Eine Landkarte im Gehirn

Edvard Moser fand ihn unter seinen entgangenen Anrufen: den Anruf des Stockholmer Nobelpreiskommitees. Erst als er in München aus dem Flugzeug stieg, erfuhr der norwegische Forscher, dass er einer der Nobelpreisträger 2014 für Physiologie sei. Gemeinsam mit seiner Ehefrau und Ko-Gruppenleiterin May-Britt Moser und dem britisch-amerikanischen Forscher John O’Keefe, bei dem die Mosers eine kurze … More Eine Landkarte im Gehirn

Cognitive research – coming to a smartphone near you

“Citizen science” projects have successfully gotten people to classify galaxy shapes, find optimal protein folding structures or decipher manuscripts. But is it possible to use online participation not just to harness users problem-solving abilities but for actual experiments and data gathering in cognitive research? There has been much furore recently about a study on the … More Cognitive research – coming to a smartphone near you

Good vibrations?

“Fit in 15 minutes” – just 15 minutes training to get the same results as in a one and a half hours of sweaty workouts – that’s one of the promises of the “vibroplate”, “powerplate” and similar gyms promoting doing exercises on a vibrating plate. “Clever in 15 minutes” might be another claim they are … More Good vibrations?

DNA – it’s not just information, duh

In 1953, James Crick and Francis Watson discovered the source of information in our cells – DNA. This spiral of bases attached to a sugar-phosphate backbone is the ultimate information storage: it is stable, trustworthy, easy to repair and is divided up so that a cell’s offspring contains the same information as the original cell. … More DNA – it’s not just information, duh

Shaken, not stirred

Olives are part of any good Greek salad – or Bulgarian shopska salad, or any other variation of the tomato-cucumber-olive salad that heralds summer. From fat, plump Kalamata, to the sort of sad, de-stoned kinds straggling at the back of your fridge, all types wriggle their way in. Somewhat surprisingly, as researchers noted this week … More Shaken, not stirred

Batman in the wind

Not only Drosophila manage to fly at constant speed – bats maintain their groundspeed even when wind conditions change. When the winds change, bats adapt their speed of flight so that they manage to fly at constant speed. Researchers tracked fruit bats in Ghana on their way from roost to feeding sites, and correlated their … More Batman in the wind

Need for speed – Drosophila antennae regulate flight speed

Just relying on their eyes is not enough for the fruitfly Drosophila when zooming to that pitiful last banana on your counter. Wind-sensing antennae allow fruitflies to fly at constant speed, even when winds change. Characteristically, fruitflies straight flight bouts are punctuated by quick changes in direction. Flies tend fly straight at a constant speed, … More Need for speed – Drosophila antennae regulate flight speed