Research News

Turbulent times: When stars approach

HITS astrophysicists use new methods to simulate the common-envelope phase of binary stars, discovering dynamic irregularities that may help to explain how supernovae evolve. When we look at the night sky, we see stars as tiny points of light eking out a solitary existence at immense distances from Earth. But appearances are deceptive. More than…

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Award for Paper on Simulation of Flow Processes

SIAM Society honours research publication in the field of applied mathematics With one of the highest possible awards in the field of applied mathematics the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) has honoured the authors of a paper on computer-supported simulation of flow processes that appeared last year in one of the society’s five…

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Durch die ultraschnelle, aber zugleich gezielte Bindung rast der Rezeptor (goldfarben) durch die mit ungeordneten Proteinen gefüllte Pore in den Zellkern, während unerwünschte Moleküle ferngehalten werden. (Bild: Mercadante /HITS) The ultrafast and yet selective binding allows the receptor (gold) to rapidly travel through the pore filled with disordered proteins (blue) into the nucleus, while any unwanted molecules are kept outside. (Image: Mercadante /HITS)

In “Cell”: Floppy but fast

Inside cells, communication between the nucleus, which harbours our precious genetic material, and the cytoplasm is mediated by the constant exchange of thousands of signaling molecules and proteins. Until now, it was unknown how this protein traffic can be so fast and yet precise enough to prevent the passage of unwanted molecules. Through a combination…

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Universum: Simulationen am Supercomputer

This text is only available in German. Davon träumt die Wissenschaft: An einem Computer zu simulieren, wie sich das Universum bis heute entwickelt hat. Forscher aus Würzburg und Heidelberg wollen dem Traum jetzt näher kommen: Sie haben Rechenzeit im Wert von knapp fünf Millionen Euro auf einem Supercomputer bewilligt bekommen. Der Würzburger Mathematiker Professor Christian…

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Spindle pole body bridge on the front cover

HITS scientists Musa Özboyaci and Prof. Rebecca Wade (MCM group) have performed calculations that help to understand the process of cell division in yeast. In a multidisciplinary study conducted together with researchers at the Center for Molecular Biology of Heidelberg University (ZMBH) and at Frankfurt University, the team led by Prof. Elmar Schiebel (ZMBH) revealed…

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How Human Cells Can Dissolve Damaging Protein Aggregates

Heidelberg researchers decode fundamental mechanism using in-vitro experiments Cellular repair systems can dissolve aggregated proteins and now Heidelberg researchers have successfully decoded the fundamental mechanism that is key to dissolving these protein aggregates in human cells. Their in-vitro experiments uncovered a multi-stage biochemical process in which protein molecules are dissolved from the aggregates. Researchers at…

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Research that gets under the skin: HITS involved in new DFG Program

A new Priority Program of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) focuses on our biggest organ – the skin. The program is titled “Epithelial intercellular junctions” and aims at examining these junctions. Prof. Thomas Magin from the Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine (TRM) and Biology department of Leipzig University coordinates the program. Epithelial cells…

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New Standards in Biotechnology

A new working group for data processing and integration in biotechnology has been set up by the International Organization for Standardization, ISO. The working group aims to define consistent standards for the formatting, transfer and integration of life science data and models. The working group will be led by Martin Golebiewski, a biochemist at the…

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Heidelberg Researchers Find Unusually Elastic Protein

Scientists at Heidelberg University and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) have discovered an unusually elastic protein in one of the most ancient groups of animals, the over 600-million-year-old cnidarians. The protein is a part of the “weapons system” that the cnidarians use: a kind of harpoon launched from their body at extremely high…

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In “Science”: Big data explain evolution of birds

Bird tree of life reproduced by gene analysis and supercomputing, new findings about basics of birdsongs, feathers, biodiversity, and bird evolution About 95 percent of the more than 10,000 bird species known only evolved upon the extinction of dinosaurs about 66 million years ago. According to computer analyses of the genetic data, today’s diversity developed…

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DFG funds an interdisciplinary Research Training Group

DFG funds an interdisciplinary Research Training Group (DFG Graduiertenkolleg) “Adaptive Information Processing from Heterogeneous Sources” in a cooperation of TU Darmstadt, Heidelberg University, and Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies . The German Research Foundation will fund a new interdisciplinary research training group “Adaptive Information Processing from Heterogeneous Sources”. This research training group will be jointly…

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