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News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

  • News from the Lab’ is a selection of scientific works that are significant or interesting for a broad readership. 
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Environment



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Environment - Earth Sciences - 18.05.2022
Study explores concentrations of microplastics in the Rhine floodplains near Langel in Cologne
Microplastics accumulate in the Rhine meadows at Langel-Merkenich / topography and flooding determine local concentrations of particles in the soil Microplastics can be deposited in river floodplains and transported to deeper soil horizons. Local topography, flood frequency, and soil characteristics are responsible for the amount of plastic particles deposited and their possible transport into deeper soil.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 18.05.2022
Organic farming or flower strips - which is better for bees?
Organic farming or flower strips - which is better for bees?
Research team including Göttingen University assess the efficiency of agri-environmental measures from different perspectives How effective environmental measures in agriculture are for biodiversity and wild bee populations depends on various factors and your perspective. This is shown by agroecologists from the University of Göttingen, Germany and the Centre for Ecological Research in Vácrátót, Hungary.

Environment - 18.05.2022
Urban greenery: not only trees are important
Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) conducted a multi-year empirical study to assess the impact of trees on city temperatures. Taking the city of Würzburg as an example, the researchers showed that vegetation cover of approximately 40 percent is needed to bring about lower summer temperatures.

Innovation - Environment - 17.05.2022
Toys and furniture from popcorn
Toys and furniture from popcorn
Forest scientists at Göttingen University develop environmentally friendly products from renewable raw materials Forest scientists at the University of Göttingen have long been researching sustainable and efficient processes to make products from popcorn granulate. There are many uses for these products: from packaging to insulating panels for building insulation .

Life Sciences - Environment - 17.05.2022
Dust catchers: Biological crusts influence the climate
Dust catchers: Biological crusts influence the climate
A surface layer of bacteria, fungi and lichen amongst others reduces the amount of dust stirred up into the atmosphere When bacteria, fungi, mosses, lichens and algae combine on dry land, they form so-called biological soil crusts. These cover about twelve percent of the total global land surface, and up to one third of the surface in dry areas.

Environment - Life Sciences - 17.05.2022
Overgrazing alters the ecosystem irreversibly
Overgrazing alters the ecosystem irreversibly
Research team including Göttingen University identifies limit based on microbiology functions The Tibetan plateau is of particular importance for a number of reasons: as a grazing ecosystem, as a carbon store, to initiate the monsoon climate, and to ensure a supply of drinking water. With low to moderate grazing, dead and living roots of the wild sedge plants that are widespread there protect the soil from degradation, meaning the gradual loss of ecosystem functions due to erosion.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.05.2022
Newly discovered enzyme breaks down PET plastic in record time
Research finding from Leipzig could help make biological recycling more commercially viable Plastic bottles, punnets, wrap - such lightweight packaging made of PET plastic becomes a problem if it is not recycled. Scientists at Leipzig University have now discovered a highly efficient enzyme that degrades PET in record time.

Life Sciences - Environment - 16.05.2022
Chimpanzees combine calls to form numerous vocal sequences
Chimpanzees combine calls to form numerous vocal sequences
Evidence of structured vocal sequences in wild chimpanzee communication provides insights into human language evolution Compared to the complex use of human language, the way animals communicate with each other appears quite simple. How our language evolved from such a simple system, remains unclear.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 12.05.2022
Algae reveal clues about climate changes over millions of years
Göttingen scientists identify and investigate algae which register sea water temperatures of the warmest months Organisms adjust their cell walls according to environmental conditions such as temperature. Some adaptations involve changes in lipids which may still be preserved long after the rest of the organisms has been degraded.

Environment - 06.05.2022
Tropical dry forests are disappearing rapidly around the globe
Tropical dry forests are disappearing rapidly around the globe
Most comprehensive global assessment of deforestation processes in the world's dry forests published in Nature Sustainability Dry tropical forests are important ecosystems, yet these forests are increasingly threatened, a new study discovers. Aninnovative approach to characterize how deforestation took place since 2000 showed that more than 71 million hectares of tropical dry forests were lost, particularly in South America and Asia.

Life Sciences - Environment - 02.05.2022
Sweet spots in the sea
Sweet spots in the sea
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology now report that seagrasses release large amounts of sugar, largely in the form of sucrose, into their soils - worldwide more than one million tons of sucrose, enough for 32 billion cans of coke.

Environment - 28.04.2022
Forest plants now flower a week earlier than a century ago
Forest plants now flower a week earlier than a century ago
Early-flowering plants in European forests today start their flowering season on average a week earlier than they did a hundred years ago. This is reflected by herbarium specimens, as Dr. Franziska Willems and Professor Oliver Bossdorf from the Institute of Evolution and Ecology at the University of Tübingen, together with Professor J. F.

Environment - History / Archeology - 26.04.2022
Neanderthals of the North
Neanderthals of the North
A multidisciplinary research team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, the Leuphana University Lüneburg, the Leibniz Institute for Applied Geophysics and other partner institutions investigated whether Neanderthals were well adapted to life in the cold or preferred more temperate environmental conditions.

Agronomy / Food Science - Environment - 26.04.2022
Meat substitutes: Environment does not motivate consumption
Meat substitutes: Environment does not motivate consumption
Animal welfare and health aspects, on the other hand, promote the use of meat alternatives People who have a critical attitude toward factory farming or who pay attention to their health in everyday life are more likely to turn to meat substitutes. Concern for the environment, on the other hand, plays no role in this decision.

Environment - Life Sciences - 25.04.2022
When male bees don't get lucky
When male bees don’t get lucky
04/25/2022 Do pesticides have anything to do with the decline in bee populations? A research team led by the University of Würzburg has investigated - and found a connection between fenbuconazole and the insects' mating behavior. Bees are among the most important pollinators on earth. They pollinate not only plants with beautiful flowers, but also many crops.

Environment - Agronomy / Food Science - 20.04.2022
Bumblebees' nutrition influences their pesticide resistance
Bumblebees’ nutrition influences their pesticide resistance
Effects of a common fungicide differ depending on the plant to which it is applied How susceptible bumblebees are to a common fungicide depends on the flowering plants to which it is applied on and how diverse the food supply is that is available to the insects. Monocultures can increase the insects' sensitivity to the fungicide or generally have negative effects on health, growth and fertility.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.04.2022
Flying into a clean and safe future
Flying into a clean and safe future
In the race to avoid runaway climate change, two renewable energy technologies are being pushed as the solution to powering human societies: wind and solar. But for many years, wind turbines have been on a collision course with wildlife conservation. Birds and other flying animals risk death by impact with the rotor blades of turbines, raising questions about the feasibility of wind as a cornerstone of a global clean energy policy.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 19.04.2022
No glacial fertilization effect in the Antarctic Ocean
No glacial fertilization effect in the Antarctic Ocean
International study led by the University of Bonn records 1.5 million years of climate in the drill core Can iron-rich dust fertilize the ocean, stimulate algae growth there, and thereby capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere? An international research team led by the University of Bonn used deep-sea sediment cores from the Scotia Sea to investigate whether this hypothetical greenhouse gas sink had an effect during ice ages.

Environment - Life Sciences - 14.04.2022
Bean cultivation in diverse agricultural landscapes encourages bees and increases yields
Bean cultivation in diverse agricultural landscapes encourages bees and increases yields
Researchers led by the University of Göttingen study bee behaviour and yield development Pollination by insects is essential for the production of many food crops. The occurrence of pollinators such as bees depends on whether nesting sites and sufficient food are available. If these conditions are lacking, the pollinators also fail to appear and the yield of flowering arable crops such as field beans and rape suffers.

Environment - 05.04.2022
Shaping nature conservation in an integrated, equitable and fair way
Shaping nature conservation in an integrated, equitable and fair way
International research team including Göttingen University investigates areas of tension and prospects for inclusive approach to management of protected areas New global guidelines for the management of nature increasingly focus on environmental justice and fair and equitable decision-making. As part of the ENVISION project, researchers around the world, including the Universities of Kassel and Göttingen, examined the tensions and prospects in the reform of the management of protected areas, moving towards fair nature conservation management.
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