New research results or upcoming events: Stay up-to-date on what is happening at TUM.
Whether in vehicle transmissions, hip replacements, or tiny sensors for triggering airbags: The respective components must slide against each other with minimum friction to prevent loss of energy and material wear. Investigating the friction behavior of nanosystems, scientists from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) have discovered a previously unknown type of friction that sheds new light on some previously unexplainable phenomena.
Many entrepreneurs claim that they care about sustainability, yet they make decisions that are harmful to the environment. Economic researchers from Germany and the USA have discovered that many bosses do indeed have firm convictions when it comes to the environment – but that they then unconsciously disengage their values from their business actions. The type of entrepreneur most likely to fall into this category are those who perceive themselves as highly influential or who are operating in a challenging industry environment. The researchers’ findings have shed new light on the significance of moral values and the subconscious in the context of making business decisions. The study could influence environmental legislation and the training of the next generation of entrepreneurs.
You know that summer is here when juicy red strawberries start to appear on the shelves. In Germany, this seasonal fruit has never been more popular: on average 3.5 kilos per head were consumed in 2012 – a full kilogram more than ten years ago. Scientists from the Technische Universität München (TUM) decided to find out what gives strawberries their characteristic flavor.
In fossil remnants of iron-loving bacteria, researchers of the Cluster of Excellence Origin and Structure of the Universe at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM), found a radioactive iron isotope that they trace back to a supernova in our cosmic neighborhood. This is the first proven biological signature of a starburst on our earth. The age determination of the deep-drill core from the Pacific Ocean showed that the supernova must have occurred about 2.2 million years ago, roughly around the time when the modern human developed.
Climate change is having a major impact on the Alps. Here, the increase in the mean annual temperature is more than double (1.5°C) the global average. The animal and plant species that have adapted to harsh conditions at high altitude are extremely sensitive to any disturbance to their ecosystem. The KLIMAGRAD project has investigated the impact of climate change and human activity – in the form of air pollutants or leisure hiking on mountains such as the Zugspitze, for example – on the ecosystem of the Werdenfelser Land region in Upper Bavaria. The result of this study is a reference system which will be used to document future changes in detail.
In a discovery suggesting that odors may have a far more important role in life than previously believed, scientists have found that immune cells in the body have the same receptors for sensing odors that exist in the nose. It opens the door to questions about whether blood cells “smell” that fresh-brewed cup of coffee or cinnamon bun.
Today the Geodetic Observatory Wettzell inaugurated two new radio telescopes. The TWIN telescopes allow scientists radio-astronomical measurements with higher precision and data yield. In the future they will contribute significantly to the determination of the Earth's rotation and of its position in space. This is a basis for modern navigation systems, space programs, and observations of changes in the Earth's structure. The Geodetic Observatory today celebrates its 40th anniversary. The facility is operated by the German Federal Agency for Cartography and Geodesy and the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM).
New findings clarify where and how the brain's "slow waves" originate. These rhythmic signal pulses, which sweep through the brain during deep sleep at the rate of about one cycle per second, are assumed to play a role in processes such as consolidation of memory. For the first time, researchers have shown conclusively that slow waves start in the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for cognitive functions. They also found that such a wave can be set in motion by a tiny cluster of neurons.
A team of scientists from the Technische Universität München, Helmholtz Zentrum München and University of Bonn has deciphered a mechanism that in the future may enable therapeutic vaccination against chronic infections. Until now, many chronic infections, which potentially cause organ damage due to long-lasting inflammation processes, have not been treatable by vaccination once the infection has taken hold. The findings were published in the current issue of “Nature Immunology”.
The recently inaugurated research facility is the first of its kind in the world. Scientists from both natural sciences and engineering will use the high-tech laboratories of the “International Beverage Research Center Weihenstephan” (iGZW) for cutting-edge research in beverage technology. A global first, this unique research facility on the Freising-Weihenstephan campus will cover the entire drink design process chain – from basic molecular biology research through biotechnology processes to the final product.