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Life Sciences - Health - 12.12.2023
Biosynthesis of paclitaxel unravelled
Biosynthesis of paclitaxel unravelled
Researchers have identified the steps for the biosynthesis of the chemotherapeutic agent for cancer therapy Part of modern cancer therapy is the use of toxic chemicals, called chemotherapeutics, that kill the tumor. Unfortunately, these chemicals are often very complex, difficult to obtain and thus expensive.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.12.2023
Examining diabetes with a skin scanner and AI
Examining diabetes with a skin scanner and AI
Optoacoustic imaging method RSOM shows severity of the disease Changes in small blood vessels are a common consequence of diabetes development. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Munich have now developed a method that can be used to measure these microvascular changes in the skin - and thus assess the severity of the disease.

Health - Life Sciences - 11.12.2023
Degradation of pathogenic proteins
Degradation of pathogenic proteins
Most diseases are caused by proteins that have spun out of control. Unfortunately, so far, conventional drugs have been able to stop only a fraction of these troublemakers. A new class of drugs known as Protacs holds great promise in pharmaceutical research. They mark proteins for targeted degradation by the cell's own protein disposal system.

History / Archeology - Life Sciences - 11.12.2023
Did body size in the Neolithic Age depend on cultural influences?
Did body size in the Neolithic Age depend on cultural influences?
International research team studied more than 1,500 individuals who lived around 6,000 to 8,000 years ago The difference in body size between male and female individuals in Northern Europe during the early Neolithic period (8,000 to 6,000 years ago) could have been influenced by cultural factors. The results of an international research team led by the University of Pennsylvania (USA) suggest that the differences in body size during this period cannot be explained by genetic and dietary factors alone.

Life Sciences - Environment - 08.12.2023
Dreissenid mussels: the resilience and success of an invasive species
Dreissenid mussels: the resilience and success of an invasive species
Scientists shed light on unique fibre structure, evolutionary history and combating invasive species Zebra and quagga mussels, which belong to the Dreissenid family, are freshwater invasive species widespread throughout western Europe and North America. They present a significant danger to native ecosystems by competing for resources.

Life Sciences - 06.12.2023
Comparable memory strategies in birds and humans
Comparable memory strategies in birds and humans
Jackdaws improve their memory performance by classifying continuous stimuli into categories. The so-called attractor dynamics provide new insights into the functioning of the brain. Working memory is a crucial element of higher cognition in both primates - which include humans - and corvids. In their studies with the help of two jackdaws, researchers at Ruhr University Bochum have now discovered remarkable parallels in the memory optimization of primates and corvids.

Life Sciences - 06.12.2023
Friendly hyenas are more likely to form mobs
Friendly hyenas are more likely to form mobs
Strong social relationships make hyenas more likely to team up against lions, even when there's no obvious benefit After more than 35 years of surveillance, researchers from Michigan State University and the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior are exposing some of the secret workings of mobs. The team revealed that relationships and social interactions between hyenas can influence when two or more animals decide to work together to attack lions.

Life Sciences - Physics - 04.12.2023
New method for localizing modifications in mRNA
New method for localizing modifications in mRNA
Andrea Rentmeister's team detects methylated sites with click chemistry The genetic information of an organism is stored in the form of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) in every cell. In order to be able to produce proteins with this blueprint, the DNA is first transcribed into so-called mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid).

Life Sciences - Health - 04.12.2023
This is how protein aggregates can trigger neurodegenerative diseases
It's quite obvious that they are involved. The latest findings show one possible way. Neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by the deposition of clumped proteins in the brain and progressive neuronal cell death. Although the causal link between protein aggregates and neurodegeneration is clear, it is still unclear in what way misfolded proteins trigger cell death.

Life Sciences - Health - 04.12.2023
Hard to drug
Hard to drug
Protein droplets reveal new ways to inhibit transcription factors in an aggressive form of prostate cancer Many of the most potent human oncoproteins belong to a class of proteins called transcription factors, but designing small molecule drugs that target transcription factors is a major challenge.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 01.12.2023
PicoRuler: Molecular Rulers for High-Resolution Microscopy
PicoRuler: Molecular Rulers for High-Resolution Microscopy
Good news for researchers working with high-resolution fluorescence microscopy: Biocompatible molecular rulers are available for the first time to calibrate the latest super-resolution microscopy methods. Latest super-resolution microscopy methods now achieve an optical resolution in the range of a few nanometres.

Life Sciences - Health - 30.11.2023
Taking antibiotics back in time
Taking antibiotics back in time
In today's medical landscape, antibiotics are pivotal in combatting bacterial infections. These potent compounds, produced by bacteria and fungi, act as natural defenses against microbial attacks. A team of researchers delved into the intricate world of glycopeptide antibiotics - a vital resource in countering drug-resistant pathogens - to uncover their evolutionary origins.

Life Sciences - 30.11.2023
Inhibitory Signals in Visual Neurons Protect Against Overstimulation
Inhibitory Signals in Visual Neurons Protect Against Overstimulation
Freiburg neuroscientists identify signals in the brain of zebrafish larvae that suppress the activity of nerve cells during locomotion When the eye jumps from one point to another, the image of our surroundings rapidly passes across the retina and triggers a wave of neuronal activity. In order not to be overwhelmed by the sensory impressions produced by our own movements, the brain suppresses processing of the stimuli as this happens.

Life Sciences - Environment - 30.11.2023
Penguins nesting in a dangerous environment obtain large quantities of sleep via seconds-long microsleeps
Penguins nesting in a dangerous environment obtain large quantities of sleep via seconds-long microsleeps
New study shows the most fragmented sleep ever recorded in an animal When breeding in a dangerous environment, chinstrap penguins usually do not nod off for more than four seconds at a time. However, they still get up to twelve hours of sleep in total thanks to over 600 such microsleep phases per hour - and over 10,000 per day.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.11.2023
Tracing the Evolution of the 'Little Brain'
Tracing the Evolution of the ’Little Brain’
Heidelberg scientists unveil genetic programmes controlling the development of cellular diversity in the cerebellum of humans and other mammals The evolution of higher cognitive functions in human beings has so far mostly been linked to the expansion of the neocortex - a region of the brain that is responsible, inter alia, for conscious thought, movement and sensory perception.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.11.2023
Neurodegeneration in Myelin Disease: No Myelin is Better than Bad Myelin
Neurodegeneration in Myelin Disease: No Myelin is Better than Bad Myelin
Efficient removal of abnormal myelin allows survival of nerve fibers targeted by adaptive immune cells, according to a novel study by scientists of the University Hospital Würzburg. Myelin is an insulating sheath around axons - the processes connecting nerve cells - that is mostly composed of lipids and proteins.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.11.2023
Malfunction in spermatogenesis
Malfunction in spermatogenesis
Bonn researchers uncover contribution of Cylicin proteins to male fertility For successful fertilization, sperm should move forward rapidly and be shaped correctly. The unique structure of the sperm cells forms during spermiogenesis. Now, researchers from the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and the Transdisciplinary Research Unit "Life & Health" at the University of Bonn have found that fertility problems in both mice and humans can be caused by loss of so-called cylicines.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.11.2023
Fat cells help repair damaged nerves
Fat cells help repair damaged nerves
Damage to the body's peripheral nerves can cause pain and movement disorders. Researchers at the Leipzig University have recently investigated how damaged nerves can regenerate better. They found that fat tissue strongly supports the Schwann cells needed for repair during the healing process. The results were published in the renowned journal "Cell Metabolism".

Life Sciences - 24.11.2023
Broad Bean Thrives Despite a Hyperactive Ion Channel
Broad Bean Thrives Despite a Hyperactive Ion Channel
Plants in which an ion channel of the vacuole is hyperactive are extremely stressed and grow poorly. But the broad bean is an exception, as Würzburg researchers have discovered. Like the human body, plants also use electrical signals to process and pass on information. In addition to the cell membrane, the membrane of the central vacuole plays an important role in this process.

Life Sciences - Physics - 24.11.2023
How Bacteria Defend Themselves Against Plasmas
How Bacteria Defend Themselves Against Plasmas
A heat shock protein protects the cells against protein clumping. It degrades, however, over longer treatment periods. Plasmas are used, for example, in wound treatment against pathogens that are resistant to antibiotics. However, bacteria can defend themselves: They employ a heat shock protein that protects them.
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