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The War in Ukraine: The Latest Information from MLU

The University of Halle is deeply appalled by the war in Ukraine and strongly condemns Russia’s attack, which is in violation of international law.

The university has consolidated information, offers of assistance, and ways to donate on a website it has set up for members of MLU: www.uni-halle.de/ukraine

Coronavirus pandemic: Current information from the MLU

The university offers information for MLU members on the following webpages: www.uni-halle.de/coronavirus. There you will find, among other things:

Physicists generate new nanoscale spin waves

Strong alternating magnetic fields can be used to generate a new type of spin wave that was previously just theoretically predicted. This was achieved for the first time by a team of physicists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). They report on their work in the scientific journal "Nature Communications" and provide the first microscopic images of these spin waves.

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Behavioural research: Study reveals that students aren’t ideal test subjects

Students are popular test subjects for many studies in behavioural sciences. However, using only students does not reveal the full picture about people in general. In fact, many of the students` decisions in those experiments differ from those of other population groups. These are the findings of a new, extensive study consisting of 36 experiments which was conducted by a team of  behavioural scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU). The study was published in the "Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics".

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High plant diversity is often found in the smallest of areas

It might sound weird, but it's true: the steppes of Eastern Europe are home to a similar number of plant species as the regions of the Amazon rainforest. However, this is only apparent when species are counted in small sampling areas, rather than hectares of land. An international team of researchers led by the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig has now shown how much estimates of plant diversity change when the sampling area ranges from a few square metres to hectares. Their results have been published in the journal "Nature Communications" and could be utilised in new, more tailored nature conservation concepts.

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Digital Dermatitis: genes influence risk for global cattle disease

Two tiny mutations in the genome of cattle likely cause some animals to be significantly more susceptible to Digital Dermatitis, an extremely painful disease that is widespread in cattle kept indoors. The two candidate genes were discovered by an international team of researchers from the MLU, the University of Göttingen and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US. The scientists analysed data from more than 5,000 dairy cows. The findings could help improve the breeding of disease-resistant animals. The results of the study were published in the journal "Frontiers in Genetics".

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A history of rye: How early farmers made plants genetically less flexible

Over the course of many thousands of years, humans turned rye into a cultivated plant. In doing so, they have considerably limited its genetic flexibility. Today, wild rye not only has a more diverse genetic make-up, it is able to recombine this more freely than its domesticated cousins. A research team led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) has demonstrated this in a new study published in the scientific journal "Molecular Biology and Evolution". The results also explain why cultivated rye is less resistant than wild species to developments such as climate change.

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Materials science: How ultrathin polymer films can be used for storage technology

Precisely applied mechanical pressure can improve the electronic properties of a widely used polymer material. This requires that the material be mechanically processed to an accuracy of a few nanometres, a team from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) writes in the scientific journal "Advanced Electronic Materials". In their new study, the researchers show how this previously unknown physical effect works  and how it could also be used for new storage technologies. The team has also succeeded in sketching the coat of arms of the city of Halle as an electrical pattern with a spatial resolution of 50 nanometres in the material.

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