Prof. Dirk Haller discovered that it is not cell stress alone that leads to tumour growth, but the cooperation of stress and microbiota - here with Sandra Bierwirth (left) and Olivia Coleman. A. Heddergott/ TUM

The team of Professor Dirk Haller at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) made an unexpected discovery while investigating the triggering factors of colon cancer: Cell stress in combination with an altered microbiota in the colon drives tumour growth. Previously, it was assumed that this combination only contributes to inflammatory intestinal diseases.

STED image (left) and x-ray imaging (right) of the same cardiac tissue cell from a rat. University of Goettingen

Researchers at the University of Goettingen have used a novel microscopy method. In doing so they were able to show both the illuminated and the "dark side" of the cell. The results of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications. (pug) The team led by Prof. Dr. Tim Salditt and Prof. Dr. Sarah Köster from the Institute of X-Ray Physics "attached" small fluorescent markers to the molecules of interest, for example proteins or DNA. The controlled switching of the fluorescent dye in the so-called STED (Stimulated Emission Depletion) microscope then enables highest resolution down to a few billionth of a meter.

Novel sensors make it possible to measure the activation or deactivation of GPCRs with high-throughput methods. Graphic: Hannes Schihada

Researchers of the University of Würzburg have developed a method that makes it possible to measure the activation of receptors in a very short time. This might speed up the development of new drugs. Hormones and other neurotransmitters, but also drugs, act upon receptors. “Their active substances bind to the receptors and modify the three-dimensional receptor arrangement regulating the downstream signal pathways,” says Hannes Schihada from the Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology at the University of Würzburg (JMU). 

Boosting the energy output by storing and bundling the energy of many spontaneous enzyme reactions. Alejandro Posada

In chemistry, a reaction is spontaneous when it does not need the addition of an external energy input. How much energy is released in a reaction is dictated by the laws of thermodynamics. In the case of the spontaneous reactions that occur in the human body this is often not enough to power medical implants. Now, scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international team of researchers, found a way to boost the energy output by storing and bundling the energy of many spontaneous enzyme reactions. The work is published in the journal Nature Communications.