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Life Sciences - Chemistry - 27.12.2019
New insights into the earliest events of seed germination
New insights into the earliest events of seed germination
Plant seeds may strike the casual observer as unspectacular - but they have properties that are nothing short of superpowers. In a dry state they can store their energy for years and then suddenly release it for germination when environmental conditions are favourable. One striking example is the "super bloom" in the Death Valley National Park, when seeds that have endured the dry and hot desert for decades suddenly germinate at rainfall followed by a rare and spectacular desert bloom several months later.

Life Sciences - Environment - 10.12.2019
A love of parasites
A love of parasites
Broomrape, rattle, dodder. It's not only the wonderful-sounding names that these plants have in common - it's also the way they live, because they do so at the expense of other plants, robbing them of water and nutrients in order to secure their own existence. And, in doing so, they have exerted a fascination on Dr. Susann Wicke, an associate professor at the University of Münster.

Life Sciences - Physics - 26.11.2019
Novel sensor implant radically improves significance of NMR brain scans
Date: November 26, 2019, No. 105 Researchers of Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics and University of Stuttgart present a new method that shows single neuron data [Picture: whitehoune - stock.adobe.com, Max-Planck-Institut für biologische Kybernetik, Universität Stuttgart. Montage: Martin Vötsch, design-galaxie.de.] A team of neuroscientists and electrical engineers from Germany and Switzerland developed a highly sensitive implant that enables to probe brain physiology with unparalleled spatial and temporal resolution.

Life Sciences - Health - 18.11.2019
Antibiotics from the sea
Antibiotics from the sea
Research team cultivates marine bacteria that had previously been paid little attention and taps potential source of new antibiotics The team led by Prof. Christian Jogler of Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, has succeeded in cultivating several dozen marine bacteria in the laboratory - bacteria that had previously been paid little attention.

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.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.11.2019
How Multiple Factors of Global Change Affect Soil
Scientists at Freie Universität Berlin study effects of multiple global change factors / Findings published in latest issue of "Science" No 343/2019 from Nov 14, 2019 A team of ecologists at Freie Universität Berlin studied soil and how it was affected by multiple factors of global change. The team led by Matthias Rillig conducted laboratory experiments that examined the effects of up to ten factors of global change by randomly adding an increasing number of such factors.

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.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.10.2019
Parasite manipulates algal metabolism for its own benefit
Parasite manipulates algal metabolism for its own benefit
Pathogenic fungi attack diatoms in the ocean and trigger the formation of new, beneficial substances in the algae Microalgae can form massive assemblages in oceans, attracting many opportunistic organisms; these are capable of eliminating the entire algal population within a short time. However, the underlying mechanisms of this watery arms race are largely unknown.

Environment - Life Sciences - 24.10.2019
Higher local earthworm diversity in Europe than in the tropics
Higher local earthworm diversity in Europe than in the tropics
Global climate change could alter earthworm communities worldwide In any single location, there are typically more earthworms and more earthworm species found in temperate regions than in the tropics. Global climate change could lead to significant shifts in earthworm communities worldwide, threatening the many functions they provide.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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