Press Releases

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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Press_Release_The_fight_against_genome_parasites_E_01.pdf
Drosophila Gonads
Portrait Julius Brennecke
Legend_Picture_Drosophila_Gonads.txt

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
Portrait Stefan Weitzer
Press Release Mutated Gene causes Nerve Cell Death

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