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Genetic engineering in research: same same, but different

The cell envelope is covered with a wide variety of receptor proteins. They are the sensors to the environment, perceive signals such as the availability of nutrients and transmit this information to the inside of the cell.…


Multiple treatments to slow age-related muscle wasting

We now live longer than at any point in human history, but to enjoy those extra years, we need to remain healthy, mobile and independent. With age, however, our muscles inevitably lose mass and strength. This age-related…


Tackling the Achilles' heel of pneumonia-causing bacteria

According to the WHO, more than one million people worldwide die of pneumococcal infections every year. Young children, elderly and immunocompromised persons are particularly affected. After the introduction of…


New method: Small cell organelles make it big

Although cells are separated from the outside world by a membrane, they can still sense well what is happening around them. They capture hormones and nutrients such as sugar, iron or cholesterol and bring them packed in…


Who am I? How cells find their identity

The origin of every cell of our body is a single cell, the fertilized egg. On the way to become a specialized cell, whether blood, heart or nerve cells, its descendants follow a genetic program. This program determines the…


Bacteria rely on classic business model

The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most common and dangerous pathogens in hospitals causing severe infections in patients, such as wound infections, pneumonia or meningitis. During the first stage of…


W. Alden Spencer Award goes to Silvia Arber and Botond Roska

The W. Alden Spencer Award is presented annually by the Department of Neuroscience and the Kavli Institute for Brain Science at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, in recognition of outstanding…


Resistance can spread even without the use of antibiotics

Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to common antibiotics. Often, resistance is mediated by resistance genes, which can simply jump from one bacterial population to the next. It’s a common assumption that the…


Cancer research: Metabolite drives tumor development

The liver is a vital organ with many important functions in the body. It metabolizes nutrients, stores energy, regulates the blood sugar level and plays a crucial role in detoxifying and removing harmful components and…


How does a wing grow? A journey on the path of proteins.

How organs develop and how they grow to the right size and shape are fundamental questions in developmental biology. The morphogen Dpp is a signaling molecule controlling the development of different organs with regard to…