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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 - Chemistry - 07.07.2020
Enzymes as double agents: new mechanism discovered in protein modification
Enzymes as double agents: new mechanism discovered in protein modification
Proteins are the workers in a cell and, as the “basic element of life”, are responsible for the most widely varying metabolic processes. In plants, for example, they take on an important function in photosynthesis. In order to be able to work purposefully, proteins change their chemical form after they have been produced in a cell - for example, through protein acetylation, when an acetyl group is transferred to the protein.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 06.07.2020
How do bacteria build up natural products?
How do bacteria build up natural products?
X-ray structure analysis gives detailed insights into molecular factory The active agents of many drugs are natural products, so called because often only microorganisms are able to produce the complex structures. Similar to the production line in a factory, large enzyme complexes put these active agent molecules together.

Health - Life Sciences - 06.07.2020
Gut bacteria improve type 2 diabetes risk prediction
Gut bacteria improve type 2 diabetes risk prediction
Large-scale study with more than 4000 participants at ZIEL - Institute for Food & Health The composition and function of bacteria in the human intestine - the so-called gut microbiome - changes as the day progresses. This was established by researchers based in Freising at ZIEL - Institute for Food & Health of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) with one of the largest studies related to microbiomes and diabetes comprising more than 4000 participants.

Life Sciences - Agronomy / Food Science - 29.06.2020
Feeds of the Future
Feeds of the Future
University of Göttingen research team investigates the influence of insect and microalgae feeds on meat quality Worldwide there is a growing demand for animal products for human nutrition, despite vegan and vegetarian diets becoming more popular in Western countries. Changing diets necessitate a substantial amount of protein as an input for animal production.

Life Sciences - 16.06.2020
Hormone systems can still be adapted in adulthood
Hormone systems can still be adapted in adulthood
How do animals adapt their behaviour during life in order to assure survival and reproduction? This is a question of great interest for behavioural biologists worldwide. An essential step is to examine hormonal mechanisms which have a fundamental impact on the animal's behaviour and thus make adaptations to various social situations possible.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.06.2020
Researchers identify
Researchers identify "hot spots" for developing lymphatic vessels: Experiments on zebrafish
Experiments on zebrafish: fibroblasts produce important enzyme-processing proteins triggering growth in vessels / Study in "Nature Communications" When an embryo develops, a wide variety of proteins and enzymes trigger a series of biochemical reactions. The development of the lymphatic vasculature is crucially dependent on one specific protein - the growth factor VEGF-C.

Life Sciences - 05.06.2020
View into plant cells: A membrane protein is targeted to two locations
View into plant cells: A membrane protein is targeted to two locations
Metabolic processes are especially complex in plants due to their obligate sessile life style - which is why scientists discover more and more new and surprising connections that occur within their cells. An important metabolic route that has occupied plant scientists for decades is the so-called oxidative pentose-phosphate pathway by which carbohydrates are converted to reduction power.

Life Sciences - 05.06.2020
Protecting the Neuronal Architecture
Protecting nerve cells from losing their characteristic extensions, the dendrites, can reduce brain damage after a stroke. Neurobiologists from Heidelberg University have demonstrated this by means of research on a mouse model. The team, led by Hilmar Bading in cooperation with Junior Professor Dr Daniela Mauceri, is investigating the protection of neuronal architecture to develop new approaches to treating neurodegenerative diseases.

Life Sciences - 29.05.2020
Selectively Reactivating Nerve Cells to Retrieve a Memory
Selectively increasing the levels of a certain protein in nerve cells that play a key role in memory storage boosts memory performance, as demonstrated in experiments on mice by a group of scientists at Heidelberg University led by Dr Ana Oliveira. The responsible protein is Dnmt3a2 - a so-called epigenetic factor that chemically modifies the genome and thus influences memory processes.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.05.2020
Why developing nerve cells can take a wrong turn
Loss of ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme leads to impediment in growth of nerve cells / found between cellular machineries of protein degradation and regulation of the epigenetic landscape in human embryonic stem cells A group of scientists from CECAD, the Cluster of Excellence 'Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases,' have found a mechanism by which neurodevelopmental diseases concerning neurons can be explained: The loss of a certai

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 26.05.2020
Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme: Biotechnology
Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme: Biotechnology
Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. A topic that is currently being widely discussed is photoinduced catalysis, in which researchers harness the ability of nature to start biochemical reactions with the aid of light.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.05.2020
High-resolution 3D view inside tumors
High-resolution 3D view inside tumors
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. But individual tumors can vary significantly, presenting different spatial patterns within their mass. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Helmholtz Zentrum München have now succeeded in visualizing spatial changes within tumors by means of optoacoustics.

Life Sciences - 20.05.2020
Should tomatoes go in the fridge?
Should tomatoes go in the fridge?
Research team from the University of Göttingen investigates the influence of storage on the flavour of ripe tomatoes There is much debate about the correct storage of tomatoes. There are two main options available to consumers: storage in the refrigerator or at room temperature. A research team from the University of Göttingen has now investigated whether there are differences in the flavour of ripe tomatoes depending on how they are stored and taking into account the chain of harvesting from farm to fork.

Health - Life Sciences - 13.05.2020
A disease trigger for pancreatitis has been identified
A disease trigger for pancreatitis has been identified
One factor contributing to the development of pancreatitis lies in mutations within a cell membrane ion channel that is characterized by its specific permeability for calcium ions. This groundbreaking discovery was made by a research team at Technical University of Munich (TUM), in cooperation with other groups from Germany, Japan and France.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 01.05.2020
An Alternative for Antibiotics
International Team of Researchers Investigates Antibacterial Effects of Antimicrobial Peptides No 073/2020 from May 01, 2020 Scientists at Cornell University, Georgetown University, and Freie Universität Berlin have analyzed and summarized to what extent antimicrobial peptides, such as those found in plants and animals, can be used as an alternative to conventional antibiotics.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.04.2020
Preserving inflammation-free phases
Preserving inflammation-free phases
Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the intestine that, in most cases, relapses episodically. As of now, there is no cure for this disease. A research group led by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered a marker at a microscopic level, which can be used to identify patients that show a high probability of suffering from an inflammation recurrence in the immediate future.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.03.2020
A new mechanism triggering cell death and inflammation: a left turn that kills
Z-form nucleic acids are double-stranded DNA and RNA molecules with an unusual left-handed double helix structure, as opposed to the classical right-handed Watson-Crick double helix. Z-nucleic acids were discovered more than 40 years ago, but their biological function has remained poorly understood.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.03.2020
Blocking sugar structures on viruses and tumor cells
Blocking sugar structures on viruses and tumor cells
Coronavirus: University operations limited +++ make use of online services +++ many staff working from home +++ www.tum.de/corona Artificial sugar-binding protein may inhibit cell growth During a viral infection, viruses enter the body and multiply in its cells. Viruses often specifically attach themselves to the sugar structures of the host cells, or present characteristic sugar structures on their surface themselves.

Life Sciences - Health - 13.03.2020
Analysis of whole brain vasculature
Analysis of whole brain vasculature
Coronavirus: University operations limited +++ make use of online services +++ many staff working from home Biochemical methods and AI show even the finest capillaries Diseases of the brain are often associated with typical vascular changes. Now, scientists at LMU University Hospital Munich, Helmholtz Zentrum München and at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have come up with a technique for visualising the structures of all the brain's blood vessels - right down to the finest capillaries - including any pathological changes.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 12.03.2020
A molecular map for the plant sciences
A molecular map for the plant sciences
First comprehensive map of the proteome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana Plants are essential for life on earth. They provide food for essentially all organisms, oxygen for breathing, and they regulate the climate of the planet. Proteins play a key role in controlling all aspects of life including plants.
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