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Science

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University of Vienna, Markus Arndt, nano-watch, Duisburg-Essen, Tel Aviv University, nanomechanical hand, silicon nanorod, laser beams, Nature Communications

Nano-Watch Has Steady Hands

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An international team from the Universities of Vienna, Duisburg-Essen and Tel Aviv have created a nanomechanical hand to show the time of an electronic clock, by spinning a tiny cylinder using light. A silicon nanorod, less than a thousandth of a millimetre long, can be trapped in thin air using focussed laser beams, and spun to follow the ticking of a clock, losing only one-millionth of a second over four days.

Medicine

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University of Vienna, Pavel Kovarik, Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), Medical University of Vienna, Queen’s University Belfast, PLoS Pathogens, Natural Killer Cells, Superbug, Klebsiella, Multidrug Resistance, Human Health, Sepsis

Veni Vidi Vici: How Natural Killer Cells Conquer the Superbug Klebsiella

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Multidrug resistance of microbes poses a serious global threat to human health. Such resistant strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae significantly reduce therapeutic options for the treatment of Klebsiella-induced, potentially fatal pneumonia or sepsis. Pavel Kovarik and his team at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories (MFPL), a joint venture of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with colleagues at Queen’s University Belfast now report new insights into how immune cells communicate at the site of infection and join forces in the fight against Klebsiella infections. Their results, published in the journal PLOS Pathogens, might be used for the development of alternatives to ineffective anti-microbial drugs.

Science

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University of Vienna, Alice Auersperg, Cornelia Habl, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Goffin cockatoo, NUT, tool-use, cognitive biologists, Parrot

The Key to a Nut

The Goffin's cockatoo is not a specialised tool user in the wild but has shown the capacity to invent and use different types of tools in captivity. Now cognitive biologists from the University of Vienna and the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna tested these parrots in a tool use task, requiring the birds to move objects in relation to a surface. The animals had to choose the correct "key" to insert into a "keyhole" in a box, aligning its shape to the shape of a surface cutout inside the box during insertion. The parrots were not only able to select the correct key but also required fewer placement attempts to align simple shapes than primates in a similar study.

Science

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Nanotechnology, University of Vienna, Christoph Dellago, Jumping Nanoparticles, Nanoscale, Transitions, thermal noise, Friction, nature nanotechnology, ETH Zurich, ICFO Barcelona, laser-trapped particle, Kramers’ prediction

Jumping Nanoparticles

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Transitions occurring in nanoscale systems, such as a chemical reaction or the folding of a protein, are strongly affected by friction and thermal noise. Almost 80 years ago, the Dutch physicist Hendrik Kramers predicted that such transitions occur most frequently at intermediate friction, an effect known as Kramers turnover. Now, reporting in Nature Nanotechnology, a team of scientists from the ETH Zurich, ICFO in Barcelona and the University of Vienna have measured this effect for a laser-trapped particle, directly confirming Kramers’ prediction in an experiment for the first time.

Life

Social and Behavioral Sciences

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University of Vienna, mother-in-law, Mother, Household, anthropologists, Evolution, Martin Fieder, intercultural data, Worldwide, Royal Society Open Science, reproductive competition , Fertility

Household with Mother(-in-Law) Means Fewer Kids

Women who live with their own mother or their mother in law in the same household have, on average, fewer children than women who only live with their spouse. Martin Fieder and colleagues, evolutionary anthropologists from the University of Vienna, report this on the basis of intercultural data of 2.5 million women worldwide. Until now, evolutionary biologists have assumed the opposite. The study appears in the renowned scientific journal "Royal Society Open Science".

Science

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University of Vienna, Austrian Academy of Science, Magma Oceans, Exoplanets, Nature Astronomy, Space Research, Induction Heating

Formation of Magma Oceans on Exoplanets

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Induction heating can completely change the energy budget of an exoplanet and even melt its interior. In a study published by Nature Astronomy an international team led by the Space Research Institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences with participation of the University of Vienna explains how magma oceans can form under the surface of exoplanets as a result of induction heating.

Science

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University of Vienna, Tetyana Milojevic, Frontiers in Microbiology, MARS, Fingerprints, Faculty of Chemistry, Metallosphaera sedula , archaeon, Metabolism, Microbes, biosignatures, extraterrestrial minerals, microbial activity, astrobiologist , Mars farm, Mars Regolith

Microbes Leave "Fingerprints" on Martian Rocks

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Scientists around Tetyana Milojevic from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna are in search of unique biosignatures, which are left on synthetic extraterrestrial minerals by microbial activity. The biochemist and astrobiologist investigates these signatures at her own miniaturized "Mars farm" where she can observe interactions between the archaeon Metallosphaera sedula and Mars-like rocks. These microbes are capable of oxidizing and integrating metals into their metabolism. The original research was currently published in the journal "Frontiers in Microbiology".

Medicine

Science

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University of Vienna, Caesarean section, Birth, risk, Natural Selection, fetopelvic disproportion, Philipp Mitteroecker, Philipp Mitteröcker, c-section, PNAS

Risk of Caesarean Section Is Heritable

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Women born by Caesarean section due to a fetopelvic disproportion (FDP) are more than twice as likely to develop FDP when giving birth than women born naturally. This is the conclusion of a study by a team of evolutionary biologists at the University of Vienna headed by Philipp Mitteroecker. Using a mathematical model, the team was able to explain the paradoxical phenomenon that natural selection did not lead to the reduction in the rates of obstructed labour. Empirical data also support that the regular use of C-sections has already triggered an evolutionary increase of FPD rates.

Science

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University of Vienna, Jorg Massen, Science, MALE, Female, Share, Department of Cognitive Biology, scientific reports

Sharing of Science Is Most Likely Among Male Scientists

Even though science is becoming increasingly competitive, scientists are still very willing to share their work with colleagues. This is especially true for male scientists among each other and less so for females among each other or between the sexes. These patterns of sharing among scientists were discovered by a team of Austrian, Dutch and German researchers led by Jorg Massen of the Department of Cognitive Biology at the University of Vienna, and the results of their study have been published in the scientific journal "Scientific Reports".

Science

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University of Vienna, Faculty of Chemistry, Philipp Marquetand, Artificial Intelligence, Chemical Fingerprint, Neural Networks, Simulation, University of Göttingen, molecular infrared spectra, Chemical Science

Artificial Intelligence for Obtaining Chemical Fingerprints

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Researchers at the Universities of Vienna and Göttingen have succeeded in developing a method for predicting molecular infrared spectra based on artificial intelligence. These chemical "fingerprints" could only be simulated by common prediction techniques for small molecules in high quality. With the help of the new technology, which is based on neuronal networks similar to the human brain and is therefore capable of learning, the team led by Philipp Marquetand from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna was able to carry out simulations that were previously not possible. The potential of this new strategy has now been published in the current issue of the journal "Chemical Science".







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