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MCM molecules impede the formation of DNA loops

The protein complex MCM has an unexpected influence on the three-dimensional organization of DNA

23-May-2022

The entire genomic material of a cell must be packed into a tiny cell nucleus in such a way, that on the one hand, it can be stored in an organized manner and, on the other hand, it can be transcribed, duplicated or repaired as needed. Different proteins are responsible for space-saving ...

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Structure of key protein for cell division puzzles researchers

Researchers provide a first 3D snapshot of the CCAN protein complex and raise fundamental questions towards the creation of artificial chromosomes

17-May-2022

Human cell division involves hundreds of proteins at its core. Knowing the 3D structure of these proteins is pivotal to understand how our genetic material is duplicated and passed through generations. The groups of Andrea Musacchio and Stefan Raunser at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular ...

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A new method for exploring the nano-world

A large step forward in the characterization of nanoparticles: One possible application of this technique may be to identify illnesses

11-May-2022

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL) and Max-Planck-Zentrum für Physik und Medizin (MPZPM) in Erlangen present a large step forward in the characterization of nanoparticles. They used a special microscopy method based on interfereometry to outperform existing ...

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Finding new weapons in Nature`s battlesites

Genomic studies open up a wealth of bioactive small molecules in insect-killing bacteria

27-Apr-2022

Interactions between microbes and other organisms are mediated by a plethora of small molecules, also called natural products. A research team led by Dr. Yi-Ming Shi and Prof. Helge Bode from the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology has now performed a systematic analysis of ...

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The dark matter of the brain

Omnipresent and yet hardly explored: Electrical synapses

08-Apr-2022

They are part of the brain of almost every animal species, yet they remain usually invisible even under the electron microscope. "Electrical synapses are like the dark matter of the brain," says Alexander Borst, director at the MPI for Biological Intelligence, in foundation (i.f). Now a team from ...

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A new dimension in Stem Cell Signaling

Molecular morse code in stem cells encrypting differentiation information revealed

01-Mar-2022

Divide, differentiate or die? Making decisions at the right time and place is what defines a cell’s behavior and is particularly critical for stem cells of an developing organisms. Decision making relies on how information is processed by networks of signaling proteins. The teams around Christian ...

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More beer in the glass with physics

How water-repellent coatings can reduce foaming in industrial processes

21-Jan-2022

While foam is certainly desirable in the bathtub or on beer, preventing foam - for example in industrial processes - is a much-discussed topic. Often, oils or particles are added to liquids to prevent foaming. If these are harmful to health or the environment, they must be removed again using ...

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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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