Of Fish, Fly, Worm, and Man

Ernst Schering Foundation Symposium Proceedings

Book 29
Springer Science & Business Media
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The first complete genome sequence of a multicellular organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, has been determined recently. Several more will follow soon, among them the genome sequences of Drosophila melanogaster and the human. With these achievements, the stage is set for the next phase of "large-scale" biology, the study of the function of genes and the interactions between their protein products. The aim of the Ernst Schering Research Foundation Workshop 29 was to discuss the contribution of research on model organisms which are particularly suited for genetic and biological research, to the understanding of gen eral principles of biology as well as the basis for human diseases. This area of research has not only unveiled the basic molecular mechanisms of development of higher organisms, but has also made major contri butions to the elucidation of complex signal transduction pathways that play crucial roles both in ontogeny and human diseases. Establishing the complete molecular anatomy of an organism is a demanding but rather well-defined task. However, compared to the technical and scientific challenges of large-scale sequencing and the bioinformatics analysis of complete genome data, the assignment of function to the genes of multicellular organisms may still seem like a fishing expedition, with no universal road to success. One approach is based on large-scale technologies. The use of mi croarrays for multiple gene expression analysis is one element in this effort, providing important information on the cell- or tissue-specific activation of genes over time.
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Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Mar 14, 2013
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Medical / Research
Science / Life Sciences / Cell Biology
Science / Life Sciences / Microbiology
Science / Life Sciences / Molecular Biology
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The induction of immune responses against tumor cells by vaccination is rapidly evolving as a therapeutic modality with new potentials for the treatment of cancer. It is based on the fact that our immune system can identify tumor cells and, once activated, is capable of developing specific immunity against the neoplastic cells. Numerous observations and intense research clearly document the major contribution of the immune system to the prevention of cancer. And there are many re ports of patients suffering from malignant melanoma or other tumors who mount a spontaneous immune response against their tumor cells that results in tumor regression. Based on the recent advances in our understanding of the compo nents of our immune system, their interactions and the regulation of immune responses, we are now able to design vaccination strategies that induce or enhance cell-mediated immunity against tumors. A ma jor advancement came with the identification and characterization of relevant tumor antigens, which are suitable target structures for anti-tu mor immune response. First clinical trials using such vaccine strategies have yielded encouraging results in patients. However, in spite of many reported cases of successful therapy of cancer by vaccination many patients still do not experience relief after such treatments. These initial clinical trials and the accompanying investigations have revealed a number of important results that indicate the direction of future re search and development in the field.
The European Workshops on Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology of the Testis have become by now a well-established tradition. Thanks to their special format, the quality of the main lectures and miniposters, and the vivid discussions, they enjoy the ever-increasing interest and active participation of all European scientists working in the field. Moreover, since the very beginning they have attracted investigators from all over the world. The most recent "Testis Workshop" was held in De Panne, Belgium, from 27-3\ March, 1994. As always, the frame work of the workshop was provided by a series of lectures delivered by a panel of internationally recognized authorities. These lectures are ga thered in the present volume of the Ernst Schering Foundation Work shop series. Together with the Miniposter book they constitute an excel lent written account of the Proceedings of the 8th European Testis Workshop. The testis undoubtedly represents one of the most complex and in triguing tissues in the body. Both its endocrine function, the secretion of male sex hormones, and its exocrine role, the production of mature spermatozoa, continue to raise startling questions to clinicians, physi ologists, endocrinologists, and scientists involved in fundamental re search. Few organs maintain and support a differentiation process as complicated as spermatogenesis; few tissues continually display both mitotic and meiotic cell cyles in such a stringently controlled fashion or a comparable need for coordinated endocrine and local control.
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