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The picture at the top shows a sperm cell with the head (cell body) and tail (also known as flagellum or cilium) that propels the sperm cell forward. The schematic in the middle shows how dynein motors (yellow stars) are transported via intraflagelar transport (IFT) and periodically distributed. The picture at the bottom illustrates how the ODA16 structure functions as an adaptor between the transport system and the dynein motors.

2017.03.27 | Research

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

Molecular motors produce the force that powers the beat of sperm cell tails to generate movement toward the egg cell for fertilization. New research now shows how the molecular motors that power the movement of sperm cells are recognized and specifically transported into the tail region of the cell. This knowledge can pave the way for a better…

The RedHill team assembled in Denmark. From left to right: Terry F. Plasse (MD, Medical Director, ReHill Biopharma), Danielle T. Abramson (Ph.D., Director, Intellectual Property and Research, RedHill Biopharma), Mark L. Levitt, (MD, Ph.D., Medical Director, Oncology, RedHill Biopharma), Emil Oldenburg (M.Sc., Scientific Assistant, Aarhus University), Christine R. Schar (Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Aarhus University) and Jan K. Jensen (Ph.D., Project Manager, Aarhus University).

2017.03.23 | Grant, Knowledge exchange

Danish researchers and Israeli biopharmaceutical company collaborate to develop anti-cancer drugs

The Israeli Biopharmaceutical company RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NASDAQ: RDHL) (Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange: RDHL) has extended its collaboration with researchers at Aarhus University in order to develop a potentially promising drug candidate for cancer treatment. The drug candidate is based on a protease inhibitor molecule - an area the Danish…

Model for monitoring and repairing damaged DNA (left figure). The crystal structure of the DNA control protein Rad26 that is responsible for bringing the Rad3 kinase to damaged DNA and starting repair signalling (right figure).

2017.03.20 | Research

Structural knowledge of the DNA repair complex

New Danish research provides mechanistic insight into how DNA is monitored and repaired if damage occurs. The results may eventually help to improve the treatment of certain types of cancer, as the DNA repair complex provides a mechanism for cancer cells to resist chemotherapy.

Model for RNA fate decisions: Early during its production by PolII, the CBC-bound cap of the emerging RNA is contacted by ‘productive’ (PHAX) and ‘destructive’ (ZC3H18) factors. These proteins form mutually exclusive complexes with the CBC until a ‘decision point’ (e.g. a terminator) is encountered by PolII, after which RNA fate is determined by stable interaction with either PHAX or ZC3H18.

2017.03.15 | Research

Sorting RNA for production or decay

Our genomes are promiscuously transcribed into RNA. How cells manage to sort this massive genomic output into functional and non-functional material has remained enigmatic. New research describes protein interactions involved in such RNA fate determination.

Adult zebrafish in the zebrafish facility at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark. Zebrafish in the wild are found in northeastern India, Bangladesh and Nepal in standing and slow flowing water in ditches, rice fields and ponds. The Latin name Danio reportedly comes from the word Dhani, which is Bengali for "from the rice fields." Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen.
The zebrafish facility at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Denmark. Zebrafish take up less space on the shelves than mice. Photo: Kasper Kjær-Sørensen. Click photos for enlargement.
Zebrafish embryos are transparent. Here is a 24-hour old embryo as it appears in an ordinary light microscope. In addition to external structures such as yolk sac, head and eye, you can also see the brain, the inner ear and the V-shaped somites, which are the precursors of the V-shaped skeletal muscle. Photo: Kasper Kjær-Sørensen.
A 72-hour old transgenic embryo with green fluorescent protein (GFP) in the endothelial cells lining blood and lymphatic vessels. All vessels are clearly highlighted in the living body. Note that due to the high density of vessels surrounding the gills, the underside of the head appears overexposed in the image. Photo: Kasper Kjær-Sørensen.
Microinjection in newly fertilized embryos. The depicted embryos are about 30 minutes old. The first cell being formed can be seen at the bottom of the embryo near the top of the image. Photo: Kasper Kjær-Sørensen.

2017.03.03 | Research

The zebrafish is an important animal model

Humans and zebrafish have more in common than you would think. Therefore, zebrafish are used more and more, for example, to study the function of genes, to create animal models for human diseases and to develop new human drugs.

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.

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