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Life Sciences - Health - 05.03.2024
Early life adversity leaves long-term signatures in baboon DNA
Early life adversity leaves long-term signatures in baboon DNA
Study shows multiple pathways connect early life adversity to later life health Early experiences in an animal's life can have a significant impact on its capacity to thrive, even years or decades later, and DNA methylation may help record their effects. In a study of 256 wild baboons, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and Duke University found that resource limitation during early life was associated with many differences in DNA methylation, a small chemical mark on the DNA sequence that can affect gene activity.

Life Sciences - Health - 04.03.2024
Turn on the TV!
Turn on the TV!
Does television make you stupid? Dr. Matthias Nürnberger from the Department of Neurology at Jena University Hospital investigated this in a prospective study. The results showed that excessive television consumption can even have a positive effect on both visual information processing and motor learning ability, in some cases significantly so.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.03.2024
First step towards early diagnosis of metastases
First step towards early diagnosis of metastases
Team involving the University of Freiburg has developed a new method for analyzing the basement membrane in the human lung Metastases are largely responsible for the mortality of patients with solid cancers; the prognosis of cancer patients is significantly reduced when metastases are diagnosed. To date, there are no methods that allow a reliable prediction of the probability of future metastases.

Life Sciences - Physics - 02.03.2024
First heat map for individual red blood cells
First heat map for individual red blood cells
Researchers measure heat flow: from active metabolic forces inside cell to flickering cell membrane Entropy is often associated with disorder and chaos, but in biology it is related to energy efficiency and is closely linked to metabolism, the set of chemical reactions that sustain life. This research was led by the Universities of Barcelona and Padua, with the participation of Göttingen University and the Universities Complutense and Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid.

Health - Life Sciences - 29.02.2024
Fibre against pounds
Fibre against pounds
A diet based on resistant starch promotes a favorable composition of the gut microbiome in obese people. This leads to weight reduction and measurable positive health outcomes such as improved insulin sensitivity. These were the findings of an international research team led by Professor Weiping Jia from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Professor Aimin Xu from the University of Hong Kong and Professor Gianni Panagiotou from Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.02.2024
Long-term memory and lack of mental images
Long-term memory and lack of mental images
Bonn researchers find connection between autobiographical memory and aphantasia When people lack visual imagination, this is known as aphantasia. Researchers from the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), the University of Bonn and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) investigated how the lack of mental imagery affects long-term memory.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.02.2024
Modern hydropower plants also cause massive damage to ecology
Modern hydropower plants also cause massive damage to ecology
Scientific study on river habitats at the TUM Even modern and supposedly gentler hydropower plants cause considerable damage to river ecosystems. This is shown by a study by Prof. Jürgen Geist from the Chair of Aquatic Systems Biology at the TUM School of Life Sciences published in the "Journal of Applied Ecology".

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 22.02.2024
'Every person can learn to be more or less empathetic'
’Every person can learn to be more or less empathetic’
Empathy can be transferred. This means that people can learn or unlearn empathy by observing their environment. This is shown by a new study by Würzburg neuroscientist Grit Hein . With her latest evaluations of empathy skills, Würzburg professor Grit Hein has once again disproved the old adage: "What goes around comes around".

Life Sciences - Health - 21.02.2024
Possible trigger for autoimmune diseases discovered
Possible trigger for autoimmune diseases discovered
Immune cells must learn not to attack the body itself. A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) has discovered a previously unknown mechanism behind this: other immune cells, the B cells, contribute to the "training" of the T cells in the thymus gland.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.02.2024
'Ways of decomposing chemicals may be developed in just a few decades' time'
’Ways of decomposing chemicals may be developed in just a few decades’ time’
Microbiologist Bodo Philipp on the adaptability of micro-organisms and the benefits and risks for humans A team headed by Prof. Bodo Philipp and Dr. Johannes Holert from the Institute of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology has found bacteria in Münster's wastewater which can completely decompose a substance called "TRIS" (tris hydroxymethyl aminomethane), and the researchers were able to throw light on the metabolic pathway.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.02.2024
False alarm of the immune system during muscle disease
False alarm of the immune system during muscle disease
Researchers at the University Hospitals of Dresden and Bonn of the DFG Transregio 237 and from the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation2 at the University of Bonn have made progress clarifying why patients with myotonic dystrophy 2 have a higher tendency to develop autoimmune diseases. Their goal is to understand the development of the disease, and their research has provided new, potential therapeutic targets.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.02.2024
Small ribonucleic acid with a big impact
Small ribonucleic acid with a big impact
Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of the most common and most dangerous bacterial pathogens impacting humans, causing infections of the gastrointestinal tract, pneumonia, wound infections and even blood poisoning. With the aim of discovering therapeutically exploitable weaknesses in Klebsiella, a research team from the Balance of the Microverse Cluster of Excellence at the University of Jena has taken a close look at the molecular biology of the bacteria and was able to uncover the importance of a small, non-coding ribonucleic acid (sRNA for short) for the gene regulation of K. pneumoniae.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.02.2024
Converting rainforest to plantation impacts food webs and biodiversity
Converting rainforest to plantation impacts food webs and biodiversity
The conversion of rainforest into plantations erodes and restructures food webs and fundamentally changes the way these ecosystems function, according to a new study published in Nature. The findings provide the first insights into the processing of energy across soil and canopy animal communities in mega-biodiverse tropical ecosystems.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 20.02.2024
Ancient genomes reveal Down Syndrome in past societies
Ancient genomes reveal Down Syndrome in past societies
Burials show that children with Down Syndrome and Edwards Syndrome were recognized as members of their communities An international team of researchers has analysed the DNA from a world-wide sample of nearly 10,000 ancient individuals to search for cases of Down Syndrome, an uncommon genetic condition caused by the presence of an additional copy of Chromosome 21.

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.02.2024
From rainforest to plantation: conversion shapes food webs and biodiversity
From rainforest to plantation: conversion shapes food webs and biodiversity
Research team investigates effects of changing land use on ecosystems in Sumatra . Every day, large areas of rainforest are converted into plantations. Biodiversity and the ecosystem are changing drastically as a result. However, knowledge about the consequences is patchy: previous studies have either focused on the diversity of species or the functioning of the ecosystem.

Life Sciences - 15.02.2024
How a wayside weed builds up explosive force
How a wayside weed builds up explosive force
Hairy bittercress is one of those plants that hurl their seeds in all directions to spread them effectively. A research team has now discovered that to do this, the plant uses a previously unknown mechanism which makes the seed pods contract and snap open, acting almost like a muscle. Dr. Gabriella Mosca at the University of Tübingen's Center for Plant Molecular Biology was one of the lead authors in this study headed by Dr. Angela Hay from the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne.

Life Sciences - 14.02.2024
Do apes have humor?
Do apes have humor?
Babies playfully tease others as young as eight months of age. Since language is not required for this behavior, similar kinds of playful teasing might be present in non-human animals. Now cognitive biologists and primatologists from the University of California Los Angeles, the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior , Indiana University, and the University of California San Diego have documented playful teasing in four species of great apes.

Physics - Life Sciences - 13.02.2024
New Nanosensors Make Diagnostic Procedures More Sensitive
New Nanosensors Make Diagnostic Procedures More Sensitive
The nanosensors can be used to track reactions with invisible light, saving materials and time. The Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS and Ruhr University Bochum, Germany, have developed a process that enables a new form of signal amplification for diagnostic tests. Through the advanced use of luminescent single walled carbon nanotubes in bioanalytics, test procedures can be carried out more sensitively, quickly and cheaply.

Life Sciences - 13.02.2024
Desert Ants: The Magnetic Field Calibrates the Navigation System
Desert Ants: The Magnetic Field Calibrates the Navigation System
Desert ants find their way during an early learning phase with the help of the Earth's magnetic field. The associated learning process leaves clear traces in their nervous system. This is shown in a new study by a Würzburg research team. They are only a few centimeters tall and their brains have a comparatively simple structure with less than one million neurons.

Life Sciences - 09.02.2024
Rainwater significantly reduces damage from lightning strikes to the head
Rainwater significantly reduces damage from lightning strikes to the head
Research carried out by the Technische Universität Ilmenau has shown that rainwater on the scalp can reduce the damage caused by direct lightning strikes to the head. In comparison to dry scalps, wet scalps are less severely struck and the wetness also reduces the electrical current to which the brain is exposed.