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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.
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.
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”.
We are Falling Walls Finalists! Watch our science breakthrough in the Science and Innovation Management Category here: Enable the next impact-driven generation of scientists Register for free to join the virtual showcase of the Science Breakthroughs of the Year from 1 – 10 November 2020
Ten days of research, innovation and international exchange - Berlin Science Week and Falling Walls invite you to a Remote World Science Summit this year. With more than 200 virtual discussion events, workshops, exhibitions and performances, the organizers defy the pandemic and want to promote a deeper understanding of the world. Neuroscientists will discuss, for example, how to deal with dementia.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry to NeuroCure PI Prof. Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier, Scientific and Managing Director of the newly established Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens in Berlin for her groundbreaking work on the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology. She shares the prize with Jennifer Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, USA.
MDC researchers received a $150,000 pilot project grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s Neurodegeneration Challenge Network to investigate a defining feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
One of the largest international meetings of neuroscientists, the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS), went virtual this year from 11-15 July 2020, offering five days of lectures, posters, symposia, exhibitions, networking and development opportunities.
ECN’s booth at the “Research in Germany” virtual career fair this year saw nearly 500 visitors. The chatroom was fully booked for every minute of the four-hour event as dozens of students expressed interest in the program and asked questions about the curriculum, lab rotations, and the application process and requirements.
During the Annual Computational Neuroscience Meeting 2020 – ECN fellow Alexandra Tzilivaki organizes a workshop entitled: Dissecting the role of interneurons in mnemonic functions using computational modelling approaches."
Cellular waste disposal, where autophagy and lysosomes interact, performs elementary functions, such as degrading damaged protein molecules, which impair cellular function, and reintroducing the resulting building blocks such as amino acids into the metabolic system. This recycling process is known to keep cells young and, for instance, protects against protein aggregation, which occurs in neurodegenerative diseases. But what, apart from starvation, actually gets this important system going?
Though academic institutions have contributed enormously to the remarkable growth in the healthcare industry, a key limiting resource for this continued growth is the creation of career opportunities for doctoral graduates.
Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is the most common form of inherited neuropathies. A genetic mutation causes the insulating myelin layer of peripheral nerves to become progressively damaged, resulting in severe disabilities in the case of CMT type 4B, for instance. Since the molecular basis is largely unknown, this type of CMT is untreatable and incurable to this day. Now researchers from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) in Berlin, in collaboration with colleagues from Milan, Paris and Mexico, have been able to highlight a new molecular mechanism.
Many neurological disorders are associated with impaired movement. Neuromodulation, the targeted electrical stimulation of nerve cells, can help to control altered neuronal network activity. A new Transregional Collaborative Research Center (SFB/Transregio) will now study the nature of the neuromodulation mechanisms which are responsible for a range of conditions.
Happy to announce our new website section Mental Health in cooperation with Scholar Minds, which is a self-organized-initiative of PhD students at Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin trying to provide the Berlin neuroscience community with some relief.
A research group led by Professor Dietmar Schmitz of Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin has pinpointed the area of the brain involved in transferring memory-associated information into long-term memory. The results have now been published in Nature Communications*.
Professor Volker Haucke from the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and the Freie Universität Berlin receives a prestigious ERC Advanced Grant of the European Research Council (ERC). The biochemist is granted a total funding of up to 2.5 million euros for a period of five years for his highly innovative research on the assembly of synapses.
A current research project underway at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), in cooperation with the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence at Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, suggests that individual antibodies from the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with limbic encephalitis, a certain form of autoimmune encephalitis, increases the excitability of nerve cells. This finding moves us in the direction of a better understanding of the disease. The results have been published in the journal Annals of Neurology* (Ann Neurol 2020; 87: 405-418).
The mystery of general anesthesia is that it specifically suppresses consciousness by disrupting feedback signaling in the brain, even when feedforward signaling and basic neuronal function are left relatively unchanged. The mechanism for such selectiveness is unknown. A team of scientists from Germany (Matthew Larkum & Suzuki Mototaka, Humboldt University of Berlin) showed that three different anesthetics have the same disruptive influence on signaling along apical dendrites in cortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons in mice.
A team of scientists from Germany (Matthew Larkum, Humboldt University of Berlin) and Greece (Panayiota Poirazi, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (IMBB-FORTH)) have discovered a unique form of cell messaging occurring in the human brain that's not been seen before.