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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 - 20.12.2021
A special aid to memory
We all know the everyday situation: you go into a supermarket, realise that you've left your shopping list at home and, try you as you might, you can only remember a fraction of what was on it. Forgetfulness is seen as a deficit which makes life more complicated. Anyone who is chronically forgetful is quickly seen as being a bit dotty.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.12.2021
Molecular Switch for Addiction Behaviour
Molecular Switch for Addiction Behaviour
A molecular switch influences addiction behaviour and determines how strong the response to addictive drugs is. A research team at Heidelberg University and the Sorbonne University in Paris (France) made the discovery in mice treated with cocaine. The researchers led by Hilmar Bading (Heidelberg) and Peter Vanhoutte (Paris) demonstrated that the protein Npas4 regulates the structure and function of nerve cells that control addiction behaviour in mice.

Health - Life Sciences - 10.12.2021
Surviving 'butterfly disease'
Surviving ’butterfly disease’
The skin is the largest organ of the human body. But what if the skin "disintegrates" at just the slightest touch? This is exactly what happens with Epidermolysis bullosa (EB), sometimes also known by the name 'butterfly disease'. This skin disease is based on genetic defects and, because there is no cure, it can be fatal, often even in young patients.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.12.2021
Learning and protecting itself: how the brain adapts
Learning and protecting itself: how the brain adapts
Göttingen researchers investigate the effect of certain enzymes in the healthy and diseased brain The brain is a remarkably complex and adaptable organ. However, adaptability decreases with age: as new connections between nerve cells in the brain form less easily, the brain's plasticity decreases. If there is an injury to the central nervous system such as after a stroke, the brain needs to compensate for this by reorganising itself.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.12.2021
New Research Project in Mathematical Oncology
Researchers aim at decoding tumour development in hereditary colon cancer using mathematical modelling of medical data A new interdisciplinary research project aims to uncover information that can help decode hereditary colon cancer with the aid of mathematical models. Mathematicians and tumour biologists of Heidelberg University, the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Heidelberg University Hospital, and the German Cancer Research Center are collaborating on the project.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.12.2021
Defense or repair: How immune cells are controlled during wound healing
A Cologne-based research team has discovered that the metabolism of mitochondria, the energy suppliers of cells, in macrophages coordinate wound healing to a significant degree. Macrophages belong to the white blood cells and are also known as scavenger cells.Sabine Eming and her collaborators and colleagues at the CECAD Cluster of Excellence for Aging Research at the University of Cologne showed that wound macrophages undergo different metabolic programs during tissue repair, which are required to support the successive phases for skin reconstruction after injury.

Life Sciences - 07.12.2021
How well are alternative feedstuffs received by the end consumer?
Researchers at the University of Göttingen examine the effect of providing information Despite shifts towards vegan and vegetarian diets in Western cultures, demand for animal protein persists. Alternative protein sources are required to nourish the growing world population without compromising on sustainability.

Life Sciences - Physics - 06.12.2021
Researchers examine neurotoxin from a Black Widow
Researchers examine neurotoxin from a Black Widow
Phobias are often irrational by nature - especially in the case of spiders, as these creatures are usually more afraid of humans than vice-versa. But: some species are a force to be reckoned with - for example, the Latrodectus spider, more commonly known as the Black Widow. It catches its prey by using venom - to be precise, latrotoxins (LaTXs), a subclass of neurotoxins, or nerve poisons.

Life Sciences - Health - 02.12.2021
Plant pathogen evades immune system by targeting the microbiome
A team of biologists has identified that the pathogenic fungus Verticillium dahliae , responsible for wilt disease in many crops, secretes an 'effector' molecule to target the microbiome of plants to promote infection. The research was performed by the team of Alexander von Humboldt Professor Dr Bart Thomma at the University of Cologne (UoC) within the framework of the Cluster of Excellence on Plant Sciences (CEPLAS) in collaboration with the team of Dr Michael Seidl at the Theoretical Biology & Bioinformatics group of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Life Sciences - 29.11.2021
Ancient lineage of algae found to include five 'cryptic' species
Ancient lineage of algae found to include five ’cryptic’ species
Research team led by Göttingen University use genomic data to discover five species hidden in rare alga All land plants originated from a single evolutionary event when freshwater algae got a foothold on land, giving rise to an astonishing biodiversity of plants on earth. However, the group of algae that would later give rise to land plants had already been living and evolving in both freshwater and terrestrial habitats for over one billion years.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.11.2021
Critical conflict in cancer cells
Critical conflict in cancer cells
11/29/2021 The cells of a certain tumour type, called neuroblastoma, divide very rapidly. This rapid division can have potentially fatal consequences for them. A new study shows how neuroblastoma cells deal with this dilemma. Neuroblastomas occur predominantly in children. A specific subset of these tumours is very aggressive and difficult to treat.

Life Sciences - Physics - 26.11.2021
Three-dimensional X-ray image throws light on neurodegenerative disease
Three-dimensional X-ray image throws light on neurodegenerative disease
Team from Göttingen University and University Medical Center identifies changes in nerve tissue in Alzheimer's What changes occur in parts of the brain affected by neurodegenerative disease? How does the structure of the neurons change? Some pathological changes in the tissue are easy to identify using standard microscopy.

Life Sciences - 24.11.2021
Sun Compass on Demand
Sun Compass on Demand
11/24/2021 Monarch butterflies employ a sun compass on their long-distance migration. Surprisingly, a new study shows that the compass is only established during flight. Monarch butterflies are famous for their annual long-distance migration, which takes them over several thousand kilometres from the north of the USA to their overwintering habitat in central Mexico.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.11.2021
Logistical Herculean Tasks
Logistical Herculean Tasks
11/22/2021 The question of the causes of species extinction confronts science with complex tasks. Dr Sarah Redlich from the Biocentre on the challenge of creating a study design. Research groups all over the world are trying to disentangle the causes of biodiversity loss. One thing is clear: there is no single cause.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2021
How unhealthy diet makes you sick
How unhealthy diet makes you sick
New link between diet, intestinal stem cells and disease discovered Obesity, diabetes and gastrointestinal cancer are frequently linked to an unhealthy diet. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for this are hitherto not fully understood. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Munich have gained some new insights that help to better understand this connection.

Life Sciences - Health - 16.11.2021
Sufficient energy supply decisive for nerve development
Sufficient energy supply decisive for nerve development
The bodies of animals and humans are innervated by a network of nerve cells which are connected through long extensions. The nerve cells use these so-called axons and dendrites to communicate with one another. During early development, nerve cells grow a large number of axons and dendrites. To make the connections specific, redundant extensions are removed at a later stage in a process called "pruning".

Life Sciences - Health - 15.11.2021
'Consequences for the patient's life'
’Consequences for the patient’s life’
Dr. Francesco Catania is head of the working group "Evolutionary Cell Biology" at the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the University of Münster. His group uses bioinformatics and experimental approaches to investigate how the interaction of cells and organisms with their environment leads to the emergence of new properties.

Life Sciences - Physics - 09.11.2021
'Tug of war' between cells - When crucial connections are missing
’Tug of war’ between cells - When crucial connections are missing
Research team led by University of Göttingen investigates the importance of "tight junctions" for cell movement The ability of cells to move together in harmony is crucial for numerous biological processes in our body, for example wound healing, or the healthy development of an organism. This movement is made possible by the connections between individual cells.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.11.2021
Success in the analysis of herpes viruses
Success in the analysis of herpes viruses
Team including MHH and RESIST researchers has found starting point for therapy of diseases caused by herpes viruses A research team from the University of Lübeck, Hannover Medical School (MHH), CSSB Hamburg and the RESIST Cluster of Excellence has found a possible new starting point for the therapy of diseases triggered by herpes viruses.

Health - Life Sciences - 05.11.2021
Pathomechanisms in heart disease discovered
Pathomechanisms in heart disease discovered
Titin is a "titanically large" protein - the largest in the human body - which enables elastic movements of our muscles, including the heart. Mutations in the titin gene ( TTN ) that impair this function are the most frequent cause of a heart muscle disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), which is characterized by a weak pump function.
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