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Mechanism discovered how the coronavirus hijacks the cell

A starting point for vaccine and drug development

15-Sep-2020

Researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bern have discovered a mechanism by which the corona virus manipulates human cells to ensure its own replication. This knowledge will help to develop drugs and vaccines against the corona virus. Like a pirate hijacking a ship, a virus takes control ...

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Bern coronavirus clone goes "viral"

Rapid reconstruction of SARS-CoV-2 using a synthetic genomics platform

05-May-2020

Researchers in virology and veterinary bacteriology at the University of Bern have cloned the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The synthetic clones are being used by research groups worldwide to test corona samples, find antiviral drugs and develop vaccines as quickly as possible. The method ...

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Breakthrough in malaria research

18-Nov-2019

An international scientific consortium led by the cell biologists Volker Heussler from the University of Bern and Oliver Billker from the Umeå University in Sweden has for the first time systematically investigated the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium throughout its life cycle in a ...

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Cancer control: Structure of important transport protein solved

Discovery of promising binding site

21-Jun-2019

For the first time, Bernese researchers have been able to solve the structure of a transport protein and thus to describe the functional mechanism that plays a significant role in the survival of cancer cells. This is an important step towards developing effective inhibitors and fight tumor ...

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Turbocharger for the cell machinery

14-Jan-2019

The classic molecular-biological narrative has a simple form: Gene-RNA-protein. This is what we learned in school: DNA is transcribed into RNA. In the protein factories (the so-called ribosomes), the RNA serves as a kind of punch card - the proteins are assembled by the machinery exactly ...

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An unusual delivery service

01-Sep-2017

Is it better to produce locally or to import? That can be a crucial question for simple lifeforms as well. Mitochondria, the power plants of the cell, have their own protein factories although the cell apparatus could easily do the job for them. A special species of eukaryotes even has all the ...

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Cut the long story short – and stitch it back together

22-Mar-2017

A species of unicellular ciliate has found a special trick to make use of the cellular machinery in seemingly impossible ways. Researchers of the NCCR «RNA & Disease – The Role of RNA Biology in Disease Mechanisms» of the University of Bern have for the first time described a mechanism in detail ...

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How lipids are flipped

14-Aug-2015

A team of researchers at ETH Zurich and the University of Bern has succeeded in determining the structure of a lipid flippase at high resolution, which has provided insight into how this membrane protein transports lipids by flipping. Biological membranes have a fundamental role, countless vital ...

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