Archives for October 2016

Building “a small universe:” the very model of a laboratory – Klaus Rajewsky reflects on over 50 years of excellent research and the lab culture that made it possible

In the early 1960s Klaus Rajewsky began creating what later became, as he calls it, a “small universe”: the immunology department at the Institute for Genetics in Cologne, where he would remain for 38 years. It’s a model of how excellent science can be done against a changing landscape of ideas, technologies, and careers, producing […]

Genome editing: efficient CRISPR experiments in mouse cells

The new program “CrispRGold” program helps scientists to identify the most effective and specific RNA sequences for use genome editing experiments. It has been devised by a group of researchers headed by Prof. Klaus Rajewsky and is now described in the journal PNAS. The team has also developed a new mouse model that already carries the Cas9 protein.

BIMSB boosts cancer research with new research group on “Evolutionary and Cancer Genomics” headed by Roland Schwarz

Bioinformatician Roland Schwarz has been lead investigator of the new BIMSB junior research group on “Evolutionary and Cancer Genomics” since October 2016. Schwarz wants his work, particularly in the area of cancer research, to contribute towards ensuring that diseases are diagnosed earlier and treated more effectively.

Jennifer Kirwan named head of the BIH Metabolomics Core Facility

Mass spectrometry metabolomics at the MDC now has a second leg to stand on: On October 1, Dr. Jennifer Kirwan took up her position as the new head of the Metabolomics Core Facility of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH), which is situated at the MDC. Dr. Stefan Kempa, who has been in charge until now, will continue to head the Metabolomics Core Facility within BIMSB.

New brick in PKA Legoland adds complexity to a picture we thought we knew well

Protein Kinase A (PKA) is a protein that enjoys enough fame to be sketched by young biochemists listening to lectures about how it is regulated. The fundamental kinase is present throughout the body with a role in countless processes. It’s easy to think PKA is so well studied that we know everything about it, but scientists at the MDC have found a new layer of PKA regulation which was published this week in Nature Communications.

A naked mole-rat in the lab. Image: Laura-Nadine Schuhmacher, Cambridge University.

How the naked mole-rat escapes inflammatory pain

In injuries and inflammation, naked mole-rats do not develop normal hypersensitivity to temperature stimuli. This is due to a tiny change in a receptor molecule on cells called TrkA, as a research team from the MDC has now discovered. The work, which appears in the journal Cell Reports, may be important for pain therapy in humans.

The life cycle of proteins

Some proteins behave in an unusual way: the older they become, the more stable they are. A research team at the MDC has now published this surprising finding in the journal Cell. Their work has traced the life cycle of thousands of proteins from synthesis to disposal. The results are relevant for diseases where there are surplus copies of certain genes.