Neurons: "String of lights" indicates excitation propagation

A type of novel molecular voltage sensor makes it possible to watch nerve cells at work. The principle of the method has been known for some time. However, researchers at the University of Bonn and the University of California in Los Angeles have now succeeded in significantly improving it. It allows the propagation of electrical signals in living nerve cells to be observed with high temporal and spatial resolution. This enables investigations into completely new questions that were previously closed to research. The study has now been published in the journal PNAS.

Exceptions for On-Site Examinations and Courses

The first examination period of the winter semester traditionally starts in early February. This year, however, the pandemic is turning the usual routines upside down. While on-site examinations are the standard for times when there is no coronavirus, almost everything is taking place digitally this semester. Exceptions may apply, however, under certain circumstances.

Prestigious award for developmental biologist Elvira Mass

The course for organ health is set in the early embryo. For this finding, Prof. Elvira Mass, a scientist at the University of Bonn, receives the Paul Ehrlich and Ludwig Darmstaedter Prize for Young Researchers, which is endowed with 60,000 euros. In her research, she showed that specialized immune cells from the yolk sac accompany organ development and contribute to maintaining their health throughout life. For Elvira Mass, impaired function of these immune cells might cause many diseases.

University of Bonn Receives New Erasmus Charter

The University of Bonn will continue participating in the European Union’s Erasmus+ program for at least the next seven years. The university's proposal, assessed as “excellent,” earned it the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education, which in turn ensures access to all funding lines in the new generation of the EU's Erasmus+ program.

Microorganisms affect the plant mineral nutrient balance

Plants acquire water and nutrients from the soil through their roots. The uptake and balance of mineral nutrients also depends on microorganism inhabiting the root. This complex interplay was investigated by an international consortium headed by researcher from the University of Nottingham (England) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA), and with contributions from the University of Bonn.

The liver processes coconut oil differently than rapeseed oil

Coconut oil has increasingly found its way into German kitchens in recent years, although its alleged health benefits are controversial. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now been able to show how it is metabolized in the liver. Their findings could also have implications for the treatment of certain diarrheal diseases. The results are published in the journal Molecular Metabolism.

Innovations through hair-thin optical fibres

Scientists at the University of Bonn have built hair-thin optical fibre filters in a very simple way. They are not only extremely compact and stable, but also colour-tunable. This means they can be used in quantum technology and as sensors for temperature or for detecting atmospheric gases. The results have been published in the journal “Optics Express”.

Brain cell network supplies neurons with energy

Until recently, oligodendrocytes were primarily thought to be a kind of cellular insulating tape that accelerates the transmission of electrical signals in the brain. A study by the University of Bonn now shows that they are also important for the energy supply of neurons in some brain regions. The findings are published in the journal Cell Reports.

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