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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 - Materials Science - 02.02.2022
First 3D structure of regulator protein revealed
First 3D structure of regulator protein revealed
Proteins are indispensable components in living organisms. They are not only "building material" for the body - they also make molecular communication between cells possible, they are needed for nerve impulses to occur, and they control chemical reactions. What is decisive for proteins to function is their three-dimensional structure.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.02.2022
Cause of inflammatory bowel disease discovered
Cause of inflammatory bowel disease discovered
Chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is becoming increasingly widespread. Until now, however, the underlying causes of the inflammation responses were unclear. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now identified a mechanism that triggers a problematic interaction between intestinal bacteria and cells in the intestinal mucus layer in XLP2, a condition associated with IBD.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.01.2022
Cancer research learns from space travel
Cancer research learns from space travel
Researchers use epigenetic factors to investigate the role of stress in the development of tumor diseases - test subjects wanted! [Picture: NASA] Experts believe that stress plays a major role in the development of tumors. One occupational group, for example, that experiences extreme stress over a short period of time is astronauts.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.01.2022
Protein machinery of respiration becomes visible
Protein machinery of respiration becomes visible
Researchers provide high-resolution electron microscopy analysis of the molecular machinery within the respiratory chain Oxygen and sugar are the basis of life for animals, plants, fungi and many bacteria. The metabolic process called respiration makes it possible to convert food into energy for the cells.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.01.2022
Immune cells as squatters
Immune cells as squatters
Human immune cells not only circulate in the blood, but can also occupy certain tissues and sometimes remain there for years. A research team led by immunologist Christina Zielinski discovered this phenomenon by examining patient samples after stem cell transplantation. In addition, the researchers were able to characterize the special properties of tissue-resident immune cells in more detail.

Environment - Life Sciences - 28.01.2022
Human disturbance is the most crucial factor for lynx in habitat selection
A new data analysis provides important information on the habitat selection of these predators Habitat selection in wildlife is a process that occurs at different scales: Balancing advantages, such as high abundance of food, with disadvantages, such as human disturbance. Large predators, with their large spatial requirements, are particularly sensitive to these disturbances.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 28.01.2022
Artificial Muscles Made of Proteins
A Freiburg research team has developed the first material made of natural proteins that contracts autonomously Dr. Stefan Schiller and Dr. Matthias Huber from the University of Freiburg's liv MatS Cluster of Excellence have succeeded in developing a muscle solely on the basis of natural proteins.

Life Sciences - Environment - 26.01.2022
Genome Atlas to support the rescue of biodiversity in Europe
Genome Atlas to support the rescue of biodiversity in Europe
Göttingen University joins six hundred researchers from 48 countries calling for comprehensive genome analyses for species conservation in Europe To provide important genomic data to inform research about Europe's biodiversity, scientists from 48 different countries initiated the "European Reference Genome Atlas" (ERGA) in 2021.

Life Sciences - 26.01.2022
Help for stressed-out cells in a crisis
Help for stressed-out cells in a crisis
According to a team of researchers at the University of Münster, mitochondria provide unexpected help for cells in a crisis by respiring away harmful substances. A current study produced by the Institute of Biology and Biotechnology of Plants (IBBP) shows three things: that this mechanism can be triggered by reductive stress, that it protects the folding of certain proteins destined for export, and that the cell's "powerhouse" consequently acts even more flexibly than was previously known.

Life Sciences - Environment - 20.01.2022
Branching worm discovered in Japan named after Godzilla's nemesis
Branching worm discovered in Japan named after Godzilla’s nemesis
International team led by Göttingen University describe new species Ramisyllis kingghidorahi Branching marine worms are bizarre creatures with one head but a body that branches over and over again into multiple posterior ends. Until now, only two species of these curious beasts, thought to be extremely rare, were known.

Health - Life Sciences - 20.01.2022
Attack on the malaria parasite cytoskeleton
Attack on the malaria parasite cytoskeleton
Researchers succeeded in the purification of Plasmodium "tubulin", the molecular building block of cytoskeletal filaments - an important step in the search for novel anti-malarials Despite all efforts, malaria remains one of the deadliest diseases with an estimated 240.000.000 cases and more than 600.000 fatalities in 2020 alone.

Life Sciences - Environment - 19.01.2022
Trees call for help from birds and predatory insects
Trees call for help from birds and predatory insects
Trees emit scents when attacked by caterpillars and other herbivores. They use these to attract predatory insects and even birds, thus getting rid of their pests. This had only been demonstrated in smaller scale experiments so far. A team of researchers led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research Halle-Jena-Leipzig (iDiv), the Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Leipzig University have now demonstrated this phenomenon for the first time in a natural habitat - in the 40-metre-high canopy of the Leipzig floodplain forest.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.01.2022
Protein molecules in mitochondria clearly assigned for the first time
Protein molecules in mitochondria clearly assigned for the first time
New findings make it possible to explore in detail the links between defects in mitochondrial proteins and diseases of the cardiovascular and nervous systems Mitochondria are key components of our cells. Cell respiration and control of many metabolic and signalling processes take place within them. In order for the biochemical reactions to take place flawlessly, complex interactions between specialized protein molecules are required.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.01.2022
Unmuting the genome
Unmuting the genome
Hereditary diseases as well as cancers and cardiovascular diseases may be associated with a phenomenon known as genomic imprinting, in which only the maternally or paternally inherited gene is active. An international research team involving scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (MPIMG) in Berlin and Harvard University in Cambridge (USA) has now investigated the mechanisms responsible for the deactivation of the genes.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.01.2022
New agents to combat a dangerous pathogen
New agents to combat a dangerous pathogen
Poxviruses pose a threat to humanity that should be taken seriously, as the current outbreak of monkeypox shows. A research team from the University of Würzburg is now working on the development of new drugs. The coronavirus pandemic is far from over, and already another virus is causing a stir: "International outbreak of monkeypox" was the cry in the media a few weeks ago, followed by daily headlines along the lines of "first case of monkeypox in Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Berlin and so on".

Life Sciences - 04.01.2022
How Plants Go Through Puberty
A research team at Freie Universität Berlin discovers genes that regulate plant development and reproduction Biologists at Freie Universität Berlin have discovered that the hormone cytokinin regulates a developmental process in plants that can be compared with puberty in humans and animals. The research team says that plants become receptive to specific signals that stimulate flowering during this development - in other words, they begin their transition into the reproductive phase.

Life Sciences - 23.12.2021
Daring to leave gaps in the genome
Daring to leave gaps in the genome
Research team at Göttingen University develops new method to complete genetic data The use of genetic information is now indispensable for modern plant breeding. Even though DNA sequencing has become much cheaper since the human genome was decoded for the very first time in 2003, collecting the full genetic information still accounts for a large part of the costs in animal and plant breeding.

Life Sciences - 22.12.2021
Switching in the brain: a fresh perspective
Switching in the brain: a fresh perspective
Research team at Göttingen Campus investigates processing of sensory impressions The human brain is extremely dynamic. The connections between nerve cells change when we learn or forget. But our brain's computations change even faster than its structure: in a heartbeat, we shift our focus from what we see to what we hear or smell.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.12.2021
'The balance is extremely important'
’The balance is extremely important’
When you enter the Institute of Neuroand Behavioural Biology at Badestraße 9 and go up the stairs on the left... what you immediately see are the rows of pictures in the stairwell and the corridors. They look fascinating, in bright vibrant colours - but what they actually show is not apparent to the non-specialist at first glance.

Environment - Life Sciences - 21.12.2021
Plants as Cold Specialists from the Ice Age
Plants as Cold Specialists from the Ice Age
Heidelberg researchers investigate how the spoonweed genus successfully adapted to extreme climatic changes over millions of years As cold relics in an increasingly warming world, plants of the spoonweed group time and again quickly adapted to a changing climate during the Ice Ages of the last two million years.
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