News from the Göttingen Campus

As a member of the InSight Instrument Site Selection Team, Dr. Marco Bierwirth selected the deployment site for the seismometer SEIS on the surface of Mars.
The U.S. space agency NASA has honored the 49-member group of experts who selected the site for the scientific instruments carried by the InSight Mars probe in the days following its landing with the NASA Group Achievement Award. Among the honorees is Dr.-Ing. Marco Bierwirth of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) in Göttingen. Under his leadership, the MPS had previously developed and built hardware components for InSight's…
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Vocal learning leads to modification of call structure in a multi-level baboon society
Musical masterworks as the Queen of the Night's Aria from Mozart's The Magic Flute, are examples of the sounds trained human voices can produce. The precondition for vocal virtuosity as well as for any spoken word is vocal learning, the ability to imitate auditory input. Some songbirds and bats can do this, but humans excel. We can acquire new languages into old age. To shed light on the evolution of vocal learning, a team led by Julia Fischer…
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Perturbed handling of cholesterol in the brain impairs endogenous repair mechanisms
As known from diseases such as arteriosclerosis, cholesterol deposits along blood vessels can be harmful. Similar problems occur in neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Here, defects occur in the regeneration of cholesterol-rich myelin sheaths. The normal recycling of cholesterol from defective myelin sheaths by phagocytes is impaired. This leads to the generation of foam cells that virtually “suffocate” from overfilling with…
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Research project launched at the German Primate Center and the University of Düsseldorf
Cold sores, chicken pox, shingles - these are only three particularly well-known examples of diseases caused by herpesviruses. Infection with herpesviruses is usually chronic, i.e. one cannot get rid of these viruses and carries them throughout one's life. A lesser-known member of the herpesvirus family is the cytomegalovirus (CMV), which is usually inconspicuous in people with a functioning immune system. CMV infection is highly prevalent…
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Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization initiates pan-European call for a rapid reduction of COVID-19 case numbers
COVID-19 cases have been rising across much of Europe, resulting in repeated lockdowns. “The virus does not respect borders. Thus, increased spreading in one region endangers the stability in the neighboring regions. It is clear: We need a joint European commitment to lower case numbers”, says Viola Priesemann, who initiated a letter calling for a pan-European vision to fight the viral spread. More than 300 leading scientists across Europe have…
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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS) reported their new findings on how precipitating large raindrops, ice particles can favor growth of aerosols to produce new cloud condensation nuclei or ice nucleating particles.
Atmospheric clouds play a crucial role in defining the local weather and global climate. When cloud aerosols grow to a certain size by collecting water, scientists call it activation. The activation of cloud aerosols, such as mineral dust, soot particles, pollutants, acid molecules and ions, impacts the life cycle of a cloud. Therefore, a detailed understanding is necessary for reliable climate prediction and weather forecasting. Out of many…
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The yield and quality of many crops benefit from pollination, but it isn’t just honey bees that do this work: bumble bees also have a role.
However, placing honey bee or bumble bee colonies next to the field does not guarantee that they will visit the desired plants since there may be other plant species flowering at the same time that prove more attractive. A team from the University of Göttingen, together with researchers from the University of Applied Sciences Mittweida and the Julius Kühn Institute, used innovative molecular biological methods and traditional microscopy to…
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SARS-CoV-2 uses physical tricks to reproduce
The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 forms tiny droplets to multiply effectively inside infected cells. Researchers at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) and the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry have discovered this phenomenon. It may offer starting points for drug development. The coronavirus carries its genome – in the shape of the so-called RNA – in its interior; however the viral genome is not ‘naked’, but…
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Eine Mund-Nasen-Bedeckung ist während der Zugfahrt eine wirksame Möglichkeit, die Verbreitung von Tröpfchen und Aerosolen zu begrenzen. Das zeigt eine wissenschaftliche Studie der Deutschen Bahn und des Deutschen Zentrums für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR).
Tröpfchen und Aerosole gelten als Hauptübertragungsweg des Corona-Virus. Sie sind wenige Mikrometer klein und entstehen beim Atmen, Sprechen, Husten und Niesen. Während größere Tröpfchen schnell zu Boden sinken, können Aerosole in der Luft schweben und sich in geschlossenen Räumen verteilen. Eine Mund-Nase-Bedeckung verringert dies deutlich. Diese Erkenntnis unterstreicht die Notwendigkeit, sie im Zug zu tragen und möglichst Abstand zu…
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Research team with participation of the University of Göttingen analyses ways to ensure food supply
Ensuring global food security is a key challenge, especially because of the challenges of climate change and increasing demand from a population expected to reach almost ten billion. A high diversity of crops can help ensure food security in agriculture. But this diversity alone is not enough. It also depends on ‘asynchrony’ or how the timing to sow or harvest crops differs in its distribution across the seasons, writes a research team with the…
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