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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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biology
Building Block for Memory And Learning Identified
Researchers have been fascinated for a long time by learning and memory formation, and many questions are still open. Bochum-based neuroscientists Prof Dr Denise Manahan-Vaughan and Dr Hardy Hagena have discovered a key building block for this complex process. A particular neurotransmitter receptor, namely the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5, is a switch for activating opposing forms of plasticity in the hippocampus, a brain region vital for memory forming. They reported in the current edition of "The Journal of Neuroscience". …

biology
Ras Protein Regulates Circadian Rhythm
Biochemists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have gained new insights into the generation and maintenance of circadian rhythms. They demonstrated that the Ras protein is important for setting the phase of such a circadian clock, as its activity determines the period length of the rhythm. Ras is also contributing to induce phase-shifts in circadian rhythms in response to external time cues such as light. The team headed by Prof Dr Rolf Heumann published their results in the magazine "Molecular Neurobiology". …

physics
Water Ice Renders Short-lived Molecule Sustainable
'Antiaromatic compounds' is what chemists call a class of ring molecules which are extremely instable -- the opposite of the highly stable aromatic molecules. Because they exist for mere split seconds, they can only be detected by extremely demanding, ultra fast methods. Together with colleagues from Max Planck Institute for Coal Research in Mulheim, researchers from the Cluster of Excellence RESOLV at Ruhr-Universitat Bochum have succeeded in isolating the antiaromatic fluorenyl cation at extremely low temperatures in water ice. …

medicine
Citrus Scent Inhibits Liver Cancer
In future, the olfactory receptor could serve as target for liver cancer diagnosis and therapy. The researchers report their findings in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Essential oils protect not only from bacteria, viruses and fungi

medicine
Sleeping After Learning Is Important for Infants' Long-term Memory
Sleep facilitates memory consolidation - not just in adults, but also in infants in their first year of life. This has been demonstrated by a team of researchers headed by Dr Sabine Seehagen at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, for the first time using an experimental design that assesses declarative memories, i.e. memories for facts and events. The researchers conclude: sleeping after learning appears to be important for infants' long-term memory. The researchers report their findings in the journal "PNAS".

biology
Mode of Action of Protein Channelrhodopsin-2 Decoded
Researchers have shed light upon the mode of action of the light-controlled channelrhodopsin-2 with high spatiotemporal resolution. This biomolecule is used in optogenetic applications, which is deployed to control the activity of living cells with light. "The model we developed makes it possible to create customised optogenetic tools for individual applications," says Prof Dr Klaus Gerwert from the Department of Biophysics at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Together with colleagues at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin from the team headed by Prof Dr Peter Hegemann,…

biology
Sensor Demonstrates Lack of Space in Living Cells
Proteins and other bio molecules are often analysed exclusively in aqueous solutions in test tubes. But it is uncertain if these experimental studies can be transferred to the densely-packed cellular environment. The Bochum-based researchers from the team of Junior Professor Dr Simon Ebbinghaus have developed a novel method which can be used to analyse the effects of the lack of space in living cells with the aid of a microscope for the first time. They designed a sensor that changes colour depending on…

biology
RUB Researchers Discover Protein Protecting Against Chlorine
Chlorine is a common disinfectant that is used to kill bacteria, for example in swimming pools and drinking water supplies. Our immune system also produces chlorine, which causes proteins in bacteria to lose their natural folding. These unfolded proteins then begin to clump and lose their function. RUB researchers headed by Prof Dr Lars Leichert have discovered a protein in the intestinal bacterium E. coli that protects bacteria from chlorine. In the presence of chlorine, it tightly bonds with other proteins, thus preventing…

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