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    Cells are generally able to repair damage to the genome by themselves. However, a defect in the genes controlling such repair mechanisms usually leads to severe diseases. University of Würzburg scientists have now discovered mutations of an unexpected gene in the case of Fanconi anemia.

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    The University of Würzburg is one of the leading universities in Germany and Europe in terms of research performance. Even in a worldwide ranking, it features among the top German universities. This has been confirmed by the Leiden Ranking 2013 published just now.

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    The coelacanth is interesting in many respects: until 1938, this fish was thought to have become extinct; it has changed very little in the past 300 million years; and it is considered a predecessor of the first land creatures. Now scientists have decoded its genome.

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    University of Würzburg researchers describe a new form of gene activation in the scientific journal "Cell". They also show how salmonella bacteria thus prevent themselves from being poisoned by too much sugar. The new findings also hold promise for application in bioengineering.

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    If the ambient air is very dry, plants need to protect themselves against excessive loss of water. For this purpose, they close special pores in their leaves. University of Würzburg researchers have explored how plants sense changes in humidity and translate this information into a signal.

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    When light hits organic molecules, it triggers processes that are of considerable interest to scientists. But the individual steps of the reaction are very hard to identify. A study group at the University of Würzburg has now accomplished this task – with a sophisticated approach.

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    It is a popular aquarium fish: the platyfish, Xiphophorus maculatus. It is valued by researchers as an important model organism in the search for genetic trigger factors of skin cancer. Together with colleagues from the USA, University of Würzburg biochemist Manfred Schartl has decoded the genome of this fish species.

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    Suddenly Magnetic

    04/02/2013

    It came as a surprise: If tin atoms are arranged on a silicon substrate in a special way, the material becomes magnetic. University of Würzburg physicists have successfully conducted such an experiment. This research might open up a new way of processing information.

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    The blue-light pigment cryptochrome is important in regulating the circadian clock of many organisms. Scientists have now discovered that in the fruit fly Drosophila it also intervenes in the visual process. The central experiments involved were conducted at the University of Würzburg’s Biocenter.

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    Fibromyalgia has a reputation as a mysterious illness: The symptoms are diverse, the causes are unknown and the diagnosis is difficult. For the first time, researchers at the University Hospital of Würzburg now have found clear proof of damage to patients' small fibers.

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    For the first time, scientists have mapped the entire genome of four tapeworm species. Their publication in "Nature" magazine reveals new weak spots of the parasites – they seem to be susceptible to standard cancer drugs.

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    For quite a few years now, special classes for gifted students have been implemented at grammar schools in the German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg. Researchers from Würzburg, Trier and Erlangen have studied them to determine whether they live up to expectations. The results are definite.

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    A modified blood protein increases the mortality risk in patients undergoing dialysis treatment. This has been reported by researchers from Würzburg and Boston in the journal "Science Translational Medicine". They also have an idea about how the risk factor might be successfully dealt with.

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    Some T cells of the immune system are natural enemies of cancer cells. How they are prepared for their deployment in the organism appears to be very decisive in determining their effectiveness in cancer treatment.

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