Press Releases

News and views on research at the Helmholtz Association - this is the place to look for all the press releases issued by the Helmholtz Research Centres and the Helmholtz Head Office. A comfortable search function helps you to view specific news items from the Helmholtz Research Centres in chronological order. Older press releases can be found in our archive or on the website of the relevant Helmholtz Research Centre.

At present only a selection of press releases is available in English - switch to the German version with the topmost navigation bar for a complete overview.

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  • 02. April 2020, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB)
    Corona research at BESSY II: Two days of measuring operation to find the right key

    The Berlin Synchrotron Source BESSY II of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) will resume operation for two days. Scientists intend to use the intense X-ray radiation from BESSY II to search for active substances against the corona virus SARS-CoV2. Almost two hundred samples from an important protein of the virus will be examined in the coming hours. The samples are saturated with different molecules that could be used as components of active substances. The analyses will show whether certain molecules can dock particularly well to the protein molecule and thus hinder the reproduction of the virus. These molecules are best candidates as components of a future drug.

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  • 01. April 2020, Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI)
    A sensational discovery: Traces of rainforests in West Antarctica

    An international team of researchers led by geoscientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, have now provided a new and unprecedented perspective on the climate history of Antarctica. In a sediment core collected in the Amundsen Sea, West Antarctica, in February 2017, the team discovered pristinely preserved forest soil from the Cretaceous, including a wealth of plant pollen and spores and a dense network of roots. These plant remains confirm that, roughly 90 million years ago, the coast of West Antarctica was home to temperate, swampy rainforests where the annual mean temperature was ca. 12 degrees Celsius – an exceptionally warm climate for a location near the South Pole. The researchers surmise that this warmth was only possible because there was no Antarctic ice sheet and because the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration was significantly higher than indicated by climate models to date.  The study, which provides the southernmost directly assessable climate and environmental data from the Cretaceous and poses new challenges for climate modellers around the globe, was released today in the journal NATURE.

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  • 01. April 2020, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI)
    SORMAS supports German health authorities in contact person management

    HZI-developed disease control app adapted for public health services. The mobile eHealth system SORMAS (Surveillance, Outbreak Response Management and Analysis System) was developed at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) together with national and international partners in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. The digital epidemic control tool is already in use in several countries, including Nigeria and Ghana in districts ...

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  • 01. April 2020, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
    Plant Protection: Communication instead of Poison

    Sustainable: KIT-coordinated Transnational Network Studies Chemical Signals between Pathogen and Plant – EU Funding in the Amount of EUR 500,000

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  • 01. April 2020, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
    New Materials: Brilliant White without Pigments

    Nanostructured Polymer Foil Appears White without Environmentally Hazardous Titanium Diox-ide – Beetle’s Chitin Scales Used as a Model

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  • 01. April 2020, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB)
    BESSY II: Ultra-fast switching of helicity of circularly polarized light pulses

    At the BESSY II storage ring, a joint team of accelerator physicists, undulator experts and experimenters has shown how the helicity of circularly polarized synchrotron radiation can be switched faster - up to a million times faster than before. They used an elliptical double-undulator developed at HZB and operated the storage ring in the so-called two-orbit mode. This is a special mode of operation that was only recently developed at BESSY II and provides the basis for fast switching. The ultra-fast change of light helicity is particularly interesting to observe processes in magnetic materials and has long been expected by a large user community.

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  • 01. April 2020, Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR)
    Once Helmholtz, Always Helmholtz

    Prof. Sebastian M. Schmidt takes the reigns as scientific director of the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) beginning April 1, 2020. He comes from the Forschungszentrum Jülich, where he was a member of the Executive Board and has been responsible since November 2007 for the research areas "Matter" and "Key Technologies / Information" in Scientific Division I. After fourteen years of service to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Prof. Roland Sauerbrey is retiring as scientific director.

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  • 31. March 2020, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
    Scalable Algorithms for Many Applications

    European Research Council Funds Peter Sanders’ “ScAlBox“ Project by an Advanced Grant

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  • 31. March 2020, Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC)
    Millions for cancer research

    Thomas Blankenstein receives an ERC Advanced grant for cancer research. The scientist wants to find out if T cells control the development of cancer by a process called immunosurveillance. For this purpose he now proposes a new research model.

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  • 30. March 2020, GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel
    Where is the plastic in the ocean?

    30 March 2020/Kiel. It is well known that large quantities of plastic waste are transferred to our seas every year. Where they remain in the oceans is however largely unknown. The HOTMIC research project, coordinated at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, aims to close knowledge gaps over the next three years about the fate of plastic in the oceans. Six European countries are funding the project with a total of 2.3 million euros as part of the EU programme initiative “Healthy and Productive Seas and Oceans” (JPI Oceans). The German portion is provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Last week, the research vessel ALKOR returned from its first HOTMIC expedition.

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