Expedition into the wonder world of life

Expedition into the wonder world of life

It is hardly visible to the eye but nevertheless contains everything it needs for a complete organism. An average human cell is only a few hundredths of a millimeter in size. More than 50 billion cells ensure that we can see and walk, resist diseases and even contemplate about ourselves.

How does life work?
But how can an entire human being develop from a fertilized egg cell? How do the cells of an embryo “know” when and exactly where they are supposed to form blood vessels, nerves or muscles? And what tricks do immune cells use to migrate out of the blood into the infected tissue – although the blood vessels comprise a closed system?

How do diseases develop?
The Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine is striving to solve these riddles. Using gene technology, molecular biology, and electron and laser microscopy, the researchers are investigating how cells exchange information, which molecules regulate their behavior and which crosstalk errors between cells lead to diseases like cancer and multiple sclerosis.

Opening up new horizons for medicine
The focus of our work is on basic research. However, Institute scientists cooperate closely with physicians at the nearby University of Münster – so that the insights gained in the labs of the Max Planck researchers can benefit patients as rapidly as possible.

Safe therapies need time
Until safe and effective therapies can be developed, much research is needed - also und especially in new stem cell therapies. A good overview of the available products and treatments  that make sense and those that do not can be found at German Stem Cell Network, the Stem Cell Network North Rhine Westphalia and the Patient handbook of the International Society for Stem Cell Reseach (ISSCR).

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