Yearbook 2017

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The CRISPR/Cas9-method allows precise and efficient editing of the cellular genome, with to date unmatched simplicity and speed. So far, however, CRISPR/Cas9 could not be used directly in the brain, because the method does not work properly on mature neurons. We recently discovered that by combining CRISPR/Cas9 with a virus, the method’s efficiency can be increased by several orders of magnitude, enabling the use even in mature neurons – irrespective of cell type, brain region or age. more
Sexual reproduction requires the generation of special cells called gametes, i.e. eggs and sperms, which carry half the genome of the parent. Meiosis is the process by which the parental genome is divided. In order to segregate the genome in a controlled way, novel linkages between sequentially similar chromosomes need to be created. Linkages are made by making programmed breaks in the DNA, followed by controlled repair of these breaks. Understanding the process of breakage and repair in detail at the molecular level will provide new insights into human fertility and genetic diseases. more
Data are an important raw material of the 21st century. This applies in particular to materials science. However, the lack of an efficient data exchange infrastructure is a major obstacle to this area's progress. In the field of computer-aided materials science, the NOMAD CoE (Novel Materials Discovery - Center of Excellence) has brought about a cultural change towards comprehensive data sharing and paved the way for big data analyses. This leads to new insights and even the discovery of new materials for technologically important applications. more
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