The mechanical properties of the green lacewing egg stalks are so remarkable that researchers would like to replicate them in technical fibers.  Wikimedia Commons, Karthik R. Bhat

Innovative biofibers made from a silk protein of the green lacewing are being developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP in conjunction with the company AMSilk GmbH. Researchers are working on producing the protein in large quantities by using biotechnology. The aim is to use the material in the future as a high-grade rigid fiber, for example, in lightweight plastics in transportation technology. It can also be conceivably used in medical technology, for example, as a biocompatible silk coating on implants. The Fraunhofer IAP is presenting its initial material sample at the International Green Week Berlin from January 20 to 29, 2017 in Hall 4.2, booth 212.

High PIP2 concentrations on the cell membrane (left) prohibit SERT oligomerisation or dissociation so the level of oligomerisation is fixed. The PIP2 concentration in the endoplasmic reticulum is very low (right). The SERT oligomerisation therefore strives for equilibrium. TU Wien

Neurotransmitter transporters are some of the most popular transport proteins in research as they play a major role in the processing of signals in the brain. A joint study by TU Wien and the Medical University of Vienna has now successfully demonstrated for the first time the structural impact of membrane lipids on medically relevant serotonin transporters

Transplant of human neurons in the hippocampus of a mouse: the surrounding nerve cells in the mouse brain have connected to engrafted neurons.  © Photo: Dr. Jonas Doerr

Scientists under the leadership of the University of Bonn have harnessed rabies viruses for assessing the connectivity of nerve cell transplants: coupled with a green fluorescent protein, the viruses show where replacement cells engrafted into mouse brains have connected to the host neural network. A clearing procedure which turns the brain into a ‘glass-like state’ and light sheet fluorescence microscopy are used to visualize host-graft connections in a whole-brain preparation. The approach opens exciting prospects for predicting and optimizing the ability of neural transplants to functionally integrate into a host nervous system. The results have been published in “Nature Communications”.

Gear oils formulated to NUFLUX™ technology standards with VISCOBASE® 11-522 have a particularly long service life between fewer drain intervals. (Source: Evonik Industries)

- Evonik’s synthetic base oil VISCOBASE® 11-522 improves wind farm efficiency
- Approved by leading gearbox manufacturers
- Application in mining and steel industries also

Operators of wind energy farms place steep demands on the gear oil for their wind turbines: long oil drain intervals, sustained optimal viscosity of the oil over a wide temperature range, and maximum durability and long life for the gearbox.

BASE Penning trap system that was used to measure the magnetic moment of the antiproton photo/©: Georg Schneider, JGU

Physicists publish most accurate measurement of a fundamental property of the antiproton to date / Contribution to the matter-antimatter debate

As self-evident as it is that matter exists, its origins are just as mysterious. According to the principles of particle physics, when the universe was originally formed equal amounts of matter and antimatter would have been created, which then should have destroyed each other in a process that physicists call annihilation. But in reality, our universe shows a manifest imbalance in favor of matter.

The Team of physicists in their laser laboratory (from left to right): Philipp Sulzer, Dr. Andrey Moskalenko, Dr. Denis Seletskiy, Maximilian Seeger, Dr. Claudius Riek, Prof. Alfred Leitenstorfer und Prof. Guido Burkard. Uni Konstanz

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum. An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by Professor Alfred Leitenstorfer has now shown how to manipulate the electric vacuum field and thus generate deviations from the ground state of empty space which can only be understood in the context of the quantum theory of light.

Successful collaboration: Prof Florian Klein far right in the picture  Uniklinik Köln

A research team led by investigators of the Rockefeller University in New York and Prof Florian Klein, University Hospital Cologne and German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), has tested a new HIV neutralising antibody, called 10-1074, in humans. The results of the trial have just been published in Nature Medicine.

Over the last years, a new generation of HIV neutralizing antibodies was identified.

From left: Dr. Carsten Riether, Dr. Christian M. Schürch and Prof. Adrian F. Ochsenbein in the laboratory  Inselspital, Bern University Hospital

The first clinical studies for a new type of immunotherapy for leukaemia are beginning at Bern’s Inselspital, Bern University Hospital. Antibodies discovered in the laboratory should inhibit the growth of tumour cells.

Leukaemia stem cells: they have the ability to renew themselves and are resistant to most current, existing cancer therapies (chemotherapy, radiation, targeted medications). Because the cells are responsible for the development of blood cancer, they also regulate the course of disease. The faster they multiply, the faster the illness progresses.

Stimulated by special laser pulses Weyl-cones dance in a Dirac-fermion material on a laser-controlled path (loop). One cone includes right-handed, the other left-handed Weyl-fermions.  Jörg M. Harms/MPSD

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales.

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity to observe particle properties that have no realization in elementary particles.

During the COMPAMED 2016 multiple collaborations were initiated in about 70 arranged business meetings between enterprises from Germany and Fukushima.  IVAM

In 2016 the IVAM Microtechnology Network intensified its activities to improve networking between Japanese and German medical technology companies. Within a collaboration project the cooperation between companies from North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the Japanese Fukushima Prefecture was brought forward.

S. Manna and R. Wiesendanger, University of Hamburg, Germany

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials. While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations spatially coexist with antiferromagnetism.

Nanoparticles from combustion engines (shown here) can activate viruses that are dormant in in lung tissue.  Source: Helmholtz Zentrum München

Nanoparticles from combustion engines can activate viruses that are dormant in in lung tissue cells. This is the result of a study by researchers of Helmholtz Zentrum München, a partner in the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), which has now been published in the journal ‘Particle and Fibre Toxicology’.

To evade the immune system, some viruses hide in cells of their host and persist there. In medical terminology, this state is referred to as a latent infection. If the immune system becomes weakened or if certain conditions change, the viruses become active again, begin to proliferate and destroy the host cell. A team of scientists led by Dr. Tobias Stöger of the Institute of Lung Biology and Prof. Dr. Heiko Adler, deputy head of the research unit Lung Repair and Regeneration at Helmholtz Zentrum München, now report that nanoparticles can also trigger this process.

TABSOLAR component made of Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC), manufactured via the membrane vacuum deep-drawing process  ©G.tecz Engineering GmbH

When integrating renewable energy into the building envelope, solar thermal plays a significant role. So far, solar thermal products were generally based on metal components that conduct heat, absorb a high fraction of solar radiation and emit little infrared radiation to prevent thermal loss. Using this state of the art technology, building integration and architectural aspects are however often neglected.

Fibers of the mineral erionite with adhering particles, taken by a transmission electron microscope at the Institute of Geosciences of the University Jena. Photo: Kilian Pollok/FSU Jena

Jena University mineralogists provide new findings on carcinogenic silicate.

The mineral erionite is considered to be highly carcinogenic and is on the World Health Organisation’s list of substances that cause cancer. A few years ago, an entire village in Turkey actually had to be moved, because the substance was very common in the surrounding area and every second inhabitant died of a particular type of cancer caused by breathing in erionite particles. Up to now it has been thought that iron as a constituent element of the mineral erionite is the reason for the carcinogenic effect. However, mineralogists of Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany), together with colleagues from the University of Modena (Italy), have discovered that this metal does not even appear in the crystal structure of erionite.

Benjamin Fumey at his test facility in the lab © Emma

Can thermal solar energy be stored until wintertime? Within a European research consortium Empa scientists and their colleagues have spent four years studying this question by pitting three different techniques against each other.

We are still a far cry from a sustainable energy supply: in 2014, 71 percent of all privately-owned apartments and houses in Switzerland were heated with fossil fuels, and 60 percent of the hot water consumed in private households is generated in this way. In other words, a considerable amount of fossil energy could be saved if we were able to store heat from sunny summer days until wintertime and retrieve it at the flick of a switch. Is there a way to do this? It certainly looks like it. Since autumn of 2016, following several years of research, Empa has a plant on a lab scale in operation that works reliably and is able to store heat in the long term. But the road to get there was long and winding.

The P domain (yellow) patrols with its mouth open until it encounters a sialic acid molecule (purple). This movement was analyzed with distance measurements using the spin markers shown in blue.  © Dr. Gregor Hagelüken/Uni Bonn

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

Test and qualification vehicle of the LOMID chip with a screen diagonal of 2.5 cm and a resolution of 1920 × 1200 (WUXGA) © Fraunhofer FEP, Photographer: Jürgen Lösel

Fraunhofer FEP will present a new generation of OLED microdisplays at the SID-Mid-Europe Chapter Spring Meeting, running from 13th to 14th of March 2017 in Dresden. The conference will focus on “Wearable and Projection Displays”. A number of top-level and interesting speakers will give talks on markets, technologies, systems and applications in the fields of micro and small area display technologies.

With applications ranging from gaming to professional uses such for assembly, maintenance information supply, and pilot training in flight simulators, virtual reality glasses and their supporting systems are becoming more and more established, whilst at the same time also initiating and facilitating developments in new fields. A crucial aspect of virtual reality presentations is the display technology. Here, OLED microdisplays are receiving growing attention due to their technological advantages.