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Euclid delivers first scientific results

Today, the Euclid Consortium publishes the first scientific publications on observations with the Euclid space telescope. In a first early observation phase, some scientifically spectacular results have already been achieved. These give a glimpse of the unprecedented capabilities of the telescope, which is expected to produce over the next few years one of the most accurate maps of the evolution of our Universe. All fifteen publications will be available on the arXiv preprint server from tomorrow on. Once the peer review process is complete, they will also appear in a special issue of the journal “Astronomy & Astrophysics.”

Roots are a key to drought-tolerant maize

Maize can grow successfully in very different local conditions. An international study headed by the University of Bonn has now demonstrated the important role of the plant root system. The researchers analyzed more than 9,000 varieties in the study and were able to show that their roots varied considerably – depending on how dry the location is where each variety was cultivated. They were also able to identify an important gene that plays a role in the plant’s ability to adapt. This gene could be the key to developing varieties of maize that cope better with climate change. The results were recently published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics.

Restrict Use of “Tipp-Ex Proteins”

Plants have special corrective molecules at their disposal that can make retrospective modifications to copies of genes. However, it would appear that these “Tipp-Ex proteins” do not have permission to work in all areas of the cell, only being used in chloroplasts and mitochondria. A study by the University of Bonn has now explained why this is the case. It suggests that the correction mechanism would otherwise modify copies that have nothing wrong with them, with fatal consequences for the cell. The findings have now been published in “The Plant Journal.”

Healthy Diets for People and the Planet

Our diet puts a strain on planetary resources. Shifting to a sustainable diet that benefits both our health and that of the planet is therefore assuming increasing importance. Researchers at the University of Bonn have analyzed the diets of children and adolescents in terms of their contribution to the ecological sustainability indicators of greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water use. The study shows that there is both the potential and a need to make the diet of younger generations more sustainable. The study will be published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; it is already available online.

International research team cracks a hard physics problem

Strongly interacting systems play an important role in quantum physics and quantum chemistry. Stochastic methods such as Monte Carlo simulations are a proven method for investigating such systems. However, these methods reach their limits when so-called sign oscillations occur. This problem has now been solved by an international team of researchers from Germany, Turkey, the USA, China, South Korea and France using the new method of wavefunction matching. As an example, the masses and radii of all nuclei up to mass number 50 were calculated using this method. The results agree with the measurements, the researchers now report in the journal “Nature”.

Organic farming leads to adaptations in the genetic material in plants

Plants adapt genetically over time to the special conditions of organic farming. This has been demonstrated in a long-term study conducted at the University of Bonn. The researchers planted barley plants on two neighboring fields and used conventional farming methods on one and organic methods on the other. Over the course of more than 20 years, the organic barley was enriched with specific genetic material that differed from the comparative culture. Among other things, the results demonstrate how important it is to cultivate varieties especially for organic farming. The results have now been published in the journal “Agronomy for Sustainable Development.”

Computer Science Students Design AI Applications for Research

BNTrAinee, a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and based at the University of Bonn, is developing AI-supported answers to specific research questions and is forging links between the University’s computer science teams and all manner of other subjects. This collaboration is now beginning to bear fruit, with computer science students joining forces with historians to create an algorithm that can help analyze old newspaper articles.

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