Breast cancer is characterised by broad genetic diversity. Successful treatment is made even more difficult by the fact that, in advanced breast cancer, the properties of metastases often differ significantly from the primary tumour. The Heidelberg CATCH study is now collecting genetic profiles from patients' metastasis tissue samples, which can be used to tailor therapy to individual requirements.
National and international policy papers emphasize the role of the education sector in the transition into a bioeconomy. On the practical level, various actors are working on programmes to prepare professionals for future challenges. The University of Hohenheim, for example, offers a bioeconomy master's programme and is one of the universities that have laid the cornerstone for the “European Bioeconomy University” consortium.
EHRs, i.e. electronic health records (German: Patientenakte, ePA), are hailed as the key to increasing the quality of care. The Appointment Service and Supply Act (TSVG), adopted on 14th March 2019, requires the German statutory health insurance funds to provide policyholders with electronic health records from 1st January 2021 onwards.
Carbon fibre is increasingly found in airplanes, cars and wind turbines. Carbon fibre is still made from oil and relatively expensive. However, this is soon to change. Researchers from the German Institutes of Textile and Fibre Research in Denkendorf (DITF) are working on the development of cost-effective carbon fibre made of lignin, a by-product of papermaking.
Almost all humans are infected with Epstein-Barr viruses (EBV), which are linked to the development of benign diseases such as infectious mononucleosis as well as several cancers. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have developed a new strategy for creating a vaccine that targets different EBV virus life phases and has the potential to provide effective protection against EBV infection.
Baden-Württemberg is known for innovation in textiles and for playing a decisive role in the development of sustainable textiles for the future both in the clothing and the booming technical textile sectors. Companies and research institutes are focused on making the entire textile value chain from raw materials, production and useful life to disposal more sustainable than ever before.
Brain-computer interfaces are the latest developments in the neurotechnology field. They are used to record brain activity, which is then decoded with artificial intelligence techniques and converted into control signals for robots or computers. While this brings hope to severely paralysed people, it also implies risks due to the interest of companies like Google and Facebook in this type of data.
Wood pulp as well as hemp and flax are renewable raw materials that can be processed into fibres of a new performance class using innovative technologies. They are environmentally friendly and help to solve waste problems. Products and processes for these fibres of the future are being developed at the DITF Denkendorf. They are suitable for textile and technical applications.
Retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) are now treatable. However, it is hard to predict individual disease progression. A group of researchers at the University Eye Centre in Freiburg are currently developing a new system which is hoped will allay fears and improve therapy planning. The system uses artificial intelligence to predict therapeutic outcome from image and patient data. Initial results are already available.
Chemists and microbiologists at Tübingen University discover sugar molecule that inhibits the growth of plants and microorganisms and is harmless to human cells ‒ An alternative to controversial glyphosate?
Industry has been using enzymes for over a hundred years. While it initially had to content itself with natural enzymes, it is now increasingly possible to design tailor-made biocatalysts with specific properties. The start-up company candidum GmbH from Stuttgart promises to achieve this faster than ever before - mostly thanks to accelerated virtual screening.
Completely new possibilities for research and gene therapy became available following the development of the CRISPR/Cas method for targeted modification of the genome. However, treatment with molecular scissors is not without risk as potential errors are stored in the genome forever. Scientists from Tübingen have developed an alternative method in which the intervention takes place at the RNA level using the body's own enzymes and is thus reversible.
A research project in cartilage regeneration, in which the Institute of Orthopaedic Research and Biomechanics at Ulm University participates together with partners from eight european countries, was recently financed by the European Commission with 5.5 million Euro. Named RESTORE, the project aims to create 3D matrices incorporating smart nanomaterials to repair knee cartilage lesions thereby reducing or delaying the onset of osteoarthritis, which currently affects 242 million people worldwide.
In Germany, around 1,500 tonnes of antibiotics per year are administered to humans and animals. As a result, more and more bacteria are developing resistance to common antibiotics. As part of HyReKA, a cooperative project funded by the BMBF, scientists led by Professor Thomas Schwartz from the KIT are investigating how antibiotic-resistant pathogens spread and how they can be prevented from doing so.