Thawing permafrost releases greenhouse gas from depth

Which effects did the heat wave of summer 2020 have in Siberia? In a study led by the University of Bonn, geologists compared the spatial and temporal distribution of methane concentrations in the air of northern Siberia with geological maps. The result: the methane concentrations in the air after last year's heat wave indicate that increased gas emissions came from limestone formations beneath the thawing permafrost. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).

Seeing better by looking away

When we fixate an object, its image does not appear at the place where photoreceptors are packed most densely. Instead, its position is shifted slightly nasally and upwards from the cellular peak. This is shown in a recent study conducted at the University of Bonn, published in the journal Current Biology. The researchers observed such offsets in both eyes of 20 healthy subjects, and speculate that the underlying fixation behavior improves overall vision.

Ulrike Almut Sandig is the University of Bonn’s tenth Thomas Kling Poetics Lecturer

What does a poetics lecturer do? What’s coming up in Bonn this year? What does our language say about us? How does language change us? An interview from forsch 2021/01.

Franziska Schuster sprints for Germany and studies in Bonn

Franziska Schuster spends her days boning up on molecular biomedicine. In the evening, she ties her running shoes and sprints round an athletics track in Leverkusen. The 19-year-old from Bonn is a member of Germany’s U20 track and field squad for sprint and hurdles, meaning she has a lot on her plate with her sport and her studies. There is not much time left for anything else – so how does one handle the pressure in such a situation? An article from forsch 2021/01.          

Fossil of the Year is from the Goldfuß Museum

The Fossil of the Year is a skeleton of a small pterosaur which Georg August Goldfuß discovered in 1831, descriptively naming it Scaphognathus crassirostris. The drawing he made of it marked the inception of ‘paleo art’— defined as any artistic work that attempts to depict dinosaurs or other prehistoric life on the basis of scientific evidence—which remains highly popular today. An article from forsch 2021/01.

Corona: A ‘digital semester’ of new possibilities

Face-to-face versus lockdown: a tension affecting day-to-day academic life at the University of Bonn for well over a year now. “We had to abruptly switch modes and take all formerly face-to-face events digital,” recalls Professor Karin Holm-Müller, who was Vice Rector for Teaching and Student Affairs until May of this year. “It is rare indeed to see one’s everyday reality so dramatically altered in such a short time. It has demanded incredible effort for everyone at the University.” An article from forsch 2021/01.

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