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Nanobody technology offers promise for stopping cancer spread

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New research carried out at the University of Leeds, in collaboration with the CRUK Scotland Institute and the University of Cambridge, has led to the discovery of a nanobody that offers a potential new approach for preventing the spread of cancer, known as metastasis. A protein called Fascin-1, which is found at high levels in...

Shapeshifting fibers: capturing the transformation of a rogue protein

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For the first time, an interdisciplinary team of researchers has revealed intricate 3D detail of how the structure of a malfunctioning protein, hIAPP, evolves over time. Scientists used Cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryoEM) – a high resolution imaging technique - to determine the structures of the hIAPP amyloid fibrils present at three distinct points of growth; an...

How a tumour suppressor repairs DNA

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  For the first time, scientists have witnessed new molecular behaviour in proteins that protect us from cancer. Scientists in the have identified new features of BRCA1–BARD1, a group of proteins that play a critical role in repairing damaged DNA. Using ground-breaking imaging techniques, thanks to the state-of-the-art equipment at the Astbury and Bragg centres in...

Scientists discover promising new way to personalise treatment for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases

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Researchers at the University of Leeds have developed a new diagnostic approach that can quickly identify how a patient is responding to antibody medication. The technology, which uses special sensors called enzyme switch sensors, can detect the amount of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (TmAb) that are present in a patient’s system. TmAbs are medicines that are...

Britons getting tattoos and cosmetic procedures abroad may be at risk of Hepatitis C – here’s how to avoid it

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Dr Grace Roberts, researcher in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology, writes for The Conversation. A growing number of people living in the UK are going abroad to have tattoos, piercings and cosmetic surgeries. Any procedure, no matter where it’s performed, can carry the risk of injury and infection. But people heading abroad for cosmetic procedures...

New project launched to accelerate drug discovery

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Researchers from the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology have joined a consortium of academics and industry partners as part of a new 9.7MЄ study. The EU-funded project, Fragment-Screen, which is being led by Instruct-ERIC, aims to develop innovative tools that could help to advance new drugs using the approach of fragment-based drug discovery. A team...

New insights into β2-microglobulin amyloid aggregation

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The aggregation of β2-microglobulin (β2m) into amyloid fibrils is associated with human disease, but subtly different variants of β2m are associated with diseases with distinct pathologies. Astbury researchers at the University of Leeds have used cryoEM to determine the structures of fibrils formed from three different variants under identical conditions in vitro. The research, from...

University of Leeds secures £5.6 million grant to understand new layer of gene regulation by ribosomes

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The five-year project will lead to a better understanding of fundamental biochemical processes of gene regulation and will identify new research strategies for tackling cancer and other diseases. Julie Aspden, Associate Professor of RNA at Leeds and principal investigator, said: “The goal of this project is not only to understand how genes are expressed by...

Congratualtions to Professor Lorna Dougan on being awarded the British Biophysical Society Elspeth Garman Prize for Public Engagement

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Professor Lorna Dougan has been awarded the British Biophysical Society Elspeth Garman Prize for Public Engagement for her pioneering work in developing and delivering creative public engagement resources to diverse communities. The prize is awarded every two years and recognises excellence in biological physics engagement. Biophysics is a vibrant scientific field, with world leading activity...