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Immune boost against the corona virus

In Germany, a vaccine candidate will be tested for its effectiveness against infections with SARS-CoV-2

24-Mar-2020

The course of the corona pandemic will strongly depend on how quickly medications or vaccines against the SARS co-virus 2 can be developed. In at least one Phase III study, researchers want to investigate whether the vaccine candidate VPM1002, originally developed against tuberculosis by ...

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Sustainable use of CO2 using a modified bacterium

13-Mar-2020

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam-Golm, led by Dr. Arren Bar-Even, has succeeded in reprogramming the diet of the bacterium E. coli in such a way that it can use formic acid or methanol as its sole source of nutrition. These simple organic ...

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Sensitive detection of molecules

Short pulses of strong laser light make the concentration of molecules visible

13-Mar-2020

To observe molecules, one has to use sensitive tools. Such measurements would be important for determining the concentration of minute particles in blood samples or during neuronal information transfer in the brain. A team of Max Planck scientists has taken a decisive step in this direction - ...

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Brain-doping produced by your own body

Researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which Epo acts in nerve cells

12-Mar-2020

Erythropoietin, or Epo for short, is a notorious doping agent. It promotes the formation of red blood cells, leading thereby to enhanced physical performance - at least, that is what we have believed until now. However, as a growth factor, it also protects and regenerates nerve cells in the ...

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Humans transport dangerous smoke residues indoors

People carry hazardous compounds from cigarette smoke into non-smoking environments

09-Mar-2020

Decades of research have demonstrated the adverse effects of fine particulate matter and volatile organic compounds (VOC) such as nicotine or acetonitrile from tobacco smoke on human health, with no “safe” level of exposure. Smoking restrictions have decreased non-smokers’ exposure to secondhand ...

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The genetic secret of night vision

Compact DNA organization improves vision in nocturnal mammals

26-Feb-2020

One of the most remarkable characteristics of the vertebrate eye is its retina. Surprisingly, the sensitive portions of the photoreceptor cells are found on the hind side of the retina, meaning that light needs to travel through living neural tissue before it can be detected. While the origin of ...

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The discovery of ancient Salmonella

Oldest reconstructed bacterial genomes link agriculture and herding with emergence of new disease

25-Feb-2020

Using Salmonella enterica genomes recovered from human skeletons as old as 6,500 years, an international team of researchers illustrates the evolution of a human pathogen and provides the first ancient DNA evidence in support of the hypothesis that the cultural transition from foraging to farming ...

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Bacterium makes complex loops

Research team analyses flagellar locomotion

25-Feb-2020

A scientific team from the Biosciences and Biotechnology Institute of Aix-Marseille in Saint-Paul lez Durance, in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam and the University of Göttingen, determined the trajectory and swimming speed of the ...

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Antibodies: the body’s own antidepressants

Antibodies can be a blessing or a curse to the brain - it all depends on their concentration

25-Feb-2020

If the immune system attacks its own body, it can often have devastating consequences: autoantibodies bind to the body’s structures, triggering functional disorders. The receptors for glutamate, a neurotransmitter, can also become the target of autoantibodies. Researchers at the Max Planck ...

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"Make two out of one" - Division of Artificial Cells

Scientists uncover a novel and generic mechanism for the division of artificial cells into two daughter cells

21-Feb-2020

The success of life on earth is based on the amazing ability of living cells to divide themselves into two daughter cells. During such a division process, the outer cell membrane has to undergo a series of morphological transformations that ultimately lead to membrane fission. Scientists at the ...

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