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    Motoneuron einer Fliegenlarve. Blau kennzeichnet das Motorneuron, grün das präsynaptische Schlüsselmolekül Bruchpilot und Magenta die Glutamatrezeptorfelder. (Foto: AG Kittel)

    With learning processes, nerve cells in the brain forge new links and strengthen or weaken existing connections. But what actually happens at the molecular level has remained largely unknown. Now Würzburg researchers have shed light on some fundamental details.

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    Nanodomänen in der Membran der genetischen Modellpflanze Arabidopsis thaliana, hier sichtbar gemacht mit hochauflösender Mikroskopie. Die Domänen erscheinen als scharf abgegrenzte Bereiche (rot, links). In ihnen läuft unter anderem der ABA Signalweg a

    In dry conditions, certain areas of the plant cell membrane are subject to significant changes. For the first time, scientists have made these so-called nanodomains visible under the microscope, investigating how they changed.

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    Wissenschaftler der Uni Würzburg haben eine Mutation entdeckt, die bei den Betroffenen die Fanconi-Anämie auslöst. Das Gen steuert normalerweise spezielle DNA-Reparaturmechanismen. (Foto: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de)

    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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    In der Forschung steht die Universität Würzburg in einem weltweiten Vergleich hervorragend da. Das bestätigt ihr das Leiden Ranking 2013. (Foto: Gunnar Bartsch)

    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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    Wissenschaftler haben das Genom des Quastenflossers entschlüsselt. In "Nature" ist diese Arbeit Titelthema. (Grafik: Nature)

    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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    Aus Zuckerwürfeln gelegter Schriftzug RNA, der sich auf einer Seite in Flüssigkeit auflöst. Bild: Manja Herrmann

    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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    Elektronenmikroskopische Aufnahmen von Blattoberflächen der Arabidopsis thaliana. Bei hoher Luftfeuchte (80% rh) sind die Stomata deutlich weiter geöffnet als bei 20%. (Bild: Peter Ache)

    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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    Eine Sequenz ultrakurzer Laserpulse (links) führt zur chemischen Reaktion eines Merocyanin-Farbstoffs (Mitte), die detailliert mittels mehrdimensionaler Spektroskopie analysiert werden kann (rechts). Grafik: Martin Kullmann, Universität Würzburg

    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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    Xiphophorus maculatus, auch Platy oder Spiegelkärpfling genannt. Wissenschaftler haben jetzt sein Genom entziffert und sind dabei auf einige Überraschungen gestoßen. (Foto: Manfred Schartl)

    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
    Regelmäßig geordnete Muster von Elektronenspins sind dafür verantwortlich, dass nicht-magnetische Zinn-Atome auf einem Siliziumträger plötzlich magnetisch werden. (Grafik: Jörg Schäfer)

    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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    Rudi Grebler (l.) und Matthias Schlichting an der Arbeit mit einer Drehtrommel, mit der man die optomotorische Reaktion der Fliege testen kann. (Foto: Verena Dusik)

    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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    Chronische Schmerzen unklarer Herkunft sind ein typisches Merkmal der Fibromyalgie. Würzburger Medizinerinnen konnten jetzt zeigen, dass dabei bestimmte Nervenfasern geschädigt sind. (Foto: Benjamin Thorn / pixelio.de)

    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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    In diesem Stadium geht die Larve eines Fuchsbandwurms in den Fuchs über, wenn dieser eine infizierte Maus gefressen hat. In der Mitte der kugeligen Struktur sind schärfer umrissene Krümmungen zu erkennen: Das ist der Hakenkranz, mit dem sich der Bandwu

    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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    (Grafik: Gerd Altmann / pixelio.de)

    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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