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Newsletter EU Genomics News
Newsletter no 2 - July 2004
Highlights of EU-funded fundamental genomics research
 
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BIO2004 heralded a success

TEMBLOR project on bioinformatics: Integr8 is operative

The first meeting of the RIBOREG project took place on 18-19 June 2004 in Sevilla.

The kick-off meeting of LYMPHANGIOGENOMICS took place on 24 May 2004 in Helsinki.

Conferences and meetings

Structural Genomics: its impact on the aging world 1 September, 2004, The Hague, Netherlands

Structural genomics and proteomics research: first joint meeting of European projects, Barcelona, 1-4 December 2004
Brussels, 13 December 2004 (n.b.: new date)

 

 
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BIO2004 heralded a success

The European Commission’s DG Research was part of a large delegation attending the BIO2004 annual meeting held between 6 to 9 June in San Francisco, USA.

This proved to be a successful joint effort by DG Research's Life Sciences Directorates F (Priority 1) and E (Priority 5). It was the first time the European Commission had had a booth at the exhibition centre and had participated in the international BIO market place. Scientific officers from DG Research were on hand at the booth to answer questions about the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) and other EC activities in the field of life sciences research. The EC's participation in BIO2004 focused on increasing awareness amongst European companies – and SMEs in particular – and third country organisations of the opportunities available to them in DG Research's FP6 and, secondly, to raise the visibility of European Commission activities in the life sciences community.

From left to right: Henriette van Eijl, John Claxton, Torbjoern Ingemannson, Irene Norstedt and Stephane Hogan.

From left to right: Henriette van Eijl, John Claxton, Torbjoern Ingemannson, Irene Norstedt and Stephane Hogan.

TEMBLOR project on bioinformatics: Integr8 is operative

Integr8 has just been launched as a new browser that allows biologists to fully exploit the wealth of information available in completely sequenced genomes and their predicted proteomes at www.ebi.ac.uk/integr8. The site provides an easy way to quickly assess the molecular biology of a species: the nature of its genome, the protein families it contains (and those it does not contain), and the functional classification of its proteome (using the Gene Ontology). You can also view the latest publications on an organism, a list of all protein structures solved in that species, and comparisons with other species.

The first meeting of the RIBOREG project took place on 18-19 June 2004 in Sevilla.

RIBOREG is a STREP project funded under the first call in the area "Fundamental knowledge and basic tools for Functional Genomics in all organisms.
It includes 9 partners from 7 countries and 3 biotechnology companies (SMEs) sharing 27% of the 2,4 million euro budget.

This is the first project funded in FP6 on non protein-coding RNA research. The knowledge that will be generated by this project is urgently required to correctly exploit the huge amount of sequence data available. Considering that the actual protein-coding regions of genes comprise only 1.5% of the whole genomic information in humans, it is clear that more information is needed to understand the remaining 98.5%.
The aim of this proposal is to explore the role of non-coding genetic information by identifying novel non-coding RNA genes (ncRNAs) and analysing their mechanisms of action and impact on cell differentiation and disease. The partners will mine databases and use a large-scale genomic approach (RNomics) to search for new ncRNAs in diverse organisms (Arabidopsis thaliana, Caenorhabditis elegans, mouse) and for their human orthologues. They will construct ncRNAs gene-chips and study their expression in different genetic backgrounds and cellular or developmental conditions, including in cancer cell lines.
The main impact foreseen is the fostering of multidisciplinary transnational basic biological research in an emerging field that will give the opportunity for Europe to meet a major challenge. Among the other anticipated deliverables from the project is the strengthening of European industrial competitiveness.The SME partners will validate their existing technologies for the analysis of this unexplored region of the genome and will carry out demonstration activities that will bring direct benefits in terms of technological development.

Project coordinator:

Prof. Martin Crespi, Institute de Sciences du Vegetal, CNRS, crespi@isv.cnrs-gif.fr

The kick-off meeting of LYMPHANGIOGENOMICS took place on 24 May 2004 in Helsinki.

The Integrated Project LYMPHANGIOGENOMICS includes 13 partners, world class leaders in their field, from 7 European countries and 2 SMEs.

The lymphatic vasculature is essential for the maintenance of fluid balance in the body, for immune defence and for the uptake of dietary fat. Absent or damaged lymphatic vessels can lead to lymphedema, a chronic and disfiguring swelling of the extremities. In addition, lymphatic vessels promote metastatic spread of cancer cells to distant organs - a leading cause of death in patients with cancer, and a major obstacle in the design of effective therapies.
The aim of this project is to discover novel genes important for lymphatic vascular versus blood vascular development and function and to study the functional role and therapeutic potential of their gene products in lymphangiogenesis using state-of-the art technologies.

Legend Cutaneous lymphatic and blood vasculature. The lymphatics are stained with LYVE-1 antibodies (red), and the blood vessels with PECAM-1/CD-31 antibodies (green). The image is a 3D projection of a z-stack taken with a confocal microscope. [Image: Tuomas Tammela]

Legend Cutaneous lymphatic and blood vasculature. The lymphatics are stained with LYVE-1 antibodies (red), and the blood vessels with PECAM-1/CD-31 antibodies (green). The image is a 3D projection of a z-stack taken with a confocal microscope. [Image: Tuomas Tammela]

The consortium is going to use include large-scale knockout and knock-down of the mouse genome, embryonic stem (ES) technology, knock-down of zebra fish genes and positional cloning of genes involved in lymphangiogenesis and associated diseases. These studies will provide fundamental new understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of lymphangiogenesis and therefore enable scientists to develop therapies to suppress the growth of lymphatic vessels (eg. for cancer, inflammatory diseases) or to stimulate their growth (eg. for tissue ischemia, lymphedema).

Coordinator: Prof. Kari Alitalo, University of Helsinki, Finland, kari.alitalo@helsinki.fi

EU contribution: €9 million
Duration: 5 years

Structural Genomics: its impact on the aging world
1 September, 2004 , The Hague, Netherlands

In the frame of Genomics Momentum 2004, www.eu2004.nl, a minisymposium co-organized by the FP6 Network of Excellence '3D-EM' and the Integrated Project 'Interaction Proteome' is exploring the role of Structural Genomics techniques as tools to discover the genetic mechanisms of aging, and to the development of novel therapeutics in future biomedicine.
More information

Structural genomics and proteomics research: first joint meeting of European projects, Barcelona, 1-4 December 2004

Partners in FP6 structural genomics and proteomics projects are invited to take part in the first joint meeting in Barcelona later this year.

The event aims to create synergies between projects through networking opportunities, to give more visibility to the field, and to develop a proposal on future policies in structural genomics for FP7 and beyond.

Representatives from SPINE, scientific advisory boards, national funding agencies, industry and the press are also invited to attend.

For further details contact
Josefina Enfedaque
Scientific Officer - Structural Genomics
Directorate-General for Research
European Commission

 
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