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24.07.2014, Research news
A fundamental finding with implications for clinical cell therapy

Experiments prove "stemness" of individual immune memory cells

Prof. Dirk Busch, Patricia Gräf and Veit Buchholz (Photo: Astrid Eckert / TUM)

Researchers in Germany and the U.S. have proven for the first time that specific individual cells of the immune system, termed central memory T cells, have all the essential characteristics of adult tissue stem cells. Such cells are capable of perpetuating themselves indefinitely as well as generating diverse offspring that can reconstitute "tissue" function. These findings indicate that it should be possible to fully restore specific immunity to pathogens in patients with a compromised immune system by substitution of small numbers of central memory T cells. The results, published in the journal Immunity, highlight the therapeutic promise of "stemness" in T cells.

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23.07.2014, Research news
TUM doctoral candidate develops flexible assembly aid

Thumbling from a 3D printer protect joints

Thumbling from a 3D printer protect joints.

In automotive manufacturing the thumb is exposed to more strain than any other finger. Day in, day out it must bear great loads – literally. Christin Hölzel, a doctoral candidate at the Chair of Ergonomics of the Technische Universität München (TUM) had an idea: A support for the thumb that reduces strain on the joints. Assembly line workers at the BMW Group’s Munich plant gave their "thumbs up" for this invention, which is being deployed there in a pilot project.

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22.07.2014, Research news
Project facilitates trait-mapping for improved cattle breeding

Whole-genome sequencing of bulls in key beef and dairy breeds

Prof. Ruedi Fries (right) und Dr. Hubert Pausch monitor sequence data of breeding cattle.

An international collaboration known as the "1000 bull genomes project" aims to accelerate breeding for desired traits in beef and dairy cattle while also improving animal health and welfare. Results of the project's first phase – based on sequencing the whole genomes of 234 individual bulls whose direct descendants number in the tens of millions – are reported in the journal Nature Genetics. According to the researchers, breeding programs could use this information to reduce or eliminate hereditary diseases and to improve the efficency of milk and beef production.

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15.07.2014, Campus news
Automation and Digitalization Campus to be established

Research alliance for the digital revolution

The partners of the research alliance "Campus Automation and Digitalization". (Photo: Siemens AG)

Partners from industry and science are joining forces in a novel collaborative research alliance to address the future-oriented fields of automation and digitalization. Siemens is the first company to forge a research alliance with universities and research institutes that will utilize a new, fully integrated approach in order to bundle outstanding expertise and make possible wide-ranging innovations in processes and systems. The partners are Technische Universität München (TUM), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security. Siemens will invest a sum in the double-digit million-euro range over three years.

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11.07.2014, Research news
Imaging method improved by scrambling X-rays from a new source

New simple setup for X-ray phase contrast

The scientists used a plastic flower as microscopic object. (Picture: I. Zanette / TUM)

X-ray phase-contrast imaging can provide high-quality images of objects with lower radiation dose. But until now these images have been hard to obtain and required special X-ray sources whose properties are typically only found at large particle accelerator facilities. Using a laboratory source with unprecedented brightness, scientists from the Technische Universität München (TUM), the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (KTH) and University College London (UCL) have demonstrated a new approach to get reliable phase contrast with an extremely simple setup.

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09.07.2014, Research news
Neutrons shed light on vital enzymes’ mechanism of action

Freeze-frame of an enzyme

Dr. Andreas Ostermann (right) and Dr. Tobias Schrader at the BIODIFF measurement instrument of the Heinz Maier Leibnitz Center in Garching. (Photo: W. Schuermann / TUM)

Iron containing heme enzymes play a vital role in our bodies. Hemoglobin transports oxygen to the cells and the enzyme cytochrome c peroxidase degrades hydrogen peroxide. Using the BIODIFF neutron instrument, which is jointly operated by the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and the Forschungszentrum Juelich, an international research team has successfully determined the precise nature of the bond to an oxygen atom in an important intermediate state.

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08.07.2014, Research news
TUM commissions research production line for battery cells

Efficient, durable and affordable: On the road to the super battery

Research production line for battery cells at the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management.

In the future more and more cars will fill up with electricity instead of petrol – ideally, electricity from wind, water or solar energy. A prerequisite for the energy turnaround is the availability of efficient storage media. Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) are working on the optimal battery cell.

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02.07.2014, Research news
Highly non-linear metamaterials for laser technology

A million times better

The ultra-thin layers of the metamaterial were produced with this molecular beam epitaxy system – Photo: W. Hoffmann / TUM

Nonlinear optical materials are widely used in laser systems. However, high light intensity and long propagation are required to produce strong nonlinear optical effects. Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the Technische Universitaet Muenchen created metamaterials with a million times stronger nonlinear optical response, compared to the traditional nonlinear materials, and demonstrated frequency conversion in films 100 times thinner than human hair using light intensity comparable to that of a laser pointer.

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02.07.2014, Termin
July 7: Talk by SAP co-founder and chairman of the supervisory board

Hasso Plattner visits TUM

Prof. Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner (Photo: Wolfram Scheible / SAP AG)

The faculty graduate center CeDoSIA will welcome a renowned guest to TUM next week together with the TUM Graduate School: Prof. Dr. h.c. Hasso Plattner, SAP co-founder and chairman of the supervisory board, will talk on Monday, July 7, about the topic "The Impact of In-Memory Databases on Applications."

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30.06.2014, Research news
New insights into energy generation by heat shock protein Hsp90

Cellular team players

FRET-Set-up in the laboratory - Photo: Christoph Ratzke / TUM

Many enzymes work only with a co-trainer, of sorts. Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) and the Cluster of Excellence Nanosystems Initiative Munich (NIM) show what this kind of cooperation looks like in detail using a novel methodology applied to the heat shock protein Hsp90.

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