A Christian legend has it that the mistletoe was damned by God to a parasites life, because Christs cross was made out of its wood. It was hold sacred by ancient Teutons as it symbolised the continuity of life and fertility because of living between heaven and earth, and staying green even in winter. From this belief the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe at Christmas still dates back. Druids (and who does not know Miraculix in the world-famous comic series "Asterix"!?) cut them with golden sickles at top-secret places at the turn of the year and from them they brewed all kinds of healing and magic drinks.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Ewald Schnug with mistletoe. Photo: FAL-PB
Colour Infrared image of a mistletoe. Photo: FAL-PB
The spots, where the mistletoes (Latin: Viscum album, i.e. "white slime" and points to the berries sticky features) grow, are not secret anymore. They occur massively in northern Germany. The mistletoes may gain considerable dimensions and are an enormous burden for the host due to their sheer weight and demand for nutrients. So, a mistletoe may easily weigh 15 kg and have a diameter of 1.5-m (see picture 1).
For the propagation of the mistletoes many factors are important such as the type of host tree, birds species, microclimate, and last but not least the individual resistance of the host. Scientists of the Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science of the Federal Agricultural Research Centre (FAL) in Braunschweig, Germany, are investigating, how soil pollution with heavy metals might be related to the predisposition of the trees and vice versa the existence of mistletoes indicates such stress. By means of a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) the scientists overlay geographical and soil information with the appearance of mistletoes. Aerial images taken at low altitude are collected either from miniature planes or from a remote-controlled "aerosonde", better known to the public as "drones" from war reports during the past years. The FAL-scientists work closely together with the colleagues of the German Centre for Aerospace (DLR) in Braunschweig, which use a so-called Micro-Airlab for taking images.
Nesting aids make agricultural fields attractive for bees
20.07.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
The Kitchen Sponge – Breeding Ground for Germs
20.07.2017 | Hochschule Furtwangen
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...
Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision
Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
20.07.2017 | Information Technology
20.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy