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Oxytocin enhances social affiliation in chimpanzee groups

Max Planck Institute. In violent intergroup conflicts between chimpanzee groups the hormone oxytocin enhances the social affiliation among members of the same group. The high costs of individuals going to war is perplexing. Individuals are willing to suffer costs in order to benefit their own group, through cooperating and supporting their fellow group members and acting with hostility towards the out-group.
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How to make hard substrates out of soft ingredients – new research findings could revolutionize stem cell technology

Fraunhofer IZI. Physicists at Leipzig’s Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology and Leipzig University have found and characterized innovative materials which may be used as adaptive substrates in cell therapy. In their research, the scientists used synthetic DNA tubes to specifically modify the mechanics of polymer networks. The scientists published their findings in the renowned specialist journal Physical Review Letters.
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Damages caused by bears: Only humans determine frequency Number of bears negligible

iDiv Leipzig. Annually, over 3,200 compensation payments are made throughout Europe for damage caused by brown bears. The extent of the reported damage varies dramatically among countries though. Differences in the number of bears are not the cause. Instead, human land use, as well as national legislation and management of bear populations are responsible for the variation. These are the results of a new study with the involvement of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv). The researchers are calling for increased co-operation at a European level.
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More is better: the diversity and number of soil animals determine leaf decomposition in the forest

iDiv Leipzig/Göttingen. Small animals that decompose fallen leaves in the forest form complex food webs and are essential to a functioning ecosystem. A study comprising over 80 forests in Germany and on Sumatra (Indonesia) has now shown that two factors particularly influence this function when examined over larger landscapes: the number of animals and their species diversity. In previous studies, the connection between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning had been investigated mostly in small test areas. […]
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Major progress on global biodiversity observation system

iDiv Leipzig. iDiv hosted a three day workshop where scientists and technical and legal experts made great steps towards the development of a cooperative and global monitoring system for changes in biodiversity. The workshop, which was a breakthrough in global collaboration, was organized for the first time as part of the EU horizon 2020 project GLOBIS-B, coordinated by the University of Amsterdam. […]
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RIBOLUTION Health GmbH founded in Leipzig

Fraunhofer IZI. The new biotech start-up in Leipzig, Germany, aims to improve diagnosis and therapy of complex diseases such as cancer, chronic inflammatory and infectious diseases. First planned products are tests for diagnosis and prognosis of prostate cancer that offer higher accuracy compared to conventional processes. […]
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2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences for Svante Pääbo

Max Planck Institute. Sequencing of ancient DNA and genomes honoured as scientific breakthrough One of the 2016 Breakthrough Prizes in Life Sciences was bestowed to Max Planck director Svante Pääbo for pioneering the sequencing of ancient DNA and ancient genomes, thereby illuminating the origins of modern humans, our relationships to extinct relatives such as Neanderthals, and the evolution of human populations and traits. The seven prizes, each endowed with 3 Million US dollars, were awarded on 8 November in Silicon Valley, USA. […]
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