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Basic research

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

  • Article - 11/07/2016

    Natural killer cells kill tumour cells by injecting the protein HMGB1, which blocks the production of cellular energy by aerobic respiration. Researchers from Heidelberg have elucidated this previously unknown cancer defence mechanism and are now in the process of developing a new immunotherapy for treating cancer patients.

  • Article - 04/07/2016

    Oesophageal cancer is a rare but highly aggressive type of cancer with a rather poor prognosis. The exact causes of the disease are not yet known. However, tobacco, excessive alcohol consumption and heartburn are regarded as major risk factors. The main treatment is surgical removal of the tumour in combination with radio- and chemotherapy, which can potentially improve prognosis. Dr. Theresa Ahrens, a researcher in a group led by Prof. Dr. Silke…

  • Article - 30/06/2016

    A protein in the nucleus of liver cells is produced in greater quantities when we go hungry; it limits fatty acid uptake and adjusts the metabolism in the liver. However in people with metabolic disorders, the abnormal expression of this protein (GADD45β), which was previously only known to be involved in the regulation of cell division and DNA repair, leads to a dysregulated fat and sugar metabolism. Scientists from the DKFZ and Helmholtz…

  • Article - 27/06/2016

    Influenza viruses constantly change and mutate. This makes treatment difficult and vaccination rather touch and go. But what about targeting virus-manipulated cell events rather than using the virus itself as drug target? Atriva Therapeutics GmbH, a start-up company from Tübingen, shows how this works.

  • Article - 27/06/2016

    Neuroscientists from Heidelberg have created the scientific foundations for a nasal spray that can stabilise the dendrites of nerve cells, thus reducing nerve damage and brain function losses following a stroke. Prof. Dr. Hilmar Bading and his team received the 2016 German BioRegions Innovation Prize for their invention and have set up a company called FundaMental Pharma to further accelerate the development of a marketable medicinal product.

  • Article - 20/06/2016

    Researchers from Heidelberg have shown that instead of fighting cancer cells, macrophages of the innate immune system promote the growth of metastases in people with metastatic colorectal cancer. They have also shown that a signal inhibitor used to treat HIV infections reactivates macrophages so that they gain the ability to destroy cancer cells. A clinical phase I study has confirmed the antitumoral effects of this drug.

  • Article - 16/06/2016

    It is estimated that as many as one million secondary plant metabolites can be used as medical agents. Plants produce these compounds to aid their growth and development as well as to discourage herbivores from eating them. However, it is still very difficult, or even impossible, to produce secondary plant metabolites industrially. Researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are now developing a microfluidic bioreactor to make…

  • Dossier - 14/06/2016

    The number of publications and patents that involve the CRISPR/Cas system has been increasing exponentially since the technique was first described a few years ago. The increase in funding for projects involving CRISPR/Cas also demonstrates how powerful this new method is. The targeted modification of genomes (also called gene editing or genome editing) using CRISPR/Cas is extraordinarily accurate and also has the potential to cure hereditary…

  • Article - 13/06/2016

    While fighting and curing bacterial infections in sick patients is one part of the picture, epidemiological investigation of the spread of pathogens is another. Dr. Matthias Willmann also assesses the impact of these factors on the healthcare system as a whole and draws conclusions that might boost early detection of pathogens and prevention of infections.

  • Article - 06/06/2016

    Carl Zeiss AG and the University of Tübingen have been jointly running the ZEISS Vision Science Lab since 2013. This is a workgroup that is both fully integrated into research as well as delivering results for the development and improvement of products. The “Industry on Campus” professorship shows how different interests can turn out successfully for both parties involved.

  • Article - 02/06/2016

    Cells have their own language that they use to communicate with each other. They need this language to be able to form intact tissues and fulfil their specific functions in the body. If these signalling pathways are disrupted, metabolic processes will suffer and result in diseases. We know many “words” of the cellular language, i.e. signalling molecules that bind to specific surface receptors and thereby trigger chemical reactions inside the…

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