News

Effort clarifies major branch of insect tree of life

A team of international researchers just published a new study on Hemiptera, using a vast amount molecular data to investigate their evolutionary history of more than 350 million years. An important part of the study was the reconstruction of the phylogenetic trees with a tool developed in the Scientific Computing group at HITS, Heidelberg. The reconstruction was performed on the supercomputer SuperMUC in Garching near Munich.

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New insights into the regulation of haemostasis

German Scientists investigate the structure of the von Willebrand factor (VWF), a key protein involved in blood clotting. HITS researchers from the Molecular Biomechanics group simulated the dynamics of the platelet integrin-binding VWF C4 domain to better understand disease mutations of this protein. The project was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG).

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“Highly Cited Researchers” at HITS

HITS scientists are listed among the most cited researchers worldwide. This year’s “Highly Cited Researchers” ranking by Clarivate Analytics again lists Tilmann Gneiting (Mathematics) and Alexandros Stamatakis (now in the new category “Cross-Field”).

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ESCAPE: Launch of the European Project for Data Management in Astronomy

2019 marks the beginning of one of the biggest projects for data management in astronomy. The „European Science Cluster for Astronomy & Particle physics ESFRI research infrastructures” (short: ESCAPE) is a consortium of more than 30 European partners that is now developing different strategies to facilitate the management of data-driven research. The project aims, among other things, to make the European science cloud reality and to create infrastructures and methods to deal with the increasing amount of data in astronomy.

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ACM Symposium 2018: Michael Strube speaks about „the dark side of NLP“

The German Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) turns 50 this year and celebrates its anniversary with a Symposium in Heidelberg. The Symposium takes place 20-21 September 2018 under the motto “Being Human with Algorithms”. Experts from all over the world discuss effects of the digital transformation to modern society – including all its side effects. The talks range from topics of digitalization, artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, over big data to blockchain, and more.

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“Astroinformatics” Conference 2018 in Heidelberg

The international “Astroinformatics 2018” conference will be held in the Studio Villa Bosch, Heidelberg, from September 3–7, 2018. Scientists from all over the world will meet to exchange views on the newest and most successful methods of machine learning in an effort to advance the exploration of the Universe. The conference is organized by HITS…

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Parasites discovered in fossil fly pupae

Parasitic wasps existed as early as several million years ago. Within a project coordinated by Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), researchers of various disciplines for the first time definitively discovered fossil parasites inside their hosts. The scientists studied fly pupae from old collections using ultrafast X-ray imaging. They found 55 cases of parasitation and described four extinct wasp species that were unknown until now. The project was managed by the KIT. Researchers from HITS and Heidelberg University developed the algorithms and software for the digital reconstruction. Their findings are reported in Nature Communications.

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Kerstin Hoppenhaus named “Journalist in Residence” at HITS

The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies provides science journalists the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of computer-based, data-driven science through a residence at the institute. Candidates from six continents applied for the position in 2018, and a jury selected Kerstin Hoppenhaus (Berlin, Germany). The award-winning science journalist intends to use her stay to develop new media formats suitable for making the complexity of “big data” accessible to laypeople.

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An Honor and a Farewell

After more than eight years at HITS, Volker Springel, head of the Theoretical Astrophysics group at HITS, has assumed his new role as Director of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics (MPA) in Garching. As part of his farewell ceremony, he was made an honorary “HITS Fellow.”

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The need for speed: Why malaria parasites are faster than human immune cells

Elementary cytoskeleton protein is different in parasites and represents a starting point for a possible new therapy against malaria infections. Researchers from the Heidelberg University Hospital, the Centre for Molecular Biology at the University of Heidelberg (ZMBH), and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have published these findings in the journal “PLOS Biology”.

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