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18.09.2014, Research news
Young Egyptian scientists at TUM win ISS project

Hepatitis C virus proteins in space

Akram Abdellatif, Prof. Ulrike Protzer and Hanaa Gaber (from left to right) won the ISS Research Competition together. (Image: M. Stobrawe / MRI)

Two Egyptian researchers at Technische Universität München (TUM) have won the “International Space Station (ISS) Research Competition” in the US with their project Egypt Against Hepatitis C Virus (EGAHEP). As their prize, the two scientists will see the ISS crew perform experiments for the project on the space station free of charge. The project involves crystallizing two proteins of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) under microgravity conditions. The shuttle bringing these proteins to the ISS is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on September 20.

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17.09.2014, Menschen
Prestigious award of the German Mathematical Society goes to TUM mathematician

Prof. Herbert Spohn receives Cantor-Medal

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Herbert Spohn - Photo: Astrid Eckert / TUM

At its annual meeting today the German Mathematical Society (DMV) awarded Herbert Spohn, Professor for Applied Probability Theory and Statistical Physics at TUM, with the Cantor Medal. It is the most prestigious scientific award of the DMV.

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16.09.2014, TUM in Rankings
QS World University Ranking: TUM again the best German technical university

Top rankings for the natural and engineering sciences

Researcher in an lab

The Technische Universität München (TUM) has performed very well again in a renowned international ranking system. In the QS World University Ranking, which was published today, the TUM is in 54th place. This makes it Germany’s third best university and confirms its unrivalled position in the natural and engineering sciences at national level. Among technical universities, the TUM is one of the top five in Europe and the best in Germany by a wide margin.

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17.09.2014, Research news
Study highlights forest growth trends from 1870 to the present

Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate

Cynthia Schäfer and Eric Thurm, doctoral candidates at the Chair for Forest Growth and Yield, take a growth ring sample from an experimental plot tree. Cynthia Schäfer and Eric Thurm, doctoral candidates at the Chair for Forest Growth and Yield, take a growth ring sample from an experimental plot tree.

Trees have been growing significantly faster since the 1960s. The typical development phases of trees and stands have barely changed, but they have accelerated – by as much as 70 percent. This was the outcome of a study carried out by scientists from Technische Universität München (TUM) based on long-term data from experimental forest plots that have been continuously observed since 1870. Their findings were published recently in Nature Communications.

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, Research news
Pathogens specifically target multi-function proteins

Good networkers make prime targets

Fungal infestation on a leaf of the model plant thale cress.

Proteins form either small or large networks to perform their functions. How these protein networks are subverted by pathogens, has been investigated on a plant model by a research team. Distinct pathogens like fungi and bacteria were found to use the same tactic, launching targeted attacks on highly networked proteins that have multiple functions. The researchers’ findings are published in the current issue of Cell Host & Microbe

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09.09.2014, Campus news
Wolfgang A. Herrmann: “Vital to the future of the European science system”

TUM President: Europe needs a “real” tenure track model

TUM-President Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann has once again highlighted the need for a career system with clear advancement prospects for young scientists. (Image: A. Heddergott / TUM)

Professor Wolfgang A. Herrmann, President of the Technische Universität München (TUM), has once again highlighted the need for a career system with clear advancement prospects for young scientists. This is the only way that the European Research Area will improve its competitiveness. To this effect, Professor Herrmann endorsed a position paper recently published by the League of European Research Universities (LERU). The École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and TUM, both of which are members of the EuroTech University Alliance, have thoroughly implemented the tenure track model. This alliance of leading universities of technology agrees with the EU Commission that Europe needs attractive performance-based appointment systems. The German Council of Science and Humanities also recommended recently that “a significant proportion of all professorial positions” should be advertised with a guaranteed tenure track.

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08.09.2014, Research news
New mechanism in gene regulation revealed

Doubled productivity

Complex of the proteins Sxl dRBD3 (green) and Unr CSD1 (blue) with msl2 RNA (magenta)

The information encoded in our genes is translated into proteins, which ultimately mediate biological functions in our organism. Messenger RNA (mRNA) plays an important role, as it is the molecular template used for translation. Scientist from the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technische Universität München, in collaboration with colleagues at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (Barcelona, Spain) and at the Institut Laue–Langevin (Grenoble, France), have now unraveled a molecular mechanism of mRNA recognition, which is essential for understanding differential gene regulation in male and female organisms.

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05.09.2014, Research news
Fast, direct route: New signaling pathway discovered for T cell activation in the liver

Synthetic messenger boosts immune system

Prof. Percy Knolle (right) and his research group investigate the local regulation of immune responses in the liver. (Image: A. Heddergott / TUM)

Specific immune cells, known as T lymphocytes, have to be activated so that the body can develop long-term protection against infections. Previously, it was believed that this process only took place in the lymph nodes and the spleen. But now scientists from Klinikum rechts der Isar at Technische Universität München have discovered that T cells can also be activated in the liver – via a much faster, more direct signaling pathway. The findings, which have been published in Cell Reports, could lead to improvements in the formulation of vaccines.

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04.09.2014, Research news
Movable cytoskeleton membrane fabricated for first time

Artificial cells take their first steps

A variety of vesicle shapes. This artwork depicts arrangement of microtubules and membrane deformation in active nematic vesicles.

Using only a few ingredients, the biophysicist Prof. Andreas Bausch and his team at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have successfully implemented a minimalistic model of the cell that can change its shape and move on its own. They describe how they turned this goal into reality in the current edition of the academic journal Science, where their research is featured as cover story.

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03.09.2014, Research news
Researchers observe the phenomenon of "lithium plating" during the charging process

Live from inside a battery

Lithium-ion batteries are seen as a solution for energy storage of the future.

Lithium-ion batteries are seen as a solution for energy storage of the future and have become indispensible, especially in electromobility. Their key advantage is that they are able to store large amounts of energy but are still comparatively light and compact. However, when metallic lithium forms and deposits during charging it can lead to a reduced battery lifespan and even short-circuits. Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now managed to peer into the inner workings of a battery without destroying it. In the process, they have resolved the so-called lithium plating mystery.

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