Welcome to the Wigge Lab news site. Here you'll find latest news, discussions and jobs. I hope we can have a conversation, so please drop by the comments section too!

Genetically engineered crops are key: Beddington

John Beddington gets it right:

"A number of very important factors are about to change our world," said Beddington, an expert in population biology. "Its population is rising by six million every month and will reach a total of around 9,000 million by 2050. At the same time, it is estimated that by 2030 more than 60% of the population will be living in cities and will no longer be involved in growing crops or raising domestic animals. And on top of that the world's population is getting more prosperous and able to pay for more food."

Beddington said these factors indicated that the world was going to need 40% more food, 30% more water and 50% more energy by the middle of the century – at a time when climate change was starting to have serious environmental impacts on the planet, flooding coastal plains, spreading deserts and raising temperatures. "We could cut down tropical rain forests and plant crops on the savannahs to grow more food, but that would leave us even more vulnerable to the impact of global warming and climate change. We needed these regions to help absorb carbon dioxide emissions, after all."

H2A.Z-nucleosomes and temperature sensing

Good news: The Lab has been funded by the BBSRC for a 3 year project in collaboration with the Daniela Rhodes lab in Cambridge to study the molecular mechanisms underpining temperature perception by H2A.Z Nucleosomes. Our recent paper highlighted the role of H2A.Z-nucleosomes in mediating the thermosensory response, and it raised a number of key questions about the underlying mechanism. Since our lab is not a structural one, we are delighted to be able to team up with Daniela, a pioneer in the field of nucleosome studies. This will be a two-postdoc project, with positions in both Cambridge and Norwich, spanning structural and biophysical studies through to plant biology. While we've made our initial discoveries in plants, we have good evidence that the underlying mechanisms are conserved across the eukaryotic kingdom, and believe our findings will be of general interest. More details to follow, but please get in touch or forward to anyone you think might be interested.

We have no bananas

Terrific New Yorker article on Tropical Race 4 which is rapidly wiping out banana crops around the world. It looks hopeful that James Dale has actually come up with a GM solution. Very interesting insights into the pros and cons of GM, and some inadvertent humour: "It's not that you're going to keel over and die as soon as you eat genetically modified papaya." Glad we cleared that up...

Happy Birthday!

The lab is 6 years old!

What a time it's been. It is deeply humbling and inspiring to have worked with so many wonderful people. Wigge lab, you're amazing!

New Year's Resolutions

Another year over, and what have you done?

Welcome to the new lab website. I'm not very good at keeping up with new year's resolutions, but here's one for 2011: I'll keep you posted on what we're upto and opportunities. I think this is an exciting new format for the lab webpage, and I hope you'll drop by with your comments and suggestions as we go.

All the best for 2011!

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