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We publish short lay-summaries ("breaks") of scientific research. Our authors are scientists involved in the field of the summarized research. Our readers are academics and laypeople likewise. Learn more.
Sensors deployed down boreholes offer a glimpse into Earth's subsurface properties. This article presents the first step towards a new generation of borehole deployable quantum gravity sensors based on cold atoms. Sensors, which once developed, have the potential to reveal Earth's hidden depths with unparalleled precision.
An incredibly massive ancient whale skeleton reveals a new way to become a giantNov 27, 2023 | 4 min read by Olivier Lambert
Plant genetic engineering makes treasure from trashFeb 27, 2023 in Plant Biology | 3.5 min read by Dennis Kleinschmidt , Joachim Forner
Mutations in the germline: How the mother repairs the father’s damaged genome
Germline mutations can have a severe impact on genetic diseases, genome evolution and the fate of a species. The vast majority of inheritable mutations are passed on by the paternal genome. We discovered how paternal DNA damage is repaired by maternal repair leading to the inheritance of structural variants.Oct 30, 2023 | 4 min read
Smaller, faster, more complex? Watching a phase transition with X-ray eyes
Whenever a material changes phase, by melting, crystallizing, or changing symmetry, it always begins at the nanoscale. With a new ultrafast X-ray microscope we’ve taken the first video of this elusive process, revealing a surprising simplicity underlying solid-to-solid transitions in quantum materials excited by lasers.Sep 18, 2023 | 3 min read
The loss of our glaciers over the 21st century: a future we can control
The loss of glaciers affects sea level, water availability, and natural hazards resulting in socioeconomic impacts for communities around the world, even for those located far from these icy giants. Our study found that limiting future increases in global mean temperature to +1.5°C will still cause the loss of more than 25% of their current mass but would prevent widespread ice-loss in many high-mountain regions.Sep 29, 2023 | 4 min read
Writing cell memory: how Histones play a role in Epigenetic Memory
Our cells remember their cell type-specific functions during their lifetime using modifications on histones, the proteins packaging DNA. Such epigenetic memory is challenged during DNA replication when histones are evicted from DNA. We reveal new evidence that cells recycle histones H2A-H2B to replicated DNA with their modifications, hereby providing epigenetic memory across cell division.Oct 4, 2023 | 4 min read
Low and Mighty: How Low-Affinity Antibodies Boost Cancer Immunotherapy
Antibodies, nature’s guided missiles, are designed to bind to their targets with high precision. The tighter they bind, the better they’re thought to perform. But what if we’ve been wrong all this time? Our research suggests that antibodies with a looser grip can sometimes be more effective. This unexpected finding could open new avenues for improved antibody-based therapies.Sep 8, 2023 | 4 min read
Can we use a magnet to see brain inflammation?
The brain's immune system helps us defend ourselves against pathogens and attacks, but what happens when it doesn't or it overreacts? Could it be dangerous? More importantly - Is there a way to detect it on time? Here we have developed a potential diagnostic tool for noninvasive detection of brain inflammation, which we believe could be critical for the diagnosis and monitoring of brain diseases.Sep 25, 2023 | 4 min read