Ralph Kettritz’s group discovers a unique mechanism by which white blood cells silence a gene involved in autoimmune diseases.
Transferring MDC inventions into pharmaceuticals and therapies – this is the mission driving MDC’s department of technology transfer. Their latest achievement, a pharmaceutical substance for atrial fibrillation developed by MDC spin-off OMEICOS Therapeutics, is now entering clinical trials.
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.
Prof. Thomas J. Jentsch knows: Results from basic research in biology sometimes can quickly become relevant for medicine. He tells us how this happened with one of his subjects of research.
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.
Medical imaging has an unavoidable side effect: MRI machines generate heat. Thoralf Niendorf has now been awarded an ERC Advanced grant to turn this feature into a tool to study the role of temperature in animal bodies. A second ERC Advanced Grant goes to Thomas Jentsch, who will explore the functions of ion channels in health and disease.
Cells have to pack their genetic material into the tiny nucleus. This creates spatial interactions between genes and their switches, which can affect human health and disease. A new technique ‘maps’ this three-dimensional geography of the genome.
Moving from mitochondrial research to stem cell biology gave Alessandro Prigione new tools and perspectives. Now he has made a model of mitochondrial disease from stem cells with promising results.
Francesca Spagnoli’s team reprogrammed cells from the liver of mice to become precursor cells of the pancreas by altering a single gene. The results could help diabetics in the future.
Some diseases are untreatable because we lack a model system to fully understand symptoms or test possible drugs. This is the case of mitochondrial disease, a rare condition caused by defects in the “cellular powerhouse.” MDC scientists developed the first human stem-cell based system to find drugs to fight mitochondrial disease.