Scientific News

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.

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.