Press Releases

January 19, 2017

Scientists initiate first ethical guidelines for organs cultivated in vitro

In the latest edition of the professional journal “Science”, Jürgen Knoblich, a leading authority on stem cells and deputy director of the IMBA (Institute for Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences), together with international experts, presents a first ethical guideline for research into human organ models. In the article, he also argues for critical and responsible engagement with the new technology.

January 03, 2017

IMBA – The year in review: 2016 brought top-level research funding and scientific milestones

In 2016, IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences received the prestigious “Proof of Concept” grant from the European Research Council (ERC) as well as two fellowships in the renowned EMBO Young Investigator Programme. A series of scientific achievements could pave the way for new treatment options in the future, including the possible prevention of breast cancer, new treatments for deadly fungal infections, and improvements in assisted reproduction.

December 20, 2016

Brain organoids 'made in Austria' resemble original to a great extent

Scientists find striking similarities in function, structure and even epigenetic features.

December 01, 2016

Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory

Scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in Vienna, Austria, have discovered how an embryo’s genomic integrity is safeguarded during the first 24 h after fertilization. Insights into this mechanism have implications for improving in vitro fertilization.

November 16, 2016

A milestone in small RNA biology: piRNA biogenesis from start to finish

Organisms are in a constant battle against viruses, or transposable elements, which invade their genomes. Among their most effective weapons are silencing pathways that use small RNAs to selectively target invading nucleic acids for their destruction. The molecular understanding of these defense systems has revolutionized modern molecular biology, as they are the basis for powerful genome editing and gene silencing methods such as CRISPR/Cas9 or RNA interference. Scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Austria (IMBA) have now unravelled the precise mechanisms by which germline cells produce a class of small RNAs, called piRNAs, that control transposon silencing in animals.

November 15, 2016

Brain development: How a ‘molecular compass’ regulates proper cell division

Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna have unravelled how a tiny microRNA molecule controls growth and differentiation of brain cells.

July 14, 2016

Scientists find a new way to protect against lethal fungal infections

Scientists at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) and the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL) in Vienna have discovered a new way to turn the immune system’s weapons against fungal invaders. This knowledge could lead to the development of new and improved anti-fungal treatments.

June 29, 2016

A protein coat helps chromosomes keep their distance

Researchers at IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have identified a protein that disperses chromosomes during cell division, as Nature reports.

May 31, 2016

Prevention of genetic breast cancer within reach

An international team led by researchers at the Austrian Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in Vienna and the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore discovered that genetically determined breast cancer can be largely prevented by blocking a bone gene. An already approved drug could be quickly available and would then be the first breast cancer prevention drug.

May 05, 2016

Regulator of death receptor discovered

Researchers at IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have discovered that an enzyme called HACE1 is the key regulator of the death receptor TNFR1. The TNF receptor 1 is located on the cell membrane and decides whether a cell will live or die.

March 24, 2016

Three ERC-Grants for Research Groups at the Vienna Biocenter

Jürgen Knoblich of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) as well as Jan-Michael Peters and Tim Clausen of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) each receive an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council ERC. That means a success rate of 100 percent for the two institutes. Researchers at the Vienna Biocenter have received a total of 36 ERC-Grants so far.

March 15, 2016

Art and Science presentation at the Vienna Biocenter

Creativity, idealism and the ability to think laterally are the most important characteristics of a scientist – and of an artist. These two disciplines have much in common and, because of this, the Vienna Biocenter (VBC) and the Angewandte Innovation Lab (AIL) of the University of Applied Arts Vienna invited their PhD and Master´s students to collaborate in a joint project of science and art based on their research topics.

February 18, 2016

News from the secret world of the egg cell

Scientists at the IMBA (Institute of Molecular Biotechnology) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences have discovered that the division of mammalian egg cells depends on cohesin proteins that embrace chromosomes before birth and are not renewed thereafter. The cohesin complex is remarkably long-lived but eventually lost irreversibly from chromosomes. The inability of egg cells to renew the ties that hold chromosomes together might contribute to maternal age-related chromosome missegregation and aneuploidy, leading to the production of trisomic fetuses. These insights provide a possible explanation for the molecular causes of the maternal age effect.

January 07, 2016

Another top EU award for the Vienna Biocenter

Julius Brennecke, group leader at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), has recently received an ERC Consolidator Grant. This is the 34th ERC grant that has been awarded to researchers at the four academic Vienna Biocenter institutes.

December 10, 2015

Memory loss enables the production of stem cells

Scientists in Vienna and Harvard discover a molecular key to boost reprogramming of adult cells into stem cells.

December 10, 2015

New hope for broken hearts

Cardiovascular diseases are among the most frequent causes of death worldwide. The ability to repair a damaged heart is one of the grand visions of medical science. Cardiac regeneration is possible in fish and in newborn mice. But so far it has not been known whether human hearts can regenerate as well. Scientists at IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna and the Innsbruck Medical University have described the first complete clinical and functional repair of a human heart following an acute heart attack in an infant. This astonishing discovery nourishes hope that cardiac repair in humans might be possible in the future.

November 03, 2015

Transparent communication

The 13th International PhD - Symposium of the Vienna Biocenter (VBC) elucidates the diverse aspects of communication. The event takes place at the Vienna Biocenter on November 5th - 6th 2015.

October 21, 2015

Mini-brains on their way to the market

Once again the European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a competitive research grant to the Viennese Top - scientist Jürgen Knoblich. The aim of the ERC Proof of Concept is to explore the commercial potential of cerebral organoids, small developing human brains Jürgen Knoblich’s group has been able to grow from human stem cells.

May 20, 2015

New EMBO member: IMBA group leader Javier Martinez

The news was spread today: Javier Martinez, scientist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA), was selected as a new member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

May 15, 2015

Of small RNAs, gigabytes of sequences and the precious genome of the germline

Scattered throughout the genomes of plants, fungi, and animals are stretches of DNA called transposable elements, which can translocate from one genomic place to another. As these “jumping genes” often cause deleterious mutations, different genome protection mechanisms have evolved in all eukaryotes.

May 11, 2015

Hotspot Vienna – Research conference on RNA interference

The “10th Microsymposium on small RNAs” took place last week at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, bringing together the leading scientists in the world working on the role of small non-coding RNAs in the regulation of gene expression. The conference was organized by IMBA, together with its partner-organization the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP).

March 26, 2015

Innovative insights into the cell

With the Life Sciences Call "Innovative biological and biomedical applications of novel imaging technologies" of the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF), the city of Vienna aims to promote collaborations between physicists, engineers, and biologists towards establishing novel imaging technologies.

February 18, 2015

Brain model in the Top Ten

The technology to grow three dimensional brain structures from human stem cells, has been named a top ten technology of the „MIT technology review“.

December 05, 2014

Josef Penninger and Barry Dickson receive Awards of the City of Vienna

On 3rd of December 2014, City Councillor Andreas Mailath-Pokorny presented this year’s Awards of the City of Vienna. Among the awardees are two scientists from the Vienna Biocenter, Vienna’s center of excellence for life science research. Josef Penninger, director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, was honoured in the field of Medicine. Barry Dickson, former director of the Research Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), received the Natural Science Award.

November 25, 2014

Tremendous progress in the development of skin stem cell treatments for butterfly children

Scientists at IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna have made a major advancement towards a future therapy for butterfly children. A treatment with fibroblasts generated from induced pluripotent stem cells has been highly successful in mice. The next step is to establish this method in humans.
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press release "trememdous progress in the development of skin stem cell treatments for butterfly children

August 22, 2014

Cause of congenital immunodeficiency in children identified

Scientists at the IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences have succeeded in simulating congenital immunodeficiency syndrome in mice and identifying a possibility for its treatment. The researchers have now published their findings in the renowned scientific journal Nature Genetics.
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press release "Cause of congenital immunodeficiency in children identified"

August 18, 2014

Stem cells go on a diet

In the up-to-the-minute field of stem cell research, researchers at the IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Austrian Academy of Sciences – are causing a stir with two discoveries: when stem cells are no longer needed, they starve themselves to death. It is the stem cells' metabolism that seals their fate.
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press release "Stem cells go on a diet"

June 23, 2014

IMBA director Josef Penninger receives Wittgenstein Award 2014

The geneticist has been honored for his scientific achievements in the fields of biomedicine and disease pattern research
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Press release "IMBA director Josef Penninger receives Wittgenstein Award 2014"

May 26, 2014

New strategy to avoid collateral damage in cancer

Scientists at IMBA have identified the final component that turns the RNA ligase into a fully viable enzyme in humans. That opens up perspectives for new treatment strategies for numerous types of breast cancer and leukemia.
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Press release "New strategy to avoid collateral damage in cancer"

April 25, 2014

Cover story in „Cell“ : New neurological syndrome in children discovered

An international team including researchers from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences has found a new neurodegenerative syndrome in children that coincides with disorders of the brain and peripheral nervous system. It is caused by a mutation in the CLP1 gene. This is the first time the gene has been linked to human diseases.
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Press release "New neurological syndrome in children discovered"

March 14, 2014

When the brain's clock goes awry

Mutations in the genes of a protein complex called SWI/SNF are one of the most common causes of cancer in humans. But until now it wasn't clear how these changes in the genome lead to tumors. Using a fruit fly as a model organism, Jürgen Knoblich and his team from the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) at the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) have now been able to discover how the growth of progenitor cells spins out of control as a result of genetic defects. This understanding of the mechanism that causes tumors is important for the targeted development of medicines to fight them.
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Press Release When the brain's clock goes awry

February 19, 2014

New Paradigm in Cancer Immunotherapy

Scientists reveal a novel mechanism that controls tumor metastases

January 24, 2014

Bacteria like to move it!

IMBA Scientists reveal mechanism and dynamics of pathogen invasion of cells by 3D electron miocroscopy.

December 09, 2013

Ice-cold methods decode bacterial infection systems

Bacteria have an efficient infection mechanism. They infect their host cells using syringe-like extensions, formed in large numbers during an attack. Based on the knowledge of the exact blueprint of these structures, researchers in Vienna have now revealed for the first time how the toxins infiltrate the cells. Their findings can lead to the development of new medicines for bacterial infections.
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Press Release Ice-cold methods decode bacterial infecton systems

November 25, 2013

Molecular Glue controls Chromosome Segregation in Oocytes

Most trisomic pregnancies arise as a consequence of chromosome missegregation in egg precursor cells called oocytes. Austrian researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) aim to understand the molecular causes of female age-dependent chromosome missegregation in oocytes. They have now discovered that a “molecular glue” called cohesin plays an important role in proper functioning of checkpoint control, ensuring correct chromosome segregation and production of euploid eggs.
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Press Release Molecular Glue controls Chromosome Segregation in Oocytes
Mouse oocyte in which bivalent cohesion is maintained by TEV protease-cleavable cohesin

August 28, 2013

Brains on Demand

Complex human brain tissue has been successfully developed in a three-dimensional culture system established in an Austrian laboratory. The method described in the current issue of NATURE allows pluripotent stem cells to develop into cerebral organoids – or "mini brains" – that consist of several discrete brain regions. Instead of using so-called patterning growth factors to achieve this, scientists at the renowned Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (OeAW) fine-tuned growth conditions and provided a conducive environment. As a result, intrinsic cues from the stem cells guided the development towards different interdependent brain tissues. Using the "mini brains", the scientists were also able to model the development of a human neuronal disorder and identify its origin – opening up routes to long hoped-for model systems of the human brain.
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Press Release Brains on Demand
CV Madeline Lancaster
CV Juergen Knoblich
Legend Images

June 04, 2013

The fight against genome parasites

In the gonads of animals, genome parasites such as transposons pose a serious threat to evolutionary fitness. With their ability to bounce around in the genome, they often cause dangerous mutations. To protect genomic integrity, animals evolved a sophisticated mechanism – the so called piRNA pathway – to silence the deleterious transposons. Not much is known about the molecular processes and the involved factors that constitute the piRNA pathway. Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) in Vienna have now identified ~50 genes, that play important roles in the piRNA pathway of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster.
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March 10, 2013

Mutated gene causes nerve cell death

Researchers identify new mechanism in the onset of incurable nerve disease Stephen Hawking, a British astrophysicist, is likely to be the world's most famous person living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a progressive disease affecting motor neurons, nerve cells that control muscle function, and nearly always leads to death. Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) in Vienna have now identified a completely new mechanism in the onset of motor neuron diseases. Their findings could be the basis for future treatments for these presently incurable diseases.
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Legend Press Release CLP1
Portrait Javier Martinez
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Press Release Mutated Gene causes Nerve Cell Death

December 11, 2012

Jürgen Knoblich receives Erwin Schrödinger Prize 2012

The molecular biologist is awarded for his outstanding work in the field of stem cell research
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October 21, 2012

Breast cancer advance wins IMBA $7.4m US award

A new approach to possible future prevention of breast cancer and slowing the spread of tumours has won Austrian researcher Josef Penninger, director...
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July 24, 2012

How malnutrition leads to inflamed intestines

Researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, Austria, have uncovered how malnutrition, affecting millions of people, leads to diarrhoea, inflamed intestines and immune system disorders. This surprising result explains food effects that have been known for centuries and provides a molecular link between malnutrition and the bacteria which live in our intestines. The results will be published on 26 July 2012 in the journal Nature.
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June 20, 2012

New play by Carl Djerassi at the Campus Vienna Biocenter

Vienna, 19 June 2012 Carl Djerassi, inventor of the pill and the author of numerous novels and plays, has chosen the Campus Vienna Biocenter (VBC) as the third performance venue for his new work 'Insufficiency' . The play will be presented by the VBC Amateur Dramatic Club; the actors are all scientists working on the campus. 'Insufficiency' joins Djerassi's other works in the genres he created: 'science-in-fiction' and 'science-in-theater', in which he brings scientific issues and everyday problems faced by researchers to the stage, making them accessible to non-scientists.

June 01, 2012

Self-learning computer program analyzes cell division process

Daniel Gerlich, a biologist at the IMBA – Institute of Molecular Biotechnology, has developed a new, fully-automated method that allows microscopic images to be analyzed and evaluated without human support. This new technology was introduced in "Nature Methods", a scientific journal.
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April 26, 2012

Parkinson's disease: causal research leads to new therapies

The Institute of Molecular Biotechnology and the Center for Biomedicine at the European Academy in Bolzano present a joint research project.
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March 06, 2012

Micro-RNAs fight high cholesterol

For the first time, scientists are now able to examine the functions of microRNAs in adult mammals. This breakthrough has been made possible by a new method invented by Stefan Ameres of the IMBA – Institute for Molecular Biotechnology. The method is now being used to develop a treatment for high blood cholesterol.
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February 18, 2012

Josef Penninger announced AAAS Fellow

Scientific Director Josef Penninger has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
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December 01, 2011

How the bioweapon ricin kills - scientists solve mystery through revolutionary new technology

A key protein that controls how the deadly plant poison and bioweapon ricin kills, has finally been identified by researchers at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna, Austria. The discovery was made using a revolutionary technology that combines stem cell biology and modern screening methods, and reported today (Friday 2 December 2011) in the scientific journal Cell Stem Cell.
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October 20, 2011

Why is man smarter than the mouse?

Stem cells in the human brain produce far more nerve cells than corresponding cells in mice. Jürgen Knoblich, a researcher at the Vienna Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (IMBA) found out what mechanisms are responsible, and why the orientation of the cells plays a role.
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August 19, 2011

A hippo in the head

Stem cells gone rampant cause brain tumors
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March 03, 2011

The weaponry of salmonellae

December 03, 2010

Honorary Doctorate for Carl Djerassi

Carl Djerassi received an honorary doctorate from the Technical University of Graz, Austria.

November 21, 2010

“Genetics & Art - A Symbiosis”

The University of Applied Arts in Vienna and the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) realize a joint project.
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November 12, 2010

Pain gene found in flies, mice and people may have links to creativity

A newly discovered gene which helps to control the sense of pain is linked to synaesthesia, when sensations such as touch also affect other senses...
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November 09, 2010

Nol9 is a novel polynucleotide 5'-kinase involved in ribosomal RNA processing

Ribosomes are large ribonucleoproteins that translate the genetic information from RNA into protein. Therefore, protein production is fully dependent...

September 30, 2010

Researchers find how HRT and the Pill can lead to breast cancer and suggest possible treatment

Medical scientists have uncovered how hormone replacement therapy and contraceptive pills can lead to breast cancer, according to research published online by Nature today (Wednesday 29 September, 2010). The findings raise the hope that hormone induced breast cancer may be prevented in future using a new treatment for the bone-loss disease osteoporosis.
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September 02, 2010

An in vivo RNAi assay identifies major genetic and cellular requirements for primary piRNA biogenesis in Drosophila

Transposons are mobile genetic elements that threaten the genome’s integrity of nearly every organism due to their mutagenic character. In the animal...

September 02, 2010

Role of the RNA/DNA kinase Grc3 in transcription termination by RNA polymerase I

Transcription termination is crucial for the release of RNA polymerases from their transcripts. Defective termination can lead to interference with...

July 07, 2010

Beatrix Karl, Minister of Science and Research visited IMBA

Dr. Beatrix Karl, Austrian Minister of Science and Research visited IMBA on Thursday, July 8th. Scientific Director Josef Penninger who hosted the visit guided Beatrix Karl through the Institute and presented a selection of IMBA’s latest research projects.

June 30, 2010

ERC Starting Grant for Julius Brennecke

IMBA Group Leader Julius Brennecke has been awarded one of the prestigious “Starting Independent Researcher Grants“ by the European Research Council ERC.

June 13, 2010

Julius Brennecke awarded START Prize

Brennecke is one of six young scientists who have been accepted into the prestigious START Program of the Austrian government this year.

May 16, 2010

Jürgen Knoblich appointed corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences

In its annual election meeting on April 23, 2010, the Austrian Academy of Sciences has appointed its new members, associated members, honorary members...

April 24, 2010

Electron tomography reveals unbranched networks of actin filaments in lamellipodia

Cells migrate using the polymerization of actin filaments arranged in a network to push the membrane at their front edge, forming thin sheets of...

April 04, 2010

A global in vivo Drosophila RNAi screen identifies NOT3 as a conserved regulator of heart function

The human genome project was a major advance allowing for molecular foot hold towards an understanding of human diseases. The real question now is...

February 10, 2010

Flying to the heart of the matter

The first systematic map of heart failure identifies hundreds of genes that regulate heart function.

January 06, 2010

Weight is a prickly problem

November 25, 2009

A RANK insider resolving the enigma of the fever chart

The mammalian system for controlling bone remodelling also regulates fever
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October 16, 2009

IMBA Scientist Jürgen Knoblich receives Wittgenstein Award 2009

The molecular biologist is honored for his groundbreaking findings in the field of stem cell biology.
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April 14, 2009

Clarification of all genetic functions comes within reach

Using a new method which will allow more systematic investigation of diseases in future, the IMBA stem cell researcher Jürgen Knoblich has for the first time succeeded in analysing gene functions simultaneously across the entire genome of an organism.
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January 15, 2009

DREAM: one gene regulates pain, learning and memory

The DREAM-gene which is crucial in regulating pain perception seems to also influence learning and memory.
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October 07, 2008

Solving the Puzzle of Stem Cell Divison

The central question of developmental biology is how a single fertilized egg can divide repeatedly to produce multiple different cell types.
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April 17, 2008

New Strategies against bird flu

Austrian scientists identify the common mechanism underlying acute respiratory disease syndrome ARDS.
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November 01, 2007

Breakdown in the Power Plant of the Cell

A research team led by Josef Penninger examined the molecular processes that take place in the development of Type 2 diabetes. The findings turned previous beliefs of cause-and-effect upside down. The magazine Cell devoted its cover page to the topic.
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March 07, 2007

Descartes Prize for Josef Penninger’s Research

EU Honours International Project on Cell Death
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July 26, 2006

Electricity to heal wounds

Researchers in Austria, Scotland, US and Japan have made an exciting breakthrough in showing that electricity has a major impact on the healing of wounds.
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June 02, 2006

Nanostructures of the Infective Apparatus of Salmonella

In Salmonella, structural changes to the molecular infection apparatus also signal an end to its further assembly.
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May 24, 2006

Opening of the ÖAW Life Sciences Center Vienna

The Life Sciences Center Vienna of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) on the Campus Vienna Biocenter was opened on May 23rd with due ceremony. The...
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March 29, 2006

Study shows drug blocks breast cancer migration to bone

Therapy could help prevent metastasis
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March 23, 2006

The Brat that Causes Cancer

Groundbreaking research on tumor stem cells hints at a detailed understanding of cancerous growth – and perhaps at possibilities for therapy.
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July 11, 2005

The killer behind SARS and Avian flu

The Vienna Biocenter in the third district of Vienna has established itself as the premier location for life sciences in Central Europe and is a world-leading international bio-medical research center.

 

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