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For the past five years new genetic technology has created a revolution in Danish agriculture. Productivity has increased, cows have become healthier, and the technology can be spread to help produce more climate-friendly food for the world’s increasing population (Photo: Linda Søndergaard Sørensen)
Bernt Guldbrandtsen

2014.01.02 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

DNA technology can help ensure food security

For the past five years new genetic technology has created a revolution in Danish agriculture. Productivity has increased, cows have become healthier, and the technology can be spread to help produce more climate-friendly food for the world’s increasing population.

Senior Scientist Mogens Duch has been awarded a grant of DKK 5 million to develop a new platform technology for producing vaccines against a wide range of human viral pathogens (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.12.19 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Researchers aim to develop a new and effective vaccine against SARS

The Danish Council for Independent Research | Technology and Production Sciences (FTP) has awarded a grant of DKK 5 million to Senior Scientist Mogens Duch to develop vaccines against a wide range of human viral diseases such as SARS.

The Danish Council for Strategic Research has awarded Associate Professor Simona Radutoiu a grant of DKK 15.2 million to combat fungi in barley. Postdoctoral Fellow Svend Secher Dam (right) is a colleague and working partner on the project (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)
Early stage of an attack of ramularia leaf spot on a barley plant (Photo: Neil Havis)
Later stage of an attack of ramularia leaf spot on a barley plant (Photo: Neil Havis)

2013.12.16 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Developing tools to combat fungi in barley

Fungal contamination of barley crops can cause reduced yields due to the disease leaf spot. A team of Danish and Scottish researchers will now develop tools to breed resistant varieties of barley and provide an early diagnosis of outbreaks so the disease can be reduced or eliminated. The Danish Council for Strategic Research has just granted…

Finn Skou Pedersen (second from left) has been awarded a grant of DKK 15 million from the Danish Council for Strategic Research to find a new vaccine to combat the swine disease PRRS. Here he is flanked by the other participants in the project from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University (from left: Stig Uggerhøj Andersen, FSP, Mogens Duch and Jens Stougaard) (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)
PRRS (Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome) is the most serious of all the contagious swine diseases in the world. Since the disease was found in Denmark in 1992, it has had a major impact on animal welfare, just as it has cost farmers a considerable amount (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.12.16 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Fighting the most important contagious swine disease in the world

An international team of researchers is determined to develop a new and more effective vaccine against PRRS – the most important contagious swine disease in the world – which annually costs society enormous amounts and leads to poor animal welfare. The Danish Council for Strategic Research has just granted Professor Finn Skou Pedersen DKK 15…

In collaboration with research groups in Japan and the USA, Danish scientists have shown that the milk protein osteopontin can slow down the development of liver injury caused by alcohol abuse. From left: Esben Skipper Sørensen and Brian Christensen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)
The researchers' experiments show that osteopontin from milk can bind to certain inflammatory substances that are present in the liver injured by alcohol. In this way, osteopontin could possibly inhibit the inflammation and prevent liver injury (Photo: Colourbox)

2013.12.12 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Avoid liver injury and drink milk with your Christmas schnapps

Collaboration between Danish, Japanese and American researchers has shown that the milk protein osteopontin can slow down the development of liver injury caused by alcohol abuse.

Copper is a heavy metal that is essential for a number of the body’s vital functions, but harmful in excessive amounts. Human health therefore depends on the body’s ability to regulate the level of copper in the cells. This regulation takes place by means of the copper pump, which researchers have now come one step closer to understanding (Photo: Wikipedia)
It may not look like much, and it is no more than a couple of nanometres in size, but it is nevertheless this copper pump that safeguards the body’s cells against copper poisoning. When the individual parts of the copper pump (indicated in different colours) turn in relation to each other, the passage of copper ions is opened and shut in the cell membrane, marked between the grey and turquoise parts in the membrane. The turquoise and grey elements are the copper pump’s membrane-bound part with markings of individual segments of the amino acid sequence (MA, MB, M1–M6) and a couple of specific amino acids (E189 and M717), which are crucial for the excretion of copper. The yellow spheres mark the copper’s route through the protein and out of the cell, as analysed by computer simulations by the Californian working partners in the research project. (Illustrations: Daniel Mattle and Magnus Andersson)
In addition to Postdoctoral Fellow Pontus Gourdon (left) and PhD Student Oleg Sitsel (right), Professor Poul Nissen, PhD Student Daniel Mattle, and Laboratory Technicians Tetyana Klymchuk and Anna Marie Nielsen, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, are co-authors of the scientific article. Also participating were researchers at the Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, and the University of California, Irvine (Photos: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.12.09 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

How the cells remove copper

New research from Aarhus University provides deeper insight into causes of serious diseases involving copper metabolism. Mapping the mechanism that regulates the transport of copper across the cell membrane and out of the body’s cells actually provides a new understanding of conditions related to chronic imbalance in the body’s level of copper.

MicroRNA-128 is the microRNA that controls the most mRNAs in mouse brains – specifically in the neurons. (Photo: Colourbox)
Professor Jørgen Kjems (Photo: Aarhus University)
Postdoctoral Fellow Morten Trillingsgaard Venø (Photo: Aarhus University)

2013.12.06 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Public / media

New research provides insight into epilepsy

Experiments using mice have led to new research results showing that the amount of microRNA-128 has a great impact on the musculoskeletal system. If the level of microRNA-128 is increased, it leads to lower neuron activity and can thereby help reduce uncontrolled movements in connection with epilepsy or Parkinson’s disease. MicroRNA-128 can…

The structure of DNA comprises two helical chains that look a bit like a closed zipper: The so-called double helix. To open the zipper - and thus get access to the DNA - you need a helicase, which in this case could be the Suv3. (Ill: Coulorbox)

2013.12.04 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

A step towards a healthy old age

Why do we get old? A PhD study at Aarhus University has discovered that a specific protein plays a central role in ageing. The protein may prove to have a major influence on people's quality of life in old age.

In collaboration with colleagues in Italy and the USA, researchers at Aarhus University have now taken a major step towards developing a nanorobot that – in the long run – will enable the targeted transport of medications in the body. From left, back row: Magnus Stougaard, Oskar Franch and Brian Christensen; front row: Megan Yi-Ping Ho, Birgitta R. Knudsen, Esben S. Sørensen and Rikke Frøhlich (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)
The figure shows a nanocage in which eight unique DNA molecules are mixed together. The nanocage has four functional elements that transform themselves in response to changes in the surrounding temperature. These transformations either close (1A) or open (1B) the nanocage. By exploiting the temperature changes in the surroundings, the researchers trapped an active enzyme called horseradish peroxidase (HRP) in the nanocage (1C) (Figure: Sissel Juul)

2013.12.02 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Nanorobot for transporting drugs in the body

The first step has been taken towards developing a nanorobot that – in the long run – will enable the targeted transport of medications in the body.

In collaboration with international research groups, a Danish research team from Aarhus University has found a mechanism that helps the cells prevent accumulation of the many useless RNA molecules being constantly produced by runaway gene activity in our cells. These findings contribute to a new understanding of our genes and may eventually help our understanding of gene activity in stem cells and cancer. From left: Torben Heick Jensen, Michal Domanski and Peter Refsing Andersen (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2013.11.24 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Proteins suppress useless gene activity in human cells

A new study shows how our cells sort the wheat from the chaff in a tangle of useful and useless gene molecules. In collaboration with international research groups, a Danish research team from Aarhus University has now found a mechanism that helps the cells prevent accumulation of the many useless RNA molecules being constantly produced by runaway…

The Nano Creators study Nanoscience, Molecular Biology or Chemistry at Aarhus University. The team consists of Ane Helene Langvad Andreassen, Minh Lon Lu, Caroline Filippa Langfeldt Knabe, Malthe Hansen-Bruun, Mikkel Bach Skovsgaard, Nadia Nasser Petersen, Veronica Liv Andersen and Julie Stokkebro Schmøkel.
Nano Creators with their prize at Harvard. (Copyright BIOMOD)

2013.11.20 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Students win the hearts of the audience

A team of Aarhus students – Nano Creators – won the Audience Choice Award for their Bachelor’s project at Harvard University’s bio-molecular design competition. The Nano Creators combined good research with creative communication.

The figure shows the bacterial 70S ribosome with the cleavage point for the cytotoxin VapC20 marked with red. To the right is transfer RNA, which is cleaved by a similar mechanism in the pathogenic organism <em>Shigella flexneri</em>. Behind this is an RNA gel showing the actual cleavage reaction in the ribosome (Figure: Ditlev E. Brodersen). Click figure for enlargement

2013.11.18 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Public / media

Bacteria use lethal cytotoxins to evade antibiotic treatment

Bacteria that cause infectious diseases produce a number of cytotoxins, and an international research team has now found the mechanism behind one of these toxins. The new results could make it possible in future to develop new treatment methods to impair the cytotoxic activity and thereby reduce the severity of infectious diseases.

[Translate to English:] Pontus Gourdon fra Institut for Molekylærbiologi og Genetik på Aarhus Universitet har netop modtaget Lundbeckfondens fellowship. (Foto: Lundbeckfonden)

2013.11.15 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

When human cells are unable to protect themselves

Pontus Gourdon, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, has just been awarded a Lundbeck Foundation Fellowship, and he will study what happens when the transport of substances in and out of the cells does not work. Dreaded dementia diseases can occur if there is an imbalance in a number of substances in human cells.

An international team of researchers under Danish leadership is the first in the world to culture and purify an interferon that in due course could contribute to greater success in treating Hepatitis C. From left: Rune Hartmann, Ewa Terczynska-Dyla and Ole J. Hamming. (Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)
The body produces the interferon IFN? during a viral infection. The family includes IFN?3 and, in some people, IFN?4. By studying how much intracellular and extracellular IFN?3 and IFN?4 exist, the Aarhus University research team discovered that the cells release much more IFN?3 than IFN?4. (Figure: Ole J. Hamming)

2013.11.12 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Protein with potential role in the fight against hepatitis C virus

An international team of researchers under Danish leadership is the first in the world to culture and purify an interferon (protein) called lambda 4 (IFNλ4) – a protein that behaves like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Paradoxically, it increases the risk of getting hepatitis C (HCV) and reduces the chances of being cured, but nevertheless has a…

Anne von Philipsborn and Mark Denham have been appointed group leaders at DANDRITE (Photos: private)

2013.11.12 | Public / media, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

DANDRITE appoints the first two research group leaders

DANDRITE has appointed Anne von Philipsborn and Mark Denham as Group Leaders. These appointments are the first two in a series of five group leaders to be employed at DANDRITE. Mark and Anne will start their research in December and January, respectively.

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