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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 - Mathematics - 18.12.2015
Reading the neural code for space
The cognitive map for spatial navigation is thought to rely on grid cells. Scientists at LMU and Harvard University have now put forward a mathematical theory that explains key grid-cell features and how these give rise to a neural metric for space. One year ago, the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to the discoverers of the mammalian "GPS system" for spatial navigation.

Life Sciences - Health - 06.12.2015
Scientists reach for the limits: Get the new issue of the Technologist magazine
Scientists reach for the limits: Get the new issue of the Technologist magazine
Six researchers from Europe reveal just how far they go to discover some of nature's deepest secrets or test novel technologies. Among them: Prof. Elisa Resconi, experimental physicist from TUM. Find this and more exciting stories about science and innovation from Europe in the new issue of the Technologist magazine.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 04.12.2015
Cut, File, Shred - A Type of Multi-tool Pocketknife Processes Ribosomal RNA
Researchers from the Heidelberg University Biochemistry Center (BZH) have discovered a complex of four proteins that, much like a multi-tool pocketknife, serves as a knife, a file and a pair of scissors in the manufacture of ribosomes. The complex helps eliminate the residual ribonucleic acid (RNA) that are produced during the manufacturing of the ribsome and must be removed to complete the process.

Life Sciences - Health - 30.11.2015
Giant waste bins
Giant waste bins
If rubbish is too big and unwieldy for normal household waste, its removal becomes the job of specialized experts. Researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now discovered, in cooperation with colleagues from the UK, how large, fused cells help our body to deal with bulky items that may otherwise obstruct normal physiological processes.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.11.2015
Looking on the brighter side
The effect of a widespread genetic variant that increases the risk for childhood asthma can be neutralized. A new study shows that young infants are particularly responsive to the positive influence of exposure to farm dust. LMU asthma researchers have shown, for the first time, that specific environmental influences can neutralize the effect of a prevalent genetic variant that increases risk for childhood asthma.

Life Sciences - Health - 25.11.2015
The
The "dark matter" in the protein universe
Whether in the form of antibodies, enzymes or carriers: proteins play a crucial role in biology. While researchers have been able to at least partially determine the three-dimensional structure of many proteins, the structures of many other protein building blocks and even entire protein molecules remain as yet unknown.

Physics - Life Sciences - 19.11.2015
Details from the inner life of a tooth
Details from the inner life of a tooth
Both in materials science and in biomedical research it is important to be able to view minute nanostructures, for example in carbon-fiber materials and bones. A team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the University of Lund, Charité hospital in Berlin and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have now developed a new computed tomography method based on the scattering, rather than on the absorption, of X-rays.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.11.2015
Possible Reasons Found for Failure of Alzheimer's Treatment
Possible Reasons Found for Failure of Alzheimer’s Treatment
Agglutinated proteins in the brain, known as amyloid-? plaques, are a key characteristic of Alzheimer's. One treatment option uses special antibodies to break down these plaques. This approach yielded good results in the animal model, but for reasons that are not yet clear, it has so far been unsuccessful in patient studies.

Life Sciences - Health - 04.11.2015
Protein Repairs Nerve Cell Damage
Protein Repairs Nerve Cell Damage
In laboratory experiments on the basic mechanisms that cause Alzheimer's dementia, an international research team led by Heidelberg neurobiologist Ulrike Müller and a team of French scientists have succeeded in largely "repairing" the nerve cell damage typical in this disease. The researchers took a closer look at a key protein in Alzheimer's pathogenisis, APP, and one of its cleavage products APPs'.

Life Sciences - 03.11.2015
Learning during Sleep
Neurobiologists at Freie Universität Berlin Demonstrate Significance of Sleep for Learning Processes in Bees Biologists at Freie Universität Berlin in the group of the highly regarded bee researcher Randolf Menzel have demonstrated for the first time the importance of deep sleep for learning processes in the brains of insects.

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.
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