Great news to start 2012. Top journals Nature
are featuring research from VIB researchers at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in their 2011 highlights. Nature features Jan Steyaert’s work on G-protein-coupled receptors
In its ‘365 days: 2011 in review’, Nature
featured the publication of the crystal structure of G-protein-coupled receptor, in which Jan Steyaert
(VIB–Vrije Universiteit Brussel) played a crucial role. Nature called it ‘a fundamental breakthrough’. The researchers captured the crystal structure of a key player on the surface of cells — the G-protein-coupled receptor — locked in an embrace with its protein partner. Between one-third and one-half of all drugs target these receptors, so understanding how they work could give industrial research and development a much-needed boost.
: http://www.nature.com/news/365-days-2011-in-review-1.9684 Science highlights Jeroen Raes’s gut research
, the work of Jeroen Raes
(VIB–Vrije Universiteit Brussel) on the human microbiome made it to the list of Breakthroughs of the Year. Raes was one of the leading authors of a paper by European consortium that evaluated the microbial makeup of the human gut by using metagenomics. Far from being random, our internal microbial communities fell roughly into three enterotypes, which the researchers dubbed Bacteroides, Prevotella, and Ruminococcus after the dominant microbe in each. Each enterotype differed in how it processed energy and in which vitamins it produced, factors that could influence the health of the human host.