Illustration showing the circular molecule – ciRS-7 (circular RNA sponge for miR-7) – which has captured microRNAs and thereby inactivated them (figure: Reza M. Zadegan)
The expression of circular RNA CIRS-7 and miR-7 in the mouse brain. Panels a and c indicate the presence of the CIRS-7 visualised with a dark colour. When compared with the presence of miR-7 (panels b and d) a clear overlap is seen. Panel e shows the presence of CIRS-7 stained with a fluorescent probe, which indicates that this circular RNA is one of the most highly expressed RNAs in mouse brain neurons (figure: Thomas Birkballe Hansen and Bettina H. Clausen) - Click figures for enlargement

2013.02.28 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Public / media

New knowledge about the human genome

Danish researchers have discovered a completely new function in human cells. In the long term, this could be very significant for understanding and treating a considerable number of human diseases. The results have been described in the international journal Nature.

Computer-processed image of a nerve cell.

2013.02.28 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Public / media

Aarhus University celebrates elite partnership

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) – Europe’s flagship for basic research in the life sciences – is including Aarhus University as its Danish partner. This will be celebrated in the Main Hall on 5 March with the inauguration of the DANDRITE neuroscience centre, which will make Aarhus a magnet for top international research into…

The zebrafish is a popular aquarium fish. In common with human beings, the fish is a vertebrate and it is widely used in research as a model organism (photo: Wikimedia Commons)
In the absence of the protein PAPP-A, the development of zebrafish is severely delayed (photo: Kasper Kjær-Sørensen)
The early processes of embryonic development can be manipulated at the molecular level by injecting material into the fertilised egg using a thin glass needle (photo: Kasper Kjær-Sørensen)
Ditte Høyer Engholm in front of the research group’s aquaria with zebrafish (photo: Lars Kruse)

2013.02.22 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

From pregnant women to zebrafish

By using zebrafish as a model organism, Danish researchers have now found a novel function of PAPP-A, which regulates the earliest embryonic development. The protein PAPP-A is normally associated with pregnancy, where the concentration in the blood is reduced if the woman is carrying a child with Down’s syndrome. But even though the measurement of…

Lung tissue is infected with the virus (figure: Volker Thiel)
Lung tissue. The red colour shows the cells, while the green colour shows the virus. When treated with interferons the virus disappears completely (IFN-alpha og IFN-lamda) (figure: Volker Thiel) Click figure and photo for enlargement
The Danish researchers participating in the study of the corona virus (from left): Ole Jensen Hamming and Rune Hartmann (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.02.20 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

New SARS virus puts scientists on alert

A new SARS-like virus has been found in the Middle East, and an international team of researchers involving Danish scientists has found that the new virus grows just as fast as a cold virus, but that the disease is more severe. The disease could potentially be cured with a treatment that stimulates the immune system.

The American students from different universities visit the Danish National Research Foundation’s PUMPkin Centre at Aarhus University, directed by Professor Poul Nissen (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.02.12 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

American university students visit Aarhus University

Twenty American biomedicine undergraduates recently visited the PUMPkin Centre to learn about its research and to see the centre’s facilities.

The researchers have identified a new and unfamiliar role for a conserved enzyme complex for the maintenance of genomic stability by a protein-DNA barrier that blocks replication, from left Iben B. Bentsen and Lotte Bjergbæk (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen).
(A) Suggested functions of the MRX complex upon replication fork stalling at a protein-DNA barrier. The MRX complex may hinder chicken foot formation (left) or protect a reversed fork from further processing (right). (B) Model for the cellular consequences to elevated levels of replication fork stalling in the rDNA (left panel), and for ectopically placed RFBs (right panel) in mre11? cells. Fob1 induction generates a higher level of active RFBs in the rDNA, which have detrimental effect on growth when the MRX complex is absent. Aberrant structures generated in the absence of the MRX complex are checkpoint-blind in the rDNA due to the presence of Sir2, whereas ectopically placed RFBs provoke a checkpoint signal in the absence of the MRX complex. Open bubbles represent active origins, whereas black dots represent inactive origins. Arrowheads represent Fob1-bound RFB sequences (figure: Iben Bentsen) Click photo and figure for enlargement

2013.02.04 | Research, Public / media

An enzyme complex maintains genome stability at replication roadblocks

During each cell cycle, the genome must undergo complete and faithful DNA replication to allow correct segregation of the duplicated chromosomes to the daughter cells. However, imperfections in the DNA template or physical roadblocks can threaten the fidelity of the replication machinery and thereby jeopardise genomic integrity. Studies on how…

Scientists at Aarhus University have developed a method which they have used to produce a unique type of barley containing only the healthy form of carbohydrate. Photo: Janne Hansen, AU

2013.02.04 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Gene switch-off produces healthier carbohydrates

For the first time ever scientists have succeeded in producing a crop containing only healthy carbohydrates. Easily digestible starch, which is the lesser healthy version of carbohydrates, was avoided by switching off specific genes in barley.

Professor Gregers Rom Andersen (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.01.24 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

New professor with focus on the immune system

Gregers Rom Andersen has been appointed professor of structural biology at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University

The Spotted Landrace pig is one of the old farm animal breeds that is worth preserving. Photo: Colourbox

2013.01.21 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

The history of Danish historic animals

A new report describes the work on preserving the genetic resources of Danish livestock.

Maria Andreasen (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.01.15 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Young elite researcher prize awarded to Maria Andreasen

The Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences (FNU) has awarded Maria Andreasen a prestigious Sapere Aude Young Elite Researcher Prize for her research project entitled: “Caught in the act – Identifying primary nucleation events for fibrillating proteins.”

Eva Arnspang Christensen has been granted DKK 2.245 million from the Sapere Aude programme to learn advanced microscopy techniques at the National Institutes of Health, USA (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.01.11 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Young Elite Researcher Prize awarded to Eva Arnspang Christensen

The Danish Council for Independent Research | Natural Sciences (FNU) has awarded a prestigious Sapere Aude Young Elite Researcher Prize valued at DKK 2.245 million to Postdoctoral Fellow Eva Arnspang Christensen (36), Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, for her research project ‘Aquaporin assembly and regulation: studied by…

A new booklet from the Danish Museum of Natural History is filled with lots of interesting information about poultry. Photo: Janne Hansen

2013.01.11 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Booklet on the hen

A new booklet published by the Danish Museum of Natural History, written by senior scientist Poul Sørensen from Aarhus University, covers the subject of hens and chickens in an easily approachable way.

The researchers behind the study, from left: Jacob Fredsøe, Anni Hangaard Andersen and Jakob Madsen Pedersen (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen) Click photo and figures for enlargement.
Topoisomerases are required for transcription of chromatin regulated genes. Transcription levels of the individual genes are measured by qPCR in cells with (wild type) or without (top1?top2ts) topoisomerases. (figure: Jacob Fredsøe)
Topoisomerases are required for binding of transcription factor Pho4 to the promoter region of the chromatin regulated PHO5 gene and thereby for activation of this gene. The four nucleosomes in the PHO5 promoter (A) remain bound to the PHO5 promoter in the absence of topoisomerases (B). Under normal conditions the Pho4 transcription factor binds UAS1 after which chromatin remodelers are recruited to remove nucleosomes and allow further binding of transcription factors. In the absence of topoisomerases the Pho4 transcription factor still enters the nucleus (C), but is unable to bind the PHO5 promoter (D). (figure: Jacob Fredsøe)

2013.01.03 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

DNA topology important for gene activity

Maintenance of all life requires a strict control of gene activity for the cell to give an optimal response to internal as well as environmental changes. New results now demonstrate that DNA topology plays an important role.

The different joints of the lizard’s tail (Photo: Jan Enghild)
A) The lizard’s released tail stump observed from the side. This image shows the wedge-shaped structures. B) Zoom on one of these structures. C) The part of the tail stump that remains on the animal. The grooves visible just below the surface fit the wedge-shaped structures shown in A) (Figure: Kristian W. Sanggaard)

2012.12.21 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

How does a lizard lose its tail?

Researchers at Aarhus University have now found the answer to this question, attracting enormous international attention.

Christian Bendixen

2012.12.17 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Coding for curdling: genetics and the good cheese

Not all cows are equal when it comes to producing milk that is suited for cheese-making. Scientists are close on the trail of the specific genes that code for milk with good curdling ability.

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