November 2020

How SARS-CoV-2 reaches the brain

Using post-mortem tissue samples, a team of researchers from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin have studied the mechanisms by which the novel coronavirus can reach the brains of patients with COVID-19, and how the immune system responds to the virus once it does. The results, which show that SARS-CoV-2 enters the brain via nerve cells in the olfactory mucosa, have been published in Nature Neuroscience*. For the first time, researchers have been able to produce electron microscope images of intact coronavirus particles inside the olfactory mucosa.

Read more … How SARS-CoV-2 reaches the brain

A new generation of optogenetic tools for research and medicine

The European Research Council (ERC) is providing 10 million euros in funding for an interdisciplinary, collaborative project to structurally and biophysically analyze selected photo-receptors and develop them into “OptoGPCRs”, light-controlled molecular switches with a wide range of applications in biology and medicine. 

Read more … A new generation of optogenetic tools for research and medicine

Surprising insights into the role of autophagy in neurons

It appears that autophagy protects our neurons in the brain, but evidently for entirely different reasons than previously assumed, as researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Charité in Berlin have now shown. These fundamentally new findings have now been published in the prestigious journal “Neuron”.

Read more … Surprising insights into the role of autophagy in neurons