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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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Life Sciences



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Life Sciences - Health - 13:03
Hybrid microbes: Model study explores genome transfer between different strains of bacteria
Study at University of Cologne shows that the exchange of genes drives functional changes in bacteria very rapidly / Publication in PNAS Bacteria integrate genetic material from other bacterial strains more easily than previously thought, which can lead to improved fitness and accelerated evolution.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 05.03.2021
A new model can predict the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria
An international research team has developed a model that predicts growth rates and resistance mechanisms of common bacterial mutants at different drug doses / Publication in 'Nature Ecology & Evolution' A team of scientists from the University of Cologne (Germany) and the University of Uppsala (Sweden) has created a model that can describe and predict the evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Life Sciences - 04.03.2021
Watching the brain learn
Watching the brain learn
Scientists at Göttingen University discover structural changes in adult mice brains as seen in young animals Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying brain -plasticity-(how the brain can learn, develop and reorganise itself) is crucial for explaining many illnesses and conditions.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.03.2021
New, highly precise ’clock’ can measure biological age
Two scientists at the CECAD Cluster of Excellence in Aging Research have developed a method that can determine an organism's biological age with unprecedented precision / researchers expect new insights into how the environment, nutrition, and therapies influence the aging process Using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans , researchers at the University of Cologne have developed an 'aging clock' that reads the biological age of an organism directly from its gene expression, the transcriptome.

Agronomy / Food Science - Life Sciences - 02.03.2021
Rice Plant Resists Arsenic
Rice Plant Resists Arsenic
The agricultural cultivation of the staple food of rice harbours the risk of possible contamination with arsenic that can reach the grains following uptake by the roots. In their investigation of over 4,000 variants of rice, a Chinese-German research team under the direction of Rüdiger Hell from the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University and Fang-Jie Zhao of Nanjing Agricultural University (China) discovered a plant variant that resists the toxin.

Life Sciences - 01.03.2021
How a plant regulates its growth
How a plant regulates its growth
Molecular mechanisms of polar growth in plants Plants grow in two directions: the shoots of plants grow toward the light to make the best use of it, and the roots grow toward the center of the earth into the soil. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), in collaboration with two research groups in Vienna, has now been able to describe in detail how the molecular mechanisms work that control these processes.

Life Sciences - Transport - 23.02.2021
A memory without a brain
A memory without a brain
How a single cell slime mold makes smart decisions without a central nervous system Having a memory of past events enables us to take smarter decisions about the future. Researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now identified how the slime mold Physarum polycephalum saves memories - although it has no nervous system.

Life Sciences - Criminology / Forensics - 23.02.2021
No Certainty on Origin of Human Remains Found on Campus
Freie Universität Berlin, Max Planck Society, and Berlin State Monuments Office present the findings of their investigation into human remains found on Freie Universität land No 033/2021 from Feb 23, 2021 At an official public information event, experts from Freie Universität Berlin, the Max Planck Society, and the Berlin State Monuments Office ( Landesdenkmalamt Berlin ) presented the findings of their investigation into human remains found on the grounds of Freie Universität Berlin in recent years.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.02.2021
Coronavirus Origin Study Released
Coronavirus Origin Study Released
The coronavirus has led to a worldwide crisis for over a year. In a new study, nanoscientist Roland Wiesendanger illuminates the origins of the virus. His findings conclude there are a number of quality sources indicating a laboratory accident at the Wuhan Institute of Virology as the cause of the current pandemic.

Life Sciences - Environment - 18.02.2021
Wolves prefer to feed on the wild side
Wolves prefer to feed on the wild side
Research team studies feeding behaviour of wild predators in Mongolia When there is a choice, wolves in Mongolia prefer to feed on wild animals rather than grazing livestock. This is the discovery by a research team from the University of Göttingen and the Senckenberg Museum Görlitz. Previous studies had shown that the diet of wolves in inland Central Asia consists mainly of grazing livestock, which could lead to increasing conflict between nomadic livestock herders and wild predatory animals like wolves.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 18.02.2021
Artificial intelligence deciphers genetic instructions
Artificial intelligence deciphers genetic instructions
Deep learning algorithms reveal the rules of gene regulation With the help of artificial intelligence (AI) a German-American team of scientists deciphered some of the more elusive instructions encoded in DNA. Their neural network trained on high-resolution maps of protein-DNA interactions uncovers subtle DNA sequence patterns throughout the genome, thus providing a deeper understanding of how these sequences are organized to regulate genes.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.02.2021
New Coronavirus Gargling Test Introduced at the University
Heidelberg researchers develop test procedure that is being used for on-campus examinations and classes For approved on-campus events such as laboratory practicals or on-campus examinations which are strictly necessary for continuing or completing a degree course, Heidelberg University is offering an additional measure besides the required hygiene routines and mandatory distancing arrangements.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.02.2021
Cloudy eyes caused by protein imbalance
Cloudy eyes caused by protein imbalance
Cataracts: new model explains origins of the eye condition Cataracts are the most common eye ailment in humans. However, the exact processes leading to this condition are not fully understood. A team of researchers headed by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now discovered that the composition of the protein solution plays a decisive role.

Environment - Life Sciences - 01.02.2021
"Living Fossil" in the Namib Has Different Subspecies
A family of Welwitschia already inhabited Earth 112 million years ago. A research team in the Department of Biology at Universität Hamburg has now used short DNA sequences to discover that the only still-living species of Weltwitschia mirabilis has different subspecies. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.01.2021
When hyperactive proteins trigger illnesses
When hyperactive proteins trigger illnesses
Researchers find trigger for autoimmune diseases and cancer of the lymph node Autoimmune diseases, in which the body's own immune system attacks healthy tissue, can be life-threatening and can impact all organs. A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now found a possible cause for these self-destructive immune system attacks: a hyperactive RANK protein on the surface of B cells.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.01.2021
Immune cells attack synapses
Immune cells attack synapses
Inflammation causes cerebral cortex dysfunction in multiple sclerosis Damage to the brain gray matter plays an important role in the progression of multiple sclerosis. A team of neuroscientists has now shown that the cause are inflammatory responses that lead to synapse loss, reducing neuronal activity.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 15.01.2021
How plants produce defensive toxins without harming themselves
How plants produce defensive toxins without harming themselves
Plants produce toxic substances to defend themselves against herbivores. In a new study, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and the University of Münster were able to describe in detail the biosynthesis and exact mode of action of an important group of defensive substances, the diterpene glycosides, in wild tobacco plants.

Environment - Life Sciences - 15.01.2021
Digging Beneath the Surface
Researchers call for greater consideration of soil biodiversity and its ecological functions in developing international conservation strategies No 008/2021 from Jan 15, 2021 The soil is home to a quarter of all known species. In fact, life above ground wouldn't be possible without the soil and its countless inhabitants.

Life Sciences - 13.01.2021
A fly's eye view of evolution
A fly’s eye view of evolution
Research team led by Göttingen University investigates molecular basis of eye size variation in insects The fascinating compound eyes of insects consist of hundreds of individual eyes known as -facets-. In the course of evolution, an enormous variety of eye sizes and shapes has emerged, often representing adaptations to different environmental conditions.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 08.01.2021
Schüler und Studierende bauen CERN-Detektor mit Lego nach: Online-Workshop
Spatial and temporal distribution of primordial germ cells (stained in red) in zebrafish embryos. Normally, with the help of an attractant produced in the environment, the cells migrate in a targeted and coordinated manner through the developing embryo and reach the regions where the sex organs are formed (left).
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