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Unmuting the genome

Epigenetic mechanisms for parent-specific genetic activation decoded

13-Jan-2022

Hereditary diseases as well as cancers and cardiovascular diseases may be associated with a phenomenon known as genomic imprinting, in which only the maternally or paternally inherited gene is active. An international research team involving scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), ...

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Modern humans developed a more effective protection against oxidative stress

Neanderthal variant of the protein glutathione reductase increases risk for inflammatory bowel disease and vascular disease

07-Jan-2022

Very few proteins in the body have a change that makes them unique compared to the corresponding proteins in Neanderthals and apes. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany and Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have now studied one such protein, glutathione ...

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Cool Microscopy: Making the invisible visible

Ultrarapid cooling enables the observation of molecular patterns of life

15-Dec-2021

Fluorescence light microscopy has the unique ability to observe cellular processes over a scale that bridges four orders of magnitude. Yet, its application to living cells is fundamentally limited by the very rapid and unceasing movement of molecules and the light-induced destruction of ...

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Catch me if you can: how mRNA therapeutics are delivered into cells

Novel insights into the development of RNA therapeutics towards efficient delivery and lower dosages

13-Dec-2021

Researchers have found where and how mRNA arrives in a cell to modify or deliver genetic information, a crucial process for the development of novel therapies. In recent years, ribonucleic acid (RNA) has emerged as a powerful tool for the development of novel therapies. RNA is used to copy ...

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Exploring the current paradigm of gene regulation

How much tissue-specific information is contained in enhancer sequences?

02-Dec-2021

How do cells know when to activate a certain gene? This information is encoded in the sequence of the DNA, but our understanding of this code is incomplete. Researchers now tested how much information can be extracted from sequence data to predict which gene is active in which tissue. A good ...

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SARS-CoV-2 infects sustentacular cells in the olfactory epithelium of COVID-19 patients

The coronavirus does not appear to infect nerve cells in the olfactory epithelium and in the olfactory bulb

29-Nov-2021

It is now widely known that COVID-19 is associated with the transient or long-term loss of olfaction (the sense of smell) but the mechanisms remain obscure. An unresolved question is whether the olfactory nerve can provide SARS-CoV-2 with a route of entry to the brain. Scientists at the Max ...

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More efficient together

Proximity between identical enzymes can lead to a substantial improvement in their catalytic efficiency

17-Nov-2021

Mechanically coupled enzymes show an increase in their catalytic efficiency – this is the result from a study by the group of Ramin Golestanian and Jaime Agudo-Canalejo from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization. The researchers concluded that enzymes can benefit from ...

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Stem cells do not (only) play dice

Stem cells work as a team and do not leave their fate to pure chance

10-Nov-2021

In just a few weeks a completely new organism develops from a fertilized egg cell. The real miracle is that a bunch of identical stem cells turns into completely different, specialized cell types. A team led by Christian Schröter, group leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology ...

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Programming synthetic exosomes to optimize wound healing

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

08-Sep-2021

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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First programmable photocatalyst developed

With smart materials toward more sustainable chemistry

03-Sep-2021

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces have developed a sustainable and "smart photocatalyst". The special feature: as a so-called smart material, it can distinguish between the colors of light (blue, red and green) and, in response, enables a specific chemical ...

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