Understanding Muscular Disease

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Welcome to the section on Micronaut.ch which explores, analyzes and explains fascinating microscopical structures.

Congenital muscular dystrophies are severe diseases of the skeletal muscle, often characterized by heterogeneous genetic origin and early onset.

Text and Photography by Martin Oeggerli

 Mutation of the gene encoding laminin-alpha-2, which plays a major role in the organization and function of the muscle basement membrane, leads to severe form of muscular dystrophy and patients often have trouble with the breathing and cannot stand or walk.

Currently, no treatment for the MDC1A-patients exists, but in recent years the understanding of the disease mechanisms and preclinical studies have suggested new treatment options. For an update on the study and most recent advances in the treatment of the disease, see the article by Sarina Meinen and her colleagues from Markus Ruegg’s lab which has recently been published in the scientific journal ‘EMBO Molecular Medicine’:

In order to illustrate the research area, ‘The EMBO Journal’ has decided to decorate their August 2011 cover with a color SEM image, depicting Mouse skeletal muscle fibres. The image was prepared and captured by Micronaut in collaboration with Markus Ruegg’s lab at the Biocenter, University of Basel, Switzerland.

SEM scan: by Micronaut, kindly supported by School of Applied Sciences, FHNW, Muttenz.

Continue reading Atlant’s Column: Superhydrophobic Surfaces, June 2011, or go back to the archive