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Optimized Artificial Vision: DFG Funding New Research Training Group

Jülich, 25 August 2020 – From October 2020, the German Research Foundation (DFG) will provide funding for the new research training group (RTG) “Innovative Retinal Interfaces for Optimized Artificial Vision – InnoRetVision”. The research training group for excellent early-career scientists will receive € 5.6 million in total funding for the next four-and-a-half years. The sum will be divided between 14 working groups. From Forschungszentrum Jülich, Prof. Frank Müller (Institute of Biological Information Processing – Molecular and Cellular Physiology), Prof. Andreas Offenhäusser (Institute of Biological Information Processing – Bioelectronics), and Dr. Antje Willuweit (Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine – Medical Imaging Physics) are involved in the RTG. The spokesperson for the RTG is Prof. Peter Walter from RWTH Aachen University’s Ophthalmology Clinic. In addition to RWTH Aachen University and Forschungszentrum Jülich, the University of Duisburg-Essen is also on board as a partner. More: Optimized Artificial Vision: DFG Funding New Research Training Group …

Supercomputer Provides New Insights into the Function of Glutamate Transporters

Jülich, 7 October 2019 – Using simulations on the JURECA supercomputer, Jülich researchers have decoded a coupling mechanism that drives glutamate transporters in the brains of mammals. These proteins, called excitatory amino acid transporters, or EAATs for short, remove the neurotransmitter glutamate from the synaptic cleft between two nerves. The researchers' article has been chosen for the cover of the latest issue of the renowned EMBO Journal. More: Supercomputer Provides New Insights into the Function of Glutamate Transporters …

The Right Way to Transport Negative Particles

Jülich, 30 April 2020 – SLC26 is the name of a family of transport proteins involved in numerous processes in the human body – including in the kidneys and intestine, for example. Dysfunctions in these transporters are known to have serious consequences for our health. However, research into why this could be, and how these protein machines enable organ function under normal conditions, is still in its infancy. A new research group coordinated by Philipps-Universität Marburg has set out to analyse individual proteins from this family on different levels – from single molecules to entire organs – and to examine their structure, function, and regulation. Their long-term goal is to identify new treatment options for illnesses such as high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel diseases, and cystic fibrosis. The DFG has allocated funding of approximately € 4 million to the project over a four-year period. More: The Right Way to Transport Negative Particles …

How a Protein Dysfunction Causes a Complex Neurological Disorder

Jülich, 22 April 2020 – In certain genetic disorders in humans, only the amino acid sequence of a single protein is changed. Such monogenetic disorders, although rare, provide unique insights into the changes that protein dysfunctions bring about in cell and organ functions. This allows human diseases to be investigated on all scales – from single proteins to a patient as a whole. A team led by physiologist Prof. Christoph Fahlke from Jülich’s Institute of Biological Information Processing (IBI-1) has investigated a monogenetic disorder of this kind and revealed how a mutation in a gene for a glutamate transporter causes such complex neurological symptoms. The results of their recent study were published in the journal Brain Communications. More: How a Protein Dysfunction Causes a Complex Neurological Disorder …

Molecular basis of CLC transporter inhibition by fluoride

The binding of protons and their transport through the cell membrane are crucial steps for many cellular processes. CLC chloride/proton transporters are present in almost every living cell and regulate the pH value, chloride concentrations and membrane potentials of intracellular cell compartments. Various human diseases, which are caused by dysfunctional CLC transporters and which range from osteopetrosis and kidney dysfunction to epilepsy and mental retardation, illustrate the high physiological and pharmacological impact of this class of membrane proteins. More: Molecular basis of CLC transporter inhibition by fluoride …