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Faszination Forschung Ausgabe 17

Inhalt

    Editorial

  • Editorial
    Successful scientists share not only a passion for discovery, but also a willingness to compete at the highest level. The researchers we introduce in this edition have overcome stiff competition to convince the European Research Council (ERC) of the merits of their project proposals. The prestigious grants in question are awarded according to a single criterion – scientifi c excellence. These ERC grants also function as a seal of quality for the associated scientifi c institutions, since recipients can choose to carry out their research at any location in Europe. So we are extremely proud that TUM is one of the most attractive universities for ERC grant holders.
  • Control Engineering

  • Robot Intuition
    To ensure that robots can work with humans safely and intuitively in the future, control systems engineer Sandra Hirche and her team are researching new control mechanisms based on mathematical models of human behavior. Their work should enable a robot to accurately predict the movements of its human counterpart and adjust its own reactions accordingly. The aim is to have robots learn from their own experience and continuously improve their own control functionality. Prof. Hirche’s project has been funded by the European Research Council (ERC) since 2014.
  • Neurology

  • Multiple Sclerosis: How Immune Cells Attack the Brain
    This is an article about immune cells that issue the wrong instructions. Instead of calling for assistance, they order destruction. It is also an article about the researcher who wants to track down these misguided cells. If he succeeds, we will be a step closer to finding better treatment options for multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune diseases.
  • Plant Systems Biology

  • Thought for Food
    The StressNetAdapt project, led by Dr. Pascal Falter-Braun, investigates protein networks and complex signaling pathways in plant cells. Against the backdrop of climate change and its impact on food production, his research focuses on strategies that enable plants to overcome unfavorable environmental conditions such as water shortage or high soil salinity. The findings could pave the way to generate new, stress-tolerant crops using biotechnology.
  • Nanonscience

  • Pinning Molecules Down
    Wilhelm H. Auwärter successfully investigates single molecules and the way they work by attaching them to tailored surfaces and examining them with a scanning tunneling microscope.
  • Cancer Research

  • Pancreatic Cancer: New Approaches to Neutralize a Deadly Threat
    By 2022, pancreatic cancer looks set to become the second most common cause of cancer-related death after lung cancer. Technically called pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, this type of cancer is relatively rare but screening and treatment options still leave much to be desired. In many cases, the disease thus proves fatal. Prof. Dieter Saur is pushing back the boundaries with his research, for which he recently received a much-sought-after ERC grant. In this interview, Saur explains how he hopes to improve the early detection and treatment of pancreatic carcinoma.
  • Neuroscience

  • A Double-Edged Axe in the Axon Forest
    There’s rich variety of form and function among the hundred billion neurons that make up the human nervous system, yet almost every neuron has an axon. This extension from the cell body, typically resembling a trunk with many branches, carries electrical and chemical signals outward to other cells. During early development, the brain’s axon “forest” is shaped by a pruning process that selectively cuts branches and clears the way for optimal neural networking. The same process shows a destructive aspect in old age, however, playing a role in neurodegenerative diseases. Prof. Thomas Misgeld is investigating the dual nature of axon loss.
  • Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics

  • Spotlight on Shock Waves
    An abrupt change in the density, pressure and temperature of a flow as opposed to a gradual increase is known as a shock wave – a phenomenon that could prove promising for a wide range of applications in industry and medicine. However, this would first require significantly greater understanding of the occurrence and impact of these shocks. Prof. Nikolaus Adams intends to devote the next five years to intensive research into their potential for biomedicine and nanotechnology – supported by an ERC Advanced Grant of EUR 2.4 million.
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  • Full PDF – Gesamte Ausgabe als PDF (9 MB)
    Faszination Forschung, Heft 17 (2016) / Faszination Forschung, Edition 17 (2016)

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