Tiny organisms tell us about climatic condition of the past
The carbonate shells of tiny marine plankton, foraminifers, are important archives of geochemical records of past climates. Understanding how these plankton make their shells is essential to correctly interpret the geochemical climate signals recorded in them.
Using electron microscopy and infrared spectrometry on ultra-thin slices cut from these shells, Dorrit Jacob from Macquarie University in Australia, together with her colleagues from the Australian National University and the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam, Germany, has resolved puzzling issues surrounding foraminifer shells.
The researchers have discovered that, contrary to long-standing textbook knowledge, these shells do not form as calcite, but instead, are originally formed as the metastable carbonate vaterite and only later transform into calcite.
“These findings are important for understanding how chemical elements are incorporated into the shells and how to read these climate archives correctly”, explains Dorrit Jacob.
“This promises to resolve hotly debated discrepancies between observations on natural shells and those seen in chemical laboratory experiments”.
The presence of vaterite instead of calcite in these abundant organisms also means that foraminifer shells are much more susceptible to ocean acidification than has been previously thought, which carries drastic ramifications for their survival in the future oceans.
Study: “Planktic foraminifera form their shells via metastable carbonate phases” by Jacob, Wirth, Agbaje, Branson and Eggins. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00955-0
Ralf Nestler | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ
Lessons for the future from past storm waves
02.11.2017 | MARUM - Zentrum für Marine Umweltwissenschaften an der Universität Bremen
New fractal-like concentrating solar power receivers are better at absorbing sunlight
26.10.2017 | DOE/Sandia National Laboratories
The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT and Rapid Shape GmbH are working together to further develop resin-based 3D printing. The new “TwoCure” process requires no support structures and is significantly more efficient and productive than conventional 3D printing techniques for plastic components. Experts from Fraunhofer ILT will be presenting the state-funded joint development that makes use of the interaction of light and cold in forming the components at formnext 2017 from November 14 to 17 in Frankfurt am Main.
Much like stereolithography, one of the best-known processes for printing 3D plastic components works using photolithographic light exposure that causes liquid...
A team of researchers led by Prof. Wolfram Pernice from the Institute of Physics at Münster University has developed a miniature abacus on a microchip which calculates using light signals. With it they are paving the way to the development of new types of computer in which, as in the human brain, the computing and storage functions are combined in one element.
Researchers at the universities of Münster, Exeter and Oxford have developed a miniature “abacus” which can be used for calculating with light signals. With it...
Extremely short electron bunches are key to many new applications including ultrafast electron microscopy and table-top free-electron lasers. A german team of physicists from Rostock University, the Max Born Institute in Berlin, the Ludwig-Maxmilians-Universität Munich, and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching has now shown how electrons can be accelerated in an extreme and well-controlled way with laser light, while crossing a silver particle of just a few nanometers.
Of particular importance for potential applications is the ability to manipulate the acceleration process, known as a swing-by maneuver from space travel, with...
Cancer cells can reactivate a cellular process that is an essential part of embryonic development. This allows them to leave the primary tumor, penetrate the surrounding tissue and form metastases in peripheral organs. In the journal Nature Communications, researchers from the University of Basel’s Department of Biomedicine provide an insight into the molecular networks that regulate this process.
During an embryo’s development, epithelial cells can break away from the cell cluster, modify their cell type-specific properties, and migrate into other...
For the second time, Dr. Samuel Sánchez from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart receives the Guinness World Record for the smallest nanotube travelling through fluid like a jet engine.
Dr. Samuel Sánchez is thrilled, just like last time he received a Guinness World Record for the smallest jet engine ever created. Sánchez is a Research Group...
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
02.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
02.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
02.11.2017 | Trade Fair News