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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 - Chemistry - 03.08.2021
Nanocontainers made of biological materials to enter cells
Nanocontainers made of biological materials to enter cells
Nanocontainers made of biological materials use natural processes to enter cells and release their cargo / Study published in the journal "Advanced Science" Nanocontainers can transport substances into cells where they can then take effect. This is the method used in, for example, the mRNA vaccines currently being employed against Covid-19 as well as certain cancer drugs.

Life Sciences - Paleontology - 02.08.2021
Evolution of walking leaves
Evolution of walking leaves
Göttingen research team creates phylogenetic tree of leaf insects An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has studied the evolution of the walking leaves. Walking leaves belong to the stick insects and ghost insects that, unlike their approximately 3,000 branch-like relatives, do not imitate twigs.

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.07.2021
Solar-powered microbes to feed the world?
International research team shows that protein from microbes uses a fraction of the resources of conventional farming Microbes have played a key role in our food and drinks - from cheese to beer - for millennia but their impact on our nutrition may soon become even more important. The world is facing growing food challenges as the human population continues to increase alongside its demand for resource intensive animal products.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.07.2021
New strategy against sepsis
New strategy against sepsis
Some cases of bloodstream infections are mild, but many have a fatal outcome - the reasons for these differences have remained in the dark despite decades of research. Researchers from the Cluster of Excellence "Controlling Microbes to Fight Infections" (CMFI), the Interfaculty Institute of Microbiology and Infection Medicine Tübingen (IMIT) at the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have now discovered a possible cause and on this basis developed a new experimental strategy to combat bacterial sepsis.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.07.2021
Cancer development is influenced by tissue type
Cancer development is influenced by tissue type
Why identical mutations cause different types of cancer Why do alterations of certain genes cause cancer only in specific organs of the human body? Scientists have now demonstrated that cells originating from different organs are differentially susceptible to activating mutations in cancer drivers: The same mutation in precursor cells of the pancreas or the bile duct leads to fundamental different outcomes.

Life Sciences - Physics - 15.07.2021
The virus trap
The virus trap
Hollow nano-objects made of DNA could trap viruses and render them harmless To date, there are no effective antidotes against most virus infections. An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed a new approach: they engulf and neutralize viruses with nano-capsules tailored from genetic material using the DNA origami method.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.07.2021
Peatland fires reduce future methane production in peat soils
Peatland fires reduce future methane production in peat soils
Climatic changes are increasingly giving rise to major fires on peatlands in the northern hemisphere, which release massive quantities of carbon dioxide. However, the biomass of the peatland is not entirely consumed by fire, some turns to charcoal in the absence of air. Now, Dr. Tianran Sun and Professor Lars Angenent from Environmental Biotechnology at the University of Tübingen in cooperation with colleagues at Cornell University in the USA have discovered that the carbonized biomass reduces production of the methane gases naturally occurring in the peat soil.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.07.2021
MHH fills important gap in lung research
MHH fills important gap in lung research
For the first time, a team of scientists clearly demonstrates the existence of lipofibroblasts in human luectron microscope In medical research, animal models are used to clarify the development of diseases and to develop suitable therapies. In order to be able to transfer the results to humans, however, it must be ensured that the cell types and molecular signalling pathways studied in detail actually occur in our bodies.

Art and Design - Life Sciences - 05.07.2021
Neanderthal artists? Our ancestors decorated bones over 50,000 years ago
Neanderthal artists? Our ancestors decorated bones over 50,000 years ago
Discovery from Unicorn Cave in Lower Saxony sheds new light on ancestors' cognitive abilities Since the discovery of the first fossil remains in the 19 th century, the image of the Neanderthal has been one of a primitive hominin. People have known for a long time that Neanderthals were able to effectively fashion tools and weapons.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.06.2021
Protein balance in the reproductive system can prevent disease
Protein balance in the reproductive system can prevent disease
Scientists from the University of Cologne found that the balance status of proteins (protein homeostasis) of germline cells influences protein aggregation in other tissues by long-distance signaling Publication in 'Science Advances' A recent study shows that a healthy reproductive system can prevent disease-related protein accumulation in distant tissues, such as neurons, and alteration of mitochondria - the power plants of cells.

Environment - Life Sciences - 24.06.2021
Plasticity in plants supports the evolution of ecologically specialized species
Role of plasticity as a support for future adaptation depends on specific challenges species have to face as they evolve their specialized ecology / Cologne-based research team gather data for first comparative atlas of the gene expression response to stress in ecologically different plant species An international group of researchers have found out that the ability of certain plants to adapt to future environmental challenges by altering their

Health - Life Sciences - 24.06.2021
Versatile and reliable SARS-CoV-2 antibody assay
Versatile and reliable SARS-CoV-2 antibody assay
Automated microarray rapid test for detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies During the continued progression of the Corona pandemic, rapid, inexpensive, and reliable tests will become increasingly important to determine whether people have the associated antibodies - either through infection or vaccination. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now developed such a rapid antibody test.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.06.2021
New Findings on Body Axis Formation
New Findings on Body Axis Formation
Heidelberg researchers discover an enzyme that prevents the formation of multiple heads and axes in the freshwater polyp Hydra In the animal kingdom, specific growth factors control body axis development. These signalling molecules are produced by a small group of cells at one end of the embryo to be distributed in a graded fashion toward the opposite pole.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.06.2021
Rare Genetic Defect Replicated in Fish Model
A rare genetic defect that affects the so-called ALG2 gene can cause serious metabolic diseases in humans. It does so through the defective formation of proteins and sugar molecules. Until now, its rareness and complexity made it difficult to study this congenital glycosylation disorder.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.06.2021
Animal health through genomics
Animal health through genomics
Feasibility study: Preventing diseases through genome analysis and genome scissors Why are some animals more susceptible to diseases than others? Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) investigated this in more detail. They found genetic differences in livestock species that make individual animals less susceptible to certain diseases.

Life Sciences - 18.06.2021
Stronger together: how protein filaments interact
Stronger together: how protein filaments interact
University of Göttingen research team investigate microtubules Just as the skeleton and muscles move the human body and hold its shape, all the cells of the body are stabilised and moved by a cellular skeleton. Unlike our skeleton, this cellular skeleton is a very dynamic structure, constantly changing and renewing itself.

Life Sciences - 14.06.2021
An unusual symbiosis of a ciliate, green alga, and purple bacterium
An unusual symbiosis of a ciliate, green alga, and purple bacterium
The intracellular purple sulfur bacterium -Candidatus Thiodictyon intracellulare- has lost the ability to oxidize sulfur and now supplies a ciliate with energy from photosynthesis / Youtube video available Dr Sebastian Hess and his team at the University of Cologne's Institute of Zoology have studied a very rare and puzzling tripartite symbiosis.

Environment - Life Sciences - 07.06.2021
Forest use changes life cycles of wildflowers
Forest use changes life cycles of wildflowers
One of the most striking features of global warming is that the life rhythms of plants are changing all over the world. A study at the University of Tübingen has found that human land use can also significantly influence the pace of plant life cycles. In a comparative study, a research team from the Plant Evolutionary Ecology group surveyed one hundred forest sites of different management intensities.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.06.2021
Main switch for hereditary muscle atrophy found
Main switch for hereditary muscle atrophy found
Research team investigates molecular mechanisms of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Stand: 01.06.2021 Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease. Motor nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain stem, which are connected to the muscles and control their movements, gradually die.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.05.2021
Layer by layer: Scientists decipher how skin layers are formed
Cologne scientists present a new two-phase model of skin formation The data provide insights into the balance of tissues and diseases associated with greatly increased cell division rates The complex layering (stratification) of skin arises form one layer of cells during embryonic development. How stratification is stimulated and driven is still largely unknown.
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