Noticias Científicas

<p>Analogs of borrelidin to treat malaria (IRB Barcelona)</p>
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.

<p>Scheme of the predictive model of chemical substances and their association with human diseases. The orange and green circles show adverse and therapeutic effects respectively. The size of the circles is proportional to the number of molecules that hold t</p>
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.

<p>Sample from mouse liver. A high glycogen content (pink) suppresses appetite and improves the management of diabetes and obesity. Image: I López-Soldado, IRB Barcelona</p>
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.

<p>Fruit fly larva are used to study stem cells key features (Image: wikipedia)</p>
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.

<p>In green, details of a tumour surrounded by the muscle fibres (red) of the Drosophila (O Martorell, IRB Barcelona)</p>
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.

<p>Representative images of beta-amyloid aggregation and the dendritic trees of living and dead neurons (Bernat Serra-Vidal, IRB Barcelona/Lluís Pujades & Daniela Rossi UB)</p>
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.

<p>Researchers have experimentally and theoretically determined for the first time an important property of DNA that has remained unknown until now - its dielectric constant. This opens the way to a realistic computational description of DNA...</p>
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.

<p>Image of the fat body tissue. In red, structures responsible for storing lipids (Lara Barrio, IRB Barcelona)</p>
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.

<p>Jens Lüders leads the Microtubule Organization laboratory (Photo: Battista/Minocri, IRB Barcelona)</p>
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.

<p>Eduard Batlle heads a study published in Nature Cell Biology on Sunday 22 June (Photo: Gavin Whissell , IRB Barcelona)</p>
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.