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10 Current news of Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung

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Researchers visualize the battle between virus and host cells at the single-cell level

An innovative method identifies newly activated genes within individual cells

12-Jul-2019

Cells are equipped with multiple defense mechanisms to fight off intruders. Genes encode the building blocks of the response that must be activated during an enemy attack in an ordered manner. Scientists at the Helmholtz Institute for RNA-based Infection Research (HIRI) in Würzburg, one of the ...

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How bacteria produce antibiotics

Researchers decipher important steps in the formation of a natural antibiotic

28-Jun-2019

In the 1950s, researchers discovered bottromycins – natural substances produced by bacteria with antibiotic activity. Since these substances even kill human pathogens such as the hospital germ MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus areus), they are of interest for drug development. After the ...

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Eliminating hepatitis C viruses effectively

Researchers identify target on the viral envelope and develop customised agents

27-Mar-2019

The treatment of hepatitis C has been based on specific effective antiviral medications for a number of years. Since future development of resistance cannot be ruled out, alternative treatment options are being researched as well. So-called cell entry inhibitors are considered to be promising ...

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How bacteria turn off an antibiotic

19-Dec-2018

Many common antibiotics are increasingly losing their effectiveness against multi-resistant pathogens, which are becoming ever more prevalent. Bacteria use natural means to acquire mechanisms that protect them from harmful substances. For instance against the agent albicidin: Harmful ...

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Hospital germs have their flaws too

Researchers discovered a target for novel medications

09-Jul-2018

The hospital germ Pseudomonas aeruginosa can cause serious wound as well as lung and urinary tract infections, especially in weakened individuals. Pseudomonas manages time and again to survive attacks of the immune system and antibiotic therapies. One key to the success of this persistent ...

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Immortal cells for tailor-made active substances

12-Mar-2018

When scientists discover a new active substance, e.g. for use against a pathogen, they usually study its exact effect in cultured cells. But there is a lack of suitable test systems that simulate body tissues, because cells rapidly lose their specific properties once they are away from their ...

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First line of defence against influenza further decoded

23-Feb-2018

Time and again – the flu is coming to Germany. The number of cases of the current wave of influenza is still rising. When influenza viruses – the cause of the flu – enter our body, the immune system recognises them as being foreign by means of various receptors and starts a defence programme. ...

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Researchers discover Achilles' heel of bacteria

07-Aug-2017

Salmonellae are particularly resistant to antibiotics since they possess not only one, but two membranes that protect them from harmful substances. This makes them members of the so-called Gram-negative bacteria. Since Salmonella infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat with ...

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Using harmless bacteria to fight cancer

A study suggests that probiotic E. coli could be used as a therapeutic agent against cancer

07-Apr-2016

Several bacterial species have pledged promise in fighting tumors. However, most of them are pathogens. In order to use them as a weapon against cancer and other diseases in humans, researchers must find a balance between their therapeutic aggressiveness and safety for the patient. To overcome ...

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Protein production made easier

Researchers significantly improved a method for the production of complex proteins

31-Mar-2016

Proteins are involved in all vital processes in the body. In infections, they assume a range of crucial functions, not only during the penetration of the pathogen, but also in the body's defence. To be able to research proteins and to utilise them specifically for therapeutic purposes, it is ...

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