Chemistry & Physics
Neuroscientists at Goethe University, Frankfurt have discovered a feedback loop that modulates the receptivity of the auditory cortex to incoming acoustic signals when bats emit echolocation calls. In a study published in the journal “Nature Communications”, the researchers show that information transfer in the neural circuits involved switched direction in the course of call production. It seems likely that this feedback prepares the auditory cortex for the expected echoes of the emitted calls. The researchers interpret their findings as indicating that the importance of feedback loops in the brain is currently still underestimated.
- Nature Communications
As glaciers worldwide retreat due to climate change, managers of national parks need to know what’s on the horizon to prepare for the future. A new study from the University of Washington and the U.S. National Park Service has measured 38 years of change for glaciers in Kenai Fjords National Park south of Anchorage and discovered that 13 of the 19 glaciers show substantial retreat, four are relatively stable, and two have advanced. It also finds trends in which glacier types are disappearing fastest. The new data for these glaciers provide a baseline to study how climate change — including warmer air temperatures, as well as changes in both the types and amount of precipitation — will continue to affect glaciers as the impacts of climate change accumulate.
- Journal of Glaciology
- National Park Service
In recognition of our outstanding expertise in quantum research: a consortium consisting of eleven researchers from Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) will receive roughly three million euros in funding by 2025. The new lighthouse project Quantum Measurement and Control for the Enablement of Quantum Computing and Quantum Sensing (QuMeCo) will ignite basic research into quantum computing, sensing and imaging, combining physics and electrical engineering in new ways in the field of light and matter.
The different geographic and climatic regions from which ragweed pollen originates, as well as the degree of environmental pollution, may influence the severity of allergic reactions such as hay fever and asthma. Pollen from plants in different areas exhibit different levels of aggressiveness. This is the conclusion reached by an inter-university study team led by MedUni Vienna and involving the University of Vienna and the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences. The study was recently published in the journal "Frontiers in Allergy".
- Frontiers in Allergy
Researchers from Department of Microbiology, School of Clinical Medicine, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of The University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) revealed insights into the mechanism of how coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and MERS-CoV exploit a host protease called ‘cysteine-aspartic protease 6’ (caspase-6) for efficient replication.
New research using genome editing technology has allowed scientists to create a model and assess a gene mutation associated with neuropsychiatric disorders in humans. The study has revealed how the mutation functions in the brain and affects anxiety and sociality.