News and views on research at the Helmholtz Association - this is the place to look for all the press releases issued by the Helmholtz Association Research Centres. A comfortable search function helps you to view specific news items from the Helmholtz Research Centres in chronological order. Older press releases since 2003 can be found in our archive or on the website of the relevant Helmholtz Research Centre.
At present only a selection of press releases is available in English - switch to the German version with the topmost navigation bar for a complete overview.
07. January 2011 Helmholtz Association
DESY to create Centre for Structural Systems Biology
The Helmholtz Centre Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg is set to create a Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB). The Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig will be in charge of research management at the new centre. Partners will include research institutes from the German states of Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. Germany’s minister of education and research Prof. Annette Schavan met today with Hamburg’s minister of science and research Dr Herlind Gundelach and Lower Saxony’s minister of science and culture Prof. Johanna Wanka to officially sign the agreement to build the CSSB. The federal government and the participating states will invest a total of €50 million in the project.
“The direct incorporation of physics into structural biology research will provide unparalleled opportunities for developing new drugs to fight widespread diseases,” said Prof. Jürgen Mlynek, President of the Helmholtz Association. “The CSSB is a wonderful example of how large-scale devices used in physics can be exploited for specific applications in healthcare research and how skills and resources can be leveraged beyond institutional boundaries.” Mlynek applauded the joint involvement of the federal and state governments, which he said would move the Helmholtz Association’s healthcare research forward and contribute to further developing Germany’s reputation as a place for innovation. “The next few years will also see the launch of the European XFEL, a cutting-edge X-ray laser, as well as the new Centre for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) at the DESY campus.” Based on particle accelerators, these light sources generate intense short-wave radiation with unique characteristics. The technology provides scientists with new ways of investigating and categorising biological samples – ranging from structural analysis to mapping intracellular processes in real time.
The CSSB will focus on processes that occur in the body of someone with an infection. A new institute at DESY will study processes at the molecular level, such as the ways pathogens interact with their hosts. Biologists at the institute will have access to light sources not found anywhere else on Earth, including PETRA III and FLASH. “Infection research in northern Germany already has an excellent reputation,” said Prof. Dirk Heinz, scientific director at the HZI. “Now we’ll be able to make even better use of the synergies created by combining different research fields. The CSSB will be like a beacon that attracts national and international attention to the work we are doing.” Planning for the new facilities is to start now the agreement has been signed, while construction is scheduled to begin in 2012.
Partners in the Centre for Structural Systems Biology:
University of Hamburg
Eppendorf University Hospital
Hamburg University of Technology
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY)
Heinrich Pette Institute for Experimental Virology and Immunology
Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine
Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig
Hannover Medical School
University of Lübeck
Research Center Borstel, Leibniz Centre for Medicine and Bioscience
National and international partners:
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)
Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Structural Biology and Biophysics
Communications and Media
+49 30 206329-57
+49 30 206329-60
presse (at) helmholtz.de
04. January 2011 German Cancer Research Centre
Colonoscopy Provides Protection from Cancer on Both Sides of the Colon
It is regarded as proven that endoscopic colonoscopy with removal of polyps reduces cancer risk on the left side of the colon known as descending colon. Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) in Heidelberg have now shown that inspection of both sides of the colon also reduces cancer risk in the right part of the colon by more than 50 percent. The overall risk was found to be 77 percent lower. This means that colonoscopy provides very good protection from colon cancer - even though it is not a 100 percent guarantee.
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07. January 2011 Helmholtz Centre Potsdam - GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
Brandenburg exploration of geo-energy receives additional funding
Dr. Helge Braun, the Parliamentary State Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Research, presents the notice of approval for the second phase of the energy research project GeoEn to the project partners. In phase II of GeoEn the aspects of geothermal energy, shale gas (also known as unconventional gas resource), CO2 capture and transport as well as the storage of CO2 will increasingly be incorporated in technology transfer concepts with the industry and medium-sized enterprises.
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09. January 2011 Forschungszentrum Jülich
Supercomputer Unravels Structures in DVD materials
First model of rapid phase change in storage material. In the current issue of the leading journal Nature Materials, researchers from Jülich, Finland, and Japan provide insight into the read and write processes in a DVD. This knowledge should enable improved storage materials to be developed.
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05. January 2011 Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
Optimal Use of Resources from Nature
Nearly 2.5 Million Euros for Fundamental Research: European Research Council Awards Advanced Researcher Grant to KIT Botanist Holger Puchta
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