Fake news? Disinformation in the age of digital media

"In our digitalized everyday lives, both misinformation and disinformation seem to be spreading ever more rapidly" / A guest commentary by Felix Brinkschulte and Dr. Lena Frischlich
Dr. Lena Frischlich<address>© IfK/Susanne Lüdeling</address>
© IfK/Susanne Lüdeling

Felix Brinkschulte and Dr. Lena Frischlich are undertaking research into the resilience of democracy in times of online propaganda, fake news and hate speech. In this guest commentary, the communication specialists explain how it is becoming increasingly difficult to assess the credibility of sources on the internet. Part Three in a series of guest commentaries on the subject of fake news.

Transmitting stimuli in nerve cells

Researchers led by Prof. Jürgen Klingauf have further developed a protein probe, which enables them to measure changes in the chlorid flux during the transmission of stimuli in nerve cells. The probes are formed in synaptic vesicles.<address>© J. Klingauf</address>
© J. Klingauf

Glutamate is known as an unwelcome flavour enhancer. But without the body’s own glutamate, nerve cells cannot transmit any signals. Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have shown how glutamate gets into nerve cells to the right places, describing the key role played by chloride.

A vision for the future: automatic recognition of fake news

"Facebook deploys a host of checkers to detect fake news." / A guest commentary by Dr. Christian Grimme
Dr. Christian Grimme<address>© private</address>
© private

Dr. Christian Grimme researches into strategies to combat hidden online propaganda attacks. In this guest commentary the information systems specialist explains what makes fake news appear to be so dangerous in the digital age. This is the second in a series of guest commentaries on fake news.

Digitalisation@WWU: An interview with geoinformatics specialist Daniel Nüst

Part Two of the video series on the special topic of "Digitalisation"
<address>© WWU</address>

How precisely was the scientific experiment carried out – and what were the results? What does the researcher’s digital lab look like? In this second part of the video series on "Digitalisation@WWU", Daniel Nüst from the Institute of Geoinformatics explains why the reproducibility of research data is an important mainstay of science.

First "Art Law Clinic" in Germany

Institute of Media Law at Münster University and Münster Academy of Art launch unique collaborative project
The initiator of the Art Law Clinic, Prof. Thomas Hoeren<address>© WWU - Peter Grewer</address>
© WWU - Peter Grewer

Art meets law – and vice-versa. The first so-called Art Law Clinic will soon be starting its work at the University of Münster, with law students giving legal advice to art students – an idea which, as art lawyer Prof. Hoeren puts it – is unique worldwide.

Lying media, fake news and alternative facts

"Many people get their knowledge of the world from reports in the media"
Katherine M. Grosser<address>© Roland Berg</address>
© Roland Berg

Katherine M. Grosser’s dissertation deals with the presentation of trust, mistrust and problems of trust in the media in the context of digitalisation. In this guest commentary the communications expert discusses the results of her research. This is the prelude to a four-part series of guest commentaries on the subject of fake news.

On the trail of antique potters

Münster University archaeologist studies fingerprints on late Roman pottery
The fingerprints can be clearly seen on the inside of the clay oil lamps.<address>© Kimberlee S. Moran</address>
© Kimberlee S. Moran

Fingermarks on oil lamps and terracotta objects have now shown researchers for the first time how potters worked in a ceramics workshop in late antiquity around 1,700 years ago. To this end, and working together with a forensic anthropologist, Prof. Achim Lichtenberger studied fingerprints on waste clay material. The study has been published in the journal "Antiquity".

“Molecular bicycle pedal”: researchers present molecular switch

Very little space needed for motion / New study in the journal “Angewandte Chemie”
Cover Picture Amirjalayer S. et al. (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Volume 57, Issue 7, February 12, 2018, Pages 1792–1796); Copyright Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA. Reproduced with permission.

Just like a bicycle pedal that can be turned forwards and backwards – this is how the new molecular switch can be described which Dr. Saeed Amirjalayer, from the University of Münster’s Institute of Physics, and his co-authors have now presented in the journal “Angewandte Chemie” (“Applied Chemistry”). The pedal motion is triggered by light.

Scientists investigate the molecular basis of social evolution in Termites

A comparison with ants and bees – although unrelated to termites – hints at similar processes involved in the formation of societies
The researchers from the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity (l-r): Dr Carsten Kemena, Dr Mark Harrison, Prof Dr Erich Bornberg-Bauer, Alberto Lopez und Dr Evelien Jongepier<address>© WWU/Peter Leßmann</address>
© WWU/Peter Leßmann

Researchers from the group of bioinformatician Prof Erich Bornberg-Bauer from the Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the WWU have now, for the first time, compared the molecular basis for the evolution of eusociality within termites and ants.

Key enzyme in citrate cycle also functions “backwards”

Study published in “Science” journal disproves conventional wisdom: citrate synthase can also cleave citrate and not only build it up
Prof. Ivan Berg<address>© WWU/Laura Schenk</address>
© WWU/Laura Schenk

The citrate cycle provides many organisms with energy by breaking down organic substances. A team of researchers led by Prof. Ivan Berg, a biologist at the University of Münster, has unexpectedly discovered that a central enzyme in the citrate cycle – citrate synthase – functions both “forwards” and “backwards”. This had previously been considered impossible.

Digitalisation@WWU: an interview with Prof. Bernd Blöbaum

Part one of a series of videos to accompany the featured theme of “digitalisation”
Prof. Dr. Bernd Blöbaum<address>© WWU</address>

Whether it’s learning platforms such as Moodle, research portals like DigiBib or databases for research such as CRIS@WWU, digitalisation is making a lot of changes at Münster University. In the first video in the series “Digitalisation@WWU”, Prof. Bernd Blöbaum from the Institute of Communication Sciences talks about trust and communication in a digital world.

Regeneration starts with a wound

Researchers demonstrate with flatworms and zebrafish that any injury can initiate regeneration of whole tissues
Planarian flatworms after an amputation of the head. When tissue was removed again, the head regenerated completely within two weeks (centre). Likewise after an incision (right).<address>© S. Owlarn et al./Nature Communications</address>
© S. Owlarn et al./Nature Communications

Researchers at the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence have gained new insights into the mechanisms behind regenerative processes. In flatworms and zebrafish, even small wounds can initiate complete regeneration of heads and bones. The study has been published in “Nature Communications”.

Psychologist Prof. Guido Hertel sees more opportunities than risks for society in the digital revolution

"Discussions on this subject are very emotional"
Prof. Dr. Guido Hertel<address>© OWMs</address>
© OWMs

Our everyday lives and the world of work are unimaginable without digitalisation and the Internet. In the past few years, many things have changed at enormous speed because of them – including, for example, communication with smartphones. Prof. Guido Hertel, Managing Director of the Institute of Psychology at Münster University, speaks about the consequences of the digital revolution, the challenges it has produced and the fears that people have.