Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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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:

Artificial intelligence can help protect orchids and other species

Orchids are quite decorative. However, many orchid species are also threatened by land conversion and illegal harvesting. But only a fraction of those species is included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, because assessments require a lot of time, resources and expertise. A new approach, an automated assessment developed under the lead of biodiversity researchers from Central Germany, now shows that almost 30% of all orchid species are possibly threatened.

Researchers find new way to protect plants from fungal infection

Widespread fungal disease in plants can be controlled with a commercially available chemical that has been primarily used in medicine until now. This discovery was made by scientists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the University of the State of Paraná in Brazil. In a comprehensive experiment the team has uncovered a new metabolic pathway that can be disrupted with this chemical, thus preventing many known plant fungi from invading the host plant. The team reported on their study in the scientific journal "Phytopathology".

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Europe’s primary forests: What to protect? What to restore?

An expansion of the protected areas by only about one percent would sufficiently protect most remaining primary forests in Europe. This is one of the main results of a study conducted by an international team led by researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (HU). The study, published in "Diversity and Distribution", is the first assessment of the conservation status of Europe's primary forests. It identifies protection gaps and areas with restoration needs to reach conservation targets. In addition, it provides valuable information how to implement the new EU Biodiversity Strategy.

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Nature as a model: researchers develop novel anti-inflammatory substance

Anti-inflammatory substances based on components of human cells could one day improve treatment in patients. Researchers at the Institute of Pharmacy at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have developed a method for producing those substances with controlled quality. Since the body does not recognise them as foreign substances, they offer advantages over anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or diclofenac. The results were published in the "European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences".

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Playfulness can be trained – here’s why you should do it

Simple exercises can help to make people more playful and consequently feel more satisfied with their lives. This has been revealed in a new study by psychologists from Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) in the journal "Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being". The researchers had participants in an experiment perform a week of exercises to boost their playfulness. They found that the trait can be stimulated and trained – and that this improves a person's mood.

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Corona pandemic: What dashboards do not show

How can the course of the corona pandemic and its effects be illustrated? In recent months, dashboards - interactive, graphically depicted online summaries - have become the new norm of displaying infection rates, deaths and patterns of spread. This is problematic, as geographer Professor Jonathan Everts at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) writes in a commentary for the journal "Dialogues in Human Geography". He criticises the way the programmes are handled and explains which aspects of the pandemic they are not taking into account.

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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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