Setting up a SARS-CoV-2 testing pipeline at the Crick
Aitkin et al., Nature Biotechnology, 38, 927–931 (2020)
The Crick COVID-19 Consortium, led by Steve Gamblin, Sonia Gandhi and Charlie Swanton, has described how the Crick was repurposed as a testing facility during the pandemic by collaborating with hospitals and a diagnostic lab.
Model to study leukemia's effect on hematopoiesis
Waclawiczek et al., Journal of Clinical Investigation, 130, 3038-3050 (2020)
A study from the Bonnet lab provides ex vivo and in vivo models to study the interactions that occur in leukemia patients, between leukemic cells, normal residual hematopoiesis and the bone marrow niche.
Restriction of memory B cells differentiation
Toboso-Navasa et al., Journal of Experimental Medicine, 217, e20191933.
Dinis Calado's lab has investigated how germinal centre B immune cells differentiate into memory B cells, which are key for long-term protection from infection. They found this is restricted by MYC-MIZ1 transcriptional repressor complexes.
Fusion in intermediate forms of haemaggluttinin
Benton et al., Nature, 583, 150–153 (2020)
New research led by Donald Benton has imaged haemagglutinin, the main surface glycoprotein of influenza, trapping structural intermediates using cryoEM. These offer a dynamic view of how the protein mediates membrane fusion.
Essential stage of malaria's life cycle
Ubiquitin activation is essential for schizont maturation in Plasmodium falciparum blood-stage development
Green et al., PLOS Pathogens, 16, e1008640 (2020)
A study led by Tony Holder's lab has identified that addition of ubiquitin tags to proteins is essential for transition through the life cycle of the malaria parasite in the bloodstream. Targeting this pathway could be used to develop new antimalarial drugs.
The role of NETs in atherosclerosis
Histones, DNA, and citrullination promote neutrophil extracellular trap inflammation by regulating the localization and activation of TLR4
Tsourouktsoglou et al., Cell Reports, 31, 107602 (2020)
Research from Veni Papayannopoulos's lab has investigated the underlying mechanisms of how neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) promote atherosclerosis, a disease where plaque builds in the arteries.
New insights into the anatomy of neurons
Galloni et al., eLife, 9, e55761 (2020)
A study from the Rancz lab has shown that dendritic excitability of layer 5 pyramidal neurons is not uniform across the brain, as previously thought, and that it is regulated by the length of the apical dendrite.
New tumour sampling method significantly improves genetic testing for cancer treatment
Litchfield et al., Cell Reports, 31, 107550 (2020)
A holistic tumour sampling method that more accurately detects genetic alterations in tumours, which are critical in allowing treatment to be personalised to each and every patient, has been developed by researchers from the Crick, led by Samra Turajlic, Roche and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust.
How Wnt proteins signal at a distance
McGough et al., Nature, 585, 85–90 (2020)
A study led by Ian McGough in Jean-Paul Vincent's lab has uncovered how Wnts proteins, which are highly insoluble because of a lipid moiety, spread within tissues to organise cell fates, maintain stemness and control growth.
A protein that helps to fight viruses can also block lung damage repair
Major et al., Science, 369, 712-717 (2020)
Researchers from the Andreas Wack's lab have found that a protein, which is initially helpful in the body’s immune response to a virus, can later interfere with the repair of lung tissue. The work highlights the need for careful consideration regarding the use of this protein to treat viruses, including the novel coronavirus.