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Basic research

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

  • Article - 06-Sep-2018

    Microsatellite-unstable cancers are characterised by a large number of mutations within short repetitive DNA sequence regions, and can form novel peptides that the human immune system recognises as neoantigens. These cancers represent a starting point for the development of vaccines to prevent them appearing at an early stage of development. Microsatellite instability is particularly frequent in colon and cervical cancers.

  • Article - 21-Aug-2018

    Parkinson's disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world. There are around 4.1 million sufferers worldwide. It is characterised by motor impairments that result from the death of certain nerve cells in the brain. Researchers at the University of Tübingen have now discovered that vitamin B3 has a positive effect on damaged nerve cells and can boost their energy metabolism.

  • Press release - 14-Aug-2018

    The European Research Council (ERC) awards Starting Grants to support excellent young scientists when they are starting an independent science career. In this year's round of proposals, three scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have been chosen at once for the prestigious award: Ana Banito, Fabian Erdel and Moritz Mall.

  • Article - 08-Aug-2018

    Ulm has long been a world leader in diagnosing and treating rare neurological disorders, notably amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Huntington's disease (HD). We spoke with Professor Albert C. Ludolph, spokesperson for the Ulm DZNE site, medical director of the Clinic for Neurology at the RKU (University and Rehabilitation Clinics of Ulm) and world-renowned ALS researcher.

  • 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.

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