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When macrophage digestion goes wrong

If a secretion in the lungs’ alveoli is not cleared regularly, breathing difficulties can develop.

20-Sep-2022

In a study published in Science Immunology, a team led by Alexander Mildner and Achim Leutz has now explained the pivotal role of the transcription factor C/EBPb in this process. The exchange of gases between the air we breathe and our blood takes place via alveoli – tiny air sacs in our lungs. ...

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Stolen DNA strengthens immune diversity

The “theft” of foreign genetic material follows a plan

31-Aug-2022

To combat pathogens, the immune system needs an enormous number of different antibodies. In an MDC study, a group led by BIH professor Kathrin de la Rosa has now described in the journal PNAS a “stealing” mechanism that contributes to antibody diversity. A few years ago, Professor Kathrin de la ...

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Pop-up factories beneath the cell membrane

Scientists have long regarded the cytosol liquid inside a cell as a large “swimming pool” in which everything floats around freely: But it seems that previously unknown structures

17-Mar-2022

In a study published in Cell, MDC researchers show how a cell is able to process hundreds of signals simultaneously. Andreas Bock and his colleagues believe their findings will open up a whole new field of research in cell biology. A living cell is exposed to a variety of stimuli. Countless ...

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Using mRNA delivery to improve muscle strength

Targeted correction of genetic defects

16-Mar-2022

Mutations that lead to muscle atrophy can be repaired with the gene editor CRISPR-Cas9. A team led by ECRC researcher Helena Escobar has now introduced the tool into human muscle stem cells for the first time using mRNA, thus discovering a method suitable for therapeutic applications. It may be ...

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How SARS-CoV-2 takes over the cell's protein factory

“We've discovered three possible approaches to antiviral treatments”

15-Mar-2022

The question of how the Covid virus takes over host cells and suppresses the body's defences has been the subject of much debate. Now a research team led by Marina Chekulaeva at the MDC has pinpointed the crucial mechanism involved. It's over two years since the outbreak of the coronavirus ...

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The tricks of lymphomas

Cancer cells create protective niches for themselves

05-Nov-2021

Cellular immunotherapies have so far not been very effective against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. A team led by Armin Rehm of the MDC has discovered a possible reason. As they describe in “Cell Reports”, this cancer induces changes in the large blood vessels through which immune cells normally migrate ...

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COVID-19: What is driving the escalating hyperinflammation

Study published in Nature suggests novel treatment option

15-Sep-2021

The severity of COVID-19 is not determined solely by the SARS-CoV-2 virus itself; rather, it is the primary result of a dysregulated immune response. A team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Johannes Kepler University ...

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Tracking RNA through space and time

Completely new avenues for studying such things as the mechanism of action of drug therapies

10-Jun-2021

A research team at the MDC has succeeded in tracking genes through space and time within a one-cell zebrafish embryo – even before cell division occurs. They have now described a method in the journal “Nature Communications” that may one day allow scientists to measure cell response to drugs, for ...

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How the immune system paves the way for SARS-CoV-2

SARS-CoV-2 uses an immune system defense mechanism as a port of entry

22-Feb-2021

The immune system actually wants to fight SARS-CoV-2 with antiviral signaling molecules. But a research team from Charité and MDC has now shown how such a signaling molecule can promote the replication of the virus. Most people infected with SARS-CoV-2 are able to recover from the disease at home ...

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How cells move and don’t get stuck

New insight for developmental biology and potential cancer treatment

22-Jan-2021

Theoretical physicists from Berlin teamed up with experimental physicists from Munich to determine the precise mechanics involved in cell motility. Cell velocity, or how fast a cell moves, is known to depend on how sticky the surface is beneath it, but the precise mechanisms of this relationship ...

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