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Freiburg, Germany

The University of Freiburg , sometimes referred to with its full title, the Albert Ludwig University of Freiburg, is a public research university located in Freiburg im Breisgau, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.The university was founded in 1457 by the Habsburg dynasty as the second university in Austrian-Habsburg territory after the University of Vienna. Today, Freiburg is the fifth-oldest university in Germany, with a long tradition of teaching the humanities, social science and natural science. The university is made up of 11 faculties and attracts students from across Germany as well as from over 120 other countries. Foreign students constitute about 16% of total student numbers.Named as one of elite universities of Germany by academics, political representatives and the media, the University of Freiburg stands amongst Europe's top research and teaching institutions. With its long-standing reputation of excellence, the university looks both to the past, to maintain its historic academic and cultural heritage, and to the future, developing new methods and opportunities to meet the needs of a changing world. The University of Freiburg has been home to some of the greatest minds of the Western tradition, including such eminent figures as Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Rudolf Carnap, David Daube, Johann Eck, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Friedrich Hayek, Edmund Husserl, Friedrich Meinecke, and Max Weber. In addition, 19 Nobel laureates are affiliated with the University of Freiburg and 15 academics have been honored with the highest German research prize, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, while working at the University of Freiburg. Wikipedia.

Furrer A.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Waldmann O.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Reviews of Modern Physics | Year: 2013

Magnetic clusters, i.e., assemblies of a finite number (between two or three and several hundred) of interacting spin centers which are magnetically decoupled from their environment, can be found in many materials ranging from inorganic compounds and magnetic molecules to artificial metal structures formed on surfaces and metalloproteins. Their magnetic excitation spectra are determined by the nature of the spin centers and of the magnetic interactions, and the particular arrangement of the mutual interaction paths between the spin centers. Small clusters of up to four magnetic ions are ideal model systems in which to examine the fundamental magnetic interactions, which are usually dominated by Heisenberg exchange, but often complemented by anisotropic and/or higher-order interactions. In large magnetic clusters, which may potentially deal with a dozen or more spin centers, there is the possibility of novel many-body quantum states and quantum phenomena. In this review the necessary theoretical concepts and experimental techniques to study the magnetic cluster excitations and the resulting characteristic magnetic properties are introduced, followed by examples of small clusters, demonstrating the enormous amount of detailed physical information that can be retrieved. The current understanding of the excitations and their physical interpretation in the molecular nanomagnets which represent large magnetic clusters is then presented, with a section devoted to the subclass of single-molecule magnets, distinguished by displaying quantum tunneling of the magnetization. Finally, there is a summary of some quantum many-body states which evolve in magnetic insulators characterized by built-in or field-induced magnetic clusters. The review concludes by addressing future perspectives in the field of magnetic cluster excitations. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Haller O.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Cell Host and Microbe | Year: 2013

Human MxA (MX1) protein is an interferon-induced restriction factor for a diverse range of viruses, whereas the related MxB (MX2) protein was thought to lack such activity. Three recent papers, including one in this issue of Cell Host & Microbe, show that MxB inhibits human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Manz B.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Nature communications | Year: 2012

Infection of mammals by avian influenza viruses requires adaptive mutations to achieve high-level replication in the new host. However, the basic mechanism underlying this adaptation process is still unknown. Here we show that avian polymerases, lacking the human signature PB2-E627K, are incapable of generating usable complementary RNA templates in cultured human cells and therefore require adaptation. Characterization of the highly pathogenic human H5N1 isolate A/Thailand/1(KAN-1)/2004 that retained the avian PB2-E627 reveals that the defect in RNA replication is only partially compensated by mutations in the polymerase. Instead, mutations in the nuclear export protein are required for efficient polymerase activity. We demonstrate that adaptive mutations in nuclear export proteins of several human isolates enhance the polymerase activity of avian polymerases in human cultured cells. In conclusion, when crossing the species barrier, avian influenza viruses acquire adaptive mutations in nuclear export protein to escape restricted viral genome replication in mammalian cells.

Fritz G.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Trends in Biochemical Sciences | Year: 2011

The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a central signaling molecule in the innate immune system and is involved in the onset and sustainment of the inflammatory response. RAGE belongs to a class of pattern recognition receptors that recognize common features rather than a specific ligand. Recent structural information on the extracellular portion (ectodomain) of RAGE shed new light on this unusual ability. X-ray crystallographic, NMR and biochemical data suggest that ligand binding is driven largely by electrostatic interactions between the positively charged surface of the ectodomain and negatively charged ligands. In this article, I propose a putative mechanism of RAGE ligand recognition of receptor activation. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Brabletz T.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Nature Reviews Cancer | Year: 2012

Why are many metastases differentiated? Invading and disseminating carcinoma cells can undergo an epithelialg-mesenchymal transition (EMT), which is associated with a gain of stem cell-like behaviour. Therefore, EMT has been linked to the cancer stem cell concept. However, it is a matter of debate how subsequent mesenchymalg-epithelial transition (MET) fits into the metastatic process and whether a MET is essential. In this Opinion article, I propose two principle types of metastatic progression: phenotypic plasticity involving transient EMTg-MET processes and intrinsic genetic alterations keeping cells in an EMT and stemness state. This simplified classification integrates clinically relevant aspects of dormancy, metastatic tropism and therapy resistance, and implies perspectives on treatment strategies against metastasis. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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