Towards in-line detection of thermal polymer degradation

Polymers are an indispensable part of modern society, found in almost every product we use, including machine and engine components. But polymers degrade, and they need close monitoring to make sure this doesn’t cause structural materials or devices to fail. We already have many ways to assess polymer degradation in the lab, but monitoring polymers while they’re in use is […]

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Dear Mr Hume, your circle might actually be a spiral

Dear Mr Hume, your circle might actually be a spiral

Induction is typically understood as a process of deriving principles or laws from particular or individual instances. The Empiricist David Hume argued that such generalisations about the world cannot be justified using deduction (a logic-based method of reasoning), and that induction is in fact worthless, circular reasoning. However, Professor Uwe Saint-Mont of Nordhausen University of Applied Sciences in Germany argues […]

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‘Pool and split’ high-throughput experimentation: Turning complex designs into simple assays

High-throughput experimentation (HTE) protocols enable scientists to perform multiple experiments and test multiple hypotheses, in parallel and with minimal consumption of resources and materials. Dr Marco Santagostino from the Chemical Process Development Department at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma, Germany and his collaborators Philipp Kollmus and Raphael Steimbach devised a new protocol that greatly reduces the number of experiments needed in HTE. […]

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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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