International Conference: Mathematics Meets Life Sciences

Mathematical modelling and analysis are essential for all fields of the life sciences nowadays, ranging from basic research to clinical application. The collaboration between mathematicians and life scientists has a long tradition in Bonn. This week Bonn researchers exchange views with colleagues from Germany and abroad on the current status and possible future developments at an international conference at the Wissenschaftszentrum Bonn. 

Gene scissors find target for testicular cancer therapy

Cisplatin is used successfully in the chemotherapy of testicular cancer. However, patients who develop resistance to the cytostatic drug urgently need alternative therapy options. Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) have now been able to elucidate a mechanism underlying cisplatin resistance in testicular cancer. Using CRISPR gene scissors, they identified the NAE1 gene as its driver. Inhibiting this resistance mediator by adding the NAE1 inhibitor MLN4924 not only restores the effect of cisplatin, but also has an additional killing effect on tumor cells. The study results have now been published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Enlarged University Council Begins New Term of Office

The members of the recently newly elected University Council of the University of Bonn have been handed their appointment certificates for their 2023–2028 term of office by Gonca Türkeli-Dehnert, State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture and Science of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. At the inaugural meeting following the presentation, the University Council re-elected Prof. Dr. Dieter Engels, former President of the Federal Court of Auditors, as its Chairperson. Prof. Engels has chaired the body since as long ago as 2013.

Fighting cancer cells with immune cells

The research group led by Dr. Laura Surace at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Clinical Pharmacology at the University Hospital Bonn has received funding from the German Cancer Aid through the Max Eder Junior Research Group Program. The program was established to specifically support the research of up-and-coming young oncologists. This is intended to benefit not only the field of oncology, but also the training of the researchers. Surace joins a group of around 30 young scientists who are being supported throughout Germany.

New project to eliminate worm infections in sub-Saharan Africa

Worm infections (helminthiases) affect around 1.5 billion people worldwide, making them one of the most prevalent infections in humans. Parasitic worms (helminths) are often transmitted through insect bites or contaminated soil in areas with limited access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare. These infections can cause chronic and debilitating health problems, such as lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), loiasis (African eye worm), mansonellosis, and trichuriasis (whipworm infection).In the new eWHORM project, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Marc Hübner from the University of Bonn, African and European partners join forces to enable the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) “Road Map for Neglected Tropical Diseases” (NTDs) and reduce the burden of disease associated with worm infections.

Better air due to slurry acidification

Large quantities of excrements are produced in livestock farming. When it is stored in the barn and spread on the fields as fertilizer, ammonia is produced. The gas is harmful to health and also significantly pollutes the environment. A retrofit solution for existing barn systems promises a remedy: A study by the University of Bonn shows that this can reduce ammonia emissions by around 40 percent just inside the barn. It reduces the production of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, even more significantly. The method could therefore also make an important contribution to the fight against climate change. The results will be published in the Journal of Environmental Management, but are already available online.

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