Unraveling the origins of the human spine

The spinal column is the central supporting structure of the skeleton in all vertebrates. Not only does it provide a place for muscles to attach, it also protects the spinal cord and nerve roots. Defects in its development ...

Understanding genomes, piece by piece

The celebrated physicist Richard Feynman is credited with the quote, "What I cannot create, I do not understand." As well as informing Feynman's approach to theoretical physics, it's a good way of describing the motivations ...

Researchers identify new bacteria and viruses on human skin

Researchers at EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), the NIH National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and ...

Observing the secret life of molecules inside the cell

To understand how cells function, scientists study how their different components—from single molecules to multiple organelles—work together. Using traditional structural biology techniques, they can look at individual ...

Connecting the dots between bacterial genes around the world

Around the world, bacterial communities live in all kinds of habitats, from the human body to water and soil. Each community consists of a unique composition of species, called the microbiome. Each species harbors thousands ...

A gallery of human RNA polymerases

Using state-of-the-art technology and techniques, EMBL's Müller group has provided the most detailed structure to date of human RNA polymerase I (Pol I), offering fundamental information about cellular function for those ...

Wrangling an octopus-like viral replication machine

Endemic in Western African countries, Lassa virus is transmitted to humans through food or household items that are contaminated with the urine or feces of Mastomys rats. Even though many people who become infected with Lassa ...

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