News from the Göttingen Campus

Research team led by the University of Göttingen analyses design and communication strategies for mass acceptance
Coronavirus tracing applications for the detection of infection chains are currently being developed and made available across the world. Such contact-tracing apps are a central component of national strategies for relaxing restrictions. However, for these apps to be successful, they must be widely accepted and actively used by a large proportion of the population. An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has investigated…
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Neural networks in both biological settings and artificial intelligence distribute computation across their neurons to solve complex tasks. New research now shows how so-called “critical states” can be used to optimize artificial neural networks running on brain-inspired neuromorphic hardware. The study was carried out by scientists from Heidelberg University working within the Human Brain Project, and the Max-Planck-Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization (MPIDS). The results have been published in Nature Communications.
Many computational properties are maximized when the dynamics of a network are at a “critical point”, a state where systems can quickly change their overall characteristics in fundamental ways, transitioning e.g. between order and chaos or stability and instability. Therefore, the critical state is widely assumed to be optimal for any computation in recurrent neural networks, which are used in many AI applications. Researchers from the HBP…
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It looks like a giant thermos flask and weighs eight tons. But that is not the only reason the new 1.2 GHz spectrometer is a worldwide research heavyweight. With its magnetic field strength, the technology sets new standards in high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy: 28.2 Tesla – almost 600,000 times stronger than the earth´s magnetic field. Presently, there are only three of these high-tech instruments; besides the University of Florence (Italy) and ETH Zurich (Switzerland), there is now one set up in Göttingen at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry. The costs for the instrument are 12.5 million euros.
A 60-ton crane and two trucks were necessary to put the new NMR spectrometer safely into the recently built hall at the institute. In the future, this innovative technology, now in Göttingen through the efforts of Christian Griesinger and Markus Zweckstetter will allow their teams to further expand their research in the field of neurodegenerative diseases. The Göttingen NMR experts also hope for new findings in cancer and infection research. "Th…
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Study shows that chloroquine does not block SARS-CoV-2 infection of lung cells
More than 600,000 people worldwide have fallen victim to the lung disease COVID-19 so far, which is caused by the SARS coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). In order to obtain an effective therapy for COVID-19 as quickly as possible, drugs that are being used to treat other diseases are currently being repurposed for COVID-19 treatment. The Infection Biology Unit of the German Primate Center (DPZ) - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Göttingen,…
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Over 360 scientists from 42 countries - led by the University of Göttingen and Westlake University China - call for transition of food production systems to agroecological principles.
Humans depend on farming for their very survival but this activity takes up more than one third of the world’s landmass and endangers 62% of all threatened species globally. However, agricultural landscapes can support, rather than damage, biodiversity, but only through a global transition to agroecological production. An international team of over 360 scientists from 42 countries, led by the University of Göttingen and Westlake University in…
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Research team from Göttingen and Halle develops new inhibitors for enzymes
With over 1.2 million people affected in Germany alone and over 50 million people worldwide, Alzheimer's disease, also referred to simply as Alzheimer's, is one of the greatest medical and social challenges of our time. Due to pathological changes in the brain, patients become increasingly forgetful and disoriented as the disease progresses. In the worst cases, even close relatives are no longer recognized and simple household tasks can no longer…
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All living organisms need energy to survive. This energy is provided by small molecular powerplants within the cells of our body – the mitochondria. These organelles have a unique structural design to carry out this essential task: They consist of a smooth outer membrane and a highly folded inner membrane. However, the mechanisms by which the inner membrane adapts its unique shape, has largely remained a mystery until now. A team of scientists…
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Research team led by Göttingen University questions link to warmblood fragile foal syndrome
Warmblood fragile foal syndrome is a severe, usually fatal, genetic disease that manifests itself after birth in affected horses. Due to the defect, the connective tissue is unstable. Under force, for instance, the skin tears from the tissue underneath and the joints can suffer dislocation. A research team from the Universities of Göttingen and Halle has now been able to prove that the disease did not stem from the English thoroughbred stallion…
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The doping agent erythropoietin could attenuate severe progression of COVID-19
At the end of March, a patient with severe Covid-19 symptoms was admitted to an Iranian hospital. Because the patient also had poor blood values, the doctors prescribed the haematopoietic growth factor Epo. Seven days after the start of treatment, the patient was able to leave the hospital. Another indication of the protective role of Epo in the case of Covid-19 comes from South America, where severe illness is rarer in higher-lying regions than…
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Research team led by University of Göttingen investigates flower strips, organic farming and small crop fields
Sowing strips of wildflowers along conventional cereal fields and the increased density of flowers in organic farming encourage bumblebees as well as solitary wild bees and hoverflies. Bumblebee colonies benefit from flower strips along small fields, but in organic farming, they benefit from large fields. This research was carried out by agroecologists from the University of Göttingen in a comparison of different farming systems and landscape…
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