Jelly is bad for our nerves

My Christmas viewing has included (amongst the Strictly, Agatha Christie adaptation, etc) a webinar entitled Fluid Business: Could “Liquid”Protein Herald Neurodegeneration? The webinar is on droplet-like structures inside nerve cells that may be associated with some diseases that kill these nerve cells, such as Alzheimer’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), etc. The webinar includes short talks by a number of scientists, including a presentation by Peter St George-Hyslop that is based on a very recent paper in Neuron. The report reports a lot of work by a small army of scientists on a protein called FUS. Some mutant variants of FUS are associated with the disease ALS.

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A molecular David slaying Goliath

The Cavendish Building of Homerton College Cambridge, May 2011At the start of this week I was at an excellent conference hosted in Cambridge’s Homerton College – the building where we had our meals is shown on the left. It was thoroughly enjoyable, and I learnt a lot. There were some superb talks. I thought the best was one by Prof David Klenerman. It was on the molecular and cell behaviour that underlies Alzheimer’s disease.

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