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A molecular switch for the X chromosome

Elucidation of basic mechanism to initiate the inactivation of X chromosomes in female organisms

10-Apr-2019

A large number of genes have to be switched on or off at different times during development. A particular challenge occurs when two copies of the same gene must acquire opposing states of activation within the same cell, as it is the case, for example, for the two X chromosomes in the female ...

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A peptide against cannibalism

A small molecule safeguards roundworm larvae against parental attacks

08-Apr-2019

A worm whose favorite dish is – of all things - worm larvae has to take great care not to accidentally devour its own progeny. How these tiny worms of merely a millimeter in length manage to distinguish their own offspring from that of other worms and avoid cannibalism has recently been ...

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Malaria: It’s all about the mosquito

The relative frequency of two mosquito species determines the risk of transmission to humans

03-Apr-2019

Mosquitoes transmit malaria, but not every malaria-infected mosquito is the same. An international team led by Elena Levashina from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin has described in a new publication that some species of mosquitoes are better in transmitting Plasmodium ...

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Simulating nature’s cosmic laboratory, one helium droplet at a time

27-Mar-2019

Two astronomers from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy and from the University of Jena have found an elegant new method to measure the energy of simple chemical reactions, under similar conditions as those encountered by atoms and molecules in the early solar system. Their method promises ...

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Organoids reveal inflammatory processes in chlamydia infections

Researchers discover how bacteria could promote inflammation and the development of ovarian cancer

20-Mar-2019

For a long time, researchers were only able to examine human cells infected with bacteria by using cancer cell lines. However, these transformed cells often give a false impression of the infection process. Fallopian tube organoids from normal human fallopian tube cells, on the other hand, ...

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Lab grown ‘brains’ successfully model disease

14-Mar-2019

Scientists were able to model a developmental disorder called neuronal heterotopia which can lead to intellectual disability and epilepsy. They used a model of brain development called brain organoids where human cells organize themselves in the petri dish into brain-like structures. Brain ...

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Three-dimensional structure of skyrmions becomes visible for the first time

05-Mar-2019

Skyrmions are three-dimensional structures that occur in magnetic materials. They are magnetic vortices a few nanometers in size in which atomic elementary magnets are arranged in closed vortex structures. Skyrmions are topologically protected, meaning that their shape cannot be changed. First ...

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Keep in touch, use the vacuum! How mirrors can control physics and chemistry

14-Feb-2019

Hamburg scientists’ theory of polaritonically amplified energy transfer over long distances between molecules paves the way for a new level of chemical engineering and ‘spooky chemistry’. Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter ...

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A chemical criterion for rating movies

The isoprene concentration in the air is an objective indicator for setting the age rating of films

15-Oct-2018

A measurable criterion now exists for determining the age rating of films. A group of scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz has found that the concentration of isoprene in cinema air correlates with the cinema industry‘s voluntary classification of films. Evidently, the ...

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Novel 3D printed polymer lenses for X-ray microscopes: highly efficient and low cost

07-Sep-2018

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart invented a new and cost-effective method for making X-ray lenses with nanometer-sized features and excellent focusing capabilities. By using an advanced 3D printing technique, a single lens can be manufactured under a ...

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