The enormous complexity of the human brain makes it highly challenging to study, and physiological differences between humans and other mammals limit what we can learn from non-human models, particularly for neurological diseases. Researchers at the Vienna BioCenter made a major discovery that has the potential to overcome these limitations.
Investigation of the mechanism of the CRISPR/Cas9 bacterial defense system has revolutionized biology, triggering applications in gene editing for basic and applied research in every organism imaginable. The basis for the revolutionary application of the CRISPR-Cas9 system was laid at the University of Vienna in the Max Perutz Labs at the Vienna BioCenter.
The precise orchestration of chromosome segregation during cell division is an essential mechanism for all life. Research at the Vienna BioCenter has contributed greatly to illuminating the sophisticated mechanisms underlying chromosome segregation.
There has been an explosion in epigenetics research in the last few decades, focusing on DNA methylation, histone modifications/variants, and small RNAs. These epigenetic mechanisms underlie phenotypic changes that do not involve changes to the DNA sequence. Major breakthroughs in all these areas have been made by scientists at the Vienna BioCenter over the last 30 years.
Scientists at the Vienna BioCenter were major contributors to the 1001 Genomes Project, a formidable international effort to provide the genomes, transcriptomes, and epigenomes of more than 1,000 strains of the most studied model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, from across the globe. The data provide an enormous boost for plant and agricultural research, including fundamental insights into adaptation.