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
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy