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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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Heidelberg University


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Environment - Chemistry - 22.07.2022
Porous Crystals Bind Fluorine-containing Greenhouse Gases
Porous Crystals Bind Fluorine-containing Greenhouse Gases
HEIDELBERG RESEARCHERS DEVELOP NEW CRYSTALLINE MATERIALS THAT ADSORB POLYFLUORINATED HYDROCARBONS ON THEIR SURFACE Emissions of greenhouse gases contribute significantly to global warming. Not only carbon dioxide (CO2) but also fluorine-containing gases - including so-called per- or polyfluorinated hydrocarbons, or PFCs - have a significant share in this development.

Life Sciences - Health - 10.03.2022
Rear-end Collision on the 'Ribosome Highway'
Rear-end Collision on the ’Ribosome Highway’
Researchers identify bacterial protein that senses and rescues "stalled" ribosomes As a molecular machine found in the cells of all organisms, the ribosome is responsible for making new proteins. It reads the blueprint for a certain protein on a messenger molecule - known as messenger RNA (mRNA) - and then converts this information into new proteins.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 09.03.2022
Universal Mechanism of Methane Formation Discovered
Universal Mechanism of Methane Formation Discovered
Scientists from Heidelberg and Marburg prove that the greenhouse gas is formed chemically in the cells of all organisms The formation of the greenhouse gas methane is based on a universal mechanism. Scientists at Heidelberg University and the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg have made this discovery.

Life Sciences - Health - 08.03.2022
How Chronic Pain Arises
How Chronic Pain Arises
Heidelberg researchers identify molecular mechanisms that influence pain processing and sensitivity One epigenetic factor as well as one organic anion transporter (OAT1), whose function in the nervous system was hitherto unknown, contribute to the development of chronic pain. The underlying molecular mechanism was identified by a team of researchers led by Dr Daniela Mauceri at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences (IZN) of Heidelberg University.

Psychology - 18.02.2022
Mental Speed Hardly Changes over a Lifespan
Heidelberg study shows that the speed of cognitive information processing remains largely stable over decades Mental speed - the speed at which we can deal with issues requiring rapid decision-making - does not change substantially over decades. Psychologists at Heidelberg University have come to this conclusion.

Politics - 11.02.2022
How Personal Commonalities Foster Closeness of Political Views
How Personal Commonalities Foster Closeness of Political Views
Study shows that divergent opinions need not necessarily lead to polarisation We naturally feel close to people who are similar to us, who share our interests or partake in related activities, for instance. This natural feeling of closeness can be funnelled to reduce political differences and increase consensus on conflictual political topics.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 10.02.2022
Protection from the Molecular Shredder
Heidelberg plant researchers discover cellular mechanism that extends the life of proteins Plants are tied to one location and need to adjust to their environment, including adverse conditions. Adaptive responses include synthesising new proteins and breaking down those that are no longer needed. For this task, plants use a considerable amount of energy.

Health - Career - 24.01.2022
Corona-driven Stress in Healthcare Professionals
Stress levels experienced by those working in outpatient care were relatively high during the early phase of the Corona pandemic - higher than in medical personnel working in the two other sectors of the healthcare system, i.e. hospital care and prehospital emergency medicine. This was the conclusion of a study led by Associate Professor Dr Marie Ottilie Frenkel at the Institute of Sports and Sports Sciences of Heidelberg University.

Physics - Innovation - 12.01.2022
New Technology For Compact 3D Laser Nanoprinters
New Technology For Compact 3D Laser Nanoprinters
Research work in the joint "3D Matter Made to Order" Cluster of Excellence of Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology Lasers in today's generation of laser printers for paper printouts are very small. In contrast, devices that can print three-dimensional microand nanostructures still require large and expensive laser systems.

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.

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 - 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 - Physics - 06.12.2021
Visualising Cell Structures in Three Dimensions in Mere Minutes
Visualising Cell Structures in Three Dimensions in Mere Minutes
Heidelberg researchers are working on a rapid process for 3D imaging of cells Viral pathogens like the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus change the interior structure of the cells they infect. These changes occur at the level of individual cell components - the organelles - and can provide information on how viral diseases develop.

Physics - Electroengineering - 26.11.2021
Programmable Interaction between Quantum Magnets
Programmable Interaction between Quantum Magnets
The forces between particles, atoms, molecules, or even macroscopic objects like magnets are determined by the interactions of nature. For example, two closely lying bar magnets realign themselves under the influence of magnetic forces. A team led by Matthias Weidemüller and Dr Gerhard Zürn at the Center for Quantum Dynamics of Heidelberg University has now succeeded in its aim to change not only the strength but also the nature of the interaction between microscopic quantum magnets, known as spins.

Psychology - 11.11.2021
Feelings about Ageing amidst Increased Quality of Life and Societal Perceptions
Empirical studies have proven that the quality of life of older people has improved over the last several decades. Yet this has no effect on their subjective experience of ageing. Older people do not view their own ageing experience any more positively than their same-aged peers about twenty years ago.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 29.10.2021
Solving Complex Learning Tasks in Brain-Inspired Computers
Solving Complex Learning Tasks in Brain-Inspired Computers
Researchers from Heidelberg and Bern develop a new training approach for spiking neural networks Developing a machine that processes information as efficiently as the human brain has been a long-standing research goal towards true artificial intelligence. An interdisciplinary research team at Heidelberg University and the University of Bern (Switzerland) led by Dr Mihai Petrovici is tackling this problem with the help of biologically-inspired artificial neural networks.

Earth Sciences - Research Management - 27.10.2021
Fluid-Mineral Interactions in Rock
Fluid-Mineral Interactions in Rock
Heidelberg geoscientists test new methods to understand the effects of rupture processes in the Earth's interior Spontaneous mineral growth and dissolution in the rock of the Earth's crust, until now observed only by chance and never described or systematically studied, are the focus of a new research project at Heidelberg University.

Astronomy / Space Science - Earth Sciences - 30.09.2021
Bombardment of Planets in the Early Solar System
Bombardment of Planets in the Early Solar System
Studies of the asteroid Vesta provide new findings on the formation of Earth-like planets The largest asteroid in our Solar System - Vesta - was exposed to an extensive series of impacts by large rocky bodies much earlier than previously assumed. Researchers of an international collaboration, including earth scientists of Heidelberg University and Freie Universität Berlin, reached this conclusion based on analyses of Vesta meteorites, numerical simulations, and observations carried out with the space probe Dawn in 2011 and 2012.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 06.09.2021
Nightmare Without End
Study with participation from Heidelberg shows that supervolcanoes remain dangerous long after erupting Besides cosmic impacts, supervolcanic eruptions rank among the worst catastrophes in the Earth's history, like that of the Toba volcano on Sumatra (Indonesia) approximately 75,000 years ago, which affected all of Southeast Asia and beyond.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.09.2021
Fish Eyes from a Petri Dish
Fish Eyes from a Petri Dish
A research team from the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University has demonstrated that complex retinal tissue can be cultured in a Petri dish from embryonic stem cells of bony fish. Until now, stem cells from mammals, including humans, have been used in organoid research. For the first time, researchers led by Joachim Wittbrodt have demonstrated that stem cells from medaka and zebrafish can also form highly organised neural structures under controlled laboratory conditions.
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