News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

  • News from the Lab’ is a selection of scientific works that are significant or interesting for a broad readership. 
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Pharmacology - Health - 14.10.2019
Inactive receptor renders immunotherapies ineffective
Inactive receptor renders immunotherapies ineffective
The aim of immunotherapies is to enable the immune system once again to fight cancer on its own. Drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors are already in clinical use for this purpose. However, they are only effective in about one third of patients. Based on analysis of human tissue samples, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered one reason why this is so: an inactive receptor in cancer cells prevents the drugs from reactivating the immune system.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.10.2019
Tuberculosis: New insights into the pathogen
Researchers at the University of Würzburg and the Spanish Cancer Research Centre have gained new insights into the pathogen that causes tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a highly contagious infectious disease that is typically spread through aerosols and mainly affects the lungs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.7 million people die from such an infection worldwide every year.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.10.2019
Weak spot in pathogenic bacteria
Weak spot in pathogenic bacteria
Antibiotics are still the most important weapon for combatting bacterial infections. But medical science is running out of "ammunition" because of more and more frequently occurring resistances. A research team has now elucidated the structure of the proteolytic complex ClpX-ClpP. This is a key to development of innovative antibiotics which target the degradation process of defective proteins in bacteria.

Pharmacology - Health - 02.10.2019
New approach to pain treatment in diseases of the pancreas
New approach to pain treatment in diseases of the pancreas
One of the worst symptoms associated with inflammation or cancer of the pancreas is severe chronic pain. Pancreatic pain is difficult to treat, because many painkillers prove ineffective in pancreatic patients. In a recent study, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) discovered the cause of this phenomenon for the first time: a particular neuroenzyme in the body is present in the nerves of the organ in high concentrations.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.10.2019
A timekeeper for siesta
External stimuli can rearrange the hierarchy of neuronal networks and influence behaviour. This was demonstrated by scientists from the universities of Würzburg and Brandeis using the circadian clock of the fruit fly as an example. Circadian clocks must be flexible and they must be able to adapt to varying environmental conditions.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.09.2019
Specific immune response of beetles adapts to bacteria
Specific immune response of beetles adapts to bacteria
When the immune system fends off pathogens, this can happen in a very wide variety of ways. For example, the immune system's memory is able to distinguish a foreign protein with which the organism has already come into contact from another and to react with a corresponding antibody. Researchers have now investigated experimentally whether this ability of the immune system to specifically fend off pathogens can adapt in the course of evolution.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.09.2019
"Genetic variants associated with educational attainment" can also have positive implications for lifestyle
A German and British research team lead by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has examined the interplay between genetics, cardiovascular disease and educational attainment in a major population study. Genetic variants which had been linked to educational attainment in other studies were observed in the subjects.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.09.2019
Interactions between bacteria and parasites
Interactions between bacteria and parasites
A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has completed the first study of the effects of a simultaneous infection with blood flukes (schistosomes) and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori - a fairly common occurrence in some parts of the world. They identified a complex interaction which resulted - among other effects - in a weakening of the adverse impact of the pathogens acting individually.

Pharmacology - Health - 12.09.2019
Asthma Medication as Doping Agent?
Study by Ulm University Medical Center examines effect of asthma medication on athletic performance / Cooperation with Freie Universität Berlin and German Sport University Cologne No 265/2019 from Sep 12, 2019 A new study conducted this year by the Sports and Rehabilitation Medicine Unit at Ulm University Medical Center is examining how asthma medications affect athletic performance in professional athletes.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.09.2019
New method reformulates pathogens into the body's allies
New method reformulates pathogens into the body’s allies
Any agreement which entails benefits for both sides is called a win-win situation. This is precisely the result intended for the long-term cooperation and licensing agreement which the Institute of Infectiology at the University of Münster has now signed with an American biomedical company. The objective of the collaboration with Innate Biologics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is to improve the possibilities for treating inflammatory skin diseases and autoimmune diseases - and, in the long term, to develop new medications.

Health - 02.09.2019
Who benefits from a defibrillator?
Implantable defibrillators can save lives, but also harbor risks. A major European study headed by three researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), LMU München and University Medical Center Göttingen has found that a special ECG method can help to identify the patients most likely to benefit from these devices.

Health - Life Sciences - 24.07.2019
New marker for atrial damage discovered
New marker for atrial damage discovered
Atrial fibrillation leads to a persistent irregular - often accelerated - heartbeat. While the condition is not life-threatening, if left untreated it can lead to serious complications such as stroke or heart failure. It is caused by areas of the heart that hinder the normal conduction of electrical impulses so that the atrium no longer contracts rhythmically," explains Rüdiger Lange from the German Heart Center Munich.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.07.2019
Bouncers in the Bone Marrow
Bouncers in the Bone Marrow
07/19/2019 Würzburg Scientists found that megakaryocytes act as "bouncers" and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in the Journal "Haematologica". Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow.

Health - Pharmacology - 11.07.2019
Successful’T cell engineering with gene scissors
There are two forms of T cell therapy: either a recipient receives cells from a donor, or the recipient's own T cells are removed, genetically reprogrammed in a laboratory and unleashed against an infection or tumor in the body. While the first method has proven to be successful in clinical models, reprogramming T cells is still beset with problems.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.07.2019
The battle between virus and host cell
The battle between virus and host cell
Würzburg Scientists have precisely followed the activity of thousands of genes in individual cells for hours. For the first time, they were able to show why some cells are successfully infected by viruses, whereas others are not. When viruses enter our bodies - such as during an influenza or a gastrointestinal infection - the processes within the infected cells change: In the worst case, the virus takes the helm and reprograms the cell to its advantage.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.06.2019
Cell Division at High Speed
Cell Division at High Speed
06/19/2019 When two proteins work together, this worsens the prognosis for lung cancer patients: their chances of survival are particularly poor in this case. In malignant tumours, the cells usually proliferate quickly and uncontrollably. A research team from the Biocenter of Julius-Maximilians-Universität (JMU) Würzburg in Bavaria, Germany, has discovered that two important regulators of cell division can interact in this process.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.06.2019
Tox
Tox "exhausts" immune cells
Normally, the immune system goes into a state of maximum alert following a viral infection. It triggers the activation of a variety of immune cells such as T and B cells. These procreate in large numbers, and aggressively combat the infected cells. However, if the immune system does not manage to defeat the virus, then immune cells appear with highly inhibited functions.

Health - 14.06.2019
Exciting Plant Vacuoles
Exciting Plant Vacuoles
06/14/2019 Researchers have filled two knowledge gaps: The vacuoles of plant cells can be excited and the TPC1 ion channel is involved in this process. The function of this channel, which is also found in humans, has been a mystery so far. Many plant processes are not different from humans: Cells and tissues in grain plants, including maize also communicate through electrical signals.

Agronomy / Food Science - Health - 13.06.2019
Reducing soft drink consumption effectively
The negative effects of sugary drinks have prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to call on politicians, business leaders and society as a whole to design and implement effective ways to wean consumers off their predilection for soft drinks and to support healthier beverage choices. But what measures are most likely to reduce soft-drink consumption? In collaboration with the Cochrane Network, researchers based at TUM and LMU set out to answer this question.

Health - History / Archeology - 12.06.2019
To the Spa for Research
International Research Project Studies Social Significance of Health Resorts No 169/2019 from Jun 12, 2019 A team of researchers from the universities of Amsterdam and Lund, Queen Mary University in London, and Freie Universität Berlin is starting a research project on health resorts as a location of transnational encounter and debate.
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