You learn a great deal about the physical aspects of cells when you talk to Prof. Dr. Kay-E. Gottschalk. For example, their ability to react as solid and liquid, to adapt their environment to suit themselves and to exert and respond to forces. The 42-year-old has great respect for the smallest of living units, i.e. cells, which he calls smart composite materials. Working on the boundaries of medicine, biology, chemistry and physics, Gottschalk has been professor of bionanomechanics in the Institute of Experimental Physics (director: Prof. Dr. Othmar Marti) at the University of Ulm since 2011.
Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the University Clinic Heidelberg, Germany, have produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), which shows the structure of the immature form of the virus at unprecedented detail. Immature HIV is a precursor of the infectious virus, which can cause AIDS. The study, published in the 22-26 June online edition of PNAS, describes how the protein coat that packages the virus' genetic material assembles in human cells. Drugs that block this assembly process and prevent the virus from maturing into its infectious form are considered a promising therapeutic approach.
Secondary hop compounds appear to have a positive effect on the immune system and therefore have the potential to be used for the treatment and prevention of cancer. However, the bioavailability of hop compounds in the human body is relatively poor. Researchers from Hohenheim and Tübingen are therefore looking for a way to increase their absorption rate.
Dr. Martin Beck from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg was awarded an ERC Starting Grant for his project “Atlas of Cell-Type Specific Nuclear Pore Complex Structures”. The combination of cryo-electron microscope tomography, proteomics and biochemical methods will enable the creation of a high-resolution three-dimensional image of the nuclear pore complex.
A sophisticated reservoir that sits under the skin and dispenses precise quantities of drugs locally and at a particular point in time now exists. A junior research group from the University of Freiburg’s BrainLinks-BrainTools excellence cluster led by Dr. Maria Asplund and her doctoral student Christian Böhler from the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) has developed a small storage system made of organic-inorganic hybrid material that can be implanted and used for the controlled release of pharmaceutical substances.
For over 25 years npi electronic GmbH develops and produces equipment for research in the life sciences with main focus on neurosciences. Instruments include amplifiers, stimulus isolators, drug application systems, manipulators and temperature controllers. npi can also supply complete setups.
Sensovation AG, part of the Miltenyi Biotech group of companies, is a world leading OEM partner for the design and production of Smart Imaging Solutions. Many years of experience and outstanding expertise have made Sensovation to a one stop supplier of Research and In Vitro Diagnostic instruments.
As many as four to five million people in Germany suffer from house dust mite allergy. Researchers from the Hohenstein Institutes have now developed a mattress that promises relief for these people. The entire mattress is heated by way of flexible textile heating elements.
For the second time a researcher at the DKFZ has been awarded the highest distinction in science: Professor Stefan Hell, director of the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and department head at the DKFZ, has been awarded this year´s Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his pioneering work in the field of ultra high resolution fluorescence microscopy. This follows the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine for Harald zur Hausen.
Researchers from the Stuttgart-based Max Planck Institute of Solid State Research have succeeded in detecting tiny traces of DNA using sensors made from carbon nanotubes. The sensors are highly selective for specific DNA sequences and it is envisaged that they will be used for the rapid examination of blood samples.
The optics and electronics specialist Carl Zeiss AG Oberkochen is optimistic about the first six months of 20072008 30th September despite decreasing investment activity in the semiconductor industry. For the second six months the company expects a slight slowdown in the revenues the company generates in this business group. In the first half of the fiscal year the Semiconductor Technology Group recorded further strong growth up 16 and generated revenues totalling 610 million euros.
Angelika Rück measures the luminescence time of molecules in order to find out whether proteins are speaking with each other. She hopes that she will soon be able to differentiate inflammation from tumours. Rück who is head of microscopy at the Ulm-based ILM has worked hard with her colleagues to make the Eselsberg-based Ulm University location one of southern Germanys leading life cell imaging centres.
The NMI Natural and Medical Sciences Institute in Reutlingen organised its biannual MEA conference from 8 to 11 July 2008. More than 200 developers and microelectrode array users from 18 countries came together in Reutlingen to present their latest developments and results.
The two chemists Boris Mizaikoff and Christine Kranz have a great deal in common they are married to each other they have children together and they work at the same university on projects that combine technologies and methods to create multifunctional analytical platforms at the Department of Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry at Ulm University.
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schraermeyer is the head of a research division at the Eye Hospital at the University of Tübingen. He focuses on the treatment of degenerative diseases such as age-dependent macular degeneration (AMD) in which he is looking for new pharmaceutically active substances. In 2001, he successfully founded a biopharmaceutical company dealing with cell therapeutics for use in ophthalmology and is now once again planning to economically exploit his latest research results.
Although they are present almost everywhere, on land and sea, a group of related bacteria in the superphylum Planctomycetes-Verrucomicrobia-Chlamydiae, or PVC, have remained in relative obscurity ever since they were first described about a decade ago. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have discovered that these poorly-studied bacteria possess proteins thought to exist only in eukaryotes – organisms whose cells have a nucleus. Their findings, featured on the cover of today’s edition of PLoS Biology, could help to unravel part of the evolutionary history of eukaryotic cells such as our own.
The physicist Prof. Dr. Paul Leiderer and his team are investigating the adhesive forces between nanoparticles and a variety of different surfaces in the search for innovative methods to remove them. As the researcher reports in an interview with BIOPRO his team particularly focuses on the optical electrical and mechanical properties of these nanoparticles.
Prof. Christoph Cremer Cremer hopes to use the Vertico-SMI nanoscope to decipher the molecular secrets of cells. After the 4Pi microscopy this system is the second development of his scientific career to break through the barrier of optical microscopy.
After quite a long vacancy the directors post of the Institute for Pharmaceutical Biotechnology at the University of Ulm has finally been filled. Marcus Fändrich and his team moved into the laboratories and offices of the new life sciences building on the Oberer Eselsberg Ulm University campus in November 2012. Fändrich fills a gap in the Ulm Bioregions biopharmaceutical education activities as he will not only be teaching biochemistry undergraduate students but also masters students on the pharmaceutical biotechnology course that is run in cooperation with Biberach University of Applied Sciences. Fändrich is specifically interested in the formation and structure of amyloid fibrils.
The second part of the “Science meets Business Day” held in the Freiburg Concert House also provided guests with animated and exciting insights into the cooperation between research and industry. What enables neuroscientists to constantly obtain deeper insights into the dynamic network that is the “brain”? How do engineers manage to repress the extremely strong forces they encounter when handling the smallest quantities of liquid?
Human DNA consists of three billion base pairs, which corresponds to a total length of approximately two metres. DNA must be compressed 200,000-fold in order to fit into the tiny nuclei of mammalian cells. The thread-like complex of DNA and proteins is called chromatin. Although chromatin has been widely studied, relatively little is yet known about the spatial and temporal organisation of chromatin in interphase cells.
Artificial blood vessels made of special polymers are no longer a pipedream. However, one problem that needs to be solved is that the artificial vessels have to be compatible with tissue. One solution could be to dupe the body into thinking that the artificial vessels are real by coating their inside walls with the patient’s own cells. Researchers from Reutlingen have developed a microfluidic chip that identifies molecules that can capture the required cells. These capture molecules then catch vascular precursor cells and attach them to the implant.
k-labor GmbH focuses on the initial inspection of samples for the automotive industry and the testing of a broad range of different materials. k-labor also specialises in environmental simulations and durability testing and offers consulting and the transfer of technologies in the plastics sector.
Cochlear implants can restore hearing to many of those afflicted with deafness. Prof. Robert Illing from the University of Freiburg explores the plastic properties of the nervous system that facilitate the application of these implants.
Cells, receptor proteins, enzymes and DNA have outstanding properties. The question is, can they also be used as building blocks in computer processors, sensor systems and other micromachines in next generation microelectronics? In cooperation with his research group at the University of Kyoto and his partners in Freiburg, Prof. Dr. Osamu Tabata, microengineer and External Senior Fellow at the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies (FRIAS) is working on the development of a new generation of micromachines based on folded DNA molecules that is smaller, more intelligent and better than the previous generation.