The discovery of a private Jewish prayer room in Erfurt dating from the 13th century came as a complete surprise to building archaeologists and conservators. The first confirmed ensemble of this kind north of the Alps reveals a fascinating insight into everyday Jewish piety in the Middle Ages.
The International Ocean Discovery Program, the world's largest research collaboration in the geosciences, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. With significant scientific and financial participation from Germany, the IODP expeditions and their core samples are providing fundamental insights into the Earth's structure and climate history.
Cross‐border cooperation seems essential to good research. But what is it actually founded upon? In a polycentric scientific world, do we need to rethink the concepts of freedom and responsibility? And how can we protect them against current threats? Reflections on the internationality of sciences and the humanities in a global era
Founded 100 years ago, the Bauhaus was Germany's most successful cultural export of the 20th century. New research reveals how the communicative links between members of the Bauhaus enabled the institution to continue functioning after its closure in 1933 as an early form of “virtual community”. The study steps away from a more conventional stylistic examination to take a fresh look at the movement.
DFG Collaborative Research Centres are celebrating their 50th anniversary. How have they stimulated new directions in the German research system, and how will they continue to do so? A look back at the future
In early modern Europe, many things were decided by casting lots – from the distribution of assets to punishments and even elections to public office. When understood as a communicative process and a symbolic practice of a particular time, this method of decision‐making also forms part of the mosaic of political cultural history.
Contamination with heavy metals can threaten entire ecosystems. The plant Arabidopsis halleri has developed an amazing survival strategy. Scientists are now examining how the insights gained through this research can be applied in the biological remediation of soil and water.
A cardiac catheterization may be a routine procedure, but it is still associated with a degree of risk. Engineers have now developed an assistance system that allows the guide wire to be navigated more easily and accurately thanks to a miniaturised force sensor and that provides haptic feedback to the cardiologist.
„Unserdeutsch”, a creole spoken in a former German South Pacific colony, and what is now Papua New Guinea, is being extensively documented and studied by linguists for the first time. There is no time to lose, because after a chequered history the world's only German‐based creole – long ignored – is facing extinction.
By studying HIV infection, structural biologists are seeking to understand the interactions between the disease‐causing virus and its host. Will this result in new treatments? At the very least, it is shedding new light on fundamental cell mechanisms.
WhatsApp, Snapchat and Pokémon GO: Konstanz‐based media researcher and Heinz Maier‐Leibnitz Prize recipient Isabell Otto is studying modern digital media from a cultural studies perspective / Media and participation between demand and entitlement
Astrophysics: Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and all other galaxies possess huge magnetic fields. To understand their formation and development, researchers are using a combination of radio telescope observations and numerical computer simulations. This approach is pushing the frontiers of knowledge.
Disaster rituals: Commemorations following attacks or catastrophes have their own dramaturgy. Varying enormously depending on place, form and message, they are directly and indirectly connected with zeitgeist, religions and worldviews. New forms of remembrance and leave‐taking have now become a topic of liturgical research.
Warning, danger of addiction: nine out of ten people in Germany are now online. But the constant use of smartphones, laptops and tablets can become a problem – and not just for digital natives. Psychologists are now seeking to understand the molecular genetic background and reasons for Internet‐dependent behaviour.
From plastics to ceramics, additive manufacturing – better known as 3D printing – is possible with almost any material. For various metals, materials scientists are now demonstrating that the possibilities are even greater than previously thought. Using optimised local process design, they are seeking to achieve tailored material properties.
What will serve as the foundation for the European research funding of tomorrow? For its next framework programme, the European Commission is focussing on open science, citizen involvement and missions. Reason enough for the research community to keep a close and critical eye on developments.
Digitalisation and digitality are changing the world – and the sciences and humanities with it. This transformation gives rise to unpredictable opportunities for knowledge yet at the same time poses enormous challenges that must be addressed in science‐driven research funding.