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History / Archeology - 08.02.2024
Painkiller or Pleasure?
Painkiller or Pleasure?
A team of archaeologists led by Dr. Maaike Groot from Freie Universität Berlin has provided the first firm evidence that the Romans deliberately collected and used the poisonous seeds of the black henbane plant. The team analyzed seeds found in a hollowed bone discovered at the Roman-period settlement of Houten-Castellum in the Netherlands and compared them to other archaeological occurrences of the plant.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 08.02.2024
Pharmacological Inhibitor Protects Nerve Cells in ALS Disease
Heidelberg neurobiologists successfully test novel drug principle in a mouse model and in brain organoids of ALS patients A new pharmacological inhibitor can intervene in a central cell death mechanism that is responsible for the death of motor neurons and hence important for the progression of the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Chemistry - 08.02.2024
Why orange juice sometimes smells of cloves
Why orange juice sometimes smells of cloves
Researchers see detergent residues as the cause Industrially produced orange juice sometimes smells unpleasantly of cloves. A research team led by the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now solved the mystery surrounding this undesirable off-odor.

Health - 08.02.2024
WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Literacy established
WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Literacy established
TUM coordinates global research on health literacy The World Health Organization (WHO) has established a new collaborating center at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The center will develop a global survey to learn more about people's ability to use health information. Member states may use this survey to determine their population's degree of health literacy.

Physics - 08.02.2024
New Approach to Determine Neutron Distribution in Atomic Nuclei
New Approach to Determine Neutron Distribution in Atomic Nuclei
Physicists from Heidelberg, the Netherlands and Switzerland, and the USA establish new value for the neutron skin of lead-208 Measurement data from collisions of heavy ions can provide insight into the neutron distribution in atomic nuclei, according to an international research team led by Dr Giuliano Giacalone from the Institute for Theoretical Physics of Heidelberg University.

Criminology / Forensics - 08.02.2024
What Might Reduce Crime Does Not Reduce Fear of Crime
Criminologists use Virtual Reality to assess the impact of street lighting and watching-eyes interventions In a virtual reality study, a team of researchers - including criminologists from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Crime, Security and Law - find environmental crime reduction interventions may not be effective or may even be counterproductive when it comes to reducing fear of crime.

Health - 08.02.2024
More heart attacks in rural areas
Core problem of urban-rural divide is not a lack of emergency care for heart attacks, but poorer disease prevention in rural areas In Germany, more people aged 65 and over die from heart attacks in rural areas than in cities. Contrary to popular belief, this is probably not due to poorer emergency medical care, but because more people suffer heart attacks in rural areas. However, the protection of patients' personal data makes it difficult to announce specific recommendations for action in Germany.

Chemistry - Physics - 07.02.2024
GPT-3 for Chemical Research
GPT-3 for Chemical Research
GPT-3, the language model behind the well-known AI system ChatGPT, can also be utilised in chemistry to solve various scientific tasks. This was demonstrated by a team of researchers at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Friedrich Schiller University Jena, and the Helmholtz Institute for Polymers in Energy Applications (HIPOLE) Jena.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 06.02.2024
More food helps orangutans learn better
More food helps orangutans learn better
The adage "necessity is the mother of invention" is often used to describe the origin from which our cultural development springs. After all, necessity in times of scarcity has forced humans to constantly invent new technologies that have driven the remarkable cumulative culture of our species. But an invention only becomes cultural when it is learned and spread by many people.

Paleontology - Chemistry - 06.02.2024
Surprisingly vibrant colour of 12-million-year-old snail shells
Surprisingly vibrant colour of 12-million-year-old snail shells
Researchers provide world's first evidence of intact polyene pigments in fossils Snail shells are often colourful and strikingly patterned. This is due to pigments that are produced in special cells of the snail and stored in the shell in varying concentrations. Fossil shells, on the other hand, are usually pale and inconspicuous because the pigments are very sensitive and have already decomposed.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.02.2024
Bacteria increase risk of skin inflammation during radiotherapy
Bacteria increase risk of skin inflammation during radiotherapy
Cancer treatment: possible trigger for radiodermatitis identified During radiotherapy, some cancer patients develop radiodermatitis, a severe inflammation of the skin. A recent study suggests that skin bacteria play an essential role in this: Breast cancer patients whose skin microbiome was disturbed prior to treatment also developed radiodermatitis.

Life Sciences - Health - 05.02.2024
The Influence of the Cellular Environment on Vision
The Influence of the Cellular Environment on Vision
The environment of retinal nerve cells plays a crucial role in the processing of visual signals. The processing of visual information begins with a targeted and balanced communication between nerve cells in the retina via synapses. Proteins in the vicinity of nerve cells play an important role in the development, maturation, and function of these synapses.

Chemistry - Materials Science - 02.02.2024
International Science Team Intensifies Research on Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
International Science Team Intensifies Research on Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
Joint project -AReLiS-3- commences at MEET Battery Research Center A research team at the MEET Battery Research Center at the University of Münster has kicked off the international joint project "AReLiS-3" to pursue research on lithium-sulfur batteries. Its aim is to develop, investigate and optimize novel cell designs, materials, electrode coatings and electrolytes for sulfur-based battery systems.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.02.2024
Neuromodulation: Ultrasound Leads to Braver Behavior in Situations of Mental Conflict
Neuromodulation: Ultrasound Leads to Braver Behavior in Situations of Mental Conflict
Psychologists at the University of Würzburg have investigated the extent to which neuromodulation of the brain with ultrasound waves influences people's behavior. The results can also be used as a basis for therapeutic purposes. When a new opportunity opens up for people, there are some who tend to take the pessimistic view: "It's no good anyway!".

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 01.02.2024
Climate change: Fungal disease endangers wheat production
Climate change: Fungal disease endangers wheat production
Climate change poses a threat to yields and food security worldwide, with plant diseases as one of the main risks. An international team of researchers surrounding Prof. Senthold Asseng from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now shown that further spread of the fungal disease wheat blast could reduce global wheat production by 13% until 2050.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.02.2024
Zebrafish Navigate to Find Their Comfortable Temperature
Zebrafish Navigate to Find Their Comfortable Temperature
Researchers from Bonn and Munich also find "thermostat" in the animals' brains Zebrafish are smaller than your little finger, with a brain no more than half the size of a pinhead. Yet these animals possess an efficient navigation system that enables them to find their way back to spots in the water where the temperature suits them.

Environment - 01.02.2024
Why Are People Climate Change Deniers?
Why Are People Climate Change Deniers?
Do climate change deniers bend the facts to avoid having to modify their environmentally harmful behavior? Researchers from the University of Bonn and the Institute of Labor Economics (IZA) ran an online experiment involving 4,000 US adults, and found no evidence to support this idea. The authors of the study were themselves surprised by the results.

Health - Pharmacology - 31.01.2024
Precursor of Cholesterol Protects Cells From Ferroptosis
Precursor of Cholesterol Protects Cells From Ferroptosis
A precursor of cholesterol, previously categorised as harmful, can protect cancer cells from cell death. This finding, published in Nature, opens new doors for cancer research. In a groundbreaking study, a team led by Würzburg Professor José Pedro Friedmann Angeli has shown that the cholesterol precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) plays a crucial role as an antioxidant: it integrates into the cell membranes and protects the cells by preventing a certain type of cell death, known as ferroptosis.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 31.01.2024
Detecting Hepatitis Viruses in Wastewater
Detecting Hepatitis Viruses in Wastewater
Researchers have identified genetic traces of hepatitis E viruses in almost 73 percent of wastewater samples from North-Rhine Westphalia. Findings on drug-resistant variants are of particular value. Hepatitis E is widespread among the population worldwide. The World Health Organization estimates that around 20 million people are infected with it every year.

Life Sciences - 31.01.2024
Time travel through genomics
Time travel through genomics
Viruses adapt quickly to new conditions, which is accompanied by a change in their genome. This also applies to a special group of viruses, the bacteriophages. A research team from Poland, the Netherlands and Germany has now successfully reconstructed numerous old phage genomes. These include a genome that is around 1,300 years old and is very similar to the modern "Mushuvirus mushu", which infects intestinal bacteria.
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