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News releases

  • New mechanisms of action open alternative approaches to antibiotics development:

    Two new weapons in the battle against bacteria

    The target: bacterial protease ClpP - Image: M. Gersch / TUM

    Proteases are vital proteins that serve for order within cells. They break apart other proteins, ensuring that these are properly synthesized and decomposed. Proteases are also responsible for the pathogenic effects of many kinds of bacteria. Now chemists at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have discovered two hitherto unknown mechanisms of action that can be used to permanently disarm an important bacterial protease.

  • ERC Grants for Wilhelm Auwärter and Thomas Misgeld

    TUM is Germany's number 1 winner of European research funding

    Dr. Wilhelm Auwärter and Prof. Thomas Misgeld

    Among all of the German universities, the Technische Universität München (TUM) has won the largest amount of research funding from the just-expired Seventh Framework Program (FP7) of the EU, with a total of more than 130 million euros. The latest success: Two TUM scientists have received ERC Consolidator Grants, each of which provides around two million euros in funding. Dr. Wilhelm Auwärter is a group leader in Molecular Nanoscience and Chemical Physics of Interfaces. Prof. Thomas Misgeld leads the laboratory for Biomolecular Sensors, where he investigates the degeneration of nerve fibers.

  • Statistical methods improve biological single-cell analysis

    Tracing unique cells with mathematics

    Fluorescence- in-situ-hybridization shows mRNA-activity in a tissue sample. Blue: low, red: high activity – Image: S. S. Bajikar / University of Virginia, Charlottesville (USA)

    Stem cells can turn into heart cells, skin cells can mutate to cancer cells; even cells of the same tissue type exhibit small heterogeneities. Scientists use single-cell analysis to investigate these heterogeneities. But the method is still laborious and considerable inaccuracies conceal smaller effects. Scientists at the Technische Universität München (TUM), the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the University of Virginia (USA) have now found a way to simplify and improve the analysis by mathematical methods.


  • Cars pinpoint pedestrians:

    Cell phones as life savers

    The new sensor system precalculates the trajectories of pedestrians - Image: Ko-TAG

    Researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have developed a techniuqe that enables driver assistance systems in cars to pinpoint pedestrians and cyclists – even while they are hidden from view. To this end, pedestrian’s and cyclist’s cell phones could soon serve as transponders. On-board positioning systems would then compute the projected trajectory of the transponders and initiate an emergency braking sequence in case a pedestrian or cyclist moves into the path of a car.

  • Cross-species analysis provides new insights into the hereditary transmission of type 2 diabetes

    Error in DNA regulation increases risk of developing diabetes

    An error in DNA regulation increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This fact was discovered by researchers who developed a new process for comparing DNA sequences across species. (Picture: Michael Pütz Design Print)

    Many diseases are closely linked to our DNA. Uncovering these connections could help answer some fundamental questions about diseases such as why some people get cancer while others do not or what makes some people susceptible to type 2 diabetes. Certain DNA markers indicate an increased risk of developing a disease, for example breast cancer. In most cases, however, we still do not know which DNA variants actually trigger a disease and how they do this. Now, thanks to a new process, scientists have identified a variant that plays a direct role in the development of type 2 diabetes. Their work is published in the current issue of Cell.

  • Detector for the measurement of the waveforms of pulsed laser radiation

    Towards perfect control of light waves

    Tim Paasch-Colberg with the Femtosecond-Laser at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics – Photo: Thorsten Naeser / MPQ

    A team at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (LAP) in Garching (Germany) has constructed a detector, which provides a detailed picture of the waveforms of femtosecond laser pulses (1 fs = 10-15 seconds). Knowledge of the exact waveform of these pulses enables scientists to reproducibly generate light flashes that are a thousand times shorter – lasting only for attoseconds – and can be used to study ultrafast processes at the molecular and atomic levels.

  • Carbon content in soil influences climate models

    Climate change: How does soil store CO2?

    Distribution of organic matter in soil: carbon tends to bind to specific rough mineral surfaces, known as hot spots (yellow areas).

    Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions continue to rise – in 2012 alone, 35.7 billion tons of this greenhouse gas entered the atmosphere*. Some of this CO2 is absorbed by the oceans, plants and soil. As such, they provide a significant reservoir of carbon, stemming the release of CO2. Scientists have now discovered how organic carbon is stored in soil. Basically, the carbon only binds to certain soil structures. This means that soil’s capacity to absorb CO2 needs to be re-assessed and incorporated into today’s climate models.

  • Potential pathway for drug development using photoreactions:

    Targeted synthesis of natural products with light

    The bulky Lewis acid (above) shields one side of the substrate (bottom) pushing the photoreaction in to the direction of the desired product. - Graphics: Richard Brimioulle / TUM

    Photoreactions are driven by light energy and are vital to the synthesis of many natural substances. Since many of these substances are also useful as active medical agents, chemists try to produce them synthetically. But in most cases only one of the possible products has the right spatial structure to make it effective. Researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now developed a methodology for one of these photoreactions that allows them to produce only the specific molecular variant desired.

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Further Information

Contact

Corporate Communications Center
Technical University of Munich
Arcisstr. 21
D-80333 Munich
Tel. +49 89 289 22778
Fax +49 89 289 23388
presse@tum.de

www.tum.de/presse