News from the Göttingen Campus

Max Planck researchers discover first protein that regulates fatty acid synthase
No other infectious disease kills more people than tuberculosis. It is caused by mycobacteria, which mainly attack the lungs but can also affect almost any other organ. To fight the pathogens, the fatty acid factory of the bacteria is an important starting point. The fatty acid synthase (FAS) is considered one of the most complex cellular machines. But how it is controlled remains a mystery to scientists even after 50 years of intensive research.…
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By combining modern data analysis techniques with stellar structure modelling for main-sequence and giant stars, researchers shed new light on stellar dynamos.
Different stars can exhibit very different levels of activity. The Sun’s coronal mass ejections, flares and sunspots – all signs of solar activity – are rather feeble on an astronomical scale. Other stars are up to ten times more active, for example sporting huge starspots that cover a large portion of their disc. While researchers have long identified the magnetic fields generated in the interior of stars in a dynamo process as drivers of…
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Göttingen research team investigates public acceptance of food policy measures in Germany
The increase in diet-related illness has led to a high burden of costs for society. However, German policymakers, in comparison with their international counterparts, have so far been reluctant to make political interventions that support healthy eating habits among its citizens. The concern is that serious interventions, such as imposing taxes or even bans, will be unpopular. Researchers at the University of Göttingen have now shown, in fact,…
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Researchers at the University of Göttingen investigate the effects of women’s cycle on preferences for men’s behaviour
In the past, there has been much excitement over research that purported to show a link between changes in a woman’s cycle and how attracted she was to men behaving in different ways. However, research at the University of Göttingen using the largest sample size to date questions these results. The new research showed that shifts in women’s cycles did not affect their preferences for men’s behaviour. The researchers found, however, that when…
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International researchers led by University of Göttingen develop first global computer model of groundwater flow into world’s oceans
Groundwater is the largest source of freshwater, one of the world’s most precious natural resources and vital for crops and drinking water. It is found under our very feet in the cracks and pores in soil, sediments and rocks. Now an international research team led by the University of Göttingen has developed the first global computer model of groundwater flow into the world’s oceans. Their analysis shows that 20% of the world’s sensitive coastal…
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In a recently published study, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization show how the slime mold Physarum polycephalum can increase its pump efficiency when exposed to harmful light.
In a recently published study, researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization show how the slime mold Physarum polycephalum can increase its pump efficiency when exposed to harmful light. It exploits the fact that its undulating pumping motion has overtones that can pump more efficiently in a particular constellation. Like in an instrument, these waves have a fundamental frequency (fundamental) and at least one…
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Research led by University of Göttingen finds high levels of activity in suspended soils
The threat to insects and other small creatures from rainforest clearance and the consequences for the environment in tropical regions are recognised. What has not been studied so far is whether, and how, the oil palm plantations are able to sustain the populations of tiny below-ground animals that work to keep the soil healthy. In a new study led by the University of Göttingen, scientists have discovered high levels of biological activity in…
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International research team with Göttingen participation reconstructs pH values
The atmosphere of Mars - and the question whether life might have been possible there once - has been a burning issue in science for many years. While the existence of large bodies of water on early Mars is undisputed, it is still unclear whether life there was ever possible. In particular, the prevalent pH value in earlier times has yet to be researched. The pH value is an important factor that describes the amount of acid and alkali in a…
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Research led by University of Göttingen questions whether palm-oil biodiesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Vegetable oil biofuels are increasingly being used as an alternative to fossil fuels despite the growing controversy regarding their sustainability. In a new study led by the University of Göttingen, researchers investigated the effect of palm-oil biodiesel on greenhouse gases for the entire life cycle. The researchers found that using palm oil from first rotation plantations where forests had been cleared to make way for palms actually leads to…
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Mandrills care for close maternal kin despite infection
Our physical and psychological condition is decisive for our well-being. Humans who have a stable network of friends and relatives are therefor generally happier and healthier than others. Monkeys consolidate their relationships by social grooming. This physical contact strengthens social bonds and minimizes stress and conflict. The downside: Physical contact is the ideal basis for the spread of pathogens. One strategy to stop their transmission…
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