High land-use intensity reduces the beneficial effects of biodiversity on ecosystem services. This is the main result of a study conducted by an international team led by researchers from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and the University of Bern.
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A “hidden cradle of plant evolution? has been uncovered in Jordan. In Permian sedimentary rocks exposed along the east coast of the Dead Sea, palaeobotanists discovered well-preserved fossils of plant groups bearing characteristics typical of younger periods of Earth history. The Permian began some 300 million years ago and ended around 250 million years ago.
Plants absorb the mineral sulfate from groundwater. An international research team led by scientists from Heidelberg University has uncovered how sulfate controls the production of the drought stress hormone ABA in plants and thus contributes to their drought-resistance. These findings improve scientists' understanding of how the drought-stress signal travels from the roots to the leaves.
The age of the water in the world's oceans is critical for understanding ocean circulation, especially for the transport of gases from the atmosphere into the deep ocean. Researchers from Heidelberg University recently used an atomic physics technique they developed to determine the age of deep ocean water ranging from 50 to 1,000 years.
/2018 Does expansion microscopy deliver true-to-life images of cellular structures' That was not sure yet. A new publication in "Nature Methods" shows for the first time that the method actually works reliably. Immersing deeper and deeper into cells with the microscope. Imaging the nucleus and other structures more and more accurately.
Hitherto unknown structures in belts of dust and gas around young stars are providing new insights into the birth of planets along with compelling fodder for research. They were discovered by an international team of astronomers that studied 20 of these so-called protoplanetary discs in a months-long observing campaign.
The skin is our largest organ, and, among other things, it provides protection against mechanical impacts. To ensure this protection, skin cells have to be connected to one another especially closely. Exactly how this mechanical stability is provided on the molecular level was unclear for a long time.
The plant hormone jasmonic acid also performs a function that was previously unknown. It ensures that the leaf pores close when leaves are injured. For the plant, this could be an emergency signal. Jasmonic acid is not just the aromatic odor of the plant Jasminum grandiflorum used in cosmetics and perfume industries.
Spider silk belongs to the toughest fibres in nature and has astounding properties. Scientists from the University of Würzburg discovered new molecular details of self-assembly of a spider silk fibre protein. They are lightweight, almost invisible, highly extensible and strong, and of course biodegradable: the threads spiders use to build their webs.
When an organism develops, masses of cells combine to form different types of tissue, all of which have different functions. In order to be able to form and to move, a cell needs to generate mechanical forces by remodelling its cytoskeleton, which consists of various filaments. Filaments from the actin protein, for example, contract and expand.
Heidelberg University succeeded in gaining support from the German Research Foundation in the latest approval round, receiving funding for two Collaborative Research Centres. The newly established "Vascular Control of Organ Function" Collaborative Research Centre (CRC 1366) will take up its work at the Medical Faculty Mannheim.
‘Key-and-lock recognition' through co-assembling points of contact on a nanoscale / Potential for diagnostics, imaging and active ingredients in medicines A new method of selectively binding proteins to nanoparticles has been described by a team of German and Chinese researchers headed by Prof. Bart Jan Ravoo, a chemist at the “Center for Soft Nanoscience? at the University of Münster.
Astronomers from the Observatory of the University of Hamburg were involved in the discovery of a new planet. As part of an international research team led by the Institut de Ciències de l'Espai (ICE, CSIC), they have found a planet in orbit of Barnard's star. Barnard's star is a so-called red dwarf and after the Alpha-Centauri triple stellar system the second closest star to the Sun.
11/14/2018 For the first time, physicists from the University of Würzburg have successfully positioned an organic molecule on a substrate realizing two stable configurations. This may have application potential in molecular spintronics. It looks like a cross with four arms of equal length that have a central atom at their intersection.
Different physical systems - isolated from the environment and far from equilibrium - can behave the same. Quantum mechanically, this is the case if the dynamics of a many-particle system become universal. In two fundamentally different experiments, physicists from Heidelberg University and the TU Vienna (Austria) have now succeeded in verifying this universality in ultracold clouds of Rubidium atoms.
Leipzig Authoritarianism Study 2018: presentation of long-term study with current results on authoritarian and far-right attitudes in Germany Xenophobia has again increased in Germany. Almost one in two respondents in eastern Germany agrees with certain xenophobic statements, for example that foreigners are exploiting the German welfare state or swamping the Federal Republic.
A new combined therapy for obesity and diabetes has been shown to suppress the appetite and at the same time increase energy expenditure. A research group therefore developed a new strategy by using a novel combined therapy, the scientists succeeded in reducing excess adipose tissue by suppressing the appetite and at the same time increasing energy expenditure.
Researchers from the Borexino collaboration have published the hitherto most comprehensive analysis of neutrinos from the Sun's core processes. The results confirm previous assumptions about the processes inside the sun. According to the standard solar model, around 99 percent of the Sun's energy stems from a sequence of fusion processes in which hydrogen is converted to helium.
About 66 million years ago, a meteorite hit the Earth of the Yucatan Peninsula in what is now Mexico. This event triggered a mass extinction that eradicated approximately 75 percent of all species and ended the era of dinosaurs. Like Ulrich Riller of the Institute of Geology of the University of Hamburg and co-workers report in "Nature", the hitherto mysterious formation of the crater and its mountaneous peak ring.
Allergen-specific immunotherapy can make everyday life much more pleasant for allergy sufferers. It is unclear, however, what exactly happens during this treatment. A team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) investigated the processes taking place in the body over the course of a three-year allergen-specific immunotherapy.
When we put water in a freezer, water molecules crystallize and form ice. This change from one phase of matter to another is called a phase transition. While this transition, and countless others that occur in nature, typically takes place at the same fixed conditions, such as the freezing point, one can ask how it can be influenced in a controlled way.