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News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

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University of Münster


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Environment - Earth Sciences - 01.02.2023
Depletion of the ozone layer led to mass extinction
Depletion of the ozone layer led to mass extinction
Palaeobotanists analyse plant fossils 252 million years old 252 million years ago, there occurred the greatest mass extinction in the history of the Earth up to that time: three-quarters of life on land and up to 95 percent of marine species vanished within just a few thousand years. This far-reaching event at the end of the Permian period marked the transition to a new age - that of the dinosaurs.

Life Sciences - 25.01.2023
Mechanical forces in the nervous system play a corrective role
Mechanical forces in the nervous system play a corrective role
Team of researchers at Münster University show in the fruit fly how mechanical tearing cut neural connections Nerve cells communicate with one another via long processes known as axons and dendrites, or, more generally, neurites. During development, these processes first grow and form connections with other cells, for example synapses with other nerve cells.

Earth Sciences - Environment - 18.01.2023
’There are also major deposits of rare earths in Greenland’
Geophysicist Michael Becken on the -Sensational Find- in Sweden and the Involvement of the University of Münster Some observers speak of a "sensational find", others warn against too great expectations. The fact is that a few days ago, experts in Kiruna in northern Sweden found the largest deposit of so-called rare earths in Europe to date.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 10.01.2023
Customized Electrolyte Additives Boost Battery Cell Performance
Phosphazene-Based Electrolyte Additives Stabilize Silicon-Based Lithium-Ion Batteries Silicon (Si) is considered a promising anode material in next-generation lithium-ion batteries (LIB). Its practical application has so far been hindered by challenges such as capacity losses during battery operation.

Life Sciences - 29.12.2022
New study on the circadian clock of the fruit fly
Regulating the sleep-wake cycle: researchers demonstrate the importance of transporting a "clock protein" from the cell nucleus for temperature compensation The higher the temperatures, the faster physiological processes are. But there is an exception - the so-called circadian clock, which regulates the sleep-wake cycle in organisms.

Health - 23.12.2022
Role of titin in muscle contraction demonstrated
On the trail of the body's largest protein: WWU researchers prove the role of titin in muscle contraction Münster (mfm/mew) - The term "titin" will not mean much to most people - which is actually a pity. Because titin is the largest protein in the body. With its approximately 35,000 amino acids, the muscle protein is huge, but its significance is still poorly understood.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 21.12.2022
'A lot of work was invested before I was able to control these reactions'
’A lot of work was invested before I was able to control these reactions’
Dr Charlotte Teschers has developed an automated method for producing -glycomimetics- One project, one researcher and five years of intensive work: as part of her doctoral thesis, supervised by Prof. Ryan Gilmour at the Institute of Organic Chemistry, Dr. Charlotte Teschers has successfully developed a new method of producing complex, fluorinated sugars.

Chemistry - Physics - 08.12.2022
New way to produce important molecular entity
New way to produce important molecular entity
Chemists at the University of Münster develop method for simple production of vicinal diamines Among the most common structures relevant to the function of biologically active molecules, natural products and drugs are so-called vicinal diamines - in particular, unsymmetrically constructed diamines. Vicinal diamines contain two functional atomic groups responsible for the substance properties, each with a nitrogen atom bonded to two neighbouring carbon atoms.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 25.11.2022
Biodiversity in drylands can mitigate climate change
Biodiversity in drylands can mitigate climate change
International team of researchers completes first global field study on the ecological impact of grazing in drylands Grazing is a form of land use which sustains the livelihood for billions of people. It is especially important in drylands, which cover around 41 percent of the Earth's land surface, hosts one in three humans inhabiting our planet and over 50 % of all livestock live.

Physics - Innovation - 21.11.2022
Researchers control individual light quanta at very high speed
Researchers control individual light quanta at very high speed
A team of German and Spanish researchers from Valencia, Münster, Augsburg, Berlin and Munich have succeeded in controlling individual light quanta to an extremely high degree of precision. In the "Nature Communications" journal, the researchers report how, by means of a soundwave, they switch individual photons on a chip back and forth between two outputs at gigahertz frequencies.

Chemistry - Physics - 17.11.2022
Problem solved in organic chemistry
Problem solved in organic chemistry
In chemicals used in agriculture, as well as in pharmaceuticals and a variety of materials, pyridines are often found as so-called functional units which decisively determine the chemical properties of substances. Pyridines belong to the group of ring-shaped carbon-hydrogen (C'H) compounds ("heterocycles"), and they contain a nitrogen atom (N).

Pharmacology - Chemistry - 16.11.2022
Urine reveals our eating habits
Urine reveals our eating habits
We already know that a urine test can establish whether someone has an infection of the urinary tract or has taken illegal drugs. But there are lots more traces to be found in urine - if you know how to read them. Developing and refining techniques to get pointers to a person's eating habits or to harmful substances in their urine is one of the pet projects being pursued by food chemist Prof. Hans-Ulrich Humpf and his working group at the University of Münster.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 18.10.2022
Plants use their roots to measure manganese concentration available in the soil
Plants use their roots to measure manganese concentration available in the soil
Researchers show for the first time: a specific group of cells in the tip of the root reacts to a manganese deficiency Every living organism needs the element manganese as an essential nutrient. In plants, for example, it plays a major role in breaking down water into oxygen and hydrogen during photosynthesis.

Physics - Life Sciences - 13.10.2022
Researchers provide new insights into photosynthesis
Researchers provide new insights into photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is the most important basis of life on Earth. In it, plants and single-cell algae use the energy of sunlight and convert this energy into sugar and biomass. In this process, oxygen is released. Plant biotechnologists and structural biologists from the Universities of Münster and Stockholm (Sweden) have clarified the structure of a new protein complex which catalyses energy conversion processes in photosynthesis.

Chemistry - Physics - 21.09.2022
Chiral oxide catalysts align electron spin
Chiral oxide catalysts align electron spin
Controlling the spin of electrons opens up future scenarios for applications in spin-based electronics (spintronics), for example in data processing. It also presents new opportunities for controlling the selectivity and efficiency of chemical reactions. Researchers recently presented first successes with the example of water splitting for producing "green" hydrogen and oxygen.

Physics - Chemistry - 07.09.2022
Researchers study catalytic activity of copper atoms
Researchers study catalytic activity of copper atoms
Fuel cells convert chemical reaction energy into electric power and heat. They are used, for example for the development of electric vehicles, in aviation and aeronautics or for sustainable energy supplies. During the conversion of energy, the catalytic reduction of oxygen plays an important role. Therefore, the development of efficient, inexpensive catalysts is extremely important.

Materials Science - Chemistry - 02.09.2022
Mechanism and Effects on Battery Cell Processes Elucidated
Mechanism and Effects on Battery Cell Processes Elucidated
In order to exploit the promising potential of silicon (Si) as anode material in lithium-ion batteries (LIBs), it is necessary to overcome existing challenges such as capacity losses during battery operation. A team from MEET Battery Research Center, BACCARA International Graduate School at the University of Münster, and Helmholtz Institute Münster of Forschungszentrum Jülich demonstrated that coating silicon thin-film anodes with aluminum fluoride (AlF 3 ) leads to an enhanced cycling stability.

Life Sciences - 25.08.2022
Plants can measure the intensity of salt stress
Plants can measure the intensity of salt stress
Biologists at the University of Münster have produced the first description of a calcium signal-controlled switch mechanism for adaptation to varying levels of salt stress / Study published in "Developmental Cell" Unfavourable environmental conditions represent considerable stress for plants. A high level of salt content (sodium chloride, NaCl) in the soil is for example just such a stressor which has a negative impact on plants.

Environment - Computer Science - 24.08.2022
Reviewing the quality of global environmental maps
Reviewing the quality of global environmental maps
It could be so simple: producing global maps for vegetation, climate or soil at the touch of a button. Whether in Africa, America or Europe; whether up in the mountains or deep in the forest. No laborious on-site fieldwork would be necessary, nor would days spent evaluating data in a lab. Simply "train" the computer system to provide, as accurately as possible, predictions for any and every environmental variable.

Life Sciences - 19.08.2022
Correct evolutionary relationships among possums
Correct evolutionary relationships among possums
Specialists for the evolutionary history of marsupials at the University of Münster undertook a genetic "time travel" back 50 million years The brushtail possum asked the sugar glider, "Are we related?" For many years, science answered "No". For a long time, genetic data provided evidence that the australasiatic possums, the Phalangeroidea (including the brushtail possum) and Petauroidea (including the sugar glider), were divided into two phylogenetic branches without common ancestry.
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