Most popular articles of the year: 2018

Year 2018 standing on library shelf
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A collection of the most read articles from the EMBL news website in 2018

There was no shortage of interesting news stories from in and around EMBL last year. From a PhD student decoding DNA and winning a Bitcoin to an art exhibition inspired by structural biology, here’s a look back at our most popular.

Belgian PhD student decodes DNA and wins a Bitcoin

In January, University of Antwerp PhD student Sander Wuyts won the DNA Storage Bitcoin Challenge, issued in 2015 by Nick Goldman, group leader at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). His success came just one week before the challenge’s official deadline.

EMBL’s first wetlab e-learning courses go live

In February, EMBL launched its first two wetlab e-learning courses. Four courses are currently available and this is set to expand in 2019. The courses are free and open to everyone, from experienced molecular biologists to inspired non-scientists. They offer a window into some of the cutting-edge research and new technologies used at the different EMBL sites.

Welcome: Miki Ebisuya

In July, we welcomed new group leader Miki Ebisuya to EMBL Barcelona. Her research includes developing artificial biological systems to help study animal development and comparing the developmental systems of various mammalian species.

Parental chromosomes kept apart during first division

Also in July, Science published a study in which EMBL scientists reveal how mammalian life begins differently than we thought. A previously unknown, second spindle was identified in mice that keeps the genetic information from each parent separate during their offspring’s first cell division.

Art meets structural biology

This summer saw the Protein Data Bank in Europe (PDBe) celebrate art and structural biology with its ‘Artworks inspired by life’s building blocks’ exhibition. The exhibition featured a range of paintings, sculptures and fashion designs created by local school students in Cambridge, UK. These were inspired by the 3D protein structures available in the PDBe database, hosted at EMBL-EBI.

First interactive model of human cell division

In September, a publication in Nature revealed how EMBL scientists have developed a 4D computer model capable of tracking proteins during mitosis – a type of cell division – in real time. Users of the first dynamic protein atlas of human cell division can now track how proteins drive the cell division process.