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News from Natural Sciences

2020.08.29 | Department of Physics

Physicist appointed professor

As of 1 September 2020, Peter Balling has been appointed Professor of Experimental Physics

On Wednesday, groups of new students were showed around campus and the University Park by their student advisers. Photo: Christina Troelsen
New geoscience students being showed around. Photo: @geoscience_au
The introduction days offered, as usual, various ice-breaker activities to get to know each other. Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Photo
To allow for compliance with social distancing requirements, large tents have been set up in several places for some of the introductory activities as well as for autumn semester teaching. Photo: Lars Kruse.
For safety reasons, the student advisers wore face masks as they welcomed the new students.  Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Photo
There are various notices and other markings in rooms and buildings to guide students and others about social distancing, keeping to the right and avoiding bottlenecks and crowds. Photo: Christina Troelsen

2020.08.31 | Faculty of Natural Sciences

Welcome to new students

This year, Natural Sciences welcomes 966 new science students. Due to corona, orientation days are different than usual, and yet still the same.

Image: Anatomy of the fish eye. Anatomy of the rainbow trout eye, showing the retina (left) containing the photoreceptors (blue and red) and the vast capillary network behind the retina (right, diffuse green).

2020.08.24 | Department of Biology

Acidic fish eyes see better

A recent study in eLife shows a new mechanism in the fish eye that boosts the retina´s oxygen supply more than 10-fold and enhances eye´s ability to process visual input. This mechanism for improved vision may have contributed to the extraordinary adaptive radiation of the fishes, which today represent half of all vertebrates in the world.

Tinna V. Stevnsner (photo: Lisbeth Heilesen, AU)

2020.08.24 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Tinna V. Stevnsner appointed professor of ageing research

Tinna Stevnsner has been appointed Professor of Molecular Ageing Research at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University from 1 September 2020.

Magnus Kjærgaard (left) and Mateusz Dyla challenge one of the cornerstones of biochemistry, the Michaelis-Menten equation as they show that many enzymes in signalling pathways are independent of substrate concentration, because the substrate is physically connected to the enzyme. Photo: Mateusz Dyla.

2020.08.19 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Move over Michaelis-Menten!

Researchers from Aarhus University challenge one of the cornerstones of biochemistry, the Michaelis-Menten equation. They show that many enzymes in signalling pathways are independent of substrate concentration, because the substrate is physically connected to the enzyme. With these results, it may one day be possible to develop drugs that not…

Assistant professor Anne E. B. Nielsen (private photo)

2020.08.14 | Department of Physics

Talent award for young quantum physicist

Anne E. B. Nielsen has received the H.C. Ørsted Selskabet research talent award for her ground-breaking work within electromagnetism and quantum mechanics. The award is for talented early career researchers employed at Danish universities, and it amounts to DKK 10,000.

Fieldwork in Papua New Guinea - Axel Dalberg Poulsen in the company of Thomas Magun from the PNG Forest Research Institute and two local landowners. The group is admiring a species of Riedelia ginger that they have just collected from a treetop. Photo: Axel Dalberg Poulsen.

2020.08.12 | Department of Biology

Madagascar loses its record: New Guinea is now the most species-rich island in the world

99 botanists from 19 countries – including three from Denmark – have mapped plant life on the world's second-largest island, New Guinea, and so far they have identified 13,634 species. This is 19 per cent more than Madagascar.

Scientists have discovered that legumes use small, well-defined motifs in LysM receptors to read signals produced by both pathogenic and symbiotic microbes. These findings in Science have enabled the researchers to reprogram the chitin immune receptor into a symbiotic receptor Figure: Christina Krönauer and Damiano Lironi.

2020.08.07 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Researchers discover how plants distinguish beneficial from harmful microbes

Legume plants know their friends from their enemies, and now we know how they do it at the molecular level. Plants recognize beneficial microbes and keep harmful ones out, which is important for healthy plants production and global food security. Scientists have now discovered how legumes use small, well-defined motifs in receptor proteins to read…

The determination of the crystal structure of an exopolysaccharide receptor gives insight into how plants and microbes communicate and this knowledge can hopefully be used for more sustainable agriculture where microbes have an important role. Figure: Kasper Røjkjær Andersen.

2020.08.05 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Researchers discover a new and unique class of carbohydrate receptors

An international team of researchers led by Aarhus University are the first to determine the crystal structure of an exopolysaccharide receptor. The results give insight into how plants and microbes communicate, and this knowledge can hopefully be used for more sustainable agriculture where microbes play an important role.

Photo: Colourbox

2020.08.04 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Saving people with COVID-19 by suppressing the immune system

The immune system protects us from attacks from external enemies such as bacteria and viruses, but sometimes the body fights so fiercely against external threats that people die. In COVID-19, the immune system slows the spread of viruses. New research shows that this means that damaged tissue is not repaired in the lungs, which is why many people…