Harmful mutations and range expansion: computers got it right

Organisms that are expanding their spatial range suffer from a drastic decrease of fitness over time due to the accumulation of harmful mutations. A study led by a team of scientists from the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the University of Bern now provides the first experimental evidence of this theory. The article is published in Genetics and selected in the issue’s highlights.

Paleogenomics suggest inbreeding avoidance in early humans

Were our prehistoric ancestors aware of the dangers caused by procreation among close relatives? A study led by an international team of scientists, including SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics Group Leader Laurent Excoffier and his team at the University of Bern, suggests that early humans might have purposely avoided mating with closely related partners. And this as early as 34,000 years ago.

SIB held its first training course for clinical lab professionals

On 28 September, the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics held its first course dedicated to clinicians and clinical laboratory professionals.
This one-day course aimed at providing participants with a deepened knowledge, experience and understanding of how to make the best use of bioinformatics to improve cancer diagnosis.

Latest Protein Spotlight: A touch of warmth

We need heat. All warm-blooded animals know this instinctively because when life leaves us, the cold creeps in fast. Heat is produced in different ways inside us, and not only to keep our body temperature at a healthy level but also to keep it stable. After the fashion of small mobile furnaces, we carry adipose tissues that are full of stored fat waiting to be burnt down to release heat - a process termed thermogenesis.

Genome Odyssey: A theatrical journey through scientific research

Spearheaded by SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics' Group Leader Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas and in partnership with Group Leader Laurent Excoffier, Genome Odyssey is a theater play inspired by the scientists' recent paper in Nature on Australia’s peopling. It is inviting the public to a journey through our genome and origins.

Join us at ILMAC - 4-5 October, Lausanne

ILMAC, a leading Swiss fair for pharmaceuticals, chemicals and biotechnology is having its first event in Western Switzerland in October. SIB will be present to showcase its activities, with a special focus on its training offer for the private sector. Our booth will be hosted by BioAlps – the life science cluster of Western Switzerland – together with other institutional co-exhibitors and the event is expected to attract ca. 300 visitors a day.

A look back on the 13th edition of [BC]2

Last week, the 13th edition of the Basel Computational Biology Conference, co-organized by SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the Biozentrum University of Basel, gathered over 500 participants from all over the globe. Among them, world-leading researchers as well as promising junior scientists – who returned home with prestigious awards.

Latest Protein Spotlight: A taste of light

Light gave life a chance to be. Without it, our planet would not be inhabited by so many living beings of all shapes and sizes. Over time, animals, plants and all sorts of microorganisms have emerged and evolved using this source of photons in different ways. Like hosts of other creatures, we use light for vision so that we can discern individual entities that make up our environment, as well as movement within it.