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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.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia are devastating neurological diseases. Yet, there is no effective treatment for them. We uncovered a genetic cause of these diseases leading to a cryptic process in neurons caused by a malfunctioning protein. Our finding might help provide a potential new therapy for such neurological diseases.
Increases in vegetation influenced past temperaturesFeb 3, 2023 | 3 min read by Alexander James Thompson
RAINmakers: how receptors orchestrate specific cell functionsFeb 2, 2023 | 4 min read by Charlotte Kayser , Andreas Bock
Cities threaten global biodiversity but could also help sustain itFeb 1, 2023 | 3.5 min read by Rohan Simkin
Two hits in one – the neurobiology of schizophreniaJan 30, 2023 | 3 min read by Andrew Pocklington
Tiny molecular probes reveal invisible forces inside cellsJan 10, 2022 in Maths, Physics & Chemistry | 4 min read by Margot Riggi
The seed’s hidden defense arsenal: using bacteria to defend against diseaseFeb 10, 2022 in Plant Biology | 3 min read by Haruna Matsumoto , Tomislav Cernava , Mengcen Wang
Brain activity of conservatives and liberals diverge while watching the newsJan 5, 2022 in Psychology | 4 min read by Yuan Chang Leong
How do immune cells enter tissues to protect the body?
Immune cells can move within our body, even between firmly attached cells. How do they overcome these impediments? Studying fruit fly embryos, we have discovered that immune cells take advantage of dividing cells. Because intercellular attachments disassemble during division, it creates a weak spot in the dense tissue, through which immune cells can migrate.Jan 17, 2023 | 3.5 min read
An eye-opening molecular explosion
Have you ever wondered how plants make use of sunlight to do photosynthesis? What happens inside your eye such that your brain can perceive your smartphone screen or your coffee cup? It turns out this is eventually triggered by tiny rearrangements of individual atoms. Our aim is to develop an imaging method sensitive enough to watch such processes in single molecules on the atomic level.Dec 19, 2022 | 4 min read
Child masking prevents childcare closure during the COVID-19 pandemic
Masking, a common SARS-CoV-2 risk mitigation strategy, is controversial for children in educational settings such as childcare. A prospective survey of early childcare workers demonstrated that child masking was associated with a significant reduction in COVID-19 program closure, highlighting potential benefits of child masking in keeping childcare open, parents employed, and children learning.Dec 26, 2022 | 4 min read
The needle-free detection of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies from urine
Recently, we developed a new way to identify SARS-CoV-2 antibodies without blood samples and needles. The assay detects these specific antibodies using urine instead of blood samples. Thus, people unable to perform blood puncture will be able to benefit from the possibility of checking for the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody produced after a recent infection without any need for a needle.Dec 22, 2022 | 3 min read
Solving A Decade-Long Mystery: Neurons Hold The Key To Rare Neurological Diseases
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia are devastating neurological diseases. Yet, there is no effective treatment for them. We uncovered a genetic cause of these diseases leading to a cryptic process in neurons caused by a malfunctioning protein. Our finding might help provide a potential new therapy for such neurological diseases.Feb 6, 2023 | 3.5 min read
Making nature compute for us
Artificial intelligence is all the hype lately. Behind many of the mind-blowing breakthroughs of the past decade is a single workhorse: More compute. As engineers work hard to supply the necessary electronics, researchers are turning to less conventional ideas in hopes of finding the next big thing. We showed how to employ the complex computations nature does, free-of-charge, for neural networks.Jan 27, 2023 | 4 min read