Preserving biodiverse river corridors for sustainable city development

Pochote river channel

As the global population continues to soar and the number of inhabitants in cities climbs ever higher, sustainable development strategies are urgently needed to prevent catastrophic ecological decline in our urban environments. Understanding anthropogenic threats is the first step towards conservation: Jochen Hack, Professor of Ecological Engineering at the University of Darmstadt in Germany and leader of the interdisciplinary research […]

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High entropy to power a high energy world

A home energy storage system based on a lithium ion battery pack.

Scientists are continuously searching for new materials whose properties may solve the toughest challenges of our heavily technological society. To tackle the need for longer-lasting energy storage, for example, Dr Ben Breitung, Dr Torsten Brezesinski and their teams at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) are developing high-entropy materials by diversifying the composition of crystal structures. The properties of these […]

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Do we feel free when we make hard decisions? A psychological perspective on feelings of freedom in decision-making

Dr Lau investigates ‘subjective freedom’, that is the feeling or experience of being free.

Dr Stephan Lau, a Junior Professor at the Federal University of Applied Administrative Sciences in Berlin, is one of the first researchers to investigate experiences of freedom from a psychological perspective. Over the past decade, Dr Lau and his colleagues have conducted much research using a wide array of novel techniques to explore different factors which influence our experiences of […]

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Timely insulin therapy to treat type 2 diabetes

Timely insulin therapy to treat type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a tricky condition to treat. While insulin can efficiently lower blood sugar levels and protect pancreatic ꞵ-cells, it can also cause harmful side effects such as hypoglycaemia and weight gain. Severe hypoglycaemia may trigger arrhythmias and cardiovascular events. Professor Markolf Hanefeld suggests that an individualised approach to start timely insulin therapy on the basis of risk/benefit balance is […]

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Real-time societies: Maintaining control in the digital world

Contemporary 21st century societies are experiencing the rapid growth of digitisation in virtually all aspects of life.

The rapid growth of digitisation is disrupting society profoundly. To secure a worthwhile future, we need to explore new approaches to govern complex socio-technical systems. Professor Johannes Weyer and his research team at Technische Universität Dortmund in Germany have developed SimCo, a simulation framework to investigate the dynamics of socio-technical systems like transportation or energy supply. This research examines how […]

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Monitoring photonic crystal fibre fabrication in real-time

Monitoring photonic crystal fibre fabrication in real-time

Photonic crystal fibres (PCFs) were first explored in the 1990s, and as conventional optical fibres have revealed their limits, interest in PCFs has only increased further. PCFs use a specific pattern of air-holes which stretch the length of the fibre to guide light. These delicate microstructures are functionally essential, but currently there is no way to monitor their production in […]

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The Lattice, the Clock, and the Microscope: A Next-Generation Quantum Simulator

Understanding systems of many interacting quantum particles remains one of the grand challenges in physics. Simulating such systems on supercomputers is impossible for more than a few particles, but promising approaches based on quantum simulators are on the horizon. Dr Sebastian Blatt’s team at the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics, and their collaborators, have made significant strides to extend the capabilities […]

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Cryo-electron tomography and synaptic transmission in the brain

The transfer of information between neurons in the brain occurs via a carefully regulated release of chemical neurotransmitters.

The transmission of information between brain cells is regulated by complex loops of biochemical processes. Neurotransmitter molecules are released in the intercellular space by an electrically stimulated neuron and bind to receptors in a different neuron, thus establishing a connection between these cells. By combining cryo-electron microscopy and tomography of vitrified brain samples, Dr Vladan Lučić at Max Planck Institute […]

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Capturing three-dimensional cell structure with X-ray tomography

The research team uses a 3D X-ray microscope to visualise cells and tissues.

Seeing cells is no easy task. Most cells are smaller than a tenth of the size of a human hair, making them impossible to see by eye. Optical microscopes, with the help of cell-staining to colour cells, can help us peer into the invisible world of cells. However, they only show us a 2D image of a very thin slice […]

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A new weapon to boost cancer immunotherapy

The 4SC team monitors the expression of relevant genes in the tumours of patients before and after administration of domatinostat.

In recent years, immunooncology has paved new avenues for effective treatment across cancer types. In addition to cytotoxic chemotherapy, we can now harness the power of the human immune response against malignant cells. However, immunotherapy is not perfect, and as always, cancer has mechanisms to evade these attacks. Dr Svetlana Hamm, Head of Research and Translational Medicine at 4SC in […]

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