Easter Egg-citement

We joined forces with members of Gaia Pigino’s lab for an artsy day of Easter Egg Painting!

So many artistic approaches to design our eggs, including lacquer/wax painting and onion peel/colouring dye.

Check out our Lab egg on the right, showing the different nationalities that make up the Vastenhouw Lab (Currywurst – Germany, Cornflower – Estonia, Tulip – the Netherlands, Hungarian Paprika – Hungary, Hamburger – USA, Maple Leaf – Canada)

Let’s get biophysical

Last week, the Vastenhouw lab was at the Biotechnology Center of TU Dresden (BIOTEC) for a symposium on the “Biophysics in the Nucleus”, with Nadine among the co-organizers. The meeting featured an excellent line up of speakers in the fields of chromatin remodeling, nuclear architecture, and transcription mechanisms.

Lots of fascinating talks and stimulating discussions covering many disciplines – biophysics, biochemistry, genetics, genomics, and single molecule microscopy!

Both Lennart and Máté were selected to give a talk, and Ksenia and David presented a poster of their projects.

 

 

Máté presenting his PhD work on the last day of the symposium.

Paper in Development about the loss of mesendodermal competence

We celebrated with cake and champagne the new paper from our lab published in Development.

The study, led by our former postdoc Pavel, determines the time during zebrafish development when the prospective ectoderm becomes unable to respond to mesendoderm-inducing Nodal signals. By activating the Nodal pathway with several different strategies, we showed that reduced expression of the Nodal coreceptor Oep causes loss of mesendodermal competence.

The champagne bottle was nicely decorated by Sabrina with the in situ hybridization protocol that was used in the paper.

Microenvironment preprint on bioRxiv

The manuscript for Lennart’s postdoc project “Transcription establishes microenvironments that organize euchromatin” is now up on bioRxiv.

We investigated how the process of accessing the information contained in DNA leads to its three-dimensional organization. By a combination of STED super-resolution imaging (thank you Alf Honigmann and lab!), Fab-based live imaging (thank you Yuko, and Hiroshi Kimura’s lab!), and physical modeling (thanks Vasily Zaburdaev and lab, and Frank Jülicher!), we concluded that the process is similar to the organization in a microemulsion. With the exception that ours contains not a conventional, but a catalytically active amphiphile.

Oh, and the twitter action’s here…

The One with the Goose

The legend goes that St. Martin once gave a homeless person half his coat, and saved them from the cold. With this good deed, the Church officials wanted to honour St. Martin by ordaining him as the next bishop. Being a modest man, he hid in a goose pen to avoid the Church officials. Well, the cackling of the geese betrayed him and the goose became the symbol of St. Martin’s day.

The lab celebrated the German tradition of Martinsgans (St. Martin’s goose) over a festive meal: roasted goose, Knudeln (German dumplings), Wurst (sausage), Flammkuchen (flame cake, German flatbread), and Kartoffeltasche (potato bag).

We also welcomed our guest for the week, Dr. Haruka Oda, a postdoctoral fellow from the lab of Dr. Hiroshi Kimura at Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Book chapter on how to smFISH in zebrafish embryos

Interested in detecting single transcripts from zebrafish embryos? or applying smFISH to your research?

Carine’s chapter in Methods in Molecular Biology is out!

The chapter provides a detailed protocol: from setting up the embryos to cryosection, to smFISH, to image analysis.

You’ll also find a description of the pipeline for membrane segmentation and transcription detection.

Visit Book Chapter at Methods in Molecular Biology

Máté: Submit thesis ✓

Máté reached an important milestone of his PhD studies – thesis submission! High-Five Máté for crunching your way through thesis writing and making it through!

Next up: thesis defense.

PhD defense: Dr. Shai Joseph

 

 

2017.10.30: Congratulations Shai on successfully defending his PhD!

Many thanks to our artistically talented Sabrina for making Shai’s fantastic Doktorhut,

which features past and current lab members partying at “Shai’s Histone Cocktail Bar” atop the hat.

All the best to Shai in his new career path!

 

 

Photo credit (top featured image): IMPRS PhD program

Lennart presents at CBG’s Friday Seminar

20.10.2017: With ~3 years of research experience at CBG up his sleeve, it was now Lennart’s time to take centre stage and present his research to the CBG community at the internal Friday Seminar series. The showcase was followed by social hour with fellow scientists. We capped our Friday off with a belated birthday celebration over delicious burgers.