A clearly defined subpopulation of neurons in the brainstem is essential to execute locomotion at high speeds. Interestingly, these high-speed neurons are intermingled with others that can elicit immediate stopping. How defined groups of brainstem neurons can regulate important aspects of full motor programs, reports a study by researchers of the Biozentrum at the University of Basel and the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research (FMI). The journal Nature has published the results.
Professor Antonio Loprieno has been chosen by the delegates of the Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences to be their new President. An Egyptologist and a former Rector of the University of Basel, he will assume his new position on 1 May 2018.
The endogenous infection marker procalcitonin can help to guide the use of antibiotics when treating infections. The course of antibiotic therapy is shortened, and its side effects and mortality rate also decrease.
Chemists at the University of Basel have been able to show for the first time that anaerobic bacteria can produce the vitamin ergothioneine in the absence of oxygen. This suggests that bacteria were forming this compound even before there was oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere.
For some medical complaints, open-label placebos work just as well as deceptive ones. The accompanying rationale plays an important role when administering a placebo.
In order to get rid of unpleasant competitors, some bacteria use a sophisticated weapon – a nanosized speargun. Researchers at the University of Basel’s Biozentrum have now gained new insights into the construction, mode of action and recycling of this weapon.
Researchers at the University of Basel succeeded in developing capsules capable of producing the bio-molecule glucose-6-phosphate that plays an important role in metabolic processes.
Although the clinical efficacy of antidepressants in children and adolescents is proven, it is frequently accompanied by side effects. In addition, the influence of the placebo effect on the efficacy of antidepressants is unclear. A meta-analysis of data from over 6,500 patients has now shown that, although antidepressants are more effective than placebos, the difference is minor and varies according to the type of mental disorder.
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale.