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From sheet metal elements to host cells: DFG launches 10 new collaborative research centers
Date:12/2/2008

ns and dynamics of biological membranes have fascinated scientists of wide-ranging disciplines for a long time. Membranes are essential to all life forms, because they provide the structures necessary for forming enclosed compartments and thus separate biochemical reactions in living cells from their environment. Nevertheless, how the membrane environment impacts on the functioning of membrane proteins and how proteins modulate the membrane structure at the molecular level generally remain a mystery. In the newly launched Collaborative Research Centre 803, "Functionality Controlled by Organisation in and between Membranes" biologists and physicists now want to gather quantitative data on the interaction of membrane lipids and proteins in an in-depth unification of theory and experiment. For example, protein and lipid functions will be predicted, and universal structural and functional origins identified. In this way, better understanding of the dynamic processes in biological membranes should be possible. (Host university: Georg-August University of Gttingen; Spokesperson: Professor Claudia Steinem, also involved: Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Gttingen)

The newly launched Collaborative Research Centre 829 deals with the human skin and its function as a shield. Under the title of "Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Skin Homeostasis", the scientists involved aim to investigate how the various components contributing to the skin's barrier function, which protects against external damage, communicate. Conversely, the molecular mechanisms that disturb equilibrium, and which may thus lead to chronic inflammatory and allergic diseases or to healing disorders, will also be clarified in more detail. Ultimately, these investigations will allow the development of new therapeutic approaches, facilitating highly targeted intervention in the disturbed metabolic pathways leading to disease. This means that the work of the Collaborative Research Centre is al
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Contact: Dr. Eva-Maria Streier
em.streier@dfg.de
49-228-885-2250
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
Source:Eurekalert

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