News

Scientific news
12 Apr 2012

In spite of considerable research efforts around the world, we still do not know the determining factors that confer stem cells their main particular features: capacity to self-renew and to divide and proliferate. The scientist Jordi Casanova, head of the “Morphogenesis in Drosophila” lab at IRB Barcelona and CSIC research professor, proposes in an article in the journal Embo Reports that we may be working...

Scientific news
<p>Researchers Lluís Ribas and Eva Novoa</p>
29 Mar 2012

All living organisms on Earth are divided into three large domains: Archaea, Bacteria and Eukarya, and from the beginning of life –more than 3,000 million years ago -, the genomes of each group have evolved towards distinct structures that have favored their separation. A study led by Lluís Ribas de Pouplana, ICREA researcher at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and head of the Gene Translation Laboratory, gives an...

Scientific news
<p>Hepatic cells isolated from healthy mice and mice deficient in Mitofusin 2 (right). Morphology of mitochondria (red), more rounded, is altered in the image on the right</p>
23 Mar 2012

Researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have discovered that deficiency of a single protein, Mitofusin 2, in muscle and hepatic cells of mice is sufficient to cause tissues to become insensitive to insulin, thus producing an increase in blood glucose concentrations. These are the two most common conditions prior to development of diabetes type 2. Published in this week’s issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), the study validates Mitofusin 2 as a possible target for the treatment of diabetes type 2.

“Resistance to insulin plays a key role in the development of diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia (alteration of lipid...

Scientific news
16 Mar 2012

Genome Research has just published the results of a study led by researchers at the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research(CRESIB) revealing a hitherto unknown mechanism that enables the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum to adapt to common fluctuations in its environment. A substantial part of the research was also carried out at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore).

The authors of the article have shown how, in a genetically homogeneous population of P falciparum parasites, each parasite is different. Using new highly accurate methods of analysis, the scientists discovered that more than 5...

Institutional news
6 Mar 2012

The EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) has awarded a consortium led by John Nolan, CEO and Head of Steno Diabetes Center in Denmark, a research grant of 5.5 million Euros, with the participation of the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). The grant will fund a new type 2 diabetes prevention project (DEXLIFE) which will run over the next 3½ years involving a wide range of European partners, including diabetes clinics, universities, and industry. “The aim of the project is to enable early stage identification of people with pre-diabetes who respond poorly or not at all to diet and exercise interventions”, says John Nolan. The project...

Institutional news
27 Feb 2012

Around one hundred researchers working in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and biomolecular structures will be brought together on 12 and 13 March in Barcelona on the occasion of the BIO-NMR symposium. This event is promoted by the European project BIO-NMR, which involves the participation of the University of Barcelona (UB), the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS) and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona). The symposium will include leading international speakers, such as Charles L. Brooks (University of Michigan) and David Case (University of Rutgers), among others.

This event seeks to boost synergies between...

Institutional news
<p>Modesto Orozco</p>
24 Jan 2012

The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded three ERC Advanced Grants to the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), which account for 20% of the 15 grants awarded to centres in Spain, according to information provided by the European research organisation. Likewise, the ERC statistics for the 2011 call reveal that of the 2284 projects presented, 294 passed the screening process, which represents a success rate of 13%. Advanced Grants are the most competitive in Europe both in terms of funding and in terms of the reduced number of consolidated European researchers able to achieve one....

Scientific news
<p>Structure of the somatostatina analogue synthesized in Riera's Lab</p>
20 Jan 2012

For several decades the pharmaceutical industry has been interested in achieving peptide analogues —similar molecules with improved properties— of the natural hormone somatostatin. This hormone and another two analogue compounds, octreotide and lanreotide, are used for the treatment of several kinds of neoplasia, such cancer of the thyroid, pancreas and prostate, in diseases associated with the growth hormone, for example in gigantism, and in digestive hemorrhages. Headed by...

Institutional news
12 Jan 2012

A collaborative project run by the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) has received one of the funding concessions of the first call of the “Prova’t” programme, promoted by the “Generalitat de Catalunya” (Autonomous Government of Catalonia). “Prova’t” seeks to boost the transfer of results from research centres in Catalonia to the productive sector.

The project will develop a new therapeutic strategy for glioblastoma, a very aggressive type of brain cancer with poor prognosis. This research involves the work of scientists Meritxell Teixidó and Ernest Giralt, at IRB Barcelona, and Joan Seoane at VHIO.

“...

Scientific news
<p>The cells to the right of the line, which have lost adhesion and are more rounded, will form the Drosophila intestines.</p>
15 Dec 2011

• This transformation, which is common in embryonic development, is
very similar to the process undergone by metastatic tumour cells.

• The gene GATA 6 is sufficient and necessary for this change
to happen. This gene is associated with many tumours of endodermal
origin, such as those of the liver, pancreas and colon.