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Münster (bmm) |

The invisibility cloak of a fungus

A fungal pathogen uses an enzyme to hide from the human immune system / Study in PNAS
© WWU - Martin Bonin

The human immune system can easily recognize fungi because their cells are surrounded by a solid cell wall of chitin and other complex sugars. Researchers at Münster University found that a fungal pathogen, Cryptococcus neoformans, uses an enzyme to hide from the human immune system. The study was published in the journal "PNAS".

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WWU (bmm) |

Patterns matter

Deciphering the sugar code...
© WWU - AG Moerschbacher

Not only DNA and proteins, complex sugars also speak their own language/study in JACS

Chitosans are probably the most versatile and promising functional biopolymers. Chitosans can make plants resistant to diseases, promote their growth, and protect them from heat or drought stress. Under chitosan dressings, even large wounds can heal without scars, chitosan nanoparticles can transport drugs across the blood/brain barrier, and chitosans can replace antibiotics in animal fattening as antimicrobial and immunostimulating feed additives. But of course, chitosans are not miracle cures either: there are many different chitosans, and for each application you have to find exactly the right one if it is to work. Unfortunately, we still understand far too little which chitosan has which effect and how the different chitosans unfold their effects. Only when we understand this, when we understand the "language" of chitosan, we can use it in a targeted way. Researchers from Münster have
now come a long way towards achieving this goal...