Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in the group of Markus Schmitt have developed a detection method for human papillomaviruses (HPV) which allows them to identify, in a quick and highly reliable manner, high-risk viruses that cause cervical cancer.
The prime risk factor for cervical cancer is an infection with human papillomaviruses. However, not all HPV types are a health hazard. Scientists distinguish between high-risk types and more harmless family members. There are detection methods available that basically allow one to precisely identify the virus type. However, current methods are not really suitable for large-scale use. In addition, it is not possible to unambiguously detect multiple infections with several different virus types.
An approach developed by virus researchers of the German Cancer Research Center now provides a promising alternative. Markus Schmitt and his colleagues describe their test method in the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Microbiology*: They first isolate the viral genetic material from a tissue sample, amplify and label it. The enriched DNA material is subsequently mixed with different probes, i.e. small DNA fragments each of which is typical for a specific virus type. If the DNA sequences of the viral DNA under study and the probe are identical, they will bind to each other. The probe thus isolates the unknown DNA from the mixture – a process called hybridization. The probes, in turn, are coupled to tiny plastic beads of different colors, with each type of probe attached to beads of the same color. A reading device measures the amount of hybridized viral DNA on the beads. By their characteristic color, the beads tell us which viral DNA was present in the sample.
Julia Rautenstrauch | alfa
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Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
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Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
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Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
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Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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