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How bacteria reinforce their protective shield against stress

When infecting a host, pathogens not only need to evade the immune defense but also to survive diverse living conditions, such as the acidic conditions in the stomach or the salty intestinal environment. Gram negative…


Protective shield: How pathogens withstand acidic environments in the body

Each year, thousands of patients in Swiss hospitals become infected with dangerous pathogens that can hardly be controlled with antibiotics. The methicillin-resistant bacterium Staphylococcus aureus , MRSA for short, is…


Yin and Yang: Two signaling molecules control growth and behavior in bacteria

Whether they are pathogens, deep-sea microbes or soil-dwelling organisms, in order to survive, microorganisms must be able to adapt rapidly to diverse changes in their environment, including nutrient depletion. Bacteria owe…


Artificial Intelligence Tools shed light on millions of proteins

In the past years, AlphaFold has revolutionised protein science. This Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool was trained on protein data collected by life scientists for over 50 years, and is able to predict the 3D shape of…


Highlights

Biozentrum Highlights Nobel Prize 1978 | Prof. Werner Arber Emeritus page Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award 2017 | Prof. Michael N. Hall Research Group Michael Hall Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences 2014 | Prof.…


Gene transfer keeps bacteria fit

Bartonella are bacteria that can cause diverse infectious diseases in man, such as cat-scratch disease. In order to prevent the accumulation of mutations during the infection cycle, pathogens require efficient DNA repair…


Neutralizing antibodies control bacterial infection

Bartonella are bacteria that are transmitted from blood-sucking insects to mammals, including humans. There they enter the red blood cells and cause various symptoms. An example of such a human infection with a worldwide…


Blood vessel formation: how the vascular cells respond to blood pressure

Throughout our body there is a dense, widely ramified network of blood vessels. It is estimated to be about 150,000 kilometers in length. The vessels supply all cells, even those in most far away regions of the body with…


Researchers discover new anti-cancer protein

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled in Switzerland. Hepatocellular carcinoma is usually diagnosed at…


Diversity in the brain: New genes create new cell types

With its hundreds of thousands of nerve cells, the vertebrate brain is the most complex organ in the animal kingdom. During vertebrate evolution not only have the number of neurons and consequently the volume of the brain…