The latest articles, press releases and dossiers on basic research in Baden-Württemberg
Article - 12-Jul-2018
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.
Article - 01-Feb-2018
Which substances are suitable for treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's? Due to complex biochemical relationships, testing suitable drug candidates is difficult, especially in the early drug development phase. Many predictive test systems only cover individual aspects. A team from Baden-Württemberg and France is now combining different models to develop a new approach.
Article - 11-Dec-2017
While breast cancer survival has clearly improved in recent years, women with triple-negative breast cancer have benefitted very little from progress in cancer medicine. Targeted therapies aimed at inhibiting epigenetic regulators might offer a potential new option for the treatment of breast cancer. Prof. Dr. Roland Schüle and Dr. Jochen Maurer have discovered an epigenetic enzyme called KDM4 and come up with a new cell model that significantly facilitates the development of new cancer drugs.
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.