Understanding how microbiota thrive in their human hosts

A research team lead by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology, Tübingen, has now made substantial progress in understanding how gut bacteria succeed in their human hosts on a molecular level. They investigated how bacteria produce inositol lipids, substances vital for many cellular processes in humans and other eukaryotes but hitherto rarely observed in bacteria. The results, now published in the journal Nature Microbiology, indicate that inositol lipids have implications for the symbiosis between the bacteria and their hosts.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Mass spectrometry-based draft of the mouse proteome

Proteins control and organize almost every aspect of life. The totality of all proteins in a living organism, a tissue or a cell is called the proteome. Using mass spectrometry, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) characterize the proteome, or protein complement of the genome, in important model organisms. In 2014, a team at the Chair of Proteomics and Bioanalytics reported a draft human proteome for the first time, followed by that of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in 2020, and now that of the most common laboratory mouse.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Silence for thought: special interneuron networks in the human brain

The analysis of the human brain is a central goal of neuroscience. However, for methodological reasons, research has largely focused on model organisms, in particular the mouse. Now, neuroscientists gained novel insights on human neural circuitry using tissue obtained from neurosurgical interventions. Three-dimensional electron microscope data revealed a novel expanded network of interneurons in humans compared to mouse. The discovery of this prominent network component in the human cortex encourages further detailed analysis of its function in health and disease.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Systematic warming pool discovered in the Pacific due to human activities

A long-term, increasingly warming pool of water in the northeast Pacific was recently discovered by a team of researchers from Universität Hamburg’s Cluster of Excellence CLICCS. It measures three million square kilometers, resulted from increased anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions, and is conducive to extreme heatwaves in the northeast Pacific.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Scientists Transplant Human Photoreceptors to Successfully Recover Daylight Perception in Mice

Dresden scientists developed a robust method to produce a high number of human photoreceptor cells and used them to restore daylight perception in mice with degenerated eyesight.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

The gut microbiome as a health compass

Jena. The human microbiome can provide information regarding the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This has been discovered by an international team led by the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology – Hans Knöll Institute. The researchers developed a model that can predict the possible course of the disease based on the microbial composition in the intestine. The study is published in Science Translational Medicine.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

New insights on the path to curing chronic HIV infections

AIDS, an immunodeficiency disease caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), is one of the ten leading causes of death worldwide. Thanks to antiviral therapies, the disease can be treated, but there is still no cure. A large-scale comparative study by scientists at the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf indicates a critical role of a group of specialised immune cells in suppressing the antiviral immune response of HIV-infected patients.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Your Liver Is Just Under Three Years Old

An international team of scientists used retrospective radiocarbon birth dating to show that the human liver stays young throughout life and is on average less than three years old.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

New models for rare diseases provide new insights

A team of scientists from the Medical Faculty of the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and the IUF – Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine in Düsseldorf developed a multicellular model for human neurometabolic diseases associated with mitochondrial complex I deficiency and identified a potential therapeutic compound as well as its underlying mechanism. The results of this study were recently published in the renowned scientific journal Nature Communications.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Watch dolphins line up to self-medicate skin ailments at coral “clinics”

If a human comes down with a rash, they might go to the doctor and come away with some ointment to put on it. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins get skin conditions, too, but they come about their medication by queuing up nose-to-tail to rub themselves against corals. In the journal iScience on May 19, researchers show that these corals have medicinal properties, suggesting that the dolphins are using the marine invertebrates to medicate skin conditions.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

EBiSC2 and FAIRplus are improving FAIRness of stem cell data

The FAIRplus and EBiSC2 projects are joining forces to improve how ‘FAIR’ standards (Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability and Reusability) can be applied to human induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) line data. The joint effort will improve how iPSC line data can be made more findable, standardized and reusable for researchers.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

A repair program for the heart

Following a heart attack, the human body is incapable of repairing lost tissue due to the heart’s inability to generate new muscle. However, treatment with heart progenitor cells could result in the formation of functional heart cells at injured sites. This new therapeutic approach is introduced by an international team in Nature Cell Biology. The aim is to start clinical studies within the next two years.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Structure of key protein for cell division puzzles researchers

Human cell division involves hundreds of proteins at its core. Knowing the 3D structure of these proteins is pivotal to understand how our genetic material is duplicated and passed through generations. The groups of Andrea Musacchio and Stefan Raunser at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund are now able to reveal the first detailed structure of a key protein complex for human cell division known as CCAN. By using cryo-electron microscopy, the researchers show important features of the complex’s 16 components and challenge previous assumptions about how the complex is able to recognize the centromere, a crucial region of chromosomes in cell division.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

The genetic origins of the world’s first farmers clarified

The genetic origins of the first agriculturalists in the Neolithic period long seemed to lie in the Near East. A new study published in the journal Cell shows that the first farmers actually represented a mixture of Ice Age hunter-gatherer groups, spread from the Near East all the way to south-eastern Europe. Researchers from the University of Bern and the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics as well as from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the University of Fribourg were involved in the study. The method they developed could help reveal other human evolution patterns with unmatched resolution.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Perfluorinated Chemicals: Pollution is underestimated

Per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) can have harmful effects on human health and the environment. They are still used in numerous everyday products. Together with an international team of researchers, scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon investigated water samples from German and Chinese rivers affected by industrial point sources. Using an innovative method, they identified almost 60 substances that are overlooked by conventional analysis of well-known PFAS. Eight substances were detected in the environment for the first time. The study has been published in Environmental Science & Technology today.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Comprehensive map of human blood stem cell development

Scientists have created a new roadmap that traces each step in the development of blood stem cells in the human embryo, providing scientists with a blueprint for producing fully functional blood stem cells in the lab. The research could help expand treatment options for blood cancers like leukemia and inherited blood disorders such as sickle cell disease.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Gene deletion behind anomaly in blood cancer cells

Although clinical labs have known for almost a century that a oddly shaped nucleus resembling pince-nez glasses in blood cells could indicate leukemia, the cause of this anomaly remained unknown. Scientists have now discovered that loss of nuclear Lamin B1 induces defects in the nuclear morphology and in human hematopoietic [blood-forming] stem cells associated with malignancy. The scientists went on to detail that lamin B1 deficiency alters genome organization. This in turn causes expansion of blood-forming stem cells, a bias towards their becoming myeloids, genome instability due to defective DNA damage repair and other problems that set the stage for cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Gene deletion behind anomaly in blood cancer cells

Although clinical labs have known for almost a century that a oddly shaped nucleus resembling pince-nez glasses in blood cells could indicate leukemia, the cause of this anomaly remained unknown. Scientists have now discovered that loss of nuclear Lamin B1 induces defects in the nuclear morphology and in human hematopoietic [blood-forming] stem cells associated with malignancy. The scientists went on to detail that lamin B1 deficiency alters genome organization. This in turn causes expansion of blood-forming stem cells, a bias towards their becoming myeloids, genome instability due to defective DNA damage repair and other problems that set the stage for cancer.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Hands, feet, and fins: The connection that explains acral melanoma

Scientists are using zebrafish to understand human skin cancer that attacks the hands and feet.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Hands, feet, and fins: The connection that explains acral melanoma

Scientists are using zebrafish to understand human skin cancer that attacks the hands and feet.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Researchers identify key complex for ribosome generation

Researchers have identified a four-protein complex that appears to play a key role in generating ribosomes — organelles that serve as protein factories for cells — as well as a surprising part in neurodevelopmental disorders. The findings could lead to new ways to manipulate ribosome production, which could impact a variety of conditions that affect human health.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

New study reveals why HIV remains in human tissue even after antiretroviral therapy

Thanks to antiretroviral therapy, HIV infection is no longer the life sentence it once was. But despite the effectiveness of drugs to manage and treat the virus, it can never be fully eliminated from the human body, lingering in some cells deep in different human tissues where it goes unnoticed by the immune system. Now, new research by University of Alberta immunologist Shokrollah Elahi reveals a possible answer to the mystery of why infected people can’t get rid of HIV altogether. Elahi and his team found that in HIV patients, killer T cells — a type of white blood cells responsible for identifying and destroying cells infected with viruses — have very little to none of a protein called CD73. Because CD73 is responsible for migration and cell movement into the tissue, the lack of the protein compromises the ability of killer T cells to find and eliminate HIV-infected cells, explained Elahi.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Atossa – The Protein Queen Commanding Cell Invasion

Immune cells are our body’s police force, but how can they reach the crime scene fast? At the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) researchers have now discovered a new protein that boosts energy production inside immune cells and thus increases their power to invade. Apart from improving immune responses, the results, published in the EMBO journal, could revolutionize our understanding of energy regulation in cells throughout the human body.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Class II PI3K lipid kinase: Structure of novel drug target resolved

Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, or PI3K for short, is a family of lipid kinases that plays a key role in the human body, performing functions such as cell division, metabolism, and cell growth. While class I PI3Kα is well-researched and an important target for cancer drugs, little is known about class II of this lipid kinase family. Now, researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) have been able to shed light on its structure and function. The results pave the way for the development of new types of antithrombotic drugs. Moreover, it is likely that the inhibition of class II PI3KC2α is able to arrest tumor angiogenesis.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

‚Drug factory‘ implants eliminate ovarian, colorectal cancer in mice

Bioengineers have shown they can eradicate advanced-stage ovarian and colorectal cancer in mice in as little as six days with a treatment that could be ready for human clinical trials later this year.

Quelle: Sciencedaily