Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

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Jahr 2019

Psychologists study how couples handle laughter

Laughter plays an important role in romantic relationships – whether or not it`s shared together or directed at the significant other. If partners handle laughter or being laughed at in a similar way, they tend to be quite content with their relationship. People who are afraid of being laughed at, on the other hand, are often less happy in their relationship. This also affects their partner and their sexuality, psychologists from Martin Luther University concluded in a study.

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Physicists from Halle grow stable perovskite layers

Crystalline perovskite cells are the key to cutting-edge thin-film solar cells. Although they already achieve high levels of efficiency in the laboratory, commercial applications are hampered by the fact that the material is still too unstable. Furthermore, there is no reliable industrial production process for perovskites. In a new study physicists at Martin Luther University present an approach that could solve this problem. They also describe in detail how perovskites form and decay. The results could help produce high-performance solar cells in the future.

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Root extract makes worms to live longer

A root extract of the Fallopia multiflora, or Chinese knotweed, has special properties: it enables the nematode C. elegans to live longer and protects it from oxidative stress. This has been demonstrated in a new study by nutritional scientists at Martin Luther University. The researchers provide scientifically substantiated evidence for the effectiveness of this extract, which is primarily used in traditional Chinese medicine and as a dietary supplement.

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Jahr 2018

Species-rich forests store more carbon

Species-rich subtropical forests can take up, on average, twice as much carbon as monocultures. This has been reported by an international research team in the professional journal Science. The study was carried out as part of a unique field experiment conducted under the direction of Martin Luther University, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The experiment comprises forests grown specifically for this purpose in China.

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Cocoa: a tasty source of vitamin D?

Many people do not get enough vitamin D. Brittle bones and an increased risk of respiratory diseases can be the result of a vitamin D deficiency. A research group at Martin Luther University and the Max Rubner-Institut has now identified a new, previously unknown source of vitamin D2: cocoa and foods containing cocoa have significant amounts of this important nutrient. According to the researchers, cocoa butter and dark chocolate have the highest amount of vitamin D2. They recently published their results in the journal "Food Chemistry".

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“Feeling and Norm”: University of Halle organises International Congress for Pietism Studies

Was a pious Christian in the 18th century allowed to simply feel or were there limits to what he could feel – a kind of emotional police or norm that intervened when he felt too much or the wrong thing? Did feeling and norm contradict one another? The Congress for Pietism Studies, which will take place in Halle from 26 to 29 August 2018, is devoted to these and other topics. The event is being organised by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Pietism Research at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg in cooperation with the Francke Foundations and the Historical Commission for the Study of Pietism.

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Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests

A new study shows that, in addition to the diversity of tree species, the variety of animal and fungus species also has a decisive influence on the performance of forests. Forest performance comprises many facets besides timber production, such as carbon storage and climate regulation. The study is based on ten years of research in species-rich subtropical forests. A team of researchers led by the Martin Luther University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research has published the results in the new issue of "Nature Communications".

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Tuberculosis: pharmacists develop new substance to counteract antimicrobial resistance

Antimicrobial resistance is on the rise worldwide. This is becoming a problem for infectious diseases like tuberculosis as there are only a few active substances available to combat such diseases. Pharmacists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have now found a way to increase the efficacy of a common tuberculosis agent while, at the same time, reducing resistance to it. The research group presents its latest developments in the international journal "Molecules".

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3D images of cancer cells: Medical physicists present new method

Making tumour cells glow: Medical physicists at Martin Luther University have developed a new method that can generate detailed three-dimensional images of the body`s interior. This can be used to more closely investigate the development of cancer cells in the body. The research group presents its findings in "Communication Physics".

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Urban Life Leaves Behind Traces in the Genome of Bumblebees

Bumblebees living in the city have genes that differ from those of their relatives in the countryside. Although genetic differences are not major, they nevertheless may influence how well the insects adapt to their habitat. These differences in their genetic makeup are an indication that urban life does impact the evolutionary trajectory of a species, write researchers at Martin Luther University and the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Leipzig-Jena in the current issue of the renowned journal "Proceedings of the Royal Society B".

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Timing is everything: researchers describe genetic clockwork in germ cell development

The nematode C. elegans is truly an organizational talent: The tiny animals, just one millimetre long, live for only two to three weeks, with sexual maturity lasting only four days. They nevertheless manage to generate over 300 offspring during this brief period. For this ambitious development programme to function optimally, a large number of processes must be synchronised within their cells. Geneticists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have deciphered a central signalling pathway that encodes and controls these processes. Their study was recently published in the international scientific journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" (PNAS).

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Growing and surviving: how proteins regulate the cell cycle

Cell division is the basis of all life. Even the smallest errors in this complex process can lead to grave diseases like cancer. Certain proteins have to be switched on or off at certain times for everything to go according to plan. Biophysicists and medical biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have managed to describe the underlying mechanism of this process. They have figured out how different signaling pathways in the cell change the structure of proteins, thereby driving the cell division cycle in the right direction at the right time. The researchers present their findings in the renowned journal "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences".

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