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Life Sciences - Chemistry - 23.05.2024
New Insights Into the Evolution of the Prion Protein
New Insights Into the Evolution of the Prion Protein
A study from Bochum describes a mammal-specific domain of the prion protein and offers new approaches for research into neurodegenerative diseases. At first, they cause memory deficits and difficulties in walking, finally they inhibit elementary motor skills and destroy basic brain functions: Prion diseases are progressive and invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases.

Life Sciences - 23.05.2024
Excavation reveals ’major’ ancient migration to Timor Island
The discovery of thousands of stone artefacts and animal bones in a deep cave on Timor Island has led archaeologists to reassess the route that early humans took to reach Australia. Researchers from The Australian National University (ANU), Flinders University, University College London (UCL) and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Australian Biodiversity and Heritage dated and analysed the artefacts and sediment at the Laili rock shelter in central-north Timor-Leste, north of Australia, to pinpoint the arrival of the colonists.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 22.05.2024
Hallucinogenic mushrooms to treat alcohol addiction
Hallucinogenic mushrooms to treat alcohol addiction
A ground-breaking study conducted by INSERM's Groupe de Recherches sur l'Alcool et les Pharmacodépendances (GRAP) opens up new therapeutic perspectives for the treatment of alcohol addiction with psilocybin, the active compound in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Published in the scientific journal Brain , their work confirms the potential of psilocybin to combat alcohol addiction, while shedding light on the molecule's hitherto unknown mechanisms of action.

Environment - Life Sciences - 22.05.2024
Australian study proves 'humans are planet's most frightening predator'
Australian study proves ’humans are planet’s most frightening predator’
Australia lacks fearsome large carnivores like lions and wolves, and the relative lack of fear that marsupials like kangaroos and wallabies show to dogs (and other introduced carnivores) has been attributed to a lack of evolutionary experience with large mammalian predators.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 22.05.2024
The double face of fentanyl: the neuronal basis of opioid addiction
The double face of fentanyl: the neuronal basis of opioid addiction
Scientists from the University of Geneva have discovered that fentanyl leads to the activation of two distinct cell populations in the brain, first when the drug is taken and then during withdrawal, suggesting a novel model for opioid addiction. Fentanyl is a particularly powerful synthetic opioid. Diverted from its original medical use, it has become a deadly drug responsible for three-quarters of overdose deaths in the United States.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.05.2024
Adhesive coatings can prevent scarring around medical implants
New adhesive hydrogel coatings could prolong the lifespan of pacemakers, drug delivery depots, and other medical devices. When medical devices such as pacemakers are implanted in the body, they usually provoke an immune response that leads to buildup of scar tissue around the implant. This scarring, known as fibrosis, can interfere with the devices' function and may require them to be removed.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.05.2024
Scientists learn how to control muscles with light
Scientists learn how to control muscles with light
A new study suggests optogenetics can drive muscle contraction with greater control and less fatigue than electrical stimulation. For people with paralysis or amputation, neuroprosthetic systems that artificially stimulate muscle contraction with electrical current can help them regain limb function.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 21.05.2024
Chemists Use Nucleic Acid Binding Dyes as Photocatalysts for ATRP
Researchers in Carnegie Mellon University's  Department of Chemistry  have developed a nucleic-acid-based photocatalyst that can precisely control atom transfer radical polymerization (ATRP), a popular method used to generate a wide range of materials with highly specific, tailored functionalities. The novel approach took something old - fluorescent dyes that bind to nucleic acids - and turned it into something new - a versatile photocatalyst that allows for precise control over the polymerization reaction.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.05.2024
How immune cells recognize the abnormal metabolism of cancer cells
How immune cells recognize the abnormal metabolism of cancer cells
When cells become tumor cells, their metabolism changes fundamentally. Researchers at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel have now demonstrated that this change leaves traces that could provide targets for cancer immunotherapies. Cancer cells function in turbo mode: Their metabolism is programmed for rapid proliferation, whereby their genetic material is also constantly copied and translated into proteins.

Life Sciences - 20.05.2024
Exercise can help slow cognitive decline
Exercise can help slow cognitive decline
University of Queensland research has found exercise can help prevent or slow cognitive decline during ageing. A team led by Associate Professor Jana Vukovic from UQ's School of Biomedical Sciences Queensland Brain Institute Dr Solal Chauquet from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience assessed the expression of genes in individual brain cells of mice.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.05.2024
Regional differences in bird diversity in agroforestry systems
Regional differences in bird diversity in agroforestry systems
International research team investigates benefits of forest proximity for cocoa cultivation   The diversity and ecological functionality of bird communities in tropical agroforestry systems are shaped by the surrounding landscape, in particular the extent and composition of the forest. An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has now investigated the composition and ecological traits of bird communities in 23 cocoa agroforestry systems in Peru.

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.05.2024
Earth's earliest sea creatures drove evolution by stirring the water
Earth’s earliest sea creatures drove evolution by stirring the water
3D reconstructions suggest that simple marine animals living over 560 million years ago drove the emergence of more complex life by mixing the seawater around them It's exciting to learn that the very first animals from 580 million years ago had a significant impact on their environment, despite not being able to move or swim.

Life Sciences - 17.05.2024
Restrict Use of 'Tipp-Ex Proteins'
Restrict Use of ’Tipp-Ex Proteins’
University of Bonn study shows that molecules that modify copies of genes are only permitted in certain cell organelles Plants have special corrective molecules at their disposal that can make retrospective modifications to copies of genes. However, it would appear that these "Tipp-Ex proteins" do not have permission to work in all'areas of the cell, only being used in chloroplasts and mitochondria.

Life Sciences - 16.05.2024
Discovery of cellular mechanisms that direct the folding of epithelia by which organs are formed
Discovery of cellular mechanisms that direct the folding of epithelia by which organs are formed
A study by the Autonomous University of Madrid and CSIC demonstrates the role of cell proliferation and an intercellular communication mechanism in the formation of organisms. The research team validated the results with a mathematical model that predicts epithelial shape and cell behavior. A research group at the Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa (CBM-CSIC-UAM), a joint center of the CSIC and the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), has described the cellular mechanisms that contribute to the folding of tissues to give our organs their characteristic shape.

Life Sciences - 16.05.2024
Termite Symbiosis in Transition
Termite Symbiosis in Transition
Genetic analyses show how the metabolic capacities of symbiotic bacteria in the gut of termites have changed over the course of evolution Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg, Germany, have analysed the evolutionary development of symbiotic bacteria in the intestines of termites with regard to their metabolic capabilities.

Life Sciences - Physics - 16.05.2024
Beneath the Surface
Beneath the Surface
To grow their roots, plants feel gravity - ISTA scientists take a close look Using the force of gravity, roots weave their way through the soil to provide a plant with both structural support and essential nutrients. Anastasia Teplova from the Friml group at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA) investigates the mechanism behind this process.

Pharmacology - Life Sciences - 16.05.2024
A Second Chance for New Antibiotic Agent
Twenty years ago, a drug candidate was rejected due to its side effects. Researchers have now figured out how to potentially make a successor molecule more selective. An increasing number of bacteria have become resistant to many commonly used antibiotics. Researchers from Bochum have discovered a fresh opportunity for a potential active molecule whose predecessor was rejected: By studying its interaction with the bacterial target protein very precisely in three dimensions, they identified a previously undetected point of attack that could be targeted by this compound.

Environment - Life Sciences - 16.05.2024
Scientists unlock key to breeding ’carbon gobbling’ plants with a major appetite
The discovery of how a critical enzyme "hidden in nature's blueprint" works by scientists from The Australian National University (ANU) and the University of Newcastle (UoN) could help engineer climate resilient crops capable of sucking far more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a much more efficient way.

Life Sciences - 16.05.2024
Quantifying inbreeding: a novel model for monitoring genetic health
Quantifying inbreeding: a novel model for monitoring genetic health
A new statistical approach published in the journal PNAS reveals a major advance in the measurement of inbreeding. Under the direction of Jérôme Goudet, professor at the University of Lausanne and group leader at the SIB, the authors have developed a promising method for studying endangered species.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 15.05.2024
Iron-sulfur minerals bear witness to earliest life on earth
Iron-sulfur minerals bear witness to earliest life on earth
A team of researchers at the Universities of Tübingen and Göttingen has found that certain minerals with characteristic shapes could indicate the activity of bacteria in hydrothermal vents - or black smokers - in the deep ocean several billion years ago. This represents a major step in our understanding of the origin of life.
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