News in brief
News in Brief
Ozone hotspot China
China has the highest ozone levels in the world: whereas the concentration of ground-level ozone in Europe and the USA is declining, it has been increasing in the Middle Kingdom for years – Chinese cities are now experiencing similarly high peak values as in the USA in 1980. These are the findings of Chinese, American and Jülich researchers. At the Jülich Supercomputing Centre, they compared current Chinese measurement data with values from the worldwide ozone database TOAR.
– Jülich Supercomputing Centre –
Surface ozone values for China, Japan and South Korea (left), Europe (centre) and the USA (right). The number of days with 8-hour averages exceeding 70 ppb (parts per billion) or 140 micrograms of ozone per cubic metre is shown here. In the European Union, the limit of 120 micrograms may be exceeded on no more than 25 days per year.
Improved brain tumour diagnostics
In order to detect brain tumours, doctors use various imaging procedures such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or positron emission tomography (PET). Researchers from Jülich, Cologne and Aachen have now used artificial intelligence to obtain valuable additional information from MRI and PET images that would otherwise remain hidden from doctors. In this way, they receive information about the genetics of the tumour that would otherwise only be accessible by means of tissue samples. This information is also decisive for the type of treatment. The results must now be confirmed in further studies before physicians can possibly use them in everyday clinical practice.
– Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine –
Ivy filters particulate matter
Poor air quality and so-called heat islands are a problem in many cities. Green façades could help against this, as scientists from Cologne and Jülich have proven. Ivy covers have a heat-insulating effect on the façades in winter and a cooling effect in summer. They also absorb harmful nitrogen oxides and filter particulate matter. That was the result of temperature comparisons of green and bare façades in Bonn and of experiments in the Jülich nitrogen oxide measurement laboratory.
– Institute of Energy and Climate Research –
Several fluorescent protein molecules from the flavin-binding protein family have an antibiotic effect when irradiated with blue light. Researchers from Jülich and Düsseldorf have discovered this together with Spanish and Argentinian scientists. These newly detected properties make the “luminous” proteins interesting for new biomedical applications and therapeutic approaches.
– Institute of Bio- and Geosciences/Institute of Complex Systems –
times more …
… biomass is supplied by the energy plant Sida hermaphrodita when it grows on fermentation residues from biogas plants, as plant researchers from Jülich and Lüneburg report. In the beginning, the young plants avoided the fertiliser depot – the roots grew in other directions. After a short time, however, they developed a dense network of roots in the fermentation residue fertiliser depot and grew extraordinarily well. The researchers explain the starting difficulties with the large amount of ammonium in the fermentation residues: soil bacteria must first convert this into nitrate. The depot-fertilised shrub could help make nutrient-poor soils, such as in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, sustainably useful.
– Institute of Bio- and Geosciences –
Skyrmions – not the only ones of their kind
Jülich scientists have provided experimental evidence of a new class of tiny magnetic objects for storing data. The flat, three-dimensional structures appear on the surface of special alloys. They are only a few millionths of a millimetre in size, and the researchers call them “chiral magnetic bobbers”. The bobbers could complement the already known skyrmions – tiny magnetic vortices – and with these, become future storage units that save space and energy.
– Peter Grünberg Institute –
The Excellence Commission has selected 57 Clusters of Excellence of the 88 applications for funding for 2019. For four clusters, Forschungszentrum Jülich is the strong partner at the side of the respective university. The scientists focus on sustainable energy systems, plant sciences and quantum technology.
Large storage capacity, short charging times and high safety: the goal of the “FestBatt” cluster, which is being funded with around € 16 million, is to bring the next generation of solid-state batteries into use. Taking part in the three-year project next to Forschungszentrum Jülich are 13 scientific facilities.
He has had a key influence on battery research in Germany: Prof. Martin Winter, founding director of the Helmholtz-Institute Münster, a branch of Forschungszentrum Jülich. The chemist recently received the Federal Cross of Merit, First Class for his outstanding achievements.
Images: NASA images/Shutterstock.com, Forschungszentrum Jülich/HBP, Kirsten Krause, UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Nouran Adly/TUM, Forschungszentrum Jülich/S. Kreklau, Forschungszentrum Jülich/T. Esat, Grafik: American Chemical Society