Human body

  • Grenzen der optischen Mikroskopie überwinden

    Darstellung von gestreutem Licht. Copyright: Benjamin Judkewitz, Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

    ERC Starting Grant für interdisziplinäres Charité-Labor. Die Technik der optischen Mikroskopie hat wesentlich zur Begründung der Neurowissenschaften beigetragen. Aus der Forschung ist sie kaum wegzudenken. Allerdings: Bis heute bleibt die mikroskopische Bildgebung in lebenden Organismen auf Tiefen von weniger als einem Millimeter begrenzt. Der Grund dafür ist die Lichtstreuung. Diese Grenze aufzuheben und lebendes Gewebe in tieferen Schichten, beispielsweise in der Hirnrinde, sichtbar zu machen, das hat sich die Forschergruppe um Prof. Dr. Benjamin Judkewitz vorgenommen. In den kommenden fünf Jahren stehen dem Labor nun 1,49 Millionen Euro des Europäischen Forschungsrates (ERC) zur Verfügung.

  • Körpereigene Nanopartikel als Transporter für Antibiotika

    Dr. Gregor Fuhrmann vom Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS). G. Fuhrmann

    Neue BMBF-Nachwuchsgruppe um Gregor Fuhrmann erforscht, wie Medikamente gezielt zu Krankheitserregern im Körper geschleust werden können. Bakterien entwickeln zunehmend Resistenzen gegen die gängig eingesetzten Antibiotika – unter anderem als Folge der übermäßigen und zum Teil falschen Anwendung der Medikamente. Zudem haben Antibiotika häufig unangenehme Nebenwirkungen, da sie auch nützliche Bakterien abtöten. Der Pharmazeut Dr. Gregor Fuhrmann, Wissenschaftler am Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS), möchte eine Technologie entwickeln, mit der Antibiotika im Körper gezielt zu den krankmachenden Bakterien transportiert werden.

  • Multi-organ platform for risk assessment of nanomaterials - Fraunhofer IBMT in project HISENTS

    Logo HISENTS

    European scientists develop a multimodular microchip platform for predicting the behaviour of nanomaterials in the body. Nanomaterials are already part of everyday life in our modern society. New applications, along with continuously rising quantities being produced, have led to an increased exposure to nanomaterials for both people and the environment. Predicting the behaviour of nanomaterials in organisms and extensive risk assessments are currently difficult because we are missing prediction models.

  • Münster researchers make ongoing inflammation in the human brain visible

    Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have visualized inflammation in the brain of mice (l.) and of MS patients (r.). To do so, they labelled specific enzymes (MMPs). Reprinted with permission from Gerwien and Hermann et al., Sci. Transl. Med. 8, 364ra152 (2016) 9 November 2016

    For the first time, Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM) at Münster University have been able to image ongoing inflammation in the brain of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis. The ultimate aim in biomedical research is the transfer of results from experiments carried out in animals to patients. Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM) at the University of Münster have succeeded in doing so. For the first time, they have been able to image ongoing inflammation in the brain of patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). This involved specialists from different disciplines working together in a unique way over several years, combining immunology, neurology and imaging technologies ranging from microscopy to whole-body imaging.

  • New chemistry of life

    Lung tissue during legionellosis.

    FRANKFURT. The attachment of ubiquitin was long considered as giving the „kiss of death“, labelling superfluous proteins for disposal within a cell. However, by now it has been well established that ubiquitin fulfils numerous additional duties in cellular signal transduction. A team of scientists under the lead of Ivan Dikic, Director of the Institute of Biochemistry II at Goethe University Frankfurt, has now discovered a novel mechanism of ubiquitination, by which Legionella bacteria can seize control over their host cells. Legionella causes deadly pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. A novel ubiquitination mechanism explains pathogenic effects of Legionella infection. First results hint towards a broader role in regulating many life processes.

  • New weapon against Diabetes

    Diagram of a HEK-beta cell. Graphics: ETH Zurich

    ETH Researchers have used the simplest approach yet to produce artificial beta cells from human kidney cells. Like their natural model, the artificial cells act as both sugar sensors and insulin producers. Researchers led by ETH Professor Martin Fussenegger at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel have produced artificial beta cells using a straightforward engineering approach. The artificial beta cells can do everything that natural ones do: they measure the glucose concentration in the blood and produce enough insulin to effectively lower the blood sugar level. The ETH researchers presented their development in the latest edition of the journal Science.

  • Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine

    Joakim Bergström Photo: Cecilia Hedström

    Deficiency in a certain protein in the gastrointestinal tract has been shown to lead to both inflammation and abdominal fat accumulation in mice. The discovery provides yet another piece of the puzzle of how humans are affected — or not — by the large quantities of intestinal bacteria we carry with us. In the study from Sahlgrenska Academy, researchers have addressed the key role of the bacteria-binding protein ZG16 in protecting the body from intestinal bacteria. “The hope is that eventually, we’ll be able to administer this protein to improve protection against bacteria in patients with a defective barrier,” says Joakim Bergström, postdoctoral researcher at Sahlgrenska Academy. Joakim Bergström is in Professor Gunnar C. Hansson’s research group, which, eight years ago, was first to discover that there is a protective mucus layer in the intestine that separates intestinal bacteria from the intestinal surface.

  • Personalized antibiotic treatment

    The electrochemical biosensor system for point-of-care testing. Photo: Andreas Weltin

    Researchers from Freiburg have developed a sensor platform that quantifies antibiotics in human blood within minutes. A team of researchers from the University of Freiburg has developed a system inspired by biology that can detect several different antibiotics in human blood or other fluids at the same time. This biosensor system could be used for medical diagnostics in the future, especially for point-of-care testing in doctors’ practices, on house calls and in pharmacies, as well as in environmental and food safety testing. The researchers focused their study on the antibiotics tetracycline and streptogramin in human blood.

  • Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth

    The plant-based substance allows lashes to grow visibly stronger – without any identifiable side effects. Fraunhofer IAP

    A new serum that promotes eyelash growth has been developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in Potsdam-Golm. It is considerably less expensive than conventional eyelash sera, very well tolerated, and a purely natural product. Mine Kaja has received a SEPAWA award for the excellent research she conducted as part of her bachelor thesis. Longer and thicker lashes – these are the side effects of eyedrops used to treat glaucoma in ophthalmology. Hair growth is triggered by prostaglandin, a tissue hormone that lowers internal eye pressure.

  • Promising transport molecule for steroid medications discovered

    Copyright: Jacobs University / Khaleel Assaf

    When the word steroids comes up, a lot of people think of doping. It is much less well known that steroids are used in the treatment of many diseases, such as asthma, neurodermatitis, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s Disease. Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Jacobs University in Bremen have now found a possible way that steroids can exert their effect in the human body in a gentler and more efficient way.

  • Virtual Reality in Medicine: New Opportunities for Diagnostics and Surgical Planning

    With SpectoVive, doctors can interact in a three-dimensional space with a part of the body that requires surgery. Screenshot: University of Basel

    Before an operation, surgeons have to obtain the most precise image possible of the anatomical structures of the part of the body undergoing surgery. University of Basel researchers have now developed a technology that uses computed tomography data to generate a three-dimensional image in real time for use in a virtual environment. The planning of a surgical procedure is an essential part of successful treatment. To determine how best to carry out procedures and where to make an incision, surgeons need to obtain as realistic an image as possible of anatomical structures such as bones, blood vessels, and tissues.

  • Walking is bound hand and foot: How long projecting neurons couple the movement of our limbs

    Netzwerk menschlicher Neuronen.

    We humans walk with our feet. This is true, but not entirely. Walking, as part of locomotion, is a coordinated whole-body movement that involves both the arms and legs. Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research have identified different subpopulations of neurons in the spinal cord with long projections. Published in Neuron, the results show that these neurons coordinate movement of arms and legs and ensure a stable body posture during locomotion.