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A question of time

How the immune system distinguishes between self molecules and non-self molecules such as those from pathogens

06-May-2019

A team led by the Freiburg biologists Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schamel and Prof. Dr. Wilfried Weber conducted an experiment in which they controlled the duration of the interaction of a specific protein with T cells, a type of white blood cells, thereby showing how the immune system differentiates ...

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Traffic control of cells

Researchers develop a hydrogel whose stiffness and permeability to cells can be controlled with light

27-Mar-2019

Cells in the human body can display remarkable differences in their behaviour depending on the mechanical properties of the tissue surrounding them. This is especially true for immune cells, which migrate through the body and are thus constantly exposed to tissues with different properties and ...

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Stem Cells Regulate Their Fate by Altering Their Stiffness

Doing More with Less

16-Jan-2019

In adults, mesenchymal stems cells (MSCs) are primarily found in bone marrow and they play a vital role in repair of damaged organs. The transformation of a single MSC into complex tissue like cartilage and bone starts with its association with other MSCs in order to form microscopic clusters via ...

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Measuring the Nanoworld

Researchers establish a benchmark for accurate determination of internal dimensions within individual molecules

05-Sep-2018

A worldwide study involving 20 laboratories has established and standardized a method to measure exact distances within individual biomolecules, down to the scale of one millionth of the width of a human hair. The new method represents a major improvement of a technology called single-molecule ...

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Tiny Helpers that Clean Cells

Proteins that assist the natural recycling process in the body

15-Aug-2018

Cells collect, decompose and recycle surplus or damaged cell material. This process, known as autophagy, is important, because cellular waste can be harmful to the entire organism if it accumulates in the cells. Like the treatment of household waste, autophagy requires certain mechanisms and ...

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Biological signalling processes in intelligent materials

Innovative biohybrid systems with information processing functionality

20-Jul-2018

Scientists from the University of Freiburg have developed materials systems that are composed of biological components and polymer materials and are capable of perceiving and processing information. These biohybrid systems were engineered to perform certain functions, such as the counting signal ...

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How to target a gene

Finding proteins important for plant development, DNA repair and gene targeting

08-Mar-2018

All living cells have invented mechanisms to protect their DNA against breaks during duplication and against damage by UV-light or chemicals. A team of biologists led by Prof. Dr. Ralf Reski from the Faculty of Biology of the University of Freiburg, Germany has now found that members of the RecQ ...

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A Pair of RNA Scissors with Many Functions

Arming CRISPR/Cas systems with an enzyme that also controls the translation of genetic information into protein

08-Feb-2018

CRISPR/Cas systems are known as promising “gene scissors” in the genome editing of plants, animals, and microorganisms by targeting specific regions in their DNA – and perhaps they can even be used to correct genetic defects. A team of scientists led by Juliane Behler and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Hess ...

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Opening the cavity floodgates

Biochemists investigate the transport of large proteins through bacterial cell membranes

25-Jan-2018

Every cell is surrounded by a membrane, which ensures the internal biochemical milieu and regulates the exchange of substances with its surroundings. In every cell membrane, there are a large number of transporters that allow only one sort of molecule to pass through. In the case of very small ...

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Personalize your medication dosages

Initial clinical tests show that biosensors could pave the way for a personalized antibiotherapy in the future

18-Jul-2017

Personalized drug therapy, adjusting the dose, dosage intervals, and the duration of treatment to fit individual patients' needs, are getting more and more important. Frequently, medications are dosed in such a way that each patient receives the same standardized amount of a certain drug. ...

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