Similarity of hepatocytes from liver and from stem cells improved

August 15, 2022

Research with stem cells is becoming increasingly important, because stem cells can develop into any body cell – skin cells, nerve cells or organ cells such as liver cells, the so-called hepatocytes. Stem cells can therefore be used, for example, in the therapy of organ damage or as an alternative to animal experiments. However, there are still major differences between hepatocytes obtained from a liver and those obtained from stem cells. Researchers at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environments and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) have successfully identified an important reason for this difference, so that the two cell variants can be more similar in the future.

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Due to data gaps, SKLM recommends new assessment of the flavouring substance acetaldehyde

August 1, 2022

Acetaldehyde occurs naturally in many foods and is also used as a flavouring substance due to its fruity aroma. The Senate Commission on the Food Safety (German SKLM) of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft-DFG) has reviewed the current data situation for assessing the health risk of the use of acetaldehyde as a flavouring substance. In view of numerous data gaps that need to be closed for a complete risk assessment and the resulting uncertainties, the commission concludes that there are doubts about the safety of acetaldehyde as a flavouring substance. In the opinion of the SKLM, the deliberate addition of acetaldehyde as a flavouring substance should therefore be re-evaluated for reasons of precautionary consumer protection.

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Interruption of bile acid uptake by liver cells after paracetamol overdose mitigates liver damage

June 10, 2022

Poisoning with paracetamol (acetaminophen – APAP) is a common cause of liver failure. However, not all the correlations that lead to liver damage from APAP are yet known. Especially the role of bile acids is unclear. The Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environments and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) has therefore investigated why the concentration of bile acids increases in the liver after APAP poisoning. The researchers have published the latest findings in the Journal of Hepatology: The bile acids are repeatedly fed into the liver through a circuit instead of flowing directly out of the liver. Interrupting this circulation massively reduces liver damage.

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Launch of the European research and innovation PARC programme to improve chemical risk assessment

June 6, 2022

The European Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC) is seeking to develop next-generation chemical risk assessment, incorporating both human health and the environment in a „One Health“ approach. It will help support the European Union’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability and the European Green Deal’s „zero pollution“ ambition. Bringing together nearly 200 partners from 28 countries – including the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo) – as well as EU agencies PARC is coordinated by ANSES.

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New research project investigates the development of ovarian cancer

Jan 10, 2022

Ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis because it is often diagnosed at a late stage, when a cure is difficult. For this reason, researchers at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) are trying to understand the molecular mechanisms of the disease more precisely. An important feature of ovarian cancer, and cancer in general, is the reprograming of the metabolic capacity of cancer cells to facilitate their survival. In a recently funded DFG project entitled „Intracellularly derived lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and glycerophospholipid metabolism in ovarian cancer“, key metabolic proteins and their contribution to cancer development are being analysed.

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New research project studies toluene-induced damage to the human nervous system

Toluene is one of the most common organic solvents used in paints, thinners, adhesives and as an additive in cosmetics. However, knowledge about the mechanisms of toluene’s effects on brain function in humans is still limited. Due to the frequent use of toluene in the workplace, researchers at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) aim to analyse the physiological, motor and cognitive effects as well as the symptoms in humans with toluene contact in more detail.

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New study shows relation between spinal cord injury and bladder cancer

Studies suggest that urinary bladder cancer is more likely to have a more unfavourable course in spinal cord injury patients than in non-paraplegic patients. However, many questions remain unanswered, such as the causes. A national research team with the participation of the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) has therefore analysed long-term data from patients from Germany, Austria and Switzerland with spinal cord injury who were treated without permanent catheters. The team concluded that urinary bladder cancer is a late event in the long-term course of paraplegia. Follow-up must therefore be intensified as the duration of paraplegia increases.

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Fatty liver disease promotes the formation of kidney stones

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease in western countries, with an increasing incidence worldwide. Consequences of NAFLD can also include kidney disease and kidney stones, although the mechanisms for the development of these kidney complications as a result of NAFLD have not yet been fully explained. Researchers at the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) have now published a paper on how fatty liver disease promotes the formation of kidney stones.

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When does liver cirrhosis develop into liver cancer? New study to identify risk factors

Worldwide, liver cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths and the incidence rate for this tumour disease is increasing. Liver cancer is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, when only systemic therapies are possible. In a new research project, researchers from the Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors in Dortmund (IfADo) therefore want to identify the risk factors for the transition from liver cirrhosis to liver cancer in order to facilitate early monitoring and intervention. The project is part of the LiSyM-Cancer project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

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