22/01/2021The neocortex is the part of the brain that humans use to process sensory impressions, store memories, give instructions to the muscles, and plan for the future. These computational processes are possible because each nerve cell is a highly complex miniature computer that communicates with around 10,000 other neurons. This communication happens via special connections called synapses.
20/01/2021Just a few millimetres thick, articular cartilage plays a crucial role in our musculoskeletal system, since it is responsible for smooth (in the truest sense of the word) movement. However, the downside of its particular structure is that even minor injuries do not regenerate. Timely treatment of cartilage damage is therefore essential.
11/01/2021Prof. Volker Busskamp from the University of Bonn has received a "Proof of Concept Grant" worth 150,000 euros from the European Research Council (ERC). He and his team are working at the Eye Clinic of the University Hospital Bonn on a technology to rapidly program human stem cells to photoreceptor for retinal research and treating blindness in the future.
27/11/2020Finding medicines that can kill cancer cells while leaving normal tissue unscathed is a Holy Grail of oncology research. In two new papers, scientists at UC San Francisco and Princeton University present complementary strategies to crack this problem with "smart" cell therapies.
09/11/2020In the quest to image exceedingly small structures and phenomenon with higher precision, scientists have been pushing the limits of optical microscope resolution, but these advances often come with increased complication and cost.
30/10/2020Researchers discover that a specialized part of the chromosomes, essential for a correct cell division, is smaller and weaker in stem cells, when compared to the ones of differentiated cells.
29/10/2020Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a precisely controllable system for mimicking biochemical reaction cascades in cells. This "cell on a chip" is useful not only for studying processes in cells, but also for the development of new synthetic pathways for chemical applications or for biological active substances in medicine.
26/10/2020Stress is present everywhere, even bacteria and plant cells have to cope with it. They express various specific stress proteins, but how exactly this line of defense works is often not clear. A group of scientists headed by Professor Dirk Schneider of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has now discovered a protective mechanism in cyanobacteria as well as in chloroplasts of plant cells.
03/02/2020Regenerative medicine aims to repair the human body after injuries, accidents or major cancer surgery. Unfortunately, we are still not at a stage where this process can achieve optimal results for every conceivable situation. Having said that, various new methods are on the cusp of breakthrough.
03/02/2020Severe wounds heal slowly and leave scars. This is why we have been using regenerative therapies for some time now to accelerate and improve healing. They also help to avoid permanent damage. Still, complex applications like replacing organs or limbs will rather remain vision than become reality for a long time.
01/02/2019Organ-on-a-chip systems are technically a great enhancement of medical research because they facilitate testing of active ingredients on cell cultures in the chambers of a plastic chip. This replaces animal testing and improves patient safety. That being said, they are not a true-to-life replication of the human body and can only simulate a few functions and activities.