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         Magazine of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

         2/2005     Was the North Pole Once Ice Free ?  Robotic
         Football for Science    Life from the Depths of Space
           Measurements in the Magnetic Field The
         Fate of Weimar’s Renowned Anna Amalia
                                     german research 2/2005

In this issue
                                         Reinhard Grunwald
                                         Europe at the Centre, Sights Set on the World . . . . . . . . . . . p. 2
On the Fate                              Arts and Humanities
of Anna Amalia                           Tobias Lagatz
The Duchess Anna Amalia                  Of Inquisitors and Informers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 4
Library in Weimar was struck
by a devastating fire, which
destroyed more than 100,000              Rembert Unterstell
books and manuscripts. The               The Fate of Weimar’s Renowned Anna Amalia . . . . . . . . . . . p. 6
historical main building of the
library, a UNESCO World Her-             Life Sciences
itage site, was also severely
                                         Rainer Matyssek, Karl Heinz Häberle, Thorsten E. E. Grams
damaged by the blaze. Recon-
struction of the buildings and           The Trees in Competition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 10
restoration of the books will            Wolfgang Bauer
give the library a new lease of          Measurements in the Magnetic Field . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 15
life. Page 6
                                         Natural Sciences
                                         Uwe J. Meierhenrich
When Robots                              Life from the Depths of Space . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 17
are “on the Ball”                        Albert Gerdes, Jens Matthiessen
Robots that can play football,           Was the North Pole Once Ice Free? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 24
showing off their skills at the
RoboCup championship, fasci-             Engineering Sciences
nate the spectators. But not only
                                         Thomas Christaller, Ansgar Bredenfeld
do these public football match-
es give the public an opportuni-         Robotic Football for Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 20
ty to experience science first-          Descartes Prize
hand, they also serve as a plat-
form for putting research find-          Eva-Maria Streier
ings from the fields of artificial       Inspiring Public Interest in Science . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . p. 23
intelligence and mobile robotics
to the test. Page 20

What Secrets do                                                 Expedition to the Arctic Ocean
Marine Deposits                                                 Drilling cannot begin until the ice cover is
                                                                broken. Scientists use sedimentary samples
Reveal?                                                         to help unravel the mystery of climate change.
Scientists participating in the                                 (page 24)
international Arctic Coring                                     Cover: Hannes von der Fecht, IODP
Expedition have taken cores of
marine sediment in the middle            Impressum
of the North Polar Ocean. These          german research is published by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG,
marine sediments give them               German Research Foundation); Editor-in-chief: Dieter Hüsken (responsible for con-
amazing insights into the ups            tent and design); Publishing Executive Editor: Dr. Rembert Unterstell; Copy Editors:
and downs of the climate over            Stephanie Henseler, Angela Kügler-Seifert; Translation: SciTech Communications
the millennia. In addition to            GmbH, Heidelberg; Publisher: WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Wein-
                                         heim, P.O. Box 10 11 61, 69451 Weinheim (Germany); Annual Subscription price
this, the cores also give re-            2005: € 48.00 (Europe), US $ 48.00 (all other countries) including postage and
searchers new information on             handling charges. Prices are exclusive of VAT and subject to change. Address of
environmental changes which              editorial staff: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Press and Public Relations
took place long ago. Page 24             Division, Kennedyallee 40, 53175 Bonn (Germany); E-mail: postmaster@dfg.de;
                                         Internet: www.dfg.de; Printed by: Bonner Universitäts-Buchdruckerei;
                                         printed on chlorine-free bleached paper
                                         with 50% recycling fibres.                                         ISSN 0172-1518
                                                                     german research 2/ 2005

               hen Charlemagne, King of       searchers with assistance regarding     bination of theory and practice. Ger-
               the Franks, was crowned        all European funding activities, act-   man-Chinese scientific relations
               as the first Holy Roman        ing as a source of information on       grew significantly in the 19th and
    Emperor by the Pope Leo III in 800,       funding opportunities and condi-        especially in the 20th century.
    he saw himself not as the founder of      tions, and conversely helps make        Tongji University in Shanghai was
    a nation state, but as the protector      the link between German scientists      founded by a German, just as the
    of the Roman heritage. He is identi-      and universities and the Commis-        Wuhan Medical College (now the
    fied with equally by the French and       sion. KoWi gives young researchers      Huazhong University of Science &
    the Germans. Europe is currently          advice and holds regular seminars       Technology), which was formed by
    undergoing a process of rediscov-         for applicants. With offices in Brus-   the merger of the Medical College
    ery, not only as an economic and          sels and Bonn, KoWi plays a key         of National Tongji University with
    political power structure, but also       role in improving the success rate of   the Medical College of Wuhan Uni-
    as a community that has grown             German scientists in Europe, who        versity. Studying, especially on a
    through its common history, culture       receive more funding from the cur-      PhD-level, in Germany, is held in
    and values.
       The Deutsche Forschungsgemein-
    schaft’s mission – as declared in its
    statutes – to foster contacts between
    German and international scientific
    communities, has a very strong Eu-
    ropean character. Alongside its Eu-                                                        Dr. Reinhard Grunwald
    ropean activities, the DFG has ex-
    panded its international contacts,
    especially in the past decade, ex-
    pressed not least by its branch and
    liaison offices in Beijing, Washing-
    ton and Moscow. Europe at the cen-
                                                  Europe at the Centre,
                                                      Sights Set on the
    tre: The DFG’s European involve-
    ment spans from its membership in
    the European Science Foundation
    (ESF) in Strasbourg and the EURO-
    HORCs (Heads of European Re-
    search Councils) to the European
    Liaison Office of the German Re-
    search Organisations (KoWi), which
    it operates as a central research fa-
    cility. In discussions concerning the                                 Modern research does not stop at national
    creation of the European Research
    Council (ERC) for the Seventh
                                                                         boundaries. A DFG that has an international
    Framework Programme (FP7), the                                   outlook can contribute to building international
    contributions made to the discus-
    sion with the European Commission                                                              scientific relations
    or the Council of Ministers and the
    European Parliament by both the
    ESF and EUROHORCs play an im-
    portant role. All those involved
    know that once basic research be-
    comes an integral part of FP7, new        rent EU Framework Programme             very high esteem in China. In 1995,
    funding mechanisms need to be put         than is contributed by Germany.         the DFG and its Chinese partner or-
    into place in addition to those which                                             ganisation, the National Natural
    have existed so far, which have                                                   Science Foundation of China

    been strongly reliant on funding                 ot only did Gottfried Wilhelm    (NSFC), agreed to jointly establish
    from industry. The sole criterion of             Leibniz develop the concept      the Sino-German Center for Re-
    scientific quality, competitive selec-           of the Prussian Academy of       search Promotion, which was
    tion of the best projects and a corre-    Sciences, he also proposed the          opened in 2000. This centre pro-
    sponding involvement by the scien-        model for the Russian Academy of        vides conference facilities for up to
    tists in decision-making processes        Sciences to the Russian tsar Peter      300 delegates, a library as well as
    are all on the agenda and need to be      the Great. He corresponded with         guest rooms to accommodate visit-
    moulded into a coherent organisa-         the Chinese emperor on the subject      ing scientists. The workshops, de-
    tional structure. KoWi provides pri-      of the calendar and, last but not       signed to bring together scientists
2   marily German scientists and re-          least, stands as an icon for the com-   from China and Germany, not least
                                 german research 2/ 2005
young researchers, have proven            as culturally beneficial for all those      Germany. Russia possesses not only
particularly successful. These work-      concerned. This was the point               great economic and military poten-
shops frequently provide the stimu-       which the Deutsche Forschungsge-            tial, but also has world-class scien-
lus for bilateral research projects,      meinschaft aimed to address in the          tists and outstanding educational
which are funded on a competitive         late 1990s, in particular to provide        institutions, especially for natural
basis and are peer-reviewed by a          information both to those interested        scientists and engineers. Collabora-
Sino-German panel.                        as well as to disseminators such as         tion with Russian scientists was one
  When Albert Einstein left Ger-          journalists, teachers etc. The DFG          of the DFG’s first areas of interna-
many in 1932/1933 and – like so           Washington Office is not only in-           tional cooperation. The expedition
many other scientists – emigrated to      tended to keep the existing chan-           to the Caucasus is a famous exam-
the United States of America, he          nels of information and communica-          ple. Maps up until the 1940s even
met up with other scientists with         tion open, but also to open up en-          show a “DFG glacier” in the region.
whom he was already acquainted,           tirely new avenues, both to the re-
and was able to continue his work in      search centres in the USA for Ger-

                                                                                                orld War II resulted in a
                                                                                                breakdown in German-
                                                                                                Russian relations in sci-
                                                                                      ence and research too. The two-
                                                                                      track system which developed in
                                                                                      the post-war era, with close cooper-
                                                                                      ation between scientists and institu-
                                                                                      tions in the GDR on the one hand,
                                                                                      and links between Soviet re-
                                                                                      searchers and scientists and West
                                                                                      Germany in the broader interna-
                                                                                      tional context on the other hand, led
                                                                                      to rapid development of the contacts
                                                                                      in many areas after German reunifi-
                                                                                      cation. Set against this backdrop,
                                                                                      scientific links with Russia have de-
                                                                                      veloped very dynamically. In July
                                                                                      2003 the Deutsche Forschungsge-
                                                                                      meinschaft opened a liaison office in
                                                                                      Moscow, which aims to strengthen
                                                                                      cooperation between Russian and
                                                                                      German scientists and scientific or-
                                                                                      ganisations for mutual benefit and
                                                                                      to raise the mutual awareness of sci-
                                                                                      entific activity and research poten-
                                                                                         The planned establishment of a
                                                                                      Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft
                                                                                      liaison office in India – where the
                                                                                      DFG will cooperate closely with the
                                                                                      German Academic Exchange Ser-
                                                                                      vice (DAAD) and the Alexander von
                                                                                      Humboldt Foundation (AvH) – will
Princeton almost uninterrupted. As        man scientists and, conversely, for         complete the DFG’s international
the scientists in exile grew older, the   American scientists interested in           presence. The web of modern sci-
natural cooperation between Amer-         coming to Germany or even else-             ence transcends national borders. A
ican scientists and their European        where in Europe.                            DFG that has an international out-
colleagues was lost. Access to the           One of the main priorities of the li-    look can contribute to this through
top American universities and re-         aison office, which was opened in           its funding activities.
search institutes for young German        May 2002, is to provide assistance
scientists and researchers no longer      and advice to the 500 or so DFG fel-
worked through the old, established       lowship and grant holders from
networks, since the younger Ameri-        Germany at universities in the USA
can scientists concentrated more on       as well as to assist German scientists                   Dr. Reinhard Grunwald
cooperation within America and in         and researchers currently working                        Secretary General of the
the Pacific region and viewed the         in the USA who are considering re-                       Deutsche Forschungs-
inclusion of young Europeans less         turning to Europe, in particular to                      gemeinschaft               3
                                                                         german research 2/ 2005
                             Arts and Humanities

         Of Inquisitors
                                                                                        the archivist lays them on the table,
                                                                                        you are struck not just by this unfa-
                                                                                        miliar world but also by the (at first
                                                                                        glance) seemingly chaotic content

         and Informers
                                                                                        of the volumes. It is not unusual for a
                                                                                        volume to contain records of over 50
                                                                                        separate proceedings. There are let-
                                                                                        ters of denunciation from local in-
                                                                                        quisitions and customs stations in
         A look behind the walls of the Vatican: Records on book                        the church state, from private indi-
                                                                                        viduals and dignitaries from Ger-
         censorship provide insight into the strictly guarded internal                  many, France, America – from the
         affairs of the Inquisition and Congregation of the Index                       whole world, in short. Some are
                                                                                        wrapped around the books like a
                                                                                        cover and bear notations made by
                                                                                        the informers themselves or the cur-

         rasmus of Rotterdam, Im-             pared, or outside specialists were        ial examiners. One-page opinion
         manuel Kant, David Hume,             summoned. Not seldom experts,             statements on banned French, Eng-
         Heinrich Heine – these are just      who were overstretched, would             lish, or Hungarian books are fol-
    a few of the names from the who’s         allow for failure or supposed spe-        lowed by entire bundles of dis-
    who of world history found in the         cialists would reveal their superfi-      parate votes, which question not
    book-censorship records of the            cial knowledge. Now and then tol-         only the books under consideration
    Roman Inquisition and the Congre-         erant and narrow-minded members
    gation of the Index in the archives of    of the curia would get into verbal
    the Congregation for the Doctrine of      battles over their views at the ex-
    the Faith, names that are part of a       pense of the accused. Those finally
    well-rounded education, that exem-        condemned by the church for the
    plify literary, philosophical, or sci-    protection of Catholics found each
    entific schools of thought. Some still    other again on the list of banned
    stimulate minds today as they did in      books, the so-called Index librorum
    the authors’ lifetimes. But appear-       prohibitorum. The acquitted, how-
    ing alongside these luminaries            ever, hardly ever learned of the ac-
    etched in human memory are those          tion brought against them, so that in
    who were denied eternal fame, au-         countless cases only the informer
    thors who managed only to produce         had knowledge of its failure. Just as
    a long-forgotten manuscript at            today, after a case is closed, records
    which some likewise forgotten in-         find their way first into the files and
    former took offense. The informer         then into the house archives, where
    sent a letter to the Roman Inquisi-       they slowly sink into oblivion. The
    tion or Congregation of the Index,        course of events at the Inquisition
    which often meant the end of a once       and the Congregation of the Index
    promising career. As diverse as the       was comparable.
    assessment of the status of these            Not until 1998, when in the wake
    personalities was in retrospect, the      of Pope John Paul II’s acknowledg-
    motives leading to the reporting of       ment of guilt the opening of the
    their books to Rome was equally di-       archival holdings was announced
    verse. Sometimes an informer with         and actually carried out, did anyone
    theological, political or philosophi-     know the full extent of the history of
    cal motives saw in them a threat to       these institutions, which covered
    the Catholic view of life. Or perhaps     more than 400 years. Never-before-
    it was envy of an aspiring competi-       examined volumes of records that
    tor against whom the informer knew        had disappeared in the storeroom,
    of no other defense than to silence       now filthy with the dust of centuries,
    him – in ideological guise.               many held together only by a cord,
       Whatever the deciding motive           were made available for research.
    was for reporting authors, the way           The first time you enter the inner
    of incriminating books led to Rome.       courtyard of the Congregation for
    There they were examined by the           the Doctrine of the Faith armed only
    relevant authorities. Handwritten or      with a notebook – in contrast to the
    printed opinion statements (vota) of      Swiss Guard – and request volumes
4   widely varying quality were pre-          from the book censorship series and
                                 german research 2/ 2005
but also the foregoing opinion state-       Index librorum prohibitorum says         slip bearing an illegible signature,
ments and even the orthodoxy of             little in itself. But with the books,    which, because it was written by an
their colleagues themselves, thus           contemporary discussions were car-       influential expert or cardinal, had
documenting the discussions within          ried inside the Vatican walls.           caused the proceedings to take a
the curia. With this insight into the          Even the assumed final results of     surprising turn. In addition we find
once closely guarded internal af-           a proceeding – which meant large-        dispatches affixed with the seals of
fairs of the Inquisition and Congre-        format placards, called bandi or         the papal secretariat of state and di-
gation of the Index – their factions,       “banns”, posted on the doors of the      rectives issued by the pope himself
their open discussions, their con-          main Roman churches immediately          for or against the banning of a book,
cealed debates – the image of the           following the decision, or small         for or against an expert’s judgment.
Roman curia as a monolithic institu-        leaflets for the Pope’s diplomatic

tion is modified. The banning in the        representatives around the world –             he goal of this long-term pro-
                                            are shown in the records to have               ject “Roman Inquisition and
                                            gone through various stages of de-             Congregation of the Index”
                                            velopment: Titles mangled by the         being conducted at the University of
In the archives of the Roman Congregation   typesetter were corrected. Errors in     Münster is to rectify this ordered
for the Doctrine of the Faith, records on   the year of publication of a work        chaos. This means reconstructing
book censorship in the 19th century are     were revised. The banning of entire      the procedural paths, deciphering
analyzed. In the course of this analysis
banning books are found time and time
                                            book titles was even prevented at        the names of the denounced au-
again. Large placards were used in former   the last minute with a stroke of the     thors, compiling a bibliography of
times to announce the decisions of the      pen. Often the penstroke was ex-         their books and manuscripts, or ver-
papal Congregation of the Index.            plained on a small, inconspicuous        ifying the opinion statements and
                                                                                     entering bibliographic details about
                                                                                     their authors in a database. The
                                                                                     transcribed decrees will also be
                                                                                     published and made available to the
                                                                                     general public. In numeric terms
                                                                                     this means over 3000 book and
                                                                                     manuscript cases heard in the 19th
                                                                                     century alone, roughly 250 sessions
                                                                                     of the Congregation of the Index,
                                                                                     800 experts with 3500 votes, and
                                                                                     240 banns. Among the records are
                                                                                     also curious finds: for instance, ex-
                                                                                     perts who with gnashing of teeth
                                                                                     admit to having written an opinion
                                                                                     statement on the wrong book but
                                                                                     who note, in the hope that their faux
                                                                                     pas will be forgotten, that through
                                                                                     their error a heretofore unnoticed
                                                                                     work deserving to be banned was
                                                                                     fortunately discovered.
                                                                                        Undoubtedly one could write an
                                                                                     entertaining book about these as-
                                                                                     pects of the Roman Inquisition and
                                                                                     Congregation of the Index. But our
                                                                                     attention is currently focused on the
                                                                                     final proofreadings of the seven-vol-
                                                                                     ume basic work on the book censor-
                                                                                     ship of the Roman Inquisition and
                                                                                     Congregation of the Index in the
                                                                                     19th century. Meanwhile the work
                                                                                     of mastering the “ordered chaos” of
                                                                                     the 18th century and giving a face to
                                                                                     its yet unknown protagonists has
                                                                                                     Tobias Lagatz
                                                                                                     Universität Münster



                                                                        german research 2/ 2005

    The Fate of Weimar’s
    Renowned Anna Amalia
    Charred books, sodden paper, scorched paintings: What is to become of the
    treasures from the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar? More than 100,000
    books and handwritten manuscripts fell victim to the flames – and the water

                                                               hese are the light casualties,”
                                                               says Matthias Hageböck and
                                                               approaches a table on which
                                                        lie book victims, large and small.
                                                        “They survived the inferno on the
                                                        night of the blaze,” the library’s
                                                        book restoration workshop manag-
                                                        er says with relief, “and have just
                                                        returned to Weimar from the
                                                        Leipzig Book Conservation Cen-
                                                        tre”. Some still wrapped in gauze
                                                        bandages, the books exude the pen-
                                                        etrating stench of smoke and soot,
                                                        as if they still bore the burden of the
                                                        devastating blaze on 2 September
                                                        2004 – for instance the volume “Let-
                                                        ters written by Jonathan Swift” dat-
                                                        ing from 1700, which suffered water
6                                                       damage. Its leather binding is
warped, the pages stuck together,
stiff but at the same time fragile.
   Not only this volume, but also
baskets full of books damaged by
water were sent to Leipzig even on
the night of the blaze. They were
followed by the seared or charred
books recovered from the debris of
the fire, many resembling charcoal
briquettes, a total of 62,000 rescued
volumes. “A race against time start-
ed,” recalls Hageböck, “because
after the paper becomes soaked by
water used to extinguish the fire,
mould and microbes can begin to
grow within hours”. At the Leipzig

Book Conservation Centre (ZFB) the       book restoration workshop run by           On left: Before the fire, the rococo hall was
worst of the debris is removed from      the Weimar Classics Foundation             an all-encompassing artwork, a symbiosis
the victims of the flames and the        (SWKK), dampens down any unre-             of architecture, art treasures and the
                                                                                    historical book collection. The devastating
water before being viewed and sort-      alistically high hopes. After all, the     blaze destroyed the second gallery of the
ed according to the degree of dam-       freeze-dried books are not all ex-         rococo hall and the roof above it – the hall,
age, then freeze-dried at minus 20       pected back until some time this           declared part of the UNESCO World
degrees in special large freeze-dry      year. Only then will it be possible to     Heritage, was severely damaged by water
chambers and pressed back into           carry out a detailed assessment of         and fire.
shape. The special drying process        the damage. “After all, for each
used, developed for freeze-drying        volume,” explains Dr. Michael
food, exploits water’s ability to sub-   Knoche, director of the Duchess
lime directly from the frozen to the     Anna Amalia Library, “we need to           which suffered severe fire dam-
gaseous phase at low pressure,           make a decision. To reach this deci-       age.” Experts estimate that a little
without first returning to the liquid    sion the responsible librarian and         over half of the works that were res-
phase. And thus the battle against       the restorer need to consult to de-        cued will be able to be salvaged.
the water is won – allowing the ac-      cide whether salvage makes sense,          You get an idea of the scale of the
tual work of restoration to begin,       is feasible and, at the end of the day,    task at hand by watching the restor-
after this “first aid” treatment. How-   whether it is financially viable. This     ers in the workshop sorting through
ever, Hageböck, manager of the           applies in particular for the books        individual fragments of pages re-               7
                                                                       german research 2/ 2005
                                                                                           The spine of a book with a charred
                                                                                           leather binding. The backing,
                                                                                           previously concealed, shows a playing
                                                                                           card motif. Below: A book rescued
                                                                                           from the flames is wrapped in cling
                                                                                           film before being taken to the Leipzig
                                                                                           Book Conservation Centre, where first
                                                                                           aid can be administered.

                                                                                           consisting of 2,100 printed musical
                                                                                           scores and over 700 music manu-
                                                                                           scripts, as well as the 35 oil paint-
                                                                                           ings with ducal portraits dating from
                                                                                           the 16th to the 18th century, which
                                                                                           were lost to the flames in the library’s
                                                                                           second gallery. The library’s Web-
                                                                                           site now contains a database of the
                                                                                           lost and damaged works, providing
                                                                                           an impression of the extent of the
                                                                                           losses suffered.
                                                                                              “Anna Amalia” has been severe-
                                                                                           ly hit by the worst library fire in Ger-
                                                                                           many since the end of World War II.
                                                                                           Now it is certain, however, that the
                                                                                           historical main building of the li-
                                                                                           brary, once an intellectual centre of
                                                                                           the muse-kissed city of Weimar, will
                                                                                           rise from the ashes within the fore-
                                                                                           seeable future. Although the rav-
                                                                                           aging blaze claimed the roof and
                                                                                           destroyed the second gallery of the
                                                                                           famous rococo hall, the building it-
                                                                                           self, declared part of the UNESCO
                                                                                           World Heritage, will be able to be
                                                                                           restored. Those responsible there-
                                                                                           fore remain confident that it will be
                                                                                           possible to reopen the badly dam-
                                                                                           aged building by 2007, the 200th
                                                                                           anniversary of the death of Duchess
                                                                                           Anna Amalia – with the help of the
                                                                                           state of Thuringia, the national gov-
                                                                                           ernment and private donors. The
    covered from the rubble. The good          and, as already mentioned, 62,000           impressive three-storey library hall,
    into the pot, the bad into the crop, as    were damaged by water and fire,             dating from 1766, one of the most
    Cinderella would have said, except         some badly. “This amounts to more           beautiful library halls in Germany,
    that in this instance the cinders go in    than two fifths of all of the historical-   will then once more be accessible,
    the crop and any fragments which           ly significant books published be-          allowing it to be experienced as an
    are still at least half legible go into    fore 1850,” says Michael Knoche,            all-encompassing artwork of rococo
    one of the cardboard boxes lined up        speaking from his temporary office          architecture, art treasures and his-
    at the ready with labels such as           in the Rotes Schloß (Red Castle) in         torical books.
    “pictures”, “text”, “title” or “music”.    Weimar. But what use are figures

    “The restoration of the books is a         and statistics when what we are                  eople in Germany and around
    challenge that will occupy the li-         talking about are literary treasures             the world were deeply moved
    brary for more than ten years,” esti-      in which Goethe, Schiller and                    by the fate of “Anna Amalia”.
    mates Knoche, “assuming we have            Herder wrote? These immaterial              In the wake of the fire the library,
    sufficient funds”.                         losses can neither be estimated in          which is world famous for its collec-
      The extent of the damage to the          financial terms, nor replaced. For          tion from the Weimar Classical peri-
    books and handwritten manuscripts          instance, the valuable sheet music          od, was flooded by a spontaneous
    was immense. At least 50,000 vol-          collection which had belonged to            wave of generosity. Pre-school chil-
8   umes were totally lost to the flames       Duchess Anna Amalia (1739-1807),            dren donated money, the “Ameri-
                                  german research 2/ 2005
                                                efit events and support projects.      opened. In early February the
                                                This is in addition to the immediate   Duchess Anna Amalia Library in-
                                                help provided by the German gov-       augurated its new Study Centre,
                                                ernment (€ 4 million), the state of    where researchers will be able to
                                                Thuringia (€ 5.5 million over a peri-  access the approximately 900,000
                                                od of five years) and the DFG (half a  books and manuscripts not de-
                                                million euros). A dedicated invest-    stroyed by the fire. The new exten-
                                                ment fund has also been set up, the    sion directly opposite the old li-
                                                interest      from                                          brary had been
                                                which is to be                                              planned      long
                                                used for the diffi-    Sixty million euros will             before the fire.
                                                cult task of pur-                                           Also, for the first
                                                chasing replace-       be needed to repair                  time        since
                                                ment copies of         the damage done to                   Goethe’s day, all
                                                lost books. The                                             of the books
                                                name of the fund,
                                                                       the books just in the                have        been
                                                “Fruchtbringen-        next few years                       brought togeth-
                                                de Gesellschaft”                                            er to a single lo-
                                                (Fruitful Society),                                         cation        and
                                                serves as a reminder of the first Ger- stored in an underground storage
                                                man language society, founded in       facility. This enabled the library to
 The lower stairs in the rococo hall, covered   Weimar in 1617. Many texts written     reopen to the public just five
    in fire-extinguishing foam. According to
 the fire fighters’ estimates, approximately    by its members fell victim to the      months after the devastating blaze.
    110,000 litres of water were used on the    blaze.                                 Even as a modern research library
      night of the blaze. Right: Fragments of      In spite of “the overwhelming       working in 21st century conditions,
      pages sorted in cardboard boxes at the    help given in such a short space of    the “Anna Amalia” library will re-
            restoration workshop in Weimar.     time”, Knoche cautions, “the three     main true to its mission, to serve
        Approximately half of the books that    rescue operations – reconstructing     German literature and cultural his-
  suffered severe fire damage are classed as
                          being “restorable”.
                                                the library, restoring the books and   tory from the Enlightenment to the
                                                replacing losses – will take an enor-  Late Romantic period.
                                                mous amount of time and even              “Geheimrat Goethe,” who be-
                                                more money”. Just to repair the        came director of the library in 1797,
can Friends of the Anna Amalia Li-              damage done to the books, an esti-     wrote of his impressions of its trea-
brary” made a donation of $ 10,000,             mated € 60 million will be needed.     sures “one is in the presence of a
and even prisoners sent € 10 notes              A lot therefore depends on the         great capital that silently yields in-
from prison. To date, over € 8 mil-             management of donations in the         calculable interest”. What more can
lion have been donated by private               future, for example by means of the    one add?
individuals, businesses and founda-             book sponsorship scheme. Never-                          Rembert Unterstell
tions, and have been raised by ben-             theless, new doors have also                                                      9


                                                                             german research 2/ 2005

     A lofty laboratory: Four
     scaffolding towers connected by
     platforms and a crane allow
     researchers direct access to the
     crowns of beech and spruce trees
     at heights of up to 30 metres.

          Life Sciences

Trees in Competition
        One of the decisive factors for the survival
        of forest trees is how well they can compete
        against their tree neighbours

      n commerce, companies succeed
      against the competition by using
      resources efficiently. Similar prin-
   ciples can also be observed in the
   competition between forest trees.
   Whether a sapling is able to survive
   is primarily decided by its ability to
   extract water, nutrients and, in par-
   ticular, light energy from the sun for
   photosynthetic carbon fixation from
   its surroundings, and then to make
   use of these resources. To what ex-
   tent plants can take up the various
   resources is decided by the amount
   of competition put up by neighbour-
   ing plants and by the plant’s ability
   to fend off parasites. The balance of
   the competitive uptake of resources
   and defence of these resources
   against animals, which eat plants,
   and parasitic micro-organisms,
   which attack them, is a measure of
   the plant’s “fitness”. This “fitness”
   is also decisive for the plant’s ability
   to reproduce.
      The Collaborative Research
   Centre “Growth and Parasite De- and spruce, which pose a particular
   fense – Competition for Resources challenge due to their contrasting
   in Economic Plants from Agronomy spatial extension and foliage
   and Forestry” aims to determine longevity.
   this balance and the associated            Whereas herbaceous plants
   cost-benefit relationships of re- grow noticeably over the course of
   source allocation. Growth, in terms a year, forest trees appear fairly
   of biomass accumulation per se is “static” in the short term. An ap-
   of secondary importance. Of parent solution is to measure the
   greater significance is the plant’s space-related resource turnover in
   ability to compete against other branches and roots and to compare
   plants through growth. Competi- these to competitors. This makes it
   tion       between                                        possible to de-
   plants is gov-                                            termine       the
   erned by how            The key question is               “competitive be-
   strong growth –                                           haviour” of each
   both      of    the
                           how the battle                    tree. This ap-
   crown as well as        between the beech                 proach is cur-
   of the roots – is,      and the spruce for                rently      being
   i.e. in terms of                                          tested in the
   the plant’s abili-      resources is organised            “Kranzberger
   ty to occupy                                              Forst”, a mixed
   space. A plant,                                           forest stand of
   which occupies a large volume of beech and spruce planted approxi-
   space, forces out competitors and mately 60 years ago and approxi-
   can use that space. This throws up mately 30 metres in height, near
   the question of whether it is possi- Freising in Germany. A complex
   ble to quantify a plant’s competi- infrastructure of field laboratories
   tive ability in terms of a cost-bene- and specialised measurement and
   fit relationship, as a comparison of analytical methods was required
   the space sequestration (occupied for the study. Scaffolding towers
   space per unit of resource invest- connected by platforms at heights
   ment) and the space exploitation ranging between 17 and 27 metres
   (resource gain per unit of occupied and a canopy crane approximately
12 space). The study focuses on beech       45 metres high and with a 50 metre
                               german research 2/ 2005
                                                                          Central Europe, appears to be as a
                                                                          result of the lower investment into
                                                                          foliage required for space seques-
                                                                          tration relative to spruce.
                                                                             Below ground it is harder to
                                                                          analyse the competitiveness, since
                                                                          allocation into the space occupied
                                                                          and exploited is less clearly defined
                                                                          due to the high degree of intermin-
                                                                          gling between neighbouring root
                                                                          systems. Additionally, the mycor-
                                                                          rhizal fungi, which form on the
                                                                          roots, greatly increase the “catch-
                                                                          ments area” for water and nutrient
                                                                          uptake by the fine roots. A combina-
                                                                          tion of methods was used to mea-
                                                                          sure the gain and loss of fine roots,
                                                                          their “running costs” (respiration)
                                                                          as well as that of the mycorrhizal
                                                                          fungi, and the resource uptake. The
                                                                          observed root length may be signifi-
                                                                          cant for the belowground competi-
                                                                          tion. The significance of below-
                                                                          ground competition for resources
                                                                          relative to aboveground competi-
                                                                          tion is still under investigation.
                                    working radius allowed access to         The efficiency of space sequestra-
                                    the sun and shade tree crowns.        tion depends on the regulation of re-
                                       Space exploitation by beech and    source allocation by each plant. Re-
                                    spruce, in other words the carbon     action to stress provides information
                                    gain along the branch axis, was       on the sensitivity of this regulation
                                    found to be very similar. This ap-    and its mechanisms. One example
                                    plies to both sun and shade branch-   of a substance that causes stress is
                                    es of both species. The “running      ozone, which attacks the leaf tissue
                                    costs” in terms of transpiration and  after uptake via the stomatal open-
                                    respiration to keep branches func-    ings in the epidermis of the leaf and
                                    tional are also very similar. This    disturbs resource allocation. A
                                    may come as a surprise, bearing in    unique “free-air” ozone fumigation
                                    mind that the                                               system (i.e. with-
                                    contrast in pho-                                            out enclosure of
                                    tosynthetic ca-       These studies are                     branches      and
                                    pacity, respira-                                            plants in bags or
                                    tion and transpi-
                                                          only possible using                   cuvettes)     was
                                    ration at the         field laboratories and                used to fumigate
                                    level of single       complex measurement                   a 2000 m3 vol-
                                    leaf organs (low                                            ume of the crown
                                    in      coniferous    and analytical methods                canopy of the
                                    spruce and high                                             Kranzberger
                                    in broadleaved                                              Forst. This sys-
                                    beech) between two Central Euro-      tem was used to achieve twice am-
                                    pean tree species could hardly be     bient ozone concentrations in the
                                    greater. It becomes apparent that     canopy, while restricting ozone con-
Top left: Young saplings in a       the available sunlight is used        centration to avoid peaks and acute
climate chamber. Below: Out in      equally efficiently for carbon gain   injury. Trees exposed to the un-
the open the crane gondola          by both species per unit of occu-     changed ambient air and ozone lev-
used to get amongst the             pied space. There is, however, a      els prevailing at the forest site
treetops, whilst on the forest      significant difference between the    served as a control.
floor (top) tree root growth is
analysed using digital imaging
                                    species in terms of the efficiency of    The aim of this experimental ap-
methods. Below: A beech leaf        space sequestration. The competi-     proach was not to view ozone as an
that has already suffered visible   tive advantage of the beech, which    air pollutant, but as an ecophysio-
injury due to ozone.                is observed at many locations in      logical tool to quantify the sensitivi- 13
                                                                german research 2/ 2005
                                                                                       Modern analytical methods clearly show
                                                                                       the effect of artificially increased ozone
                                                                                       concentrations on foliage. On this beech
                                                                                       leaf the yellow and red spots in the
                                                                                       computer-generated image indicate
                                                                                       photosynthetic deficiency by altered
                                                                                       chlorophyll fluorescence. Below: The
                                                                                       data recorded is collected and analysed
                                                                                       immediately using a special computer

                                                                                       terms of the aboveground space ex-
                                                                                       ploitation and “running costs” in
                                                                                       terms of respiration and water de-
                                                                                       mand. Below ground the beech
                                                                                       even demonstrated greater effi-
                                                                                       ciency than the spruce in terms of
                                                                                       root length. Once again, the above-
                                                                                       ground investment into space se-
                                                                                       questration by the foliage differed
                                                                                       between the two species, whereas
                                                                                       beech as the weaker competitor
                                                                                       under these controlled chamber
                                                                                       conditions was also less efficient.
                                                                                       The decreased competitiveness of
                                                                                       the beech in the early stages of
                                                                                       growth reflects similar findings in
                                                                                       mixed forest stands where beech
                                                                                       and spruce of the same size are
                                                                                       planted at the same time. The
                                                                                       ozone and carbon dioxide concen-
                                                                                       tration applied was of secondary
                                                                                       significance for the sensitivity of the
                                                                                       trees used for the experiment in the
                                                                                       climate chamber. Under such com-
                                                                                       petitive conditions the trees evi-
                                                                                       dently react more strongly to neigh-
                                                                                       bouring plants than to disturbance
                                                                                       in the atmosphere by ozone or car-
                                                                                       bon dioxide.
                                                                                          Overall it was found that space-
   ty in space-related allocation (of rel-    then it should be possible to            related resource allocation could be
   evancy for competitiveness, as             demonstrate this not only in mature      used to draw conclusions on the
   pointed out above) to induced              trees in the field, but also in          cost-benefit relationship associated
   changes by exposure to chronic             saplings under controlled experi-        with the competitiveness of each
   ozone stress. So far, however, no          mental conditions. This was              plant. The results of such cost-bene-
   structural effect on the crowns or the     demonstrated in an experiment            fit analysis cannot be generalised
   fine roots of large trees was ob-          conducted in climate chambers            for an entire species, however, but
   served as a result of elevated ozone       lasting three years, with beeches        apply primarily to the stage of de-
   concentrations. The elevated ozone         and spruces that were initially          velopment of the plant and the
   concentration did, however, stimu-         equal in height and planted in           growth conditions, as is emphasised
   late a response in the beech at the        monoculture and as a mixed stand         by the comparison between the
   molecular and biochemical level by         and which were four years old at         young and mature trees in the cli-
   way of reduced foliage age, leaf in-       the end of the experiment. Ozone         mate chamber and in the field.
   jury and premature senescence,             and carbon dioxide were applied as
   and initial reduction in photosyn-         stress factors. Under these experi-          Prof. Dr. Rainer Matyssek
   thesis.                                    mental conditions the beech was              Dr. Karl Heinz Häberle
      If the phenomenon of space se-          found to be competitively weaker,            Dr. Thorsten E. E. Grams
   questration with its associated re-        in contrast to the findings in the ma-       Technische Universität München
   source turnover is indeed a key fac-       ture mixed stand. These findings
14 tor in competition between plants,         could not, however, be explained in


                                 german research 2/ 2005
     Measurements in
                                                                                      number of capillaries and their cir-
                                                                                      culation to be assessed. Traditional
                                                                                      diagnostic methods are only partial-
                                                                                      ly suitable for this, since they expose

     the Magnetic Field                                                               the patient to nuclear radiation, re-
                                                                                      quire intervention or are not accu-
                                                                                      rate enough.
                                                                                         In collaboration with the German
                                                                                      Cancer Research Center (Deutsches
     Doctors are banking on the new possibilities offered by                          Krebsforschungszentrum) in Hei-
     magnetic resonance imaging to give them a better view                            delberg, scientists in Würzburg are
                                                                                      making use of magnetic resonance
     of the blood circulation in the human cardiac muscle                             imaging. This procedure, also
                                                                                      known as magnetic resonance to-
                                                                                      mography, produces images of the
                                                                                      heart in slices. The image is formed

       he majority of deaths in west-     it is drained away through the veins.       using magnetic signals emitted by
       ern industrialised nations are     Circulation problems are particular-        hydrogen nuclei, an element exist-
       caused by diseases of the car-     ly detrimental because they inter-          ing plentifully in the body. Normal-
diovascular system. These are often       fere with the heart’s ability to func-      ly, atomic nuclei move like small
the result of changes or constrictions    tion.                                       magnetic gyroscopes (magnetic res-
in the coronary blood vessels that            Until recently doctors relied on        onance). In a strong exterior mag-
can lead to a heart attack or weak-       examining the large coronary blood          netic field, the hydrogen nuclei
ness of the cardiac muscle, drasti-       vessels using a catheter to look for        react like small compass needles.
cally restricting the patient’s physi-    constrictions. The problem with this        This now rectified arrangement of
cal fitness. Ideally scientists attempt   is that it is not easy to assess the rel-   the atomic nuclei is then jumbled up
to prevent disease or at least to         evance of this kind of constriction to      by a short pulse of radio waves. As
delay its progress once it has oc-        the blood circulation using this            soon as the source of disturbance is
curred. To achieve these goals it is      method of examination, as the heart         switched off, the hydrogen nuclei
necessary not only to have access to      can form collateral circulations. It        settle back into the orderly position
sensitive diagnostics, which form         can also happen that despite the            dictated by the exterior magnetic
the basis of preventive therapy, but      constriction a patient may not have         field. This action produces a charac-
also to gain a better understanding       circulation problems at all and             teristic echo, or resonance, which is
of the condition in order to develop      therefore undergoes possibly high-          captured by special sensors and
treatments for it.                        risk treatment unnecessarily.
   One indicator that plays a funda-          Other diseases which restrict the
mental role in both diagnosing and        circulation in the cardiac muscle can
understanding heart disease is the        occur after a heart attack or as a re-      With magnetic resonance imaging,
                                                                                      images of the patient’s heart are taken
blood circulation in the cardiac mus-     sult of a hypertrophic cardiomyopa-         in slices. Now a new procedure is
cle. Because the cardiac muscle is        thy. For these conditions it would be       making it possible to measure the
working continually, its energy re-       extremely important to use methods          bloodstream in the coronary blood
quirement is particularly high. It        of investigation that enable the            vessels more accurately.
gets this energy from the oxygen
and nutrients in the blood. The
heart therefore needs an adequate
blood supply to work properly. The
blood initially passes from the large
coronary blood vessels running
across the surface of the heart,
through smaller arteries and into
the tiniest branchings inside the
cardiac muscle, the capillaries.
Since these capillaries are very thin-
walled and lie deep inside the car-
diac muscle, this is where the mass
transfer takes place. Oxygen and
other vital substances are passed
from the capillaries into the sur-
rounding tissue, while in the other
direction “metabolic waste” passes
from the tissue into the blood, where                                                                                           15
                                                                                           cardiac muscle with a lower blood
                                                                                           supply was observed.
                                                                                              Using another approach, the
                                                                                           group also managed to measure the
                                                                                           amount of blood flowing into the
                                                                                           capillaries in the heart tissue. The
                                                                                           researchers did not use a contrast
                                                                                           medium for this, rather they discov-
                                                                                           ered a way to magnetically mark the
                                                                                           inflowing blood differently from the
                                                                                           heart tissue, enabling them to create
                                                                                           an image. However, because the
                                                                                           blood flows into the cardiac muscle
                                                                                           tissue, the different markings get
                                                                                           mixed up. The stronger the circula-
                                                                                           tion, the greater the intermixing and
                                                                                           vice versa. And because there is no
                                                                                           need for a contrast medium, the pro-
                                                                                           cedure can be repeated as often as
                                                                                           required, giving ever more precise
                                                                                           results. This technology makes it
                                                                                           considerably easier to obtain a truly
                                                                                           quantitative measurement of the
   Cross sections of the left ventricles         supplying this area of the heart. The     circulation in the capillaries than
   of two patients. Areas of the heart           degree of recruitment of previously       with traditional procedures. The
   muscle that are not supplied with
                                                 inactive heart capillaries is now         technology was used to examine the
   enough blood or oxygen appear dark.
   This technology enables heart disease         measured using one of the body’s          cardiac muscles of patients who had
   to be detected at an early stage.             natural contrast mediums, haemo-          suffered a heart attack. During a
                                                 globin that is not bound with oxy-        heart attack, part of the cardiac
                                                 gen, called deoxyhaemoglobin. De-         muscle dies and is replaced by scar
                                                 oxyhaemoglobin is present in large        tissue. The remaining cardiac mus-
                                                 quantities in the heart capillaries,      cle has to work harder and tries to
   converted by a computer into a digi-          since the energy-hungry heart tis-        balance this by becoming thicker.
   tal cross section. This imaging               sue is constantly taking oxygen           Experiments have shown that a
   method has proved so successful               from the haemoglobin. In the pres-        thickened cardiac muscle leads to
   that its inventors Paul C. Lauterbur          ence of an exterior field, as in the      reduced circulation and conse-
   and Sir Peter Mansfield were                  MRI scanner, deoxyhaemoglobin             quently to a reduced blood supply.
   awarded the Nobel Prize for Medi-             becomes magnetic and accelerates          The reduced circulation also results
   cine in 2003. Traditional magnetic            the backward oscillation of the           from a reduction in the density of
   resonance imaging gives only an               magnetic fields of the atoms and          the capillaries, which at the same
   imprecise view of the circulation in          thus of their magnetic resonance.         time grow longer, increasing resis-
   the heart capillaries. An interdisci-         From the speed of this process it is      tance for the blood. This circulation
   plinary group has now developed a             possible to estimate the number of        problem in the cardiac muscle ex-
   technique that can detect circula-            capillaries that are filled with blood:   plains why a thickened cardiac
   tion problems in the cardiac muscle.          the faster the magnetic resonance         muscle becomes increasingly weak-
   This procedure uses the physiologi-           along the exterior magnetic field,        er over time. For patients who have
   cal reaction of the capillaries to a re-      the larger the proportion of deoxy-       had a heart attack, this means that
   duction in circulation, similar to that       haemoglobin in the area of the heart      their fitness declines until their lives
   produced by a constricted vessel.             being examined and the higher             become very restricted. For these
   Under normal circulatory condi-               therefore the density of capillaries      cases, the new procedure of mag-
   tions, not all the capillaries of the         supplied with blood. Using exten-         netic resonance imaging has con-
   heart are full when at rest. If the cir-      sive theoretical examinations, the        tributed to a better understanding of
   culation is reduced, the heart reacts,        group was able to investigate the         a disease that has important eco-
   opening the previously unused, un-            corollary between the density of the      nomic and public welfare implica-
   filled capillaries in order to lower re-      capillaries and the speed with            tions.
   sistance and maintain the blood               which the spins oscillate back. In           More than that, it is also con-
   supply. A regional build-up in the            patients with a constriction in a         tributing to finding better treat-
   number of coronary blood vessels              coronary blood vessel and typical         ments for this disease in the future.
   now supplied with blood can indi-             pain, both indications of circulation
   cate, for example, a severe narrow-           problems, a faster backward oscilla-             Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Bauer
16 ing of one of the coronary arteries           tion in the spins in the area of the             Universitätsklinik Würzburg
                                    german research 2/ 2005
                                               Natural Sciences

        Life from the
        Depths of Space
        Some of the most important building blocks of life were carried to Earth by
        meteorites and comets, according to studies by a Franco-German team of chemists
        using a new method of analysis

       bout a hundred kilogrammes
       surviving from the Murchi-
       son meteorite may be re-
sponsible for changing our view of
the world by proving that life may
not have originated on Earth at all.
Some of life’s critical components
came from outer space and were
brought to Earth by meteorite
strikes, according to new studies by
a Franco-German team of chemists
from the University of Bremen in
Germany and the University of
Nice-Sophia Antipolis in France.
The researchers were able to show
that the meteorite was carrying so-
called di-amino acids that are
thought to have played a key role in
the emergence of life. Scientists are
also hoping to confirm these results
on the Rosetta Comet Mission being
undertaken by the European Space
   Since 1953, when Watson and
Crick identified deoxyribonucleic
acid, or DNA for short, as the carrier
of genetic information and discov-
ered the unique information stor-
age capacity of its double helix,
there has been speculation on the
origins of DNA and of life itself.
Theorists currently believe that
DNA and proteins are composed of
molecular building blocks. Various
amino acids, for example, are re-

         To gain sufficient momentum the
      Rosetta comet probe has to orbit the
        earth three times. Only then will it
       reach its maximum speed. It should
           reach its destination, the comet
            Churyumov-Gerasimenko, 450
          million kilometres away in 2014.                                                17
          After landing, harpoons need to be          Surprisingly these experiments     used in the past. Analysis of mete-
               launched to anchor the lander       suggested a second “new” class of     orite samples usually involves the
            because the comet has almost no        amino acids. These so called di-      use of capillary fractionating
            gravitational force. A drill will be
           used to take rock and soil samples
                                                   amino acids have an additional        columns 30-50 metres in length.
          and data will be transmitted to the      amino group. They are thought to      Such columns are generally too long
              ESA's satellite control centre in    have played a key role in the emer-   to enable rinsing out of heavy di-
                   Darmstadt via an antenna.       gence of life in the chemical evolu-  amino acid derivates in the static
                                                   tion of genetic material. Molecular-  phase. For the new studies a short
                                                   biological investigations indicate    column only 12 metres long was
                                                   that the stages of                                      used.
   garded as the building blocks of                chemical evolu-                                           These findings
   proteins. It is well known that these           tion before DNA        The Murchison                    call the existing
   acids are also found in meteorites.             involved the for-                                       model for the
   To investigate these building                   mation of anoth-       meteorite landed in              synthesis       of
   blocks of life in more detail, the              er nucleic acid,       Australia in 1969 and its        amino acids in
   working group and its international             so-called RNA,                                          the course of
   partners took a closer look at the              that was itself
                                                                          contents are regarded            chemical evolu-
   Murchison meteorite.                            formed by PNA,         as “pure”                        tion, which as-
      The Murchison meteorite landed               a peptide nucleic                                       sumes that amino
   in the Australian desert in 1969. Its           acid. The back-                                         acids were formed
   material is regarded as being                   bone of the PNA consists of di-       in the atmosphere of the prehistoric
   “pure”, i.e. not altered by materials           amino acids. The results of the re-   earth, into question. Two years
   from earth. The research team used              search thus indicate that what are    ago, during their preparations for
   a new method of analysis that they              assumed to be the building blocks of  the ESA’s Rosetta comet mission,
   had developed themselves. They                  original genetic material, PNA, are   the University of Bremen and its
   ground down a gram of meteorite,                to be found in the Murchison mete-    partners in other European coun-
   powdered it and extracted a sample              orite. The fact that this “new” class tries proved that structures of
   using highly purified water before              of amino acids has not previously     amino acids that form the basis of
   subjecting it to the new method of              been detected in meteorites is as-    protein molecules could already be
18 analysis.                                       cribed to the analytical methods      synthesised spontaneously and
                                     german research 2/ 2005
                                                                                  Top: A laboratory on the surface of a
                                                                                  comet. For the experiments cometary
                                                                                  material from drilled samples will be
                                                                                  vaporised and analysed by the
                                                                                  probe's instruments. This method is
                                                                                  designed to locate and identify
                                                                                  organic molecules. The yellowish
                                                                                  condensate (left) contains organic

                                                                                  French Guyana, South America,
                                                                                  the mission is now looking for the
                                                                                  molecular building blocks of life it-
                                                                                  self. Currently it is expected that
                                                                                  the destination, the comet 67P/
                                                                                  Churyumov-Gerasimenko, will be
                                                                                  reached in 2014. The probe will
                                                                                  orbit the comet and take measure-
continuously by photochemical re-        orites or comets. Following the sim-     ments for six months before the
actions in interstellar space, i.e. in   ulations of comets, scientific inter-    Philae lander is set down on the
specific areas of the cosmos. Such       est is now focussed on the direct        comet’s surface for the first time in
interstellar ice particles accumu-       analysis of cometary material with       history. After this novel device
late over the course of time, initial-   the assistance of the Rosetta comet      lands on the surface of Churyu-
ly forming so-called cometissimals,      research mission. By taking mea-         mov-Gerasimenko it will analyse
and subsequently comets. It is cur-      surements of the ice from an actual      the substance of the comet. Interest
rently assumed that organic mater-       comet it is hoped the probe will         centres on identifying organic mol-
ial could have been transported to       confirm the results gained so far.       ecules such as amino acids and di-
the early earth from areas of the in-    After the successful launch of the       amino acids, the molecular build-
terstellar medium via (micro)mete-       Ariane 5+ rocket from Kourou in          ing blocks of life.                   19
                                                                     german research 2/ 2005
                                                                          Engineering Sciences

                                                      Robotic Football
        Apart from simply identifying or-
     ganic molecules the studies of mete-
     orites and comets may also shed
     light on another phenomenon, the

                                                      for Science
     so-called chirality of molecules.
     Chirality, or handedness, describes
     how biological molecules have two
     forms that are not the same, but
     symmetrical. Biological molecules
     are composed of components that                  The autonomous robots taking part in the RoboCup
     are either exclusively right-handed
     or exclusively left-handed, i.e. they            matches not only delight enthusiastic domestic
     have one, and only one, of these two             spectators but also benefit researchers worldwide
     symmetrical forms. For example,
     proteins are exclusively made of
     L-amino acids, whereas their mir-

     ror-image D-amino acids do not                  ootball in Stuttgart. Hundreds of    ous additional aims. The leagues
     occur in proteins at all. Similarly,            spectators await the kick-off on     that use real robots are primarily in-
     carbohydrates and DNA exclusively               the pitch. The ball is red and       terested in researching robotic be-
     use D-sugars and have no use for           round and rests within the centre cir-    haviour where robots make their
     any L-sugar molecules that may             cle of the five by seven metre play-      own decisions in a situation that is
     occur. A key question for scientists       ing surface. The teams taking part in     continuously and rapidly changing.
     is now the issue of when, during the       the tournament are gathered behind        The robots are not remote controlled
     early stages of evolution, the geo-        the blue and yellow goals, Brain-         and thus have to register their sur-
     metrical difference became decisive        stormers Tribots from Osnabrück,          roundings by means of their own
     in the biological process and why it       CoPS from Stuttgart, FU Fighters          sensors. On the basis of the informa-
     plays a role at all. There are current-    from Berlin and AIS-Robots from           tion from the sensors, they have to
     ly many reasons to believe that this       Sankt Augustin. What is special           then make sensible decisions about
     symmetrical distinction did not take       about the tournament is that all of       what actions to take. In simulated
     place on earth, but had already            the players are robots. Robots in ac-     leagues virtual robots controlled by
     taken place in outer space. If this is     tion – robot football as a spectator      so-called agent programmes play
     the case, chiral molecules, such as        sport like at last year’s Science Sum-    one another. Information from sen-
     amino acids or sugars, should al-          mer in Stuttgart.                         sors does not pose a problem in this
     ready occur in cometary material in           When researchers first thought of      case. Instead strategies, learning
     unequal proportions.                       using football as a platform for          of response patterns and coopera-
        Scientists hope to calculate the        demonstrating research results and        tion with other players are the key
     corresponding proportions of chiral        technology to the public, they had        factors.
     molecules from the measurements            no idea of how this idea would catch         The rules for competition are
     taken on the comet. This could             on around the world. Nowadays             being developed and modified step
     allow significant conclusions on the       there are more than a hundred uni-        by step in terms of the framework
     theories concerning the initial            versities, institutes and research es-    conditions. This is intended to make
     asymmetric synthesis are to be             tablishments that regularly field         the games faster and more exciting
     reached. If the same excess of             teams to match their skills publicly      and also to incorporate features rel-
     L-amino acids or D-sugars is found         against sides from all over the world     evant to future robot applications.
     in the core of the comet as in biolog-     in robot tournaments and join in          Whereas a few years ago RoboCup
     ical molecules on earth, it would be       with the scientific symposia on re-       robots could only play with a blink-
     a strong indication that the first mol-    search that accompany them.               ered view and under precisely de-
     ecules of this kind were brought to           Football matches are used as a         fined and very bright artificial light-
     the early earth from space. That           standardised scenario to compare          ing, these days, they can cope with
     would also indicate that meteorite         results from research on artificial in-   natural or dim lighting and without
     strikes may have triggered chemical        telligence, robotics and other disci-     blinkers. In addition they can safely
     evolution. Such a result would also        plines. For this reason, the interna-     distinguish the red ball from similar-
     support theories suggesting that the       tional RoboCup Federation has             ly coloured objects outside the field
     first asymmetric molecules that led        been organising annual world              of play.
     to DNA first came into being in            championships and conferences                As part of the Priority Programme
     space.                                     since 1997. In the various RoboCup        “Cooperative Teams of Mobile Ro-
                                                leagues mobile wheeled or hu-             bots in Dynamic Environments”
             PD Dr. Uwe J. Meierhenrich         manoid robots play football, with         football-playing robots represent a
             Universität Bremen                 rescue robots and disaster manage-        demonstration application and test-
             and Université                     ment, as well as encourage young          ing ground for research projects in
20           de Nice-Sophia Antipolis           people into robotics, forming vari-       artificial intelligence and mobile ro-
                                   german research 2/ 2005
      The whistle starts the RoboCup: Foot-          for future technical applications. At      bots has already spawned a German
   ball-playing robots display their skills at       the same time so-called control ar-        national team. The individual solu-
    the German Open.The tournament ser-
                                                     chitectures for robot behaviour play       tions of the participating universi-
   ves as a scenario for comparing research
      results in the fields of artificial intelli-   a key role. They make it possible for      ties were compared with one anoth-
                  gence and mobile robotics.         the robot to react quickly and surely      er and the best component systems
                                                     to the information from its sensors        selected and then formed into a new
                                                     and also to plan and undertake             unit. This close cooperation paid off.
                                                     longer term and more far-reaching          The German team became world
botics. The range of topics includes                 actions. The range of actions goes         champions at the RoboCup champi-
research into methods, components                    from coordinated control of complex        onships in Lisbon in 2004. The FU
and development tools needed for                     leg movements for a robot dog to the       Fighters also took home the world
mobile robot teams intended to                       planning of the best motion for            championship title in the league for
move and act of their own accord to-                 wheeled robots. Investigation of           miniature robots. Cooperation be-
wards specific ends in dynamic en-                   learning and evolutionary methods          tween the individual leagues is now
vironments. The RoboCup with its                     with regard to the basic capabilities      being extended. The best results
real and simulated robot leagues                     of individual robots or the automatic      from a variety of leagues are now
provides an ideal scenario for this.                 instigation of cooperative behaviour       being forged together. This means
It makes it possible, among other                    for a team of robots is another key        that RoboCup teams that have pre-
things, to compare the results                       feature. The question of transferring      viously been restricted to working
gained from researches and also al-                  capabilities learned in simulations        in simulation leagues now have the
lows the competitive potential of                    to real robots is a particularly inter-    opportunity to demonstrate the re-
those results to be tested in a world-               esting aspect of this.                     sults of their research on real robots,
wide robotics community that is ac-                     Apart from the highly specialised       for example using the modular
tively engaged in research into au-                  research work on the individual top-       VolksBot platform that has been
tonomous, mobile robots.                             ics the Priority Programme also            made available as a flexible and ex-
   Registering the environment in                    highlights in particular the coopera-      tensible basis for robot experiments.
real time, making rapid decisions,                   tion between research groups at 14            As part of the Priority Programme,
planning and working in a team are                   different locations. The league for        the Fraunhofer Institute for Au-
all key aspects that will be relevant                Germany’s active four-legged ro-           tonomous Intelligent Systems has 21
                                                                                   german research 2/ 2005
                                                                                            It remains to be seen whether the
                                                                                         visionary aim of the RoboCup Fed-
                                                                                         eration, to beat the human world
                                                                                         champions with a team of humanoid
                                                                                         robots by the year 2050, is a realistic
                                                                                         one. Whether or not it happens, a
                                                                                         host of results will be achieved in ro-
                                                                                         botics along the way, and not only
                                                                                         that. The RoboCup will also educate
                                                                                         the young scientists who may yet
                                                                                         one day achieve the seemingly un-
                                                                                         attainable objective. What is certain
                                                                                         and predictable even today is that
                                                                                         the tenth anniversary of the

   held the RoboCup German Open           No more chances to use the laptop to
   every year since 2001. With support    interrupt the match. The autonomous
   from the DFG and in cooperation        robots act of their own accord. They have
                                          to register the surroundings with their
   with the Heinz Nixdorf Museum          sensors and make sensible decisions on
   Forum the fourth German Open was       that basis. Right: The audience is also
   held in April 2004. Over 150           delighted by the small-size robot league.
   RoboCup teams from 13 countries,
   encompassing 600 active partici-
   pants, took part in the biggest        nary technological education in
   RoboCup competition outside of the     schools, universities and business.
   world championships. As in previ-      Robots can perceive themselves and
   ous years several thousand specta-     their environment and thus gather
   tors were drawn to Paderborn for       and structure knowledge of their
   the event.                             own accord. In the space of a few
      RoboCup competitions are not        years they will be capable of mak-
   only matches be-                                               ing sensible real-
   tween university                                               time decisions as
   research teams        RoboCup compe-                           to the actions
   but are now be-                                                they should take
   coming an ever
                         titions make science                     even in complex
   more attractive       tangible and provide                     situations.     Ro-
   spectacle for the     a key platform for                       bots working to
   public and one                                                 systematically         RoboCup in 2006 will see Germany
   that gives them a     research                                 record environ-        as the venue for the world champi-
   tangible experi-                                               mental data in         onship for the first time ever and the
   ence of real sci-                                              unknown         ter-   event will take place in Bremen si-
   ence. Robot experiments are partic-    rain, searching wrecked buildings              multaneously with the FIFA World
   ularly exciting to children and        for survivors or carrying out trans-           Cup from 13-19 July.
   teenagers. This is clearly shown by    port tasks in public spaces will re-
   the increasing participation year by   quire techniques that can only be                    Prof. Dr. Thomas Christaller
   year in the RoboCup Junior tourna-     developed by means of close coop-                    Dr. Ansgar Bredenfeld
   ments. The RoboCup thus makes an       eration between researchers in                       Fraunhofer Institute for
   important contribution to the inspi-   many disciplines. The research re-                   Autonomous Intelligent Systems
   ration of young scientists. It is not  sults achieved so far make funda-                    St. Augustin
   just a demonstration scenario for ro-  mental contributions to these future
   botics researchers but also an at-     applications, not only in terms of
                                                                                         ▼ ▼

22 tractive instrument for interdiscipli- service robotics.                                www.robocup-german-open.de

                                  german research 2/ 2005
                                               Descartes Prize

A     pproximately 300 invited guests gave presentations at the ceremony DNA, which for the first time allowed
      from science and politics gathe- in Prague.
red in the historic Rudolph Gallery
                                                                           DNA bases to be seen. Heckl has
                                          Wolfgang Heckl was born in 1958, since given the public insights into
in Prague Castle for the award cere- and after leaving school studied the world of nanotechnology in regu-
mony of the “Descartes Prizes” by physics at the Technical University lar scientific TV appearances. In his
Václav Klaus, President of the Czech of Munich. After receiving his docto- endeavours to promote better under-
Republic, and Janez Potocnik, the rate in biophysics he first spent a standing of science and technology
newly appointed EU Science and year as a postdoc at the University of Heckl uses a wide variety of methods
Research Commissioner. The Euro- Toronto in Canada in 1989, before to communicate his subject and
pean Commission has awarded the joining Professor Gerd Binnig at the make it relevant and accessible to
Descartes Prize – which is worth IBM Research Laboratory in Swit- people of all ages and from all sec-
€ 1,000,000 in total and                                                                tions of society. Wolf-
is shared among the lau-                                                                gang Heckl is involved
reates – annually since                                                                 in projects for exhibitions
2000 in recognition of                                                                  and science fairs on a va-
outstanding      achieve-                                                               riety of topics relating to
ments in European                                                                       the natural sciences and
scientific cooperation.                                                                 continuously seeks dia-
   The “Descartes Prize                                                                 logue with those who are
for Science Communica-                                                                  sceptical of science and
tion”, worth € 250,000                                                                  critical of nanotechnolo-
(€ 50,000 for each laure-                                                               gy, which is his area of
ate), was awarded for                                                                   specialisation. His com-
the first time. Two out-                                                                mitment to the public un-
standing     communica-                                                                 derstanding of science
tors, the physicist Pro-                                                                also encompasses poli-
fessor Wolfgang Heckl                                                                   tics. In this respect, just
from Munich and the                                                                     as in his work with young
British zoologist and                                                                   people, Heckl regards
broadcaster Sir David                                                                   his campaign for an un-
Attenborough, received
the award in the catego-          Inspiring Public                                      derstanding of and en-
                                                                                        thusiasm for science as
ry “Professional scien-                                                                 an investment in the fu-
tists engaged in science
communication to the
                                Interest in Science                                     ture. In the summer of
                                                                                        2004 Wolfgang Heckl
public”.                            Wolfgang Heckl one of the winners                   agreed to act as chair-
   To qualify for this                                                                  man for the next pan-Eu-
prize, candidates must have already zerland. He completed his “Habili- ropean EuroScience Open Forum,
been awarded a prize or comparable tation” (the German qualification for due to take place in Munich in 2006.
distinction at national level. The a university lecturer) in physics in       One of the other categories of the
DFG nominated Wolfgang Heckl, 1993 and, in the same year, accepted Descartes Prize for Science Commu-
winner of the Communicator Award an appointment as Professor of Ex- nication is for “Innovative action for
2002. This is awarded to scientists perimental Physics at the Ludwig science communication.” In this ca-
and researchers who have shown Maximilian University in Munich. In tegory the Hungarian Professor
exceptional passion and dedication 1993 he received the Philipp Morris Peter Csermely was awarded the
in communicating their research to Research Award. Since October prize for a project to help youngsters
the public. The Descartes Prize 2004, Wolfgang Heckl has also been find their way into science, and the
Grand Jury, installed by the Europe- the Director General of the Deut- Belgian Professor Ignaas Verpoest
an Commission, described Wolf- sches Museum in Munich.                     for his mobile exhibition “composi-
gang Heckl as a “youthful and dyna-       For over ten years, Wolfgang tes-on-tour”.
mic personality (who) has achieved Heckl has been dedicated to com-           In the third category (of a total of
widespread renown in his home municating his research results to the five) “Popularising science through
country through his ability to ex- general public. He became known audio-visual and electronic media”
plain hard science to young and old for his ability to communicate scien- the French television producer Vin-
in a fun, entertaining way”. A total ce as far back as the early nineties, cent Lamy was recognised for his
of 47 nominations were received with various television documenta- documentary, which revealed the
from throughout Europe, of which ries showing his scanning tunnelling strange world of the “stick insect”.
19 reached the final shortlist and microscope examinations of human                             Eva-Maria Streier
                                                                   german research 2/ 2005
                                                      Natural Sciences

           Was the North Pole
           Once Ice Free?
           An international expedition to the central Arctic Ocean has drilled sediment
           cores that reveal unexpected results on the process of climate change and
           reflect the most important long-term changes in the Earth’s environment

         remen, 9 November 2004.             the Southern Ocean, all of them cut
         This is the day that scientists     into one-and-a-half metre sections
         from the Arctic Coring Expe-        and packaged in white plastic con-
   dition (ACEX) have been awaiting          tainers,” states Professor Gerold
   for so long. Thirty-two geologists,       Wefer, director of the DFG Research
   palaeontologists, chemists, microbi-      Centre Ocean Margins.
   ologists and other scientists from ten       Recently, 340 metres of especially
   countries are meeting in the sedi-        valuable sediment core were ac-
   ment-core repository of the Inte-         quired. They were drilled in August
   grated Ocean Drilling Program             and September 2004 during a six-
   (IODP) at the University of Bremen.       week expedition not far from the
   The two-story brick warehouse at          North Pole. “This Arctic Coring Ex-
   Europahafen was once a warehouse          pedition has allowed us to obtain
   for tobacco, cotton and other goods.      large quantities of sediment core
   It has now been converted into a          from the Arctic Ocean for the first
   treasure vault for the geological sci-    time,” said expedition leader Jan
   ences. “Our shelves contain a good        Backmann, geology professor at the
   75 kilometres of sedimentary cores        University of Stockholm.
   drilled from the beds of the Atlantic        Tromsö, 7 August 2004. At mid-
24 Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and          night, the “Oden” casts off. The
                                german research 2/ 2005
108-metre long, 31-metre wide             thus maintain positions at the
Swedish icebreaker, with its 24,000-      drilling location not far from the drill
hp engine, sets out for the North         ship in order to break up the huge
Pole from northern Norway. The            ice floes, which are up to four metres
“Vidar Viking”, an 84-metre long          thick, to a size where they no longer
tug that normally serves oil rigs, fol-   pose a threat to the “Vidar Viking”.
lows in its wake. It was converted to        Scientific drilling in the Arctic is
a polar drilling platform in the pre-     an expensive undertaking. That is
ceding weeks. Amidships there is          why such projects can only be
now a 34-metre high drilling rig.         achieved through international co-
Nineteen scientists from eight coun-      operative programs such as the In-
tries, including a geological science     tegrated Ocean Drilling Program
staff from Bremen University and          (IODP) that began in 2003. It is fi-
the Alfred Wegener Institute for          nanced by the USA, Japan and the
Polar and Marine Research in Bre-         European Consortium for Ocean
merhaven board at Tromsö. They            Research Drilling (ECORD). Four-
will be spending a good six weeks in      teen European countries plus Cana-
this barren white wilderness.             da have come together to form
   10 August 2004. North-west of          ECORD. The consortium conducts
Franz-Joseph Land, at 82 degrees          special drilling campaigns in shal-
latitude, the two ships rendezvous        low coastal seas or in ice-covered
with the “Sovetskiy Soyuz” a 148-         regions that are inaccessible for the
metre long, atomic-powered Russ-          two IODP drill ships “Joides Resolu-
ian icebreaker, which completes the       tion” and “Chikyu”. Technical co-
polar convoy. Its 75,000-hp engine        ordination and quality assurance for
will help to ensure that the expedi-      the scientific data is the responsibil-
tion reaches its goal. The intended       ity of the ECORD Science Operator
location for the work is expected to      (ESO). This is coordinated by the
be capped by a practically unbro-
ken ice cover. Changing winds and
currents cause the motions of the
drifting ice to change continuously.      Scenes from an expedition to the
This means that even a relatively         Arctic Ocean: A helicopter takes off
powerful drill ship like the “Vidar       on an ice-locating mission. The drill
Viking” will find it difficult to main-   ship “Vidar Viking” can be seen in
tain its position. This, however, is      the background. Left: The scientists
                                          on board rely on working and lab
essential during drilling operations,     containers. Bottom: The atomic-
since otherwise there is a danger of      powered icebreaker "Sovetskiy
the drill string breaking. The            Soyuz" breaks ice floes so that they
“Oden” and “Sovetskiy Soyuz” will         do not pose a risk to the drill ship.

   British Geological Survey. Bremen       Viking” and the expedition sets sail
   University is one of the three main     back to Tromsö.
   partners of the ESO and, among its         Bremen, 16 November 2004. Just
   many other tasks, it operates the       over two-and-a-half months after
   Bremen IODP core repository, the        the expedition ended, the deposits
   only one in Europe. The Arctic Cor-     from the North Pole were scientifi-
   ing Expedition, which cost 12.5 mil-    cally investigated in Bremen by the
   lion dollars, was Europe’s first con-   “Onshore Science Party”. For two
   tribution to the “Integrated Ocean      weeks, cores totalling 340 metres in
   Drilling Program”. The DFG provid-      length were opened. They had been
   ed 2.25 million dollars of this. In ad- taken from four locations in a total of
   dition to the DFG, the Bundes- six drilling operations and represent
   anstalt für Geowissenschaften und       a time span of 80 million years.
   Rohstoffe Hannover (BGR, Federal           The top 160 metres of the cores
   Institute for Geosciences and Natur-    offer nearly complete documenta-
   al Resources in Hannover) also          tion of climate change in the last 15
   plays a key part in the IODP collab-    million years. The 200 metres at the
   oration. It coordinates Germany’s       bottom cover the middle and early
   scientific contributions to the inter-  parts of the Paleogene period, rep-
   national oceanic research program.      resenting a span reaching back al-
      1 September 2004. The thermo-        most 56 million years. The sedimen-
   meter indicates minus 5 degrees         tary sequence is not complete, how-
   Celsius. In a slight northerly wind     ever. For reasons yet to be ex-
   and under clear skies the drilling is   plained there are no deposits for the
   progressing successfully. With help     period between 15 and 35 million
   from the “Oden” and “Sovetskiy          years ago.
   Soyuz”, the “Vidar Viking” has al-         The investigations showed that
   ready        main-                                           the climatic and
   tained position                                              environmental
   for 125 hours.          The drilled cores provide            history of the
   Despite 80 to 100                                            central     Arctic
   percent ice cov-        nearly complete docu-                Ocean followed
   erage, the drill        mentation of climate                 climatic devel-
   ship has not                                                 opments of the
   moved more than
                           change for the last                  globe as a whole.
   20 metres from          15 million years                     Microfossils indi-
   its intended posi-                                           cate that the Arc-
   tion. A sediment                                             tic Ocean of 55
   layer with a thickness of 427 metres    million years ago was warm, with
   on the Lomonosov Ridge has al-          temperatures that would be consid-
   ready been penetrated to within the     ered sub-tropical today. Sea tem-
   last 40 metres.                         peratures of 20 degrees Celsius are
      The nine micropalaeontologists       not out of the question. Thus it was
   on the expedition all have their        demonstrated definitively for the
   hands full. They are working with       first time that the maximum world-
   the biostratigraphy, i.e., the age of   wide temperatures at the transition
   the sedimentary layers in the drilled   between the Palaeocene and
   samples. While the plastic cylinders    Eocene epochs were located in the
   containing the cores will not be        Arctic Ocean.
   opened until they reach Bremen,            However, the cores had more sur-
   small samples are being taken from      prises to reveal. Freshwater algae
   the bottom of each 4.5-metre long       and, in particular, huge quantities of
   drill core. These are then analysed     freshwater ferns in the middle
   by the scientists for all the usual mi- Eocene of 49 million years ago indi-
   crofossil groups in order to estimate   cate that the supply of water from
   the age of the sedimentary layers.      the rivers of the surrounding conti-
      Two days later the drill strikes the nents was, in contrast to previous
   hard sandstone of the Lomonosov         theories, of great importance to the
   Ridge. At about 2 o’clock p.m. on 5     hydrological cycle of the Arctic
   September the last drill core is        Ocean. Silicates and carbon-rich
26 heaved onto the deck of the “Vidar      sediments in the middle Eocene in-
                                german research 2/ 2005
Once the ice cover is broken, the
drilling can begin. In an emergency,
a helicopter can also land on the water.
Sedimentary samples are evaluated
even on board the expedition ship,
and described using a colour scale. On
guard: A rifle for protection against
curious polar bears.

dicate far greater amounts of biolog-
ical activity in the surface waters
than is the case today. These find-
ings point to a considerable produc-
tion of plants during this period.
   Sand and individual silicate parti-
cles, possibly transported to the Arc-
tic by ice floes and icebergs, appear
regularly during the last 15 million
years. This leads to the conclusion
that sea ice has played a key role in
the climate of the Arctic during this
period. The question of whether the
Arctic Ocean was frozen over only
in winter or throughout the year can
only be answered by further sedi-
mentological and micropalaeonto-
logical study. Clear evidence of im-
mense ice sheets on the surround-
ing continents has not yet been
found in the sediments.
   Particularly spectacular was the
discovery of individual silicate
stones from the Middle Eocene, the
period between 40 and 46 million
years ago. They must have been
transported to the Arctic from the
surrounding land by ice floes and
icebergs, indicating that climatic
conditions were cold at the same
time that the western Antarctic was
just starting to form a continental ice
cover. This is astonishing. Scientists
had previously believed that the ini-
tial formation of ice at the Antarctic
had occurred much earlier than at
Arctic latitudes. Does this mean we
have to rethink our view of the
world climate? Did the ice covers
appear in both the Arctic and
Antarctic simultaneously? For now,
these questions can be addressed
with no more than speculation.

      Albert Gerdes
      DFG Research Centre
      Ocean Margins
      Universität Bremen
      Dr. Jens Matthiessen
      Alfred Wegener Institute
      for Polar and Marine Research
      Bremerhaven                   27
     The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft                                                           Authors’ Addresses
                                                                                                   Prof. Dr. Dr. Wolfgang Bauer
     The DFG (German Research Foundation) is the central self-governing organisation re-           Universitätsklinikum Würzburg,
     sponsible for promoting research in Germany. According to its statutes, the DFG serves        Josef-Schneider-Straße 2,
     all branches of science and the humanities. The DFG supports and coordinates research         97080 Würzburg
     projects in all scientific disciplines, in particular in the areas of basic and applied re-   Prof. Dr. Thomas Christaller
     search. Particular attention is paid to promoting young researchers. Researchers who          Dr. Ansgar Bredenfeld
     work at a university or research institution in Germany are eligible to apply for DFG         Fraunhofer Institut für Autonome
     funding. Proposals will be peer reviewed. The final assessment will be carried out by re-     Intelligente Systeme (AIS),
     view boards, the members of which are elected by researchers in Germany in their indi-        Schloss Birlinghoven,
     vidual subject areas every four years.                                                        53754 Sankt Augustin
     The DFG distinguishes between the following programmes for research funding: In the
     Individual Grants Programme, any researcher can apply for financial assistance for an         Albert Gerdes
     individual research project. Priority Programmes allow researchers from various re-           DFG-Forschungszentrum Ozeanränder
     search institutions and laboratories to cooperate within the framework of a set topic or      an der Universität Bremen,
     project for a defined period of time, each working at his/her respective research institu-    – Öffentlichkeitsarbeit –,
     tion. A Research Unit is a longer-term collaboration between several researchers who          Postfach 330 440, 28334 Bremen
     generally work together on a research topic at a single location. In Central Research Fa-     Dr. Reinhard Grunwald
     cilities there is a particular concentration of personnel and equipment that is required to   Generalsekretär der Deutschen
     provide scientific and technical services.                                                    Forschungsgemeinschaft,
     Collaborative Research Centres are long-term university research centres in which sci-        Kennedyallee 40, 53175 Bonn
     entists and academics pursue ambitious joint interdisciplinary research undertakings.         Tobias Lagatz
     They are generally established for a period of 12 years. In addition to the classic Collab-   Katholisch-Theologische Fakultät,
     orative Research Centres, which are concentrated at one location and open to all subject      Universität Münster,
     areas, the DFG also offers several programme variations. Transregional Collaborative          Johannistraße 8-10, 48143 Münster
     Research Centres allow various locations to cooperate on one topical focus. Cultural
     Studies Research Centres are designed to support the transition in the humanities to an       Dr. Jens Matthiessen
     integrated cultural studies paradigm. Transfer Units serve to transfer the findings of        Alfred-Wegener-Institut für
     basic research produced by Collaborative Research Centres into the realm of practical         Polar- und Meeresforschung,
     application by promoting cooperation between research institutes and users.                   Postfach 12 0161, 27515 Bremerhaven
     DFG Research Centres are an important strategic funding instrument. They concentrate          Prof. Dr. Rainer Matyssek
     scientific research competence in particularly innovative fields and create temporary,        Dr. Karl Heinz Häberle
     internationally visible research priorities at research universities.                         Dr. Thorsten E. E. Grams
     Research Training Groups are university training programmes established for a specific        Department für Ökologie,
     time period to support young researchers by actively involving them in research work.         Wissenschaftszentrum Weihenstephan,
     This focuses on a coherent, topically defined, research and study programme. Research         Technische Universität München,
     Training Groups are designed to promote the early independence of doctoral students           Lehrstuhl für Ökophysiologie
     and intensify international exchange. They are open to international participants. In In-     der Pflanzen,
     ternational Research Training Groups, a jointly structured doctoral programme is of-          Am Hochanger 13, 85354 Freising
     fered by German and foreign universities.
                                                                                                   PD Dr. Uwe J. Meierhenrich
     Other funding opportunities for qualified young researchers are offered by the Heisen-        Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis,
     berg Programme and the Emmy Noether Programme.                                                Laboratoire Arômes,
     Humanities Research Centres were created in the new federal states to improve the ex-         Synthèses et Interactions,
     isting research infrastructure. These centres have been established for a specific time       Faculté des Sciences,
     period and serve to promote interdisciplinary research.                                       28, Avenue Valrose,
     The DFG also funds and initiates measures to promote scientific libraries, equips com-        F-06108 Nice Cedex 2, France
     puter centres with computing hardware, provides instrumentation for research purpos-
     es and conducts peer reviews on proposals submitted within the framework of the               Dr. Eva-Maria Streier
     Hochschulbauförderungsgesetz, a legal act which provides for major equipment and              Direktorin des Bereichs Presse-
     the construction of institutions of higher education in Germany. On an international          und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit der
     level, the DFG has assumed the role of Scientific Representative to international organ-      Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft,
     isations, coordinates and funds the German contribution towards large-scale interna-          Kennedyallee 40, 53175 Bonn
     tional research programmes, and supports international scientific relations.
     Another important role of the DFG is to provide policy advice to parliaments and public       Illustrations
     authorities on scientific issues. A large number of expert commissions and committees         von der Fecht, IODP (cover, pp. 24-27);
     provide the scientific background for the passing of new legislation, primarily in the        Querbach (p. 3, back); Busemann (p.
     areas of environmental protection and health care.                                            4/5); Hemke (pp. 6 l., 7 r.); Schuck (pp.
     The legal status of the DFG is that of a private association. Its member organisations in-    6/7, 8 b.); Michaelis/TLZ (pp. 8 a., 9 r.);
     clude research universities, the Academies of Sciences and Humanities, the Max                Mende (p. 9 l.); Matyssek, SFB 607 (pp.
     Planck Society, the Fraunhofer Society, the Leibniz Association, the Helmholtz Associa-       10-14); Bauer (pp. 15, 16); ESA/AOES
     tion of National Research Centres, research organisations of general importance, and a        Medialab (pp. 17, 18/19); MPI für
     number of scientific associations. In order to meet its responsibilities, the DFG receives    Aeronomie, Katlenburg-Lindau (p. 19
     funding from the German federal government and the federal states, as well as an an-          r.); Leiden Observatorium (19 b.); SPP
     nual contribution from the Donors’ Association for the Promotion of Sciences and Hu-          1125 (pp. 21, 22); Streier (p. 23)
     manities in Germany.                                                                          Layout of pictures: l.: left; r.: right; a.:
28                                                                                                 above; c.: centre; b.: below
                                     german research 2/ 2005

                  he DFG Berlin
                  Office is locat-
                  ed in the Wis-
             senschaftsForum (left-hand build-
             ing), which overlooks the Gen-
             darmenmarkt. The Berlin Office
             represents the voice of science and
             research to Parliament and the
             Federal Government and liaises
             with foreign embassies.

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