Universities Driving the Economy in North Rhine-Westphalia

Based on conservative calculations, every single euro that North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) provides to its universities as core funding generates €4.01 in value. This is the main finding of a study that Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Lambert T. Koch, Chairperson of the Rectors’ Conference in NRW, officially presented to Ina Brandes, its Minister of Culture and Science, earlier today.

How a harmful fungus renders its host plant defenseless

The fungus Ustilago maydis attacks corn and can cause significant damage to its host. To do this, it first ensures that the plant offers little resistance to the infection. The surgical precision it applies is shown by a new study from the University of Bonn, which has now been published in the journal New Phytologist. The Gregor Mendel Institute in Vienna and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Gatersleben were also involved in the work.

No trace of dark matter halos

According to the standard model of cosmology, the vast majority of galaxies are surrounded by a halo of dark matter particles. This halo is invisible, but its mass exerts a strong gravitational pull on galaxies in the vicinity. A new study led by the University of Bonn and the University of Saint Andrews (Scotland) challenges this view of the Universe. The results suggest that the dwarf galaxies of Earth’s second closest galaxy cluster – known as the Fornax Cluster – are free of such dark matter halos. The study appeared in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Elevator helps bacteria to build an invisibility cloak

The transport of substances across the membrane into the cell is linked to specific membrane transport proteins. Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) and the University of Bonn, in collaboration with an international team, have now succeeded in elucidating the molecular structure of a completely new class of such membrane transporters. In addition to the Bonn scientists, researchers from the University of York were also involved. The study has now been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Comparison of two nano rulers

In the Middle Ages, every city had its own system of measurement. Even today, you can sometimes find iron rods in marketplaces that determined the length measurement valid for the city at that time. In science, however, there is no room for such uncertainties, and no matter what method you use to measure the length of a molecule, for example, the answer should always be the same. Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), the University of Bonn and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) Munich have now investigated whether this is true for two methods that are very often used to measure distances in protein molecules - for example, to find out how such molecules move. The study has now appeared in the journal Nature Communications.

Exciting science in the city center of Bonn

Not in a lecture hall, but in the middle of Bonn's city center, twelve young researchers from the universities of Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf will give insights into their daily research work and answer questions on August 6 from 1 to 4 p.m. on Bottlerplatz. Inspired by the "Speakers Corner" in London's Hyde Park, where debates and discussions were held in public and with the participation of the audience, the scientists will stand on wooden boxes (soapboxes) and present their research in an understandable and descriptive way - partly in German, partly in English.

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