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FORAREX – Astronaut in Miniature Form

How a Single-Celled Organism Finds its Way From the Sea Into Outer Space

by Team FORAREX

Fig. 1: Maximum relaxation – lounging on the seabed and swaying to the rhythm of the waves. Copyright © StockSnap 2017 / Pixabay

Imagine you are living under the sea. You see the suns rays shining through the water. There is sand beneath you. The water flows around you to the rhythm of the wave – and you sway with it (see Fig. 1). Everything feels very pleasant. You are thinking how wonderful your home is. The waves, the light – everything is perfect.

But suddenly a dark shadow looms over you – and this shadow takes you out of this paradise and catapults you into space! Isn’t that a disturbing and rather improbable idea?

But that is in fact my story. 

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Foraminifera – A Hard Shell With a Soft Core

by Christoph Kulmann and Greta Sondej

Fig.1: Left: Close-up of a foraminifera with pseudopodia; right: Four foraminifera in direct size comparison with a pinhead. Copyright © FORAREX 2018

Foraminifera (Latin for “hole bearers”, informally called “forams”) are single-celled organisms that usually have a multi-chambered shell, which can be built in various ways depending on the species. They are the stars of the FORAREX (FORAminifera Rocket EXperiment) project, in which we investigate their behaviour and shell growth under microgravitational conditions. 

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Changing Language Through “Gendering”: A Hand-Picked Selection of Artists Livened up Festival Visitors 

Or where are all the non-cis men again when it gets fun?

by Katharina (‘Kina’) Schmitz, supplemented and translated by Greta Sondej

Fig. 1: Copyright © Ryan McGuire 2014/ Pixabay 

Surely, everyone has wondered how 99 Festivalbesucherinnen (female festival visitors) become 100 Festivalbesucher (male festival visitors) as soon as one man stumbles into the dancing and partying mob. Poof, all the confidently partying women are just gone. 

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Fungi: Here, There and Everywhere

by Vivienne Vent

Fig. 1: Fungi can live as pathogens as well as in a mutualistic relationship with various other species. An example of such mutualistic interaction are lichens. Photo: ©Vivienne Vent 2021

Eatable, inedible, deadly. Tiny and of enormous size. Hardly any life form is as diverse as that of the fungi. Neither they can be called animals nor plants, they form their own taxon amongst the living organisms. Even though, they are a big part of our nutrition, we barely know how complex these organisms actually are. For example, did you know that the planets biggest living organism is in fact a fungus? Or did you know that fungi made the evolution of many life forms on earth possible by establishing complex interactions aka symbioses? Find out more about these fascinating organisms!

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New IPCC-Report: Climate Change is now Affecting Every Inhabited Region of the Planet

by Vivienne Vent, edited in March 2022

Fig. 1: The melting of the glaciers are one of the many consequences of climate change, photo: dassel/Pixabay

The IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) published its sixth report about the latest findings about climate change and the news are full of it. Again, fundamental questions about our modern lifestyle arise, which strongly influences our environment. The IPCC-report contains most important information, but not everyone finds time to completely read through the report. In the present article we provide the most important statements of the report.

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How we can become spiderman

by Manuel Vollbrecht

Figure 1: Running up walls and jumping over roofs like Spiderman for once…. ¹

Every single person has probably imagined once what life as a superhero with special skills would be like. Of course, we all know that most of the skills that actually define superheroes are supernatural and (unfortunately) come entirely from the imaginations of the authors and filmmakers.

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Steps Back into the Past of the Ice Cores and the Planet

About Ice Cores Part III

by Hanna Sophie Knahl

Ice cores preserve stories of the past. Now we want to compare these stories  with other history books. Illustration: Hanna Knahl

We have now already learned a lot about ice cores. We know where to find them, how to drill them and how to extract information about the past climate from them. BUT there is still one important piece of information missing. The time stamp. How do we determine how far back in time the ice we hold with our gloved hands comes from? We will see, the ice also uses special languages to encode this secret.

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The Studies of the Historical Books Made of Ice

About Ice Cores Part II

by Hanna Sophie Knahl

Cross-section of an ice core. Photo: Sepp Kipfstuhl

In the first article about ice cores, we learned why ancient stories lie dormant in the ice. We got to the icy library and looked at how the stories can be recovered in the form of ice cores. This article will deal with the question how we can reveal the stories of the ice cores. To do this, we need to understand the different languages of the ice.

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