Attending the HGV2014 conference — Not a sinking feeling

It was my first visit to the Emerald Isle, and most definitely worth it. However short, my three-day permanence in Belfast to attend The 15th International Meeting on Human Genome Variation and Complex Genome Analysis (HGV2014) was fruitful and thoroughly enjoyable.  Read more

Nature Protocols authors receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Nature Protocols authors receive the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Congratulations to Nature Protocols’s authors James E. Rothman and Thomas C. Südhof, who alongside Randy W. Schekman have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells”, according to yesterday’s press release by The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet.  Read more

My weekend at ESBOC

Cover of the program of the 1967 Gregynog Natural Products Symposium.Courtesy of Dr. James Redman.

My three days at the European Symposium on Biological and Organic Chemistry (ESBOC) did not start in the most auspicious way. Or, again, maybe they did. Well, Friday the 17th, the day of my departure, is a day of bad luck in Italy, much like Friday 13th is in many other countries (it may not sound like it given my name, but I am indeed Italian), and my stopover at Birmingham New Street station to catch my connection to Newtown (Powys), Wales, certainly got my heart pumping.  Read more

Nature Protocols at the 23rd MASAMB annual workshop

With the advent of technologies that have made large-scale genome sequencing projects possible and since a stream of high-throughput biological assays have been developed to collect, for instance, data on proteomics, metabolomics and gene expression, the need for ever more advanced, powerful and sophisticated bioinformatics tools has become an increasingly stringent fixture of today’s molecular biology research.  Read more

Following science’s lead to reflect on the ethics of mitochondrial transfer

When I first mentioned to some colleagues that I was thinking of writing this post in the journal blog, a few quizzical expressions surfaced on the faces of Nature Protocols’ editors. After all, the ethical and philosophical implications of the protocols we publish aren’t the usual remit of Nature Protocols. Yet, when I found out that a method for mitochondrial DNA ‘transplantation’ introduced by Oregon Health & Science University’s Shoukhrat Mitalipov and co-authors is now technically almost ready for the fertility clinic1, my mind started to wander into all kinds of questions and considerations that I thought I’d like to share with my colleagues and the readers of this blog.  Read more