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Like Fish on Waves: Electrons Go Surfing

Published: September 22, 2011.
Released by Ruhr-University Bochum  

Physicists at the RUB, working in collaboration with researchers from Grenoble and Tokyo, have succeeded in taking a decisive step towards the development of more powerful computers. They were able to define two little quantum dots (QDs), occupied with electrons, in a semiconductor and to select a single electron from one of them using a sound wave, and then to transport it to the neighbouring QD. A single electron "surfs" thus from one quantum dot to the next like a fish on a…


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psychology
How the Mind Sharpens the Senses
A study conducted with experienced scholars of Zen-Meditation shows that mental focussing can induce learning mechanisms, similar to physical training. Researchers at the Ruhr-University Bochum and the Ludwig-Maximilians-University München discovered this phenomenon during a scientifically monitored meditation retreat. The journal Scientific Reports, from the makers of Nature, has now published their new findings on the plasticity of the brain.

biology
'Memory Region' of the Brain Also Involved in Conflict Resolution
The hippocampus in the brain's temporal lobe is responsible for more than just long-term memory. Researchers have for the first time demonstrated that it is also involved in quick and successful conflict resolution. The team headed by Prof Dr Nikolai Axmacher from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), together with colleagues from the University Hospital of Bonn as well as in Aachen and Birmingham, reported in the journal "Current Biology".

biology
Turkish Whistling Makes Asymmetries in the Brain Disappear
Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have debunked the theory that the left brain hemisphere is dominant in the processing of all languages. To date, it has been assumed that that dominance is not determined by the physical structure of a given language. However, the biopsychologists have demonstrated that both hemispheres are equally involved in the perception of whistled Turkish. Onur Güntürkün, Monika Güntürkün and Constanze Hahn report in the journal "Current Biology".

chemistry
Cyanobacteria Can Manufacture Biocatalysts for the Industry
Using photosynthetically active microorganisms, researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have succeeded in manufacturing several biocatalysts suitable for industrial application: a crucial step towards sustainable chemical processes, according to Dr Marc Nowaczyk from the Chair for Plant Biochemistry and Jun.-Prof Dr Robert Kourist, Junior Research Group Microbial Biochemistry. Sustainable manufacture of enzymes for the industry

biology
Where Memory Is Encoded And Retrieved: New Findings in a Long-standing Debate
Are the same regions and even the same cells of the brain area called hippocampus involved in encoding and retrieving memories or are different areas of this structure engaged? This question has kept neuroscientists busy for a long time. Researchers at the Mercator Research Group "Structure of Memory" at RUB have now found out that the same brain cells exhibit activity in both processes. They have published their results in the journal "Hippocampus".

biology
Assessing Quality of Flowing Waters with DNA Analyses
The quality of waters can be assessed using of the organisms occurring therein. This approach often results in errors, because many species look alike. Therefore, new methods focus on DNA analyses instead. Biologists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have optimised the process so that they are now able to identify many organisms at once in a quick and reliable manner using short DNA sequences. The results have been published in the PLOS ONE magazine.

psychology
How Cortisol Reinforces Traumatic Memories
The stress hormone cortisol strengthens memories of scary experiences. However, it is effective not only while the memory is being formed for the first time, but also later when people look back at an experience while the memory reconsolidates. This has been published by cognition psychologists from the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in the journal "Neuropsychopharmacology". They suggest that the results might explain the persistence of strong emotional memories occurring in anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). …

medicine
RUB Scientists Develop Mouse Model for Spinocerebellar Ataxia 6
Scientists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum established a mouse model for the human disease SCA6. SCA6 is characterised by movement deficits and caused by similar genetic alterations as Chorea Huntington. The mouse model will be used to investigate the disease mechanisms. Experiments suggest that an impairment of eye blink conditioning could be an early disease symptom. The team from the Department of Zoology and Neurobiology published their data in the Journal of Neuroscience; the work was highlighted by the editor's commentary. …

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