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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

With this award, the university honors Reinhard Lührmann's pioneering work in spliceosome research. Spliceosomes are molecular "cutting tables" that bring the building instructions for proteins - the tools of living cells - into a readable form. (in German) more

Sufficiently small systems warm up faster than they cool down. Aljaz Godec and Allesio Lapolla have now mathematically proven this unforeseen asymmetry. They have shown that the counterplay of potential energy and entropy in the system, which warms up, is less of an obstacle on return to thermodynamic equilibrium.  more

Six top researchers, six current topics in medicine, social and natural sciences – that is what this year's lecture series Wissenschaft beim Göttinger Literaturherbst offers. The lectures will take place from October 23 to November 1 at 7 pm as usual in the Historical Hall of the Paulinerkirche – but as purely online events. (in German) more

The European Research Council has been awarded about 1.5 million euros funding to Stefan Glöggler and Juliane Liepe at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry. This year, 3272 junior researcher applied for the ERC Starting Grants, 436 of them succeeded in the competition for the best research projects.

Bacteria can develop resistance to antibiotics with the result that these drugs no longer work. Particularly problematic are pathogens which develop multi-drug resistance and are unaffected by most antibiotics. Scientists world-wide therefore search for new classes of antibiotics. Scientists from Göttingen have now presented a new promising approach to using antivitamins as a therapeutic alternative to conventional antibiotics. more

Every year, the Max Planck Society awards the Apprenticeship Prize to the best trainees at its 86 institutes and research facilities. This year, Lukas Munser of the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry was honored for his outstanding professional and academic achievements as well as his personal development.

In an initial application of the powerful MINFLUX nanoscopy technique to cell biology, researchers led by Stefan Hell and Stefan Jakobs have now optically dissected the distribution of individual proteins in a ~ 20-nanometer-sized protein cluster within a cellular organelle in 3D using multiple colors. MINFLUX nanoscopy thus proves to be an extremely powerful tool to find out if and how proteins group inside the cell, at the length scale of the proteins themselves.  more

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