmodium, causal agent of malaria.

Two analogues of borrelidin were found to cure 100% of infected mice and produce immunological memory in these animals, a property not previously observed in an antimalarial drug.

Growing resistance to current treatment for malaria increases the need for new drug candidates.

1 Dec 2014

The analysis of drugs, natural products, and chemical substances found in the environment allows the identification of the chemical fragments responsible for a therapeutic or deleterious effect on human health.

This knowledge may be valuable for the design of drugs with fewer secondary effects, for associating diseases, and for identifying new uses for drugs currently on the market.

The predictive model developed by researchers at IRB Barcelona provides information for the treatment of 20% of human diseases.

13 Nov 2014

Mice eat less when their hepatic glucose stores are high.

“We have to find treatments to increase hepatic glucose because of its positive effect in diabetes and obesity,” says Joan Guinovart, head of the study published in Diabetes.

29 Oct 2014

The study, performed with fruit flies, describes a gene that determines whether a specialized cell conserves the capacity to become a stem cell again.

Unveiling the genetic traits that favour the retention of stem cell properties is crucial for regenerative medicine.

Published in Cell Reports, the article is the fruit of collaboration between researchers at IRB Barcelona and CSIC.

8 Oct 2014

Researchers generate for the first time Drosophila melanogaster with intestinal cancer and reveal key genetic factors behind human colon cancer.

The scientists identify a human gene that favours the proliferation of tumour cells in early stages of colon cancer.

Furthermore, the flies are useful for faster and more economic drug screening.

1 Oct 2014

Scientists at IRB Barcelona in collaboration with researchers at the University of Barcelona observe that aggregates of 20 to 100 units of beta-amyloid have a structure that is the most harmful to neurons.

This is the first time that a method allows scientists to monitor aggregation while simultaneously detect a structural pattern responsible for the toxicity of beta-amyloid aggregation.

The researchers state that these studies are a step towards finding a therapeutic target for a disease which, to date, has no treatment.