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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
Delicate Magnolia Scent Activates Human Pheromone Receptor
The question if humans can communicate via pheromones in the same way as animals is under debate. Cell physiologists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have demonstrated that the odorous substance Hedione activates the putative pheromone receptor VN1R1, which occurs in the human olfactory epithelium. Together with colleagues from Dresden, the Bochum-based researchers showed that the scent of Hedione generates sex-specific activation patters in the brain, which do not occur with traditional fragrances. "These results constitute compelling evidence that a pheromone effect different from normal…

biology
X-raying the Past: New Insights into the Life of Extinct Marine Creatures
Using state-of-the-art imaging techniques, palaeontologists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have been examining extinct marine creatures. Quantitative analyses provide new evidence that ammonites were able to swim using their shell - very much like the recent nautilus. For the purpose of the study, the researchers, together with partners from the industry, developed an evaluation process for high-res CT images. The science magazine "RUBIN" reports about the results.

psychology
New Emotion Recognition Model
Philosophers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum have put forward a new model that explains how humans recognise the emotions of others. According to their theory, humans are capable of perceiving feelings directly via pattern recognition. They do not have to deduce feelings by interpreting other people's behaviour. That model is described by the philosophers Prof Dr Albert Newen and Dr Anna Welpinghus, together with Prof Dr Georg Juckel from the LWL University Hospital for Psychiatry, in the journal Mind & Language. …

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".

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