A quota for women in science?
Attracting more women to senior positions in science is a challenge most research institutes in Germany are presently facing. Whether and how this can be achieved as well as the potential role of imposing a “quota for women” will be discussed at a conference entitled “Quote, Quark(s) und Qualität” (quota, quark(s)* and quality) that will be held on November 26-27, 2015, at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg. The conference is organized by the working group “Women in Research Centers” of the Helmholtz Association.
Surprising signal to control male fertility
Sperm cells mature during their transit in the epididymis and thus acquire their ability to fertilize ova. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg and the Institute of Molecular Biology in Mainz have now discovered that signaling molecules of the Wnt family of proteins coordinate this maturation process. A surprising finding is that Wnt signaling, which is extremely important in embryonic development and also in the development of diseases, acts upon spermatozoa in a way that differs from the known one. The work has now been published in the journal “Cell”.
Possible New Mechanism for Aspirin’s Role in Cancer Prevention
Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA, “Aspirin”), has been shown to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer and possibly other cancers. However, the risk of side effects, including in some cases severe gastrointestinal bleeding, makes it necessary to better understand the mechanisms by which aspirin acts at low doses before recommending it more generally as a preventative, says Cornelia Ulrich, PhD. Ulrich, former Director of Preventive Oncology at the National Center of Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg, now moved to the position of Senior Director of Population Sciences at Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.
How the immune system recognizes cancer: 2015 Meyenburg Award for Ton Schumacher
Immunologist Ton Schumacher from the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam is being honored with the 2015 Meyenburg Award, which carries a €50,000 monetary prize. He receives the award for his excellent work on mechanisms of immune defense against cancer. Schumacher was able to show in seminal studies that successful immune defense against cancer depends on altered protein structures that form in tumor cells as a result of genomic mutations. The Meyenburg Award was presented on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at a symposium held at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in Heidelberg.
Tobacco Atlas Germany 2015: New data, new facts
In Germany, 121,000 people die from the consequences of smoking each year. This means that smoking is implicated in 13.5 percent of all deaths. The death rate from smoking is higher in the north of Germany than in the south of the country. These regional variations reflect variations in the smoking behavior in the German states. Across all states, more men than women die from the health consequences of smoking. Following the first report of this type in 2009, the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) now presents its second Tobacco Atlas, which again summarizes current data and facts about tobacco use, health hazards that are associated with it as well as consequences for society.
A Cray-active Solution for Cancer Research
Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg have discovered a new species which is helping them understand epigenetics: the marbled crayfish. Procambarus virginalis appears to have evolved 30 years ago from the American slough crayfish in a single step and has since spread across the globe. All individuals examined so far have been female. They reproduce by parthenogenesis (without the help of a male, where the unfertilized ovum develops directly into a new individual), and possess completely identical genetic makeup. Differences between individuals in appearance or behaviour must therefore result from epigenetic processes. Cancer too can also have epigenetic causes, which makes the marbled crayfish an extremely interesting model for cancer research.
Malignant network makes brain cancer resistant
Glioblastoma is the most malignant type of brain cancer. Physicians and scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and from Heidelberg University Hospital have now reported in “Nature” that glioblastoma cells are connected to each other by long cellular extensions. The cancer cells use this network for communication, thus protecting themselves from damage inflicted by therapy. When the researchers blocked the network formation, the cancer cells invaded the brain less successfully, and responded better to radiation therapy.
Swiss Bridge Award for research on breast cancer stem cells
Andreas Trumpp from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg Institute for Stem Cell Technology and Experimental Medicine (HI-STEM) has been awarded this year’s Swiss Bridge Award for his research on cancer stem cells. He shares the budget of 500,000 Swiss francs that comes with the award with Joerg Huelsken from the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne. Trumpp plans to use the money to finance a large-scale project that aims to characterize breast cancer stem cells in the next three years. The goal is to develop novel combination therapies that are also effective against metastases. Trumpp will pursue this project in collaboration with Andreas Schneeweiss of the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg.
“A cordial welcome” - DKFZ staff donate for refugees
More than 950 bags filled with urgently needed in-kind gifts for children and adults, along with five moving boxes filled with sneakers: The staff of the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) very generously supported a donation initiative for refugees. On Wednesday, October 28, 2015, the donations were handed over to the charity “Diakonisches Werk” at its counseling center in Heidelberg’s Patrick-Henry Village refugee shelter.
Comment on the report about increased cancer risk from meat and processed meat
By Harald zur Hausen, Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2008, former DKFZ Chairman and Scientific Director from 1983 until 2003