uni.news - Tag [fo]
Thanks to a fungus, the medicinal plant ribwort plantain gains a higher concentration of the defensive compound catalpol. Biologists at Bielefeld University report this discovery in a study to be published this Thursday (22.5.2014) in the scientific journal ‘Nature Communications’. The increase in catalpol gives the plant better protection against pests. In the study, the research team worked with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. These are known to colonize the roots of land plants. The plants benefit from this, because the fungus provides them with nutrients and minerals. However, are the impacts of this marriage of convenience with the fungus on plant chemistry equal for all plants? That is what the researchers wanted to find out.
Digital transformation in the academic world: New service and infrastructure to provide open access to research data
Whether the coalition agreement of the three ruling political parties, the CDU, CSU, and SPD, the German Research Foundation (DFG), or the European Commission with its new billion Euro research and innovation programmes – the calls for better access to scientific data are prominent. But what do these political demands mean for research at universities? How can data be made available for further analyses beyond the borders of the laboratory? And where can research data to be found online? Bielefeld University is the first higher education institution on Germany to pass a resolution by the Rektorat calling on its academics to make research data easier to find and as accessible as possible to further analysis. And the decisive aspect here is that the coordination centre for research data [Kontaktstelle Forschungsdaten] at Bielefeld University library is delivering an immediate response to this by providing new digital advisory and publication services.[Weiterlesen]
Many months of laboratory work, numerous challenges, and, finally, good reason to celebrate: Ten students from Bielefeld University have been taking part in this year’s International Genetically Engineered Machine competition (iGEM) organized at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – and they gained second place (First Runner Up). They had already won the European region preliminary round (11–13 October) with their construction of a microbial fuel cell to generate energy directly from bacteria. The final World Championship Jamboree was held from 1–4 November at the MIT in Boston, USA. The Bielefeld team competed successfully against 80 teams from all over the world. Professor Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, Rektor of Bielefeld University was openly delighted at the success of the young researchers. ‘I heartily congratulate the Bielefeld team for this fantastic result. This very good achievement underlines the international level of research and teaching at Bielefeld. And I wish to thank the students for helping to make Bielefeld University even more visible throughout the world.’[Weiterlesen]
Be it hibernation or the routes of migratory birds: all animal behaviour that is subject to annual rhythms is controlled by a molecular clock. Although this has been known for a long time, in many cases it is still unclear how far genes are involved in setting this internal clock. Up to now, this also applied to the common buzzard and its migration from parental breeding grounds. Behavioural scientists in Professor Dr. Oliver Krüger’s team at Bielefeld University’s Faculty of Biology have now confirmed that a genetic clock determines when young buzzards leave their parents’ territory. The key to these findings were observations from the general public who reported tagged birds to the researchers. The researchers have now published their study in the journal Molecular Ecology.[Weiterlesen]
Last weekend (11–13 October), Bielefeld University’s iGEM team won the European region preliminary round of the international iGEM competition. The jury was so impressed by the microbial fuel cell the team has developed to generate energy directly from bacteria that they judged them to be the best team in Europe. ‘We never even dreamed that we would win,’ says Lukas Rositzka, a member of the team. ‘The surprise was great and the joy even greater.’ iGEM stands for ‘International Genetically Engineered Machine competition’ and is the most important student competition in synthetic biology. It has been held every year since 2004 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston, USA.[Weiterlesen]
The phenomena are well-known: educated top earners are healthier than uneducated poor people – and that is not only due to their having easier access to health care. A healthy lifestyle contributes considerably to preventing disease outbreaks and increases life expectancy. How far can the state go to encourage a healthy lifestyle in citizens? Paternalism and justice in preventive health care are the central topics of experts` discussions at an international workshop at the Center for Interdisciplinary Research (ZiF) of Bielefeld University. It is the kick-off event to the new ZiF Research Group which investigates questions concerning a fair public health policy.[Weiterlesen]
Scientists at Bielefeld University study how orders are placed at the bar
Dim lighting, a jumble of conversations, and loud music: bar staff have to master numerous challenges when serving their customers. In a crowded place, they have to identify who would like to place an order and who does not. A Bielefeld research team analysed how the body language of the potential customer helps the bartenders to achieve this. The team found that real-life observations were at odds with the widespread belief that customers wave for signalling that they would like to order a drink. Analysing the real-life data showed that it is crucial how customers position themselves at the bar counter. These findings were integrated in the ‘brain’ of the robotic bartender James. The Bielefeld scientists published their study in the online research journal ‘Frontiers in Psychology’.[Weiterlesen]
Like mother, like daughter; like father, like son. Evolutionary biologists at the universities in Bielefeld and Uppsala (Sweden) have now shown that this proverb also applies to inheriting a long life – at least for fruit flies (Drosophila). The research team found that the descendants of these insects mostly inherit their lifespan from their own sex: male descendants will very probably live about as long as their fathers; female descendants, about as long as their mothers. The scientists have published their findings on Thursday 12 September in the renowned journal „American Naturalist”.[Weiterlesen]
In the future, carbon nanomembranes are expected to be able to filter out very fine ma-terials. These separating layers are ultrathin, consisting of just one layer of molecules. In the long term, they could allow to separate gases from one another, for example, filtering toxins from the air. At present, the basic research is concerned with the production of nanomembranes. A research team working with Professor Dr. Armin Gölzhäuser of Bielefeld University has succeeded in developing a new path to produce such membranes. The advantage of this procedure is that it allows a variety of different carbon nanomembranes to be generated which are much thinner than conventional membranes. The upcoming issue of the renowned research journal ‘ACS Nano’ reports on this research success.[Weiterlesen]
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