The core sample has just been brought up from the bottom of the Bay of Aarhus and is being cut up. The researchers find archaea in the samples, which – to their great surprise – turn out to live on protein degradation. Image: Bo Barker Jørgensen.

2013.03.25 |

Four cells turn seabed microbiology upside down

With DNA from just four cells, Danish researchers reveal how some of the world’s most abundant organisms play a key role in carbon cycling in the seabed.

A supernova leaves behind gigantic clouds of matter (nebulae) that are released in the violent explosion marking a star’s death – hence the expression ‘cosmic clouds’. This image shows the Helix Nebula. (Photo: NASA, ESA, C.R. O’Dell [Vanderbilt University], M. Meixner and P. McCullough [STScI])

2013.03.26 |

Astronomers find a new type of supernova

People have been observing supernovae for more than a thousand years. Throughout this time, a previously unknown class has been hiding in the shadows of the cosmos. Meet Type 1ax – a faint and somewhat ‘gentle’ supernova.

2013.03.25 |

Gene test – sheep attacked by a wolf in Central Jutland

Researchers at Aarhus university have now finally determined that a wolf attacked a flock of sheep in Central Jutland. The result is based on DNA tests of saliva samples from the dead sheep’s wounds. Read more (in Danish only) here.

2013.03.21 |

Super maize can put sustainable food on the table

A new research project financed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation should pave the way towards a cheap and sustainable solution to some of Africa’s food problems. Researchers at Aarhus University are involved in the efforts to develop maize that can create its own fertiliser. On a global scale, this could lead to a reduction in the use of…

2013.03.19 |

School of Engineering gets a new 12-storey energy laboratory

Researchers at the Aarhus University School of Engineering have taken a new hall of residence into use as a full-scale laboratory. During the next three years, they will monitor energy consumption in 132 apartments to develop new technology for intelligent buildings. Read more (in Danish only) here.

Mark Lever works under sterile conditions in the laboratory. Familiar tools such as a hammer are necessary for a geomicrobiologist working with rock samples from the oceanic crust. Photo: Jesper Rais, AU Communication.

2013.03.12 |

Energy from the interior of the Earth supports life in a global ecosystem

The Earth’s oceanic crust covers an enormous expanse, and is mostly buried beneath a thick layer of mud that cuts it off from the surface world. Scientists now document life deep within the oceanic crust that appears to be sustained by energy released from chemical reactions of rocks with water.

2013.03.13 |

Archaeologist confused by old fish

Archaeologists depend on the precise dating of finds, and carbon-14 dating is often used for this purpose. However, new research shows it is more complicated than previously thought. Whenever our ancestors prepared and ate fish, they ‘set a trap’ for the dating people. Read more (in Danish only) here.

The calcium pump
The SERCA calcium pump is located in the sarcoplasmic reticulum membrane and pumps calcium ions (yellow) out of the cytoplasm in muscle cells. The sarcolipin molecule (turquoise) keeps the SERCA structure in place with the door open for calcium. This door is illustrated as a pink structure that moves up and down to open and close the door for the calcium ions’ transport pockets inside the protein.

2013.03.08 |

Last image in a molecular ‘comic strip’ now in place

Researchers at Aarhus University have worked together with a newly started biotech company to draw the last image in a scientific ‘comic strip’ that illustrates the migration and function of calcium in the body. Their discovery has been published in the journal Nature and has great significance for product development – particularly…

A study of testicles in Greek sculpture showed that the Greeks got it wrong as far as their anatomy was concerned. This gave the researcher an Ig Nobel Prize. (Photo: Colourbox)
‘The Stinker’ is the official mascot of the Ig Nobel Prize. (Illustration: Improbable Research)

2013.03.05 |

Laugh first – think later

What happens when you mix ancient testicles with hard science? You find out that the Greeks had a lopsided approach to anatomy. Science should be taken more in earnest than in jest – at least not only in jest. Admittedly, the Ig Nobel Prize is a satirical version of the Nobel Prize, but the winners must also provide scientific substance.