Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Creating knowledge since 1502

Neonicotinoids: Honeybees are much more robust than bumblebees

The neonicotinoid clothianidin affects different species of bees in different ways. While it has no demonstrably negative effect on honeybees, it disrupts the growth of bumble bees and threatens the survival of entire colonies. However, the insecticide does not make either species more susceptible to diseases and pathogens, as a massive field study in Sweden shows. The international team, including scientists from Martin Luther University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

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People used natural dyes to colour their clothing thousands of years ago

Even thousands of years ago people wore clothing with colourful patterns made from plant and animal-based dyes. Chemists from Martin Luther University have created new analytical methods to examine textiles from China and Peru that are several thousand years old. They present their findings in "Scientific Reports".

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Plant diversity increases insect diversity

The more plant species live in grasslands and forests, the more insect species find a habitat there. However, the presence of more plant species does not only increase insect species richness, i.e. the number of species, but also insect abundance, i.e. the number of individuals. Simultaneously, animal diversity is not only determined by plant diversity, but also by the physical structure of the plant communities. These are the results of an international collaboration led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research.

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Loss of habitat causes double damage to species richness

Loss and fragmentation of habitat are among the main reasons why biodiversity is decreasing in many places worldwide. A research team with participation of the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Martin Luther University has established that the destruction of habitat causes double damage to biodiversity. If habitat patches disappear, not only do the species living there become extinct, but species richness in neighbouring patches also declines, the researchers write in the journal Ecology Letters.

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Complete world map of tree diversity

Researchers at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and Martin Luther University have now succeeded in constructing, from scattered data, a world map of biodiversity showing numbers of tree species. With the new map, the researchers were able to infer what drives the global distribution of tree species richness. The new approach could help to improve global conservation.

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Cell division in plants: How cell walls are assembled

Plant researchers at Martin Luther University are providing new insights into basic cell division in plants. The scientists have succeeded in understanding how processes are coordinated that are pivotal in properly separating daughter cells during cell division. In the renowned scientific publication "The EMBO Journal", they describe the tasks of certain membrane building blocks and how plants are impacted when these building blocks are disrupted.

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Researchers discover gene that turns bees into social parasites

A small change in the genetic makeup of the South African Cape bee turns the socially organised animal into a fighting parasite. This change ensures that infertile worker bees begin to lay their own eggs and fight other colonies. In the current issue of the journal "Molecular Biology and Evolution", an international research team led by Martin Luther University outlines for the first time the genetic basis for this rare phenomenon.

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Cardiovascular diseases and nutrition in Europe

Of the 4.3 million cardiovascular deaths in Europe in 2016, 2.1 million were the result of poor nutrition. Every second to third premature cardiovascular death could be prevented by better nutrition. These were the findings of an international research team led by the Martin Luther University, the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the nutriCARD competence cluster and the University of Washington.

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Our commitment to refugees

Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg supports refugees eager to study by providing the following counselling services and measures.

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