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Life Sciences - Health - 21.02.2024 - Today
’Ways of decomposing chemicals may be developed in just a few decades’ time’
Microbiologist Bodo Philipp on the adaptability of micro-organisms and the benefits and risks for humans A team headed by Prof. Bodo Philipp and Dr. Johannes Holert from the Institute of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology has found bacteria in Münster's wastewater which can completely decompose a substance called "TRIS" (tris hydroxymethyl aminomethane), and the researchers were able to throw light on the metabolic pathway.
Life Sciences - Health - 20.02.2024
Small ribonucleic acid with a big impact
Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of the most common and most dangerous bacterial pathogens impacting humans, causing infections of the gastrointestinal tract, pneumonia, wound infections and even blood poisoning. With the aim of discovering therapeutically exploitable weaknesses in Klebsiella, a research team from the Balance of the Microverse Cluster of Excellence at the University of Jena has taken a close look at the molecular biology of the bacteria and was able to uncover the importance of a small, non-coding ribonucleic acid (sRNA for short) for the gene regulation of K. pneumoniae.
Environment - Life Sciences - 20.02.2024
Converting rainforest to plantation impacts food webs and biodiversity
The conversion of rainforest into plantations erodes and restructures food webs and fundamentally changes the way these ecosystems function, according to a new study published in Nature. The findings provide the first insights into the processing of energy across soil and canopy animal communities in mega-biodiverse tropical ecosystems.
Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 20.02.2024
Ancient genomes reveal Down Syndrome in past societies
Burials show that children with Down Syndrome and Edwards Syndrome were recognized as members of their communities An international team of researchers has analysed the DNA from a world-wide sample of nearly 10,000 ancient individuals to search for cases of Down Syndrome, an uncommon genetic condition caused by the presence of an additional copy of Chromosome 21.
Environment - Life Sciences - 19.02.2024
From rainforest to plantation: conversion shapes food webs and biodiversity
Research team investigates effects of changing land use on ecosystems in Sumatra . Every day, large areas of rainforest are converted into plantations. Biodiversity and the ecosystem are changing drastically as a result. However, knowledge about the consequences is patchy: previous studies have either focused on the diversity of species or the functioning of the ecosystem.
Life Sciences - 15.02.2024
How a wayside weed builds up explosive force
Hairy bittercress is one of those plants that hurl their seeds in all directions to spread them effectively. A research team has now discovered that to do this, the plant uses a previously unknown mechanism which makes the seed pods contract and snap open, acting almost like a muscle. Dr. Gabriella Mosca at the University of Tübingen's Center for Plant Molecular Biology was one of the lead authors in this study headed by Dr. Angela Hay from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne.
Life Sciences - 14.02.2024
Do apes have humor?
Babies playfully tease others as young as eight months of age. Since language is not required for this behavior, similar kinds of playful teasing might be present in non-human animals. Now cognitive biologists and primatologists from the University of California Los Angeles, the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior , Indiana University, and the University of California San Diego have documented playful teasing in four species of great apes.
Physics - Life Sciences - 13.02.2024
New Nanosensors Make Diagnostic Procedures More Sensitive
The nanosensors can be used to track reactions with invisible light, saving materials and time. The Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS and Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, have developed a process that enables a new form of signal amplification for diagnostic tests. Through the advanced use of luminescent single walled carbon nanotubes in bioanalytics, test procedures can be carried out more sensitively, quickly and cheaply.
Life Sciences - 13.02.2024
Desert Ants: The Magnetic Field Calibrates the Navigation System
Desert ants find their way during an early learning phase with the help of the Earth's magnetic field. The associated learning process leaves clear traces in their nervous system. This is shown in a new study by a Würzburg research team. They are only a few centimeters tall and their brains have a comparatively simple structure with less than one million neurons.
Life Sciences - 09.02.2024
Rainwater significantly reduces damage from lightning strikes to the head
Research carried out by the Technische Universität Ilmenau has shown that rainwater on the scalp can reduce the damage caused by direct lightning strikes to the head. In comparison to dry scalps, wet scalps are less severely struck and the wetness also reduces the electrical current to which the brain is exposed.
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).
Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 06.02.2024
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.
Health - Life Sciences - 05.02.2024
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 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.
Health - Life Sciences - 01.02.2024
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!".
Life Sciences - Health - 01.02.2024
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.
Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 31.01.2024
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
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.
Life Sciences - Health - 31.01.2024
News on drug-induced skin swelling
Bonn researchers identify novel risk locus in the genome for ACE inhibitor-induced angioedema Angioedema is a rare but potentially life-threatening adverse reaction to ACE inhibitors. In a joint analysis of eight European study collectives, researchers from the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), the University of Bonn and the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM) for the first time conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) with more than 1,000 affected individuals.
Life Sciences - Health - 31.01.2024
Bacterium uses toxin to kill insects
Max Planck researchers from Dortmund reveal the first-ever detailed structure of the bacterial toxin Mcf1 During infection insect-killing bacteria typically release toxins to slay their hosts. The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens , for example, pumps insect larvae full of the lethal 'Makes caterpillars floppy 1' (Mcf1) toxin, leading them to first become droopy and then dead.