Science

Message transmitters at work

Using a single-molecule microscopy, an international team of researchers has observed live for the first time G protein-coupled receptors that perform critical functions such as mediating the biological effects of hormones. Their findings, published in the science journal Nature, could help in the search for new drugs.

The logistics of neuronal messenger RNAs

Where proteins are localized within a cell is crucial to their proper function, especially in cells like neurons. It affects neuronal development and even learning and memory. A research team led by Marina Chekulaeva has for the first time systematically analyzed how this localization comes about. Their article appeared in Nature Communications.

Study provides more clarity on the genetic causes of children’s food allergies

What role do genes play in egg, milk, and nut allergies? A study published in Nature Communications, led by the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC) and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, has found five genetic risk loci that point to the importance of skin and mucous membrane barriers and the immune system in the development of food allergies.

A protein in the brain links body weight, metabolism and activity

For many obese people gaining weight is a vicious cycle. Scientists at the MDC have now uncovered a contributing factor: genetic variants linked to obesity cause the brain to produce too much of a protein called Cadm1. The result is a disruption in the regulation of body weight and changes in behavior and metabolism, as reported by Matthew Poy and his colleagues in Nature Neuroscience.

2nd International Symposium on Renal Imaging: The Kidney in the Crosshairs

On Oct. 11-13 this year the MDC is collaborating with the Charité and the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in hosting the Second International Symposium on Functional Renal Imaging. Thoralf Niendorf, head of the Experimental Ultrahigh Field MR group at the MDC, explains what is attracting a highly interdisciplinary community to the kidney and to the MDC campus.