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Life Sciences - 21.12.2023
Big impacts from small changes in cell
Big impacts from small changes in cell
Research at Göttingen and Warwick Universities reveals how filament interactions affect cellular networks Tiny things matter - for instance, one amino acid can completely alter the architecture of the cell. Researchers at the Universities of Göttingen and Warwick investigated the structure and mechanics of the main component of the cytoskeleton of the cell: a protein known as actin.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.12.2023
Common insect species are suffering the biggest losses
Common insect species are suffering the biggest losses
Small Tortoiseshell butterflies (Aglais urticae) are an example of a species with formerly high local abundances that has declined in number. Insect decline is being driven by losses among the locally more common species, according to a new study published in "Nature".

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 20.12.2023
Revealing close and distant relatives in ancient DNA with unprecedented precision
Revealing close and distant relatives in ancient DNA with unprecedented precision
Scientists have developed a new computational tool to detect up to second to third degree cousins using ancient genomes If two persons are biologically related, they share long stretches of DNA that they co-inherited from their recent common ancestor. These almost identically shared stretches of genomes are called IBD ("Identity by Descent") segments.

Life Sciences - 20.12.2023
First step towards synthetic CO2 fixation in living cells
First step towards synthetic CO2 fixation in living cells
Three modules forming a new-to-nature CO2 fixation cycle successfully implemented in E.coli Synthetic biology offers the opportunity to build biochemical pathways for the capture and conversion of carbon dioxide (CO2). Researchers at the Max-Planck-Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology have developed a synthetic biochemical cycle that directly converts CO2 into the central building block Acetyl-CoA.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.12.2023
When the Cellular Waste Collector Doesn't Show Up
When the Cellular Waste Collector Doesn’t Show Up
Researchers have identified a mechanism that promotes the breakdown of harmful protein deposits. If it malfunctions, it can lead to Parkinson's disease. NEMO, a protein that is primarily associated with signaling processes in the immune system, prevents the deposition of protein aggregates that occur in Parkinson's disease.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.12.2023
Novel antibiotic substance from the human nose
Novel antibiotic substance from the human nose
Researchers at the University of Tübingen have discovered a novel antibiotic substance from the human nose that can be used against pathogenic bacteria. Named epifadin, the molecule is produced from specific strains of the bacterial species Staphylococcus epidermidis , which occur on the mucous membrane of the inside wall of the nose.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 15.12.2023
Learning from Nature: How a fungus makes a hard job easier
Learning from Nature: How a fungus makes a hard job easier
The investigation of the biosynthesis of panepoxydone, an important substance for biomedical research, in basidiomycetes has revealed a new enzyme as an important catalyst. The results of the researchers from the Leibniz-HKI, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and the Cluster of Excellence Balance of the Microverse have now been published in the journal "Angewandte Chemie International Edition".

Life Sciences - 15.12.2023
Acid Sensor and Calcium Store Discovered in Plants
Acid Sensor and Calcium Store Discovered in Plants
Using optogenetics, Würzburg researchers have detected a new acid sensor in plant cells that is addressing a cell-internal calcium store, as they report in the journal "Science". When plants are infected by pathogens, suffer from a lack of water or have to react to other external stimuli, the first thing they do is increase the proton and calcium concentration in the affected cells.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.12.2023
New Insights into Ecosystem Functions
New Insights into Ecosystem Functions
A DFG research group led by the University of Würzburg has developed a method that makes it possible to analyse the relationship between biodiversity within and between ecosystems and the multifunctionality of entire landscapes. Ecosystems fulfil a number of vital tasks: They store carbon, clean polluted water, pollinate plants and so on.

History / Archeology - Life Sciences - 13.12.2023
Was Human Height in the Neolithic Period Influenced by Cultural Factors?
Was Human Height in the Neolithic Period Influenced by Cultural Factors?
Team of international researchers analyzed the remains of over 1,500 individuals who lived roughly 6,000 to 8,000 years ago Body size differences between females and males in northern Europe during the early Neolithic period (6,000 to 8,000 years ago) may reflect cultural factors in play. The findings of an international research project led by the University of Pennsylvania (USA) suggest that differences in stature during that period cannot be explained solely by genetics and diet.

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.
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