Diets, special exercise programs, vitamin pills - various remedies promise us a longer life and indeed the average life expectancy of humans has increased over the last 150 years. But can we cheat the natural process and slow down our aging? An international research study, in which Claudia Fichtel and Peter Kappeler from the DPZ were also involved, comes to a different conclusion. Through comparative studies with humans and non-human primates, the researchers found that the survival rate of younger people in particular has changed over time. Find out what this has to do with the increase in our life expectancy in the new issue starting on page 3.
The COVID 19 pandemic continues to pose major challenges for mankind. In particular, the emergence of ever new mutants of SARS coronavirus 2 makes the threat difficult to predict. Our infectious disease biologists have studied mutant B.1.617, an initial variant of the delta mutant. In a study using cell cultures, they showed that the viral form is less well inhibited by antibodies. This could be problematic for incompletely vaccinated individuals or those with declining immune protection. Read more about this starting on page 9.
Animal testing is still a highly emotional topic of public debate. There is often a lack of fact-based and transparent information, which is often due to the fact that many scientists still shy away from an open exchange. The DPZ has once again committed itself to proactive and open communication on this topic and was one of the first institutions to sign the initiative "Transparente Tierversuche “ (Transparent Animal Experiments) launched by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the information platform "Tierversuche verstehen” (Understanding Animal Research). You can find more information about this in the issue starting on page 12. Some of our researchers also explain why they cannot yet do without animal experiments. You can read their statements on pages 14 and 15.
Our administrative director Katharina Peters has been at the DPZ for one year. In this interview, she looks back on her first time. You can read about her experiences and why she compares the DPZ to a speedboat on pages 23 to 25.
We wish you a pleasant reading!
"DPZ aktuell" is published four times a year, has about 35 pages each time and can be subscribed to free of charge. Of course, the magazine is also available in the building: You will find it at the reception desk or in the library.