IJM News since 2010

  • Nesprins are mechanotransducers that discriminate epithelial–mesenchymal transition programs

    LINC complexes are assemblies of transmembrane proteins that physically link the nucleoskeleton and cytoskeleton through the nuclear envelope. Dysfunctions of LINC complexes are associated with cancer and muscle pathologies. The mechanical roles of LINC complexes in these diseases are poorly understood. To remedy this, an IJM team has used FRET molecular tension biosensors genetically encoded in nesprin, a protein of the LINC complex, in fibroblast and epithelial cells in culture.

  • Comment s’établissent les domaines de réplication précoce ?

    Les génomes des vertébrés se répliquent selon un programme temporel précis, fortement corrélé avec leur organisation en compartiments A/B (ouverts/fermés). A ce jour cependant, les mécanismes moléculaires impliqués dans la formation des domaines de réplication précoce restent encore largement incompris.

  • Paleogenetics uncovers the introduction of domestic horses in southwest Asia 4,000 years ago

    The domestication of wild animals is a crucial step in the development of past societies. While the first animals that were domesticated ca. 10-9,000 years ago for economic reasons in the Fertile Crescent in southwest Asia to increase the reliability of the subsistence resources, horses were domesticated much later, supposedly around 5,000 years ago.

  • Adiós Corona, the website compiling reliable information about COVID-19

    Why are gatherings not recommended during the COVID-19 outbreak? Can a mask be reused? Is the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus resistant to sunlight? How to flirt in the time of COVID-19? What are the tips for getting on a plane? Studies on COVID-19 contradict each other: who is right, and on what basis? Lethality, mortality, excess mortality, R0, kappa: what are we talking about? Find more than 100 questions and answers answered by Adios Corona, an international team of 50 volunteer scientists led by Virginie Courtier-Orgogozo, Research Director at the Jacques Monod Institute, and Claire Wyart, Research Director at the Brain Institute.

  • Une colle de mouche qui est universelle

    Les insectes peuvent se coller à de nombreuses surfaces. Les bioadhésifs d'insecte représentent une grande source d’inspiration pour le développement de nouveaux matériaux. Chez la mouche Drosophila melanogaster, la larve sécrète une colle qui permet à l'animal de s'accrocher, pendant toute la durée de la métamorphose (plusieurs jours), à une tige, un morceau de feuille ou du plastique (au laboratoire).

  • The transformation of the genomes of the inhabitants of France during the Protohistory

    The protohistory of France was punctuated by two migration waves, one during the Neolithic that started around 6300 years ago and one during the Bronze Age 4200 years ago. This is the major result of a new paleogenomic study published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” (PNAS) of the “Epigenome and Paleogenome” group of the Institut Jacques Monod, Université de Paris, CNRS in collaboration with numerous French archaeologists and paleoanthropologists affiliated to the INRAP, the CNRS, universities and archaeological companies.

  • New insights into the polarization of multicellular epithelia

    Multi-ciliated epithelia play an important role in respiratory function. In humans, multi-ciliated cells are particularly needed for respiratory clearance, a mechanism that allows renewing the protective mucus barrier protecting the lungs from pathogens and dust. Disturbances in the function of these cells caused by certain genetic mutations can thus be at the origin of severe respiratory diseases. An international collaboration between two teams form the IJM and the Max Planck Institute in Dresden has highlighted a novel mechanism for controlling the direction of ciliary beat in a multicellular epithelium. Using an invertebrate model, the planarian Schmidtea mediterranea, researchers have shown that the joint action of two conserved signaling pathways can generate a ciliary pattern that reflects the bilateral symmetry of the animal itself. However, the elements of the cytoskeleton on which the polarity signals act to orient the cilia exhibit chiral asymmetry. This work thus allowed to identify new molecular actors in the polarization of multi-ciliated epithelia, but also to understand how the so-called Bilaterian animals, of which we are part, can generate a bilateral symmetry from chiral molecules or structures.

  • Des pincettes en ADN pour étudier l’interaction entre une médicament et sa cible à l’échelle molécule-unique

    L’efficacité d’un médicament est fortement liée au temps que la molécule médicamenteuse passe accolée à sa cible, typiquement une protéine. Bien souvent si l’interaction est de longue durée la drogue aura un effet plus fort que si l’interaction est de courte durée. Une équipe pluridisciplinaire vient de décrire dans la revue Nature Nanotechnology une nouvelle approche à très haute résolution permettant d’observer, en temps réel, l’interaction d’une seule molécule médicamenteuse avec une seule molécule de cible. Cette observation du « quantum » d’interaction moléculaire ouvre de nouvelles perspectives dans le développement des médicaments mais aussi des anticorps thérapeutiques et de la science des matériaux.

  • News from the third branch of humanity, the Denisovans

    A tiny fragment of a finger bone from Denisova cave in Siberia containing exceptionally well preserved DNA led in 2010, through the analysis of its genome, to the discovery of a previously unknown human population, the Denisovans, a sister-group of Neandertals. Denisovans have been documented living in the Middle and Upper Pleistocene (at least between 50,000 and 195,000 years ago) in southern Siberia and Tibet, but have left traces in the genomes of present-day populations in Melanesia and, to a lesser extent, in some populations in Asia. Yet, due to the scarcity of identified skeletal remains, almost nothing is known about their physical appearance. In the framework of an international, interdisciplinary collaboration coordinated by Eva-Maria Geigl, the Epigenome & Paleogenome group of the Institut Jacques Monod measured and photographed another fragment of the phalanx, analyzed its mitochondrial genome and demonstrated that it as the larger part of the famous phalanx that had yielded the first Denisovan genome. Paleoanthropologists from PACEA, University of Bordeaux, and from the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, Canada, reconstructed the image of the complete phalanx (Figure) and performed careful morphometric analyses of the measurements and pictures of the phalanx and comparison with finger phalanges of Neandertals and anatomically modern humans. This analysis shows that the finger phalanx of the Denisovan woman is close in shape to that of anatomically modern humans, in contrast to the molars and a recently identified mandible from Tibet. Thus, Denisovans seem to have mosaic characters that may challenge paleoanthropologists searching for Denisovan skeletal remains to better characterize morphologically this “third” branch of humanity.

  • Une stratégie de résistance à un inhibiteur métabolique découverte grâce à la levure

    Les cellules cancéreuses prolifèrent de manière incontrôlée. Ceci s’accompagne d’une capacité accrue à importer les nutriments et à les métaboliser. Le dérivé toxique d’un sucre, le 2-désoxyglucose (2DG), est préférentiellement importé par les cellules cancéreuses et inhibe leur croissance. En utilisant la levure de boulanger comme organisme modèle, les chercheurs ont précisé les effets cellulaires de cette drogue et les mécanismes de résistance associés. Ces résultats sont publiés dans la revue Science Signaling.

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