Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Jahr 2018

Producing handy gels from a protein found in human blood

From blood to the lab: the protein albumin is responsible for many vital processes in the human body. In nature it only appears as a solution when dissolved in water. Chemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a method of producing various albumin-based gels. Their findings may one day help to develop innovative drug carrier systems that more easily reach the bloodstream. The study conducted by the researchers in Halle was recently featured on the cover of the international Journal "Biomaterials Science" published by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

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These bacteria produce gold nuggets by digesting toxic metals

High concentrations of heavy metals, like copper and gold, are toxic for most living creatures. This is not the case for the bacterium C. metallidurans, which has found a way to extract valuable trace elements from a compound of heavy metals without poisoning itself. One interesting side-effect: the formation of tiny gold nuggets. A team of researchers led by Martin Luther University has discovered the molecular processes that take place inside the bacteria.

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New study: How bacteria manipulate plants

Attack at the protein front: Xanthomonas bacteria cause diseases in tomato and pepper plants and inject harmful proteins into plant cells. Researchers from the Universities of Halle, Bonn and Freiburg as well as the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry have now discovered how one of these proteins manipulates the nutrient supply and hormonal balance of plants. Their study was recently published in the renowned journal "Nature Communications".

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Chemists develop a very simple method to break down pollutants in water

Chemists from Martin Luther University have found out how stubborn pollutants in water can be disintegrated easily and cost-effectively. To do so researchers only need a green LED light, a catalyst and vitamin C. In this way, they can produce special types of electrons that reliably destroy the pollutants in the water. Until now, complex laser systems were required for this.

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MLU secures funding for international research training group

Major success for biodiversity research in Central Germany: A new international research training group at Martin Luther University focuses on how trees interact with each other and on the consequences of these interactions for the ecosystem. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation, DFG) will be funding the PhD programme for the next four-and-a-half years with around 3.5 million euros.

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Welcome to the club: a network for newbies

Employees and professors who are new to Martin Luther University don’t get a freshers party – at best, they are actively supported at their work place. However, at the end of the workday, these newcomers usually have to fend for themselves. This is now set to change. In November, 25 members of the university founded the Newcomers’ Club.

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How wind turbines annoy residents and how to reduce it

When falling asleep, relaxing or undertaking recreational activities, nearly a third of residents living near a wind farm are not at all annoyed or only slightly annoyed by the noise of wind turbines. One in ten people experience symptoms of stress, such as irritability or difficulty falling asleep. However, noise is not the only problem for those affected, according to psychologists at Martin Luther University in the current issue of the journal "Energy Policy". In particular, a critical attitude towards a wind farm stimulates the experience of stress.

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New study: How climate change alters plant growth

Global warming affects more than just plant biodiversity - it even alters the way plants grow. A team of researchers at Martin Luther University discovered which molecular processes are involved in plant growth. They published their findings in the current edition of the internationally renowned journal "Current Biology".

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Size matters: Biologists are studying how thrips choose their partners

The bigger the male, the higher his chances to successfully mate – this applies, at least, to thrips, insects measuring only two to three millimetres in length that are hard to recognise with the naked eye. The larger males not only drive off their smaller rivals, they also have better immune systems and produce more sperm. This is a discovery that was made by biologists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg.

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Researchers develop dissolvable, easy-to-use milk capsules

Researchers at Martin Luther University have developed a milk capsule that dissolves when placed in a hot drink. Not only does this reduce the consumption of packaging material, the capsules are easier to use than conventional plastic containers. The research group published its findings in the journal "Chemical Engineering & Technology".

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Psychology: playful people are at an advantage

Adults can positively utilise their inclination towards playfulness in many situations. They are good at observing, can easily see things from new perspectives, and can turn monotonous tasks into something interesting. At the same time, playfulness should not be equated with humour. Instead we need a new vocabulary to describe it, write psychologists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in the current issue of the international journal "Personality and Individual Differences".

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Competing forces: How molecules maintain their structure

A double helix twisted around itself: this is the distinctive structure of DNA, which is made up of large molecules. Using synthetically produced molecules, chemists and physicists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have investigated the forces which are at work inside the molecule to give it its three-dimensional structure. They have discovered that there are two primary forces at play that can strengthen or weaken one another.

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