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News releases

  • Potential applications range from air-quality monitors to electronic skin

    With carbon nanotubes, a path to flexible, low-cost sensors

    Dr. Alaa Abdellah, holding flexible gas sensors. (Photo: U. Benz/TUM)

    Researchers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) are showing the way toward low-cost, industrial-scale manufacturing of a new family of electronic devices. A leading example is a gas sensor that could be integrated into food packaging to gauge freshness, or into compact wireless air-quality monitors. New types of solar cells and flexible transistors are also in the works, as well as pressure and temperature sensors that could be built into electronic skin for robotic or bionic applications. All can be made with carbon nanotubes, sprayed like ink onto flexible plastic sheets or other substrates.

  • Major changes to the Danube ecosystem

    A fast fish with a huge impact

    River banks are often reinforced to facilitate shipping. These reinforcements also protect fish against the waves from passing ships, thus creating the perfect conditions for invasive species.

    Globalization is breaking down barriers – also for plants and animals on the lookout for new homes. Rivers are also changing, in particular through the introduction of non-native species, often brought in by passing ships. In the Danube River, scientists have been observing a fish species conquering a new habitat and creating a totally new ecosystem in the process.

  • New catalyst class uses halogen bridges for environmentally friendlier production:

    Halogen bridges as catalysts

    Halogen bridges of two iodine atoms (blue) loosen the chlorine (green) - carbon (gray) bond, helping to replace the chlorine with another building block. Graphic: Stefan Huber / TUM

    Catalysts are essential for the chemical industry because they accelerate reactions and increase their yields. However, many of the catalysts in use today are based on expensive and environmentally harmful metals. Stefan Huber and Florian Kniep from the Chair of Organic Chemistry at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have now presented an alternative: non-toxic compounds, so-called halogen bridge donors, can serve as organic catalysts. Evonik Industries AG awarded Florian Kniep their research prize for his work.

  • QS Ranking: High marks again for the TU München

    TUM leads in natural and engineering sciences

    Natural scientists in an laboratory.

    The Technische Universität München (TUM) has once again achieved an outstanding position in an international ranking. TUM placed 53rd, the same position it held last year, in the QS World University Ranking. With that it ranks number 2 in Germany, after Heidelberg (50th place). In the subject groups of natural sciences and engineering sciences, TUM strongly improved its standing: It is second to none on the national level, and worldwide it ranks 15th and 17th respectively in these subject areas.

  • Singaporean youths visit TUM

    Thrill of speed in a parabola

    Being guest of TUM robots: Asmaa' Widad Binte Hamdad (left) and Ong Zi Xuan.

    How do German engineers work? What is it like to study at TUM? Ong Zi Xuan (20) and Asmaa' Widad Binte Hamdad (19), students from Singapore, have looked over the shoulder of TUM scientists for one week. They were the first participants of the “Building the Future” project, which will invite two Singaporean youths from disadvantaged families to Munich each year. Why they started to slide at TUM and how they liked German breakfast.

  • Scientists investigate the functional diversity of proteins

    Wide range of differences, mostly unseen, among humans

    Proteins such as the Interleukin-2 molecule depicted here can occur in diverse variants and with functioinal limitations, many of which are tolerated by the human system.

    No two human beings are the same. Although we all possess the same genes, our genetic code varies in many places. And since genes provide the blueprint for all proteins, these variants usually result in numerous differences in protein function. But what impact does this diversity have? Bioinformatics researchers at Rutgers University and the Technische Universität München (TUM) have investigated how protein function is affected by changes at the DNA level. Their findings bring new clarity to the wide range of variants, many of which disturb protein function but have no discernible health effect, and highlight especially the role of rare variants in differentiating individuals from their neighbors.

  • Saving the ruined city

    Preserving Pompeii for posterity

    In the year 79 AD the ancient city of Pompeii was destroyed by an eruption of the Vesuvius volcano (in the background).

    Modern buildings are designed to have a lifespan of around 50 years. But in historical terms, that is a mere blink of an eye. We would like archeological sites like Pompeii, for example, to stand the test of time immemorial. Preserving sites such as this with the most basic materials represents a huge scientific challenge. As part of the “Pompeii Sustainable Preservation Project”, researchers from Technische Universität München (TUM), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and ICCROM will spend the next ten years investigating long-term solutions to prevent the UNESCO world heritage site of Pompeii from falling further into ruin.

  • Secure embedded systems

    Keeping hackers out of the boiler-room

    Physical interventions and measurements can extract confidential information from embedded systems.

    Earlier this year, a security loophole was identified in a mini combined heat and power (CHP) system of a large heating manufacturer. The system is designed to allow remote control and maintenance via the Internet, but it turned out that the network was also wide open to hackers. Cars, planes and industrial systems are increasingly being controlled by computer systems. At the same time, they are networking more and more with their environment. To protect these highly sensitive systems against attacks, researchers from Technische Universität München (TUM) have embarked on the SIBASE research project together with partners from industry and research.

  • Shanghai Ranking puts TU München in the top 50 worldwide

    TUM ranked the best German university for the third time in a row

    Main entrance of TU München.

    The “Academic Ranking of World Universities” (“Shanghai Ranking”) has rated the Technische Universität München (TUM) as the best German university for the third consecutive time. The TUM moved up three places to reach 50th position. In the individual subject rankings, chemistry (13th place) and information technology (40th place) achieved outstanding positions globally and the best ratings in Germany. In the evaluation of disciplinary fields, the TUM came out on top nationally in the natural sciences / mathematics, engineering and life sciences.

  • Researchers investigate 59 tumor cell lines

    Typical protein profile of tumor cells decoded

    How sensitively do cancer cells react to anti-tumor drugs? The answer lies in the protein patterns of the tumor cell lines.

    How does an ordinary somatic cell become cancerous? What are the distinct characteristics of tumor cells that make them divide uncontrollably? Previously, researchers were primarily interested in mutations in DNA, which is the blueprint for proteins. But since proteins are ultimately responsible for converting somatic cells into tumor cells, scientists have now decoded the proteome of 59 tumor cell lines – and have found new ways to explain why cancer drugs do not have the same effect on all patients.


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