News and Research Highlights

Latest announcements about Photon Science at DESY as well as important research or technical news can be found here:

15 March 2019 · Research Highlight

Scientists go to extremes to reveal make-up of Earth’s core


Experiments conducted at extreme conditions, also at PETRA III at DESY, are giving scientists new insights into the chemical make-up of the Earth’s core. Advanced laboratory techniques reveal that our planet’s metal centre – more than 1,800 miles below the surface – also contains silicon, an ...

08 March 2019

More than 100 participants at the DESY Research Course 2019


The programme of the DESY Research Course 2019 “Trends in Modern Photon Science” covered the research activities of different new photon science research acitivities on the campus in Hamburg-Bahrenfeld. More than 100 participants attended this year's course from 27 February to 1 March. It was the 18th research course at DESY of a series initiated in the year ...

04 March 2019 · Research Highlight

Scientists develop printable water sensor


A new, versatile plastic-composite sensor can detect tiny amounts of water. The 3d printable material, developed by a Spanish-Israeli team of scientists and studied at PETRA III, is cheap, flexible and non-toxic and changes its colour from purple to blue in wet conditions. The researchers lead by Pilar Amo-Ochoa from the Autonomous University of Madrid (UAM) used DESY’s X-ray light source to ...

11 February 2019 · Research Highlight

Innovative method enables new view into Earth's interior


An innovative X-ray method enables new high-pressure investigations of samples under deep mantle conditions. The technique, which was developed by a team led by Georg Spiekermann from DESY, the German Research Centre for Geosciences GFZ and the University of Potsdam, extends the range of instruments available to high-pressure researchers. Successful tests of the new method at DESY's X-ray light source ...

04 February 2019 · Research Highlight

What keeps spiders on the ceiling?


Hunting spiders easily climb vertical surfaces or move upside down on the ceiling. A thousand tiny hairs at the ends of their legs make sure they do not fall off. Like the spider’s exoskeleton, these bristle-like hairs (so-called setae) mainly consist of proteins and chitin, which is a polysaccharide. To find out more about their fine structure, an interdisciplinary research team from the Biology ...

01 February 2019 · Research Highlight

X-rays reveal layout of loaded drug transporter


Experiments at DESY's X-ray source PETRA III have revealed the first structure of a biological transporter protein loaded with a pro-drug. Prodrugs are inactive medications that are metabolized into an active, functional form within the body. They can hijack the human nutrient transporter proteins PepT1 or PepT2 that are located in the cell membrane and usually channel peptides derived from digested ...

31 January 2019 · Research Highlight

Simulating meteorite impacts in the lab


A US-German research team has simulated meteorite impacts in the lab and followed the resulting structural changes in two feldspar minerals with X-rays as they happened. The results of the experiments at DESY and at Argonne National Laboratory in the US show that structural changes can occur at very different pressures, depending on the compression rate. The findings, published in the 1 February issue of ...

24 January 2019 · Research Highlight

Platinum forms Nano-Bubbles


Platinum, a noble metal, is oxidised more quickly than expected under conditions that are technologically relevant. This has emerged from a study jointly conducted by the DESY NanoLab and the Vienna University of Technology. Devices that contain platinum, such as the catalytic converters used to reduce exhaust emissions in cars, can suffer a loss in efficacy as a result of this reaction. The team around ...

23 January 2019

International user community of light sources meets in Hamburg


From Wednesday on, around 1100 leading X-ray researchers and nanoscientists from 30 nations will meet in Hamburg. The participants belong to the large circle of users of the DESY X-ray light sources PETRA III and FLASH as well as the European XFEL X-ray laser opened in 2017, and they will discuss new results, investigation possibilities, and the further development of the research light sources. In recent ...

16 January 2019

X-ray experiments reveal important mechanism behind parkinsonian disorders


A new X-ray study has revealed one of the key mechanisms behind certain familial-parkinsonian disorders. The study demonstrates in detail how poisoning with the metal manganese occurs inside a cell, leading to parkinsonian symptoms. It found that a specific genetic defect results in manganese accumulating in the cell’s so-called Golgi apparatus. This has been demonstrated in experiments at DESY as ...