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Overview of all focus news of the innovations-report

Overview of the focus news:

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Im Focus: SuperTIGER on its second prowl -- 130,000 feet above Antarctica

A balloon-borne scientific instrument designed to study the origin of cosmic rays is taking its second turn high above the continent of Antarctica three and a half weeks after its launch.

SuperTIGER (Super Trans-Iron Galactic Element Recorder) is designed to measure the rare, heavy elements in cosmic rays that hold clues about their origins...

Im Focus: LZH’s MOMA laser ready for the flight to Mars

One last time on Earth it has been turned on in France in December 2019. The next time the MOMA laser developed by the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is going into operation will be on Mars. The ExoMars rover into which the laser is integrated has now successfully passed the thermal vacuum tests at Airbus in Toulouse, France.

For 18 days the ExoMars rover Rosalind Franklin was subjected to thermal vacuum tests at Airbus. There, it had to withstand strong changes in temperature and...

Im Focus: Atacama Desert: A newly discovered biocoenosis of lichens, fungi and algae shapes entire landscapes

The Atacama Desert in Chile is the oldest and most arid desert on earth. Organisms living in this area have adapted to the extreme conditions over thousands of years. A research team led by Dr Patrick Jung has now discovered and investigated a previously unknown biocoenosis of lichens, fungi, cyanobacteria and algae. It colonises tiny stones, so-called grit and its need for water is satisfied by fog and dew. These organisms also decompose the rock on and in which they live. The scientists believe that this is how they have shaped the landscape of the Atacama Desert. Their study was published in the renowned scientific journal "Gebiology".

Many desert areas have large black spots in the sand. These spots are mineral deposits, so-called desert varnish. In the Atacama Desert, which can be compared...

Im Focus: Nano antennas for data transfer

For the first time, physicists from the University of Würzburg have successfully converted electrical signals into photons and radiated them in specific directions using a low-footprint optical antenna that is only 800 nanometres in size.

Directional antennas convert electrical signals to radio waves and emit them in a particular direction, allowing increased performance and reduced...

Im Focus: Astronomers spot distant galaxy group driving ancient cosmic makeover

An international team of astronomers funded in part by NASA has found the farthest galaxy group identified to date. Called EGS77, the trio of galaxies dates to a time when the universe was only 680 million years old, or less than 5% of its current age of 13.8 billion years.

More significantly, observations show the galaxies are participants in a sweeping cosmic makeover called reionization. The era began when light from the first...

Im Focus: Cancer-like metabolism and human brain size evolution

Mechanism of action of human-specific brain size gene uncovered

The size of the human brain increased profoundly during evolution. A certain gene that is only found in humans triggers brain stem cells to form a larger pool...

Im Focus: Clusters of gold atoms form peculiar pyramidal shape

Clusters composed of a few atoms tend to be spherical. They are usually organized in shells of atoms around a central atom. This is the case for many elements, but not for gold! Experiments and advanced computations have shown that freestanding clusters of twenty gold atoms take on a pyramidal shape. They have a triangular ground plane made up of ten neatly arranged atoms, with additional triangles of six and three atoms, topped by a single atom [see figure where a model of twenty oranges is compared with the theoretical and experimental structure].

The remarkable tetrahedral structure has now been imaged for the first time with a scanning tunnelling microscope. This high-tech microscope can visualise...

Im Focus: Researchers identify starting point for designing drugs that cure clostridium difficile

Scientists combined multiple advanced molecular imaging techniques to characterize and understand how C. diff toxins work

  • Clostridium Difficile (C. diff) is a virulent health care-associated infection responsible for nearly 13,000 deaths and over $5 billion in health care related...

Im Focus: Development of ultrathin durable membrane for efficient oil and water separation

Researchers led by Professor MATSUYAMA Hideto and Professor YOSHIOKA Tomohisa at Kobe University's Research Center for Membrane and Film Technology have succeeded in developing an ultrathin membrane with a fouling-resistant silica surface treatment for high performance separation of oil from water.

Furthermore, this membrane was shown to be versatile; it was able to separate water from a wide variety of different oily substances.

Im Focus: How cells learn to 'count'

One of the wonders of cell biology is its symmetry. Mammalian cells have one nucleus and one cell membrane, and most humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Trillions of mammalian cells achieve this uniformity -- but some consistently break this mold to fulfill unique functions. Now, a team of Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers have found how these outliers take shape.

In experiments with genetically engineered mice, a research team has ruled out a mechanism that scientists have long believed controls the number of hairlike...

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