Cause of rare cancer discovered – new hope for children suffering from rhabdomyosarcoma

A team of scientists from SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, the Universities of Harvard and Aberdeen, and the Institute of Cancer Research have made a breakthrough in understanding the causes of rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of cancer. In their study, published today in Cancer cell, the researchers reveal for the first time the key role a protein called Yap plays in triggering off this type of cancer.

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SIB honours two young bioinformaticians for their outstanding research work

On the occasion of its Foundation Council Meeting in Bern on 26 June, SIB announced the winners of the SIB Awards 2014. The SIB Young Bioinformatician Award and the SIB Best Graduate Paper Award, of CHF 10,000 and CHF 5,000 respectively, are given every year by SIB to recognize the excellent merits of young bioinformaticians.

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Searching for the molecular clues to longer life spans in ants

Over evolutionary time, the ant lineage has undergone spectacular adaptations. To identify their molecular origins, researchers from the University of Lausanne examined signatures of positive selection on genes from seven ant genomes. The work was led by Julien Roux, then postdoctoral researcher and e-bioinformatician in the lab of Laurent Keller in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, and also involved other SIB members from the laboratories of Marc Robinson-Rechavi and Laurent Excoffier.

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Male or female? The first sex determining genes appeared in mammals some 180 million years ago

The Y chromosome, which distinguishes males from females at the genetic level, appeared some 180 million years ago. It originated twice independently in all mammals. The team of Prof. Henrik Kaessmann at the Center for Integrative Genomics and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics managed to date these events that are crucial for both mammalian evolution and our lives, because the Y chromosome determines whether we are born as a boy or girl.

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