Pharmacy professor Maria Kristina Parr studies evidence of use of the muscle-building drug clenbuterol in athletes.
In the fight against doping in elite competitive sports, monitors have better and better tests at their disposal. But sometimes positive traces of a substance are not enough to provide definitive proof of abuse. A research group at the Institute of Pharmacy at Freie Universität, with funding from the World Anti-Doping Agency, is working to develop a test that aims to prove whether an athlete has doped using the muscle-building drug clenbuterol or whether the active ingredient has entered the athlete’s body through contaminated food.
Evolutionary biologist Jens Rolff studies the immune systems of insects. His research could inspire human medicine.
Staphylococcus aureus is the name of the invisible enemy in hospitals. The bacterium is actually harmless. It settles on the skin and in the upper airways, where it clusters together like tiny bunches of grapes. Nearly 30 percent of all people in Germany carry the pathogen, and the figure is even higher for nurses and doctors, at about 90 percent. In most cases, S. aureus does not cause any symptoms of disease, but if the host’s immune system is weakened, it attacks the skin, muscles, or airways. That in itself should also be harmless since the discovery of antibiotics. But strains that are resistant to common classes of antibiotics, such as quinolones and tetracyclines, aminoglycosides and sulfonamides, are being found increasingly often in hospital settings. Now, houseflies and honeybees, butterflies and mealworm beetles could help find new methods in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The end of the last major Ice Age is widely considered the most recent turning point in the Earth’s history. Geologists are now discussing whether it is time to proclaim a new era: the Anthropocene – the age of humankind.
It must have been the early 1970s. Reinhold Leinfelder was still a schoolboy, and he had an unusual hobby: frogs, newts, salamanders, and toads. There were a lot of them in the woods to the west of Augsburg, near his home – but from one day to the next, they simply vanished. A golf course had been built in the neighborhood, and the fertilizer used for the green had destabilized local lakes.