Melvin Chelli and Fabian Laurent, student research assistants in Uwe Hartmann’s group, prepare the magnetic field sensor for presentation at the international industrial trade show Hannover Messe. Credit: Oliver Dietze

Physicists at Saarland University have developed magnetic field sensors that are breaking sensitivity records and opening up a whole range of potential new applications, from non-contact measurements of the electrical activity in the human heart or brain to detecting ore deposits or archaeological remains deep underground. Professor Uwe Hartmann and his research team have developed a system that allows them to detect weak magnetic signals over large distances in normal environments (no vacuum, no low temperatures, no shielding), despite the presence of numerous sources of interference.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Herrlinger and Dr. Christina Schaub with pictures of a glioblastoma patient after combination therapy. Photo: © Katharina Wislsperger/Kommunikation und Medien des UKB

Cancer researchers at the University of Bonn have reported significant progress in the treatment of glioblastoma. About one third of all patients suffer from a particular variant of this most common and aggressive brain tumor. Survival of these patients treated with the new combination therapy increased on average by nearly half compared to patients who received the standard therapy. The study has now been published in the journal “The Lancet”.

Summary of Paneth cell defensins mediated antimicrobial defense mechanisms. Jan Wehkamp, University Hospital Tübingen

A group of researchers at the University Hospital Tübingen has now reported for the first time that they have discovered a mechanism on how the body’s own endogenous antimicrobial defense shield regulates the microbiome and its bacterial composition; the article has been published in a recent edition of “Proceedings” by the National Academy of Science USA” (PNAS). This mechanism provides a fundamental understanding of the structure of the intestinal barrier and host microbial interaction. “It throws open the door for future approaches to new treatments, but also for developing antibiotics and beneficial microbiome modulation,” says the head of the working group, Professor Dr. Jan Wehkamp.

Biological effects under the microscope. Empa

Graphene is considered one of the most interesting and versatile materials of our time. The application possibilities inspire both research and industry. But are products containing graphene also safe for humans and the environment? A comprehensive review, developed as part of the European graphene flagship project with the participation of Empa researchers, investigated this question.