Scivit News – Our World needs more Science


Zittau is a small town near the border triangle of Poland, Czech Republic and Germany

Zittau is located at the very South-Eastern edge of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR). Like a true microcosm the area displays many of the issues of the larger region. Since I am new to Zittau, this newsletter will not give an exhaustive account, but rather summarize some very obvious features and ask some very obvious questions.

Continue reading…     Download pdf…


Selected topics

Artificial intelligence in space exploration

Artificial intelligence is of prime importance to space exploration. My recent contribution to the ARTS-blog summarizes current applications, challenges and approaches.

Some basic facts

Earth is not flat

In contrast to views from the still-to-be-established US-ministry for alternative truth earth is not flat. It is not a perfect sphere either, but rather something like a flattened ball. Here I will not detail recent satellite measurements, but rather go back in time to a man, who calculated the earth’s radius with astonishing precision: Eratosthenes… Continue reading




An ATP-sensitive Potassium Channel

The structure of a pancreatic K+-channel has been elucidated using Cryo-EM. The core channel consists of four identical subunits and is given in full colour, with each subunit in a different colour. A regulatory subunit (lighter colour) is attached to each core subunit. The channel displayed is oriented with the cytoplasmic side facing downwards and the extracellular side facing upwards.


Video Abstracts

Scivit Videos

Science Fiction: Alien Ecosystems

The jungle below our feet

While blue jewels like Earth are rare in space, many celestial bodies possess subsurface oceans. Such oceans may be heated by internal planetary heat or by interaction with a larger planetary bodies (tidal heating). In our own planetary system Europa, Enceladus, Ganymede, Ceres and Pluto are good candidates for such oceans. Given this abundance in our direct neighbourhood, subsurface oceans can be expected to be the most abundant environment offering conditions suitable for life.