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Origin of fairy circles: Euphorbia hypothesis disproved

The fairy circles of the Namib are one of nature’s greatest mysteries. Millions of these circular barren patches extend over vast areas along the margins of the desert in Namibia. An early hypothesis by G.K. Theron was that poisonous substances from Euphorbia damarana leaves induced fairy circles. Now new research at the University of Göttingen and the Gobabeb Namib Research Institute found the original experiment and, 40 years later, the researchers are now able to conclusively disprove this hypothesis. more…


X-ray flash imaging of laser-induced bubbles and shockwaves in water

Gas bubbles rise up naturally in sparkling water. But the bubbles that were created for this experiment were ten times smaller and contained water vapour at a pressure around a hundred thousand times higher. The bubble expands at supersonic speed and pushes a shockwave in front. Researchers at the University of Göttingen, with the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchroton (DESY) and the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser (European XFEL) used holographic flash imaging and nanofocused X-ray laser pulses to make a “movie” of this event. more…


Clever biomolecular labelling enables identification of immune cells

Biomolecules regulate the biological functions inside every living cell. If scientists can understand the mo-lecular mechanisms of such functions, then it is possible to detect severe dysfunction which can lead to illness. At a molecular level, this can be achieved with fluorescent markers that are specifically incorporated into the respective biomolecules. Researchers at the Universities of Göttingen and Edinburgh have now been able to show that a complex of the common metal manganese makes it possible to conveniently label certain biomolecules. more…


Warm seas when the Earth was still young?

For decades, there has been controversy about the water temperatures of the first oceans on Earth. Scientists from the Universities of Cologne, Göttingen and Århus have now combined their research about the development of our atmosphere with that of the rock crust and seawater temperatures. They have calculated temperatures of about 40 degrees Celsius in the early period of the Earth. The results were published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. more…


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Further news

Understanding membranes better

A new class of membranes has the potential to deliver highly interesting applications both in biotechnology and in water purification. The theoretical understanding of these polymer membranes is, however, still incomplete. Now, two researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon and the University of Göttingen have found a ways to identify these gaps in understanding and also to resolve them. more…

DFG extends funding for Collaborative Research Centres at University and University Medical Center Göttingen

The German Research Foundation (DFG) has extended its funding for two Göttingen Collaborative Research Centres (CRC) from 1 July 2021. This means that CRC 1073 "Atomic Scale Control of Energy Conversion” at the Faculty of Physics at Göttingen University will go into its third successful funding period. CRC 1286 "Quantitative Synaptology" at the University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) has won support for a second funding period. The funding amounts to around ten million euros per year over four years. more…

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