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Researchers have identified the VC1 gene as responsible for the production of anti-nutrients vicine and convicine that make people sensitive to the faba bean  (photo: Frederick Stoddard, University of Helsinki)

2021.07.06 | Research

Protein crop’s potential unlocked by deciphering anti-nutrient biosynthesis

Faba beans are an excellent source of food protein, but about 4% of the world’s population are afflicted by favism, which renders them sensitive to the faba bean anti-nutrients vicine and convicine. Now, an international research team has identified the VC1 gene as responsible for the production of these compounds.

Ebbe S. Andersen has received the Danish polymer Prize - ATV | Elastyrenprisen 2021. Chairman of the Prize committee Niels Chr. Nielsen also gave the prize to Associate Professor Anders Egede Daugaard (DTU). Photo: Tom Jersø

2021.06.22 | Awards

Ebbe Sloth Andersen honoured by the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences

Associate Professor Ebbe S. Andersen is awarded the Danish polymer prize, Elastyrenprisen 2021, for being internationally recognized and pioneer within biopolymer research, including RNA origami. The award is given by the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences (ATV).

Professor Poul Nissen awarded Anders Jahre's major medical award in 2021 for his research in membrane proteins. Photo: Lisbeth Heilesen

2021.06.10 | Awards

Professor Poul Nissen awarded the Anders Jahre medical prize 2021

One of Scandinavia’s most prestigious research honours, the Anders Jahre Medical Prize, has been conferred on Professor Poul Nissen of Aarhus University. The prize has been awarded in recognition of Professor Nissen’s groundbreaking research on the structure and function of membrane proteins. His work has advanced our understanding of a variety of…

Binding site I of SERCA is not conserved in LMCA1. Alignment between LMCA1 G4 E2-BeF3- (red) and SERCA E2-AlF4- (pdb: 3b9r) (dark grey). Relevant Ca2+-coordinating residues are shown as sticks. The structures are aligned by the residues shown as sticks. SERCA Ca2+ binding site I and II are indicated. Figure: Sara Basse Hansen.

2021.06.09 | Research

Ion and lipid transporters specialize for their niche

Cell viability require that a variety of functions at the cell membrane are maintained properly. P-type ATPases translocate substrates across the membrane, and they have evolved into different types taking care of specific substrates within a diverse range. Now, key structural aspects have been described on how two different types of P-type…

An artistic rendering of RNA polymerase folding RNA origami scaffolds with two proteins. At the top right a finished scaffolding with proteins marked with the colors yellow and cyan. Figure: Cody Geary
Overview of some of the RNA origami structures designed in the current study compared with a bacterial ribosome (grey). RNA origami structures are coloured by the elements they consist of: 180 degree interactions (purple), 120 degree interactions (dark green), tetra loops (yellow) and dovetail seams (dark blue). Central structure scaffold aptamers (green and orange) and fluorescent proteins. Figure: Cody Geary and Ebbe S. Andersen.
Design and characterisation of RNA origami structures. RNA drawings, atomic models and sequences are designed on the computer. A DNA template is synthesised and transcribed and then folded by an RNA polymerase. The RNA structure is characterised by microscopy methods. Figure: Cody Geary

2021.06.01 | Research

Bigger and better RNA scaffolds for organising proteins

Researchers from Aarhus University and Caltech have developed a method to build much larger, though still nanosize, RNA scaffolds than previously thought possible using RNA origami. The method is based on new software that has been made available online so other researchers can use it to develop biosensors, nanorobots and medicine – including…

Ditlev Egeskov Brodersen (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2021.05.18 | People

Ditlev Egeskov Brodersen has been appointed Professor of Structural Microbiology

Ditlev Egeskov Brodersen has been appointed Professor of Structural Microbiology to study microbial survival mechanisms at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University as of 1 June 2021.

Before long, Alessandra Zarantonello travels to Paris and Henrik Pedersen to Boston to build on their research with the complement system, which is part of the innate immune system. However, they are completely shifting gear from atoms and equations to learn in vivo work (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen).

2021.05.05 | Grant

Two postdocs get a unique chance to join Sorbonne Université and Harvard Medical School

With competitive grants from the Independent Research Fund Denmark and the Lundbeck Foundation, two postdocs from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University, Alessandra Zarantonello and Henrik Pedersen, have now been given the unique chance to join the prestigious research institutions Sorbonne Université in Paris and…

Andrii Bugai (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2021.04.19 | Grant

Andrii Bugai receives the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship

Postdoc Andrii Bugai from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University receives the highly prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship to study how our genome is regulated at the level of RNA turnover.

Erik Østergaard Jensen (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2021.03.26 | People

Erik Østergaard Jensen continues as head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

From 1 June 2021, Associate Professor and Head of Department Erik Østergaard Jensen has been reappointed for another three years as head of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics (MBG) - a position he has had since 2004.

Jørgen Kjems (left) and Morten Venø are partners in a new consortium, PRIME, that will seek to develop biological nano-implants - based on naturally occurring signaling pathways - that can help patients with epilepsy. Photo: Anne Færch Nielsen.

2021.03.10 | Research, Knowledge exchange

Developing biological nano-implants to block epileptic seizures

Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases, and seizures can be debilitating. Unfortunately, treatments to prevent these seizures are lacking. Jørgen Kjems from iNANO and the Department of Molecular Biology at Aarhus University and the AU spinout company, OMIICS, are partners in a new consortium, PRIME, that will seek to develop…

Unraveling the three-dimensional structure of the glycine transporter, researchers have now come a big step closer to understanding the regulation of glycine in the brain. These result open up opportunities to find effective drugs that inhibit GlyT1 function, with major implications for the treatment of schizophrenia and other mental disorders. Figure: Azadeh Shahsavar

2021.03.04 | Research, Knowledge exchange

Structure determination of the glycine transporter GlyT1 opens new avenues in development of psychiatric drugs

Glycine can stimulate or inhibit neurons in the brain, thereby controlling complex functions. Unraveling the three-dimensional structure of the glycine transporter, researchers have now come a big step closer to understanding the regulation of glycine in the brain. These results, which have been published in Nature, open up opportunities…

Thibaud Dieudonné (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen)

2021.02.25 | Grant

Thibaud Dieudonné receives the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship

Postdoc Thibaud Dieudonné from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University receives the highly prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship to study how a human lipid transporter is linked to a rare inherited liver disease.

In order to describe the structure of properdin oligomers, the researchers used two independent techniques. In the panels with a dark background, the properdin molecule is seen as a light triangular molecule with an "eye" in each corner. This image was obtained by electron microscopy. The panels with a light background show the corresponding results obtained with small angle scattering. The results from the two independent techniques fit surprisingly well with each other. Figure: Dennis Vestergaard Pedersen and Gregers Rom Andersen

2021.02.17 | Research

Dennis tamed the protein from hell in seven years

After seven years of intense research, a research group from Aarhus University has succeeded - through an interdisciplinary collaboration - in understanding why a very extended structure is important for an essential protein from the human immune system. The new results offer new opportunities for adjusting the activity of the immune system both…

The Lundbeck Foundation is giving the DANDRITE neuroscience centre at Aarhus University DKK 75 M (EUR 10 M) to spend on research up to 2028. Photo: Colourbox

2021.02.10 | Grant

Grant worth DKK 75 M for neuroscience in Aarhus

The Lundbeck Foundation is giving the DANDRITE neuroscience centre at Aarhus University funding to spend on research up to 2028. The funds worth DKK 75 M (EUR 10 M) will primarily be spent on recruitment of five new DANDRITE group leaders to head individual neuroscience research programmes.

Researchers from Aarhus University have discovered that ITIH4 inhibits proteases in the innate immune system via an unknown mechanism. Figure: Rasmus Kjeldsen Jensen.

2021.01.26 | Research

An interdisciplinary research team from Denmark discovers new control mechanism in the innate immune system

Although the protein ITIH4 is found in large amounts in the blood, its function has so far been unknown. By combining many different techniques, researchers from Aarhus University have discovered that ITIH4 inhibits proteases in the innate immune system via an unknown mechanism. The research results have just been published in the prestigious…

Faba bean (photo: Marcin Nadzieja, MBG, AU)
Faba bean plant (photo: Marcin Nadzieja, MBG, AU)

2021.01.25 | Research, Knowledge exchange

New grant for improving faba bean yield and protein quality

With a grant of DKK 15 million (EUR 2M) from the Green Development and Demonstration Programme (GUDP) - a programme under the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries of Denmark - Danish researchers and breeders will develop new faba bean cultivars for use as a locally grown alternative to imported soy protein.

The consortium, BOUNDLESS, has received DKK 14.4 M from the Novo Nordisk Foundation. The consortium consists of Frans Mulder, Lene N. Nejsum, and Magnus Kjærgaard from Aarhus University as well as Siewert Jan Marrink from University of Groningen (NL). (Photos: private)

2021.01.18 | Grant

New interdisciplinary consortium at AU will study membrane-less organelles

Associate Professor Magnus Kjærgaard participates in a new consortium, BOUNDLESS, headed by Associate Professor Frans Mulder and funded by the Interdisciplinary Synergy Programme of the Novo Nordisk Foundation. With the grant of DKK 14.4 M, the consortium will study how membrane-less organelles control key biological processes.

The LysM receptors on the outside of root cells from the legume <em>Lotus japonicus</em>  determine whether harmful or beneficial microbes from the soil are recognised by the plant. The structure of the symbiotic receptor LYK3 and comparison with the immune chitin receptor CERK6 helped the researchers map important elements for recognition (figure: Kasper Røjkjær Andersen)

2021.01.05 | Research

Top 5 science result in 2020: Signal molecules are the key to less use of fertilisers

Results published in Science from Aarhus University describe how legumes pick up special signalling molecules to distinguish between harmful and beneficial microbes. These results have been nominated by the Danish technical news journal “Ingeniøren” (the Engineer) as being among the five most important results in Denmark in 2020.

RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) initiates transcription at a multitude of positions in the human genome. However, only a fraction of these sites is associated with genes that give rise to functional RNA. The ‘Integrator’ complex by default terminates RNAPII shortly after its initiation (top), unless specific gene-defining elements are present allowing for transition to productive elongation (bottom). In the latter case, transcription is typically terminated by the ‘Cleavage & Polyadenylation’ Complex that recognizes specific ‘terminator’ sequence elements in the genome (bottom, red box). In the former case the produced short RNA is by default rapidly degraded by the RNA exosome, whereas snRNAs constitute a special case that avoids degradation. Figure:  Søren Lykkke-Andersen.

2020.12.31 | Research

Integrator: A guardian of the human transcriptome

In a joint collaboration, Danish and German researchers have characterized a cellular activity that protects our cells from potentially toxic by-products of gene expression. This activity is central for the ability of multicellular organisms to uphold a robust evolutionary ‘reservoir’ of gene products.

Lotte Victoria W. Stagsted (top) and Milena Timcenko Tronsgaard

2020.12.21 | Awards

Lotte V.W. Stagsted and Milena T. Tronsgaard receive the Kjeld Marcker PhD Award 2020

Once a year, the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics awards one or more PhD Awards to PhD student(s) who has defended his/her PhD in the past year, and who has made an exceptional effort.

Jørgen Kjems is one of the participants in the ODIN projects (Photo: Screen dump from video)

2020.12.15 | Research, Knowledge exchange

Aarhus University and industry start five open research projects to pave the way for new pharmaceuticals

Jørgen Kjems and Daniel Otzen from MBG/iNANO have been chosen to participate in one of the first five research projects in the Open Discovery Innovation Network (ODIN) addressing five global health problems: kidney diseases, atherosclerosis, colon cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and neurological disorders. In the projects, researchers…

Bjørn Panyella Pedersen (photo: Anders Trærup, Aarhus University)

2020.12.09 | Grant

Bjørn Panyella Pedersen receives prestigious grant from the European Research Council

Associate Professor Bjørn Panyella Pedersen from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University receives an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council for research in plant growth. The amount awarded is EUR 2.0 million and runs over five years.

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