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Genes against drought

10-Dec-2019

Climate change is leading to a decrease in soil moisture and an increase in severe droughts in Europe that adversely affect its woodlands. For a long time now, forest conservationists have been thinking very carefully about which trees they should use for reforestation. Researchers from the ...

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Detailed insight into stressed cells

Researchers develop new protoeomics procedure

06-Dec-2019

When cells are stressed, they initiate a complex and precisely regulated response to prevent permanent damage. One of the immediate reactions to stress signals is a reduction of protein synthesis (translation). Until now, it was difficult to measure such acute cellular changes. As reported in the ...

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Small RNAs link immune system and brain cells

Sex-specific processes in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder

13-Nov-2019

Recent studies have found a high genetic similarity of the psychiatric diseases schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, whose disease-specific changes in brain cells show an overlap of more than 70 percent. These changes affect gene expression, i.e., transcription of genes for the purpose of ...

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Construction kit for custom-designed products

Biotechnologists develop robust and efficient methods for the production of new peptide drugs

13-Jun-2019

Microorganisms often assemble natural products similar to product assembly lines. Certain enzymes, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS), play a key role in this process. Biotechnologists at Goethe University have now succeeded in changing these enzymes so that entirely new natural products, ...

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Drug diversity in bacteria

Researchers decode mechanism for diversifying bioactive phenazines

26-Mar-2019

Bacteria produce a cocktail of various bioactive natural products in order to survive in hostile environments with competing (micro)organisms. In the current issue of Nature Chemical Biology, researchers at Goethe University demonstrate that they do so by modifying basic structures, similar to ...

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CRISPR/Cas libraries open new avenues in cancer research

Innovative methods lead to foundation of start-up Vivlion GmbH

21-Mar-2019

CRISPR/Cas enables the targeted deactivation of genes by cutting DNA at pre-determined sites. This is accomplished by providing the Cas enzyme with a genetic zip code. Using an entire library of zip codes, it is then possible to simultaneously probe multiple sites within the genome, for example ...

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Duplicate or mirror? Laser light determines chirality of molecules

19-Mar-2019

Seven of the ten most frequent medications contain chiral agents. These are molecules that occur in right- or left-handed forms. During chemical synthesis both forms usually occur in equal parts and have to be separated afterward, because chirality determines the agent’s effect in the body. ...

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En route to custom-designed natural products

Researchers decode structure and function of docking domains in the biosynthesis of peptide natural products

23-Oct-2018

Microorganisms often assemble natural products similar to industrial assembly lines. Certain enzymes, non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPS) play a key role in this process. Biotechnologists at Goethe University have now been able to discover how these enzymes interact with each other. This ...

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Blood vessels instruct brain development

28-Aug-2018

Function and homeostasis of the brain relies on communication between the complex network of cells, which compose this organ. Consequently, development of the different groups of cells in the brain needs to be coordinated in time and space. The group of Amparo Acker-Palmer (Buchmann Institute of ...

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Smart people have better connected brains

24-Nov-2017

Differences in intelligence have so far mostly been attributed to differences in specific brain regions. However, are smart people’s brains also wired differently to those of less intelligent persons? A new study published by researchers from Goethe University Frankfurt (Germany) supports this ...

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