Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

Creating knowledge since 1502

“Nature”: Scientists present new data on the evolution of plants and the origin of species

There are over 500,000 plant species in the world today. They all evolved from a common ancestor. How this leap in biodiversity happened is still unclear. In the upcoming issue of "Nature", an international team of researchers, including scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, presents the results of a unique project on the evolution of plants. Using genetic data from 1,147 species the team created the most comprehensive evolutionary tree for green plants to date.

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Study in "Science": Biodiversity changes more in water than on land

Rapid changes in biodiversity are taking place in many places around the world. But the diversity of species does not change the same everywhere. A new study in the journal "Science" shows that the composition of species in marine ecosystems is changing more rapidly than on land. The study was led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of St. Andreas in Scotland.

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High-level EU funding: MLU receives grant for an international PhD-network

The Institute of Mathematics at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) is to coordinate a new European Training Network (ETN) for doctoral students. The 14 research projects will examine how complex mechanical systems can be better modelled and simulated on the computer. The European Union will provide around 3.6 million euros over four years as part of the Horizon 2020 programme. MLU is joined by eleven other universities and research institutions from eight countries in Europe.

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Patented concept: novel, high-performance diodes and transistors

Today`s computer processors are increasingly pushed to their limits due to their physical properties. Novel materials could be the solution. Physicists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have investigated if and how these materials might be developed. They have created, tested and filed a patent for a concept that utilises the latest findings from the field of spintronics. The team reported on their research in the journal "ACS Applied Electronic Materials".

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Climate change and ecosystems: there are too few realistic experiments

When it comes to the impact of climate change on ecosystems, we still have large knowledge gaps. Most experiments are unrealistic because they do not correspond to projected climate scenarios for a specific region. Thus, we lack reliable data on what ecosystems might look like in the future, as a team of biodiversity researchers from Central Germany show in the journal "Global Change Biology".

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Physicists discover new material for highly efficient data processing

A new material could aid in the development of extremely energy efficient IT applications. The material was discovered by an international research team in cooperation with Martin Luther University. The electrons at the oxide interface of the material possess special properties which drastically increase the conversion rate of spin current to charge current. This is the foundation for future spintronic applications. The new material has been found to be more efficient than any previously investigated material, the team writes in the journal "Nature Materials".

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Plant protection: researchers develop new modular vaccination kit

Simple, fast and flexible: It could become significantly easier to vaccinate plants against viruses in future. Scientists at Martin Luther University, the Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry and the National Research Council in Italy have developed a new method for this purpose. It enables the rapid identification and production of precisely tailored substances that combat different pathogens. The researchers discuss their work in the journal "Nucleic Acids Research".

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Why humans in Africa fled to the mountains during the last ice age

People in Ethiopia did not live in low valleys during the last ice age. Instead they lived high up in the inhospitable Bale Mountains. There they had enough water, built tools out of obsidian and relied mainly on giant rodents for nourishment. This discovery was made by an international team of researchers led by Martin Luther University. In the current issue of "Science", the researchers provide the first evidence that our African ancestors had already settled in the mountains during the Palaeolithic period, about 45,000 years ago.

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New Research Training Group: Plant cells as small-scale assembly lines

Growth for plant research in Halle: A new Research Training Group (RTG) opened at Martin Luther University. Doctoral students are investigating how complex biochemical processes are controlled in subdivided rooms (so-called "compartments") of plant cells. The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is investing around four million euros in the RTG 2498 "Communication and Dynamics of Plant Cell Compartments".

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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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