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18.02.20 Superresolution live-cell imaging provides unexpected insights into the dynamic structure of mitochondria

As power plants and energy stores, mitochondria are essential components of almost all cells in plants, fungi and animals. Until now, it has been assumed that these functions underlie a static structure of mitochondrial membranes. Researchers at the Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have now discovered that the inner membranes of mitochondria are by no means static, but rather constantly change their structure every few seconds in living cells.

27.01.20 The regulators active during iron deficiency

Iron deficiency is a critical situation for plants, which respond using specific genetic programmes. Biologists from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Michigan State University (MSU) used artificial intelligence methods to examine how to predict regulatory genetic sequences. They have now published the findings from their joint research work in the journal Plant Physiology.

13.01.20 Cell growth: Intricate network of potential new regulatory mechanisms has been decoded

Whether a cell grows, divides or dies is controlled among other things by receptors that messenger substances bind to externally. A research team from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) worked together with partners from the University of Bonn to study the important EGF receptor in more detail. They succeeded in uncovering more information about an interface about which so far very little was known. In the cover article of the Cell Press journal Structure, the authors – among them Dr. Manuel Etzkorn (HHU/FZJ) and Prof. Dr. Michael Famulok (Bonn) – now describe how the interface functions and what substances can interact with it.

08.01.20 Ocean acidification is damaging shark scales

Sharks have unusual type of scales referred to as ‘denticles’. A research group from South Africa and Germany that includes Jacqueline Dziergwa and Prof. Dr. Christopher Bridges from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) has examined the impact of climate change in the form of ocean acidification on these structures. The researchers uncovered damage to the denticles and have reported on their findings in the journal Scientific Reports.

11.12.19 Plant researchers examine the aroma of bread: modern and old wheat varieties taste equally good

Bread baked from modern wheat varieties are just as aromatic as that baked from old varieties. However, differences exist between the breads from different wheat varieties – and those that were grown in different locations. These were the findings made by a team of German and Swiss researchers under the leadership of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart. The scientists compared taste and aroma of different breads baked in close cooperation with an artisan baker and a miller using flour from old as well as modern wheat varieties. In the journal Food Research International the research team now also describes how it can predict not only the taste but also other characteristics of bread using molecular biological approaches.

11.11.19 How Chlamydia gain access to human cells

Infection biologists at Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU) and the University of Freiburg have found out how the LIPP protein discovered in Düsseldorf helps Chlamydia to infect human cells. These insights could provide the basis for prevention of chlamydial infections. The research was partially funded by the Jürgen Manchot Foundation and was published in the journal Nature Communications on 11 October.

04.11.19 HHU-led research consortium wants to eliminate dangerous plant diseases in rice

The “Healthy Crops” research consortium, headed by Humboldt Professor Wolf B. Frommer from Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), develops tools for combatting “bacterial blight”, one of the most devastating diseases of rice. In the most recent edition of the journal Nature Biotechnology, the team published two studies introducing multi-resistant rice varieties as well as a diagnostic kit to recognise new variants of the pathogen, which they specifically want to distribute to resource-poor farmers in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

24.09.19 Taurine transporters in mice and humans

The amino acid taurine is found in large quantities in the cells of the brain, liver and other organs. It serves to regulate cell volume, has antioxidative properties and stablises proteins in those organs. Other functions for the organism have not yet been conclusively determined.

17.09.19 “EU-EXPERT: Successful Women Scientists in EU Research” with Prof. Gasic on October 1st, 2019

SelmaMeyerMentoring and Department Research and Transfer HHU invite all interested female researchers to the information meeting “EU-EXPERT: Successful Women Scientists in EU Research” with Prof. Dr. M. Gasic.

03.09.19 Research into Parkinson’s disease: binding-protein prevents fibril proliferation

Several neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s are closely linked to the aggregation of a specific protein, α-synuclein. An international collaborative project involving Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf (HHU), Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and RWTH Aachen University has now shed light on the mechanisms used by a specific binding-protein discovered by them to prevent aggregation. In the journal eLife, they also describe how the binding-protein improves symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in fruit flies.

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