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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Social Sciences - Oct 14
Social Sciences
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 - Oct 14
Pharmacology

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.

Computer Science - Oct 10
Computer Science

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.

Social Sciences - Oct 14

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.

Health - Oct 9

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.


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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 / Technology - 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.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 26.09.2019
Spider silk: A malleable protein provides reinforcement
Spider silk: A malleable protein provides reinforcement
09/26/2019 Scientists from the University of Würzburg have discovered that spider silk contains an exceptional protein. It generates high bonding strength by making use of an amino acid scientists have hitherto paid little attention to. Why are the lightweight silk threads of web spiders tougher than most other materials' Scientists from the Universities of Würzburg and Mainz teamed up to find answers to this question.

Life Sciences - 26.09.2019
The secret of motivation
The secret of motivation
Success is no accident: To reach your goal you need perseverance. But where does the motivation come from? An international team of researchers led by scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now identified the neural circuit in the brain of fruit flies which makes them perform at their best when searching for food.

Social Sciences - 25.09.2019
Fourth DFG center for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences for Universität Hamburg
Fourth DFG center for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences for Universität Hamburg
Romanization and Islamication in Late Antiquity Fourth DFG center for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences for Universität Hamburg The German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) has authorized funding for a new DFG center for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences at Universität Hamburg: Romanization and Islamication in Late Antiquity-Transcultural Processes on the Iberian Peninsula and in North Africa.

Life Sciences - Health - 24.09.2019
Specific immune response of beetles adapts to bacteria
Specific immune response of beetles adapts to bacteria
When the immune system fends off pathogens, this can happen in a very wide variety of ways. For example, the immune system's memory is able to distinguish a foreign protein with which the organism has already come into contact from another and to react with a corresponding antibody. Researchers have now investigated experimentally whether this ability of the immune system to specifically fend off pathogens can adapt in the course of evolution.

Social Sciences - 24.09.2019
As of age 8, children demonstrate influence of social norms when choosing between selfishness and generosity
Findings of international study including Freie Universität published in "Nature Human Behaviour" No 277/2019 from Sep 24, 2019 According to a recent study, children at the age of eight are influenced by social norms when choosing between selfishness and generosity. In a large-scale study involving researchers at Freie Universität Berlin, eight different communities around the world were examined to find out how children and adults make decisions when they can share rewards.

Business / Economics - 23.09.2019
Crane control by touchscreen
Crane control by touchscreen
Almost every youngster has dreamed of being able to operate a giant crane. Until now, operating the heavy machines has been extremely complicated. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now developed concepts for intuitive crane control that make operations seem as easy as child's play.

Physics - Chemistry - 20.09.2019
New method for the measurement of nano-structured light fields
New method for the measurement of nano-structured light fields
Münster researchers combine nano-optics and organic chemistry to measure complex light landscapes in the tight focus of a laser beam / Study published in "Nature Communications" Structured laser light has already opened up various different applications: it allows for precise material machining, trapping, manipulating or defined movement of small particles or cell compartments, as well as increasing the bandwidth for next-generation intelligent computing.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 20.09.2019
Quality control in immune communication
Quality control in immune communication
The cells of our immune system constantly communicate with one another by exchanging complex protein molecules. A team led by researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now revealed how dedicated cellular control proteins, referred to as chaperones, detect immature immune signaling proteins and prevent them from leaving the cell.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.09.2019
"Genetic variants associated with educational attainment" can also have positive implications for lifestyle
A German and British research team lead by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has examined the interplay between genetics, cardiovascular disease and educational attainment in a major population study. Genetic variants which had been linked to educational attainment in other studies were observed in the subjects.
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