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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 - 05.10.2022
Second Stem Cell Type Discovered in Mouse Brain
Second Stem Cell Type Discovered in Mouse Brain
In the brain of adult mammals neural stem cells ensure that new nerve cells, i.e. neurons, are constantly formed. This process, known as adult neurogenesis, helps mice maintain their sense of smell. A research team led by Dr Francesca Ciccolini at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN) of Heidelberg University recently discovered a second stem cell population in the mouse brain.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.09.2022
Birth of a sibling triggers long-lasting stress in young bonobos
Birth of a sibling triggers long-lasting stress in young bonobos
First-of-its-kind study identifies physiological changes in the transition to siblinghood In any family, the birth of a child is a transformative event, often greeted with positive feelings from parents-and mixed feelings from siblings. The arrival of a new brother or sister, and the loss of parental attention that comes with it, is stressful for any first-born child.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.09.2022
Show me your brain scan and I'll tell you how old you really are
Show me your brain scan and I’ll tell you how old you really are
Electronic comparison of MRI images opens up new possibilities for early detection of diseases The biological age of a person can be accurately determined from brain images using the latest AI technology, so-called artificial neural networks. Until now, however, it was unclear which features these networks used to infer age.

Life Sciences - Environment - 22.09.2022
Zebrafish change their sex in warm water
Zebrafish change their sex in warm water
Research team led by Göttingen University identify DNA -hotspots- that tell zebrafish to change sex in warmer waters. Environment leaves its mark on genome through DNA methylation. In many species, such as zebrafish, sex is partly or completely determined by the environment. Genes can predispose to a particular sex but may be -overruled- by the influence of the environment, for example temperature or population density.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.09.2022
Botox influences the control of emotions in the brain
Botox influences the control of emotions in the brain
Study shows effect on amygdala in temporal lobe The bacterial toxin botulinum toxin (BTX) - colloquially known as Botox - is probably known to most people as a remedy for wrinkles. But botulinum toxin can do even more: if it is injected into the forehead, for example, it can alleviate depression.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.09.2022
Enzyme inhibitor slows tumour growth
Enzyme inhibitor slows tumour growth
Together with researchers from University Hospital Mainz, the University of Regensburg and the IRCM in Montreal (Canada), a research team from Friedrich Schiller University Jena has discovered a novel therapeutic approach for treating malignant tumours of the lymphatic system. The team led by Dr Christian Kosan from Jena University's Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics shows that treating certain B-cell lymphomas with the enzyme inhibitor "Marbostat 100" leads to significantly slowed growth of the tumour cells.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 21.09.2022
From Continental Europe to England
From Continental Europe to England
Archaeogenetic study reveals large-scale continental migration into the East of England during the early Medieval Period In the largest early-medieval population study to date, an interdisciplinary team consisting of geneticists and archaeologists - led by the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology and the University of Central Lancashire - analysed over 400 individuals from ancient Britain, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Life Sciences - Health - 20.09.2022
Fish to help in search for MS drugs
Fish to help in search for MS drugs
Study by the University of Bonn follows an innovative path in the search for new active substances The zebrafish serves as a model organism for researchers around the world: it can be used to study important physiological processes that also take place in a similar form in the human body. It is therefore routinely used in the search for possible active substances against diseases.

Life Sciences - Environment - 19.09.2022
How many ants are there?
How many ants are there?
Have you ever asked yourself this question? A team led by Würzburg biologists Dr. Patrick Schultheiss and Dr. Sabine Nooten now has the answer. In addition to the number, the distribution was also determined. How many stars are there in our galaxy? How many grains of sand in the Sahara? How many ants live on Earth? These are all questions that seem impossible to answer.

Life Sciences - 19.09.2022
Moss repair team also works in humans
Moss repair team also works in humans
Researchers at the University of Bonn transplant RNA editing machine of a moss into human cells If everything is to run smoothly in living cells, the genetic information must be correct. But unfortunately, errors in the DNA accumulate over time due to mutations. Land plants have developed a peculiar correction mode: they do not directly improve the errors in the genome, but rather elaborately in each individual transcript.

Life Sciences - Environment - 19.09.2022
Scientists unearth another brain-shrinking mammal
Scientists unearth another brain-shrinking mammal
A study of moles reveals that cold weather - not lack of food - drives the rare phenomenon of reversible brain shrinkage in mammals In the depths of winter, European moles face an existential problem. Their metabolisms - close to the upper limit of any mammal - require more food than is available during the coldest months.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.09.2022
Gut microbes and humans on a joint evolutionary journey
Gut microbes and humans on a joint evolutionary journey
Researchers discover simultaneous evolutionary history of gut microbes with their human hosts over hundreds of thousands of years The human gut microbiome is composed of thousands of different bacteria and archaea that vary widely between populations and individuals. Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Biology in Tübingen have now discovered gut microbes that share a parallel evolutionary history with their human hosts: the microorganisms co-evolved in the human gut environment over hundreds of thousands of years.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 15.09.2022
The hemispheres are not equal
A study analyzes differences in brain asymmetry among different individuals Although the brain is divided into two halves, it is not exactly a mirror image. Some functions are processed more on the left side, others more on the right - and each person's processing is a little different. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and Forschungszentrum Juelich, together with an international team of neuroscientists, have now discovered heritable underpinnings of brain asymmetry - and - how much we share with monkeys.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.09.2022
Cacao: Multiple interactions in its cultivation
Cacao: Multiple interactions in its cultivation
In the cultivation of organic cacao, many factors determine the yield. An international research team has now identified important players and their combined effects. It's not possible to grow cacao without insects - that's logical. After all, they ensure that the flowers are pollinated and that the valuable cacao fruits, a sought-after material for the food industry, develop.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.09.2022
Which creatures mean more cacao in the field?
Which creatures mean more cacao in the field?
Research team led by the Universities of Göttingen and Würzburg highlights importance of critical animal species Without insects, there would be no cacao - a much-desired raw material for the food industry. Insects ensure that the flowers are pollinated and that the cacao fruits develop. In addition, birds and bats contribute significantly to increasing the crop yield.

Life Sciences - 09.09.2022
What excites the Venus flytrap
What excites the Venus flytrap
The Venus flytrap relies on glutamate receptors to catch prey by transmitting corresponding stimuli electrically. A research team at the University of Würzburg has now explained the underlying molecular mechanism. To hunt flies and other small animals, the Venus flytrap has to be faster than its prey.

Life Sciences - 09.09.2022
What excites the Venus flytrap
What excites the Venus flytrap
The Venus flytrap relies on glutamate receptors to catch prey. It transmits the corresponding stimuli electrically. A research team at the University of Würzburg has now explained the mechanism behind this . To hunt flies and other small animals, the Venus flytrap must be faster than its prey. To do this, it has developed a catching organ that can snap shut in a fraction of a second and is controlled by one of the fastest stimulus lines in the plant kingdom.

Life Sciences - 09.09.2022
'Scrap' in the genome: Where ferns get their huge genome from
’Scrap’ in the genome: Where ferns get their huge genome from
Ferns are among the organisms with the most extensive genomes; the genome of a fern plant can contain up to 720 chromosome pairs. This exuberant size and complexity of most fern genomes has so far made it difficult for researchers to elucidate fundamental aspects of fern biology and land plant evolution through genome-based research.

Paleontology - Life Sciences - 08.09.2022
Previously unknown species of dinosaur identified in south-western Germany
Previously unknown species of dinosaur identified in south-western Germany
When they re-analyzed a skeleton that was discovered in Trossingen in 1922, consisting mainly of the rear of the body, Regalado Fernandez and Werneburg established that many of the bones were not the same as a typical Plateosaurus . For instance, the partial skeleton displayed, among other derived characters, broader and more strongly-built hips with fused sacral vertebrae as well as unusually large and robust long bones - both features implied locomotion on four legs.

Life Sciences - 08.09.2022
Modern humans generate more brain neurons than Neandertals
Modern humans generate more brain neurons than Neandertals
Due to the change of a single amino acid, brain evolution has proceeded differently While both Neandertals and modern humans develop brains of similar size, very little is known about whether modern human and Neandertal brains may have differed in terms of their neuron production during development.
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