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An indispensable pitstop for the gene copy machine

How a protein helps making clean working copies of genes


The enzyme complex that reads genes carries other factors “piggyback” along the DNA to their destination. The protein BRD4 is essential for this process: the factors dock onto the protein during a pause from reading. The interaction also allows the cell to intervene in the process. It is a long ...


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Molecular scales on biological membranes: Mass-Sensitive Particle Tracking

New method to determine location and size changes of unlabeled proteins on membranes via their mass


A large proportion of biologically relevant processes take place at membranes. Studying the dynamics of these processes in real time and without disturbing the biological system is still a major methodological challenge. A team led by Petra Schwille, director at the MPI of Biochemistry (MPIB), ...


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Prestigious award for the pioneers of optogenetics

Dieter Oesterhelt, Emeritus Director at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, is being honoured with the Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 2021 together with Peter Hegemann and Karl Deisseroth


Dieter Oesterhelt from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Peter Hegemann from Humboldt University and the U.S. American Karl Deisseroth from Stanford University will receive the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 2021 for the discovery of light-sensitive proteins in the membrane of ...


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Fountain of youth for ageing stem cells in bone marrow

Epigenetic changes in old age increase risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures


As we age, our bones become thinner, we suffer fractures more often, and diseases like osteoporosis can occur. One of the culprits is ageing stem cells in the bone marrow, which are no longer as effective at replenishing the bones. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing ...


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Programming synthetic exosomes to optimize wound healing

Scientists create synthetic exosomes with natural functionalities and present their therapeutic application


Scientists from the MPI for Medical Research and colleagues have engineered synthetic exosomes that regulate cellular signaling during wound closure. The synthetic structures resemble naturally occurring extracellular vesicles (EV) that play a fundamental role in communication between cells. The ...


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Aerosol researcher Yafang Cheng honored by Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2021


Dr. Yafang Cheng has been selected as one of the 10 winners of the Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year 2021 in the category Physical Sciences for “Breaking the Wall to understanding COVID-19 transmission through aerosols”. “Top-class researchers globally are pushing the boundaries to ...


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Molecular mechanisms of corona drug candidate Molnupiravir unraveled

Mutations in the genome stop the virus


The United States recently secured 1.7 million doses of a compound that could help to treat Covid-19 patients. In preliminary studies, Molnupiravir reduced the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and the ...


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Researchers uncover microstructural elements in liver cells that might aid early detection of disease


The liver is our largest metabolic organ vital for detoxification and digestion. The liver produces bile, a digestive fluid that is drained into the intestine. To transport bile, liver cells form a network of tiny tubules (bile canaliculi) essential for organ function. Researchers at the Max ...


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Cellular filaments keeping the pace

Study lays the foundation for a multitude of potential applications


A new model describes the coordination of beating cilia allowing to predict their functional behavior. Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) analyzed the formation of metachronal waves in arrays of cilia and how external cues might influence them. ...


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A long day for microbes, and the rise of oxygen on Earth


Life on Earth today relies on the presence of oxygen. However, the process behind the step-wise rise of oxygen levels in the atmosphere, which took place over nearly two billion years, remains under debate. An international team of scientists around Judith Klatt from the Max Planck Institute for ...


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