Research news

IBEC investigators show that physical forces activate genes involved in cancer

In their effort to shed light on the role that physical forces play in the body, Pere Roca-Cusachs’ group at IBEC has shown how these forces ‘switch on’ the expression of genes that may result in cancer.

Cells apply mechanical forces to their surrounding tissue, and this mechanical effect is crucial for tissue function. In diseases such as cancer or liver and lung fibrosis, tissue rigidity and mechanical forces increase, promoting the progression of the disease.

In their study published in Cell yesterday, IBEC’s researchers reveal how forces trigger the expression of certain genes by increasing the activity of a protein called YAP in the nucleus of the cell.

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Other news

Finding out about diabetes approaches at IBEC’s Setmana de la Ciencia event

Yesterday IBEC group leader Javer Ramon presented his research on developing organ-on-a-chip to study diabetes in IBEC’s public event forming part of this year’s Setmana de la Ciència.

About 70 visitors attended the talk in the PCB’s Sala Dolors Aleu where, following a tour of some of IBEC’s laboratory spaces and an introduction to IBEC by Coordinator of Events and Outreach Pilar Jiménez, Javier talked about his 3D biomimetic devices that will integrate technologies to detect glucose consumption and insulin production, as well as other biomarkers related to diabetes.

Javier’s on-a-chip approaches will also be the focus of IBEC’s first Giving Tuesday fundraising campaign on 28th November, when the public will be invited to support the development of a ‘muscle-on-a-chip’ as a model for a common form of muscular dystrophy.

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