Scientific News

18 Aug 2014

The electric polarizability of DNA is a fundamental property that directly influences its biological functions. Despite the importance of this property, however, its measurement has remained elusive so far.

In a study published in PNAS today, researchers at Barcelona’s Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC) led by Laura Fumagalli, senior researcher at IBEC and lecturer at the University of Barcelona, and their collaborators at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) and at Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), and at Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia (CNB-CSIC) and IMDEA Nanociencia in Madrid, describe how they have found a way to directly measure DNA electric polarizability – represented by its dielectric constant, which indicates how a material reacts to an applied electric field – for the first time ever.

24 Jul 2014

Scientists at IRB Barcelona have observed that, when deprived of food, flies that do not express p53 show poor management of energy store.

The study, published today in Cell Reports, further supports the involvement of this molecule—traditionally associated with tumour suppression—in metabolism.

The researchers provide new insights to study p53 function in metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity.

30 Jun 2014

A breakthrough at IRB Barcelona fills a knowledge gap in understanding how the cell division apparatus, the mitotic spindle, is formed.

The in vivo visualization and monitoring of the starting points of microtubules — filaments responsible for organising the mitotic spindle — provides novel insight into the dynamic architecture of this structure.

The findings will also contribute to understanding how the mitotic spindle is perturbed by drugs that target microtubules and that are used in chemotherapy.

23 Jun 2014

When adenomas appear in the colon, the same cells of the tissue produce a molecule that neutralizes its progression.

Adenomas, which are highly prevalent in the population, provide the substrate on which carcinomas develop.

12 Jun 2014

A study by the scientists Xavier Salvatella and Modesto Orozco at IRB Barcelona reveals the existence of information highways that connect and correlate distant sites within a single protein.

Published in Nature Communications, the article furthers a key theoretical field for drug discovery, as it would allow the discovery of many more drug binding sites in proteins of biomedical interest.

2 Jun 2014

Roger Gomis’ team, in collaboration with another two groups in IRB Barcelona’s Oncology Programme, reveal in Nature Cell Biology the genes and mechanisms that allow liver metastasis to colonize the lung.

The breakthrough introduces a new concept of metastasis from metastasis, which may require a distinct clinical treatment to metastases generated from the primary tumour.

The study has been partially supported by the BBVA Foundation, which provides two IRB groups signing this article with structural funds.

27 May 2014

The research headed by Roger Gomis at IRB Barcelona, with the collaboration of Joan Massagué, describes that the loss of the suppressor RARRES3 promotes the colonization of breast cancer cells in the lung.

RARRES3 could prove to be a useful marker to identify patients with a greater risk of metastasis, as well as providing a target for the development of a specific treatment for preventive strategies after removal of the primary tumour.

The study has received, among others, funding from the BBVA Foundation, which provides structural funds for the development of research addressing metastasis at IRB Barcelona.

9 Apr 2014

Researchers headed by Antonio Zorzano at IRB demonstrate that the DOR protein promotes muscle mass loss in mice.

The scientists hypothesize that the design of an inhibitor against DOR would serve to prevent and tackle muscle wasting in patients suffering from sarcopenia and cachexia.

27 Mar 2014

The team headed by Angel Rodríguez Nebreda, ICREA researcher at IRB, identifies for the first time in mice that the p38 MAPK protein is required for the survival and proliferation of colon cancer cells.

In the same study the scientists demonstrate that a p38 inhibitor that has been used in clinical trials for inflammatory diseases shrinks the tumours in mice.

The study, published today in Cancer Cell, has received funding from the BBVA Foundation, the European project InflaCare, the Spanish Government, and the European Research Council (ERC).

21 Mar 2014

The study by Sofia J. Araújo sheds light on the fields of development, wound healing, angiogenesis, and tumour invasion, processes in which cell migration is crucial.