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Basic research

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

  • 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…

  • Article - 17/05/2016

    Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and epilepsy are three prominent examples of neuronal conditions (disorders affecting the nerve cells) for which drugs for treatment are intensively sought. Paolo Cesare from the NMI in Reutlingen has developed an innovative 3D system for testing drugs that does not require animal testing. In 2015, the MEAFLUIT system was awarded first prize in BioRegio STERN Management GmbH's Science2Start idea competition.

  • Article - 12/05/2016

    Biomolecules can only fulfil their functions in the cell when they fold into a characteristic native three-dimensional structure. Knowing this structure is not only of paramount importance for basic research, but also for medicine and pharmacology. Scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) have therefore developed a simple method to predict the three-dimensional structure of biomolecules from the analysis of readily available…

  • Article - 02/05/2016

    With approximately 150,000 infected people in Germany, hepatitis C is a common disease for which therapies, but no vaccine, are available. Dr. Tobias Böttler from the Freiburg University Medical Center and his team are exploring the body’s immune response to the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and have found valuable information that could be used for vaccine development.

  • Press release - 02/05/2016

    The main goal of the European Research Council (ERC) is to fund Europe’s brightest minds and thus encourage the highest quality research. In April 2016, the ERC announced the awarding of its prestigious Advanced Grants, and three life sciences researchers from Baden-Württemberg were among the recipients.

  • Article - 25/04/2016

    Pancreatic tumours are among the cancers with the worst prognosis. In many cases they are resistant to treatment. Prof. Dr. Andreas Trumpp and his colleagues from the DKFZ and the Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine HI-STEM have discovered that the reason why some pancreatic tumours are so resistant to treatment is down to larger quantities of the enzyme CYP3A5 in subtypes of pancreatic cancer. Molecular…

  • Dossier - 18/04/2016

    Epigenetics, i.e. the inheritance of traits that does not involve a change in the DNA sequence, was once a controversial subject that has since become a central focus of biological research. Epigenetic inheritance is now studied by numerous national and international research programmes. Many cellular regulatory and differentiation processes are controlled by epigenetic mechanisms that take place on different levels, including the DNA, histone,…

  • Article - 11/04/2016

    Many viruses enter cells by way of carbohydrate molecules known as glycans to which they bind during the initial steps of infection. However, it is still largely unknown how glycan-mediated infection proceeds. This is about to change with a working group that has been set up by the DFG at the University of Tübingen and five other universities. The group will focus on glycovirology, a new scientific area that aims to understand the…

  • Article - 29/03/2016

    In adults, cells such as nerve or cardiac muscle cells have lost the ability to regenerate. This is why myocardial infarction is so dangerous – damaged cardiac muscle cells do not grow back and scar tissue forms in their place. Prof. Dr. Gilbert Weidinger and an international team of researchers have deciphered a mechanism responsible for the regeneration of the zebrafish heart.

  • Article - 07/03/2016

    Many biological processes that occur in our body are driven and controlled by protein complexes. In order to better understand these processes, biochemist Prof. Dr. Florian Stengel from the University of Konstanz is developing methods that will eventually make it possible to study the architecture, interactions and general dynamics of intact protein complexes quantitatively and in detail. Stengel combines structural mass spectrometry methods with…

  • Article - 03/03/2016

    Researchers around the world, including researchers from the Freiburg University Medical Center, are working on developing simple blood tests, so-called liquid biopsies, that can be used to obtain accurate information about tumour staging and the progress of therapy. An international liquid biopsy symposium was held in Freiburg in October 2015 and has produced valuable insights.

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