Archives for December 2015

Changing Architecture: A new understanding of the spatial organization of our genome

It has now been 15 years since scientists celebrated the completion of the human genome. At that point, scientists had determined the entire sequence of the genetic letters making up our DNA. It is now known that this was only an initial step in a long journey: in addition to the chemical letters, information is […]

175 gifts for children’s home

“Mission more than accomplished”: Last year, Manuel Hessenberger from the Daumke lab had organized 30 parcels for children living in a children’s home of the Elisabethstift in Pankow. He said that he hoped for a hundred gifts in the following year. Well, it turned out that this year 175 people bought a parcel. If you […]

Technology transfer success: US approval for bleeding disorder drug

“VONVENDI [von Willebrand factor (Recombinant)]”, the new drug from Baxalta Incorporated, a global biopharmaceutical company recently spun off from Baxter International, has just been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. It is the first, and so far the only, recombinant protein for the treatment of von Willebrand disease, and offers those affected […]

Finding the regulators

Eleonora Adami of the Hübner lab links the regulation of protein synthesis to disease in the best PhD student paper of 2015 Boarding an international flight these days requires passing through layers of checkpoints and controls. Molecules experience even more complex layers of regulation as the information in DNA is used to produce proteins. This […]

Watching the ribosome at work

A new statistical method could help to clarify the function of unknown genes. A research team under Uwe Ohler of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) has adapted and tested a filter method from speech signal processing that makes sequencing data more interpretable. First […]

LRP2: An old friend turns out to be a multitasker

How many different roles can a single protein play in the body? The LRP2 protein is not only responsible for the clearance of substances from the glomerular filtrate in the kidney, it also affects brain development. MDC researcher Dr. Annabel Christ and her colleagues have now discovered that the development of the eye is also […]

How Max Delbrück made the “quantum leap” from light to molecular biology

Thoughts on the ‘International Year of Light 2015’ As the days draw in, we “let there be light” by switching on lamps or lighting candles in our homes – usually without giving it a second thought. Physics understands light from a more prosaic point of view: as a high-frequency electromagnetic wave. Strictly speaking, what we […]

How to translocate genes, prominent scientists, and some really big fish

On November 2, Fred Alt, Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at Harvard University, spoke to a full house in the Axon as the first speaker in a new seminar series called the MDC Lectures. The series, coordinated by former Scientific Director Walter Birchmeier, was the brainchild of the Extended Directorate, and will host one high-ranking […]

Drug against aggressive leukemia gets approval for Europe

The drug Blincyto (Blinatumomab) has now been approved by the European Medicines Agency. Blinatumomab is used to treat patients with a very aggressive form of blood cancer, and is the result of work carried out at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) over ten years ago. Start-up company Micromet […]

Biologist brews Berlin’s best beer

Cristal Peck grew up in Gippsland, a region of Australia renowned for its milk, brown coal and giant earthworms. After studying biology in Melbourne she worked in research and teaching until it occurred to her that it was time for an overseas adventure. Cristal moved to Berlin, started work as a biologist at MDC and […]