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    Press Releases

    Sex in der Maisblüte: Pollenschläuche (rot gefärbt) wachsen zu den Samenanlagen, um dort die unbeweglichen männlichen Spermazellen zur Befruchtung der Eizellen freizusetzen. Bild: Universität Regensburg

    Sperm swim to egg cells and fertilize them – at least that is what happens in people. In many flowering plants, however, the sperm cells are immobile. So, how do they reach their destination? Researchers from Würzburg and Regensburg know the answer.

    Ulrike Kutay (Foto privat)

    At present, cell biologist Ulrike Kutay still works at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). Now she has received the highest-endowed international research award in Germany. Thus, Kutay is soon to continue her studies as Alexander von Humboldt professor at the University of Würzburg.

    Eine Tumorzelle (rot) wandert durch ein Kollagengewebe (grau). (Foto: Peter Friedl)

    Tumors disappear if you inhibit the genes responsible for their formation. Previously, any suggestions as to why they behave in this way were nothing more than theories. Researchers at the University of Würzburg now present concrete evidence, confirming a long-held assumption in this matter.

    Wurzelhaar einer Pflanze mit angreifenden Bakterien (grün). Foto: Dirk Becker

    The tiniest fragments of bacteria are enough to trigger a defense response from plants to parasites. Researchers from the universities of Würzburg and Basel are now able to describe the molecular details of this response.


    Stimuli that regularly appear in connection with unpleasant situations are rated by people as negative, as would be expected. However, as researchers from the University of Würzburg are now showing, these stimuli can also subconsciously be rated positively – depending on the chronology of events.

    Durch Lichtpulse lässt sich der Spin eines Elektrons in eine genau definierte Position bringen. Physikern der Uni Würzburg ist es gelungen, die „Lebensdauer“ dieser Position deutlich zu verlängern – ein Fortschritt auf dem Weg zu Quantencomputern

    Ultrafast operation and high performance: This is what is expected of quantum computers. But there are still some obstacles to the technical implementation of this new type of computer. Physicists of the University of Würzburg report on their progress in this research area in "Nature Photonics".

    Professor Holger Braunschweig und seine Mitarbeiter Achim Schneider und Dr. Krzysztof Radacki (von links) im Labor. Die Würzburger Chemiker haben weltweit erstmals eine stabile Bor-Sauerstoff-Dreifachbindung erzeugt. Foto: Gunnar Bartsch

    World first: chemists from the University of Würzburg have, for the first time ever, succeeded in creating a stable triple bond between the elements boron and oxygen. This success is reported in the leading journal “Science”.

    Zigaretten im Aschenbecher (Foto Jörg Siebauer/pixelio.de)

    The photograph of a lit cigarette arouses a desire for nicotine in smokers. “Not necessarily,” say psychologists from the University of Würzburg. As they found out, some photographs even manage to trigger processes in the brain that are likely to suppress craving for this drug.

    Schließzellen der Pflanzen

    When plants protect themselves against drying out, processes take place in which calcium plays an important role, just as it does in muscle contraction in humans. Now for the first time, Dietmar Geiger and Rainer Hedrich from the Department of Molecular Plant Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Würzburg have shed light on exactly what happens.

    Flach und wabenförmig muss die Struktur aus Kohlenstoff oder Silizium sein, an der erstmals die Simulation einer so genannten Spinflüssigkeit gelungen ist. Dabei nehmen die Elektronen einen dynamischen Zustand ohne jegliche Ordnung ein. Thomas Lang, Phy

    Electrons in honeycomb structures can switch over to a very rare state, referred to as "spin liquid" by researchers. This has been demonstrated by physicists of the Universities of Würzburg and Stuttgart in a publication in the scientific journal Nature.

    Lukas Worschech und Sven Höfling

    The physical laws governing the world of atoms and electrons are different from those applicable to macroscopic phenomena. Scientists intend to make use of these laws, e.g. to develop new methods of storing and exchanging information. The necessary material for this is provided by Würzburg physicists.

    Angriff einer Immunzelle auf eine Nervenzelle

    With diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cells of the immune system attack nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Scientists from the University of Würzburg have now managed to observe and describe this attack in detail.

    Die roten Flächen mit gesundem Gehirngewebe zeigen es: Mäuse ohne T-Zellen (Rag1-/-) entwickeln kleinere Schlaganfälle als normale Mäuse (WT). Versorgt man Mäuse, denen die T-Zellen fehlen, von außen mit T-Zellen, dann werden beim Schlaganfall wiede

    Strokes are less damaging if certain immune cells are absent in the blood. This previously unknown mechanism will be presented by researchers from the University of Würzburg in the science journal “Blood”.


    Tracing thoughts

    Schnittbild eines menschlichen Kopfes

    When a patient has lost his ability to communicate with his environment, is it possible that he might have retained some level of consciousness? And which technique could assist him in expressing his requests or thoughts? These questions are to be tackled by a new research network coordinated by psychologist Andrea Kübler.