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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Chemistry - Nov 14
Chemistry
Some of the most biologically active molecules, including synthetic drugs, contain a central, nitrogen-containing chemical structure called an isoquinuclidine. This core has a three-dimensional shape which means it has the potential to interact more favourably with enzymes and proteins than flat, two-dimensional molecules.
Chemistry - Nov 14
Chemistry

Theoretical calculations indicate that under certain conditions silicon can endow solar cells with a much higher efficiency.

Environment - Oct 30
Environment

Compared to a decade ago, today the number of insect species on many areas has decreased by about one third.

Earth Sciences - Nov 13
Earth Sciences

When will the next eruption take place? Examination of samples from Indonesia's Mount Merapi show that the explosivity of stratovolcanoes rises when mineral-rich gases seal the pores and microcracks in the uppermost layers of stone.

Physics - Oct 24
Physics

An international team headed by physicists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has, for the first time ever, experimentally implemented secure quantum communication in the microwave band in a local quantum network.


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Chemistry - Life Sciences - 14.11.2019
Chemists use light to build biologically active compounds
Chemists use light to build biologically active compounds
Some of the most biologically active molecules, including synthetic drugs, contain a central, nitrogen-containing chemical structure called an isoquinuclidine. This core has a three-dimensional shape which means it has the potential to interact more favourably with enzymes and proteins than flat, two-dimensional molecules.

Chemistry - Physics - 14.11.2019
New synthesis approach for soluble silicon clusters
New synthesis approach for soluble silicon clusters
Theoretical calculations indicate that under certain conditions silicon can endow solar cells with a much higher efficiency. Small silicon clusters may provide a source of accordingly modified silicon. However, to date these clusters have not been accessible in soluble form, a prerequisite for flexible processing.

Earth Sciences - 13.11.2019
Volcanoes under pressure
Volcanoes under pressure
When will the next eruption take place? Examination of samples from Indonesia's Mount Merapi show that the explosivity of stratovolcanoes rises when mineral-rich gases seal the pores and microcracks in the uppermost layers of stone. These findings result in new possibilities for the prediction of an eruption.

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.10.2019
Insect decline more extensive than suspected
Insect decline more extensive than suspected
Compared to a decade ago, today the number of insect species on many areas has decreased by about one third. This is the result of a survey of an international research team led by scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). The loss of species mainly affects grasslands in the vicinity of intensively farmed land - but also applies to forests and protected areas.

Physics - Electroengineering - 24.10.2019
The quantum internet is within reach
The quantum internet is within reach
An international team headed by physicists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has, for the first time ever, experimentally implemented secure quantum communication in the microwave band in a local quantum network. The new architecture represents a crucial step on the road to distributed quantum computing.

Chemistry - Physics - 22.10.2019
Münster University chemists create new types of Lewis acids
Münster University chemists create new types of Lewis acids
Researchers at the University of Münster have developed a method which makes it possible to create three-coordinate Lewis superacids on the basis of phosphorus. Previously, it had not been possible to isolate this type of compound, either in a liquid or in a solid state, due to its extreme electrophilicity and the associated reactivity.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 22.10.2019
Researchers gain new insights into the evolution of proteins
Researchers gain new insights into the evolution of proteins
How do bacteria manage to adapt to synthetic environmental toxins and, for example, to even develop strategies for using a pesticide and chemical warfare agent as food within less than 70 years' The evolutionary adaptations underlying such processes have now been studied in detail by an international team of researchers.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 17.10.2019
How roots grow hair
How roots grow hair
The roots of plants can do a lot of things: They grow in length to reach water, they can bend to circumvent stones, and they form fine root hairs enabling them to absorb more nutrients from the soil. A team of researchers led by scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now identified an important regulator of this process.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 17.10.2019
Biodiversity Improves Crop Production
Biodiversity Improves Crop Production
10/17/2019 Around 20 percent of the world's agricultural areas yields less than it did 20 years ago. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, humans are the culprit: we have not done enough to protect biodiversity. In many respects, nature is an outstanding service provider for agriculture.

Social Sciences - 14.10.2019
Integration of refugees: Germans in east and west show similar willingness to help
Integration of refugees: Germans in east and west show similar willingness to help
In discussions in Germany on immigrants, particularly eastern Germany is often associated with attacks on foreigners and hate crimes against refugees. Research data and surveys also indicate that prejudices against immigrants are often stronger in the east of the country than in the western half. But are these differences also reflected in small acts of everyday help? This question was looked at in detail by researchers at the University of Münster, the University of Bielefeld and the University of Applied Sciences for Public Administration and management of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Pharmacology - Health - 14.10.2019
Inactive receptor renders immunotherapies ineffective
Inactive receptor renders immunotherapies ineffective
The aim of immunotherapies is to enable the immune system once again to fight cancer on its own. Drugs known as checkpoint inhibitors are already in clinical use for this purpose. However, they are only effective in about one third of patients. Based on analysis of human tissue samples, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered one reason why this is so: an inactive receptor in cancer cells prevents the drugs from reactivating the immune system.

Social Sciences - 14.10.2019
How Does Interracial Contact in Childhood Impact Adult Interracial Relationships?
Findings by Researchers at the University of Antwerp, the Paris School of Economics, and Freie Universität Berlin No 299/2019 from Oct 14, 2019 According to a recent study, interracial contact in childhood leads to more diverse social relationships in adulthood. In particular, racial composition in schools impacts romantic relationships later in life.

Computer Science / Telecom - Microtechnics - 10.10.2019
Sensitive robots are safer
Sensitive robots are safer
Sensitive synthetic skin enables robots to sense their own bodies and surroundings - a crucial capability if they are to be in close contact with people. Inspired by human skin, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed a system combining artificial skin with control algorithms and used it to create the first autonomous humanoid robot with full-body artificial skin.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.10.2019
Tuberculosis: New insights into the pathogen
Researchers at the University of Würzburg and the Spanish Cancer Research Centre have gained new insights into the pathogen that causes tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a highly contagious infectious disease that is typically spread through aerosols and mainly affects the lungs. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 1.7 million people die from such an infection worldwide every year.

Physics - Innovation - 09.10.2019
Physicists couple key components of quantum technologies
Physicists couple key components of quantum technologies
Quantum effects are genuinely found in the world of nanostructures and allow a wide variety of new technological applications. For example, a quantum computer could in the future solve problems, which conventional computers need a lot of time to handle. All over the world, researchers are engaged in intensive work on the individual components of quantum technologies - these include circuits that process information using single photons instead of electricity, as well as light sources producing such individual quanta of light.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 07.10.2019
How Plants React to Fungi
How Plants React to Fungi
Using special receptors, plants recognize when they are at risk of fungal infection. This new finding could help cultivate resistant crops and reduce pesticide usage. Plants are under constant pressure from fungi and other microorganisms. The air is full of fungal spores, which attach themselves to plant leaves and germinate, especially in warm and humid weather.

Health - Life Sciences - 02.10.2019
Weak spot in pathogenic bacteria
Weak spot in pathogenic bacteria
Antibiotics are still the most important weapon for combatting bacterial infections. But medical science is running out of "ammunition" because of more and more frequently occurring resistances. A research team has now elucidated the structure of the proteolytic complex ClpX-ClpP. This is a key to development of innovative antibiotics which target the degradation process of defective proteins in bacteria.

Pharmacology - Health - 02.10.2019
New approach to pain treatment in diseases of the pancreas
New approach to pain treatment in diseases of the pancreas
One of the worst symptoms associated with inflammation or cancer of the pancreas is severe chronic pain. Pancreatic pain is difficult to treat, because many painkillers prove ineffective in pancreatic patients. In a recent study, a team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) discovered the cause of this phenomenon for the first time: a particular neuroenzyme in the body is present in the nerves of the organ in high concentrations.

Life Sciences - Health - 01.10.2019
A timekeeper for siesta
External stimuli can rearrange the hierarchy of neuronal networks and influence behaviour. This was demonstrated by scientists from the universities of Würzburg and Brandeis using the circadian clock of the fruit fly as an example. Circadian clocks must be flexible and they must be able to adapt to varying environmental conditions.

Physics - Astronomy / Space Science - 27.09.2019
More accurate than expected
More accurate than expected
Despite their extremely small mass, neutrinos play a key role in cosmology and particle physics. After evaluation of the first measurement results in the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN), it is now clear: The previously unknown mass of the neutrinos must be less than 1 electron volt. This result is more accurate than previous measurements and raises hopes of discovering new neutrino properties.
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