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Posts tagged ‘MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitination’

A new discovery means gene-targeting drugs could slow down the progression of Parkinson’s

Currently no treatments exist to slow down or stop Parkinson’s disease in patients. But eight years of research by a dedicated team at the MRC Protein Phosphorylation and Ubiquitylation Unit in Dundee has brought us a step closer. Doctor and Research Fellow Maratul Muqit explains the thrill of revealing the inner workings of a specific enzyme in the brain, and why this could help towards developing future drugs for patients.

Over the last 10 years as a doctor specialising in Parkinson’s disease, I have been asked by my patients many times whether a cure was in sight. I used to struggle to answer that question with anything but ambivalence given the long list of failures of clinical trials in Parkinson’s. Read more

The great coffee breakthrough

(Image credit: Flickr/JenK)

(Image credit: Flickr/JenK)

Tea rooms and canteens have long been popular places for scientists to mingle and swap ideas. Katherine Nightingale explores how a chat over a coffee can lead to unexpected discoveries.

In the bright and airy canteen of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology’s new building, Dr Richard Henderson is demonstrating his habit of drawing on saucers, taking a — water soluble — pen from his pocket and sketching a neat blue graph on a saucer’s rim.

He’s not doodling but rather trying to get across the idea that the canteen, while a place to get a cup of tea or coffee, is also a place to share ideas, sometimes on the very crockery provided.

It’s not a new concept. The tea room in the Physics Department at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge inspired Max Perutz to persuade the MRC to build a canteen open to everyone when the MRC unit moved to the ‘old’ LMB building in 1962. As the LMB’s chairman, he was keen to create a space where people from different disciplines and career stages could get together. Read more