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23.04.2015, Research news
Bacterial communities cause inflammation of the gut

Novel mechanism for Crohn’s disease uncovered

The images show Paneth cells in the small intestine. These cells play an important role in immune defense. In mice with Crohn’s-type inflammation, the Paneth cells produce less lysozyme, an important anti-microbial enzyme. Left: Healthy cells producing high levels of lysozyme (light green); right: Damaged Paneth cells producing low levels of lysozyme.

Crohn’s disease is one of a family of chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). While it has already been proven to have genetic causes, scientists have now shown that the presence of certain intestinal bacteria also plays a role. A study reported in the Gut journal has shown that in mice, bacterial imbalance in the gut can lead to an inflammation similar to Crohn’s disease, and this can be transmitted to other animals. With this knowledge, researchers plan to further develop the existing practice of transplanting “healthy” bacteria into patients’ intestines and establish this as a conventional treatment for Crohn’s disease.

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20.04.2015, Menschen
Volkswagen Foundation funds mathematical research project

Lichtenberg professorship for TU München

Dr. Christian Kühn

Why do ecosystems suddenly fall out of balance? Or why do nerve cells in the brain unexpectedly change their behavior in neurological disorders? Dr. Christian Kühn hopes to develop new mathematical methods to improve the predictability of complex processes in such systems. The Volkswagen Foundation has now pledged funding for his planned research project at Technische Universität München (TUM) by way of a Lichtenberg professorship.

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16.04.2015, Research news
Inmates more optimistic about society after completing entrepreneurship program

Entrepreneurship education in prisons can change offenders’ attitudes

participants of an entrepreneurship education program in a German prison

Offenders develop a more positive attitude towards their own future and towards society in general if they take part in an entrepreneurship education program in prison. The prerequisite is that they have assumed responsibility for their own lives, as a study conducted by Technische Universität München (TUM) and Indiana University (USA) has now shown. Based on these results, the scientists have developed recommendations for structuring such entrepreneurship programs.

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13.04.2015, Research news
Hannover Messe: Visio.M presents efficient air conditioning for electric cars

Passenger focused air conditioning

Vision.M's passenger focused air conditioning - Photo: Alexander Präbst / TUM

How can a pleasant vehicle climate be achieved efficiently? Researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) pursued this question in the context of the research program Visio.M funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) with a total of 7.1 million euro. The results of their research show that the potential of energy efficient air conditioning is all but exhausted. And this applies equally to gasoline powered cars.

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08.04.2015, Termin
Technische Universität München at the Hannover Messe 2015

Cutting-edge research at the leading industrial trade fair

Assembly of Visio.M's battery pack. Its innovative technology has been developed by TUM-spin-off INVENOX. Visit both at Hannover Messe.

E-mobility, Industry 4.0 and battery technology: Technische Universität München (TUM) will present outstanding projects at the Hannover Messe 2015 from April 13 - 17, 2015. 

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07.04.2015, Research news
Variability helps mammals to become invasive

Small differences, big effect

Many mammal species are highly variable in their body size, here illustrated by the sizes of rabbit (upper row) and hare (lower row) skulls. The picture was taken with skulls from the collection of the Estación Biológica de Doñana-CSIC, Sevilla, Spain.

From the time humans began discovering and conquering new continents, they also started transporting animals and plants around the world and releasing them in locations where they never occurred before. Most of these alien species died out quickly, but many established populations and some even multiplied and became invasive, causing tremendous economic and environmental harm. In a recently published article in the journal The American Naturalist, scientists from Spain, Switzerland and Germany argue that successful invaders are particularly variable and can therefore adapt to many different environmental conditions. 

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01.04.2015, Research news
Food poisoning: new detection method for bacterial toxin

A multi-faceted poison

Typical growth pattern of Bacillus cereuscolonies in petri dishes.

The Bacillus cereus bacteria is one of the potential causes of food poisoning. Indeed, a recent study in Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry shows that this versatile pathogen produces 19 different variants of a poison that causes nausea and vomiting in human beings. This variety could explain why some cases are relatively benign and others can result in death. 

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30.03.2015, TUM in Rankings
“U-Multirank” EU university rankings for medicine and computer science published

TUM in top group for research and knowledge transfer

TUM School of Medicine also performed extremely well in the area of research in “U-Multirank” EU university ranking system. (Photo: Klinikum rechts der Isar/TUM)

Technische Universität München (TUM) has scored extremely well for the second time in the “U-Multirank” EU university ranking system. In the overall evaluation, it placed in the top group of universities for research, as well as for knowledge transfer. Medicine and computer science, which were evaluated for this year’s subject rankings, also performed extremely well in the area of research. In some sub-areas of the teaching and learning category, however, the methodology used for the ranking process proved to be imprecise.

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30.03.2015, Research news
Picosecond measurements reveal high conductivity of topological insulators

Fascinating quantum transport on a surface

Bismuth-selenide sample between two gold electrodes – Image: Christoph Hohmann / NIM

Topological insulators are an exceptional group of materials. Their interior acts as an insulator, but the surface conducts electricity extremely well. Scientists at The Technische Universität München now could measure this for the first time directly, with extremely high temporal resolution and at room temperature. In addition, they succeeded to influence the direction of the surface currents with a polarized laser beam.

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26.03.2015, Research news
Arm-waving nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami

Designer's toolkit for dynamic DNA nanomachines

(l-r) Thomas Gerling, Andrea Neuner, Klaus Wagenbauer, and Prof. Hendrik Dietz. (Photo: U. Benz / TUM)

The latest DNA nanodevices created at the Technische Universität München (TUM) – including a robot with movable arms, a book that opens and closes, a switchable gear, and an actuator – may be intriguing in their own right, but that's not the point. They demonstrate a breakthrough in the science of using DNA as a programmable building material for nanometer-scale structures and machines. Results published in the journal Science reveal a new approach to joining – and reconfiguring – modular 3D building units, by snapping together complementary shapes instead of zipping together strings of base pairs. This not only opens the way for practical nanomachines with moving parts, but also offers a toolkit that makes it easier to program their self-assembly.

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