Michael Boutros to become acting DKFZ Chairman and Scientific Director
The DKFZ Board of Trustees has confirmed today that Professor Michael Boutros will become acting Chairman and Scientific Member of the Management Board of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ). He will be temporary successor to Professor Otmar D. Wiestler, who is assuming the position of President of the Helmholtz Association in Berlin on September 1, 2015. Boutros will be leading the DKFZ jointly with its Administrative-Commercial Director, Professor Josef Puchta.
Snapshot of the immune system
The immune system of every human being may have up to several hundred thousand different T cells that vary from each other by virtue of their receptors. This enormous diversity is the basis of the body's powerful immune defenses. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg have developed a sequencing method with which they can precisely analyze the human T cell receptor repertoire. This makes it possible to study how the immune system responds to disease.
Lemon juice and human norovirus
Citric acid may prevent the highly contagious norovirus from infecting humans, scientists discovered from the German Cancer Research Center. Therefore, lemon juice could be a potentially safe and practical disinfectant against the most common pathogen of severe gastrointestinal infections.
Emergency program ensures blood coagulation
During infections, the body frequently suffers severe loss of platelets, or thrombocytes. This can result in serious health problems such as hemorrhage and even septic shock. Until now, it has not been known how the body rapidly furnishes the necessary quantity of thrombocytes to promote coagulation following their stress-related loss.
Early recall rates decline after second round of lung cancer screening
Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center have published results from the “Lung Cancer Screening Intervention Trial” (LUSI): The early repeat scan rate for suspicious findings decreased by more than 80% with the second and subsequent low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screens, but emphasizes the need to have an organized screening program with the baseline scan available for comparison.
A single mutation can drive stem cells to tumour formation
Errors in the genome of stem cells often lead to cancer. This is especially true when the mutation inhibits differentiation of stem cells into mature cells. Bruce Edgar and colleagues from the Heidelberg DKFZ-ZMBH-Alliance analysed this process in the fruit fly Drosophila. The results have just been published in the journal "Nature Cell Biology".
Licensed B cells induce immunotolerance
In order to protect organs against attacks by the immune system, the body has developed complex protective mechanisms. For instance, T cells that are directed against the body's own proteins are selected out in the thymus. Scientists at the Ludwig-Maximilian-University (LMU) in Munich and the German Cancer Research Center have now discovered that B cells migrating into the thymus also contribute to immunotolerance. On entering the thymus, they alter their molecular makeup and become "licensed" to induce tolerance.
How Human Cells Can Dissolve Damaging Protein Aggregates
Cellular repair systems can dissolve aggregated proteins andnow Heidelberg researchers have successfully decoded the fundamental mechanism that is key to dissolving these protein aggregates in human cells.Their in-vitro experiments uncovered a multi-stage biochemical process in which protein molecules are dissolved from the aggregates.Researchers at the Center for Molecular Biology at Heidelberg University, the German Cancer Research Center and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies collaborated on the project, along with other scientists from Germany, the USA and Switzerland.The results of their research were published in “Nature”.
The world’s fastest nanoscopy method
Researchers led by Stefan Hell at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have tremendously increased the imaging speed of high-resolution optical STED nanoscopy. Their results, which they have now published in “Nature Methods”, show that imaging of up to 1,000 frames per second is possible. This facilitates taking high-resolution videos at millisecond temporal resolution, for example, of transport processes in living neurons or of viruses exploring the surface of a cell before entering it, the researchers reported in first application examples.
An alarm clock for dormant brain stem cells
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) generated a molecular profile of neural stem cells from the brains of mice. They discovered that a chemical messenger called interferon-gamma awakens certain neural stem cells from dormancy and induces their activation. The messenger substance, which is released in response to oxygen deficiency or damage incurred, may possibly be used to specifically activate brain stem cells in the wake of injuries or during degenerative diseases.