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Basic research

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

  • Article - 26/05/2015

    Colorectal carcinoma is the second most common tumour disease in men and women in Germany. It accounts for 95 per cent of all malignant bowel cancers and its incidence has increased significantly in industrialised countries over the past decades. A particularly aggressive form occurs when a mutation is present in the proto-oncogene BRAF. As part of the Collaborative Research Centre 850 at the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research at…

  • Article - 18/05/2015

    Parvoviruses such as H-1PV have been shown to selectively attack and destroy human cancer cells. However, they are unable to replicate in healthy human cells. A preliminary clinical trial is currently being carried out to assess the suitability of parvoviruses for treating malignant brain cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now discovered the cause of the selective effect of H-1PV. The finding helps identify…

  • Article - 11/05/2015

    Fungal infections of skin and mucous membranes are relatively common. Around 75 percent of the human population lives with Candida albicans, a fungus that has no harmful effects in people with an intact immune system that can fight off systemic infections. However, in people with immune systems that have been weakened by antibiotics or radiotherapy for example, C. albicans infections can lead to sepsis which may even be life-threatening. Prof.…

  • Article - 11/05/2015

    Lung cancer is one of the most common malignant diseases and one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. 90% of all lung cancer cases in men and 80% in women are due to long-term exposure to tobacco smoke. In Germany, around 140 new cases are diagnosed every day, and 50,000 people die of lung cancer every year. PD Dr. Gian Kayser, senior consultant in the Department of Clinical Pathology at Freiburg University Medical Centre,…

  • Article - 27/04/2015

    Professor Martin Wabitsch from Ulm University Hospital has been studying the genetic causes of obesity for quite some time. The discovery of another cause of this complex condition that has key clinical consequences was recently published in the renowned New England Journal of Medicine. Despite the internationally acknowledged success of this research and in contrast to the view of the World Health Organisation and scientific organisations, the…

  • Article - 22/04/2015

    AIDS-causing HI viruses preferentially integrate into transcriptionally active genes of the host cell genome. These gene regions are located in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear pores. A team of researchers from Heidelberg University Hospital and colleagues from Italy have now shown that the integration of the viruses is controlled by components of the nuclear pores. These findings are an important step towards gaining a detailed…

  • Press release - 01/04/2015

    The slow death of dopamine-producing nerve cells in a certain region of the brain is the principal cause underlying Parkinson's disease. In mice, it is possible to simulate the symptoms of this disease using a substance that selectively kills dopamine-producing neurons. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now shown for the first time in mouse experiments that after this treatment, cells of the peripheral immune…

  • Article - 30/03/2015

    Too much stress makes you sick – this is the widely held opinion. But exactly how chronic psychological stress affects our body is not yet fully understood. This is the question Dr. Annette Sommershof and her team from the University of Konstanz are trying to answer. The scientists are exploring stress-related changes in the immune system and have found evidence for the observation that long-term stress weakens the immune system, resulting in…

  • Article - 23/03/2015

    cytena GmbH, a start-up company which was spun out from the Department of Microscystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg in 2014, has developed a device that enables single cells to be deposited safely and gently using a single-cell printer called cy-Clone. Once processed, the cells can be used to study tumour heterogeneity and to create clonal cell lines for producing antibodies.

  • Article - 16/03/2015

    When the liver has been damaged, a receptor protein of the hepatic stellate cells called endosialin controls the balance between liver repair and scar formation. A team of researchers from Heidelberg and Mannheim has shown that endosialin is a positive regulator of fibrogenesis and a negative regulator of hepatocyte proliferation. Endosialin therefore seems to be a promising therapeutic drug target in non-neoplastic settings.

  • Article - 09/03/2015

    High fever, chills, cramps and severe anaemia are typical symptoms of malaria, even its mild form. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates, around 660,000 people die from malaria every year. The disease is transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes infected by single-celled parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Malaria is difficult to treat or cure as it is caused by a eukaryotic organism that is biochemically more similar to humans…

  • Article - 09/03/2015

    Vaccines that prevent infection with cancer-causing viruses are already available. Moreover, the development of therapeutic vaccines for the treatment of a number of other cancers is well under way. These vaccines not only prevent the development of cancer, but also treat early stages of cancer. Antigen-armed antibodies have long been used in vaccines against infectious diseases, and can now also be used for treating cancer.

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