News from the Göttingen Campus

Research team discovers three supermassive black holes at the core of one galaxy
An international research team led by scientists from Göttingen and Potsdam proved for the first time that the galaxy NGC 6240 contains three supermassive black holes. The unique observations, published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, show the black holes close to each other in the core of the galaxy. The study points to simultaneous merging processes during the formation of the largest galaxies in the universe. Massive Galaxies like…
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Review article by DPZ researchers discuss vocal communication in primates
Can they, or can't they? The question of whether non-human primates are able to fundamentally change their vocal output in relation to social or acoustic experiences from their environment has been on scientists' minds for decades. This process, known as "vocal learning", is a key approach to better understanding the evolution of human language. It has long been known that the vocal structures of different primate species are very similar within…
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An international research team including Göttingen University investigates evolutionary development
Plants get stressed too. Environmental factors such as drought or a high concentration of salt in the soil disrupt their physiology. All land plants, from liverwort to rye, use a complex signalling cascade under stressful conditions. An international research team led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem with the participation of the University of Göttingen investigated how evolutionary changes in receptor proteins led to their ability to sense…
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Elongated plasma structures in the lower solar atmosphere transport energy into the Sun‘s corona – and heat up this outermost layer of our star.
The chromosphere, a 2000 kilometer thick layer of plasma with temperatures of a few thousand degrees, is located between the Sun‘s visible surface and its hot outer atmosphere. During solar eclipses, this layer is visible as a thin red ring around the occulted solar disc. Elongated, finger-like plasma flows, so-called spicules, are omnipresent in this layer. These short-lived structures are created by interactions in the Sun‘s complex magnetic…
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Review article on baboon research published
Baboons are widespread in Africa. The six species that exist today have spread from the south over almost the entire continent. In the course of evolution, baboons have developed great ecological flexibility and a wide range of social systems compared to other primate species. This makes them an important model for researchers to study complex evolutionary processes. Long-term studies provide additional insights into the relationship between…
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DPZ participates in Europe-wide research program on heart regeneration
The research of new mechanisms of tissue regeneration in heart diseases and their successful transfer into medical applications are the central objectives of the REANIMA project. The Europe-wide research program is coordinated by the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (CNIC) in Madrid and supported by the EU with eight million euros over five years. Eleven other European research institutions are also working on the project. The …
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Göttingen chemists identify the smallest possible ice crystals
Depending on the temperature, water freezes to ice and ice melts back to water. This process, known in science as “phase transition”, is well known in everyday life. However, in order to achieve a stable lattice for ice crystals to form, a minimum number of molecules is required, otherwise the structure is unstable. Up until now, this value could only be roughly estimated. A German-American research team led by the chemist Professor Thomas Zeuch…
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University of Göttingen launches new network with eight other universities from all over Europe
The University of Göttingen and eight other universities from all over Europe have formally launched a new network of higher education called “Enlight”. In a letter of intent, the nine partners expressed their commitment to prepare a joint application for the second call of the European Universities Initiative. Among other things, the network wants to promote sustainability and global engagement through higher education transformation. Besides…
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International team led by the University of Göttingen investigates environmentally sustainable palm oil production
Environmentally friendlier palm oil production could be achieved with less fertilizer and no herbicide, while maintaining profits. These are the encouraging preliminary results of the first two years of a large-scale oil palm management experiment by an international team of researchers led by the University of Göttingen. The research was published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change. The palm oil industry often hits the headlines with…
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For women, the biological clock starts ticking by their mid-30s at the latest: Fertility decreases, the risk of miscarriages increases. One of the main reasons behind both are eggs with altered chromosome numbers. It has remained largely unclear, however, why eggs from older women more frequently possess too many or too few chromosomes. A German-English research team has now discovered that certain structures on the egg’s chromosomes age and fall apart, possibly promoting incorrect chromosome distribution.
A new life begins when an egg is fertilized by a sperm. This is when the genetic information of the father and the mother is combined: Sperm and egg each contribute one copy of the 23 chromosomes that carry the genetic information (DNA), so that the newly formed embryo inherits a full set. However, the egg’s precursor cell contains two copies of each chromosome and, therefore, must eliminate half of its 46 chromosomes before fertilization. This…
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