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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 - 13:05
Tracking down the causes of rare diseases in children
Tracking down the causes of rare diseases in children
The causes of intelligence impairment or epilepsy remain unexplained in more than 50 per cent of cases. Together with international colleagues, researchers at Leipzig University Hospital have discovered two genes with mutations that cause neurodevelopmental disorders in children. Their findings have now been published in scientific journals.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 24.06.2022
Mass spectrometry-based draft of the mouse proteome
Mass spectrometry-based draft of the mouse proteome
Proteins control and organize almost every aspect of life. The totality of all proteins in a living organism, a tissue or a cell is called the proteome. Using mass spectrometry, researchers at the TUM School of Life Sciences characterize the proteome, or protein complement of the genome, in important model organisms.

Life Sciences - 23.06.2022
Silence for thought
Silence for thought
Scientists map prominent differences in the neural circuits of mice, monkeys, and human The analysis of the human brain is a central goal of neuroscience. However, for methodological reasons, research has largely focused on model organisms, in particular the mouse. Now, neuroscientists gained novel insights on human neural circuitry using tissue obtained from neurosurgical interventions.

Life Sciences - Environment - 22.06.2022
Research with a bite
Research with a bite
Scientists at the University of Bonn present a sensor system that can measure the bite force of insects How hard can insects bite? Having a strong chewing apparatus makes it easier to crush harder food and to succeed in fights with enemies. Biologists at the University of Bonn now present a mobile system (forceX) for measuring the bite forces of small animals, along with the software forceR to evaluate the data.

Physics - Life Sciences - 22.06.2022
Microscopy technique enables 3D super-resolution nanometre-scale imaging
Microscopy technique enables 3D super-resolution nanometre-scale imaging
Research team led by Göttingen University combine two techniques to achieve isotropic super -resolution imaging Over the last two decades, microscopy has seen unprecedented advances in speed and resolution. However, cellular structures are essentially three-dimensional, and conventional super-resolution techniques often lack the necessary resolution in all three directions to capture details at a nanometer scale.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 21.06.2022
Using light to activate mRNA: Biochemists use new tool to control mRNA by means of light
Using light to activate mRNA: Biochemists use new tool to control mRNA by means of light
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is a long chain of molecules composed of many individual components, and it forms the basis of life on Earth. The function of DNA is to store all genetic information. The translation of this genetic information into proteins - which an organism needs to function, develop and reproduce - takes place via mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid).

Life Sciences - Physics - 21.06.2022
Another step towards synthetic cells
Another step towards synthetic cells
Introducing functional DNA-based cytoskeletons into cell-sized compartments - Publication Scientists from the 2. Physics Institute at the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research were now able to take the next step towards synthetic cells: They introduced functional DNA-based cytoskeletons into cell-sized compartments and showed functionality.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.06.2022
Protein changes in the liquor indicate inflammatory processes in the brain
Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases are associated with inflammatory processes in the brain. German researchers have succeeded in identifying a group of proteins in the liquor that could provide information about such inflammatory processes. As so-called biomarkers, the proteins could help to better understand disease processes in the future and to test the effect of potential drugs against brain inflammation.

Life Sciences - Health - 17.06.2022
Cell Biology: Diversity of centrosomes
Cell Biology: Diversity of centrosomes
Scientists from LMU and Helmholtz Munich have gained new insights into the human centrosome, whose malfunction is linked to many neurodevelopmental disorders. The centrosome is the organelle responsible for the organization of the cytoskeleton during cell division, an essential function in organisms from yeast to humans.

Health - Life Sciences - 15.06.2022
Custom-fit bacterial blockers
Custom-fit bacterial blockers
Similar to vaccines against the coronavirus, RNA-based antibiotics could decisively advance medicine. Research teams from Würzburg have investigated the requirements they must fulfill to achieve this. In the fight against the corona pandemic, mRNA-based drugs have impressively demonstrated their capabilities.

History / Archeology - Life Sciences - 15.06.2022
Origins of the Black Death identified
Multidisciplinary team studied ancient plague genomes The Black Death, the biggest pandemic of our history, was caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis and lasted in Europe between the years 1346 and 1353. Despite the pandemic's immense demographic and societal impacts, its origins have long been elusive.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 10.06.2022
How the first biomolecules could have been formed
How the first biomolecules could have been formed
The chemical precursors of present-day biomolecules could have formed not only in the deep sea at hydrothermal vents, but also in warm ponds on the Earth's surface. The chemical reactions that may have occurred in this "primordial soup" have now been reproduced in experiments by an international team led by researchers of Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.06.2022
Thanks to umbilical cord stem cells: First successful treatment of severe pulmonary hypertension
Thanks to umbilical cord stem cells: First successful treatment of severe pulmonary hypertension
Hannover Medical School doctors successfully treat three-year-old girl. Clinical researchers at Hannover Medical School (MHH) have succeeded for the first time worldwide in stopping the usually fatal course of the disease in severe pulmonary hypertension thanks to a novel therapeutic approach. A three-year-old girl suffering from so-called pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) was treated for six months a total of five times with mesenchymal stem cell products obtained from a human umbilical cord.

Life Sciences - Environment - 09.06.2022
Cyanobacteria use the lotus effect
Cyanobacteria use the lotus effect
Water repellency as the first step to life on land a billion years ago Water droplets simply roll off - and clean the surface and reduce infestation with fungal spores, for example. But not only plants have the "lotus effect," which Professor Wilhelm Barthlott of the University of Bonn discovered four decades ago.

Laboratory - Life Sciences - 09.06.2022
Cluster of excellence builds mobile laboratory
Cluster of excellence builds mobile laboratory
To study valuable manuscripts and other written artefacts around the world, the Understanding Written Artefacts cluster of excellence at Universität Hamburg has developed a mobile laboratory. The first mobile unit has now been delivered. In the fall, it will be sent to India so that researchers there can study palm-leaf manuscripts that belong to the world's document heritage.

Environment - Life Sciences - 09.06.2022
How crops can better survive floods
How crops can better survive floods
Researchers from Freiburg and Utrecht show which signaling pathways make plants more resistant to flooding Extreme weather phenomena are on the rise worldwide, including frequent droughts and fires. Floods are also a clear consequence of climate change. For agriculture, a flooded field means major losses: about 15 percent of global crop losses are due to flooding.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 09.06.2022
Pre-historic Wallacea - a melting pot of human genetic ancestries
Pre-historic Wallacea - a melting pot of human genetic ancestries
The Wallacean islands of present-day Eastern Indonesia have a long history of occupation by modern humans. Notably, the maritime expansion of Austronesian speakers into Wallacea left archaeological traces of a Neolithic lifestyle and a genetic imprint still detectable in Eastern Indonesians today.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 08.06.2022
Early childhood experiences may lead to irreversible changes in the brain
Early childhood experiences may lead to irreversible changes in the brain
Changes in the brain caused by early childhood experiences are not entirely irreversible. This is the conclusion reached in a recent study by researchers at Universität Hamburg, led by the psychologist and neuroscientist Brigitte Röder. Earlier neuroscientific studies have revealed that unfavorable experiences in the first few months and years of life, for example blindness or poverty, can adversely affect the structural development of the human brain.

Life Sciences - Environment - 07.06.2022
Copper makes seed pods explode
Copper makes seed pods explode
Researchers identify the genes controlling the mechanical structure of exploding seed pods Plants have evolved numerous strategies to spread their seeds widely. Some scatter their seeds to the wind, while others tempt animals and birds to eat their seed-filled fruits. And a few rare plants - such as the popping cress Cardamine hirsuta - have evolved exploding seed pods that propel their seeds in all directions.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 03.06.2022
Deep Learning helps improve gene therapies and antiviral drugs
Team led by bioinformatician Rolf Backofen develops algorithm to identify anti-CRISPR protein The nuclease Cas13b associated with the CRISPR gene scissors, which is an enzyme that degrades nucleic acids, has the potential to be used in the future in hereditary diseases to switch off unwanted genes. In the fight against infections, this nuclease is also being researched as an antiviral agent, as Cas13b can specifically intervene in the genetic material of viruses and render them harmless.
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