The immune system must constantly adapt to its environment in order to protect a body effectively. The so-called T cells are an important example in this regard. Researchers recently examined the surface of precursors of these T cells and identified previously unknown proteins there. According to the scientists, the results could supply approaches to new therapies in the area of asthma and allergies.
Engineers have created a functional, synthetic immune organ that produces antibodies and can be controlled in the lab, completely separate from a living organism. The engineered organ has implications for everything from rapid production of immune therapies to new frontiers in cancer or infectious disease research.
Scientists have developed a microfluidic chip that simultaneously analyses the reactions of several human organ tissues when they come into contact with candidates for new drugs. The ground-breaking device could save millions of euros in drug development costs.
Researchers successfully developed a novel method enabling selective transformation of carboxyl groups, a common structure in many drugs and natural products.Synthesis of amino acids and drug candidates from acetic acid.
Scientists have uncovered crucial steps in the dynamic dance that dilates and constricts the nuclear pore complex - the latest advance in their ongoing efforts to tease apart the mechanism by which its central channel admits specific molecules. Their work, based on quantitative biophysical data, has revealed that the nuclear pore complex is much more than the inert structure it was once thought to be.
Researchers have for the first time succeeded in recording a binary code on a synthetic polymer. Inspired by the capacity of DNA to retain an enormous amount of genetic information, scientist synthesized and read a multi-bit message on an artificial polymer.
The hippocampus plays a crucial role in memory formation. However, it is not yet fully understood in what way that brain structure's individual regions are involved in the formation of memories. Neuroscientists now have recreated this process with the aid of computer simulations.
Another step forward has just been taken in the area of synthetic biology. Researchers have transformed bacteria into 'secret agents' that can give warning of a disease based solely on the presence of characteristic molecules in the urine or blood. To perform this feat, the researchers inserted the equivalent of a computer programme into the DNA of the bacterial cells.
Like a dairy farmer tending to a herd of cows to produce milk, researchers are tending to colonies of the bacteria Escherichia coli to produce new forms of antibiotics - including three that show promise in fighting drug-resistant bacteria.
The DNA encoding all life on Earth is made of four building blocks called nucleotides, commonly known as 'letters', that line up in pairs and twist into a double helix. Now, two groups of scientists are reporting for the first time that two new nucleotides can do the same thing - raising the possibility that entirely new proteins could be created for medical uses.