2013.10.30 |

Researchers and upper secondary school pupils to map Danish genes

A project involving 800 upper secondary school pupils will clarify what part of the world the Danes’ genes come from, and write their genetic history for the first time ever. Read more (in Danish only) here.

This photo taken in the Yasuni Forest shows <em>Wettinia maynensis</em> – one of the rarer species of rainforest trees, only found in the western Amazon (Photo: Henrik Balslev)
In the rainforest in Yasuni, eastern Ecuador, there are more than 1,100 species of trees in a small area measuring 1 x 0.5 kilometres (50 hectares). The trunk in the middle is <em>Oenocarpus bataua</em> – one of the few species that make up almost half of all the trees in the Amazon (Photo: Henrik Balslev)

2013.10.21 |

Undiscovered trees still hidden in the rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is well known as being the forest that houses more species than any other ecosystem in the world. There are almost 16,000 different species of trees alone, but a new study shows that only 227 species – or 1.4% of the total number of species – account for half of all the trees.

When a newly born star shines for the first time, it is surrounded by a disc of large amounts of gas and dust. In simple terms, these are the remains the star itself is unable to contain. Over a period of many years, these remains become slowly drawn together as planets that organise themselves in orbit around the star, with rocky planets on the inside and gas giants on the outside. In any case – until now – this was the simple concept of the formation of planetary systems. The discovery of a new planetary system – Kepler-56 – actually now compels astrophysicists to critically evaluate the theory. (Illustration: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle, (NASA Spitzer Science Center)
This illustration shows the planets’ trajectories in relation to the Kepler-56 star’s rotation axis. In a ‘normal’ system, the star’s rotation (seen here as an arrow through the star) points in a more upward and downward direction, and the planets’ trajectories are on the same plane as the star’s equator. The star is a 3.5 billion-year-old red giant in the final stage of its development. It is located about 1000 light years from Earth and has a diameter that is four times the size of the Sun’s. The two ‘small’ planets are called Kepler-56b and 56c, and they are both large planets: 56b is 22 times the mass of the Earth and 56c is 180 times the mass of the Earth. The newly discovered planet – 56d – is the size of Jupiter and is visible at the right. Its trajectory and the angle of the star’s rotation axis in relation to the planetary orbits are puzzling astrophysicists because they do not keep to the ‘rules’ that were previously thought to apply to the formation of solar systems. (Illustration: Daniel Huber, NASA/Ames)

2013.10.17 |

Disorderly planetary system challenges the theories

The planets orbiting our own Sun do so in an orderly system. Rocky planets are on the inside, while the gas giants – including Jupiter – are on the outside, and all the trajectories follow virtually the same plane. This is how it most often commonly takes place, according to the astronomers’ theories for planet formation. However, a newly…

The Salkantay mountain, Peru. With a stable climate and many small and varied habitats, the Andes mountains are one of the places with the most rare plant species in the Americas. (Photo: Benjamin Blonder)
<em>Pleurothallis</em> orchid from the cloud forest in the Andes, Peru. Many orchids in this genus are very rare, and are only known from a few places in the Andes, Central America or the area around Rio de Janeiro. Climate change can have a major impact on species such as these. (Photo: Benjamin Blonder)

2013.10.11 |

World’s first mapping of America’s rare plants

The results of a major international research project show that climate stability plays a crucial role in the distribution of plants on Earth. Rare species in the Americas are restricted to areas of California, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, parts of the Andes mountains, the south of South America, and the region around Rio de Janeiro. The flora…

2013.10.16 |

The pig, the fish and the jellyfish: Tracing nervous disorders in humans

Scientists are working across animal species in order to solve some of the riddles of human diseases.

Icebreaker travels through ice floes. Photo: Polfoto

2013.10.14 |

Stowaways threaten fisheries in the Arctic

The increased sea temperature expected in 2100 will in itself mean that the potential number of species introduced with ships will increase more than sixfold in Svalbard. These are the findings of a new study with participation from Aarhus University. In consideration of the fact that the number of ships in the Arctic will also increase, there is…

The four physics students spent more than a year working on the project to restore and modernise the 50-year-old telescope. Aarhus thus once more has a telescope that can take images of stars and measure their luminosity in different colours, so that students and researchers can find new knowledge about the universe.

2013.10.18 |

Aarhus takes a close look at the stars once more

Four physics students at Aarhus University have modernised the large telescope at the Ole Rømer Observatory, so it is now possible to observe faint and distant celestial bodies.

The Zackenberg Research Station in North-East Greenland was established in 1995 and has since become one of the best platforms for research and monitoring in the Arctic thanks to the ongoing monitoring programmes. The buildings in Zackenberg are owned by Greenland’s Self Government, whereas operation and maintenance are undertaken by Aarhus University. Photo: Henrik Spanggård Munch, Aarhus University.

2013.10.10 |

The tundra – a dark horse in planet Earth’s greenhouse gas budget

There are huge amounts of organic carbon in the soil beneath the tundra that covers the northernmost woodless areas of the planet. New research findings from Aarhus University show that the tundra may become a source of CO2 as the climate becomes warmer. Read more (in Danish only) here.

Green roof from Peblingedosseringen in Copenhagen. Green roofs can at the same time be aesthetic beautiful, contribute to insulate the houses and help relieve in the sewers for a large part of rainwater. Photo: Dorthe Rømø, the City of Copenhagen.

2013.10.04 |

Most extensive collection of knowledge regarding European adaptation to climate change so far

European policy-makers will be served the most extensive collection of knowledge and experience regarding adaptation to climate change seen so far. The collection of knowledge will be developed in a large EU project led by Aarhus University.

Professor Anne Glover, Chief Scientific Adviser to the President, European Commission: “Speak up. Stand up. Gang up.” Photo: Lise Balsby, Aarhus University.

2013.10.11 |

Politicians must react to available knowledge

Scientists must get involved in society and clearly relay their knowledge to decision-makers – who in turn must react to available knowledge. This was the message at an international conference at Aarhus University.