Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

EuroDYNA leaves healthy genomic research ecosystem as legacy

17.06.2008
Europe's position as a major player in genome research has been boosted by the European Science Foundation's three-year EUROCORES programme EuroDYNA.

As it draws to a close, EuroDYNA (Dynamic Nuclear Architecture and Chromatin Function) is leaving behind a healthy European ecosystem of interacting multidisciplinary research projects focused on the structure of the cellular nucleus and mechanisms governing gene expression.

The greatest benefit of EuroDYNA has been in stimulating interaction among the various Collaborative Research Projects (CRPs) that had already been established, according to Graham Tebb, a scientific administrator for genetics, microbiology, biotechnology and cell biology at the FWF (Fonds zur Förderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung), the Austrian agency for funding basic research. "I was pleased to see the links between the CRPs," said Tebb. "That's the real added value."

The success of EuroDYNA in creating European momentum behind research into chromatin structure and gene regulation was widely acknowledged at the programme's third and final meeting, held at the Wellcome Trust Conference Centre near Cambridge, UK, late May 2008. "The ESF grant had a galvanising effect on our project, increasing credibility on a local, national and international level," said Colin Logie from Nijmegen University in the Netherlands, head of one of the EuroDYNA projects, "Chromatin Higher Order Dynamics: A single molecule approach". Logie pointed out that research into the dynamic structure of chromatin, the nuclear complex of proteins and DNA where 99.99% of all genes reside in higher organisms, requires increasing interaction between biologists and physicists, which has been accomplished within his project, leading to new insights into chromatin structure.

... more about:
»Collaboration »EuroDYNA »Protein »genomic

Logie and other project leaders also highlighted an issue common to most if not all projects relating to genomic structure, which is the high cost of meeting the growing genome-wide profiling challenge. Rene Ketting from the Hubrecht Institute for Developmental Biology in Utrecht, in the Netherlands, and David Shore from the University of Geneva's Department of Molecular Biology, suggested there should in future be separate provision for the cost of protein chromosomal location by ChIP-seq, genome-wide RNA profiling and the concomitant bioinformatics analyses, which otherwise could easily consume budgets and reduce the resources available for dedicated laboratory experiments. Alternatively at least some aspects of genomic profiling could be provided as a service by major funding agencies or research councils. The role of EuroDYNA not just in fostering collaboration between disciplines and countries, but also in highlighting such future funding issues, was acknowledged by many of the project leaders and scientists present at the final conference.

The best measure of EuroDYNA's success though lies in the cross fertilisation between different multi-disciplinary CRPs, some of which were sparked by unexpected breakthroughs. A good example is the serendipitous discovery of the close and important relationship between two proteins, cohesin and CTCF, in regulating the expression and transcription of genes. This subsequently brought two separate groups within EuroDYNA together, one from the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in Vienna on the control of the chromosome structure by Cohesin, and the other from Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdamworking on the role of the zinc finger CTCF proteins in the cell cycle and differentiation processes. The discovery that cohesin and CTCF are intimately linked was made by the group of Jan-Michael Peters at the IMP. Subtle deficiencies in this relationship might lead to a group of diseases known as "cohesinopathies" that are more common than once thought because they are frequently misdiagnosed. One such disease is Cornelia de Lange syndrome, causing various developmental abnormalities such as low birth weight, delayed growth, and small head size.

EuroDYNA, and indeed the ESF in general, has made a major contribution to the development of multinational, multidisciplinary funding models that reduce the bureaucratic and logistical hurdles that scientists need to overcome both in complex and smaller scale projects, whenever European collaboration is required. However some scientists at the EuroDYNA conference argued that the ESF could stimulate collaboration even further by extending the timespan of projects from three to four or even five years, potentially with a mid-term review after three years. This was recommended by Juan Ausio from the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of Victoria. Ausio, who is a member of the EuroDYNA review panel, pointed out that in Canada funding for scientific projects typically runs for five years, and gives the scientists longer to establish lasting collaborations and derive real value from them. "It saves a lot of resources and effort," said Ausio. "It especially decreases the burden on the reviewers' side and it decreases significantly the administrative effort of the funding agencies."

Perhaps then the most lasting legacy of EuroDYNA is to leave behind a more secure structure for funding of European projects, even if some of the detail remains to be sorted out.

Angela Michiko Hama | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esf.org

Further reports about: Collaboration EuroDYNA Protein genomic

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists uncover the role of a protein in production & survival of myelin-forming cells
19.07.2018 | Advanced Science Research Center, GC/CUNY

nachricht NYSCF researchers develop novel bioengineering technique for personalized bone grafts
18.07.2018 | New York Stem Cell Foundation

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>