The Journal “The Lancet Global Health” has published the results of a longitudinal cohort study on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in Ethiopia. In an Ethiopian-German research collaboration, the Division of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the LMU University Hospital investigated blood samples of frontline healthcare workers and residents from urban and rural communities for antibodies. The results suggest that the true COVID-19 prevalence is much higher than previously reported official figures. Therefore, the research team recommends a realignment of the vaccination strategy for Africa.
At the recently opened Deutsches Museum Nuremberg, the University of Bayreuth offers insights into its expertise in the field of biofabrication involving unique materials, for example spider silk. Research led by Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheibel at the Biomaterials research group combines natural growth processes and technical systems with the aim of specifically rebuilding damaged tissue in organs, skin, nerves, and tendons. Consequently, in the "Body & Mind" exhibition area, one of the exhibits is a bioreactor from the Department of Biomaterials that simulates the cultivation of heart muscle tissue.
Using telemedicine, COVID-19 patients can be cared for safely at home – from initial home isolation to recovery or, in case problems arise, admission to hospital. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now successfully demonstrated this in a study involving 150 patients with risk factors for a severe progression of the disease.
A remarkable number of life-threatening diseases manifest more severely in males than in females. One current example is COVID-19 caused by SARS CoV-2. Another example is the significantly higher risk of severe cancer progression for men. A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered a molecular cause for this difference between sexes.
Complex autoimmune diseases affecting various organ systems remain one of the greatest medical challenges in spite of immense advances in treatment. In particular, the diffuse symptoms at the early stage of complex autoimmune diseases make it hard to diagnose the condition early on, which in turn delays treatment. A team of researchers at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has now demonstrated that treatment can be extremely effective if autoimmune diseases are treated as early as possible, even before the first clinical symptoms appear. The results were published in the journal iScience.
Poxviruses have found a unique way of translating their genes into proteins in the infected organism. For the first time, scientists of the University of Würzburg's Biocenter have been able to gain atomic-level insights into the functioning of the molecular machinery involved in the process. The pictures taken enable them to represent the early phase of transcription in a movie-like manner.
The proteins of SARS-CoV-2 play key roles in how the virus manages to evade immune defense and replicate itself in patients’ cells. An international research team – with significant contribution from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) – has now compiled the most detailed view of the virus' protein structures available to date. The analysis employing artificial intelligence methods has revealed surprising findings.
Scientists have long been aware of a link between the gut microbiome and the central nervous system (CNS). Until now, however, the immune cells that move from the gut into the CNS and thus the brain had not been identified. A team of researchers in Munich has now succeeded in using violet light to make these migrating T cells visible for the first time. This opens up avenues for developing new treatment options for diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and cancer.
Against infections, tumours and inflammations, immune cells are locally positioned as rapid reaction forces in the organs of the body. On site, they specialise and take on various tasks.
T cells play a decisive role in fighting the coronavirus and preventing infected individuals from becoming seriously ill. They identify and fight the virus directly within the infected cells. A team of researchers working in Munich have produced a precise profile of the T cells that respond to SARS-CoV-2 and described them at various stages of the illness. This novel methodological approach may in the future also help to assess the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines or in the development of T cell-based treatments for serious cases.