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A team of researchers, including Ashwin Chari's group from the MPIfor Biophysical Chemistry, has identified several candidates for drugs against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Among them are two promising compounds that are currently being investigated in preclinical studies. This drug screening – probably the largest of its kind – also revealed a new binding site on the virus. more

The German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology honored Patrick Cramer, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, with the Otto Warburg Medal. Virologist Christian Drosten of the Berlin Charité received the Eduard Buchner Award. At the virtual event, both scientists presented their latest results from corona research. more

The BioDiversum will be built in the coming months. It will provide a habitat for endangered animal and plant species. Today, earthworks for the pond began, the biotope’s central measure. With this project on its premises near Nikolausberg, the institute wants to contribute its share to stopping the massive loss of biodiversity. more

Scientists headed by Stefan Hell at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry and the MPI for Medical Research have developed a new microscopy method, called MINSTED, which resolves fluorophore-labeled details with molecular sharpness. more

The MPI for Biophysical Chemistry and for Experimental Medicine will merge. On March 12, the decision-making bodies of the Max Planck Society approved this plan. Formally, both institutions will be closed and a new MPI will be founded. The future institute will bring together natural science and basic medical research. more

The Hector Foundation honors the Max Planck Director for his outstanding research in the field of gene transcription. Patrick Cramer's research has made a formative contribution to the life sciences and to interdisciplinary collaboration, emphasized laudator Christoph Klein. The prize is endowed with 150,000 euros. (in German) more

The research award is one of the most prestigious in Europe and endowed with 500,000 Swiss francs. With this prize the Louis-Jeantet Foundation honors the molecular biologist for his pioneering work in the field of gene transcription. Transcription is a copying process enabling living cells to produce transcripts of their genes that then serve as blueprints for making proteins. Cramer’s research focuses on the molecular machines, called RNA polymerases, that control this fundamental process of life. more

The first Covid-19 drug remdesivir is designed to suppress the rapid replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in human cells by blocking the viral copying machine, called RNA polymerase. Researchers at the institute and the University of Würzburg have now elucidated how remdesivir interferes with the viral polymerase during copying and why it does not inhibit it completely. Their results explain why the drug has a rather weak effect. 

Viral vinaigrette

December 16, 2020

The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 builds tiny droplets to multiply effectively inside infected cells. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry have discovered this phenomenon. It may offer starting points for drug development. more

Göttingen researchers led by Stefan Glöggler measure a biochemical reaction in real time with a low-field magnetic resonance device for the first time. This constitutes an important step towards constructing small, flexible MRI devices. more

This year' s prize endowed with 1500 euros goes to Chun So at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry. With the Nikon Young Scientist Award, the German Society for Cell Biology annually honors outstanding young doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows. The cell biologist receives the prize for his work on meiosis of the egg cell. more

Holger Stark and his team have broken a crucial resolution barrier in cryo-electron microscopy. The scientists succeeded in observing single atoms in a protein structure and taking the sharpest images ever with this method. Such unprecedented details are essential to understand how proteins perform their work or cause diseases in the living cell. The technique can in future also be used to develop active compounds for new drugs. more

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