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News from Natural Sciences

The LysM receptors on the outside of root cells from the legume Lotus japonicus determine whether harmful or beneficial microbes from the soil are recognised by the plant. The structure of the symbiotic receptor LYK3 and comparison with the immune chitin receptor CERK6 helped the researchers map important elements for recognition (figure: Kasper Røjkjær Andersen)

2021.01.05 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Top 5 science result in 2020: Signal molecules are the key to less use of fertilisers

Results published in Science from Aarhus University describe how legumes pick up special signalling molecules to distinguish between harmful and beneficial microbes. These results have been nominated by the Danish technical news journal “Ingeniøren” (the Engineer) as being among the five most important results in Denmark in 2020.

Thick deposits of loess (wind-blown dust) in Tajikistan (Central Asia), which have accumulated over approx. 2 million years, makes it possible to reconstruct changes in the area's environment, climate and ecology, as well as date the first presence of prehistoric and modern people in the area.

2021.01.05 | Department of Geoscience

The Department of Geoscience participates in an international NordForsk project

Andrew Murray and Mads Faurschou Knudsen from the Department of Geoscience, together with colleagues from DTU and the universities in Oslo, Uppsala, Moscow, Novosibirsk and Dushanbe (Tajikistan), have received 15 million. NOK to study the first presence of both prehistoric and anatomically modern humans in Central Asia.

Figure: Søren Lykkke-Andersen.

2021.01.04 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Integrator: A guardian of the human transcriptome

In a joint collaboration, Danish and German researchers have characterized a cellular activity that protects our cells from potentially toxic by-products of gene expression. This activity is central for the ability of multicellular organisms to uphold a robust evolutionary ‘reservoir’ of gene products.

Lars Arge, Professor at Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University. Photo: Morten Koldby

2021.01.07 | Computer Science

In Memoriam: Professor Lars Arge

Professor Lars Arge, Department of Computer Science, passed away 23 December 2020 at the age of just 53.

With its location at an altitude of 2.4 kilometers at La Palma, the Nordic Optical Telescope is one of the best places in the world for astronomical observations. Photo: Arthur Radko, Nordic Optical Telescope.
A meteor passes the clear night sky and the telescope at La Palma. Photo: Diana Juncher, Nordic Optical Telescope.

2020.12.21 | Department of Physics

Aarhus University takes over operation of the Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma

The Nordic Optical Telescope on La Palma plays a major role in research by Nordic astronomers, and in the education of new astronomers. It has been doing this for more than 30 years, and it will to continue to do so. Together with the University of Turku in Finland, Aarhus University has just taken over the observatory, which was otherwise under…

2020.12.15 | Faculty of Natural Sciences

Aarhus University and industry start five open research projects to pave the way for new pharmaceuticals

Kidney diseases, atherosclerosis, colon cancer, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and neurological disorders are five global health problems that the first five research projects in the Open Discovery Innovation Network (ODIN) are now addressing. In the projects, researchers from Aarhus University and the pharmaceutical industry are working…

Marie Louise Conradsen, Head of Open Science at Aarhus University, is working with researchers and industry to create a whole new model for business collaboration. Photo: Ditte Høyer Engholm, AU
Pernille Lærkegaard Hansen, Senior Director, Head of Bioscience, CKD. CVRM, IMED, AstraZeneca and Professor at University of Southern Denmark. Photo: AstraZeneca.
AU’s rector, Brian Bech Nielsen, sees ODIN as an excellent tool in efforts to forge collaboration across sectors to benefit society. Photo: Lars Kruse, AU Kommunikation

2020.12.11 | Faculty of Natural Sciences

University and industry in open collaboration on pharmaceutical research: It’s all about trust.

The groundbreaking open research collaboration, so far between Aarhus University and nine pharmaceutical and biotech companies, ODIN, is now up and running, and the researchers are ready to embark on their first joint projects aiming at fostering the development of new drugs throughout the world. The platform is completely open with the goal that…

Newly laid cow dung from Mols Bjerge, where samples for this study were collected. The dung is already colonized by insects, which can be seen from the holes in the surface. Photo: Philip Francis Thomsen.
A myriad of dung beetles (Aphodius spp.) on cow dung, which were some of the species found in the study. Dung beetles live in and feed on the dung. Photo: Morten DD Hansen.

2020.12.10 | Department of Biology, Sustainability

DNA traces from cow dung reveal insect diversity

Researchers at the Department of Biology at Aarhus University and the Natural History Museum in Aarhus have now shown that cow pads contain DNA from the entire community of insects inhabiting the dung.

Bjørn Panyella Pedersen (photo: Anders Trærup, Aarhus University)

2020.12.09 | Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics

Bjørn Panyella Pedersen receives prestigious grant from the European Research Council

Associate Professor Bjørn Panyella Pedersen from the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics at Aarhus University receives an ERC Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council for research in plant growth. The amount awarded is EUR 2.0 million and runs over five years.

The blackspotted rubberlip (Plectorhinchus gaterinus) was exclusively detected at coral reef sites with both eDNA and visual census. Photo: Peter Rask Møller.
Map of the eDNA sampling sites in Qatar, the Persian Gulf. From the article in Conservation Biology. Please click on the map to view it in full size.

2020.12.09 | Department of Biology

Scientists fish for DNA in coral reefs

Researchers from Aarhus and Copenhagen universities have shown that environmental DNA - the method of analysing DNA from an environmental sample to find out which organisms live in the area - works on a large scale. In a three-year project, they have used the method to map the biodiversity of the sea around Qatar based on DNA purified from…

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