News from the Göttingen Campus

Ulrich Christensen, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, receives one of the highest awards of the American Geophysical Union.
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) yesterday awarded the Inge Lehmann Medal to Prof. Dr. Ulrich R. Christensen, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS). With this award, the AGU acknowledges Prof. Dr. Christensen’s outstanding contributions to the understanding of the dynamic processes in the Earth's mantle and core. His work has contributed decisively to a detailed and realistic picture of the processes in the…
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For the first time in 3D and atomic resolution: Researchers from the Department of Molecular Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, in cooperation with colleagues from Würzburg, have succeeded in presenting the propagation strategy of Vaccinia viruses. These viruses also serve as vaccines against human smallpox diseases and as the basis for new cancer therapies.
For viruses to multiply, they usually need support of the cells they infect. Only in their host´s nucleus can they find the machines, proteins, and building blocks with which they can copy their genetic material before infecting other cells. But not all viruses find their way into the cell nucleus. Some remain outside the cytoplasm and have to double their genetic material without help. To do so, they carry the necessary “machinery” with them. A…
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Research led by Göttingen University studies carbon sinks and land-use in a mangrove-fringed lagoon in Java
The identification of natural carbon sinks and understanding how they work is critical if humans are to mitigate global climate change. Tropical coastal wetlands are considered important but, so far, there is little data to show the benefits. This study, led by the University of Göttingen with the Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research in Bremen, and the University of Bremen showed that mangrove ecosystems need to be conserved and restored…
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Decision-making is controlled by different nerve cells
A penalty shootout at the Soccer World Cup. All eyes are on the best striker of the team. He should take the decisive shot, preferably past the goalkeeper. The striker must decide whether to aim for the right or left corner of the goal. In his brain, he plans both options before making the decision. If the goalkeeper's posture indicates that he will jump to the right at the decisive moment, the striker will develop a temporary preference for…
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Professor Thomas Kaufmann receives the prestigious German Research Award
The theologian Professor Thomas Kaufmann from the University of Göttingen has been awarded the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize 2020 by the German Research Foundation (DFG). The DFG thus honours Kaufmann as one of the “most important international Reformation researchers”, according to the jury. Kaufmann’s research on the church history of the Reformation and the Denominational Age has changed our understanding of Martin Luther, the complex world…
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Tissue samples from Parkinson's and multisystem atrophy patients provide new insights into the structure of alpha-synuclein aggregates
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry and the German Centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) have, for the first time, analyzed the fine structure of clumped alpha-synuclein proteins amplified from tissue samples from patients. Up to now, only artificially aggregated proteins had been investigated. The results show that the protein structures of clinical samples differ from artificial ones and are…
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In his doctoral thesis, Sudip Mandal investigated how special pressure waves help maintain temperatures of several million degrees in the outermost solar atmosphere.
The Department of Plasma Physics of the Association of Asian Pacific Physical Societies (AAPPS) has awarded Dr. Sudip Mandal of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) this year's U30 award. The AAPPS thus honors Mandal's contributions to the understanding of magneto-hydrodynamic waves in the corona, the outer atmosphere of the Sun. In his doctoral thesis, which Mandal wrote at the Indian Institute for Astrophysics in Bangalore,…
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New study by University of Göttingen shows reduction of child undernutrition through supermarkets in Kenya
Hunger and undernutrition are still widespread problems in Africa. At the same time, overweight, obesity, and related chronic diseases are also on the rise. Recent research suggested that the growth of supermarkets contributes to obesity in Africa, because supermarkets tend to sell more processed foods than traditional markets. However, previous studies only looked at data from adults. New research shows that supermarkets are not linked to…
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Göttingen innovative project receives research funds from Leibniz Association
We humans – as well as monkeys, our nearest relatives – belong to the species with the highest cognitive abilities. At the same time we are very social and live in complex groups. Whether and how the cognitive abilities of our brain, such as perception, attention, decision-making and movement planning, is related to social interactions will be investigated by a team of scientists from Göttingen. The neuroscientists will receive a total of almost…
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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization shows how the transport of nutrients in blood vessels can be controlled
The cell tissue of animals and plants is traversed by a complex vascular network, the blood vessels. The vascular network supplies cells in a tissue with nutrients. Animals can dilate individual capillaries to distribute nutrients differently in the vascular network. How do the capillaries have to be dilated to transport more nutrients to a specific area of the cell tissue? Does the change in nutrient availability for a cell strongly depend on…
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