News from the Göttingen Campus

International research team generates first genomes of complex closest relatives of land plants
Land plants cover the surface of our planet and often tower over us. They form complex bodies with multiple organs that consist of a broad range of cell types. Developing this morphological complexity is underpinned by intricate networks of genes, whose coordinated action shapes plant bodies through various molecular mechanisms. All of these magnificent forms burst forth from a one-off evolutionary event: when plants conquered Earth’s surface,…
First Light for Sunrise III: the first tests with real sunlight were successful.
Preparations for this year's stratospheric flight of the balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise III have reached an important milestone: today, just three weeks after the hardware arrived at Esrange Space Center near the Arctic Circle in Sweden, Sunrise III peered at the Sun for the first time in almost complete flight configuration. During the so-called “First Light”, the team led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS)…
Knowledge of spatial reference systems is necessary for the control of neuroprostheses
Mathematicians usually describe a position in space using coordinates in a coordinate system. But how does our brain do this? It has been known for some time that the target of an arm movement in some brain regions is coded relative to our line of sight, in others relative to the current position of our hand, but in any case, always relative to our own body. But does that always apply? Neuroscientists at the German Primate Centre (DPZ) – Leibniz…
A new theory of elastic phase separation can help to control pattern formation on small scales
A new model developed by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) extends the theory of elastic phase separation towards nanoscopic structures. Such patterns are frequent in biological systems and also used in nano-engineering to create structural color. With their new insights, the scientists can predict the length scale of nanoscopic patterns and thus control them during production. Well-defined…
Research team discovers sophisticated processing of archaeological wood
During archaeological excavations in the Schöningen open-cast coal mine in 1994, the discovery of the oldest, remarkably well-preserved hunting weapons known to humanity caused an international sensation. Spears and a double-pointed throwing stick were found lying between animal bones about ten meters below the surface in deposits at a former lakeshore. In the years that followed, extensive excavations have gradually yielded numerous wooden…
First icy cold, then midnight sun: at the Arctic Circle, the team will prepare the next flight of the balloon-borne solar observatory - and hopes for solar fireworks.
The next stratospheric flight of the balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise III is planned for early summer this year. Today's departure of the flight hardware from the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Germany to the launch site beyond the Arctic Circle marks the beginning of the final and decisive phase of the mission. On site at the Swedish Space Agency's Esrange Space Center near the city of Kiruna, the Sunrise team…
The curvature of a surface determines the migration behavior of biological cells. They preferentially move along valleys or grooves while avoiding ridges. These findings with contribution from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) and the Weizmann Institute of Science gave rise to a model predicting cellular behavior. Such universal principles now allow a better understanding of the migration of immune and cancer…
Field studies confirm social network shrinking in ageing monkeys
As people get older, they increasingly focus on their more important relationships, often turning to family and close friends. This active reorientation towards a few, particularly close relationships could explain why ageing humans live in ever smaller social networks. Since human behavior not only reflects the current conditions of our modern society, but is also the result of our evolutionary past, studies on social aging in our closest…
With super computers and wind tunnel tests
In wind-tunnel tests, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) has investigated the lift generated by commercial aircraft using state-of-the-art measurement and simulation technologies. The findings will help to predict the characteristics of future aircraft much more accurately than before, in order to make them quieter, more efficient and more environmentally friendly. The development of a new aircraft is a…
Scientists from the MPI-DS developed a general theorem to calculate the minimal energy required for propulsion.
The amount of power a microswimmer needs to move can now be determined more easily. Scientists from the department Living Matter Physics at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPI-DS) developed a general theorem to calculate the minimal energy required for propulsion. These insights allow a profound understanding for practical applications, such as targeted transport of molecules and substrates. One of the most important…