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News

Poul Nissen is receiving the 2017 Novo Nordisk Prize for his pioneering studies of the structure and function of ion pumps. Photo: Novo Nordisk Fonden.

2017.02.10 | Awards, Knowledge exchange

Professor Poul Nissen receives the 2017 Novo Nordisk Prize

Poul Nissen, Professor at Aarhus University, is receiving the 2017 Novo Nordisk Prize for his pioneering studies of the structure and function of ion pumps. Through his research, Poul Nissen has clarified in detail, among other things, how ions and nutrients are transported into and out of cells. This fundamental knowledge is very significant for…

Researchers from Aarhus University and the seed company DLF were awarded a grant from the  the Innovation Fund Denmark of DKK 11 million to combine strong features of existing grass species by new breeding techniques and thereby develop a new grass variety that is more robust than the existing ones. Photo: Biopix (http://www.biopix.dk)

2017.02.09 | Grant

New breeding strategy to increase the export of Danish grasses

The best properties from three well-known grasses will be united in new grass varieties. With significantly enhanced performance and high robustness, such grasses will pave the way for Danish export of new varieties that are prepared for future climate and the demand for more biomass.

Danish researchers have helped to map the genome of winter cress (Barbarea vulgaris) and found specific genes involved in the alluring and deadly substances. Photo: Enrico Blasutto.

2017.02.06 | Research

Researchers from Aarhus University and University of Copenhagen map death trap genes

Genes from a plant that lures insect pests to their deaths can be used to breed resistant crops.

In a 700,000-plus person study, the international Genetic Investigation of Anthropometric Traits (GIANT) Consortium has uncovered 83 new DNA changes that affect human height. Illustration: Ditte Høyer Engholm

2017.02.01 | Research

The genes behind the different human height

GIANT study finds rare, influential genetic changes related to height. Research findings in this area may help to develop new types of drugs.

The figure shows the structure of C1 investigated by two different techniques. To the left is shown data recorded by the scientists with X- (black curve) at the PETRA III synchrotron in Hamborg. The grey curve shows how a curve calculated from the model in the middle panel fits to the eksperimental data. To the right  is shown so-called class averages of images recorded with electron microskopy. In row two to the right is clearly seen 10 protrusions, which is strictly nono-compatible with the the old model for activation of complement. For this reason the EM-data was pivotal for the results.

2017.01.20 | Research

A new model for activation of the immune system

By studying a large protein (the C1 protein) with X-rays and electron microscopy, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark have established a new model for how an important part of the innate immune system is activated. The activation of the C1 protein is a fundamental mechanism in immunology, and therefore the new research results also have…

An example of a structure of PRPP synthase. Figure: Kasper Røjkjær Andersen.
The team's research adorns the cover of Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews. Cover: Kasper Røjkjær Andersen.

2017.01.02 | Research

Survey of knowledge on how to combat microorganisms

A comprehensive knowledge of the synthesis of organisms and the utilisation of the compound PRPP may be useful in efforts to develop methods for combating microorganisms that can infect humans and other mammals. An international research team has now made a complete list of results in the field.

For several years, researchers at Aarhus University have studied the molecular mechanisms that enable bacteria to hide in this way, and new research now suggests that they also make use of code language in their attempt to avoid being controlled. Figure: Ditlev E. Brodersen.
Kirstine Louise Bendtsen, MSc, and PhD student Kehan Xu have carried out the published work.

2016.12.21 | Research

Researchers reveal the secret code language of bacteria

Antibiotic resistance in pathogenic bacteria is a growing global challenge. Danish researchers have now discovered that bacteria use a code language to avoid being controlled. Understanding this code language will be paramount to developing new antibiotics in the future.

Suresh Rattan

2016.12.16 | Awards

Suresh Rattan receives the “Outstanding Career Achievement Award”

The International Dose Response Society in USA has announced their 2017 “Outstanding Career Achievement Award” to Suresh Rattan for his long-standing work on the application of hormesis in ageing research and interventions.

Figure: Crystal structure of the RBM7–ZCCHC8 core complex shown in two orientations. RBM7-RRM (in green) folds into the typical globular domain with four antiparallel <em>&beta;</em>-strands (<em>&beta;</em>1–<em>&beta;</em>4) at the front and two <em>&alpha;</em>-helices at the back (<em>&alpha;</em>1 and <em>&alpha;</em>2). ZCCHC8 Pro (proline rich region, in pink) positions the N terminus at the top of the RRM and then stretches downward, laying over helix <em>&alpha;</em>1 and reaching the bottom of the domain where it makes a <em>&sim;</em>90° bend and continues laterally with an <em>&alpha;</em>-helix (helix <em>&alpha;</em>A), then twists into a <em>&sim;</em>90° coil and continues upward with a second <em>&alpha;</em>-helix (helix <em>&alpha;</em>B), reaching the top of RBM7-RRM. Finally, ZCCHC8-Pro makes another <em>&sim;</em>90° bend and extends laterally over helix <em>&alpha;</em>2, ending with a short helical turn. The C- and N-terminal residues of ZCCHC8-Pro interact with each others at the top of RBM7-RRM.

2016.12.07 | Research

Discovery of connection between RNA splicing and decay machineries

RNA synthesis, splicing and degradation are key activities in eukaryotic gene expression regulation. A collaborative effort between researchers from the Max Planck Institute, Martinsried and Aarhus University now reveals the physical basis for linking RNA degradation to the splicing process.

The Director Ib Henriksen Foundation’s Researcher Award 2016 goes to Professor Poul Nissen Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Foto.

2016.11.23 | Awards

The Director Ib Henriksen Foundation’s Researcher Award 2016 goes to Professor Poul Nissen

Professor Poul Nissen has won the prestigious Director Ib Henriksen Foundation’s Researcher Award 2016 for his outstanding efforts in structural biology. The foundation justifies the choice of Professor Nissen with his ability to promote interdisciplinary and international cooperation in his field of research.

Images depicting <em>Lotus japonicus</em> wild-type (a) and nodule symbiosis-deficient mutant plants: lhk1-1 (b), nfr5-3 (c), nin-2(d) following harvest. For nodulating genotypes (a and b), insets present close-up view of nodules. Scale bars correspond to 1 cm. Photos: Rafal Zgadzaj, Section for Plant Molecular Biology, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, AU.

2016.11.21 | Research

Nitrogen fixing symbiosis is crucial for legume plant microbiome assembly

New findings from the study of legumes have identified an unknown role of nitrogen fixation symbiosis on plant root-associated microbiome, which agriculture may benefit from in the future.

Corneal dystrophy is an eye disease causing protein deposits in the cornea leading to decreased or complete lack of vision. The existing treatment options are not sustainable, and therefore it would be ideal if there were other non-surgically ways to treat the disease, and this is exactly what a team of researchers from Aarhus University and Aalborg University Hospital have joined forces to find. Photo: Eung Kweon Kim, Department of Ophthalmology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

2016.11.16 | Grant

Researchers intend to find a better treatment for corneal dystrophy

Corneal dystrophy is an eye disease causing protein deposits in the cornea leading to decreased or complete lack of vision. The existing treatment options are not sustainable, and therefore Danish researchers intend to find a better and long lasting treatment for the disease.

Models of NEXT- and PAXT-dependent nuclear RNA decay assemblies. Schematic comparison of protein-protein links within the NEXT complex (left) and the PAXT connection (right). While both NEXT and PAXT pathways appear capable of detecting capped RNA by virtue of their physical linkages to the CBC, the different RNA binding proteins (RBM7 for NEXT and PABPN1 for PAXT) discriminate their specificities. Question mark indicates that the ZFC3H1-PABPN1 linkage might not be direct.

2016.11.07 | Research

Newly discovered RNA decay pathway inside human nuclei

Genomes are promiscuously transcribed into RNA. However, not all of this material is immediately useful, which means it has to be targeted and degraded in order to sustain cellular life. A newly discovered RNA decay pathway functioning inside human nuclei does just that.

Danish researchers will target their breeding programmes with rainbow trout to include adaptations to different production environments worldwide by the use of genomic selection. Photo: Kristian Meier.

2016.10.28 | Grant, Knowledge exchange

Rainbow trout breeding will be targeted different production environments in the world

With the use of genomic selection, Danish researchers will target their breeding of rainbow trout towards adaptations to different production environments worldwide. This could pave the way for an even larger export of eggs from rainbow trout.

Researchers from Aarhus University in front of the advanced electron microscope in Aarhus. From left: Thomas Boesen, Gregers Rom Andersen and Poul Nissen, all from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen

2016.10.19 | Grant

New initiative will promote brain research in Denmark

Five of Denmark’s leading researchers on structural biology will collaborate on a project to gain insight into the brain’s functions and diseases. The initiative is called BRAINSTRUC and funded by Lundbeckfonden with up to DKK 60 million over a five-year period.

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