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Lab Times Issue 3/2011

Beyond all the wiring that stitches the brain together are the command centers operating from within each neuron, which endow the organ with an exceptional intellectual propensity. Recent research has identified some ‘new’ performers, the regulators of the epigenome. A rendezvous with Annette Schenck and colleagues tells us more.

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Lab Times Issue 1/2011

Only recently, an immunomodulatory role for the ‘cylindromatosis’ tumour suppressor gene (Cyld) has been ascribed. In their pioneering work, George Mosialos and his group have cracked the mechanism of Cyld-dependent regulation of T-cell development with their in vivo mouse model. Excerpts from a tête-à-tête with Mosialos follow...

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Lab Times Issue 5/2010

The need for novel antibiotic formulations with broad spectra has led to a burgeoning focus on bacterial cell biology. As Leendert Hamoen’s team at the University of Newcastle uncovers a potent cellular feature that modulates localisation of membrane proteins in bacteria, does their research offer attractive prompts to the pharma industry?

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Lab Times Issue 4/2010

The human cortex confers man with the exceptional quality of cognizance. While research staggered for years in identifying the ‘cell-intrinsic’ molecular basis of cognition, Marta Nieto and colleagues have been pioneers in illustrating a novel mechanism in cortical development. And that adds another piece to the puzzle...

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Lab Times Issue 1/2010

The plasticity of the brain allows for structural changes that suit individual behaviour and lifestyle. Using MR imaging, Annemie’s group has recently discovered that the brain of a songbird gets geared up for the breeding season in more ways than just one. Is there something more to their images?

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The digits of the vertebrate limb arise from a multi-step process during which the precursor cells take on one of three different fates. While the process itself is modulated by a network of cascades, Juan M. Hurlé in his 30 years of research, is close to zeroing on the master regulator all the way upstream.

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PhD Manners

The trouble in doing a PhD is (please help! I hope there are many of you voting up for the following points):

1. Building a rapport with your supervisor (but sometimes, you could get so confounded with your work that you have nothing plain and simple to talk about!)
2. Handling too many different things...all at the same time
3. Repeating experiments a dozen times to standardize, another dozen times when for no reason the method fails, yet another dozen times when a part or whole of the experiment could not be completed, another three times to get concordant observations
4. Trusting your observations (they could be out-of-the-world and sometimes make you think that it's been an artifact all the way)
5. Ignoring those colleagues who've been making a steady progress with work (have they never had problems? or do they have less work in all that they can manage stuff? or is it luck that favors them? ignore!!)
6. Anti-depressants (trying humor in between failed experiments! ridiculous??)
7. Wondering if all this would come to a nice end in 3-2-1 year/s (as appropriate)
8. Spiriting a "spirited" attitude (Help!!!)
9. Thinking about future (and papers!!!)
10. Wondering how Einstein/Darwin/Cajal enjoyed it!!

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