Category Archives: Hard Science

Fantastic Sortases and where to find them

Since my bachelor thesis I use cloning on a regular basis. Back then to transform yeast, later I needed to clone in order to perform a yeast-two-hybrid screen while now everything has shifted to the expression and modification of proteins. Cloning of plasmids is easy due to the long known and appreciated restriction enzymes. You flank your coding sequence with unique restriction sites and ligate … Continue reading Fantastic Sortases and where to find them »

The good, the bad, and the ugly – Cell culture as substitute for animal-based research

The “Three R principles” are quite old but represent a “must-have” (or rather a “must-be”) in our daily lab routine. In 1954, the Universities Federation of Animal Welfare (UFAW) approached two scientists who were instructed to inaugurate a systematic study of laboratory techniques in their ethical aspects. Based on their reports, a book named “The 3Rs” was published in 1959, which describes guidelines for a … Continue reading The good, the bad, and the ugly – Cell culture as substitute for animal-based research »

What are iMATEs?

Have you ever wondered what the term iMATEs stands for? In this cool little presentation here Ru-Lin Cheng from the group of Percy Knolle explains the role of iMATEs in the liver and how they can be used to influence immune reactions in the liver. Check it out!

Immunotherapy: Highly priced cure for a Lucky Few…

“It´s revolutionary, prohibitively expensive, and in frustratingly short supply, but for a Lucky Few, an immunotherapy drug is their miracle CURE “ – This is how the August 20, 2016 GoodWeekend journal´s (1) cover looked like in Melbourne, Australia, exactly the week when the International Conference of Immunology (ICI) took place in the same city and gathered more than 4000 clinicians, scientist, students to discuss … Continue reading Immunotherapy: Highly priced cure for a Lucky Few… »

Now on stage: NLRP3 and the molecular mechanisms behind atherosclerosis

The blog goes multimedia: with their film “What is NLRP3 and why do we care?” four PhD students from the Institute of Innate Immunity (Bonn) feature what their research is about. The research group around Prof. Eicke Latz wants to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms behind diseases like atherosclerosis, gout or Alzheimer´s disease. In all of these diseases the protein NLRP3 (NACHT, LRR and … Continue reading Now on stage: NLRP3 and the molecular mechanisms behind atherosclerosis »

Immune Checkpoint Blockade: A milestone on the way to cure cancer

For a scientist, one of the most exciting things to happen is when basic principles established in laboratory models lead to new therapeutic approaches for humans. Most recently, the understanding of several checkpoints in T cell self-tolerance, infection and transplantation led to the development of immune checkpoint blockade to treat cancer. The use of drugs blocking specific checkpoints, such as Programmed Death 1 (PD-1) and … Continue reading Immune Checkpoint Blockade: A milestone on the way to cure cancer »

Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease

People with dementia start to forget and often show changes in their abilities and personality. Over time the failure of short-term memory gradually turns into confusion about time and place, which may turn to depression or even aggressive behavior in later stages. In principle, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an advanced stage of dementia that gets progressively worse over time. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for around 50-70% … Continue reading Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s Disease »

A “Natural Killer’s“ Memory – Lifting the veil on memory cells developed by the innate immune system

For a very long period of time scientists focused on the adaptive immune system when looking for evidence of cells reacting towards a certain molecule or another specific stimulus. Today it is common knowledge that the adaptive immune system generates long-lived memory T cells that protect us from viral infection, the spread of mutated cells and invading pathogens. In contrast, Natural Killer (NK) cells were … Continue reading A “Natural Killer’s“ Memory – Lifting the veil on memory cells developed by the innate immune system »

It’s Carnival! Memories of a party with eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses

This week, Dr. Daniel Unterweger  invites you to temporarily escape the usual world of immunology. Daniel completed his PhD in Bacteriology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, and continues his research on microbes as a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford, UK. Sharing his passion for the microbial world, he sends us a blog post just in time for Carnival.   … Continue reading It’s Carnival! Memories of a party with eukaryotes, prokaryotes and viruses »