TUM – Latest news / Latest news of TUM en TUM Tue, 19 Oct 2021 15:33:44 +0200 Tue, 19 Oct 2021 15:33:44 +0200 Electric trucks: ultra-fast charging in the megawatt range /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36963 “Freight transport on our roads is responsible for more than one third of our national greenhouse gas emissions,” says Sebastian Wolff of the TUM Chair of Automotive Technology. Consequently, new truck concepts will be needed if Germany wants to drastically cut its CO2 emissions by 2030.

In the NEFTON project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of the Economy, engineers working in industry and research are developing a prototype for an electric truck and a charging station to power it. 

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Mobility Sustainability Research news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36962 Tue, 19 Oct 2021 10:19:00 +0200
TUM Straubing campus continues to grow /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36993 Minister-President Söder, Bavarian Minister of Science and the Arts Bernd Sibler, Bavarian State Minister for Housing, Construction and Transport Kerstin Schreyer, Bavarian State Parliament Budget Committee Chairman Josef Zellmeier and Straubing's mayor Markus Pannermayr were all joined by TUM President emeritus Prof. Wolfgang A. Herrmann at the opening ceremonies. Herrmann was a moving force in founding of the Straubing campus.

Minister-President Dr. Markus Söder said: "We are investing 56 million euros in another piece of the world-class Bavarian scientific mosaic. Science will shape the future: We will master the challenges of climate change with Cleantech!"

TUM President Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann said: "Sustainability is a task that involves disciplines ranging from physical and engineering sciences to bio-economy and management science. The unique TUM site in Straubing embodies this fact as no other place in Germany can. We are convinced that sustainability and excellence are mutually interdependent, especially for a technical university. We are promoting the heroes of socially compatible technological innovation in which economic, ecological and social benefits go hand in hand."

Science Minister Dr. Bernd Sibler observed: "The TUM Straubing campus is an exemplary institution and a lighthouse project in the Bavarian university landscape. Its broad interdisciplinary curriculum and research on the energy and material-technical utilization of renewable resources, on sustainability and on bio-economy orients the campus towards the decisive technologies of the future. This makes it a true magnet for clever minds from throughout the world. And these clever minds need room to thrive. The completion of the new 'Sustainable Chemistry' building is thus a true milestone for the campus, in which we continue to invest. In doing so we are creating space and excellent conditions for work on the important topics of the future."

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Campus news President news-36989 Thu, 14 Oct 2021 18:21:22 +0200
TUM launches School of Social Sciences and Technology /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36964 The transformation of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is moving ahead at full speed: The new TUM School of Social Sciences and Technology has even  "revolutionary potential," said TUM President Thomas F. Hofmann at the founding ceremonies on Thursday in Munich. In addition to scientific-technical excellence and entrepreneurialism, this School opens up an important third dimension on the journey towards human-centeric, socially compatible and trustworthy innovations. Engineers, physical and social scientists  have to be able to learn from one another on equal terms and of course they have to collaborate, Hofmann pointed out.

The new School consolidates the TUM faculties for the subjects Governance and Educational Sciences and the Munich Center for Technology in Society in a single instance at the center of the university. The School has over 39 Chairs and professorships and a student population of approximately 2200. This is part of TUM's commitment to shaping the societal and political relevance of science and technology. The new School will respond to the rapidly growing need for discovery, understanding and explanation in the technical sciences.

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Campus news President news-36961 Thu, 14 Oct 2021 14:17:00 +0200
Among the top 50 in four subject areas /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36960 For the rankings compiled by the British publication Times Higher Education, scientists around the world are surveyed on the reputation of universities in research and teaching. In addition, the rankings incorporate data such as the number of publications per researcher, citations per publication, the teacher-student ratio, third-party funding raised from the private sector and the degree of internationalization. These indicators are weighted according to the prevailing culture in the various subject areas.

As in the previous year, TUM is ranked 14th worldwide in computer science and rises to the 4th position in Europe. In almost every other subject area, it moved up several positions. In engineering and physical sciences it now ranks 22nd and 23rd worldwide, respectively, and is thus among the top 10 in Europe in both of these areas. The physical sciences include chemistry, physics, mathematics, earth and environmental sciences, among other subjects. In the life sciences – comprising such disciplines as biology, agriculture and sport science – TUM ranks 43rd. Business and Economics moved up significantly to the 55th position, Clinical and Health reached 59th overall. In its first inclusion in the Education rankings, TUM immediately placed 66th. This means that educational science at TUM, which was only established twelve years ago, takes the top position in Germany.

In the recently published main edition of the THE World University Rankings, based on overall assessments of universities, TUM rose to the 38th position worldwide and number 10 in Europe. TUM also regularly achieves excellent results in other international subject rankings. It is among the top 50 universities in 10 subjects in the QS World University Rankings by Subject and in nine subjects in the Global Rankings of Academic Subjects (Shanghai Ranking). In the Global University Employability Ranking, in which companies rate the quality of graduates, TUM is ranked 12th worldwide.

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TUM in Rankings klaus.becker@tum.de news-36954 Wed, 13 Oct 2021 12:35:00 +0200
Dr. Markus Söder praises cutting-edge research 'Made in Bavaria' /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36957 MUCCnet (Munich Urban Carbon Column network) is the first completely automated sensor network for the measurement of urban greenhouse gas emissions to use ground-based remote atmospheric sensing. The network was developed by a working group led by Jia Chen, professor for Environmental Sensing and Modeling at TUM. MUCCnet consists of five high-precision optical instruments that analyze the spectrum of sunlight, measuring concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and carbon monoxide (CO) in order to show the amounts of these gases which are generated directly in the city.

During the informative visit by the Minister-President, Professor Chen commented: "Until now emission estimates have usually been based on projections. Our sensor network measures actual emissions. We want to expand the methods and models we have developed here in Munich on a worldwide scale and thus want to help understand and resolve climate issues. The results will serve as a scientific basis for political decisions." The World Meteorology Organization has in the meantime adopted the TUM measurement technique as part of its global guidelines for measuring urban greenhouse gas emissions. MUCCnet also played a decisive role in the selection of Munich as a pilot city in the European Green Deal project.

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Sustainability Campus news President news-36953 Mon, 11 Oct 2021 13:09:43 +0200
Saving the world – Cultivating the city? /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36952 The industrialization of our global food system and growing urbanization do not only exacerbate the effects of climate change and accelerate the loss of biodiversity, but also significantly cause the spatial and mental decoupling of food production and consumption.

Against the backdrop of the associated socio-ecological challenges, a "renaissance" of various forms of urban agriculture can be observed worldwide over the last decade, accompanied by the emergence of new multifunctional productive ecosystems in urban spaces.

“Especially in the Global North, the manifold forms and different dimensions of urban agriculture increasingly show potentials how negative effects along the food value chain can be reduced and how ecological, economic and social added values can be created,” says Monika Egerer, Professor of Urban Productive Ecosystems, who organizes the event. The 14th Weihenstephan Symposium is supported by the Alumni-Club Landschaft TUM e.V. and the World Agricultural Systems Center - Hans Eisenmann-Forum für Agrarwissenschaften

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Sustainability Campus news Event katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36951 Mon, 11 Oct 2021 11:45:07 +0200
Which older people refuse to be vaccinated? /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36956 Who are the people who do not want to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or are undecided about the vaccine, even though they are in the high-risk age group? In order to find out more about their demographic, socio-economic and health characteristics, a research team at the TUM Chair of Economics of Aging and the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy analyzed data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), regarded as the largest pan-European social science panel study. The second SHARE Corona survey, conducted from June until early August, collected data on 47,000 individuals in the high-risk 50+ age group across 27 European countries and Israel.

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Covid-19 Research news news-36950 Mon, 11 Oct 2021 11:03:25 +0200
“The road of the future is digital” /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36949 Prof. Knoll, in the Providentia research project your team equipped a section of the A9 autobahn near Munich with radar systems and cameras. In the follow-up Providentia++ project, you’re now doing the same with a busy intersection in the district of Garching-Hochbrück. How will this work impact the traffic of tomorrow?

The sensors are positioned at a height of around 10 meters on the overhead sign bridges and masts, where they provide an excellent overview of what is happening on the road. They capture precise data on the position and speed of every traffic participant. An AI system classifies the objects and uses the data to create a digital twin – in other words a virtual model of the real traffic flow.

In case of a safety incident such as an accident or traffic jam, the information can be transmitted to every networked vehicle in real time. This makes it possible to see dangerous situations in advance and warn vehicles ahead of time. The technology can also help to improve the flow of traffic, for example by directing drivers to the lane that will move faster. Hence the name: Providentia is the Roman goddess of providence, but it is also derived from ‘proactive video-based use of telecommunications technologies in innovative automotive traffic scenarios’.

It sounds like the project offers enormous added value, even for drivers of non-autonomous vehicles.

That’s true, for example if the information from the digital twin is channeled directly via the 5G network to smartphones – which are attached to almost every windshield these days. The data could also be routed to satellite navigation systems to give drivers acoustic or virtual alerts. With stage five autonomous vehicles, the technology could even intervene directly by automatically braking or taking evasive action in a critical situation.

But what happens if there is an error and the system suddenly shuts down?

We need to distinguish between an outage in the remote control technology and malicious interference. Autonomous vehicles can and must tolerate the former. That means that they definitely must have their own intelligence to brake or stop safely when necessary. In case of malicious hacker attacks from outside the system, the vehicle should be able to check whether the incoming information actually matches up with the current traffic situation. And through the highly secure data encryption and system access points, outside intervention should not be possible anyway.

And what do you say to those who are concerned about surveillance? The system is logging and processing data from vehicles driving on the road.

Our research complies with the General Data Protection Regulation at all times. We do not record any sensitive data such as car registration numbers. And the faces of people in vehicles are never recognizable in our photos although this would be possible. Let me emphasize: The benefits we can offer through Providentia far outweigh the unlikely risks of data misuse. Every year thousands of people are killed and injured in traffic accidents in Germany. We can reduce those numbers! I am convinced: The road of the future must be digital. In that way, we will achieve greater safety, greater transparency and greater optimization and comfort.

What could the way forward to a digital road look like?

For now, TUM has recently set up a test field in Ottobrunn, just outside Munich, where we can gain new experience through direct coupling infrastructure with vehicles. However, we need to get out on the road as soon as possible. That’s the only way of learning how to operate reliable systems under real-world conditions and with real passengers. My suggestion would be to set up an autonomous shuttle between the TUM Campus in Garching and Garching-Hochbrück – and not one that creeps along at 20 km/h.

I am thinking of a shuttle that moves with the normal traffic flow. I think we need to take bold steps if our research is to have any real purpose. To achieve this, it makes sense to provide appropriate infrastructure support through safety systems such as Providentia++. After all, we want to automate as many areas of our lives as possible, above all public transportation. We can do that only with an effective digital infrastructure – as achieved on a very small scale by Providentia++ .

What do you expect from policymakers?

We should be making much bigger investments in digital mobility and implementing this vision step by step. In Munich, Germany’s traffic jam capital, I’m seeing far too little progress. Our public transportation system is overstretched, unreliable and far from up-to-date. If Munich wants to be Europe’s technology capital, then it should be possible to set up a reasonable, IT-based and intelligently controlled local transportation system with a diverse range of vehicle types, linked to individual transportation through a “city brain”. This would ensure maximum convenience and comfort with minimal energy use. It would also guarantee that a passenger could not get from A to B any faster than the way the system suggests. 

How do you see the next steps?

We have reached the point with our technology where we can develop it into a real-world system. This is where the private sector needs to step in. TUM is not a manufacturer of transportation infrastructure. Next we would need state-funded projects to build large-scale sensor installations at least at key traffic nodes. In Munich the Mittlerer Ring bypass would be a possibility. It is the scene of enormous rush-hour traffic jams every day. With its ability to compute wave motions, Providentia could optimize the traffic flow.

To implement this, however, the purchasing power of cities or even the entire state would have to be pooled to bring about a structural transformation – similar to the creation of roads, railways and highways and the “car-friendly city” many years ago. With information technology we now have enormous possibilities for making our cities liveable for people again, while building entirely new industries. As you see, we have a lot of plans. But we need to act on them.

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Artificial Intelligence Mobility Research news christine.lehner@tum.de news-36941 Fri, 08 Oct 2021 11:46:00 +0200
Award for TUM start-up socialbee /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36946 TUM President Thomas F. Hofmann praised the dedication of the company at the gala awards ceremony on Wednesday evening in Munich: "As a responsible technical university we orient our activities towards the values, needs and expectations of society. As founder of socialbee our alumna Zarah Bruhn fulfills this social responsibility in an exemplary manner."

Socialbee combines the traditional concept of part-time work with an innovative integration concept consisting of targeted qualification, social-pedagogical support, language training and recreational activities. The objective is to place refugees in vocational training or in skilled permanent positions as pre-qualified talented individuals after no more than 1.5 years. Here socialbee works with over 70 partner companies, ranging from the smallest of operations to major corporations listed on the German DAX stock index. socialbee has already made more than 500 successful placements.

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Campus news Entrepreneurship President news-36945 Fri, 08 Oct 2021 08:52:40 +0200
A strong partner for TUM Venture Labs /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36947 Andreas and Thomas Strüngmann said: “UnternehmerTUM and TUM have created an outstanding start-up ecosystem over the past 20 years. With this funding commitment, our family wants to make a difference by accompanying even more students and scientists on a successful entrepreneurial career.” The two entrepreneurs have already made successful investments in scientific start-ups such as Biontech.

BayWa AG and the Nemetschek Group have also recently signed agreements to support the TUM Venture Labs. Additional support from the private sector, family offices and the public sector are to be announced in the coming months.

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Entrepreneurship news-36944 Thu, 07 Oct 2021 11:03:27 +0200
Monitoring protects SARS-CoV-2 patients /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36943 COVID-19 patients are required to go into home isolation. But this can be dangerous for high-risk patients if they develop a severe progression during isolation. In this case, timely admission to the hospital for treatment can be critical for survival.

Unfortunately, many COVID-19 patients do not immediately notice when their condition starts to deteriorate. The alternative of playing safe by admitting all at-risk patients immediately upon diagnosis would overburden the clinics.

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Covid-19 Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36942 Thu, 07 Oct 2021 08:00:00 +0200
The love of detail /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36940 Jürgen Richter-Gebert spent six months studying gold: He bought glitter pens at stationery shops, and studied jewelry store displays. At home, the mathematician moved gold bracelets and rings back and forth, watching the play of light on the surface. All of these efforts related to a single detail: In his “iOrnament: The Art of Symmetry” app, he wanted the gold on the screen to shimmer like the real metal when the screen or the user’s head moved.

The head of the Chair for Geometry and Visualization at TUM does not like to compromise when it comes to software, exhibits and exhibitions. “I set goals that I regard as challenging. I want to overcome boundaries and open doors,” says Prof. Richter-Gebert. The shimmering effect he has achieved with the gold in his iOrnament symmetry app is remarkably realistic. The app uses a sensor to detect movements, which are translated into shifts in the displayed gold color. The effect has delighted users and inspired artists and designers in their work. The renowned English calligrapher Seb Lester has used iOrnament to create works viewed millions of times in social media. Some of Lester's creations are probably the most elaborately ornamented letters ever produced. “It impresses me to see how the same app is used by children, artists, researchers and even a professional designer – with every one of them doing a little bit of math,” says Richter-Gebert.

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Campus news Teaching lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36930 Wed, 06 Oct 2021 18:27:00 +0200
Cause found for higher sex-specific risk of mortality /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36939 Compared to women, men have a higher risk of experiencing severe progression of life-threatening diseases such as cancer. For example in Germany, every year over 130,000 male patients die of cancer as compared to only 100,000 female patients.

Comprehensive epidemiological studies conducted in recent years have shown that the increased risk of men experiencing a more severe course of cancer is not exclusively based on a higher-risk lifestyle, such as a higher average consumption of tobacco or alcohol.

Thus, life-style-independent factors have to play a role, making it all the more important to identify parameters which cause the sex-specific course of the disease. This in turn might serve as a basis for improving decision-making and approaches of treatment.

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Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-36938 Mon, 04 Oct 2021 11:53:27 +0200
BayWa AG to partner with TUM Venture Labs /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36929 Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, the President of TUM, and Prof. Klaus Josef Lutz, the CEO of BayWa, signed the new partnership agreement today. The Munich-based company will provide 1.4 million euros in funding to the TUM Venture Lab Food-Agro-Biotech (FAB). In addition, BayWa will apply its outstanding agricultural expertise and share its international experience in an intensive exchange of ideas with the start-up teams and the Venture Lab management. This qualifies BayWa as a Platinum Partner of the TUM Venture Labs.

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Campus news Entrepreneurship news-36928 Wed, 29 Sep 2021 13:48:27 +0200
“Parties are neglecting the social policy aspects of AI” /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36927 Which issues do the parties highlight with regard to artificial intelligence?

The electoral platforms mention AI mainly in connection with the economy, foreign policy and the area of education and research. The proposals are mostly framed in the context of the competitiveness of German and European companies. The need for better international cooperation on AI and the issue of whether the technology should be used in military intelligence are mentioned with similar frequency. Another important topic is research funding. In general, positive paradigms outweigh the statements with neutral or negative connotations. However, the proposed measures tend to be non-specific and do not go beyond conventional instruments such as public investments or state regulation, for example in connection with automatic face recognition to fight crime.

Where do the parties differ?

FDP and the Greens place the strongest emphasis on the positive aspects of AI, while the policies of the SPD and especially the Linke focus on the potential challenges and risks. The CDU/CSU are more neutral, but lean towards a positive outlook. The program of the AfD make few mentions of AI, and is thus difficult to assess. State investments in AI-based technologies are advocated above all by the CDU/CSU, Free Democrats and the Green Party, whereas the Linke and the SPD prioritize state regulation – consistent with the latter parties’ emphasis on the social policy risks. In some areas there are also explicit differences. For example CDU/CSU strongly support autonomous, AI-based weapon systems for the German military, but also call for international condemnation of such systems. The SPD, the Linke and the Greens generally rule out the use of such weapons. Similar differences are evident in other areas, for example in the balance between the right to privacy vs. the use of AI-based surveillance.

How do you see the range of policies, given the importance of the issue?

It is significant to note what the party programs do not address, both in terms of the topics covered and the proposed measures. With few exceptions, key issues such as the use of AI technologies in healthcare, the consequences for the working world, or the protection of individuals against discriminatory algorithms play a secondary role. More complex political instruments to manage the development of artificial intelligence such as the creation of platforms and institutions to bring together the various societal actors or with the goal of educating the public on AI are also lacking. It appears that the political debate is centered around the familiar fault lines, especially that of state regulation vs. market freedoms. But it was surprising to see such big gaps in one of the most important dimensions of AI: the need to shape the related social policies.

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Artificial Intelligence Research news klaus.becker@tum.de news-36926 Fri, 24 Sep 2021 11:20:29 +0200
New potentials of the traditional raw material wood /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36918 Wood is renewable, multifaceted and multifunctional. These three properties made the raw material one of the most important materials for mankind for centuries. It was only with the industrial revolution and the development of fossil resources that wood temporarily lost its importance as a material. But in the meantime, wood is once again valued as a sustainable resource. Currently, the raw material is in great demand and is becoming more and more expensive.

Prof. Klaus Richter heads the Chair of Wood Science at the TUM School of Life Sciences. In his lecture (in German), he will show how wood is structurally and chemically constructed and how the material is used, for example, as a material for the construction industry. He also addresses the question of how wood can be used as efficiently as possible in a forest-based bioeconomy and how the technologization of this natural resource can succeed. 

After the lecture, all participants are invited to put their questions to the speaker. The Q&A session will be moderated by TUM professor J. Philipp Benz.
 
Lecture date: Thursday, September 30, 2021, 7:00 p.m. 

The event will take place on site in Freising, in the pavilion of the Freising Music School, Kölblstraße 2, and will be simultaneously broadcast via Zoom. Due to Corona regulations, advance registration for the on-site event is required. Interested parties can register online; the information can be found at www.freising.wzw.tum.de.

You will also be able to ask the speaker in Zoom (password: 707568).

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Sustainability Campus news Event katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36917 Mon, 20 Sep 2021 11:09:37 +0200
News on fine cocoa flavor /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36916 The new method is already suitable for practical use in companies and can be applied at any point along the value chain from cocoa beans to chocolate. In addition, the initial research results obtained using the new method lay the foundation for a world map containing comprehensive data on flavor-relevant cocoa ingredients.

“In the future, such a map could help to further optimize processing and production processes by making the flavor profiles of cocoa-containing products, such as chocolate, objectively predictable on the basis of molecular parameters,” says food chemist Andreas Dunkel of the LSB, who played a leading role in the study

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Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36908 Fri, 17 Sep 2021 09:27:00 +0200
"Our hospital prepared very early" /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36915 What were the main measures hospitals relied on in the Corona pandemic to protect patients and staff?

Prof. Prazeres da Costa:
The main pillars of the strategy were spatial and organizational measures, and the use of personal protective equipment for hospital staff. This was supplemented by a comprehensive testing strategy: Sars-CoV2 infected patients had to be identified as quickly as possible to prevent infection. We also implemented a local vaccination strategy with the aim of quickly protecting particularly vulnerable groups among our employees.
 

How did you meet this challenge at Klinikum rechts der Isar in particular?
 

Prof. Prazeres da Costa: Our hospital prepared very early and put together an interdisciplinary team of experts. In the first few months of the crisis, these experts met every day, because at that time it was completely unclear what we were facing. It had to be possible to react on a daily basis. It was necessary to discuss and implement the new scientific publications that appeared every day, as well as the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute and the health authorities. In our presentation, we report on some highlights from the daily routine, especially from the perspective of prevention and hospital hygiene. But we also talk about the new networks of university medicine (NUM) that have emerged in the meantime and about research projects in this field.
Dr. Wantia: Of course, there have always been difficulties in implementing measures. Communicating the state of knowledge and the measures derived from it, as well as training all affected employees, were major challenges. Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, this was made even more difficult by supply bottlenecks, for example of protective equipment and ventilation supplies. In short, the fact that all employees at the hospital always knew what to do in which situation - that was a major joint achievement.

Sometimes, looking back at the past helps to better master a current situation. Are such comparisons also worthwhile with regard to pandemic pathogens?

Prof. Prazeres da Costa:
This is an enormously relevant and important question. In the lecture, we therefore also take a historical look at other pandemics, such as those caused by influenza: the Spanish flu in 1918/19 and the swine flu in 2009. We will also assess the relevance of the SARS CoV-1 and MERS outbreaks. For example, we will discuss the intriguing question of why there was not a pandemic with the very closely related pathogen SARS-CoV-1 in 2003. We will talk about what role the so-called reproductive number, virus shedding and mobility played in this. Furthermore, about what measures were taken in different countries, which of them were successful, and which were not. Our aim is to show how important it is to work through the current pandemic as well - especially since it is highly likely that this will not be the last.

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Covid-19 a.schmidt@tum.de news-36914 Thu, 16 Sep 2021 09:26:08 +0200
The proteins of Covid-19 /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36913 How does the SARS-CoV-2 virus manage to evade immune defense and replicate itself in patients suffering from COVID-19? To shed light on this question, an international research team has assembled the most comprehensive view to date on the precise, three-dimensional shape of each SARS-CoV-2 protein – including the well-known spike protein.

To assemble this map, the team used high-throughput machine learning, an approach that enabled them to predict structural states likely to occur in coronavirus proteins, based on states that have been seen in related proteins. The final map consists of 2,060 atomic-resolution 3D models involving the coronavirus’s 27 proteins. All structural models are freely available through the Aquaria-COVID resource.

“This provides an unprecedented wealth of detail that will help researchers better understand the molecular mechanisms that cause COVID-19, and will help in developing therapies to fight the pandemic, for example, by identifying potential new targets for future treatments or vaccines,” says Burkhard Rost, professor of bioinformatics at the Technical University of Munich.

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Covid-19 Artificial Intelligence Research news andreas.battenberg@tum.de news-36912 Wed, 15 Sep 2021 10:51:19 +0200
Molecular Achilles heel of cancer cells discovered /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36911 Some past measurements have also indicated significant differences in how fat is metabolized by healthy and cancerous cells. However, the results of this work have been highly inconsistent. Some investigations appeared to support such differences while others reported contrary results. “This question has been hotly debated”, says Prof. Klaus-Peter Janssen, a biologist at TUM’s university hospital Klinikum rechts der Isar.

To obtain clarity, surgeons at Klinikum rechts der Isar took tissue samples from the surgically removed tumors of 144 colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. The samples were immediately prepared onsite and then analyzed using mass spectrometry at the Institute for Food & Health (ZIEL) in Freising and at the University Hospital Regensburg. This is a biochemical procedure for the quantitative measurement of the type and mass of certain molecules in specially prepared tissue samples – in this case around 200 different fat molecules.

To prove that the results were reproducible, and not merely accidental, the patients were divided into two cohorts. The tissue samples were then analyzed separately and the results compared. In addition, the researchers incorporated the analysis of samples from another cohort of 20 CRC patients investigated independently at the University of Dresden.

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Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36910 Tue, 14 Sep 2021 13:49:47 +0200
Bavarian test facility for intelligent mobility /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36909 The Bavarian Minister of Transport Kerstin Schreyer, TUM President Prof. Dr. Thomas F. Hofmann, and IABG Managing Director Prof. Dr. Rudolf F. Schwarz signed an agreement for the construction of the test bed today. Construction will begin in Ottobrunn next year on the premises of IABG, an experienced provider of technical services. TUM will assume scientific responsibility, with research to be led by the Chair of Traffic Engineering and Control.

The partners plan to use the test bed to investigate how autonomous driving concepts can be put into practice, in particular with regard to the safe interaction of the various traffic participants and systems. A remarkable feature of the new facility: It will be open to all vehicle manufacturers and operators to conduct scientific investigations, test new technologies and their safe implementation, and develop common standards.

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Mobility Research news news-36906 Mon, 13 Sep 2021 12:07:08 +0200
Eco-efficient fertilization /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36904 Urea helps plants grow. More than half of all synthetic fertilizers used worldwide are based on urea because it is easy to store, transport, and apply. “However, plants can only absorb urea as a fertilizer directly to a small extent.  It is only after it has been converted into ammonium or nitrate that it becomes available to plants as a source of nitrogen,” explains Professor Urs Schmidhalter of the Chair of Plant Nutrition at the TUM.

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Sustainability Research news katharina.baumeister@tum.de news-36903 Fri, 10 Sep 2021 10:57:53 +0200
Messengers from gut to brain /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36901 The link between the gut microbiome and the CNS, known as the gut/brain axis (GBA), is believed to be responsible for many things: a person’s body weight, autoimmune diseases, depression, mental illnesses and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and LMU University Hospital Munich have now succeeded in making this connection visible for the first time. This is cause for hope – for those suffering from MS, for example. It may offer ways to adapt treatments, and T cells could perhaps be modified before reaching the brain.

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Research news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-36885 Mon, 06 Sep 2021 09:25:00 +0200
Faster, more sustainable and smarter travel /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36898 This year’s edition of the International Automotive Exhibition (IAA), the annual mobility show presented by the Association of the German Automotive Industry (VDA), features a new concept. The presentations, talks and discussions for industry experts will take place in the Riem trade fair halls. Meanwhile, the Open Space format, aimed at the general public, will present information and discussions on new mobility concepts at various locations around the Munich city center.  

TUM will also be part of this open dialog. In the IAA Citizen Lab, covering a wide range of topics related to the development of public space and future mobility, TUM researchers will present their current projects at Marienplatz, the iconic square outside Munich’s city hall.

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Mobility Sustainability Event stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-36896 Fri, 03 Sep 2021 10:21:00 +0200
Go-ahead for technology user center in Bavaria /en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/36899 The focus of activities at WTAZ is on the use of liquid hydrogen in heavy goods transport. Long-distance trucks are regarded as one of the most promising potential applications for hydrogen in the mobility field. The aim is to establish development, testing and certification facilities at WTAZ which will be unique worldwide and secure a leading role for Germany in zero-emission powertrains with tank systems for cryogenic hydrogen. Plans foresee a research transfer center, a hydrogen testing center with gaseous and liquid hydrogen infrastructure, a standardization platform and education and training facilities with links to a start-up platform.

The WTAZ is part of a national hydrogen Innovation and Technology Center (ITZ). The intention is to create a 12.8-hectare location for commercial and industrial companies in Pfeffenhausen, particularly SMEs and component suppliers, with close links to education and research, in order to accelerate the transition to zero-emission drive technologies and systems in Germany. At TUM, the Institutes for Technical Electrochemistry and Plant and Process Technology are the main protagonists that will be involved.

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Mobility Sustainability Campus news news-36895 Thu, 02 Sep 2021 15:29:11 +0200