Glioblastoma is a malignant brain tumour. It does not respond anywhere near as well to conventional forms of therapy than other tumours because it contains particularly resistant cancer cells. Scientists at the Heidelberg Ion Beam Therapy Center (HIT) at Heidelberg University Hospital and the German Cancer Research Center have shown that heavy ion therapy is effective against these cells.
It is well known that stem cells age. Even the human immune system loses its power with age. Since all immune cells are derived from blood-forming stem cells, it is quite natural to associate the weakening of the immune system (immune senescence) with the ageing of blood-forming stem cells. Stem cell researchers and immunologists from the University of Ulm have now demonstrated the important role that blood-forming cells play in the ageing of the…
People have 1.3 times more microorganisms than body cells. This microbial community influences how we digest our food, how active our immune system is, as well as whether we tend to be more anxious or curious. A number of diseases have also been shown to be associated with a disturbed microbiome. Researchers still have a long way to go before the knowledge acquired can be used for developing therapies.
It is difficult to place drugs in the right place in the eye. When using droplets, only a small fraction of the drug reaches its target. Injecting drugs into the eye is also more a matter of luck than judgement. Basic researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Stuttgart have developed a nanorobot that can be loaded with active ingredients for treating eye diseases and directed through the solid tissue of the vitreous body.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are poverty-related infectious diseases that suffer from scant attention in terms of research or control. NTDs exist in the shadow of the "big three": malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. They affect many people living in poverty in the emerging and developing countries of the tropics and subtropics. Active control can only be achieved when people with NTDs are treated effectively and given information…
You feel unwell, but the family doctor’s practice is closed or it’s impossible to get an appointment at short notice. As part of their docdirekt project, the Baden-Württemberg Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (in German: "Kassenärztliche Bundesvereinigung Baden-Württemberg (KVBW)) is now offering help for such cases. Everyone signed up to the statutory health insurance scheme will now be able to ring, contact via apps or…
After successes in the treatment of advanced blood cancers, CAR T-cell immunotherapy has become a major beacon of hope in oncology. The first therapies have received regulatory approval. Despite their success, these immunotherapies can have serious side effects. The company AVA Lifescience develops antibodies with high tumour specificity to use as the basis for effective precision-guided CAR T-cell therapies that are better tolerated by patients.
Autistic people have different gut microorganisms than non-autistic people. Researchers believe that a disturbed intestinal flora may play a role in developmental disorders of the brain such as autism. The emerging new field of metaproteomics could shed light onto the matter. A team led by Prof. Dr. Boris Macek from Tübingen has investigated the bacterial protein pool in the faeces of mice that display autistic behaviour.
While a cancer-free world may seem unrealistic given the increasing numbers of cancer cases, we need to reach a social consensus that cancer deaths are unacceptable and that everything possible must be done to prevent them. Leading cancer researchers around the world are calling for more investment in prevention research and cancer screening to move towards the vision of a near cancer-free world.
Every year, around 11 million people die of sepsis (blood poisoning) caused by microorganisms or microbial residues, known as pyrogens, entering the bloodstream. The smallest amounts can trigger fever. Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB in Stuttgart have developed a pyrogen test that does not require a laboratory and is not tested on animals. It is expected to be placed on the market soon.
Immunology is constantly changing with the emergence of new technologies and areas of application, and has branched out in many directions. Immunological approaches are central to everything – be it the development of innovative active substances and vaccinations against cancer, the search for new therapies against neurodegenerative diseases or autoimmune diseases, or combatting well-known infectious diseases or new virus epidemics.
A pill camera to examine the gastrointestinal tract that can be swallowed without major difficulty, controlled intuitively from the outside and deliver images in real time - why would any doctor or patient say no? To non-experts, it sounds more like science fiction but such a device is actually already in development: since 2019, Tübingen-based Ovesco Endoscopy AG and three partners have been working together on this in a project called nuEndo.
A “living pharmacy” crawls on the ocean floor off the coastline that stretches from Southern California to Mexico: biosyn Arzneimittel GmbH, a pharmaceutical company based in the city of Fellbach in southern Germany, produces a drug to treat bladder cancer, using the haemolymph, a vertebrate fluid equivalent to blood, of Megathura crenulata, commonly known as a giant keyhole limpet.
Researchers around the world are working frantically on the development of a vaccine against the new coronavirus. A project by the Tübingen-based biotechnology company CureVac, funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), uses the company’s technology platform for mRNA-based vaccines to accelerate vaccine development, thus contributing to the future prevention of the disease.
There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis, the most common neurological autoimmune disease in humans. Biopharmaceuticals that can delay the course of the disease or diminish its effects are often prevented from being fully effective by the blood-brain barrier. A European consortium led by the Fraunhofer IGB, Stuttgart is developing a new technology that can transport an innovative active ingredient directly to the central nervous system.
The CRISPR-Cas gene-editing technology is one of the most important developments in molecular biology in recent years. It utilises molecular scissors with which nucleic acids can be cut and edited almost arbitrarily. Researchers in Freiburg, Germany have now successfully used the technology for diagnostic purposes. They are currently working intensively on expanding the system to enable it to detect genome sequences of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Yuri, a start-up company founded in 2019 in the Lake Constance area, is aiming high. The company’s mission is to enable microgravity research into the development of materials, new medicines and vaccines, including research opportunities on the International Space Station (ISS). Yuri’s tailor-made solutions are faster and more affordable than previous space research missions.
How can scientists turn their know-how into marketable products and services and thereby provide society with real added value? In addition to solid financing, start-up companies need a suitable infrastructure and a dense network of partners for exchanging expertise to help them get off to a good start when it comes to setting up a business. The Heidelberg Technology Park offers company founders in the life sciences exactly these success factors.
Back pain is often caused by intervertebral disc disorders. Much has already been tried and is available to help patients. Despite extensive progress, there is still no surefire recipe for success. iPSpine, an EU-funded project to which researchers from Ulm are contributing interdisciplinary engineering and biomedical expertise, aims to design a novel therapy for back pain based on intervertebral disc regeneration.
Prime Vector Technologies GmbH (PVT), a start-up company based in Tübingen in southern Germany, uses a modular brick system to develop vaccines against cancer and infectious diseases. The PVT team is currently working flat out to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
The fight against cancer is a pressing issue. Although technological advances in the treatment, prevention and early detection of cancer have improved over the past few decades, the number of people affected is increasing. Cancer medicine now wants to counteract this by joining forces with other players involved in the field.
All eyes are on vaccines against the coronavirus. The Tübingen-based company CureVac is doing pioneering work in this field, and intends to initiate clinical testing of its lead vaccine candidate in June. At the same time, Curevac is manufacturing the material for this vaccine candidate. But that’s not all: the novel mRNA technology also has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of cancer and metabolic diseases. What makes the method so…
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