The lab of Thomas Juffmann, together with researchers from the University of Siegen, has developed a new technique that combines electron microscopy and laser technology to enable programmable, arbitrary shaping of electron beams. It can potentially be used for optimizing electron optics and for adaptive electron microscopy, with applications in structural biology and materials science. The technology maximizes sensitivity while minimizing beam-induced damage. The results are published in Physics Review X.
How animals are able to interpret natural light sources to adjust their physiology and behavior is poorly understood. The labs of Kristin Tessmar-Raible (Max Perutz Labs Vienna, Alfred Wegener Institut, University of Oldenburg) and Eva Wolf (Johannes Gutenberg University and Institute of Molecular Biology Mainz) have now revealed that a molecule called L-cryptochrome (L-Cry) has the biochemical properties to discriminate between different moon phases, as well as between sun- and moonlight. Their findings, published in Nature Communications, show that L-Cry can interpret moonlight to entrain the monthly (circalunar) clock of a marine worm to control sexual maturation and reproduction.
Congratulations to Stephanie Ellis who has received the 2022 Vallee Scholar Award from the Vallee Foundation. The career development grant aims to support outstanding junior faculty carrying out basic biomedical research and will help to fund Stephanie’s work on cell competition over the next four years.
From September 15 - 17, 2022 group leader Jörg Menche and his team hosted “The Shape of Things to Come”, a 3-day mixed-reality exhibition. At various locations across the Vienna BioCenter, scientists and artists presented their ideas of how they picture our future environment in augmented and virtual reality.
Stem cells intrinsically express genes normally associated with the innate immune system, but in the absence of external stimuli such as viral infections. In new work published in EMBO Reports, the lab of Christa Bücker has discovered that expression of a key gene of the innate immune response, Irf1, is controlled by the gene regulatory network that regulates the transition from naïve to formative pluripotency during embryonic development. Their findings suggest that antiviral defense is upregulated to transiently protect the embryo from viral infections during a critical timepoint in development.
Congratulations to Max Perutz Labs faculty member Manuela Baccarini, who has been elected new Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs of the University of Vienna. She will be part of the rectorate team led by rector Sebastian Schütze that will start its tenure in October 2022.
Although he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his research on hemoglobin, Max Perutz is hardly known to a broader public in Austria. The exhibition and science outreach project “Breathing at High Altitude” was created to teach the public about the life and science of this extraordinary researcher. During its first public showing at the University of Vienna the exhibition was visited by more than 5.000 people over the course of four weeks.
Stephanie Ellis studied in Canada and obtained a PhD from the University of British Columbia after which she did post-doctoral work with Elaine Fuchs at Rockefeller University. In early 2022 she started her research group at the Max Perutz Labs as an Assistant Professor at the University of Vienna. Her lab will study mechanisms of cell competition and tissue fitness in development and disease. In our interview she talks about the medical potential of her research, how her love for telling stories drove her to a career in science and what advice she would give her younger self.
The Climate@MaxPerutzLabs initiative has received the Sustainability Award 2022 by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research and the Federal Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology. The award recognizes innovative and sustainable projects at Austrian Universities and Higher Education institutions.