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Press release

Alfred Wegener Institute, PlanktonTech and imare for the first time with their own stand at Hannover Messe, the world’s most important technology event

[17. April 2012] 

A five times six metre pavilion along with models of a 3.6 metre high offshore wind turbine and lightweight sailing boat are the visual attractions at the stand of the Bremerhaven researchers at this year’s Hanover Fair in Hall 6. From 23 to 27 April 2012 the plankton biomechanics and bionics working group of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association, the virtual Helmholtz PlanktonTech Institute and the Institute for Marine Resources (imare) will be presenting themselves with their own stand for the first time.


Press release

The sea as a rubbish tip: biologists prepare guidelines for a more precise investigation into marine pollution from microplastic particles

[16. April 2012] 

Large quantities of globally produced plastics end up in the oceans where they represent a growing risk. Above all very small objects, so-called microplastic particles, are endangering the lives of the many sea creatures. An estimate of how greatly the oceans are polluted with microplastic particles has so far failed in the absence of globally comparable methods of investigation and data. Together with British and Chilean colleagues, scientists of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association have now analysed all published studies on this topic and have proposed standardised guidelines for the recording and characterisation of microplastic particles in the sea.


Press release

CO2 was hidden in the ocean during the Ice Age

[29. March 2012] 

Why did the atmosphere contain so little carbon dioxide (CO2) during the last Ice Age 20,000 years ago? Why did it rise when the Earth’s climate became warmer? Processes in the ocean are responsible for this, says a new study based on newly developed isotope measurements.


Press release

Searching for exotics in the shrimp nets: shrimp fishermen help biologist to monitor rare fish species

[26. March 2012] 

So far the shrimp fisherman Uwe Abken has had little interest in the bycatch in his nets. But recently the fisherman from the East Friesian town of Neuharlingersiel has been taking a closer look. The fisherman and his deck hand have been recording which North Sea exotics and rare migratory fish get caught in their shrimp nets for the biologist Kai Wätjen from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association. This is a project with model character because fishermen, scientists and the environment benefit from the results.


Press release

Antifreeze proteins from a polar diatom to protect frozen bread rolls from freezer burn

[20. March 2012] 

The polar diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus thrives where many other forms of life would succumb – namely in the sea ice of the Arctic and Antarctic. Its survival is guaranteed by an antifreeze protein, which the alga releases into its environment. Biologists from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association have now succeeded in decoding the genetic plan of this natural antifreeze agent and in bioengineering the protein. In a joint project with food researchers from ttz Bremerhaven, investigations will now be conducted to determine whether the algal antifreeze can also protect frozen bread rolls from the destructive force of ice crystals.


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