AMD: Reading ability crucial indicator of functional loss

In geographic atrophy, a late form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reading ability is closely related to the altered retinal structure. This has been demonstrated by researchers from the Department of Ophthalmology at the University Hospital Bonn with colleagues at the National Eye Institute and the University of Utah. Reading speed makes everyday functional impairment measurable, which the most common functional test in ophthalmology – the best-corrected visual acuity assessment - cannot reflect. Retinal imaging can be used to assess loss of reading ability even when central visual acuity is still good. The study has now appeared in "JAMA Ophthalmology."

Statement of the Rectorate on a publication of the Gender Equality Office

The text "Information and Tips on Handling Content Notes in Teaching" is a text independently sent by the Gender Equality Office of the University of Bonn to entities within the University and published on the homepage of the Gender Equality Office.

Immune cells in the brain share the work

To break down toxic proteins more quickly, immune cells in the brain can join together to form networks when needed. This is shown by a joint study of the University of Bonn, the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Institut François Jacob in France. However, in certain mutations that can cause Parkinson's disease, this cooperation is impaired. The findings are published in the renowned journal Cell.

Lack of trust exacerbates loneliness spiral

Loneliness is a painful feeling. If it persists, it can lead to mental illnesses such as depression or anxiety disorders. Researchers from the Universities of Bonn, Haifa (Israel) and Oldenburg have now discovered how loneliness is associated with reduced trust. This is reflected in changes in the activity and interaction of various brain structures, especially the insular cortex. The results therefore provide clues for therapeutic options. They are now published in the journal Advanced Science.

Artificial intelligence helps diagnose leukemia

The presence of cancer of the lymphatic system is often determined by analyzing samples from the blood or bone marrow. A team led by Prof. Dr. Peter Krawitz from the University of Bonn had already shown in 2020 that artificial intelligence can help with the diagnosis of such lymphomas and leukemias. The technology fully utilizes the potential of all measurement values and increases the speed as well as the objectivity of the analyses compared to established processes. The method has now been further developed so that even smaller laboratories can benefit from this freely accessible machine learning method - an important step towards clinical practice. The study has now been published in the journal "Patterns".

How plants sense phosphate

A new study by the University of Bonn and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben sheds light on the mechanism used by plants to monitor how much of the nutrient phosphate is available, and to decide when strategies to mobilize and take up more phosphate from the soil must be activated. The enzyme ITPK1 plays a key role in this process. The researchers were also able to show that a particular group of signaling molecules involved in phosphate sensing respond very sensitively to phosphate and that this regulation takes place not only in plants but also in human cells. In the long term, the results could lead to the breeding of new crop varieties that require less phosphate fertilizer. The final version of the study has now been published in the journal "Molecular Plant".

BCL11A: Evidence for neuroprotective effect

The neurotransmitter dopamine influences the activity of a wide variety of brain areas. A deficiency of this substance can have drastic consequences: The death of dopamine-producing nerve cells in the substantia nigra - a particularly sensitive part of the brain - is what causes the core symptoms of Parkinson's disease. An international team from the University of Bonn has now investigated the role played by the transcription factor BCL11A in mice and human cells. If this important factor is missing, the neurons are even more sensitive and more likely to die. The researchers suspect that BCL11A plays a protective role for neurons. The study is now published in Cell Reports.

Arriving in Bonn

The Orientation Weeks for international students recently arrived at the University of Bonn start on September 8. Besides exchange students from the Global Exchange Program (GEP), they are also being opened up to Erasmus students and students on international master’s degree program for the first time this year.

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