A "corset" for the enzyme structure

The structure of enzymes determines how they control vital processes such as digestion or immune response. This is because the protein compounds are not rigid, but can change their shape through movable "hinges". The shape of enzymes can depend on whether their structure is measured in the test tube or in the living cell. This is what physicochemists at the University of Bonn discovered about YopO, an enzyme of the plague pathogen. This fundamental result, which has now been published in the journal "Angewandte Chemie", is potentially also of interest for drug research.

Catalyst enables reactions with the help of green light

For the first time, chemists at the University of Bonn and Lehigh University in Bethlehem (USA) have developed a titanium catalyst that makes light usable for selective chemical reactions. It provides a cost-effective and non-toxic alternative to the ruthenium and iridium catalysts used so far, which are based on very expensive and toxic metals. The new catalyst can be used to produce highly selective chemical products that can provide the basis for antiviral drugs or luminescent dyes, for example. The results have been published in the international edition of the journal "Angewandte Chemie".

Stronger together: in the fight against COVID-19, research institutions around the globe are joining forces.

Many questions surrounding the novel coronavirus remain unanswered. But one thing is already clear: the pathogen affects us all, be it in China, Germany, South Africa or the US. Fighting the disease is increasingly carried out at international level. The University of Bonn is part of numerous international networks that operate on very different levels, striving to slow down the wave of infection.

Low-income earners suffer most from the COVID-19 crisis

Home office at full pay is not an option for all employees hit by the coronavirus crisis. To analyze changes in work arrangements during the pandemic, a team of economists from the Cluster of Excellence ECONtribute in cooperation with the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) surveyed around 5,500 individuals in the Netherlands from March 20-31. The results show that high-skilled workers spend more time in the home office, while less-skilled workers are more likely to work reduced hours or lose their jobs.

Prof. Joachim von Braun helps to prepare the 2021 UN Food System Summit

UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohamed has invited Professor Joachim von Braun, Director of Center for Development Research of University of Bonn (ZEF) to chair the Scientific Group for the Food System Summit of the UN Secretary General, which shall be held in 2021.

Researchers find out how cells recognize uninvited guests

Until now, the immune sensor TLR8 has remained in the shadows of science. A research team led by the University of Bonn has now discovered how this sensor plays an important role in defending human cells against intruders. The enzymes RNaseT2 and RNase2 cut ribonucleic acids (RNAs) of bacteria into small fragments that are as characteristic as a thumbprint. Only then can TLR8 recognize the dangerous pathogens and initiate countermeasures. The results have now been published in the renowned journal "Immunity".

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