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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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Physics - Life Sciences - 02.11.2015
Facilitating processing of biomass
Facilitating processing of biomass
Usually, harvesting energy and raw materials from plants requires many process steps and aggressive chemicals. To make these processes more efficient and resource saving, researchers are looking for suitable enzymes. Using neutrons, researchers have now investigated the reaction mechanism of an important class of enzymes: the glycosidases.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.10.2015
Novel high-throughput approach for the analysis of cancer genes
Novel high-throughput approach for the analysis of cancer genes
An international team of scientists, led by Prof. Roland Rad at the University Hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar of Technical University of Munich (TUM), has developed a multiplexed screening approach together with colleagues of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The method can be used to mutate simultaneously many different genes in adult mice.

Health - Life Sciences - 29.10.2015
New state-of-the-art compact X-ray source
New state-of-the-art compact X-ray source
For some years now it has been possible to generate high-brilliance X-rays using ring-shaped particle accelerators (synchrotron sources). However, such installations are several hundred meters in diameter and cost billions of euros. The world's first mini synchrotron was inaugurated today at Technical University of Munich (TUM).

Health - Life Sciences - 27.10.2015
Lifestyle Change Could Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s
Changes in lifestyle could reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. That was the conclusion of a study conducted by researchers of Heidelberg University's Network Aging Research (NAR), who examined the data from two independent epidemiological studies. Carriers of the ApoE4 genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's may be able to reduce their increased risk of cognitive decline by reducing their cholesterol level, especially if they also suffer from cardiovascular disease.

Life Sciences - Environment - 27.10.2015
University researchers highly cited worldwide
University researchers highly cited worldwide
10/27/2015 Three professors from Würzburg University have been commended as "highly cited researchers". Thomas Reuters awards this title to researchers whose work receives exceptional attention worldwide and is highly cited by scientists. Professor Laurens Molenkamp is "Citation Laureate". Professor Jörg Vogel and Professor Ingolf Steffan-Dewenter have been newly added to the list that was updated on 30 October 2015 to join Professor Frank Würthner, who has been on the list since 2014.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.10.2015
Plant flowering time now predictable
Plant flowering time now predictable
Plants adapt their flowering time to the temperature in their surroundings. But what exactly triggers their flowering at the molecular level? Can this factor switch flowering on or off and thus respond to changes in the climate? In a study currently published in PLOS Genetics, a team headed by Professor Claus Schwechheimer from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a molecular mechanism with which plants adapt their flowering time to ambient temperatures and thereby indicate ways in which the flowering time can be predicted on the basis of genetic information.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.10.2015
Alzheimer's disease: Plaques impair memory formation during sleep
Alzheimer’s disease: Plaques impair memory formation during sleep
Alzheimer's patients frequently suffer from sleep disorders, mostly even before they become forgetful. Furthermore, it is known that sleep plays a very important role in memory formation. Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now been able to show for the first time how the pathological changes in the brain act on the information-storing processes during sleep.

Life Sciences - Health - 12.10.2015
New field of application for versatile helper
New field of application for versatile helper
In Alzheimer's disease proteins clump together to long fibrils causing the death of nerve cells. Small heat shock proteins can counteract this effect. Scientists, therefore, hope to deploy them as agents in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Using the example of a small heat shock protein, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Helmholtz Zentrum München have now uncovered how the protein interacts with other proteins.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.10.2015
Jamming the signal
LMU researchers have developed a short peptide that inhibits the activation of a signal pathway in monocytes that enables monocytes to adhere stick to endothelial cells and penetrate sites of acute inflammation. The image depicts the binding of the SKY peptide to CCL5 (green), which inhibits docking of HNP1 and thus prevents the formation of the HNP1-CCL5 heteromer.

Life Sciences - 05.10.2015
Protein of everlasting youth
Protein of everlasting youth
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum Munich and the Technical University of Munich working in collaboration with colleagues at ETH Zurich have discovered that variations in the NANOG expression of embryonic stem cells are not necessarily linked to differences in the expression of other pluripotency factors.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 01.10.2015
The Carbohydrate Wind Tunnel
The Carbohydrate Wind Tunnel
"Nature" Reports on Powerful Carbohydrate Analytics for Sequencing and Quality Control / WITH PRESS PHOTOS A team of researchers from Berlin succeeded in an effort to fundamentally improve carbohydrate analysis. With the new method, developed by Prof. Kevin Pagel (Freie Universität Berlin and Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society) and Prof. Peter Seeberger (Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces and Freie Universität Berlin), complex glycans, building blocks of life such as DNA and proteins, can now be sequenced.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 28.09.2015
Tweaking proteins with ’Tub-tag’
LMU researchers, together with colleagues based in Berlin, have developed a rapid and efficient technique for targeted chemoenzymatic functionalization of proteins. The new method has a wide range of potential therapeutic applications. Selective intermolecular recognition is at the heart of all biological processes.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.09.2015
25 million euros for multiple sclerosis research
25 million euros for multiple sclerosis research
As one of the central fields of medical research at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), neuroscience is to gain a new research center for multiple sclerosis (MS). In Germany alone, some 200,000 people are affected by this as yet incurable disease, the cause of which remains unknown. Researchers at the TUM Klinikum rechts der Isar will now focus on MS and link clinical aspects of the disease with basic research.

Health - Life Sciences - 23.09.2015
Pancreatic cancer: TUM researchers develop a new therapy concept
Pancreatic cancer: TUM researchers develop a new therapy concept
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer and one of the most difficult to treat. Its high resistance to treatment is a major problem, particularly in the advanced stages. Researchers at Klinikum rechts der Isar University Hospital of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have joined forces with a team from Stanford University to investigate a conceptually new approach to therapy which primarily takes epigenetic mechanisms into consideration.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.09.2015
Promising results with inhibitors of amyloid formation
When proteins change their structure and clump together, formation of amyloid fibrils and plaques may occur. Such "misfolding" and "protein aggregation" processes damage cells and cause diseases such as Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes. A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) headed by Professor Aphrodite Kapurniotu have now developed molecules that suppress protein aggregation and could pave the way for new treatments to combat Alzheimer's, type 2 diabetes and other cell-degenerative diseases.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.09.2015
Ringing in the ears and chronic pain enter by the same gate
Ringing in the ears and chronic pain enter by the same gate
Tinnitus and chronic pain have more in common than their ability to afflict millions with the very real experience of "phantom" sensations. Scientists noted similarities between the two disorders more than thirty years ago. Now advances in brain imaging and associated techniques have enabled researchers to begin homing in on their structural and functional bases, revealing what appears to be a central gatekeeping system implicated in both chronic pain and tinnitus.

Physics - Life Sciences - 22.09.2015
Capturing light - for the computers of tomorrow
Capturing light - for the computers of tomorrow
Light is ideally suited to data transfer, as it can transmit large quantities of information in a very short time, and is an indispensable part of the IT world of today and tomorrow. However, a stumbling block so far has been the storage of large quantities of data directly in the optical domain. While optical fibre cables - and, with them, data transfer by means of light - have long since become part of our everyday life, data on a computer are still processed and stored electronically.

Life Sciences - Health - 31.08.2015
Overlooked for 30 years: a new kid on the block
A team led by Christian Haass has identified a novel peptide that plays a role in Alzheimer's disease: The previously overlooked eta-amyloid interferes with neuronal function and may antogonize beta-amyloid - a finding that has implications for ongoing clinical trials. Alzheimer's disease is associated with the appearance of characteristic neurotoxic protein aggregates in various regions in the brain.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 28.08.2015
A Barcode For Shredding Junk RNA
A growing, dividing cell uses most of its energy store to make its "protein factories", the ribosomes. An important player in their "assembly" is the exosome, a molecular shredding machine that breaks down excess ribonucleic acid (RNA). Researchers working with Ed Hurt at the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center (BZH) have discovered how the exosome identifies its target RNA.

Life Sciences - 24.08.2015
Activated Neurons Produce Protective Protein against Neurodegenerative Conditions
Activated Neurons Produce Protective Protein against Neurodegenerative Conditions
Activated neurons produce a protein that protects against nerve cell death. Hilmar Bading and his group at Heidelberg University's Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences have found out how this effect comes about and defined a crucial player. "We already knew that brain activity promotes neuroprotection," Prof. Bading says.
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