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Basic research

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

  • Article - 11-Oct-2017

    The causes, signs and symptoms of liver cancer are extremely complex. Investigating them requires the collaboration of many experts across university and regional boundaries. A new transregional research group is now studying the complex overall mechanisms at the cellular, genetic and molecular level in order to develop new concepts and drugs for treating liver and bile duct cancers.

  • Article - 22-Aug-2017

    A research team from Freiburg is developing a method for identifying human influenza viruses of animal origin. This could potentially improve measures taken to prevent imminent pandemics. The researchers are working with genetically modified mice. Transgenic mice also play a role in the development of a ’universal’ influenza vaccine.

  • Article - 08-Aug-2017

    There are many medications for treating central nervous system diseases. However, only a fraction of the active pharmaceutical ingredients actually reaches the site where they are needed. The reason for this is the blood-brain barrier that protects the brain and thus prevents many drugs used to treat neurological diseases from effectively penetrating the brain. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB are part of the international N2B-patch consortium that is developing a drug delivery technology for treating multiple sclerosis that enables the active ingredient to reach the brain directly via the nasal mucosa.

  • Article - 24-Jul-2017

    The German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Bayer AG are collaborating on a strategic partnership focusing on the development of innovative cancer therapies. The two partners have developed an active substance which selectively blocks a mutation of a metabolic enzyme that occurs in certain types of cancer. The substance has been successfully tested in preclinical studies and is now also being tested in a clinical trial on patients with brain tumours and leukaemias that carry these mutations.

  • Article - 26-Apr-2017

    Amyloid fibrils consisting of clumped α-synuclein protein are characteristic of Parkinson's disease. Chaperones, which ensure the correct folding of newly synthesised polypeptides, can inhibit α-synuclein aggregation and, as a consequence, prevent fibrils from forming. Researchers from Heidelberg have shown that a specific combination of human molecular chaperones is able to disassemble fibrils and transform them into non-toxic α-synuclein monomers.

  • Article - 12-Apr-2017

    High-resolution images or quantifiable results? Up until now, researchers usually had to choose. All this has now changed thanks to a single device known as an imaging flow cytometer that combines fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. The new device gives new insights into complex biological phenomena in cells. It is available for research purposes at the Research Centre for Women’s Health at the University Hospital of Tübingen, which houses the only core facility of its kind in Baden-Württemberg.

  • Article - 31-Mar-2017

    Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infections occur in almost all adults worldwide and are a high risk factor for some types of cancer. Researchers from Heidelberg have now come up with a novel mechanism that promotes carcinogenesis involving an EBV protein rather than the genome of the virus. The EBV protein BNRF1 induces the excessive amplification of the centrosomes of the spindle apparatus, and leads to chromosomal instability and inaccurate distribution of chromosomes to daughter cells during mitosis.

  • Article - 07-Feb-2017

    Proteins are the basic building blocks of cells. They tend to be biologically active in combination with many other proteins rather than as isolated entities. Such protein complexes play a key role in many vital processes in our bodies. An international team of researchers, including Professor Stefan Bräse and his team from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), has developed an innovative platform called MultiBacTAG that can be used to engineer recombinant proteins with custom functionalities for biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications.

  • Article - 26-Jan-2017

    A team of researchers from Freiburg has used direct programming to successfully produce kidney-like cells very similar to natural renal tubular cells in terms of appearance and function. These cells are thus a promising alternative to kidney cells isolated from animals and cells differentiated from embryonic stem cells. The reprogrammed kidney cells can be used, for example, for pharmacological and toxicological tests and investigating the disease mechanisms of genetic renal diseases.

  • Article - 13-Dec-2016

    Detecting disease-specific molecules in human breath is technically feasible, but time-consuming and rather costly. "µbreath" could soon change this. The breath gas analysis device has all the necessary requirements for commercial success in the healthcare sector: it is compact, accurate, highly sensitive and fast. The chemist who developed µbreath, Prof. Boris Mizaikoff from Ulm University, and his partners are hoping to start producing the first prototypes for clinical and industrial application by the end of the year.

  • Article - 04-Oct-2016

    In cooperation with the University of Mainz, the Springer publishing house is now offering distance learning courses for laboratory and technical assistants who wish to study while they are working. The courses lead to a Bachelor of Science degree. The successful programme for ambitious non-academics is being developed in several Baden-Württemberg cities.

  • Article - 20-Sep-2016

    Since 2012, a DFG-funded research group called FOR1680 has been studying CRISPR-Cas, an immune system that unicellular bacteria and arachaea use to protect themselves against attacks from viruses and plasmids. Prof. Dr. Anita Marchfelder, a molecular biologist at Ulm University and coordinator of the FOR1680 research group, and many other researchers were surprised to find that prokaryotes incorporate the genetic material of enemies as a kind of self-vaccination and even pass this protection on to their progeny.

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