News from the Göttingen Campus

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…
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…
International research team with participation from Göttingen finds causes lie at landscape level
In many areas, around a third fewer insect species can be found than a decade ago. This is the result of a study by an international research team including scientists from the University of Göttingen. The loss of species mainly affects grasslands that are located in surroundings largely shaped by agriculture – but it also affects forests and protected areas. The results of the study were published in Nature. The research team, led by the…
The „ManyPrimates"-Project publishes first joint study
Large and versatile samples are necessary to investigate evolutionary relationships. In the „Many Primates" project, international scientists have joined forces to investigate the cognitive abilities of as many primate species as possible. Julia Fischer, Department of Cognitive Ethology, and Claudia Fichtel, Department of Ecology and Sociobiology, from the DPZ, are involved in the project. The first study of the project on short-term memory, for…
Göttingen Scientists are on the trail of an alternative erythropoietin receptor
The hormone erythropoietin (Epo) is a well-known doping substance that has a long history of abuse in endurance sports, such as cycling. In addition to promoting red blood cell production (erythropoiesis), which improves the oxygen supply in the organism, Epo also protects nerve cells from cell death. In order to use this effect to cure neurodegenerative diseases, however, the negative effects caused by Epo through the stimulated formation of red…
Liquid crystal droplets as versatile microswimmers
When one imagines a swimmer, their image would probably be of either an Olympian performing the front-crawl, a Salmon fighting upstream, or a shark racing towards its prey. Most of us, however, would not consider Nature’s most common swimmers: single-celled organisms. For example: microalgae that swim towards light sources, or sperm cells that swim towards an ovum. For a physicist, cells are simply biochemical machines, which must obey…
European research consortium awarded the prestigious ERC Synergy Grant to study the nanostructure of muscles and the causes of muscular diseases
Max Planck scientists Stefan Raunser (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology) and Dirk Görlich (Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry) together with Mathias Gautel from King's College London, and Frank Schnorrer from the Developmental Biology Institute in Marseille, have been awarded one of the rare and highly endowed Synergy Grants from the European Research Council (ERC). Funds of 11 million Euros during the next six years will…
European solar mission from Cape Canaveral into space scheduled to start in February 2020
A few months before its launch, the final preparatory phase for the ESA space probe Solar Orbiter has begun. In the past few months, in the IABG laboratories in Ottobrunn, it has been shown that the probe can withstand the rigours of a multi-year research expedition to the sun. Now that all test have been successfully completed, the relocation to the US is imminent. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is supporting the mainly…
International team led by Göttingen University describes method to spot genes that control traits
An international team of scientists led by the University of Goettingen has developed a new approach that enables researchers to more efficiently identify the genes that control plant traits. This method will enable plant breeders and scientists to develop more affordable, desirable, and sustainable plant varieties. The application will be most valuable for the fruit, vegetable and grain crops that not only end up on our dinner table, but are…
The balloon mission Sunrise is to take off again in two years. The telescope's main mirror has now been coated with a fresh layer of aluminum.
The balloon mission Sunrise, which aims a high-resolution telescope at the Sun from a flight altitude of more than 35 kilometers, is preparing for its next flight. The observatory is scheduled to embark on its third expedition in the summer of 2021. Preparatory work on the main mirror measuring one meter in diameter has already begun. At the Calar Alto Observatory in southern Spain, the mirror has now been coated with a new layer of aluminum.…