News in brief
News in brief
Accoucheurs for planets
Two years ago, it was the first interstellar object observed crossing our solar system: the celestial body Oumuamua (this is an illustration). A study by two astrophysicists from Jülich and Belfast shows that planets may form particularly quickly from such objects in new star systems. The planets are then not only formed – as conventionally assumed – from micrometre-sized gas and fine dust particles, but will also be given start-up aid, so to speak, by the objects that are about the size of skyscrapers.
– Jülich Supercomputing Centre –
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Scientists can now use a new method to gain a better picture of the properties of brain tissue: for example, brain regions with many thin nerve fibres can be distinguished from those with few thick nerve fibres. In Diattenuation Imaging, developed at Jülich, brain slices are illuminated with polarised light. With the direction of oscillation (polarisation) of light, the refraction and attenuation of light change depending on the type of brain tissue illuminated – and this makes differences in the tissue visible.
– Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine –
It is able to absorb, store and release oxygen over and over again, just like a sponge does with water: the ceramic material lanthanum strontium manganate. Jülich researchers could explain in detail how the crystal structure, electrical conductivity and magnetic behaviour change in the process. The properties of the material can be specifically adjusted via the oxygen content. Therefore, it is interesting for computer memories, sensors and catalysts.
– Jülich Centre for Neutron Science –
“Driving bans and retrofits for diesel cars alone will not solve the nitrogen oxide problem in German cities. Trucks, buses and vans with diesel engines are much more problematic.”
Read facts about the diesel crisis on our website:
The mix makes the difference
Their influence is still a major uncertainty factor in climate models: the smallest particles in the air, so-called aerosols (see here for more information on aerosols). They are produced from terpenes, for example – molecules emitted by plants. An international team led by Jülich has now been able to show that aerosol formation from terpenes is inhibited in mixtures with trace gases such as natural isoprene, methane or anthropogenic carbon monoxide. The amount of aerosol in the atmosphere is therefore less than laboratory tests, in which these trace gases are not present, would suggest. This insight helps to make climate models more reliable.
– Institute of Energy and Climate Research –
No state of emergency
Atomic nuclei and electrons in solids influence each other in their movements. But, with a few exceptions, this interaction is such that it does not usually have to be taken into account. Apparently, however, there are more exceptions than previously assumed, as scientists from Jülich and Munich have found out. In a neutron experiment at Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum in Garching, they proved couplings between the motions of atomic nuclei and the electrons in the substance CeAuAl3. The researchers conclude that there must be more materials in which the effect plays a role. The findings could, for example, be used for data processing or for a loss-free transport of electric current.
– Jülich Centre for Neutron Science –1
from 14 European countries are participating in the Battery 2030+ research initiative, including the Helmholtz Institute Münster, a branch of Forschungszentrum Jülich. Over the next ten years, the initiative aims to develop extremely powerful batteries – also with the help of artificial intelligence – and thus strengthen the competitiveness of the European industry in battery research. Better batteries for cars and electricity storage are essential to achieve the EU’s climate objectives.
– Helmholtz Institute Münster –
Flexible blood cells take another route
Red blood cells are normally elastic, but their outer skin, the membrane, stiffens increasingly in diseases such as sickle cell anemia, malaria and diabetes.
Computer simulations by Jülich scientists show how stiffened blood cells can be separated from elastic blood cells: when flowing in a liquid through small channels, the cells take different routes past sharp-edged, triangular obstacles.
This result can possibly be used to modify an established method in which rod-shaped obstacles are used to separate red and white blood cells due to their size difference: the previous round rods could be replaced by sharp-edged obstacles.
– INSTITUTE OF COMPLEX SYSTEMS AND INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED SIMULATION –
Stiffened blood cells
Elastic blood cells
Photos: Forschungszentrum Jülich/Dmitry Fedosov/Seitenplan, Wolfgang Filser/TUM, M. Kornmesser, Miriam Menzel et al., Scientific Reports (2019), DOI:10.1038/s41598-019-38506-w (CC BY 4.0), Canetti/shutterstock.com, Svetlana Lukienko/shutterstock-com