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    A nocturnal dung beetle climbing atop its dung ball to survey the stars before starting to roll.

    Light pollution makes it difficult for dung beetles to find their way. This is probably also true for other nocturnal insects and birds, as researchers suspect.

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    A peptide hormone not only provides energy, but also helps to balance activity and rest in the fruit fly Drosophila.

    In the fruit fly Drosophila, a hormone helps to balance rest and activity. This is shown by a new study of a research team led by the University of Würzburg. Might humans have a hormone with comparable function?

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    At the centre of Centaurus A is a black hole with the mass of 55 million suns. This is the place where a massive jet is born.

    Centaurus A, one of the closest active galaxies to Earth, belongs to the brightest objects in the sky. An international team has now imaged the heart of Centaurus A in unprecedented detail. Scientists from the University of Würzburg were involved.

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    Visualisation of the new DFG research group's holistic approach: observations (right) and theoretical modelling (left) of jets are combined on the smallest and largest scales.

    The super-energetic jets that shoot out of black holes are in the focus of a new DFG research group. The researchers are being funded with 3.6 million euros.

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    The genetic material of the thale cress comprises around 125 million base pairs. A team from the University of Würzburg has now taken a closer look at three million of them.

    The characteristics of plants of the same species can have different genetic causes depending on their origin. This is shown by a recent study at the University of Würzburg.

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    Remote control for stomatal movement. Green light can activate the GtACR1 channel in guard cells that surround an open pore (left). Active GtACR1 channels release chloride ions, which automatically also causes the efflux of potassium ions and the release of water (middle). Because of slackening of the guard cells the stomatal pores in the leaf surface close (right).

    Plant researchers have a potent new tool at disposal: In the journal Science Advances, a research team from Würzburg shows how to close the stomata of leaves using light pulses.

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    Do I Buy or Not?

    07/08/2021
    Shopping trolleys

    Würzburg psychologists have studied the phenomenon of impulse buying behaviour. People who focus on enjoyment act differently than people who play it safe.

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    You can imagine transcription as an obstacle race in which the RNA polymerase has to overcome a number of hurdles. It is particularly difficult for it if the "rider" - the protein SPT6 - is missing.

    mRNA plays a key role in the conversion of genetic information from DNA to proteins. Their production is a delicate process. A research team at the University of Würzburg has now identified a crucial factor.

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    When plants are flooded for a long time, they suffer damage. Würzburg researchers are investigating what happens in plant cells during flooding.

    If plants are flooded, they lack oxygen and their cells over-acidify. A sensor protein detects this and triggers a stress response. Researchers have now presented details about this topic in the journal Current Biology.

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    The bacterium Megasphaera massiliensis produces the short-chain fatty acid pentanoate in the human digestive tract. It is capable of altering certain cells of the immune system so that they can fight tumours more effectively. This also applies to CAR-T cells.

    Certain metabolites of bacteria from the intestine make immune cells more aggressive as a new study conducted by scientists from Würzburg and Marburg reveals. The findings could help improve cancer therapies.

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    Dr Radu Timofte

    The University of Würzburg was again successful in the competition for an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship. Computer scientist Radu Timofte is set to join the university as an expert in the field of computer vision.

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    A buff-tailed bumblebee and a 3D model of the bumblebee brain, based on micro-CT. The blue regions symbolise the primary olfactory centres. The yellow/orange regions process visual information from the compound eyes, the turquoise coloured visual information from the ocelli. Shown in red/orange are the mushroom bodies important for learning. The insects' inner compass, the central complex, is green.

    A three-dimensional atlas of the bumblebee brain is now available. It will allow to even better research how nerve cells are interconnected and how they process information.

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    In the singlet exciton fission process, a singlet exciton (blue) is created upon absorbing light and then splits into two triplets (red) on ultrafast timescales. The team tracked real-time molecular motions acompanying this process in pentacene.

    The efficiency of solar cells can be significantly increased with a certain physical effect. A research team has now observed in detail for the first time how molecular movements influence this effect.

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    SMN is concentrated in the Cajal bodies (left, red) in the nucleus of human cells (blue). If phosphorylation of SMN is inhibited, the concentration ceases and Cajal bodies disappear.

    Some proteins concentrate in certain places in the cell nucleus. A new study with Würzburg participation now shows how this happens. The results could contribute to a better understanding of a rare disease.

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