Heat-lovers are the lucky ones: Insects and climate change

Sparse data often make it difficult to track how climate change is affecting populations of insect species. A new study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) has now evaluated an extensive species mapping database (Artenschutzkartierung, ASK) organized by the Bavarian State Office for the Environment (LfU) and assessed the population trends of butterflies, dragonflies and grasshoppers in Bavaria since 1980. The main finding: heat-loving species have been increasing.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

A two-step adaptive walk in the wild

An international team led by Angela Hancock at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne (Germany) and scientists from the Associação Projecto Vitó and Parque Natural do Fogo (Cape Verde), the University of Nottingham (UK), and the University of Bochum (Germany) studied a wild thale cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) population that colonized the base of an active stratovolcano. They found that a two-step molecular process rewired nutrient transport in the population. The study, published today in the journal Science Advances, reveal an exceptionally clear case of an adaptive walk in a wild population with broader implications for evolutionary biology and crop improvement.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Double agents: How stomach stem cells change allegiance upon injury

A stomach adult stem cell population can fulfill two distinct functions: either help with digestion under normal conditions or take the lead on injury response. Scientists at IMBA, Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, demonstrate that these functions are two sides of a coin. Upon injury, one “molecular switch” is enough to propel the stem cells from one state to the other. The findings, now published in Cell Stem Cell, could be instrumental in improving our understanding of gastric pathologies.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

“Vertical farming will play a role in future food production”

Alternative production systems to provide the growing global population with healthy, nutritious and sustainably produced foodstuffs are currently gaining considerable attention. In this interview, Senthold Asseng, Professor of Digital Agriculture at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), discusses the concept of vertical farming, which will allow agriculture of the future to take place under fully controlled and automated conditions.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Thawing permafrost could expose Arctic populations to cancer-causing radon

According to a new study, thawing of permafrost due to climate change could expose the Arctic population to much greater concentrations of the invisible, lung cancer-causing gas Radon.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Scientists identify malfunctioning brain cells as potential target for Alzheimer’s treatment

Scientists have identified a rare population of potentially toxic senescent cells in human brains that can serve as a target for a new Alzheimer’s disease treatment.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Paddington, is that you? Researchers spot a “golden” bear while studying endangered spectacled bears in Peru

The number of spectacled bears in Peru might be larger than suspected, a new study in „URSUS“ suggests. A team of researchers from Gothenburg University, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Stony Brook University studied the population of the endangered species in Northern Peru. By identifying individuals through facial patterns, they were able to estimate the population density in the area and identify an unknown hotspot. Intriguingly, the researchers also observed the first „golden“ bear.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Patients with atrial fibrillation and heart failure benefit from early rhythm control

A subgroup analysis of the EAST – AFNET 4 study population revealed: Early initiation of rhythm control therapy is associated with clinical benefit in patients with heart failure and recently diagnosed atrial fibrillation. The new findings were presented by Dr. Andreas Rillig, UKE Hamburg, at the HRS congress on 30.07.2021 [1], [2].

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Random effects make it difficult to optimise antibiotic therapy

Research team from the Kiel Evolution Center investigates the role of a reduction in bacterial population size and resulting random effects in the evolution of antibiotic resistance

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

International Ring Trial Successful – ELISA Developed for Measurement of an Important Grass Allergen

Therapy options for allergies are increasing in number. Various therapeutic allergen products are available for allergic patients, but there is a lack of standard methods for comparing the active ingredient content of the available products. In an international ring trial coordinated by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, a test method (ELISA) was trialled for the allergen Phl p 5 in timothy grass pollen, to which up to a quarter of the European population is sensitized. In all the participating laboratories, the method successfully quantified the allergen. The results are reported in Allergy in its online edition dated 9 July 2021.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Italienische Höhlensalamander in Deutschland?

Nicht-einheimische Arten zählen zu den Hauptproblemen für den Verlust der Artenvielfalt. Unter den Amphibien sind es vor allem einige nicht-einheimische Froschlurche (z.B. Aga-Kröte oder Afrikanischer Krallenfrosch), die großen negativen Einfluss auf fremde Ökosysteme nehmen können. Für Schwanzlurche, also Molche und Salamander, sind nur wenige Fälle bekannt, in denen diese in andere Ökosysteme verschleppt oder ausgesetzt wurden. Seit 2013 ist bekannt, dass es eine kleine Population von Höhlensalamandern im Weserbergland/Solling, Niedersachsen gibt. Jetzt ist die Art sowohl durch genetischen Nachweis als auch aufgrund des äußeren Erscheinungsbilds als Speleomantes italicus bestimmt.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Inherited risk of early-onset cancer is higher among minority families

A new study shows inherited risk of early-onset cancer is significantly higher among Latino and African American families for solid tumors, and Asian/Pacific Islander families for blood-based cancers, compared to non-Latino white families in California. Researchers used California population-based health registries to evaluate the relative cancer risk among first-degree relatives of patients diagnosed with cancer by the age of 26. This study demonstrates the need for increased scrutiny on familial cancer clustering in minority populations.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Future food from the sea: jellyfish chips, sea cucumber soup and green caviar

The world’s population is growing rapidly, and fertile land, freshwater and fertilizer are becoming scarce. At the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), scientists are therefore investigating the extent to which the sea holds food resources that have hardly been used to date, and how these can be sustainably exploited.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Zellkern-Erbgut aus Höhlensedimenten gibt Einblicke in unsere Vergangenheit

Forschern vom Max-Planck-Institut für evolutionäre Anthropologie in Leipzig ist es erstmalig gelungen, chromosomale DNA von Neandertalern aus Höhlensedimenten zu isolieren und zu analysieren. Benjamin Vernot und Kollegen haben Zellkern-DNA von Neandertalern aus Höhlenablagerungen in Nordspanien und Südsibirien untersucht und konnten feststellen, dass dort vor etwa 100.000 Jahren eine Population durch eine andere ersetzt wurde. Die Untersuchung chromosomaler DNA aus Sedimenten kann Forschern auch an anderen Fundstätten neue Einblicke in die menschliche Vergangenheit geben, ohne dass sie auf den Fund fossiler Knochen und Zähne angewiesen sind.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Antarktische Seebären: Große Herde erhöht Überlebenschance

Neue Studie von Verhaltensforschenden im Sonderforschungsbereich NC³

Wenn die Population zu klein ist, sterben mehr Jungtiere der Antarktischen Seebären. Das haben Biolog*innen der Universität Bielefeld in einem Teilprojekt des Transregio-Sonderforschungsbereichs NC³ nachgewiesen. Ihr Artikel ist heute (24.03.2020) in der wissenschaftlichen Zeitschrift „Proceedings of the Royal Society B“ erschienen.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

64 human genomes as new reference for global genetic diversity

Exactly 20 years after the successful completion of the „Human Genome Project“, an international group of researchers, the Human Genome Structural Variation Consortium (HGSVC), has now sequenced 64 human genomes at high resolution. This reference data includes individuals from around the world, better capturing the genetic diversity of the human species. Among other applications, the work enables population-specific studies on genetic predispositions to human diseases as well as the discovery of more complex forms of genetic variation, as the 65 authors report in the current issue of the scientific journal Science.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

How European hibernating bats cope with white-nose syndrome which kills millions of North American bats

Fungal diseases are a major threat to wildlife, sometimes resulting in significant population declines or even causing the extirpation of populations or species. White-nose syndrome, caused by the cold-loving fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has become a major cause of death for hibernating bats in North America. European bats survive when infected by the same fungus during hibernation. What are the reasons for such a contrast in outcomes? A scientist team led by the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) has now analysed the humoral innate immune defence of European greater mouse-eared bats to the fungus.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Scientists find key function of molecule in cells crucial for regulating immunity

Scientists discovered that AIM2 is important for the proper function of regulatory T cells, or Treg cells, and plays a key role in mitigating autoimmune disease. Treg cells are a seminal population of adaptive immune cells that prevents an overzealous immune response, such as those that occurs in autoimmune diseases.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Blutgefäße steuern die Entwicklung des Nervensystems

Signale aus dem Gefäßsystem wesentlich für die Spezifizierung einer Nervenzell-Population

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Die Berliner Mischung: Igel bilden keine genetisch isolierten Bestände in der Hauptstadt

Igel leben sowohl auf dem Lande als auch in größeren Städten. Da in ländlichen Regionen die Bestände kontinuierlich abnehmen, sind die Mehrzahl der Igel mittlerweile Stadtbewohner. Um diese Bestände effizient zu schützen, müssen die Anpassungsstrategien (und deren Grenzen) dieser Kleinsäuger an menschlich dominierte Lebensräume besser verstanden werden. Die von Dr. Anne Berger vom Leibniz-IZW mit herausgegebene Spezialausgabe „applied hedgehog conservation research“ der Fachzeitschrift „Animals“ schließt einen Teil dieser Forschungslücke. Darin: Trotz erheblicher Barrieren im Stadtbild schaffen es die wenig mobilen Igel, in Berlin eine gemeinsame genetische Population zu erhalten.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Can mammogram screening be more effective?

Economists have identified an important challenge in designing age-related guidelines for when to start breast cancer screenings: Women who start getting mammograms at age 40 may be healthier than the population of 40-year-old women as a whole, with a lower incidence of breast cancer at that age.

Quelle: Sciencedaily

Numerous amphipods discovered in the coral reefs southeast of Iceland

The Natural History Museum Vienna and the Center of Natural History (CeNak) at the University of Hamburg are jointly investigating cold-water reefs located south of Iceland and have found countless hardly explored amphipods. The results of the research, which species occur here and population genetic effects of past climatic changes, were recently published.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Wie rätselhafte Immunzellen dem Zelltod entgehen

Immunzellen, die Lymphknoten unkontrolliert wie Tumore anschwellen lassen: Dieses Phänomen ist von einer sehr seltenen Krankheit bekannt, erlaubt aber auch Einblicke ins gesunde Immunsystem und seine Regulierungsmechanismen. Das zeigten Freiburger Forscher in einem von der Wilhelm Sander-Stiftung geförderten Forschungsprojekt: Untersuchungen einer besonderen T-Zell-Population und ihres tumorähnlichen Stoffwechsels lieferten Einsichten in die Signalwege, die das menschliche Immunsystem in Balance halten, und zudem wichtige Ansatzpunkte für die Entwicklung einer Therapie für die seltene Erkrankung. Die Ergebnisse wurden am 10.11.2020 im Journal of Experimental Medicine veröffentlicht.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Genetik des Wirts bestimmt Zusammensetzung von Viren-Gemeinschaften

Pflanzen können von mehreren Viren gleichzeitig befallen werden. Die Zusammensetzung der Erreger ist jedoch unterschiedlich, auch wenn die Individuen zur selben Art und Population gehören. Ökologinnen der Universität Zürich haben nun gezeigt, dass diese Unterschiede in erster Linie auf genetische Variation zwischen den Wirten zurückzuführen sind. Der Verlust der genetischen Vielfalt könnte Arten somit anfälliger für Infektionen und Artensterben machen.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Host Genetic Factors Shape Composition of Virus Communities

Plants can be infected by multiple viruses at once. However, the composition of the pathogen community varies, even if individuals belong to the same species and the same population. Ecologists at the University of Zurich have now shown that these differences are primarily due to genetic variation among the hosts. The loss of genetic diversity could thus render species more vulnerable to infections and extinction.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft