It was shown conclusively in the 1980s that ulcers are caused by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, a discovery that earned two Australian scientists the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2005. It is also well established today that a Helicobacter infection is the greatest risk factor for stomach cancer, one of our most common cancer forms.
The adhesion of this bacterium to the mucous lining of the stomach is generally seen as an important first stage in developing symptoms and incipient disease, such as gastritus. To be able to stick to cell surfaces, H. pylori uses so-called adhesive proteins. They are located on the surface of the bacterium and attach to various sugar molecules on the surface of the stomach cells, which provides the bacteria with a firm grip in the turbulent environment of the stomach.
In the article it is now shown that in an infection the bacteria make their way beyond the cell surfaces of the stomach to the underlying blood vessels. Once there, they can also get through the vessel walls and attach to red blood corpuscles. In this way, Helicobacter can transport themselves elsewhere in the body.
Marina Aspholm, the lead author of this work, has also succeeded in showing that H. pylori use the so-called SabA protein in their adhesion to red corpuscles. What’s more, this protein was shown to vary somewhat across Helicobacter bacteria from different patients. This means that the SabA protein is able to adapt to individuals in order to attain the best adhesion.
During an infection, H. pylori can thus adapt its adhesive properties both to the individual stomach lining and to the changes that take place there in the course of a chronic infection and inflammation.
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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.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
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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