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Safeguarding the cell nucleus

Damage to this biological security system is detrimental to cells, and has been associated with cancer and neurodegenerative diseases

02-Feb-2022

The nucleus is guarded by a highly secure door, the so-called nuclear pore, that controls the transport of substances from the cytoplasm to the cell nucleus and back. A research group at the University of Basel has now shown that different shuttle proteins occupy the nuclear pore to prevent ...

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T cells: No time to die

Researchers reveal unrecognized pathway essential for T cell viability

29-Dec-2021

They are at the forefront in the fight against viruses, bacteria, and malignant cells: the T cells of our immune system. But the older we get, the fewer of them our body produces. Thus, how long we remain healthy also depends on how long the T cells survive. Researchers at the University of Basel ...

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Tracking down microplastics in Antarctica

Microplastics are everywhere, even in the most remote places. Where do these tiny pieces of plastic come from?

01-Dec-2021

Microplastics are an environmental problem since organisms ingest these tiny particles and can be harmed by them. Even remote regions such as Antarctica are affected. To quantify this form of pollution and find out where the small particles come from, a research team from the Department of ...

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Immune cells versus persistent viruses: with a little help from my friends

Memory T helper cells prevent panic reaction

12-Nov-2021

Viruses such as HIV or the pathogen that causes hepatitis C can overwhelm the immune system. One approach to developing vaccines for these chronic infections has until now been aimed exclusively at what are known as the memory B cells, a specific type of immune cells. Researchers at the ...

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How mercury gets into the sea

Chemical fingerprint reveals origin

04-Oct-2021

Mercury released into the atmosphere by industry enters the sea and from there makes its way into the food chain. Now, an analysis by the University of Basel has revealed how the harmful substance enters seawater in the first place. This is not primarily via rainfall, as previously assumed, but ...

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Manganese could make luminescent materials and the conversion of sunlight more sustainable

06-Aug-2021

University of Basel researchers have reached an important milestone in their quest to produce more sustainable luminescent materials and catalysts for converting sunlight into other forms of energy. Based on the cheap metal manganese, they have developed a new class of compounds with promising ...

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Stretching changes the electronic properties of graphene

The electronic properties of graphene can be specifically modified by stretching the material evenly

05-Jul-2021

Graphene consists of a single layer of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. The material is very flexible and has excellent electronic properties, making it attractive for numerous applications – electronic components in particular. Researchers led by Professor Christian Schönenberger at ...

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New class of substances for redox reactions

Pyrazinacenes can be reversibly oxidized and reduced

17-Mar-2021

An interdisciplinary, multinational research team presents a new class of chemical compounds that can be reversibly oxidized and reduced. The compounds known as 'pyrazinacenes' are simple, stable compounds that consist of a series of connected nitrogen-containing carbon rings. They are suitable ...

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An artificial cell on a chip

Efficient microfluidic technology produces tailor-made enzyme-loaded vesicles

29-Oct-2020

Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a precisely controllable system for mimicking biochemical reaction cascades in cells. Using microfluidic technology, they produce miniature polymeric reaction containers equipped with the desired properties. This “cell on a chip” is useful not ...

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How bacteria adhere to fiber in the gut

Two binding modes allow bacteria to stick to surfaces under flow

01-Sep-2020

Researchers have revealed a new molecular mechanism by which bacteria adhere to cellulose fibers in the human gut. Thanks to two different binding modes, they can withstand the shear forces in the body. Scientists of the University of Basel and ETH Zurich published their results in the journal ...

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