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Life Sciences - 23.11.2023
How A Pitcher Plant Evolved with Tenfold Genomic Wealth
How A Pitcher Plant Evolved with Tenfold Genomic Wealth
A new study by Würzburg botanist Kenji Fukushima shows the role of subgenome dominance for plants in the evolutionary development of special traits, such as a carnivorous lifestyle. In a recent study, a team led by Würzburg botanist Kenji Fukushima investigates the genomic structure of the carnivorous pitcher plant Nepenthes gracilis and shows how polyploidy - the phenomenon of having more than two sets of chromosomes in cells - contributes to evolutionary innovation.

Life Sciences - Physics - 21.11.2023
Tiny Beads Preserve Enzymes for Biocatalysis
Tiny Beads Preserve Enzymes for Biocatalysis
Plasmas can provide the co-substrate needed for biocatalysis of valuable substances, but are also harmful to enzymes. By attaching enzymes to small beads the enzymes are protected and remain active up to 44 times longer. Some enzymes, such as the one derived from fungi and investigated in this study, are able to produce valuable substances such as the fragrance (R)-1-phenylethanol.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.11.2023
Cut by cut: extensibility of the heart walls
As we all know, only what goes in goes out: how flexible the heart walls are is therefore also crucial for the heart's pumping function. A working group from the Institute of Physiology II at the Medical Faculty of the University of Münster has been able to show for the first time which structural elements influence this flexibility and to what extent.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 16.11.2023
Cell-free quest for new antibiotics
Cell-free quest for new antibiotics
The rising resistance of bacteria to antibiotics presents an escalating global health risk. Now, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany, have combined synthetic biology and artificial intelligence (AI) to develop a more efficient approach to finding and creating new antimicrobial peptides that are effective against a wide range of bacteria.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.11.2023
The social network of proteins
The social network of proteins
Stanley Milgram's groundbreaking "Six Degrees of Separation" experiment demonstrated the surprisingly close connections between us humans back in the 1960s. Now the research team led by Professor Matthias Mann at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, Germany, has shown that the proteins in our cells are equally well connected.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.11.2023
When we feel things that are not there
When we feel things that are not there
The discovery of the phantom touch illusion provides insights into human perception and opens up new perspectives for interaction with virtual reality technology. Virtual reality (VR) is not only a technology for games and entertainment, but also has potential in science and medicine. Researchers at Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, have now gained new insights into human perception with the help of VR.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 13.11.2023
Artificial intelligence: Unexpected results
Artificial intelligence: Unexpected results
Researchers at the University of Bonn take a look behind the scenes of machine learning in drug research Artificial intelligence (AI) is on the rise. Until now, AI applications generally have "black box" character: How AI arrives at its results remains hidden. Jürgen Bajorath, a cheminformatics scientist at the University of Bonn, and his team have developed a method that reveals how certain AI applications work in pharmaceutical research.

Life Sciences - 13.11.2023
Cycle of fasting and feeding is crucial for healthy ageing
Cycle of fasting and feeding is crucial for healthy ageing
Fasting interventions, which involve alternating periods of fasting and refeeding, are generally thought to improve health. But these interventions don't work as well in old animals. The question is: Why? By studying the short-lived killifish, researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne have shown that older fish deviate from a youthful fasting and refeeding cycle, and instead enter a state of perpetual fasting, even when ingesting food.

Life Sciences - 10.11.2023
Order for brewer's yeast
Order for brewer’s yeast
For years, researchers have been working to synthetically recreate the genome, or more precisely, the chromosomes of brewer's yeast. Now it has been possible to combine all transfer RNA genes in an artificial chromosome. The result sets a milestone in the development of the first synthetic eukaryotic genome and opens up new avenues for basic research.

Psychology - Life Sciences - 10.11.2023
How stress affects our cognitive emotion regulation
How stress affects our cognitive emotion regulation
How do men and women regulate their emotions under stress? A new study in cognitive psychology that makes use of the socially evaluated cold-pressor test has answered this question. The response to stress varies from person to person. "We're trying to find out which factors may account for these different susceptibilities," explains Dr. Katja Langer, a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Cognitive Psychology.

Life Sciences - 09.11.2023
Ageing cells
Ageing cells
Looking around us, we can see that people age at different rates. But what about inside? Do all cells age in the same way? And does the location of a cell in the organ make a difference to the ageing process? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne and CECAD Excellence Cluster for Ageing Research have now shown in the liver of mice that liver cells age differently depending on where they are located in the organ.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.11.2023
A Potential Target for New Anti-Cancer Agents
A Potential Target for New Anti-Cancer Agents
MYC proteins play an important role in many types of cancer. A research team at the University of Würzburg has now succeeded in indirectly influencing these proteins - with clear consequences for the tumor. MYC family genes are essential for the human organism. According to current knowledge, they regulate the expression of most cellular genes.

Life Sciences - Health - 06.11.2023
Protein stock for the beginning of a new life
Protein stock for the beginning of a new life
Cytoplasmic lattices in the egg cell supply the early embryo as protein storage sites When mammals have offspring, they invest a lot. Unlike fish or frogs, the embryo cannot develop on its own. It has to implant in the uterus, where it is supplied with everything it needs to survive. Until this happens, the egg cell nourishes the early embryo.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.11.2023
Preventing the Exhaustion of T Cells
Preventing the Exhaustion of T Cells
In the immune system's fight against cancer and infections, the T cells often lose their power. The team of Würzburg immunologist Martin Vaeth has found a possible explanation for this phenomenon. In the immune system, chronic infections and the defence against tumors often lead to the phenomenon of T cell exhaustion: In this process, the T lymphocytes gradually lose their function, which impairs their responses against cancer and infections.

Life Sciences - Research Management - 02.11.2023
How Organs of Male and Female Mammals Differ
Researchers from Heidelberg and London decode genetic programmes that underlie the development of sex-specific characteristics of mammalian organs The development of sex-specific characteristics is frequently seen in mammals. These characteristics stem from the activation of corresponding genetic programmes that until now have been largely undescribed by the scientific community.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.11.2023
First high-resolution image of thick filaments of muscle cells
First high-resolution image of thick filaments of muscle cells
An international team, led by Stefan Raunser, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in Dortmund, in collaboration with Mathias Gautel at King's College London, has successfully obtained the world's first high-resolution 3D image of the thick filament in its natural cellular environment, utilizing a cutting-edge technique known as electron cryo-tomography.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 30.10.2023
How to protect biocatalysts from oxygen
How to protect biocatalysts from oxygen
Selective genetic channel modifications can protect hydrogen-producing enzymes from harmful oxygen. There are high hopes for hydrogen as the key to the energy transition. A specific enzyme group found in algae and in bacteria can produce molecular hydrogen simply by catalyzing protons and electrons.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 27.10.2023
Global Distribution of Predatory Crustacean
Global Distribution of Predatory Crustacean
A research team led by the Department of Biology at Éniversität Hamburg has discovered, for the first time, the predatory amphipod Rhachotropis abyssalis in 3 different oceans up to 20,000 kilometers apart. In each case, the animals live at depths of more than 3 kilometers. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports .

Life Sciences - Health - 27.10.2023
Possible cause of male infertility
Possible cause of male infertility
Mature spermatozoa are characterized by an head, midpiece and a long tail for locomotion. Now, researchers from the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Life & Health" at the University of Bonn have found that a loss of the structural protein ACTL7B blocks spermatogenesis in male mice.

Environment - Life Sciences - 27.10.2023
How social media can contribute to species conservation
How social media can contribute to species conservation
Photos of plant and animal species that are posted on social media can help protect biodiversity, especially in tropical regions. This is the conclusion of a team of researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (FSU), and the University of Queensland (UQ).
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