Archaeological Discovery of Global Significance Scoops Prize

Professor Carla Jaimes Betancourt from the Department for the Anthropology of the Americas at the University of Bonn and Heiko Prümers from the German Archaeological Institute have been presented with a prestigious Field Discovery Award by the Shanghai Archaeology Forum in recognition of their studies of extensive pre-Hispanic settlements in the Bolivian Amazon. 

Giving Refugee Researchers a New Academic Home

For its second winter school, the Cologne/Bonn Academy in Exile (CBA) will be joined by researchers from various departments to examine the situation facing researchers in exile in the past and present. The academy’s fellows—all refugee researchers from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus—will present their research projects, while a number of experts have been invited to give lectures. The speakers will include Jürgen Warmbrunn from the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe in Marburg and Irina Shcherbakova, co-founder of the human rights organization Memorial, which was awarded the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize.

Digital Twins Improve Stroke Treatment

After someone has suffered a stroke or brain hemorrhage, it is a race against time to prevent their brain cells from dying. Admittedly, it still sounds like science fiction: physicians are using a digital twin to test out the most promising potential treatments for precisely this scenario. However, if all goes to plan for the researchers in the European consortium christened “Gemini” (“twin” in Latin), this could be a reality in as little as six years. The 19 partners led by Amsterdam University Medical Center (UMC) have received a Horizon grant worth €10 million from the European Commission to tackle the project. The Department of (Social) Ethics in the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Bonn is also involved in the work. 

Tracking Molecules at Turbo Speed

Being able to observe micro-organisms and their cellular components is key to understanding fundamental processes that go on inside cells—and thus potentially developing new medical treatments. Microbiologists and biophysicists from the University of Bonn and the Wageningen University & Research have now developed a method that makes the high-throughput process for observing molecules five times faster, enabling insights to be gained into hitherto unknown cellular functions. The results were published in Nature Methods.

Main regulator for the body`s oven discovered

Brown fat cells convert energy into heat – a key to eliminating unwanted fat deposits. In addition, they also protect against cardiovascular diseases. Researchers from the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Life & Health" at the University of Bonn have now identified the protein EPAC1 as a new pharmacological target to increase brown fat mass and activity. The long-term aim is to find medicines that support weight loss. The results of the study have now been published in the renowned journal "Nature Cell Biology".

New call for prototyping grants open until February 25

Researchers at the University of Bonn can receive up to € 50,000 to further develop science-based and innovative start-up ideas. For this purpose, the Transfer Center enaCom invites applications for prototyping grants to prepare start-up projects from research for commercialization. The application deadline for the current call is February 25, 2024.

How does a molecular freight elevator work?

Some bacterial membrane transporters work almost like freight elevators to transport substances through the cell membrane into the interior of the cell. The transporter itself spans the bacterial membrane. Like a forklift, a soluble protein outside the bacterium transports the substance to the "elevator" and unloads its cargo there. The freight elevator transports it to the inside of the cell, in other words to another floor. Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and the University of Bonn, in collaboration with a team from the University of York, have now studied the interaction between the transporter and its soluble substrate binding protein. Interestingly, they adapt precisely to each other during the transportation process. As this happens very quickly, the researchers virtually "blocked" the elevator by specifically inserting anchors, so-called disulphide bridges. This enabled them to prove that only the loaded "forklift" fits the "elevator" if it is on the right floor. This makes transportation really effective. The study has now been published in the journal "Nature Communications".

Expert in the targeted degradation of proteins

Prof. Radosław P. Nowak has taken up the new professorship for "Immune Engineering and Drug Discovery" at the Institute of Structural Biology at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB). The 36-year-old biochemist will strengthen the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University of Bonn scientifically in the field of systems immunology. He also wants to actively promote the topic of "drug discovery" in Bonn on an interfaculty basis and with non-university institutes. The aim is to create a high-performance, internationally competitive center for drug discovery. Prof. Nowak's academic training took him first to Oxford and then to Boston. He now comes from the Center for Protein Degradation (CPD) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School.

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