Archive press releases 2020

  • Bronze Age market scene at the Levant
    22 Dec 2020 Archaeology: The aroma of distant worlds

    Exotic Asian spices such as turmeric and fruits like the banana had already reached the Mediterranean more than 3,000 years ago, much earlier than previously thought.

  • 15 Dec 2020 Nanoparticles as weapons against cancer

    LMU researchers have developed a novel type of nanoparticle that efficiently and selectively kills cancer cells, thus opening up new therapeutic options for the treatment of tumors.

  • 4 Dec 2020 Coaxing cancer cells to commit suicide

    Chemical inhibition of an enzyme that is essential for DNA repair offers a possible strategy for the treatment of specific cancers.

  • Aufnahme von Keratinozyten-Zelllinie, die mit Semliki Forest Virus infiziert wurde (blau: Zellkerne; grün: doppelsträngige RNA).
    27 Nov 2020 How epithelial cells ward off viruses

    A team led by LMU‘s Veit Hornung has shown that a protein found in skin cells recognizes a specific nucleic acid intermediate that is formed during virus replication. This recognition process subsequently induces a potent inflammatory response.

  • 29 Oct 2020 The prehistory of modern dogs

    An international team of scientists has used ancient DNA samples to elucidate the population history of dogs.

  • 29 Oct 2020 Bringing the locals onboard

    A new study examines local perceptions of Chagas disease in a region where the infectious agent is endemic. The results underline the need to take social and cultural factors into account in campaigns designed to curb infectious diseases.

  • 28 Oct 2020 A light-trigger for the proteasome

    LMU researchers have designed a light-sensitive inhibitor that can control cell division and cell death – and provides a promising approach for studies of essential cellular processes and the development of novel tumor therapies.

  • Professor Enrique Jiménez sitzt am Tisch und betrachtet einen Gegenstand in der Hand.
    22 Oct 2020 A woman picks up her stylus …

    LMU researchers have shown that one of the most significant literary texts that survives from Late Bronze Age Mesopotamia was very probably written by a woman, and not by a man, as hitherto assumed – a minor sensation for experts.

  • 20 Oct 2020 Sponges as biomonitors of micropollution

    Sponges are filter feeders that live on particulate matter – but they can also ingest microscopic fragments of plastics and other pollutants of anthropogenic origin. They can therefore serve as useful bioindicators of the health of marine ecosystems.

  • 18 Oct 2020 Better than our predecessors

    We employ our cognitive skills daily to assimilate and process information. A new empirical study shows that we do better at this task than those born a century ago. But cognitive capacity still begins to stagnate at around the age of 35.

  • 16 Oct 2020 In the beginning, there was sugar

    Organic molecules formed the basis for the evolution of life. But how could inorganic precursors have given rise to them? LMU chemist Oliver Trapp now reports a reaction pathway in which minerals catalyze the formation of sugars in the absence of water.

  • 29 Sep 2020 Shifts in mating preference

    In their efforts to identify the genetic basis for differences in mate choice that keep two co-existing species of butterfly separate, evolutionary biologists at LMU have identified five candidate genes that are associated with divergence in visual ma...

  • 23 Sep 2020 The placebo effect meets the proteome

    The molecular bases of the placebo effect are poorly understood. A team led by LMU researcher Karin Meissner has now studied the phenomenon in the context of nausea, and identified specific proteins that correlate with its favorable impact.

  • 22 Sep 2020 Ribosomes and Russian dolls

    Maturation of the ribosome is a complex operation. Work by an LMU team now shows that the 90S precursor of the small 40S subunit undergoes a ‘molting’ process, during which it progressively discards its outermost components.

  • Grafik eines in blau leuchtenden Gehirns
    18 Sep 2020 To keep pain in check, count down

    Diverse cognitive strategies affect our perception of pain. Studies by LMU neuroscientist Enrico Schulz and colleagues have linked the phenomenon to the coordinated activity of neural circuits located in different brain areas.

  • 15 Sep 2020 The oldest known sperm cells

    An international team of paleontologists has discovered giant sperm cells in a 100-million year-old female ostracod preserved in a sample of amber. Clearly, the tiny crustacean had mated shortly before being entombed in a drop of tree resin.

  • LMU-Logo
    10 Sep 2020 Spectral classification of excitons

    Ultrathin layers of tungsten diselenide have potential applications in opto-electronics and quantum technologies. LMU researchers have now explored how this material interacts with light in the presence of strong magnetic fields.

  • 1 Sep 2020 Novel targets come into view

    Retinitis pigmentosa is the most prevalent form of congenital blindness. Using a retinitis pigmentosa mouse model, LMU researchers have now shown that targeted activation of genes of similar function can compensate for the primary defect.

  • 26 Aug 2020 Locating and severing lethal links

    Covalent cross-links between proteins and DNA are among the most hazardous types of DNA damage. LMU researchers have now characterized an enzyme that breaks such bonds, and elucidated how it specifically recognizes sites of damage.

  • 17 Aug 2020 The meanings of meat

    Invitations to dinner more often entail the consumption of meat than does an evening meal alone at home. A new study by LMU researchers shows that the willingness to forego meat is highly context dependent.

  • Vulkanisches poröses Gestein, umflossen von heißem Wasser
    26 Jul 2020 Chemical evolution in a tiny Gulf Stream

    Chemical reactions driven by the geological conditions on the early Earth might have led to the prebiotic evolution of self-replicating molecules. LMU scientists now report on a hydrothermal mechanism that could have promoted the process.

  • 21 Jul 2020 How to survive below the seafloor

    Foraminifera, an ancient and ecologically highly successful group of marine organisms, are found on and below the seafloor. LMU geobiologists report that several species not only survive, but thrive, in these oxygen-free sediments.

  • LMU-Logo
    19 Jul 2020 A first for a unique instrument

    Munich geophysicists have measured Earth’s spin and axis orientation with a novel ring laser, and provided the most precise determination of these parameters yet achieved by a ground-based instrument without the need for stellar range finding.

  • LMU-Logo
    17 Jul 2020 Viral shutdown of protein synthesis

    Researchers from Munich and Ulm have determined how the pandemic coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 inhibits the synthesis of proteins in infected cells and shown that it effectively disarms the body’s innate immune system.

  • Dr. Clemens Stachl
    15 Jul 2020 The most personal device

    Everyone who uses a smartphone unavoidably generates masses of digital data that are accessible to others, and these data provide clues to the user’s personality. Psychologists at LMU are studying how revealing these clues are.

  • LMU-Logo
    10 Jun 2020 Warm springtime’s unwelcome legacy

    A new study shows that the severe impact of the summer drought that hit Europe in 2018 was partly due to the spring heatwave that preceded it, which triggered early and rapid plant growth, depleting soil moisture.

  • 10 Jun 2020 Origins of genetic variability in seals

    A new study led by LMU researchers shows that fluctuations in population sizes in the past have had a significant effect on contemporary seal populations, and estimates the risk of genetic impoverishment in the species investigated.

  • Grafische Darstellung eines Blutgefäßes.
    3 Jun 2020 How a microRNA protects vascular integrity

    LMU researchers have discovered a hitherto unknown molecular function of a specific microRNA that preserves integrity of the endothelium and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.

  • Eine Person wird von oben beim Ausfüllen eines Formulars gezeigt.
    27 May 2020 Not every study is robust

    Why are many scientific findings in various fields so hard to replicate? LMU researchers will coordinate a new DFG-funded Priority Program that will try to answer this question for the social, behavioral and cognitive sciences.

  • LMU-Logo
    25 May 2020 Taming CRISPR’s collateral damage

    CRISPR-Cas9 can alter genes at pre-defined sites in specific ways, but it does not always act as planned. An LMU team has now developed a simple method to detect unintended ‘on-target’ events, and shown that they often occur in human stem cells.

  • 24 Apr 2020 The downside of social distancing

    When faced with danger, humans draw closer together. Social distancing thwarts this impulse. LMU’s Professor Ophelia Deroy and colleagues argue that this dilemma poses a greater threat to society than overtly antisocial behavior.

  • LMU-Logo
    16 Apr 2020 Acidic alert

    LMU researchers have synthesized nanoparticles that can be induced by a change in pH to release a deadly dose of ionized iron within cells. This mechanism could potentially open up new approaches to the targeted elimination of malignant tumors.

  • LMU-Logo
    16 Apr 2020 Your number’s up!

    mRNAs program the synthesis of proteins in cells, and their functional lifetimes are dynamically regulated. LMU researchers have now shown why blueprints that are more difficult to decipher have shorter lifetimes than others.

  • LMU-Logo
    26 Mar 2020 Race against time

    LMU virologist Gerd Sutter talks about the complex task of developing a vaccine against the new coronavirus – and the approach he has adopted, which is already being tested against the related coronavirus MERS.

  • LMU-Logo
    12 Mar 2020 Safeguarding chloroplasts from sunburn

    Intense sunlight damages the chloroplasts that are essential for photosynthesis, and generates toxic products that can lead to cell death. LMU biologists have now identified a signaling pathway which mitigates the effects of light stress.

  • LMU-Logo
    4 Mar 2020 Maintaining mitochondrial resilience

    Mitochondria cannot autonomously cope with stress and must instead call on the cell for help. Molecular geneticists at LMU have identified the long-sought signaling pathway which enables the organelles to do so.

  • LMU-Logo
    28 Feb 2020 Tonsils as a testbed

    Biomedical researchers at LMU have isolated immune cells from human tonsils obtained following routine surgery, and used them to analyze aspects of the immune response and test the effects of anti-inflammatory agents at the cellular level.

  • LMU-Logo
    26 Feb 2020 Key insights from small samples

    The study of a rare genetic disease has enabled a team led by LMU’s Christoph Klein to uncover the role of a membrane-associated protein in the development and function of human T cells.

  • LMU-Logo
    23 Feb 2020 Five clearly defined patterns

    Psychiatrists led by LMU’s Nikolaos Koutsouleris have used a computer-based approach to assign psychotic patients diagnosed as bipolar or schizophrenic to five different subgroups. The method could lead to better therapies for psychoses.

  • LMU-Logo
    19 Feb 2020 Finding the right blend!

    In the battery of the future, solids will replace the currently used electrolyte solutions. A team of scientists at LMU has now developed a series of new sodium ion conductors. The secret of the best material in the series lies in the exact mixing of ...

  • LMU-Logo
    19 Feb 2020 Logistics of self-assembly processes

    The efficient self-assembly of functional protein complexes is a major goal of industrial biotechnology. A new LMU study shows that the productivity of such processes crucially depends on tight regulation of the supply of components.

  • LMU-Logo
    11 Feb 2020 Lane change in the cytoskeleton

    Many amphibians and fish are able to change their color in order to better adapt to their environment. Munich-based scientists have now investigated the molecular mechanisms in the cytoskeleton necessary for this and revealed potential evolutionary pa...

  • LMU-Logo
    9 Feb 2020 Inheritance of epigenetic marks

    A study undertaken by an international team led by LMU molecular biologist Axel Imhof sheds new light on the mechanisms that control the establishment of epigenetic modifications on newly synthesized histones following cell division.

  • LMU-Logo
    6 Feb 2020 The pronunciation paradox

    Learners of foreign languages can hear the errors in pronunciation that fellow learners tend to make, but continue to fall foul of them themselves despite years of practice. A new LMU study shows that everyone believes their own pronunciation to be best.

  • LMU-Logo
    2 Feb 2020 Special delivery

    Bulky globular proteins require specialized transport systems for insertion into membranes. LMU researchers have determined the structure of such a system for the first time, and propose that it exploits the principle of the airlock.

  • LMU-Logo
    29 Jan 2020 Orientation of protein patterns

    During embryogenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the first cell division occurs transverse to the long axis of the fertilized egg. In a new study, biophysicists at LMU have now shown how this axis is reliably selected.

  • LMU-Logo
    28 Jan 2020 Putting a nanomachine to work

    A team of chemists at LMU has successfully coupled the directed motion of a light-activated molecular motor to a different chemical unit – thus taking an important step toward the realization of synthetic nanomachines.

  • LMU-Logo
    24 Jan 2020 On the way to quantum networks

    Physicists at LMU, together with colleagues at Saarland University, have successfully demonstrated the transport of an entangled state between an atom and a photon via an optic fiber over a distance of up to 20 km – thus setting a new record.

  • LMU-Logo
    20 Jan 2020
  • LMU-Logo
    14 Jan 2020 Outsourcing is a matter of time

    Immune cells found in the mouse kidney at various stages of development are morphologically virtually indistinguishable. It now turns out that these cells are derived from different tissue sources at different stages in the animal’s life.

  • LMU-Logo
    10 Jan 2020
  • LMU-Logo
    6 Jan 2020 One size may not suit all

    A new study published by biologists at LMU demonstrates that there are no simple or universal solutions to the problem of engineering plants to enable them to cope with the challenges posed by climate change.

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