Tuberculosis is an extremely insidious disease. The pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis can rest undetected many years in the human body, and infected people show no symptoms – until the disease suddenly breaks out. Worldwide, the number of deaths related to tuberculosis amounts to 2 million per year, eight million new infections occur annually. Dangerous centers of infection are, for instance, third-world countries or prisons in countries of the former Soviet Union. In some of the prisons, one hundred percent of the inmates carry the pathogen. Another serious problem is the increasing resistance of tuberculosis-pathogens against antibiotics.
Therefore, next to prevention in the affected countries, the search for new active agents against Mycobacterium tuberculosis has top priority. Funded by the German Ministry of Science and Education, a systematic search for such substances has begun. In the course of this project, scientists around Jens Peter von Kries at the so-called Screening Unit of the Berlin-based Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) made a surprising discovery: They identified a promising agent that inhibits the growth of tuberculosis bacteria. First tests at the cooperating Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin showed the effectiveness of the substance in living tissue. "The substance that we discovered attacks the pathogens within their host cells", says Dr. von Kries. These host cells are part of the human immune system and form the first wall of defense agains the disease. In those so-called macrophages the tuberculosis pathogens remain undetected and grow, at the same time blocking an effective response of the immune system.
Currently, the scientists are filing a patent. Thus, Jens Peter von Kries does not want to disclose further details. He only says: "Our substance has already been clinically tested for other purposes. What’s new is the fact that it inhibits the growth of Mycobacterium tuberkulosis." The scientist adds: "Many people encounter the substance in their every-day life."
Dr. Björn Maul | alfa
Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University
The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy