TUM – Latest news https://www.tum.de Latest news of TUM en TUM Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:23:35 +0200 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 21:23:35 +0200 Vote now for the TUM image film https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35649/ The image film of TUM is nominated in category 2 "Company / Institution". All participants of the public voting can win a short holiday for two persons in Erding.

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Campus news a.schmidt@tum.de news-35648 Wed, 14 Aug 2019 17:15:18 +0200
TUM achieves top positions https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35650/ Officially known as the “Academic Ranking of World Universities”, this ranking developed by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University assesses the research performances of universities. It particularly emphasizes the value of work published in important academic publications like Nature and Science, the citation rates of academics, as well as the number of scientists and alumni who have received Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals, one of the top awards in mathematics.

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TUM in Rankings news-35650 Fri, 16 Aug 2019 11:06:57 +0200
Employees less upset at being replaced by robots than by other people https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35645/ Over the coming decades, millions of jobs will be threatened by robotics and artificial intelligence. Despite intensive academic debate on these developments, there has been little study on how workers react to being replaced through technology.

To find out, business researchers at TUM and Erasmus University Rotterdam conducted 11 scenarios studies and surveys with over 2,000 persons from several countries in Europe and North America. Their findings have now been published in the renowned journal Nature Human Behaviour.

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Research news klaus.becker@tum.de news-35645 Fri, 09 Aug 2019 11:00:00 +0200
Direct toxic action of beta-amyloid identified https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35644/ The brains of Alzheimer's patients who have already developed clinical symptoms contain large clumps of the protein beta-amyloid, known as plaques. Many therapeutic approaches focus on removing plaques, but such attempts have met with only limited success to date.

“It’s crucial that we detect and treat the disease much earlier. We therefore focused on hyperactive neurons, which occur at a very early stage – long before patients develop memory loss,” explains Professor Arthur Konnerth, Hertie Senior Professor of Neuroscience at the TUM. As a consequence of hyperactivation, connected neurons in the circuits constantly receive false signals, leading to impairments in signal processing.

Together with his doctoral student Benedikt Zott and the entire research team, Konnerth succeeded in identifying the cause and trigger of this early disturbance in the brain. The discovery may open the way to new therapeutic approaches. The study appeared in the journal Science.

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Research news vera.siegler@tum.de news-35643 Fri, 09 Aug 2019 09:55:00 +0200
New ombudspersons elected https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35641/ Scientists at TUM may contact the ombudspersons at the independent Research Integrity Office for advice on questions relating to good scientific practice. Furthermore, TUM has implemented guidelines to ensure good scientific practice oriented towards the recommendations of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft).

The ombudspersons can also be consulted confidentially in cases where scientific misconduct is suspected. They conduct preliminary investigations and mediate conflicts. When the ombudspersons identify scientific misconduct which cannot be rectified, they convene an ombudsperson committee  for further examination.

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Campus news klaus.becker@tum.de news-35641 Tue, 06 Aug 2019 16:10:17 +0200
Laboratories in Mechanical Engineering temporarily closed https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35640/ Researchers and students affected by the closure are asked to contact their respective chairs for further information.

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Campus news klaus.becker@tum.de news-35640 Tue, 06 Aug 2019 15:22:01 +0200
The limits of rainforest growth https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35637/ Trees are seen as saviors in an era of climate change. Via their leaves, they absorb carbon dioxide and transform the greenhouse gas into oxygen and biomass. According to estimates by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Amazon rainforests absorb a quarter of the carbon dioxide that is released each year from the combustion of fossil fuels. To date, global climate models have assumed that this absorption capacity will also remain constant in the future.

"But there has been no proof of this to date", emphasizes Dr. Katrin Fleischer. "It is entirely possible that the absorption capacity will even decrease." The ecologist from the Professorship for Land Surface-Atmosphere Interactions at the Technical University of Munich worked together with ecologists and ecosystem modelers from 10 countries to investigate the extent to which the nutrient supply in the Amazon region limits the production of biomass.

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Research news news-35637 Mon, 05 Aug 2019 15:29:10 +0200
Dry feed for superfood producers https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35635/ Given that they generate hardly any greenhouse gases, are undemanding, nutritious and fast growing, insects have generated a lot of hype in recent years. They are touted as the superfood of the future – cheap suppliers of protein that can even decompose all kinds of residual products.

"This all sounds very promising, but has little to do with reality," says Wilhelm Windisch, Professor of Animal Nutrition at the Technical University of Munich. "Anyone who hopes to keep animals professionally and on a large scale needs to know exactly what kinds of nutrients they need and can consume. And for insects, this is yet to be determined."

In collaboration with a German-Kenyan research team, the agricultural scientist has for the first time ever systematically investigated how various feed substrates influence the growth and development of crickets (Gryllus bimaculatus) and locusts (Schistocerca gregaria).

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Research news news-35635 Mon, 05 Aug 2019 08:57:33 +0200
Perception disorders may throw those affected off balance https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35543/ The Munich researchers had already postulated several years ago that functional disorders may be caused by faulty processing of sensory stimuli. The team, headed by Prof. Nadine Lehnen, senior physician for psychosomatic medicine at the TUM University Hospital rechts der Isar, was able to bolster this hypothesis with the results of an experimental pilot study.

Eight patients with functional dizziness and eleven healthy subjects who served as a comparison group participated in the study. The researchers also used data from dizziness patients with organic defects who had previously taken part in the same experiment. Those patients had either a cerebellar disorder or a complete loss of functioning vestibular (equilibrium) nerves.

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Research news vera.siegler@tum.de news-35542 Fri, 02 Aug 2019 13:01:00 +0200
Learn how the Internet works https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35634/ How do computers communicate? And how are they protected against attacks from the Internet? Nowadays it is not only IT professionals who are interested in questions like these. With the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) "iLabX – The Internet Masterclass", participants with or without special background knowledge can acquire a basic knowledge of the Internet through videos, easy-to-read texts, and interactive quizzes.

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Campus news lisa.pietrzyk@tum.de news-35625 Tue, 30 Jul 2019 17:05:27 +0200
Light in the nanoworld https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35627/ Previous circuits on chips rely on electrons as the information carriers. In the future, photons which transmit information at the speed of light will be able to take on this task in optical circuits. Quantum light sources, which are then connected with quantum fiber optic cables and detectors are needed as basic building blocks for such new chips.

An international team headed up by TUM physicists Alexander Holleitner and Jonathan Finley has now succeeded in creating such quantum light sources in atomically thin material layers and placing them with nanometer accuracy.

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Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-35626 Thu, 01 Aug 2019 08:00:00 +0200
Vaccinations not a risk factor for multiple sclerosis https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35577/ MS is now thought to be a neurological autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord. It is most likely to occur in young people under the age of 40. Vaccinations are often mentioned as a possible risk factor for MS. Professor Bernhard Hemmer, director of the Neurology Department of the TUM hospital, Klinkum rechts der Isar, teamed up with scientists from the Medical Department and the Bavarian Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KVB) to analyze a large KVB dataset representative of the general population. The data covered over 200,000 individuals, including more than 12,000 MS patients. The study was published in the Tuesday, July 30, 2019, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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Research news vera.siegler@tum.de news-35576 Wed, 31 Jul 2019 10:40:00 +0200
Better food quality control https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35607/ Whether a food tastes good or not is essentially determined by the interaction of odors and tastants. A few trillionths of a gram per kilogram of food is enough to perceive some odorants. Tastants, on the other hand, we only recognize at significantly higher concentrations.

In order to guarantee consistent sensory quality, it is very important for manufacturers to know and control the characteristic odor and taste profiles of their products from the raw material to the finished product. This requires a fast but precise food analysis.

Tastants and aroma substances, however, differ greatly in their chemical and physical properties. As a result, food chemists currently use very different methods to determine the exact nature and quantity of odorants and tastants in a raw material or food. Especially aroma analyses are very time-consuming and therefore expensive. This limits the high-throughput analysis of numerous samples.

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Research news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-35607 Tue, 30 Jul 2019 08:00:00 +0200
AI extrapolates from mice to humans https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35605/ Cells can be altered by diseases or genetic mutations. However, the possibilities for finding out how cells are affected by various influences through laboratory experiments are limited. Due to the sheer number of possible combinations of treatment and disease conditions, expanding these data to characterize disease and disease treatment in traditional life science laboratories is labor intensive and costly and, hence, not scalable.

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Research news news-35605 Mon, 29 Jul 2019 11:26:26 +0200
TUM spin-offs take all three podium positions https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35604/ The Munich Business Plan Competition is among the most established German start-up contests of its kind. Organized by the Bavarian start-up network BayStartUP, the competition awards prizes totalling 30,000 euros to the three winners. This year all three of them are from TUM:

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Entrepreneurship klaus.becker@tum.de news-35604 Thu, 25 Jul 2019 16:11:28 +0200
Major milestone in new construction on Garching hightech campus https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35603/ The relocation of the department will complete the development of the Garching hightech campus into an interdisciplinary scientific quarter for the future. The TUM Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is regarded as the largest and most proficient of its kind in Germany. Another outstanding feature is the department's highly international student body.

Construction work began on the site in the summer of 2018. The new building was designed by the renowned architectural firm HENN, which won a competition for the overall planning of the complex in 2016. The design is centered around clear forms and the dialog with the neighboring Departments of Mechanical Engineering, Informatics, Physics, and Chemistry and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security (AISEC).

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Campus news news-35603 Thu, 25 Jul 2019 11:00:00 +0200
Sustainable agriculture through genome editing https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35602/ The researchers thereby support an open statement, signed by scientists from over 120 scientific institutes, asking to facilitate the use of genome editing for sustainable agriculture and food production.

On July 25 of the past year, the European Court of Justice had put the use of genome editing under strict regulations.

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Research news news-35600 Tue, 23 Jul 2019 16:00:11 +0200
New marker for atrial damage discovered https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35595/ Atrial fibrillation leads to a persistent irregular – often accelerated – heartbeat. While the condition is not life-threatening, if left untreated it can lead to serious complications such as stroke or heart failure. It is caused by areas of the heart that hinder the normal conduction of electrical impulses so that the atrium no longer contracts rhythmically,” explains Professor Rüdiger Lange, Director of the Cardiac and Vascular Surgery Unit of the German Heart Center Munich.

Ablation is a procedure in which specific regions of the atrium are destroyed by applying heat or extreme cold to reroute the paths of electrical conduction and correct the abnormality.

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Research news vera.siegler@tum.de news-35593 Wed, 24 Jul 2019 10:31:00 +0200
Science inspired by nature https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35598/ Located at an altitude of 1,262 meters in the forest above Berchtesgaden, the TUM Friedrich N. Schwarz Research Station will be the perfect hub for research into the alpine ecosystem, particularly habitat diversity in the Berchtesgaden national park. To support efforts in this area, TUM is creating a new professorship which will also lead the research activities of the national park. Together with the Schneefernerhaus research station on the Zugspitze mountain, TUM’s research infrastructure now collectively reaches almost 3,000 meters above sea level into the Alps.

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Campus news klaus.becker@tum.de news-35598 Tue, 23 Jul 2019 11:14:32 +0200
Bavarian Order of Merit for six TUM professors https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35597/ Campus news a.schmidt@tum.de news-35597 Tue, 23 Jul 2019 09:52:00 +0200 Gerhard Kramer new Senior Vice President Research https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35594/ Prof. Gerhard Kramer is one of the world’s most acclaimed scientists in the field of communications engineering, information theory and the applications of these disciplines. His research focuses on ways of increasing the information density and reliability of messages, enhancing network performance and optimizing information storage methods. In spring of this year, companies used a method developed by his chair to set a new speed record for data transfer over fiber-optic networks.

Born in Canada, Kramer studied electrical engineering at the University of Manitoba and was awarded a doctorate at ETH Zurich. Afterwards, he worked as an engineer at Endora Tech, a Swiss IT company, before moving to Bell Labs – the research arm of Alcatel-Lucent (now Nokia). In 2009, he was appointed professor at the University of Southern California. One year later, he secured Germany’s highest endowed research award, the Humboldt Professorship. Since then, he has held the Chair of Communications Engineering at TUM. His three-year term as Senior Vice President Research and Innovation will commence on October 1.

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Campus news klaus.becker@tum.de news-35594 Mon, 22 Jul 2019 10:34:32 +0200
Fourth victory in the fourth race https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35591/ For the fourth time in a row, the Hyperloop team of the Technical University of Munich has won the globally publicized Hyperloop competition. Their pod reached 288 miles per hour (463 km/h) – just under the world record of 290 miles per hour (467 km/h) set by the TUM team in last year's competition.

At 160 miles per hour (257.5 km/h), the Swissloop team of ETH Zurich came in far behind. The EPFLoop team of the EPFL in Lausanne (Switzerland) reached 148 miles per hour (238 km/h). The pod of the TU Delft triggered a full stop after 200 meters, following a communication breakdown.

Space X founder Elon Musk introduced the concept of Hyperloops, ultrafast trains that race through an evacuated tube system, in 2013. To advance his idea, he launched the "SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition" in 2015. This year a total of 21 student teams from around the world competed against each other with their prototypes for the Hyperloop cabin capsule, the so-called "Pod."

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Campus news battenberg@zv.tum.de news-35591 Sun, 21 Jul 2019 19:16:41 +0200
TUM remains University of Excellence https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35585/ "After securing this latest accomplishment, I will be pleased to hand over the office of president to my successor, Thomas Hofmann, on October 1," said President Wolfgang A. Herrmann, who has been in office for 24 years. "Our far-reaching and consistent reform efforts over the past two decades have proved that we were on the right track. We have set new standards in many areas, and are now positioned among the leaders and ready for the future." The President thanked the State of Bavaria for the ongoing support of his university. With the prize money of 105 million euros for the 2019 - 2026 period, the TUM Agenda 2030 can now be implemented.

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Campus news news-35583 Wed, 17 Jul 2019 13:42:35 +0200
Golden Ring of Honor for former President Tony Tan https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35587/ Dr. Tony Tan was a strong supporter of TUM’s campus in Singapore from the outset and as such has played a major role in the success of TUM Asia Pte. Ltd. since its foundation in 2002, according to Herrmann.

Dr. Tan held the office of President of the Republic of Singapore from 2011 to 2017 after serving in various ministries from 1995 to 2005 as Deputy Prime Minister. A graduate of mathematics and economics from the National University of Singapore, MIT and the University of Adelaide, Dr. Tan set up the CREATE joint research platform during his Chairmanship of the National Research Foundation (NRF). From 2010 onwards, he won numerous top international universities over to the CREATE platform (including MIT, Berkeley, ETH Zurich, TUM, Hebrew University, and Technion).

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Campus news news-35587 Thu, 18 Jul 2019 15:19:52 +0200
"It was the greatest adventure of the 1960s" https://www.tum.de/en/about-tum/news/press-releases/details/35584/ Professor Schreiber, how big an impression did the Moon landing make on you when you were young?

It wasn't just the Moon landing as such. What amazed me most were the steps that led up to it. It was a huge technical challenge. For example the question: How do I accelerate a rocket to reach the Moon? Back then, the technical possibilities were still quite limited. Each individual aspect of this megaproject involved all kinds of challenging issues. It was the amazing adventure that you could live through as a young person in the 1960s. My siblings, my classmates and I ate, slept and dreamed of the lunar missions. I think it also influenced my career choice.

What was it that fascinated you so much?

For me it was all about the technology. When I was young I was fascinated by the idea of people being able to move outside our normal habitat, in other words the Earth, and how a mission like that can be made a reality. After studying physics I received an offer to work at the observatory in Wettzell. And the Moon fever took hold of me once again. The work being done there involves laser-based distance measurements, which I was very interested in. But what motivated me most of all was the technical challenge. 

There is also a link between the Moon landing and laser distance measurements.

To signal that the mission was not driven by military objectives, there was already a scientific component with the first Moon landing. There were basically two experiments: a seismometer, which was to collect data to learn about the internal structure and composition of the Moon, and a laser reflector. In the meantime there are already five reflectors on the Moon, placed at widely distributed locations. They can be used to make very precise measurements of the distance between the Earth and the Moon. It is not enough just to transmit laser pulses to the Moon because I have no way of knowing where the echo is coming from. Is the pulse bouncing back from the bottom of a crater or the top of a mountain, for example? Nor can I be sure that I am hitting the same point today as yesterday. When measuring distances to an accuracy in the centimeter range, the start and end points must be precisely defined.

How does this measurement actually work?

Laser ranging is a very elegant technology for measuring separations over very large distances. The principle is simple: I generate short laser pulses that take a certain time to cover the distance to the reflector. They bounce off it and return by the same path. On the ground, I can measure the total time very precisely. I multiply this time interval – approximately 2.7 seconds – by the speed of light, which is around 300,000 kilometers per second. Because we are measuring the distance to the Moon and back, I have to divide the result by two. Before I can use this measurement of the momentary separation, I have to apply some correction factors, for example for refraction. After the first Moon landing, it was possible to achieve accuracy within a few meters. Today we have a resolution of less than one centimeter. These precise distance measurements have many advantages when determining orbits, especially for satellites.

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Campus news stefanie.reiffert@tum.de news-35584 Thu, 18 Jul 2019 14:00:00 +0200