Fossilised remains of sea creatures are commonly found in rocks in the mountains of the Basque Country. So, at some time in the past, Euskal Herria was under the sea. For example, during the Palaeocene period, some 65-55 million years ago. The region was then subtropical, and similar in appearance to the Australian Coral Reef.
Along the Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa coast, around Eibar, in Irati and in Urbasa, for example, we can see Palaeocene outcrops at the surface. During that period there were collisions between the European and Iberian tectonic plates which pushed up earth mass that lay under the sea. These very collisions gave rise to the Pyrenees.
These Palaeocene rock outcrops are not at all common on the rest of the planet and, thus, in order to ascertain what happened during that period, researchers have an invaluable source of information in the Basque Country. Moreover, the area has another advantage: remains occur both of the sea crust and of the continental platform and its edge, given that the town of Zumaia at that time was submerged 1,000 metres below the sea while the Rioja Alavesa was above surface.
Garazi Andonegi | Basque research
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Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
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