Yearbook 2017

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In missionizing the New World, works of art propagated Catholic faith and served as examples for the right cult of images. When Rosa de Santa María from Lima was beatified in 1668 and canonized in 1671, her iconographic persona needed to be created and propagated. A painting by Lazzaro Baldi and a marble sculpture by Melchiorre Cafà show that the balance of power between papal Rome and Spanish Lima was negotiated by artistic means and that issues of materiality and idolatry were considered from a transcultural point of view. more

Oxeiptosis – a ROS induced caspase-independent apoptosis-like cell death pathway

Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry Holze, Cathleen; Benda, Christian; Hubel, Philipp; Pennemann, Friederike L.; Pichlmair, Andreas
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are commonly generated during virus infections, but their significance is only partially understood. We identified a cell death pathway, oxeiptosis, regulating cell death and cell survival after exposure to ROS. Manipulation of oxeiptosis impairs ROS - and virus - induced cell death in vitro and causes lung inflammation and tissue injury in influenza A infected mice. Since ROS are commonly generated during physiologic and pathologic situations, we anticipate that oxeiptosis plays a prominent role in attenuating a wide range of diseases. more
The competition of plants and soil microorganisms for important nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus is a key determinant of the amount of carbon that can be stored in land ecosystems. Combining new laboratory experiments and improved numerical ecosystem models generates new insights into the intricate effects of this nutrient limitation for the future development of land carbon storage. This research contributes to a better understanding of the effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emission of climate. more
The circulatory system not only supplies the body with oxygen and nutrients, but might also carry toxic compounds and pathogens. To enhance protection of the brain, cerebral blood vessels build the so-called blood-brain barrier. Our studies of the zebrafish brain vasculature show that blood vessel growth and building of the blood-brain barrier are coordinated by two interacting signaling pathways. As the same principles also apply to mammalian cells, the balance of these signaling pathways could be of relevance for human pathological conditions and their treatment. more
The correct three-dimensional organisation of chromatin in the nucleus is a fundamental requirement for the proper functioning of the genome. As such, mutations in elements that determine this architecture lead to developmental disorders and cancer. In this work, chromatin conformation profiling in tightly staged Drosophila embryos revealed a dramatic reorganisation of chromatin that coincides with the zygotic genome activation. more
Gut microbes impact host physiology, affecting health status, and imbalance of the gut microbial commensal communities is associated with disease. Re-establishment of a healthy gut microbial composition can resolve acute and life-threatening bacterial infections. Recent work using the short-lived African turquoise killifish (Nothobranchius furzeri) indicates that gut microbes from young individuals can modulate the general health status and life span in healthy ageing subjects. more
Living cells are coated and structured by lipid membranes. We addressed two important questions: how are membranes shaped into their often unusual forms, and how do cells monitor the membrane state? With molecular and coarse-grained simulations, we could show how the proteins Mga2 and Ire1 can sense the state of the endoplasmic reticulum. Also, new insights have been obtained about the fusion of vesicles, the formation of tubular structures in the endoplasmic reticulum, and the induction of autophagosomes aided by the Atg1 complex. more
Neurons communicate by short electric pulses, the so-called action potentials or spikes. In order to fully understand cognitive functions, knowledge about how spikes encode information is necessary. The research group found that pairwise spike correlations and their linear components shape the coding of information. Linear response functions are one of the most versatile concepts and have been used to understand many neuroscientific topics, though their validity regime is not unlimited. more
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