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News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

  • News from the Lab’ is a selection of scientific works that are significant or interesting for a broad readership. 
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Life Sciences



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Life Sciences - 29.11.2021
Ancient lineage of algae found to include five 'cryptic' species
Ancient lineage of algae found to include five ’cryptic’ species
Research team led by Göttingen University use genomic data to discover five species hidden in rare alga All land plants originated from a single evolutionary event when freshwater algae got a foothold on land, giving rise to an astonishing biodiversity of plants on earth. However, the group of algae that would later give rise to land plants had already been living and evolving in both freshwater and terrestrial habitats for over one billion years.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.11.2021
Critical conflict in cancer cells
Critical conflict in cancer cells
11/29/2021 The cells of a certain tumour type, called neuroblastoma, divide very rapidly. This rapid division can have potentially fatal consequences for them. A new study shows how neuroblastoma cells deal with this dilemma. Neuroblastomas occur predominantly in children. A specific subset of these tumours is very aggressive and difficult to treat.

Life Sciences - Physics - 26.11.2021
Three-dimensional X-ray image throws light on neurodegenerative disease
Three-dimensional X-ray image throws light on neurodegenerative disease
Team from Göttingen University and University Medical Center identifies changes in nerve tissue in Alzheimer's What changes occur in parts of the brain affected by neurodegenerative disease? How does the structure of the neurons change? Some pathological changes in the tissue are easy to identify using standard microscopy.

Life Sciences - 24.11.2021
Sun Compass on Demand
Sun Compass on Demand
11/24/2021 Monarch butterflies employ a sun compass on their long-distance migration. Surprisingly, a new study shows that the compass is only established during flight. Monarch butterflies are famous for their annual long-distance migration, which takes them over several thousand kilometres from the north of the USA to their overwintering habitat in central Mexico.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.11.2021
Logistical Herculean Tasks
Logistical Herculean Tasks
11/22/2021 The question of the causes of species extinction confronts science with complex tasks. Dr Sarah Redlich from the Biocentre on the challenge of creating a study design. Research groups all over the world are trying to disentangle the causes of biodiversity loss. One thing is clear: there is no single cause.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2021
How unhealthy diet makes you sick
How unhealthy diet makes you sick
New link between diet, intestinal stem cells and disease discovered Obesity, diabetes and gastrointestinal cancer are frequently linked to an unhealthy diet. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for this are hitherto not fully understood. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Munich have gained some new insights that help to better understand this connection.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.11.2021
Sufficient energy supply decisive for nerve development
Sufficient energy supply decisive for nerve development
The bodies of animals and humans are innervated by a network of nerve cells which are connected through long extensions. The nerve cells use these so-called axons and dendrites to communicate with one another. During early development, nerve cells grow a large number of axons and dendrites. To make the connections specific, redundant extensions are removed at a later stage in a process called "pruning".

Life Sciences - Health - 15.11.2021
'Consequences for the patient's life'
’Consequences for the patient’s life’
Dr. Francesco Catania is head of the working group "Evolutionary Cell Biology" at the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the University of Münster. His group uses bioinformatics and experimental approaches to investigate how the interaction of cells and organisms with their environment leads to the emergence of new properties.

Life Sciences - Physics - 09.11.2021
'Tug of war' between cells - When crucial connections are missing
’Tug of war’ between cells - When crucial connections are missing
Research team led by University of Göttingen investigates the importance of "tight junctions" for cell movement The ability of cells to move together in harmony is crucial for numerous biological processes in our body, for example wound healing, or the healthy development of an organism. This movement is made possible by the connections between individual cells.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.11.2021
Success in the analysis of herpes viruses
Success in the analysis of herpes viruses
Team including MHH and RESIST researchers has found starting point for therapy of diseases caused by herpes viruses A research team from the University of Lübeck, Hannover Medical School (MHH), CSSB Hamburg and the RESIST Cluster of Excellence has found a possible new starting point for the therapy of diseases triggered by herpes viruses.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.11.2021
Pathomechanisms in heart disease discovered
Pathomechanisms in heart disease discovered
Titin is a "titanically large" protein - the largest in the human body - which enables elastic movements of our muscles, including the heart. Mutations in the titin gene ( TTN ) that impair this function are the most frequent cause of a heart muscle disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which is characterized by a weak pump function.

Life Sciences - 05.11.2021
Researchers detect a diffusion barrier inside fly brain
Researchers detect a diffusion barrier inside fly brain
The neurons, located in the brain are interconnected in a complex pattern and establish special communication points, the synapses. All neurons require a constant environment in order to function reliably. To ensure this, the brain is surrounded by the so-called blood-brain barrier. It ensures, for example, that the nutrient balance always remains the same and that harmful influences do not reach the neurons.

Life Sciences - 04.11.2021
Aquatic plant's genome reveals evolutionary surprises
Aquatic plant’s genome reveals evolutionary surprises
International research team including Göttingen University sequence whole genome of quillwort The quillwort is an aquatic plant belonging to an ancient lineage of vascular plants, meaning plants that have tissues to transport water, sap and nutrients. This lineage diverged from the other vascular plants more than 400 million years ago.

Life Sciences - Environment - 02.11.2021
Not yet silent spring: shifting sounds of birdsong
Not yet silent spring: shifting sounds of birdsong
Researchers including Göttingen University use citizen science to study birdsong over last 25 years Natural sounds, and birdsong in particular, play a key role in building and maintaining our connection with nature. Birds have been declining due to changing land use and climate change. But how has this affected the dawn chorus around us?

Life Sciences - 25.10.2021
Insect digestive enzyme activates sugar-containing plant defence substance: Removing the sugar component changes the food plant chosen by cockchafer larvae
Insect digestive enzyme activates sugar-containing plant defence substance: Removing the sugar component changes the food plant chosen by cockchafer larvae
Plants are not entirely at the mercy of their herbivore enemies. Often, chemical defences ensure that the plants are inedible, or even toxic, and as a result insects and other hungry animals steer clear of them. A new study has shown, for the first time, that the degradation of plants' defence substances by insects' digestive enzymes can influence the insects' preference for certain food plants.

Life Sciences - Mechanical Engineering - 22.10.2021
'Feeling' the living cell's life cycle using optical tweezers
’Feeling’ the living cell’s life cycle using optical tweezers
Göttingen researchers use laser to reveal that the inside of living cells softens and fluidifies when dividing Living cells are the basic building blocks of all organisms. We, as humans, are essentially a collection of trillions of living cells: and all these cells emerge from a single fertilized egg.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.10.2021
New values for better diagnoses
New values for better diagnoses
MHH study develops reference tool for blood tests Lymphocytes belong to the white blood cells. They consist of several subgroups with different tasks in immune defence. Which and how many lymphocytes are in the blood provides information about our current state of health as well as congenital or acquired immune deficiencies.

Health - Life Sciences - 13.10.2021
New test improves diagnosis of rare liver disease
New test improves diagnosis of rare liver disease
Polyreactive antibodies as markers for autoimmune hepatitis Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic liver inflammation that is triggered by an immunological malfunction. In this case, the immune system falsely recognises the patient's own liver cells as "foreign to the body". The symptoms of this rare liver disease are unspecific, and the exact cause is not yet known.

Environment - Life Sciences - 12.10.2021
Insects in the Light of Land Use and Climate
Insects in the Light of Land Use and Climate
Urbanisation appears to be another key factor for insect decline. This is shown by a study in which the impact of climate and land use on insects was disentangled for the first time. Worldwide, the quantity and diversity of insects are declining: scientists have reported more and more evidence for this in recent years.

Life Sciences - 12.10.2021
Protective role of cells in overwintering fungi
Göttingen researchers find cells involved in sexual development produce chemicals that deter hungry predators Scientists have discovered a new role for cells that are known to nurture the reproductive structures in the fungus Aspergillus nidulans through the winter. The findings suggest that Hülle cells in this fungus also play a key part in its chemical defence strategies to ward off hungry predators.
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