Infections are among the most frequent complications during a hospital stay. Researchers at the University of Basel have now uncovered why one of the most dangerous nosocomial pathogens is so difficult to combat. It follows a dual strategy, with some bacteria colonizing the tissue surface while others spread in the body. The study provides important insights into the infection process and opens up new ways to treat infections.
Bacteria harness the power of communities. A research group at the University of Basel has now discovered that the bacterial pathogen that causes cholera forms a novel type of bacterial community on immune cells: an aggressive biofilm that is lethal for the cells. The study, recently published in the journal Cell, provides new insights into the infection strategies of pathogens.
Meat, milk, labor: domestic cattle have a lot to offer. Their history is consequently closely intertwined with that of humankind. Researchers at the University of Basel have investigated the genetic development of this livestock animal in Switzerland, and it is linked with societal developments.
Breast cancer spreading to other organs usually heralds a poorer prognosis. Researchers at the University and University Hospital of Basel have discovered a process that helps breast cancer cells implant themselves in certain places in the body. The results suggest a way of preventing secondary tumors.
Receptor proteins serve as the “eyes and ears” of the cell. The largest receptor family are the so-called G protein-coupled receptors. They respond to highly diverse stimuli ranging from photons to hormones and odorants. Researchers at the University of Basel have discovered a unique recognition pattern that works like a barcode and tags the receptor for desensitization. By this mechanism, signaling in cells is rapidly switched off when it is no longer needed.
Nanomedicine involves packaging drugs in microscopic particles to make them more effective. Nanopharmacy professor Scott McNeil explains the opportunities presented by the new technology and what is still holding it back: approval procedures, for example, as seen in the inconsistent approach taken with the Covid-19 vaccines.
In March 2022, Microsoft published research results about the realisation of a special type of particle that might be used to make particularly robust quantum bits. Researchers at the University of Basel are now calling these results about so-called Majorana particles into doubt: through calculations they have shown that the findings can also be explained differently.
Researchers at the University of Basel have developed an efficient method for the preparation of therapeutic nanovesicles, thereby fulfilling a key prerequisite for industrial production. The method also paves the way for research into areas such as immunotherapy treatments for cancer.
Rare diseases are often caused by defects in genetic material. If children inherit only a defective gene from one parent, they often are asymptomatic “carriers” – or at least that was the previous assumption. However, a research team from the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel is now reporting that such carriers can also suffer from life-threatening diseases – and that rare hereditary diseases are therefore probably more common than previously thought.