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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 - 13.07.2015
Heidelberg Researchers Investigate Cytotoxic Effect of Ebola Virus
Heidelberg Researchers Investigate Cytotoxic Effect of Ebola Virus
In the course of basic research in membrane biochemistry scientists at Heidelberg University have gained new insight into the cytotoxic effect of the Ebola virus. Employing biochemical and cell biological methods they have shed light on the molecular relationships between the Ebola glycoprotein and its role in mediating cytotoxicity.

Social Sciences - Life Sciences - 09.06.2015
Global collapse in huge songbird population
Global collapse in huge songbird population
With its canary-yellow colouring, the yellow-breasted bunting - about the size of a sparrow - is one of the more striking species of songbirds. Until a few years ago it was one of the commonest birds found in northern Europe and Asia. Since then, however, ornithologists have recorded sharp declines in many regions.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 30.04.2015
The Regulating Hand in Ribosome Formation
Ribosomes, which use a fixed genetic programme to manufacture cell proteins, also form according to a strict hierarchical plan. In an interdisciplinary approach, the research teams of Ed Hurt of the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center (BZH) and André Hoelz of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena (USA) have decoded the mechanism that regulates this process.

Life Sciences - 09.04.2015
Signal replicas make a flexible sensor
LMU researchers have shown how signals from the spinal cord adjust the sensitivity of hair cells in the inner ear to accommodate shifts in head position associated with active locomotion - thus ensuring that balance is maintained. Fluorescence image showing two nerves (stained in red and green), which are responsible for transmitting information from the hair cells to the brain and from neurons (small green dots) that alter hair cell sensitivity, respectively.

Environment - Life Sciences - 07.04.2015
Small Differences, Big Effect
Small Differences, Big Effect
New Findings: Variability Helps Mammals to Become Invasive From the time humans began discovering and conquering new continents, they also started transporting animals and plants around the world and releasing them in locations where they had never been before. Most of these alien species died out quickly, but many established populations and some even multiplied and became invasive, causing tremendous economic and environmental harm.

Life Sciences - 12.01.2015
Revolution averted
Who came first - sponges or comb jellies? A new study by an LMU team reaffirms that sponges are the oldest animal phylum - and restores the classical view of early animal evolution, which recent molecular analyses had challenged. The answer to the question of whether the sponges or the comb jellies (also known as sea gooseberries) represent the oldest extant animal phylum is of crucial importance to our understanding of organismic evolution.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.12.2014
Invasion to the inside
In order to multiply, influenza viruses are dependent on cells of a human or animal body. They board those cells, for example all along the lung surface, and their genetic material migrates into the nucleus, where it is replicated. As a result, new viruses come to life. A team led by scientists from the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM), University of Münster, has now, for the first time, succeeded in visualizing structures of the viral genome inside of human cells by light microscopy.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 03.04.2014
Schleimige Computer: Künstlerisch-wissenschaftliche Studie zu Schleimpilz-Forschung
Der Computer der Zukunft könnte um einiges schleimiger sein als die Silizium-Geräte, mit denen wir es heutzutage zu tun haben. Genau damit befasst sich die Studie, die Theresa Schubert (Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Professur Gestaltung medialer Umgebungen) und Andrew Adamatzky (University of the West of England, Bristol) in dem renommierten Journal 'Materials Today' veröffentlicht haben.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 10.09.2013
Unique snapshot of an enzyme in action
Unique snapshot of an enzyme in action
Göttingen scientists unravel fundamental mechanisms of biochemical reactions (pug) Enzymes are the molecular catalysts of life performing vital metabolic functions in every cell. To date, it has been speculated that enzymes literally bend and break their substrates during biochemical reactions. For the first time, scientists at the Göttingen Center for Molecular Biosciences (GZMB) succeeded in experimentally confirming this hypothesis with certainty.

Life Sciences - Health - 27.04.2012
Spin-off Eliminates Animal Testing
Chemical, medication and cosmetic manufacturers are obligated to test their products for possible health risks using appropriate means, as stipulated by various European guidelines. Animal testing is frequently used to determine the dangers of such products to the human eye. Aside from ethical reasons, arguments against this form of testing include high costs, delays due to approval procedures, and concerns whether the results from animal testing can be extrapolated safely to human beings.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.01.2011
The Import Business of Cellular Power Plants Freiburg Scientists Reveal Newly Discovered Communication Path in Cells
Scientists from Freiburg's two Excellence Institutions Centre for Biological Signalling Studies (BIOSS) and Spemann Graduate School of Biology and Medicine (SGBM) have discovered a new signaling path in cells: a mechanism which enables the transport of proteins into mitochondria to be adjusted depending on the current metabolic state of the cell.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 07.01.2011
Proteins Need Chaperones
Freiburg Biochemist Describes Newly Discovered Processes in Production of Proteins in 'Nature' Freiburg, 07.01.2011 The chaperone ZRF1 helps the ribosome to regulate protein synthesis. A new study shows that it also participates in the regulated translation of DNA segments into transcripts in the nucleus.

Life Sciences - 14.12.2010
No Phenylketonuria in the Moss Physcomitrella patens
International Team Discovers New Metabolic Pathway Freiburg, 14.12.2010 Phenylketonuria is the most common metabolic disease in humans. It occurs when the so-called PAH gene is defective, thus preventing the amino acid phenylalanine from being metabolized to the amino acid tyrosine. This leads to an accumulation of phenylalanine and to severe developmental disorders.

Life Sciences - 25.11.2010
Do traffic lights in the brain direct our actions
Delayed inhibition between neurons identified as possible basis for decision making Freiburg, 25.11.2010 The timing of exciting (red curve) and inhibiting (blue curve) signals could be a way to control the ‘traffic flow' of activity in the brain. (Illustration: Bernstein Center Freiburg) In every waking minute, we have to make decisions - sometimes within a split second.

Physics - Life Sciences - 12.10.2010
A new Concept in Microscopy:
Self-reconstructing Laser Beams - published in ‘Nature Photonics' Researchers at the University of Freiburg are developing a microscope with illuminating beams that actively refocus in a light-scattering medium. Freiburg, 12.10.2010 It's a familiar situation for all car drivers. In the autumn, when the roads are foggy, visibility drops below 50 metres.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.09.2010
University of Freiburg launches research project on the digital printing of single biological cells
IMTEK coordinates European project PASCA Freiburg, 21.09.2010 The Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), University of Freiburg , is the principal technology partner and project coordinator of the EU Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Development research project PASCA (Platform for Advanced Single Cell Manipulation and Analysis).

Life Sciences - Health - 10.09.2010
Rebuilding immunoreceptors reveals their mode of activation
BIOSS scientists discover the mechanism of how our immune system can be activated for the production of antibodies against thousands of different structures, publication in Nature Freiburg, 10.09.2010 Just 110 years ago in 1900, Paul Ehrlich, one of the founding fathers of modern immunology, gave the Croonian Lecture to the Royal Society in London “On Immunity with Special Reference to Cell Life?.

Life Sciences - 27.08.2010
Unravelling the code of the brain
Scientists at the Bernstein Center Freiburg propose a new theory about signal propagation in the brain Freiburg, 27.08.2010 For more than fifty years, the neuroscience community is engaged in an intensive debate on how information is coded in the brain and transmitted reliably from one brain region to the next.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.07.2010
Surprising solution to an old problem
Scientists from the Department of Molecular Immunology, Institute of Biology III, Faculty of Biology and the Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, BIOSS have discovered a new mechanism that drives the development of B-lymphocytes in our bone marrow. B-lymphocytes are an important part of our immune system.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.12.2009
Thirsty plants send emergency calls
Thirsty plants send emergency calls
Independent whether we consider grapevines in the vineyard or tomatoes in the greenhouse: how well plants are being supplied with water can be viewed by an innovative magnetic probe that is simply clamped to the leaves.
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