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Exosome-like bacterial membrane vesicles containing RNA – “Bactexomes”

Sjostrom Sandblad Uhlin Wai Purified vesicles srep15329 f1 newsNew findings reveal a hitherto unrecognised feature of bacterial membrane vesicles that are mimicking eukaryotic exosomes and contain RNA that can be delivered to host tissues and cells. Professor Sun Nyunt Wai and colleagues at MIMS and Department of Molecular Biology, Umeå University, are reporting that RNA can be found in bacterial membrane vesicles. This discovery highlights the potential role of RNA-containing bacterial membrane vesicles to be involved in bacteria-host interactions.

The findings are published in the latest issue of Scientific Reports-Nature Publishing Group.

Authors are Annika Sjöström, Linda Sandblad, Bernt Eric Uhlin, Sun Nyunt Wai.

Original Publication:
Annika E. Sjöström, Linda Sandblad, Bernt Eric Uhlin & Sun Nyunt Wai (2015): Membrane vesicle-mediated release of bacterial RNA. Scientific Reports 5:15329; DOI: 10.1038/srep15329. Published Online 2015-10-20.

Webpage of Sun Nyunt Wai's research group

Picture: Cryo-electron tomogram of purified vesicles. Original published in Scientific Reports.

A molecular switch to stop inflammation

Gekara Panda pr
Our immune system is vital to us and can sometimes overreact causing chronic illnesses, such as for instance rheumatism and allergy. Now, researchers from Umeå University and University of Gothenburg have identified a molecular switch – MYSM1 – that can suppress such an overreaction and avoid inflammation. The study is published in the prestigious journal Immunity.

“The discovery of MYSM1 is a major milestone in our understanding of how our immune system works, and how its response could be controlled in order to prevent inflammatory diseases such as sepsis,” says Nelson O. Gekara, research leader at MIMS, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden at Umeå University.

Read more: A molecular switch to stop inflammation

A bridge between commensalism, allergy and infection provides new hope for a women´s neglected disease

Group Urban smallUmeå university scientists have shown how mast cells, immune cells typically associated with allergy and asthma, act as sentinels to orchestrate the immune response against the fungus Candida albicans the leading cause of fungal vaginitis. Vaginitis is a common women´s health concern affecting 75% of women at some time in their lives. Getting a grip on how the body senses the entry of fungal pathogens offers major opportunities for designing new strategies to improve women´s health. Details can be found in a recent research report published in the prestigious journal Nature Scientific Reports.

Read more: A bridge between commensalism, allergy and infection provides new hope for a women´s neglected...

Increasing abundance of antibiotic resistance genes found in human gut microbiome after traveling

Anders Johanssonweb[20150825] A study published online in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, shows that the travel behaviour of humans could also contribute to the dramatic increase of bacteria that are resistant against antibiotics. Anders Johansson, Clinical Research Fellow at MIMS, was leading the study, which showed that more types of resistant bacteria can follow along in our intestines when we travel than was previously known.

The researchers used explorative shotgun metagenomic sequencing to address more than 300 antibiotic resistance genes in fecal specimens from 35 Swedish students taken before and after exchange programmes on the Indian peninsula or in central Africa.

Publication in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy
Press release of Umeå University (in Swedish only)
Anders Johansson's webpage at MIMS
Anders Johansson in an interview with Radio Sweden

Emmanuelle Charpentier - Director at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin

[20150723] Emmanuelle Charpentier accepted the offer of the German Max Planck Society to become Scientific Member and new director at the Max Planck Institute of Infection Biology in Berlin.

MIMS congratulates Emmanuelle and wishes her all the best for the new position!

From October 1st, 2015 Emmanuelle will move her lab form Helmholtz Centre of Infection Biology, Braunschweig, to Berlin. She will still keep her guest professorship and research group at MIMS and UCMR.

Press release of the Max Planck Society
Webpage of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology

Webpage of Emmanuelle Charpentier's department at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research



Umeå University EC Jubilee Symposium 2015

DSC 4183 bright color[2015-06-24] Umeå University honours Professor Emmanuelle Charpentier for her pioneering research with the powerful discovery of CRISPR-Cas9, which has already been of great importance by providing new opportunities for Life Science research and its applications in Biology and Medicine. Umeå University will present a special Jubilee Award to Emmanuelle Charpentier at the University's Annual Celebration Ceremony in 2015: The MIMS Excellence by Choice Programme.

Press release of Umeå University (in English)
Press release of Umeå University (in Swedish)
The annual ceremony, 50th anniversary of Umeå University

Umeå University awards Bernt Eric Uhlin with Medal of Honour

Uhlin Bernt Eric 5460 110517 MPN W2[2015-06-17] The University Board decided on June 4th to honour Bernt Eric Uhlin with Umeå University's Medal of Honour, the highest distinction that is awarded to an individual at the university. Bernt Eric Uhlin is being honoured for his outstanding contributions to the university and the development of the strong research environment infection biology and molecular infection medicine.

On Bernt Eric Uhlin's initiative two research centres have been established at Umeå University: Umeå Centre for Microbial Research - UCMR and The Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden - MIMS.

His diligent directorship and his commitment to the recruitment and guidance of talented young scientists have been critical to the success of the two centres and to the establishment of molecular infection research at Umeå University.

Despite his management duties, Bernt Eric Uhlin has maintained an active research programme and earned an international reputation as an expert in the field of virulence factors that control bacteria-host interactions in pathogenic Enterobacteria.

Umeå University's Vice-chancellor Lena Gustafsson, will present the Medal to the awardee on the Annual Cerelebration on October 17th.

MIMS congratulates Bernt Eric Uhlin!

Press release of Umeå University (in Swedish)

2015 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation

[20150528] The Jury for the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research agreed to grant the 2015 Princess of Asturias Award jointly to Emmanuelle Charpentier and the American researcher Jennifer Doudna for scientific advances that have led to the development of a technology that allows genes to be modified with great precision and simplicity in all types of cells, thus enabling changes that suppose the actual “editing of the genome”. Emmanuelle Charpentier will receive the prize, a sculpture of Joan Miró, and a monetary award at the prize ceremony in October 2015.

"The research carried out by Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna has meant a revolution in biotechnology", the Princess of Asturias Foundation said in its press release.

Press release of the Princess of Asturias Foundation

Eric K Fernström Prize 2015 to Richard Lundmark

59728 richard lundmark

Richard Lundmark, PI at MIMS and associate professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, will receive Umeå University's Eric K. Fernström prize 2015 for young and promising scientists. The prize committee at the Faculty of Medicine, Umeå University, decided to award Richard Lundmark for his exeptional scientific carreer after his disputation. In recent years he published several important papers in the research area of membrane trafficking which attracted international recognition. Richard Lundmark is head of the Biochemical Imaging Centre Umeå (BICU) and Lecturer at the department of Integrative Medical Biology.

The prize amount is 100.000 SEK and Richard will receive the prize at the during the Annual Celebration Ceremony at Umeå University. According to the founder of the prize, the ship-owner Eric K. Fernström, the Fernström foundation awards every year six young researchers at Sweden's six university medical faculties.

It is the fifth time that the Faculty of Medicine at Umeå University decided to award a MIMS young group leader with the Fernström Prize. Earlier awardees since MIMS was initiated are Andrei Chabes, Emmanuelle Charpentier, Jörgen Johansson, and Niklas Arnberg.

Information about the Fernström Prize

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