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Basic research

The latest articles, press releases and dossiers on basic research in Baden-Württemberg

  • Press release - 28/08/2023

    The computational design of new proteins for biomedical or other applications involves long computing times on powerful servers. A joint team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology Tübingen and the University Hospital Tübingen has now developed and tested a new computational method to greatly speed up the necessary energy calculations. Their framework allows for a precise and efficient design of functional proteins.

  • DNA nanotechnology - 25/08/2023

    The physicists Prof. Dr. Kerstin Göpfrich and Prof. Dr. Laura Na Liu want to understand life from the bottom up. They intend to do this by constructing an artificial cell. However, rather than natural protein building blocks, they are using 3D-DNA structures as construction material. The first step involved creating an artificial cell skeleton that dynamically assembles and disassembles like the biological model and can transport vesicles.

  • Press release - 02/08/2023

    Known as the power plant of the cell, mitochondria are essential to human metabolism. Human mitochondria consist of 1,300 different proteins and two fatty biomembranes. The vast majority of mitochondrial proteins are produced with a cleavable transport signal and have to be actively transported into the mitochondria.

  • Press release - 20/07/2023

    A new study published in Nature Medicine, July 2023 has identified two novel markers for screening high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL), a precursor to anal cancer, from the anal microbiome of people with HIV (PWH). PWH are at a significantly higher risk of developing anal cancer. Current screening methods, such as anal cytology, have low specificity for detecting HSIL, which hinders the prevention of anal cancer.

  • Tumour organoids facilitate drug discovery - 20/07/2023

    Standard drugs often don’t work in children and adolescents with recurrent cancer. Researchers from the Hopp Children's Tumour Centre (KITZ) and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg have been looking to open up new therapy options for those affected, and have cultivated individual miniature tumours from biopsy samples to test the effectiveness of a variety of drugs within a few weeks.

  • Press release - 03/07/2023

    HITS researchers publish new findings on collagen, the most abundant protein in our body: So-called “sacrificial bonds” in collagen break faster than the basic structure and thus protect the tissue as a whole because they track down harmful radicals that are produced during mechanical stress. The work was published in “Nature Communications.”

  • Press release - 03/07/2023

    Rejuvenating skin and preventing skin cancer: That is the vision of the scientists at the new Joint Innovation Lab, which Beiersdorf and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) founded on July 1, 2023. In the jointly operated lab, researchers are taking a close look at the "epigenetic clock" of skin cells with the aim of turning back biological aging and thus also reducing the risk of skin cancer.

  • Press release - 23/06/2023

    Researchers from Konstanz and Zurich have deciphered a biochemical mechanism that ensures that newly formed proteins are processed correctly when they leave the cell's own protein factories. This solves a decade-old puzzle in protein sorting.

  • Press release - 16/06/2023

    In most cancers, it is not the growth of the primary tumor that determines the prognosis for the patient, but whether it will spread and form metastases. This process is very complex. There are often years between the development of the cancer and the aggressive growth of the metastases. Scientists from the DKFZ, the HI-STEM, the Ruhr University Bochum, Helmholtz Munich and ETH Zurich have studied and identified metastasis growth in breast cancer

  • Press release - 05/06/2023

    Researchers at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Freiburg have gained significant new insights into metabolic processes in the kidney. The scientists from the Institute of Genetic Epidemiology at the Medical Center - University of Freiburg measured tiny molecules, so-called metabolites, which occur in blood and urine and reflect our metabolism, in samples from more than 5,000 study participants.

  • Press release - 24/05/2023

    Impaired function of lung fibroblast is considered causative for symptoms of the incurable lung disease COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). Using high-resolution epigenetic profiling, German and British scientists have now identified potential targets for COPD treatment. The team detected early epigenetic changes in the genome of COPD fibroblasts, providing new insights into the disease pathogenesis and potential therapeutic avenues.

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