News

When the oxygen content in the bottom water reaches a low point, the only survivors are ultimately bacteria that live on and in the seabed. Here the patches of white sulphur bacteria form a shroud (Photo: Peter Bondo Christensen).
Areas with low oxygen content (red) or no oxygen content (black) in the Baltic Sea in 1906 (A), 1955 (B) and 2012 (C), respectively.

2014.03.31 |

Oxygen depletion in the Baltic Sea is ten times worse than a century ago

The Baltic Sea is suffering from a lack of oxygen. Poor oxygen conditions on the seabed are killing animals and plants, and experts are now sounding the alarm – releasing fewer nutrients into the Baltic Sea is absolutely necessary.

Agri Sø
The pontoon platform to be used for the drillings
Professor Bent Vad Odgaard, Department of Geoscience

2014.04.01 |

The Agri Sø lake in Mols Bjerge to get a geological ‘bottoms-up’

From 13.00 on Wednesday 2 April, everyone interested has an opportunity to meet Professor Bent Vad Odgaard, Aarhus University, and hear him talk about the work involved in taking sediment cores from the lake and what they can tell us about the last 11,700 years at least.

Engineering students from Aarhus University will challenge the limit for how many kilometres it is technically possible to get out of a single litre of fuel. This photo is from an early stage in the work to develop an ultra-efficient vehicle that will compete in May for the unofficial championship in the Shell Eco-marathon.

2014.04.01 |

Students will drive 10,000 kilometres on one litre of fuel

A team of engineering students at Aarhus University is preparing for the unofficial ‘how far per litre’ championship. After several hundred hours in the workshop, they are ready with what is possibly the world’s most energy-efficient vehicle. Read more (in Danish only) here.

2014.04.01 |

Upper secondary school pupils reveal their genetic history

Almost 800 pupils from all over Denmark voluntarily donated DNA samples to study the genetic history of the Danes as part of genetic research at Aarhus University. Read more (in Danish only) here.

The ciliate <i>Tetrahymena pyriformis</i> is an example of a microorganism that moves actively and is thus able to transport PAH. 1 micrometre = 1/1000 mm. Microscopy: Hans H. Jakobsen, Aarhus University

2014.03.26 |

New perspective for soil clean-up – microbes transport PAH

Microscopic ciliates can increase the mobility of poisonous tar substances – PAHs – by up to 100-fold according to a new study carried out by Danish researchers. The results open new possibilities for cleaning soil contaminated with organic chemicals.

Little owls eat virtually everything, including earthworms. However, new research shows that they do not have enough food during the breeding season, and this is threatening the survival of the population. (Photo: Stig Frode Olsen)

2014.03.27 |

Danish little owls threatened by lack of food

The Danish little owls do not have enough food during the breeding season, and this is threatening the survival of the population. Researchers at Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen have studied which type of landscape the owls prefer when searching for food. Surprisingly, they mainly forage in gardens and built-up areas.

A major new research project has revealed what controls the food net in the vulnerable Arctic tundra. Surprisingly, the researchers found parallels to a completely different climatic region – the savannah. (Photo: Niels Martin Schmidt)
It is the small Arctic herbivores in particular that end up as food for the predators. Here a lemming has been killed by a small skua. (Photo: Lars Holst Hansen)

2014.03.24 |

Researchers reveal the dynamics behind Arctic ecosystems

The climate – combined with the body size of the herbivores – is crucial for how the tundra’s ecosystem works. This is shown in new research, which is also the first step towards a general understanding of ecosystems on land.

2014.03.24 |

Degradation of the herbicide RoundUp®

Reviewed information about the degradation of the active compound glyphosate in RoundUp® may eventually be useful in processes where the ability of the bacteria to break down organic compounds – such as phosphonates – is used for removing substances that are hard for the environment to degrade.

<em>Exoplaneter</em> (Exoplanets) is a textbook published as an iBog® (iBook), which means it is exclusively web-based and combines text and illustrations with interactive tools, videos, etc. (Illustration: Systime)

2014.03.19 |

Upper secondary school pupils to study planets around other stars

Astrophysicists at Aarhus University have written a new textbook on exoplanets. The book is a new type of teaching resource that makes it possible for the pupils to work with real measurements from the Kepler space satellite.

Researchers at Aarhus University and the Max Planck Institute have got molecules to stand still by cooling them down to record-low temperatures. Illustration: Alex Gingell
Professor Michael Drewsen is group leader of the Ion Trap Group at the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and first author of the article in <em>Nature</em>. Photo: Aarhus University
An electromagnetic field is formed by electrodes (illustrated in gold) in a vacuum chamber in which atomic ions and molecular ions are trapped. The atomic ions are initially cooled by laser light (the white spheres), after which helium gas (the mauve spheres) cools down the molecular ions. The molecules consist of a magnesium atom (blue spheres) and a hydrogen atom (green spheres). Illustration: Alex Gingell

2014.03.17 |

Freeze! How to get molecules to stand still

Using a combination of laser beams and ice-cold gas, researchers at Aarhus University have succeeded in cooling molecules so much that they stand still and do as they are told.

Dang Quang Svend Le (photo: private)
Dorthe Bomholdt Ravnsbæk (photo: Lars Kruse, AU Communication

2014.03.11 |

Two young Aarhus researchers receive Strategic Research Awards 2014

The Danish Council for Strategic Research awards two prizes every year for excellent strategic research. Both winners this year come from the Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Centre (iNANO), Aarhus University.

Russian scientists made a sensational discovery when they dug the huge mammoth out of the permafrost. The flesh and muscles turned out to be remarkably well preserved after being frozen for 43,500 years. An Aarhus researcher will now help study the mammoth’s blood more closely. Photo: Semyon Grigoyev
The mammoth’s flesh is red and looks almost like fresh meat. This gives rise to hopes that the samples will provide important new knowledge about the mammoth’s biology and cold acclimation. Photo: Semyon Grigoyev
To their great surprise, the researchers were able to collect a liquid blood sample from the mammoth. Photo: Semyon Grigoyev

2014.03.10 |

Aarhus researcher to study sensational discovery of a mammoth

Russian scientists discovered a remarkably well-preserved mammoth last year. It had been frozen in the Arctic permafrost for 43,500 years. A researcher from Aarhus University is now going to Yakutsk in Siberia to take samples of the mammoth to study its blood and muscles.

2014.03.07 |

Nordic cattle breeds to be given a genetic boost

The relatively small population sizes of the dairy breeds Jersey and Nordic Red Cattle in the Nordic countries pose challenges in using genomic selection to increase genetic progress. A new scientific project aims at improving the methodology used in genomic prediction. Animal health, welfare and production will benefit.

Reconstruction of a last interglacial temperate landscape (Germany) with typical Late Pleistocene European large herbivores such as the now extinct straight-tusked elephant (<em>Elephas antiquus</em>), an extinct rhinoceros (<em>Stephanorhinus kirchbergensis</em>) as well as the still common roe deer (<em>Capreolus capreolus</em>). Illustrator: Elke Gröning.
Many of the dung beetles examined in the study came from a typical landscape that looked like this: a mosaic of open countryside, scattered trees and forests. This photo is from Røsnæs, one of the few places in Denmark where grass-eating animals roam all year round. Photo: Morten DD Hansen.
The horned dung beetle (<em>Copris lunaris</em>) was common in the interglacial period. It requires a considerable amount of heat and depends on abundant supplies of dung from herbivores. Photo: Morten DD Hansen.
The large dung beetle (<em>Onthophagus vacca</em>) was common in the interglacial period. It requires a considerable amount of heat and depends on abundant supplies of dung from herbivores. Photo: Morten DD Hansen.

2014.02.28 |

Large mammals were the architects in prehistoric ecosystems

Elephants, rhinoceroses and aurochs once roamed around freely in the forests of Europe, while hippopotamuses lived in rivers such as the Thames and the Rhine. New research shows how we can use knowledge about the past to restore a varied landscape with a high level of biodiversity.

The eider is the largest duck in the Arctic, where it is a highly valued living resource in the form of eggs, down feathers and meat. The eider is widespread throughout the Arctic and is also found in Northern Europe. The world population is estimated to be between 1.5 and 3 million breeding pairs. Photo: Flemming Merkel

2014.03.03 |

Overexploitation is still a problem in Greenland

While overexploitation of populations of fish, whales, seals and birds is generally a thing of the past in the Arctic, it is still a problem in Greenland. This is made clear in the new Arctic Biodiversity Status, which has just been published as a comprehensive report.