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Basic research

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

  • Article - 07/01/2016

    The human immune system plays a key role for human health. Dr. Gina Fiala, a scientist in Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schamel’s team in the Department of Immunology at Freiburg University, has discovered Kidins220/ARMS in B cells. Kidins220/ARMS is part of the adaptive immune system where it plays a key role in the maturation of B cells.

  • Article - 17/12/2015

    DNA methylation and histone modification are epigenetic mechanisms that affect gene transcription. Moreover, protein complexes can regulate gene expression by modifying chromatin structure and function. Dr. Thomas Günther and his team from the Center for Clinical Research at the Freiburg University Medical Center are studying the effect of the inhibitor PFI-3 on the BAF complex. This protein complex modifies chromatin structure and controls the…

  • Article - 14/12/2015

    Cathepsins are proteases, i.e. enzymes that break down proteins into smaller fragments. They are also involved in the formation of new blood vessels and wound healing. Another thing that cathepsins do is help tumours spread and form metastases in the body. Prof. Dr. Thomas Reinheckel and his team from the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Cell Research at the University of Freiburg are studying how this happens. Insights into the role of…

  • Digitalisation - 10/12/2015

    cubuslab, a start-up company that was spun off from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in March 2015, has developed a technology to connect different types of laboratory equipment, from precision balances to analytical instruments. The technology is aimed at automating workflows and connecting and storing data in an electronic laboratory notebook.

  • Article - 08/12/2015

    Apoptotic processes, i.e. cell death mediated by intracellular programmes, have been implicated in a variety of diseases. Apoptotic processes eliminate superfluous or irreparably damaged cells from the body; however, defective apoptotic processes harm the organism. New research results show that processes at the mitochondrial membrane might be excellent targets for pharmaceutical interference with apoptosis.

  • Article - 07/12/2015

    It starts with memory loss and disorientation. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia and is characterised by the loss of neurons and synapses in the brain resulting from the aggregation of beta amyloid protein fragments into fibrils and plaques. Prof. Dr. Knut Biber and his team from the Division of Molecular Psychiatry at Freiburg University Medical Center have analysed these plaques in an in vivo-like cell culture system. They…

  • Article - 04/12/2015

    Dr. Philipp Berens from the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience at the University of Tübingen uses computer models to study how light that enters the retina is turned into events that trigger nerve impulses. The bioinformatician has recently received the BMBF’s Bernstein Award for Computational Neuroscience.

  • Article - 02/12/2015

    The measurement of blood glucose levels reveals changes in foetal brain response after a pregnant woman has consumed glucose. The postprandial brain response generated by the unborn children of women with gestational diabetes differs from that of children of women without gestational diabetes. Researchers from Tübingen have been using magnetic encephalography to examine the effect of insulin on the brain and the relationships between gestational…

  • Article - 30/11/2015

    Dr. Bianca Hermann from the University of Freiburg specialises in multi-haem enzymes, and investigates the enzymes’ structure and reaction mechanisms. She has clarified the enzymes’ crystal structure and reaction mechanisms and found out why the bacterial MccA enzyme complex can reduce sulphur-containing substances such as sulphites up to a hundred times faster than other enzymes.

  • Article - 24/11/2015

    Around two thirds of people carry the JC polyomavirus, a normally harmless virus that, in immunocompromised patients, can evade the body’s defences and cause a fatal brain infection. An international research network has now found a way to activate the immune system and attack the virus.

  • Article - 23/11/2015

    Plants have sophisticated defence mechanisms to help them fight off all kinds of pathogens. A group of researchers led by Dr. Gabriel Schaaf at the University of Tübingen’s ZMBP has now discovered that plants’ immune response is more similar to the innate immune system of humans and animals than previously thought.

  • Article - 19/11/2015

    Scientists from the Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research at the University of Tübingen are pursuing an innovative treatment approach for Alzheimer’s disease using immune cells to eliminate the protein deposits that are the hallmark of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Jonas Neher and his team tested whether exchanging brain-specific immune cells with fresh, more active cells has a positive effect on the disease.

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