Science Highlights

Making the gray cells happy

Depressive disorders are among the most frequent illnesses worldwide. The causes are complex and to date only partially understood. The trace element lithium appears to play a role. Using neutrons of the research neutron source at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), a research team has now proved that the distribution of lithium in the brains of depressive people is different from the distribution found in healthy humans.

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Science Highlights

From Contrast Agents to Drug Delivery: Research with Neutrons Enables Advances in Biomedical Research

Biocompatible iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) offer great potential for biomedical applications, both in terms of imaging and therapy. More rapid progress in researching IONPs now looks promising by using a new method combination developed by a team of Jülich researchers using neutrons as a probe.

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Science Highlights

Research with neutrons for better mRNA vaccines

In December 2020, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was approved for use across the EU, marking a crucial step forward in the fight against coronavirus. The development of this COVID-19 vaccine built on important research that was undertaken by Mainz-based biotechnology company, BioNTech, in collaboration with the Jülich Center for Neutron Science (JCNS). Using neutron scattering instruments operated by the JCNS at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Center in Garching, researchers investigated new approaches for the packaging and delivery of the mRNA. Such experiments provide important insights into the relationship between structural properties, biological activity and the vaccine production process, which will help to advance the development of RNA therapeutics and vaccines.

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