High cholesterol levels are considered to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease including stroke. Therefore, many cholesterol lowering drugs have been developed by pharmaceutical companies in recent years.
One class of these drugs, statins, has been found to reduce the incidence of stroke and progression of Alzheimer’s disease when prophylactically administered.
In a recent paper published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Amalia Dolga and co-workers from the University of Groningen show that the statin lovastatin, in addition to lowering cholesterol, can also prevent nerve cells from dying in conditions that occur in Alzheimer’s disease.
Amalia Dolga discovered a previously unknown cascade of cellular signals in nerve cells that are responsible for this neuroprotective mechanism. This is an important finding because in many diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, death of nerve cells is generally thought to be a major cause of the dramatic symptoms that we find in these diseases.
Amalia Dolga found that statins stimulate nerve cells to produce a specific receptor molecule for a protein which plays a central role in the body’s immune response: Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-a). Previous studies conducted by Dr. Ulrich Eisel’s group in the Department of Molecular Neurobiology (headed by Prof. Paul Luiten) have demonstrated that this specific TNF-a signaling pathway has a strong beneficial effect on nerve cells and can protect nerve cells against death. This finding now demonstrates that a widely given drug like a statin can activate this protective pathway.
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
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The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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