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Tracing the Evolution of Vision

The function of the visual photopigment rhodopsin and its action in the retina to facilitate vision is well understood. However, there remain questions about other biological functions of this family of proteins (opsins) and this has ramifications for our understanding of several evolutionary pathways. Now, an international research team led by the University of Göttingen has shown there are other functions of opsin outside vision and this provides insights into how the eye evolved. Their research was published in Current Biology. more…


Germany and United Kingdom are popular destinations

Those who wish to leave their own country of origin in the European Union (EU) can currently do so without complications: with the right to freedom of movement, the EU offers its citizens unique conditions for mi-gration. A study by the Universities of Göttingen, Bremen and Cologne has now shown that Germany and United Kingdom are the most popular destination countries for migration within Europe. Their research was published in the Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. more…


Decades-old puzzle of the ecology of soil animals solved

An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has deciphered the defence mechanism of filamentous fungi. Moulds are a preferred food source for small animals. As fungi cannot escape predation by running away, they produce defence metabolites, thereby rendering themselves toxic or unpalatable. After decades-long unsuccessful investigation, these defence compounds have now been identified. The results were published in Nature Communications. more…


How plants synthesise salicylic acid

The pain-relieving effect of salicylic acid, now sold as Aspirin, has been known for thousands of years. Besides being a useful drug with numerous health applications, it is a stress hormone made by plants which is essential in enabling them to fight off damaging pathogens. What was not known, however, is how plants generated this hormone. Now, an international research team led by the University of Göttingen with the University of British Columbia in Vancouver have at last unravelled the biosynthesis of this crucial hormone. more…


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Further news

Males of a feather flock together

"Birds of a feather flock together" or rather "opposites attract"? A recently published study on male macaques in Thailand speaks for the former: behavioural biologists from the German Primate Centre and psychologists from the University of Göttingen have observed that the more similar male Assamese macaques are in their personality, the closer they get and the stronger their social bonds. more…

Internationalisation in an increasingly complex world

As part of the "Germany Today" tour organised by the German Academic Exchange Sercive (DAAD), 22 representatives of US and Canadian universities, research institutions and funding organisations visited the University of Göttingen, including representatives of the so-called Ivy League. more…

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