Latest Press Releases

Accelerated reactions in condensed bio-matter?

HITS researcher Dr. Kashif Sadiq explores ribonucleoprotein granules, a condensed form of bio-matter found inside cells. He investigates whether the rate of enzymatic reactions in these membrane-less granules is accelerated. If true, this would lead to new insights in how cells regulate their biochemistry and may shed light on the origins of life on Earth. The project is funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung with an “Experiment!” grant.


New planetarium and astronomy visitor centre opened

Today, after three years of construction, the ESO Supernova Planetarium and Visitor Centre will be inaugurated. The new centre at the European Southern Observatory headquarters in Garching is an endowment from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The state-of-the-art astronomy centre is tailored to convey the fascination and significance of astronomy andastrophysics to the public. The idea for the centre emanated from a cooperation between the ESO and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS).


Habilitation for HITSter Rüdiger Pakmor

The astrophysicist Dr. Rüdiger Pakmor from the Theoretical Astrophysis group (TAP) successfully completed the habilitation process at Heidelberg University. At the end of January, the faculty committee of physics and astronomy presented him the certificate of venia legendi. He develops novel numerical methods and applies them, among others, to galaxy formation and supernova explosions. Pakmor…


EuroNeurotrophin project starts

14 Early Stage Researchers to be trained in a European training network for the discovery of small molecule neurotrophin mimetics as candidate therapeutic agents for neurodegeneration and neuro-inflammation. HITS will host two young scientists who will work on the computer-aided design of neurotrophin mimetics.

Die Computational Biology (CBI) Gruppe, 2013-2018 (v.l.n.r.): Martin Pippel, Siegfried Schloissnig, Philipp Kämpfer, Sean Powell, Philipp Bongartz.

CBI Junior Group: Mission Accomplished

HITS Junior Group “Computational Biology” is bringing its work to a close with two publications in “Nature.” According to Group Leader Siegfried Schloissnig, “We had enough time to do diligent quality work.” New HITS Junior Groups will be established in 2018.


How black holes shape the cosmos

Astrophysicists from Heidelberg, Garching, and the USA gained new insights into the formation and evolution of galaxies. They calculated how black holes influence the distribution of dark matter, how heavy elements are produced and distributed throughout the cosmos, and where magnetic fields originate. This was possible by developing and programming a new simulation model for the universe, which created the most extensive simulations of this kind to date. First results of the “IllustrisTNG” project have now been published in three articles in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. These findings should help to answer fundamental questions in cosmology.

The Mexican axolotl Ambystoma mexicanum (Copyright: IMP)

The largest genome ever: Decoding the Axolotl

A team of researchers led by scientists in Vienna, Dresden and Heidelberg has decoded the entire genetic information of the Mexican salamander axolotl. The axolotl genome, which is the largest genome ever to be sequenced, will be a powerful tool to study the molecular basis for re-growing limbs and other forms of regeneration. The journal NATURE publishes the news in its current issue.