News from the Göttingen Campus

The Sunrise III mission will look at the Sun from the stratosphere equipped with three new scientific instruments.
In the summer of 2022, the balloon-borne solar observatory Sunrise will embark on its third stratospheric flight. From the airborne observation site more than 35 kilometers above the Earth's surface, the observatory will enjoy a unique view of the Sun during the several-day flight from northern Sweden to Canada: around the clock, undisturbed by air turbulences in the Earth's atmosphere, and with access to the ultraviolet radiation from our star.…
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Das Impfzentrum für die Mitarbeitenden der Universitätsmedizin Göttingen (UMG) zieht nach der ersten Woche Arbeit eine positive Zwischenbilanz: Knapp 600 UMG Beschäftigte wurden geimpft, die neuen Räumlichkeiten am 14. Januar 2021 bezogen. Künftig können dort täglich 200 bis 300 Mitarbeitende geimpft werden. UMG wartet auf die nächste Lieferung des Impfstoffs.
Am Donnerstag, dem 14. Januar 2021, öffnete das UMG-eigene Impfzentrum seine Türen. Die Universitätsmedizin Göttingen (UMG) hat in den neuen Räumen die Impfungen für ihre Mitarbeiter*innen fortgesetzt. Bereits am ersten Tag impften die Betriebsärzt*innen der UMG in einem ersten Schritt über 120 Mitarbeit*innen in der Reihenfolge fest vergebener Termine. Zusammen mit den bereits in der zurückliegenden Woche Geimpften werden bis zum Freitag über…
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Research team led by Göttingen University investigates molecular basis of eye size variation in insects
The fascinating compound eyes of insects consist of hundreds of individual eyes known as “facets”. In the course of evolution, an enormous variety of eye sizes and shapes has emerged, often representing adaptations to different environmental conditions. Scientists, led by an Emmy Noether research group at the University of Göttingen, together with scientists from the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD) in Seville, have now shown…
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Physicist from Göttingen University receives European Research Council Advanced Grant
Physicist Professor Jörg Enderlein from the University of Göttingen has been awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC has supported Enderlein's project – "Single-molecule, metal-induced energy transfer" – since the beginning of January 2021. The grant is worth a total of around 2.8 million euros and will run for five years. The ERC Advanced Grants scheme funds ground-breaking projects led by outstanding and…
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Remdesivir is the first drug against Covid-19 to be conditionally approved in Europe and the United States. The drug is designed to suppress the rapid replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in human cells by blocking the viral copying machine, called RNA polymerase. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen and the University of Würzburg have now elucidated how remdesivir interferes with the viral polymerase during copying and why it does not inhibit it completely. Their results explain why the drug has a rather weak effect. (Nature Communications, January 12, 2021)
“After complicated studies, we come to a simple conclusion,” Max Planck Director Patrick Cramer says. “Remdesivir does interfere with the polymerase while doing its work, but only after some delay. And the drug does not fully stop the enzyme.”  At the pandemic’s beginning, Cramer’s team at the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry had elucidated how the coronavirus duplicates its RNA genome. For the pathogen this is a colossal task as its genome…
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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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