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Press Releases of the BIOTEC

Here you can find all the press releases of the BIOTEC. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact Dana Schoder (Dana.Schoder(at)tu-dresden.de) or the press office of the TU Dresden (pressestelle(at)tu-dresden.de).

What can liner shipping learn from brain network science?


10/06/2020

Team of researchers from Germany and China unveils how the organization of global maritime transport networks impacts economy by using methods from brain network analysis.

Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci from TU Dresden’s Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) is focusing his research on network science applied to biological systems and neuroscience. At the Biomedical Cybernetics lab, he lead an translational study showing how network science computational theories effective for brain analysis can help to understand global shipping networks and their impact on world economy. The study was conducted together with maritime economy scientists from China, and has now been published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Around 80 per cent of global trade by volume is transported by sea, and thus the connectivity network of the maritime transportation system is fundamental to the world economy and the functionality of its society. To better exploit new international shipping routes, the current ones need to be analysed: What are the principles behind their network organization? What mechanisms determine the complex system association with international trade? However, there is another complex system that, similarly to maritime transportation systems, links the navigability of its network structure and organization to its efficient performance in the environment. This complex system is: the brain. The motivation for this comparative and trans-disciplinary research came from the exchange during an international network science conference, followed by three years of collaborative work on the topic.

"Many complex systems share basic rules of self-organization and economical functionality. When I examined the maritime network structure of the Chinese colleagues at the conference, I advanced the hypothesis that its structure displays a trade-off between high transportation efficiency and low wiring cost, similarly to the one we know is present in brain networks. We combined our knowledge in network science, maritime science and data processing, which led to new insights into the maritime network structural organization complexity and its relevance to international trade", explains Dr. Cannistraci, research group leader for biomedical cybernetics at BIOTEC, TU Dresden. "An important result of this study is the development of new computational network measures for investigation of modular connectivity and structural core organization within complex networks in general, which here we applied to maritime science. In future projects I plan to use these newly developed methods in my research at the BIOTEC where I focus on computational and network systems in biomedicine. They might return particularly useful for brain network organization analysis and the development of markers for brain diseases, such as depression and Alzheimer.”

The study was conducted in collaboration with Dr. Mengqiao Xu, M.S. Qian Pan and Dr. Haoxiang Xia from the Dalian University of Technology (China) and Dr. Alessandro Muscoloni from the Biomedical Cybernetics lab at BIOTEC, TU Dresden (Germany). It was funded by an Independent Group Leader Starting Grant for Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci from BIOTEC and by the Tsinghua Laboratory of Brain and Intelligence, Tsinghua University, Beijing (China). The study was supported by Alphaliner S.A.R.L. (France), which provided comprehensive data on global liner shipping.

Publication:

Nature Communications: Modular gateway-ness connectivity and structural core organization in maritime network science”, authors: Mengqiao Xu, Qian Pan, Alessandro Muscoloni, Haoxiang Xia and Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci

Media inquiries:

Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci
Email: carlo_vittorio.cannistraci@tu-dresden.de
Tel: +39 3475954094

The Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) was founded in 2000 as a central scientific unit of the TU Dresden with the goal of combining modern approaches in molecular and cell biology with the traditionally strong engineering in Dresden. Since 2016, the BIOTEC is part of the central scientific unit “Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering” (CMCB) of the TU Dresden. The BIOTEC is fostering developments in research and teaching within the Molecular Bioengineering research field and combines approaches in cell biology, biophysics and bioinformatics. It plays a central role within the research priority area Health Sciences, Biomedicine and Bioengineering of the TU Dresden.

www.tu-dresden.de/biotec & www.tu-dresden.de/cmcb 

Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci from BIOTEC of TU Dresden

Representation of the global liner shipping maritime network and its structural core. The color of the nodes corresponds to the ports belonging to different modular communities.

 

 


Who takes the temperature in our cells? - Baker's yeast cells provide information on how organisms could cope with global warming and other altered environmental factors


11/05/2020

The conditions in the environment are subject to large fluctuations. In Germany, for instance, temperatures can range from a freezing minus 20 degrees Celsius in the winter to a hot 40 degrees Celsius in the summer. Organisms that are unable to adapt to such temperature changes will not survive and thus will not pass on their genetic information to the next generation. In a world in which we are confronted with constantly rising average temperatures due to global warming, we must ask ourselves: How do organisms react to changing temperatures? What molecular mechanisms do they use?

Decades of research have shown that different organisms respond very similarly to temperature changes. When organisms are exposed to heat, their cells cease to grow, they shut down the production of housekeeping proteins that are required for growth and reproduction. Instead, they start to produce proteins that protect the cells from heat-related damage. In other words, the cell factory changes its protein production. However, it is not known how cells recognize heat stress and which mechanisms trigger the production change.

Baker's yeast as model organism

Scientists at the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) of the TU Dresden and the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), together with partners in Heidelberg and Toronto, Canada, investigated these fundamental questions. They used a popular model organism in cell research: baker’s yeast as we know it from baking bread or brewing beer. This single-celled organism provides us with insights into the basic processes of life because it has almost the same composition as human and animal cells. If we understand the molecular processes within the yeast cell, we can also better understand the development of diseases in complex organisms such as humans.

"In yeast, we were able to identify one critical protein, Ded1p, which changes its structure upon heat stress and then reprograms the cell machinery. In the laboratory, we simulated the behavior of Ded1p with purified components and observed the following: Under normal conditions, Ded1p is evenly distributed in the cytoplasm of cells, but when the temperature rises, it assembles into dense structures, using the process of phase separation," explains Christiane Iserman, the lead author of the study. "The fact that Ded1p is able to sense temperature suggests that this protein is a kind of thermometer inside the cell."

Furthermore, the scientists have investigated the consequences for the cell when Ded1p forms these dense structures. "They are telling the cell to downregulate the production of housekeeping proteins, and to ensure that the production of stress-protective proteins is upregulated," explains Chrisitine Desroches Altamirano, second author of the study.

Results may help to better understand neurodegenerative diseases

This very elegant mechanism does not seem to be limited to baker’s yeast. The researchers found that the Ded1p proteins from other organisms are well adapted to the temperature of the respective habitat. "This suggests that evolution has endowed our cells with a high thermal sensitivity so that living organisms can adapt to temperature fluctuations. This gives us hope that organisms will be able to cope with global warming," explains Prof. Simon Alberti, who led the study.

Alberti: “However, our discovery may have an even more general relevance: We have discovered a mechanism within the cell that helps the organism to deal with a variety of changes in the environment, not just heat stress. Cells seem to be able to deal with a wide variety of environmental signals by using proteins that phase separate to run different gene expression programs. In further studies, we want to determine whether this mechanism can help us understand human diseases - primarily those in which our cells do not process certain stress situations properly, as it appears to be the case in age-related neurodegenerative diseases".

The research project was initiated in 2015 and led by the Alberti research group at BIOTEC. The close collaboration of 19 scientists from the TU Dresden, the MPI-CBG in Dresden, the University of Heidelberg, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and the University of Toronto in Canada was central to the success of the project. The research project was funded by the Max Planck Society, TU Dresden, the Max SynBio Consortium, the European Research Council (ERC), the Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP), the Volkswagen Foundation and the Boehringer Ingelheim Fund. The research results were published in the renowned scientific journal Cell.

Publication:

Cell: „Condensation of Ded1p promotes a translational switch from housekeeping to stress protein production”, Autoren: Christiane Iserman, Christine Desroches Altamirano, Ceciel Jegers, Ulrike Friedrich, Taraneh Zarin, Anatol W. Fritsch, Matthäus Mittasch, Antonio Domingues, Lena Hersemann, Marcus Jahnel, Doris Richter, Ulf-Peter Guenther, Matthias W. Hentze, Alan M. Moses, Anthony A. Hyman, Günter Kramer, Moritz Kreysing, Titus M. Franzmann, Simon Alberti - https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.04.009  

Media inquiries:

Prof. Dr. Simon Alberti
Tel.: +49 351 463 40236
e-mail: simon.alberti(at)tu-dresden.de  

Ded1p protein of baker's yeast © BIOTEC

The Ded1p protein of baker's yeast changes from a diffuse state (unstressed green cells, left) to a state in which it forms dense structures (heat-stressed green cells, right). The transition is caused by the process of phase separation and is triggered by an increase in ambient temperature. The Ded1p protein was genetically labeled with a green fluorescent dye.

The Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) was founded in 2000 as a central scientific unit of the Technische Universität Dresden (TU Dresden) with the goal of combining modern approaches in molecular and cell biology with the traditionally strong engineering in Dresden. Since 2016, the BIOTEC is part of the central scientific unit “Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering” (CMCB) of the TU Dresden. The BIOTEC is fostering developments in research and teaching within the Molecular Bioengineering research field and combines approaches in cell biology, biophysics and bioinformatics. It plays a central role within the research priority area Health Sciences, Biomedicine and Bioengineering of the TU Dresden.
www.tu-dresden.de/biotec
www.tu-dresden.de/cmcb  


How do our cells respond to stress? - Molecular biologists reverse-engineer a complex cellular structure that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS


21/04/2020

Cells are often exposed to stressful conditions that can be life threatening, such as high temperatures or toxins. Fortunately, our cells are masters of stress management with a powerful response program: they cease to grow, produce stress-protective factors, and form large structures, which are called stress granules. Scientists at the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) of the TU Dresden and the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), together with partners in Heidelberg and St. Louis (USA) have investigated how these mysterious structures assemble and dissolve, and what may cause their transition into a pathological state as observed in neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Their results were published in the renowned scientific journal Cell.

ALS is a hitherto incurable disease of the central nervous system in which the motor neurons – nerve cells responsible for the muscles movement – gradually die. Do stress granules play a role in this process?

Stress granules are formed in the cytoplasm of the cell and assemble from a large number of macromolecular components such as messenger RNAs and RNA-binding proteins. Stress granules usually disassemble when the stress subsides, a process which is promoted by the dynamic nature of stress granules. However, a hallmark of ALS is the presence of non-dynamic, persistent forms of stress granules.

"In ALS, patients suffer from muscle weakness and paralysis. Stress granule-containing motor neurons slowly degenerate, causing a progressive loss of motor functions. We need to better understand the complex biology of stress granules in order to design and develop future therapeutic strategies that counteract the course of the disease. But the complex environment of the cells within an organism makes this difficult," explains Dr. Titus Franzmann, one of the senior authors of the publication.

In order to systematically test their hypotheses about the assembly of stress granules and the pathology causing molecular changes, the scientists developed a controlled environment using an in vitro system with purified components that allowed the recreation of stress granules in a test tube. They observed stress granule assembly step by step and characterized the critical factors underlying their dynamics.

"Stress granules have a very complex structure. Nevertheless, their formation depends primarily on the behavior of a single protein - the RNA-binding protein G3BP," says Dr. Jordina Guillén-Boixet, one of the first authors of the study. "This protein undergoes a critical structural change: Under non-stress conditions G3BP adopts a compact state that does not allow stress granules to assemble. But under stress, RNA molecules bind to G3BP allowing multiple interactions that promote the assembly of dynamic stress granules. The subsequent transition from dynamic into non-dynamic state, which may be caused for example by prolonged stress, may trigger the death of the motor neurons, as we can observe in the disease ALS.”

The research project was initiated in 2015 and led by the Alberti research grout at TU Dresden´s BIOTEC. The close co-operation of 23 scientists from the TU Dresden, the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg and the Washington University in St. Louis (USA) was central for the success of the project. Prof. Simon Alberti: "There is a number of remaining questions. Our experimental system at BIOTEC is now available for further testing and will be central to developing new diagnostics and therapeutics to combat neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS."

The research project was funded by the European Research Council (ERC), the Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP), the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO), the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Joint Neurodegenerative Disease Research Program (JPND) of the EU.

Publication:

Cell: „RNA-Induced Conformational Switching and Clustering of G3BP Drive Stress Granule Assembly by Condensation“, Authors: Jordina Guillén-Boixet, Andrii Kopach, Alex S. Holehouse, Sina Wittmann, Marcus Jahnel, Raimund Schlüßler, Kyoohyun Kim, Irmela R.E.A. Trussina, Jie Wang, Daniel Mateju, Ina Poser, Shovamayee Maharana, Martine Ruer-Gruß, Doris Richter, Xiaojie Zhang, Young-Tae Chang, Jochen Guck, Alf Honigmann, Julia Mahamid, Anthony A. Hyman, Rohit V. Pappu, Simon Alberti, Titus M. Franzmann

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)30342-1

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.03.049

Media inqiries:

Prof. Dr. Simon Alberti
Tel.: +49 351 463 40236
Email: simon.alberti@tu-dresden.de

Model representing the behavior of the protein G3BP under stress: RNA molecules bind to G3BP, allowing multiple interactions that promote the clustering of G3BP and the assembly of dynamic stress granules (SG). The image on the left shows a cell in which stress granules were labeled with a fluorescent dye. The schematic on the right gives insight into the molecular structure and organization of stress granules.


TU Dresden team presents DipGene at Synthetic Biology’s largest innovation event


05/12/2019

The student project DipGene developed a new methodology that makes genetic testing as easy as a pH-test. With their simple, cheap and low-tech method to test for the presence of any DNA sequence, they won a prestigious Gold Medal.

A student team of the TU Dresden successfully showcased their DipGene project at the annual iGEM Giant Jamboree, the synthetic biology’s largest innovation event, which is hosted by the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) Foundation. The Giant Jamboree is the culminating event of iGEM’s annual, worldwide, synthetic biology competition for students to use genetic engineering to solve local problems all around the world. The TU Dresden team was able to win a Gold Medal for their overall achievements.

Each year, the competition brings together more than 6,000 participants from across the globe to explore and create unique applications of synthetic biology with the mission to bring positive contributions to their communities and society at large. Beyond the technology, participants are evaluated on teamwork, responsibility, entrepreneurship, sharing, safety and more.

This year’s TU Dresden team consisted entirely of team members from two masters’ programs of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB), with nine members from seven different countries, namely India, Spain, Russia, Germany, Iran, Colombia and Ecuador. With DipGene, they focused on the development of a DNA sequence-specific diagnostic method that is applicable in the field. They could show that their method can be applied for bacteria, as well as human genomic DNA, for example for the detection of predisposition to monogenic diseases. For application in bacteria no amplification is needed, the method only takes five to ten minutes and is therefore much faster and cheaper than commonly used laboratory techniques, like polymerase chain reaction (PCR) followed by gel electrophoresis. It could be used in the lab during genetic manipulation of bacteria, to faster verify correct clones. In future research they hope to overcome the need for an amplification step by extracting genomic DNA from blood rather than by buccal swap. This way their method could be applied anywhere by anyone without the need for laboratory equipment.

“This year’s Giant Jamboree was a spectacular display of hard work and ingenuity. These students are showing the world what’s possible when we fearlessly tackle tough problems and open our minds to new applications of engineering biology,” said Randy Rettberg, co-founder and president of iGEM. “Many of the projects presented at iGEM will serve as the foundation and inspiration for important research, influential companies and international interest to come – these participants are most certainly tomorrow’s leaders.”

The three supervisors from the CMCB and the Faculty of Biology Dr. Frank Groß, Prof. Thorsten Mascher and Philipp Popp are very excited about the spirit and the success of the team. “Developing novel scientific ideas from scratch and having to go through each and every process of project development shapes young scientists tremendously – this opportunity in the frame work of the iGEM competition makes it a unique experience for everyone involved,” said Philipp Popp, who participated in iGEM himself in 2014 and already supervised the 2017 team of the TU Dresden.

Find the website of the TU Dresden team here: https://2019.igem.org/Team:TU_Dresden

Team members
Sebastian Eguiguren, Pedro Guillem, Sophie Heidig, Anastasia Kurzyukova, Mara Müller, Arnau Pérez Roig, Paula Santos Otte, Victoria Sarangova, Nikitha Vavilthota


TU Dresden team at the iGEM Giant Jamboree in Boston © iGEM TU Dresden

About CMCB
The Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB) focuses on interdisciplinary research and teaching in the life sciences. As a central unit of TU Dresden, the CMCB combines the interdisciplinary institutes B CUBE, BIOTEC and CRTD, and has close links to multiple schools and faculties at TU Dresden. The CMCB aims at creating synergies among intra- and extramural institutes in Dresden to provide an internationally oriented academic environment with cutting-edge research and innovative teaching programs at all levels. State-of-the-art technologies are made available to the TU Dresden campus as well as to DRESDEN-concept partners via a wide range of high-end core facilities, and innovative discoveries will be developed further towards commercial applications. Administrative support is provided to all CMCB research groups by centralized service units, which act as interfaces to the central administration of TU Dresden. www.tu-dresden.de/cmcb

About iGEM
iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that pioneered synthetic biology and continues to advance the field through education, competition and industry collaboration. iGEM's annual student competition is the largest synthetic biology innovation program and a launchpad for the industry's most successful leaders and companies. The competition empowers thousands of students to solve global problems by engineering biology for safe and responsible solutions. iGEM's community is comprised of students, leaders, investors, influencers and policymakers who continue to work toward a strong, responsible and visionary synthetic biology industry. For more information, visit www.igem.org.


Obesity risk quantification: a jump towards the future through the lens of artificial intelligence applied to lipid science


22/10/2019

According to WHO, nearly 1 out of 6 adults is obese. This makes obesity a prime threat to human health because it increases mortality and morbidity. In daily healthcare practice, the go-to indicator of overweight and obesity is the body mass index (BMI), a calculated relation between body weight and height. An international team of scientists led by Dresden researchers, with a joint effort between academy and industry in Saxony (Germany) introduces a revolutionary approach towards personalized and precision biomedicine. The discovery is that artificial intelligence can assist to design markers composed of a small combination of lipids that allow to provide significantly more information about obesity than BMI.

When academy meets industry significant jumps towards the future are possible. Researchers from the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) at the TU Dresden and Lipotype GmbH, a spin-off of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, with the international participation of scientists from Lund University (Sweden) and National Institute for Health and Welfare (Finland) teamed up to critically investigate the BMI of more than 1000 patients. The international research team applied advanced artificial intelligence tools to develop an algorithm which makes use of the human blood plasma lipid composition, the plasma lipidome.

The plasma lipidome contains hundreds of distinct lipids. “Together, they are valuable indicators to explore the state of metabolism health of an individual - like a health fingerprint”, explains Mathias Gerl from Lipotype. This lipidomic data was used for training the algorithm to predict the BMI of each patient.

In comparison to the ‘household measures’-based BMI (observed BMI), the lipidomic data provided the new algorithm with the power to propose a new ‘molecular lipidomic BMI’ (predicted BMI). The lipidomic BMI calculation revealed that the molecular BMI was in a number of cases significantly higher than the traditional BMI. In approximately 1 out of 7 patients, the lipidomic BMI improved the classic ‘morphometric BMI’, and provided more information about obesity compared to the traditional BMI measurement, e.g. about the amount of visceral fat, a harmful kind of fat deposit.

“Long-time consequences can occur when a patient in need for a weight reducing therapy to combat the risk for obesity-associated disease is sent home without remedy”, states Olle Melander from Lund University. “These patients may suddenly suffer from a heart attack at age 40 leaving their doctors puzzled”, comments Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci from BIOTEC at the TU Dresden and adds: “We should overcome the obsolete logic that a single marker can help to assess risk in complex systems such as humans. Computational biomedicine adopts artificial intelligence to design multidimensional markers composed of many variables that increase precision of diagnosis. Hence, we hope that the traditional BMI will be replaced with a lipidomic marker to outpace the misclassification of 14% of patients.”

Original Publication:
Mathias J Gerl, Christian Klose, Michal A Surma, Celine Fernandez, Olle Melander, Satu Männistö, Katja Borodulin, Aki S Havulinna, Veikko Salomaa, Elina Ikonen, Carlo V Cannistraci & Kai Simons. Machine learning of human plasma lipidomes for obesity estimation in a large population cohort. PLOS Biology. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000443

Media inquiries:
Dr. Mathias J Gerl
Lipotype GmbH
Tatzberg 47
01307 Dresden
Germany

Phone: +49 351 796 5345
Fax: +49 351 796 5349
e-mail: gerl@lipotype.com
Internet: www.lipotype.com



Figure: Comparison of observed BMI and predicted BMI. (Gerl et al. Machine learning of human plasma lipidomes for obesity estimation in a large population cohort)


A new method of tooth repair? Scientists uncover mechanisms that could help future dental treatment


09/08/2019

Researchers from TU Dresden’s Biotechnology Center teamed up with international scientists that led to the discovery of a new stem cell population in the front teeth of mice

Stem cells hold the key for tissue engineering, as they develop into specialised cell types throughout the body including in teeth. An international team of researchers, including scientists from the Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden (BIOTEC), has found a new mechanism that could offer a potential new solution to tooth repair. They discovered a new population of mesenchymal stromal cells in a continuously growing mouse incisor model. They have shown that these cells contribute to the formation of dentin, the hard tissue that covers the main body of a tooth. Importantly, the work showed that when these stem cells are activated, they send signals back to the mother cells of the tissue to control the number of cells produced, through a molecular gene called Dlk1. This study is the first to show that Dlk1 is vital for this process to work. In the same study, the researchers also demonstrated that Dlk1 can enhance stem cell activation and tissue regeneration in a wound healing model. This mechanism could provide an innovative solution for tooth repair, addressing problems such as tooth decay, crumbling and trauma treatment. Further studies are needed to validate the results for clinical applications to determine the appropriate duration and dose of treatment.

The study was led by Dr Bing Hu of the Peninsula Dental School of the University of Plymouth, UK. Co-authors were research group leader Dr. Denis Corbeil and his colleague Dr. Jana Karbanová from BIOTEC. "The discovery of this new population of stromal cells was very exciting and has enormous potential in regenerative medicine," says Dr. Denis Corbeil.

Publication: Nature Communications “Transit Amplifying Cells Coordinate Mouse Incisor Mesenchymal Stem Cell Activation”

Research Team Dr. Denis Corbeil

The image shows a group of mesenchymal (green) stem cells migrating in a tooth to further regenerate tissues. Source: Media and Communications | University of Plymouth

 

 


A new force awakens


08/04/2019

Newly discovered physical force contributes to proper development of the red flour beetle Everyone’s life has its milestones.

Lewis Wolpert, a British developmental biologist, once said that it is not birth, marriage or death but gastrulation that is the most important event in life. Gastrulation describes the process during which the single-layered blastula (a hollow sphere of cells) is reorganized into a multilayered structure known as the gastrula. In the process, physical forces reshape the embryonic tissue to form complex body plans of multicellular organisms. In many embryos, the gastrulating tissue is surrounded by a rigid protective shell. So far, scientists did not know whether interactions between the living tissue and the protective shell provide additional forces that affect gastrulation. Studying the red flour beetle, researchers at the Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden (BIOTEC), the Max Planck Institute of Molecular cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) and the Cluster of Excellence “Physics of Life” (PoL) recently discovered that the living tissue attaches firmly to the shell that surrounds the embryo. This attachment generates additional external forces that are required for proper gastrulation movements. The study is published in the journal Nature.

Original Publication

Press Release

Schematic visualization of the anchoring of the living tissue to the protective shell during early development of the embryo. Copyright: Ivana Viktorinova / MPI-CBG

 

 


Do interactions in molecular and cellular networks follow the same organization principles as human social interplay?


22/11/2018

A Researcher from TU Dresden Biotechnology Center found impressing analogies

To decode the underlying laws that govern the organization of life into molecules, cells and tissues are the great scientific challenges of our time. Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci from the Biotechnology Center (BIOTEC) at the Technical University Dresden, Germany, explored the question whether brain cells interact in the same manner as molecules within a cell and published his findings in the science magazine Nature.

He found that the self-organization within these two systems follows the same principles - regardless the size of the structures and independent from what body functions they support. He codified those complex interactions in a mathematic model that is able to predict protein molecule interactions within the body under changed conditions.


Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci © BIOTEC

Press release


A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates


17/08/2018

The research groups led by Dr. Jörg Mansfeld of the Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden (BIOTEC) and Dr. Caren Norden of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG) have developed a novel synthetic antibody that paves the way for an improved functional analysis of proteins. They combined auxin-inducible "protein knockdown" with a synthetic antibody to not only observe fluorescent proteins in living cells but also to rapidly remove them in a temporally controlled manner.

Dr. Jörg Mansfeld's research group has developed a novel AID-nanobody in order to not only observe GFP-linked proteins in living cells, but to also rapidly degrade them in a targeted manner for functional analysis. For this purpose, the auxin recognition sequence (AID) was linked to a GFP recognizing antibody that is structurally-related to camelid antibodies (nanobody). It could be shown that this so-called AID-nanobody allows the almost complete degradation of GFP-linked proteins in human cell culture after the addition of auxin. The possibility to follow the degradation of the protein "live" under the microscope makes functional analysis much easier.

Microscopic image of living HeLa cells containing a GFP-linked protein (green) and the AID nanobody (magenta). After addition of the plant hormone auxin, the GFP-linked protein is broken down specifically in the cells containing AID nanobody within 30 minutes. © Jörg Mansfeld

Dr. Jörg Mansfeld © Magdalena Gonciarz

Find here the complete press release


Dr. Ivan Minev receives an ERC Starting Grant of 1.5 million EUR to develop integrated multimodal brain implants


31/07/2018

The European Research Council (ERC) has approved the research project "Integrated Implant Technology for Multimodal Brain Interfaces (IntegraBrain)" with a prestigious and highly competitive Starting Grant of 1.5 million EUR for 5 years. Dr. Ivan Minev, research group leader from the Biotechnology Center of TU Dresden (BIOTEC) and Freigeist-Fellow of the Volkswagen Foundation, wants to establish neuroprosthetic implants for the brain with electrical, chemical, thermal and optical functionalities.

Dr. Ivan Minev's ERC Starting Grant project aims to build devices that enable hearing and speaking with the nervous system in several "languages". The special feature here is that neuronal tissue is treated not only as an electrical but also as a chemical, thermal and optical machine. Dr. Minev and his team aim to combine several sensing and actuation modules in an integrated implantable technology to investigate the combined effects of multimodal neuromodulation.

Vision for an integrated network of sensors and actuators for establishing brain-machine interfaces beyond the electrical functionality. © Ivan Minev


Dr. Ivan Minev © BIOTEC

Find here the complete press release


Sunshine duration might influence the time onset of a deadly type of heart attack


07/05/2018

An international team of scientists led by Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci, Group Leader of the Biomedical Cybernetics lab at the BIOTEChnology Center (BIOTEC) TU Dresden, has discovered a rule at the basis of the chronobiology of heart attack in humans. The study concludes that seasonal rhythms associated with sun irradiance may influence circadian rhythms of heart attack onset.

Press release

Picture: Sunshine and chronobiology of heart attack across different latitudes (source)


Rapid diagnosis of diseases with novel blood test


01/03/2018

Prof. Dr. Jochen Guck, research group leader at the Biotechnology Center of TU Dresden (BIOTEC), together with medical colleagues from the University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden and partnering institutes from Dresden (Germany), Cambridge (UK), Glasgow (UK), and Stockholm (Sweden) use a technique called "real-time deformability cytometry" to screen thousands of cells in a drop of blood for unusual appearance and deformability in a matter of minutes. This novel blood test promises to speed up the correct diagnosis of many disease conditions including leukaemia, malaria, bacterial or viral infections, which in turn can lead to a faster and more accurate start of therapy.

Complete press release

Picture: RT-DC in action. The artistic rendering of the microscopic view into the measurement chip shows the trajectories of many individual blood cells flowing from right to left. When encountering sheath flows from top and bottom, they widen to form a "heart" before entering the narrow measurement channel on the left, where the appearance and deformation of the cells are being analysed. ©Daniel Klaue/ZELLMECHANIK DRESDEN GmbH


Second proof of concept grant for Prof. Dr. Jochen Guck


06/02/2018

Prof. Dr. Jochen Guck, research group leader at the Biotechnology Center of TU Dresden (BIOTEC), was awarded a Proof of Concept Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) for the second time. The €150,000 research grant is available for ERC-funded researchers and intended to help exploring the economic potential or innovation potential of EU-funded frontier research. Intellectual property rights are to be established, business opportunities identified or technical reviews of research results carried out.

Press release

Picture: Prof. Dr. Jochen Guck © BIOTEC

 

 


Tracking down pest control strategies: Project to investigate the temperature behavior of the fruit fly "Drosophila" receives research funding of more than 2 million euros


30/01/2018

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has approved the research project "Seasonal temperature acclimation in Drosophila: A multidisciplinary approach" with a funding volume of 2 million euros. The interdisciplinary research team with scientists from seven different research institutions throughout Germany began its work in January 2018.

Press release

Picture: © Friederike Braun/BIOTEC

 

 


The bright side of an infectious protein: Stress sensors promote yeast cell survival


08/01/2018

Prions are self-propagating protein aggregates that can be transmitted between cells. The aggregates are associated with human diseases. Indeed, pathological prions cause mad cow disease and in humans Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The aggregation of prion-like proteins is also associated with neurodegeneration as in ALS. The regions within prion-like proteins that are responsible for their aggregation were termed prion-like domains. Despite the important role of prion-like domains in human diseases, a physiological function has remained enigmatic. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG), the Biotechnology Center of the TU Dresden (BIOTEC, Grill group), and the Washington University in St. Louis, USA have now identified for the first time a benign, albeit biologically relevant function of prion domains as protein specific stress sensors that allow cells to adapt to and survive environmental stresses. Uncovering the physiological function is an essential first step towards closing a gap in understanding the biological role of prion domains and their transformation into a pathological disease-causing state. The discoveries were published in Science.

Picture: Cryo-Electron Microscopy Image of a biomolecular condensate of a Prion Protein.

Contact: Prof. Dr. Stephan Grill

Press release


‘Spying’ on the hidden geometry of complex networks through machine intelligence


08/12/2017

An international team of scientists led by Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci, Junior Group Leader of the Biomedical Cybernetics lab at the BIOTEChnology Center TU Dresden, has developed 'coalescent embedding': a class of algorithms that leverage machine intelligence to retrieve the hidden geometrical rules that shape the structure of complex networks. From brain connectivity to social media, 'coalescent embedding' can have a future impact on disparate fields dealing with big-network-data including biology, medicine, physics and social science.

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Picture: Machine Intelligence meets complex networks (Source)

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Dresden researchers have pioneered a brain-network bio-inspired algorithm to predict new therapeutic targets of approved drugs


26/09/2017

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Picture: Members of Dr. Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci's research group © BIOTEC

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Dresden researchers have developed an intelligent algorithm that automatically identifies significant associations between latent variables in big data sets


13/04/2017

Freigeist Fellowship supports Dr. Ivan Minev in using 3D printing to find ways to repair damage in the human body


05/09/2016

Dr. Jörg Mansfeld receives 1.5 Million EUR ERC Starting Grant to support his cancer research


06/01/2016

Dresden biophysicist receives the 2015 Sackler Prize in Biophysics endowed with US$ 50.000


08/10/2015

Prof. Dr. Stephan Grill honored for excellent research in the field of
mesoscopic physics of cell structure and dynamics

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Photo: © Katrin Boes, MPI-CBG


Sich selbst heilende Axolotl, Organe aus dem 3D-Drucker, ein begehbares Auge und Elegante Würmer unterm Lego-Mikroskop


25/06/2015

Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften: Forschung entdecken und experimentieren

German press release

 

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Scientists open new chapter in cell biology and medicine


03/02/2015

BIOTEC Junior researcher lays cornerstone for biotech start-up


30/01/2015

BIOTEC Forum 2014


01/12/2014

Molecules, Cells, and Tissue – Biomechanics Across Scales

German Press Release


BIOTEC Researcher is one of the „Highly Cited Researchers 2014”


18/07/2014

European Funding: On the Road to Diagnosis Device for Blood Cells


07/07/2014

BIOTEC Professor transfers research results into commercial application

German Press Release


Axolotl, „CSI BIOTEC“, and Drums Alive – new cells is what the human needs


27/06/2014

HFSP Funding for international Research Project at the BIOTEC: Switching Molecular Engines in Cells with Light


29/04/2014

FANTOM5 - a Parts List for Cell Type Definition


27/03/2014

Creating a three-dimensional Model for the learning Brain


26/03/2014

„Sächsischer Biotechnologietag 2014“ – Converting Basic Research to Commercial Applications


17/03/2014

DFG further funds lipid research in Dresden, Heidelberg und Bonn


22/11/2013

Professorship for Biophysics at the BIOTEC was newly appointed


15/10/2013

Stephan Grill studied molecular, what makes living organisms

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Professor Stephan Grill is a new groupleader at the BIOTEC.©BIOTEC


From Basic Research to Therapeutic Application


04/07/2013

Saxony funds five translation projects of the BIOTEC and CRTD.

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Interior Design for Stem Cells.


24/06/2013

Axolotl, new Neural Stem Cells, and DNA from Bananas


18/06/2013

Long Night of Science: Discover Science and experiment

German Press Release

 

Download QR-CodeDownload photo: Long Night of Science 2012 in the CRTD ©CRTD
                                                                  

 

 


Natural Scientists and Humanists acquire information together


13/06/2013

A real-time view onto the rules of life


18/04/2013

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