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Fribourg, Switzerland

The University of Fribourg is a university in the city of Fribourg, Switzerland.The roots of the University can be traced back to 1580, when the notable Jesuit Peter Canisius founded the Collège Saint-Michel in the City of Fribourg. In 1763, an Academy of law was founded by the state of Fribourg which formed the nucleus of the present Law Faculty. The University of Fribourg was finally created in 1889 by an Act of the parliament of the Swiss Canton of Fribourg.The University of Fribourg is Switzerland’s only bilingual university and offers full curricula in those two Swiss national languages. Students number is about 10,000, there are about 200 tenured professors and 700 other academic teaching and research personnel. The Misericorde Campus, constructed between 1939–42, was designed by the architects Honegger and Dumas, students of Swiss architect Le Corbusier.There are five faculties: Catholic theology, law, natural science, humanities, and economics and social science. Wikipedia.

The concept of managing obesity through the stimulation of thermogenesis is currently a focus of considerable attention by the pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and functional food industries. This paper first reviews the landmark discoveries that have fuelled the search for thermogenic anti-obesity products that range from single-target drugs to multi-target functional foods. It subsequently analyses the thermogenic and fat-oxidizing potentials of a wide array of bioactive food ingredients which are categorized under methylxanthines, polyphenols, capsaicinoids/capsinoids, minerals, proteins/amino acids, carbohydrates/sugars and fats/fatty acids. The main outcome of this analysis is that the compounds or combination of compounds with thermogenic and fat-oxidizing potentials are those that possess both sympathomimetic stimulatory activity and acetyl-coA carboxylase inhibitory property, and are capable of targeting both skeletal muscle and brown adipose tissue. The thermogenic potentials of products so far tested in humans range from marginal to modest, i.e. 2-5% above daily energy expenditure. With an increasing number of bioactive food ingredients awaiting screening in humans, there is hope that this thermogenic potential could be safely increased to 10-15% above daily energy expenditure - which would have clinically significant impact on weight management, particularly in the prevention of obesity and in improving the long-term prognosis of post-slimming weight maintenance. © 2011 The Author. obesity reviews © 2011 International Association for the Study of Obesity. Source

Schwaller B.,University of Fribourg
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2012

Background: Cytosolic Ca 2 + buffers are members of the large family of Ca 2 +-binding proteins and are essential components of the Ca 2 + signaling toolkit implicated in the precise regulation of intracellular Ca 2 + signals. Their physiological role in excitable cells has been investigated in vivo by analyzing the phenotype of mice either lacking one of the Ca 2 + buffers or mice with ectopic expression. Scope of Review: In this review, results obtained with knockout mice for the three most prominent Ca 2 + buffers, parvalbumin, calbindin-D28k and calretinin are summarized. Major Conclusions: The absence of Ca 2 + buffers in specific neuron subpopulations, and for parvalbumin additionally in fast-twitch muscles, leads to Ca 2 + buffer-specific changes in intracellular Ca 2 + signals. This affects the excitation-contraction cycle in parvalbumin-deficient muscles, and in Ca 2 + buffer-deficient neurons, properties associated with synaptic transmission (e.g. short-term modulation), excitability and network oscillations are altered. These findings have not only resulted in a better understanding of the physiological function of Ca 2 + buffers, but have revealed that the absence of Ca 2 + signaling toolkit components leads to protein-and neuron-specific adaptive/homeostatic changes that also include changes in neuron morphology (e.g. altered spine morphology, changes in mitochondria content) and network properties. General Significance: The complex phenotype of Ca 2 + buffer knockout mice arises from the direct effect of these proteins on Ca 2 + signaling and moreover from the homeostatic mechanisms induced in these mice. For a better mechanistic understanding of neurological diseases linked to disturbed/altered Ca 2 + signaling, a global view on Ca 2 + signaling is expected to lead to new avenues for specific therapies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemical, biophysical and genetic approaches to intracellular calcium signaling. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Erhardt M.,University of Fribourg
Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in biology | Year: 2010

The bacterial flagellum and the virulence-associated injectisome are complex, structurally related nanomachines that bacteria use for locomotion or the translocation of virulence factors into eukaryotic host cells. The assembly of both structures and the transfer of extracellular proteins is mediated by a unique, multicomponent transport apparatus, the type III secretion system. Here, we discuss the significant progress that has been made in recent years in the visualization and functional characterization of many components of the type III secretion system, the structure of the bacterial flagellum, and the injectisome complex. Source

This study addresses the extrapolation of in-situ glacier mass balance measurements to the mountain-range scale and aims at deriving time series of area-averaged mass balance and ice volume change for all glaciers in the European Alps for the period 1900-2100. Long-term mass balance series for 50 Swiss glaciers based on a combination of field data and modelling, and WGMS data for glaciers in Austria, France and Italy are used. A complete glacier inventory is available for the year 2003. Mass balance extrapolation is performed based on (1) arithmetic averaging, (2) glacier hypsometry, and (3) multiple regression. Given a sufficient number of data series, multiple regression with variables describing glacier geometry performs best in reproducing observed spatial mass balance variability. Future mass changes are calculated by driving a combined model for mass balance and glacier geometry with GCM ensembles based on four emission scenarios. Mean glacier mass balance in the European Alps is-0.31 ± 0.04 m w.e. a-1 in 1900-2011, and -1 m w.e. a-1 over the last decade. Total ice volume change since 1900 is-96 ± 13 km3; annual values vary between-5.9 km3 (1947) and +3.9 km3 (1977). Mean mass balances are expected to be around-1.3 m w.e. a-1 by 2050. Model results indicate a glacier area reduction of 4-18% relative to 2003 for the end of the 21st century. © 2013 Author(s). Source

Albrecht U.,University of Fribourg
Neuron | Year: 2012

The mammalian circadian system, which is comprised of multiple cellular clocks located in the organs and tissues, orchestrates their regulation in a hierarchical manner throughout the 24 hr of the day. At the top of the hierarchy are the suprachiasmatic nuclei, which synchronize subordinate organ and tissue clocks using electrical, endocrine, and metabolic signaling pathways that impact the molecular mechanisms of cellular clocks. The interplay between the central neural and peripheral tissue clocks is not fully understood and remains a major challenge in determining how neurological and metabolic homeostasis is achieved across the sleep-wake cycle. Disturbances in the communication between the plethora of body clocks can desynchronize the circadian system, which is believed to contribute to the development of diseases such as obesity and neuropsychiatric disorders. This review will highlight the relationship between clocks and metabolism, and describe how cues such as light, food, and reward mediate entrainment of the circadian system. Here, Albrecht reviews the relationship between central and peripheral circadian clocks and how cues such as light, food, and reward mediate entrainment of the circadian system. The implications of desynchronization of these clocks for human health and disease are also discussed. © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Source

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