Why does it take so long for new therapies to emerge from basic research? This is a question that researchers at the MDC and beyond encounter frequently. For us it was also the starting point for a film – and food for thought about the value of basic research.
Nature study shows: Salt reduces lactic acid bacteria in the gut whichs influences immune cells responsible for autoimmune diseases and hypertension. Probiotics ameliorate the symptoms in mice.
The RSPCA and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) are bringing together experts from 16 countries to reduce the number of lab animals experiencing severe suffering.
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.
The calls of new-born mice draw the attention of their mother. A group of neuronal cells in the brain stem, which coordinate exhalation and tension of muscles in the larynx is essential for this process. Without these cells, the mice are mute. These are the results of a study by a research team at the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin, which appears in the journal PNAS. The cries of human babies may well depend on similar connections, which could also be impaired in speech disorders.
The signaling molecule interferon gamma is produced by T-cells and it plays a key role in T-cell therapy. It cuts off the blood supply to tumors, as a new study in the journal Nature reveals.
When oxygen gets scarce, the naked mole-rat throws a metabolic switch to draw energy from fructose rather than glucose.
The aim of over 60 research groups working at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) is to understand the molecular basis of the processes underlying states of health and disease. In some cases, this research requires the use of animals alongside many other types of experiments.
When oxygen runs low in their underground burrows, naked mole rats have a unique method of survival. Their metabolism switches from a glucose-based system, which depends on oxygen, to one that makes use of fructose. For a while this suffices to protect sensitive organs such as the heart and brain.
We’ve all heard it: eating salty foods makes you thirstier. But what sounds like good nutritional advice turns out to be an old-wives’ tale. In a study carried out during a simulated mission to Mars, an international group of scientists has found exactly the opposite to be true. “Cosmonauts” who ate more salt retained more water, weren’t as thirsty, and needed more energy.