Water-soluble synthetic polymers (WSSPs) are found in many everyday products. What the consequences are when these plastics enter rivers, lakes and oceans is still largely unexplored. A team from the University of Bayreuth has now systematically investigated the effects on water fleas of the species Daphnia magna for the first time. The polymers selected for testing significantly alter the body size and reproduction of the animals in some cases. The research, published in Science of The Total Environment, shows that water-soluble polymers could have consequences for biodiversity and food chains in aquatic ecosystems that should not be underestimated.
Biologist Dr. Erik Frank is researching how an African ant species treats its wounded. To continue his work, the German Research Foundation (DFG) has now granted him an Emmy Noether group.
In the cultivation of organic cacao, many factors determine the yield. An international research team with scientists from the universities of Würzburgh and Göttingen has now identified important players and their combined effects.
Climate change is putting increasing pressure on forests. In recent years substantial forest areas have died off in Central Europe as a result of climate extremes. With the participation of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), researchers have now generated the first climate risk map for the earth's forests. The map clearly shows that, in addition to Central Europe, forests in western North America as well as the southern portion of the boreal forest and the eastern Amazon are particularly at risk.
Bayreuth biologist PD Dr. Andreas Hemp has discovered a previously unknown orchid species of the genus Rhipidoglossum in northeastern Tanzania. Together with his British colleague Dr. Phil Cribb from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, London, he has scientifically described it in the journal "Kew Bulletin". The new species was named Rhipidoglossum pareense, in keeping with its location in the South Pare Mountains.
Alternative proteins are now considered essential components of a sustainable, safe, and equitable diet. The Good Food Institute (GFI) is a global NGO that aims to advance the research, production, use and marketing of such proteins. The University of Bayreuth has recently become a member of the GFI’s Alt Protein Project. Alexandra Molitorisová, Federica Ronchetti and Alessandro Monaco, research associates in the Food Law research group, are leading the new "Bayreuth-Kulmbach Alt Protein Project".
After studying financial management at Coburg University of Applied Sciences, Melkamu Taye is now writing his doctoral thesis on how to develop efficient agricultural markets in poor countries.
The disruptions in global trading markets resulting from the war in Ukraine, among other causes, have focused public attention on the issue of securing a sufficient supply of high-quality foods for the global population. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are searching for modern methods to boost global harvests and thus to ensure global food security. Wheat plays a special role in these efforts.
Composting plants process biowaste into finished compost, which ends up as fertiliser in the soils of fields. A study by the University of Bayreuth shows that finished compost from composting plants in Germany contains a large number of biodegradable plastic particles. Applicable legal and certification standards are not violated by the sizes and quantities of the particles detected. However, the data published in "Scientific Reports" call into question the contribution of these standards to effective environmental protection. They draw into question whether biodegradable plastics are suitable for replacing conventional plastics in environmentally and nutritionally sensitive areas.
Proteins control and organize almost every aspect of life. The totality of all proteins in a living organism, a tissue or a cell is called the proteome. Using mass spectrometry, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) characterize the proteome, or protein complement of the genome, in important model organisms. In 2014, a team at the Chair of Proteomics and Bioanalytics reported a draft human proteome for the first time, followed by that of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana in 2020, and now that of the most common laboratory mouse.