Scientists at the HI-STEM stem cell institute in Heidelberg have shown that the stem cells responsible for replenishing blood cells have the greatest potential of self-renewal of any other stem cells. However, they are normally in a dormant state, and only become active upon exposure to certain stress factors. An oncogene called MYC controls the stem cells' transition from dormancy to active self-renewal.
A new team at the Fraunhofer IPA is developing digital laboratory systems to support industrial partners in planning and managing laboratory processes. This benefits companies in terms of quality assurance, economic efficiency and, notably, ergonomic improvements to the work place.
Around 6,000 genetic diseases can be diagnosed using genetic tests. Genetic testing enables the accurate identification of diseases especially when symptoms are unclear, and also allows statements to be made about disease progression. However, restrictive regulations considerably hinder the use of genetic diagnostics. BIOPRO spoke with Dr. Dr. Saskia Biskup, a human genetics specialist and co-founder of the Tübingen-based company CeGaT.