Bochum, Germany
Bochum, Germany

Ruhr University Bochum , located on the southern hills of central Ruhr area Bochum, was founded in 1962 as the first new public university in Germany since World War II. Instruction began in 1965.The Ruhr-University Bochum is one of the largest universities in Germany and part of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the most important German research funding organization.The RUB has been very successful in the Excellence Initiative by the German Federal and State Governments , a competition among Germany's most prestigious universities. It was one of the few institutions left competing for the title of an "elite university", but did not succeed in the last round of the competition. There are currently nine universities in Germany that hold this title.The University of Bochum was one of the first universities in Germany to introduce international Bachelor and Master degrees, which replaced the traditional German Diplom and Magister. Except for a few special cases this process has been completed and all degrees been converted. Today, the university offers a total of 150 different study programs from all fields.Ruhr University is financed and administered by the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Currently, 38,675 students are enrolled, and the university employs over 5,500 staff , making it one of the ten largest universities in Germany . Kurt Biedenkopf, who later became prime minister of the state of Saxony, was director of the university from 1967 to 1969.Unlike a number of traditional universities, the buildings of Ruhr University are all centralized on one campus, except for the Faculty of Medicine, which also includes some hospitals in Bochum and the Ruhr area. Although the centralized university campus utilizes 1960s architecture almost exclusively, mainly consisting of 14 almost identical high-rise buildings, it is located at the edge of a green belt on high ground adjacent to the Ruhr valley. Wikipedia.


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Bucher A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Segers J.,Catholic University of Louvain
Extremes | Year: 2017

The vanilla method in univariate extreme-value theory consists of fitting the three-parameter Generalized Extreme-Value (GEV) distribution to a sample of block maxima. Despite claims to the contrary, the asymptotic normality of the maximum likelihood estimator has never been established. In this paper, a formal proof is given using a general result on the maximum likelihood estimator for parametric families that are differentiable in quadratic mean but whose supports depend on the parameter. An interesting side result concerns the (lack of) differentiability in quadratic mean of the GEV family. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Vu Q.H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Morgenstern K.,Ruhr University Bochum
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2017

Co growth on Cu(111) was investigated at several temperatures between 120 K and 300 K by variable-temperature fast-scanning tunneling microscopy at submonolayer coverage. Islands nucleate heterogeneously at step edges and homogeneously on terraces. The height and area distribution difference between these two types of differently nucleated islands is attributed to a step edge alloy. Furthermore, the transformation from one-monolayer high islands to two-monolayer high islands is followed in time-lapsed sequences between 145 and 165 K. A surprising low-energy barrier for upward mass transport of Eupward≈(0.15±0.04) eV is determined for islands on terraces. At 120 and 150 K, the terrace islands are pure Cu; in contrast, at room temperature, terrace islands larger than ≈120 nm2 alloy at their border. © 2017 American Physical Society.


Hackl K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Fischer F.D.,University of Leoben | Svoboda J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Acta Materialia | Year: 2017

We present a theory of thermal grooving, i.e. surface motion due to surface diffusion, based solely on geometrical and energetic arguments and a variational approach involving a thermodynamic extremal principle. The theory is derived for a fully three-dimensional setting. All interface and contact conditions at junction lines and points of the material aggregate are derived rigorously and without ambiguity. A finite element implementation of the model is employed. Numerical examples are presented and compared with experimental results from the literature. © 2017 Acta Materialia Inc.


Lunze J.,Ruhr University Bochum
Automatica | Year: 2017

The paper deals with the problem of choosing the communication structure of networked systems and shows that a small percentage of all possible communication links suffices to get short paths from the leader to all followers. It considers agents that are connected in a single row and that choose randomly additional communication links within the region of the next M neighbours. Without additional communication links, the path length increases linearly along the row of the agents, which leads to an unsatisfactory performance of agents at the end of the row. The paper derives an analytical expression for the expected path length in the network with the additional links and shows that a small number of additional links considerably shortens the path length from the leader to all followers. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Klempnauer S.,Ruhr University Bochum | Schroder J.P.,Ruhr University Bochum
Nonlinearity | Year: 2017

We study properties of the stable norm on the first homology group of the 2-torus with respect to Riemannian or Finsler metrics, focusing on points with irrational slope. Our results show that the stable norm detects KAM-tori and hyperbolicity in the geodesic flow. Along the way, we shall prove new inequalities for the stable norm near rational directions. Moreover, we study the stable norm in some natural examples reflecting the new results in this paper. © 2017 IOP Publishing Ltd & London Mathematical Society.


PURPOSE:: Progressive impairment of hemodynamics in patients with Fontan circulation is common, multifactorial, and associated with decreased quality of life and increased morbidity. We sought to assess hemodynamic differences between patients with preserved (preserved Fontans) and those with impaired circulation (impaired Fontans) after pulmonary vasodilation using oxygen and under forced breathing conditions. MATERIALS AND METHODS:: Real-time phase-contrast cardiovascular magnetic resonance was performed using non–ECG triggered echo-planar imaging (temporal resolution=24 to 28 ms) in the ascending aorta (AAo) and superior vena cava (SVC)/inferior vena cava (IVC) on room air, after 100% oxygen inhalation (4 L/min; 10 min) and on forced breathing in 29 Fontan patients (17.2±7.3 y) and in 32 controls on room air (13.4±3.7 y). The simultaneously recorded patients’ respiratory cycle was divided into 4 segments (expiration, end-expiration, inspiration, and end-inspiration) to generate respiratory-dependent stroke volumes (SVs). The imaging data were matched with physiological data and analyzed with home-made software. RESULTS:: The mean SVi (AAo) was 46.1±11.1 mL/m in preserved Fontans versus 30.4±6.2 mL/m in impaired Fontans (P=0.002) and 51.1±6.9 mL/m in controls (P=0.107). The cutoff value for differentiation of Fontan groups was SVi (AAo, end-expiratory) of 32.1 mL/m. After hyperoxygenation, the mean SVi (AAo) increased to 48.7±12.7 mL/m in preserved Fontans (P=0.045) but remained unchanged in impaired Fontans (31.1±5.8 mL/m, P=0.665). Simultaneously, heart rates decreased from 75.2±15.9 to 70.8±16.4 bpm (preserved; P=0.000) but remained unchanged in impaired circulation (baseline: 84.1±9.8 bpm, P=0.612). Compared with physiological respiration, forced breathing increased the maximum respiratory-related cardiac index difference (ΔCImax) in preserved Fontans (SVC: 2.5-fold, P=0.000; and IVC: 1.8-fold, P=0.000) and to a lower extent in impaired Fontans (both veins, 1.5-fold; P(SVC)=0.011, P(IVC)=0.013). There was no impact on mean blood flow. CONCLUSIONS:: Oxygen affected the pulmonary vascular system by vasodilation and increased SVi in preserved Fontans but had no effect on impaired Fontans. Forced breathing increased ΔCImax but did not change the mean blood flow by sole activation of the ventilatory pump. End-expiratory aortic SVi represents a valuable measure for classifying the severity of Fontan hemodynamics impairment. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved


Arieli O.,The Academic College of Tel-Aviv-Yaffo | Strasser C.,Ruhr University Bochum
Principles of Knowledge Representation and Reasoning: Proceedings of the 15th International Conference, KR 2016 | Year: 2016

Reasoning with the maximally consistent subsets (MCS) of the premises is a well-known approach for handling contradictory information. We introduce two argumentation-based methods for doing so: a declarative approach that is related to Dung-style semantics for abstract argumentation, and a computational approach that is based on extensions of Gentzentype proofs systems. This brings about a new perspective on reasoning with MCS which shows a strong link between the latter and argumentation systems, and which can be extended to related formalisms. A by-product of this is the introduction of a dynamic proof system for classical logic and rebuttal attacks, which is sound and complete with respect to Dung's stable semantics for the associated argumentation framework. Copyright © 2016, Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (www.aaai.org). All rights reserved.


Thale C.,Ruhr University Bochum
Discrete and Computational Geometry | Year: 2017

Given a convex body K with smooth boundary (Formula presented.), select a fixed number n of uniformly distributed random points from (Formula presented.). The convex hull (Formula presented.) of these points is a random polytope having all its vertices on the boundary of K. The closeness of the volume of (Formula presented.) to a Gaussian random variable is investigated in terms of the Kolmogorov distance by combining a version of Stein’s method with geometric estimates for the surface body of K. © 2017 Springer Science+Business Media New York


Velten J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Margraf J.,Ruhr University Bochum
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Within committed relationships, a wide range of factors may challenge or facilitate sexual satisfaction. The aim of this study was to clarify which individual, partner-, and partnership-related aspects of a sexual relationship are crucial for the prediction of sexual satisfaction. The study included data of a representative sample of 964 couples from the general population. The actor-partner interdependence model was used to estimate actor and partner effects. Overall, predictors explained 57% of outcome variance. Actor effects were found for sexual function, sexual distress, frequency of sexual activity, desire discrepancy, sexual initiative, sexual communication, sociosexual orientation, masturbation, and life satisfaction. Gender-specific partner effects were found for sexual function and sexual distress. Neither age, nor relationship duration were significant predictors. To deepen our understanding of sexual satisfaction, it is necessary to take quantitative and qualitative aspects of sexual relationships into account and to consider actor-, partner-, and relationship-related predictors. © 2017 Velten, Margraf. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Henkel S.,Ruhr University Bochum
Chemie in Unserer Zeit | Year: 2017

Carbenes are important reaction intermediates and their reactivity in solution is governed by their spin state. On the other hand, the spin state of a carbene is also influenced by the solvent. It could be shown that a single hydrogen bonding interaction with methanol can change the spin state and thus the reactivity of a carbene. The elucidation of such solvation processes is essential for a detailed understanding of reactions in solution. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Morgenstern K.,Ruhr University Bochum
Chemie in Unserer Zeit | Year: 2017

Scanning tunneling microscopy offers the opportunity to image water ice formation on surfaces on the molecular scale, from single water molecules up to closed water layers. The variation of the growth conditions leads to a large variety of ice structure, both amorphous and crystalline ones. Our studies open up the possibility to investigate solvation of surfaces as well as of single adsorbed molecules and the influence of this solvation on photo reactions on the molecular scale. The results will contribute to understanding the influence of solvents onto reactions within the hot topic of solvation science. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Merten C.,Ruhr University Bochum
Chemie in Unserer Zeit | Year: 2017

The optical rotation of a chiral molecule is more than just a constant. Just like any other physical property, it depends on the exact environmental conditions under which it is measured. Introducing the example of propylene oxide, we show how this supposedly simple molecular property is significantly affected by the behavior and arrangement of the surrounding solvent environment. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Huber S.,Ruhr University Bochum
Chemie in Unserer Zeit | Year: 2017

Halogen bonding is a noncovalent interaction between electrophilic halogen substituents and Lewis bases. Its overall interaction energy is composed of several contributions, namely electrostatics, charge-transfer and dispersion. This article describes the use of halogen bonding in organocatalysis featuring a test reaction in which the halogen-based catalyst abstracts chloride from the substrate to form a reactive carbenium species. Other potential modes of activation were ruled out be several comparison experiments. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Zelleke T.,Ruhr University Bochum | Marx D.,Ruhr University Bochum
ChemPhysChem | Year: 2017

The rate-determining step in the reductive half-reaction of the bacterial enzyme methylamine dehydrogenase, which is proton abstraction from the native substrate methylamine, is investigated using accelerated QM/MM molecular dynamics simulations at room temperature. Generation of the multidimensional thermal free-energy landscape without restriction of the degrees of freedom beyond a multidimensional reaction subspace maps two rather similar pathways for the underlying proton transfer to one of two aspartate carboxyl oxygen atoms, termed OD1 and OD2, which hydrogen bond with Thr122 and Trp108, respectively. Despite significant large-amplitude motion perpendicular to the one-dimensional proton transfer coordinate, due to fluctuations of the donor–acceptor distance of about 3 Å, it is found that the one-dimensional proton transfer free-energy profiles are essentially identical to the minimum free-energy pathways on the multidimensional free-energy landscapes for both proton transfer channels. Proton transfer to one of the acceptor oxygen atoms—the OD2 site—is slightly favored in methylamine dehydrogenase by approximately 2 kcal mol−1, both kinetically and thermodynamically. Mechanistic analyses reveal that the hydrogen bond between Thr122β and OD1 is always present in the transition state independently of the proton transfer channel. Population analysis confirms that the electronic charge gained upon oxidation of the substrate is delocalized within the ring systems of the tryptophan tryptophylquinone cofactor. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Rossmanith J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Narberhaus F.,Ruhr University Bochum
RNA Biology | Year: 2017

Due to their simple architecture and control mechanism, regulatory RNA modules are attractive building blocks in synthetic biology. This is especially true for riboswitches, which are natural ligand-binding regulators of gene expression. The discovery of various tandem riboswitches inspired the design of combined RNA modules with activities not yet found in nature. Riboswitches were placed in tandem or in combination with a ribozyme or temperature-responsive RNA thermometer resulting in new functionalities. Here, we compare natural examples of tandem riboswitches with recently designed artificial RNA regulators suggesting substantial modularity of regulatory RNA elements. Challenges associated with modular RNA design are discussed. © 2017 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC © 2017, © Johanna Roßmanith and Franz Narberhaus.


Pitarokoili K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Hellwig K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Lukas C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Gold R.,Ruhr University Bochum
Multiple Sclerosis | Year: 2017

We report the case of a post-progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), multiple sclerosis (MS) patient with an uncomplicated pregnancy and delivery. A 28-year-old woman on natalizumab (total of 49 infusions) was diagnosed with PML due to typical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical presentation. John Cunningham virus (JCV) was detected in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) during the immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). Nine months after PML onset, JCV negativity in the CSF was observed. MS was stabilised with dimethyl fumarate (DMF), and 18 months later, a desired pregnancy was reported, resulting in the birth of a healthy boy. Our report gives new hope regarding family planning for post-PML patients. © SAGE Publications.


Lambert F.,Ruhr University Bochum | Akbari A.,Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics | Akbari A.,Pohang University of Science and Technology | Thalmeier P.,Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids | Eremin I.,Ruhr University Bochum
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2017

Quasiparticle interference (QPI) imaging of Bogoliubov excitations in quasi-two-dimensional unconventional superconductors has become a powerful technique for measuring the superconducting gap and its symmetry. Here, we present the extension of this method to three-dimensional superconductors and analyze the expected QPI spectrum for the two-component heavy-fermion superconductor UPt3 whose gap structure is still controversial. Starting from a 3D electronic structure and the three proposed chiral gap models E1g,u or E2u, we perform a slab calculation that simultaneously gives extended bulk states and topologically protected in-gap dispersionless surface states. We show that the number of Weyl arcs and their hybridization with the line node provides a fingerprint that may finally determine the true nodal structure of the UPt3 superconductor. © 2017 American Physical Society.


Junker P.,Ruhr University Bochum | Kochmann D.M.,California Institute of Technology
International Journal of Solids and Structures | Year: 2017

We investigate the influence of stress-induced damage on the effective viscoelastic response of two-phase composites having constituents that undergo solid-solid phase transitions. Such composites are prone to experience damage near the interfaces separating phase-transforming inclusions and the non-transforming matrix. By accounting for inelasticity, temperature-induced phase transitions, and damage in the individual constituents and applying techniques of computational homogenization, we numerically show that the observed damage and resulting decrease in matrix stiffness can lead to significant changes in the overall, frequency-dependent damping and dynamic stiffness of the composite under time-harmonic two-dimensional loading. This is of particular interest since recent experiments and simulations hinted at increased composite damping due to metastable states of phase-transforming inclusions when embedded in a stiff matrix (so-called negative stiffness). Experiments also reported signs of matrix degradation, the causal mechanisms and consequences of which have not been investigated. The homogenized material response reported here reveals the interplay of material viscosity, matrix degradation, and structural transition, and illustrates how phase transformation and localized damage may lead to pronounced effective damping and stiffness variations. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd.


Vollmer T.,Ruhr University Bochum
Euro surveillance : bulletin Europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin | Year: 2016

Asymptomatic hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections have been found in blood donors from various European countries, but the natural course is rarely specified. Here, we compared the progression of HEV viraemia, serostatus and liver-specific enzymes in 10 blood donors with clinically asymptomatic genotype 3 HEV infection, measuring HEV RNA concentrations, plasma concentrations of alanine/aspartate aminotransferase, glutamate dehydrogenase and bilirubin and anti-HEV IgA, IgM and IgG antibodies. RNA concentrations ranged from 77.2 to 2.19×10(5) IU/mL, with viraemia lasting from less than 10 to 52 days. Donors showed a typical progression of a recent HEV infection but differed in the first detection of anti-HEV IgA, IgM and IgG and seropositivity of the antibody classes. The diagnostic window between HEV RNA detection and first occurrence of anti-HEV antibodies ranged from eight to 48 days, depending on the serological assay used. The progression of laboratory parameters of asymptomatic HEV infection was largely comparable to the progression of symptomatic HEV infection, but only four of 10 donors showed elevated liver-specific parameters. Our results help elucidate the risk of transfusion-associated HEV infection and provide a basis for development of screening strategies. The diagnostic window illustrates that infectious blood donors can be efficiently identified only by RNA screening. This article is copyright of The Authors, 2016.


Haas N.A.,Ruhr University Bochum
EuroIntervention : journal of EuroPCR in collaboration with the Working Group on Interventional Cardiology of the European Society of Cardiology | Year: 2016

AIMS: To investigate the implantation safety, anatomic performance and septal alignment of the Occlutech Figulla Flex occluder (FFO) device, an atrial septal defect (ASD) closure device with specific left-sided deployment characteristics and right-sided septal alignment properties.METHODS AND RESULTS: Between January 2011 and December 2013 we prospectively collected the change of orientation of the device to the septum during the release process and the feasibility of implantation of the FFO in 122 patients. The mean age was 10.7 years (±10.2), weight 32.9 kg (±20.3), and height 129.4 cm (±30). Devices used were 9 (n=13), 10.5 (n=16), 12 (n=16), 15 (n=39), 18 (n=17), 21 (n=8), 24 (n=5), 27 (n=7) and 30 mm (n=3) in size. No additional implantation techniques were required. Before release, the mean angles of the left and right-sided discs were 29.2° (±9.9°) and 43.4° (±9.2°) to the body axis, and 18.7° (±8.7°) and 27.0° (±10°) immediately thereafter. Thus, there was only a slight change in orientation of the left-sided (10.6°±7.5°) and right-sided (16.3°±7.9°) discs.CONCLUSIONS: The design of this occluder system results in an ideal septum alignment which increases its feasibility as well as patient safety during implantation.


Nuernberger P.,Ruhr University Bochum
Optics InfoBase Conference Papers | Year: 2016

Dynamics of photoinduced charge-transfer reactions are explored by femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy for tetrazolium salts and carbenes in solution. Signatures of reactive intermediates are identified and reaction mechanisms are revealed. © OSA 2016.


Havenith M.,Ruhr University Bochum
Optics InfoBase Conference Papers | Year: 2016

Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy is a powerful tool to study changes in the hydration bond network dynamics. This opens new opportunities to study ion hydration, and the role of water in enzymatic catalysis. © OSA 2016.


Kaase M.,Ruhr University Bochum
LaboratoriumsMedizin | Year: 2016

New recommendations for infection control in the case of infection or colonization by multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria were published by the Commission for Hospital Hygiene and Infection Prevention (KRINKO) at the Robert Koch Institute, Germany. In this context, a new definition for multidrug-resistance, the so-called MRGN classification, was introduced. This was necessary because previous definitions did not seem suitable for the purpose of hospital hygiene. The MRGN classification grades multidrug-resistance by severity distinguishing 3MRGN and 4MRGN, resulting in different recommendations for infection control. In addition, not all antibiotics are regarded as equally important in the classification, but only the most relevant classes, such as ureidopenicillins, extended-spectrum cephalosporins, carbapenems, and fluoroquinolones, are taken into account. The MRGN classification is mainly based on resistance categories, not on resistance mechanisms. An exception has been made for carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae, which are always classified as 4MRGN irrespective of their antibiogram due to their importance. The correct MRGN classification should only be performed by experienced microbiological laboratories and requires a reliable detection of carbapenemases.


Scherpf T.,Ruhr University Bochum | Feichtner K.-S.,Ruhr University Bochum | Gessner V.H.,Ruhr University Bochum
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2017

The metalated ylide YNa [Y=(Ph3PCSO2Tol)-] was employed as X,L-donor ligand for the preparation of a series of boron cations. Treatment of the bis-ylide functionalized borane Y2BH with different trityl salts or B(C6F5)3 for hydride abstraction readily results in the formation of the bis-ylide functionalized boron cation [Y-B-Y]+ (2). The high donor capacity of the ylide ligands allowed the isolation of the cationic species and its characterization in solution as well as in solid state. DFT calculations demonstrate that the cation is efficiently stabilized through electrostatic effects as well as π-donation from the ylide ligands, which results in its high stability. Despite the high stability of 2 [Y-B-Y]+ serves as viable source for the preparation of further borenium cations of type Y2B+←LB by addition of Lewis bases such as amines and amides. Primary and secondary amines react to tris(amino)boranes via N-H activation across the B-C bond. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Pollok C.H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Riesebeck T.,Ruhr University Bochum | Merten C.,Ruhr University Bochum
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2017

Characterizing the stereochemistry of transient photoisomerization products remains a big challenge for the design of molecular machines, such as unidirectional molecular motors. Often these states are not stable long enough to be characterized in detail using conventional spectroscopic tools. The structurally simple camphorquinone imine 1 serves to illustrate the advantage of combining the matrix-isolation technique with vibrational circular dichroism (VCD) spectroscopy for the investigation of photoisomerizations of chiral molecules. In particular, it is shown that both (E)- and (Z)-1 can be generated photochemically at cryogenic temperatures in an argon matrix, and more importantly, that the stereochemistry of both switching states can be characterized reliably. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


Similar to other tumour entities, analyses of cancer databases giving hope that patients with advanced prostate cancer with osseous metastases benefit from cytoreductive surgery. Prospective clinical trials are in the process of proving this hypothesis. This review article focuses on molecular genetic pathways and clinical data. © 2017 Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH


The time from birth until the end of the first year of life is an emotionally moving and scientifically fascinating phase in human life. An orienting overview of healthy development, developmental delay and developmental disorders of newborns and infants is given from a neuropediatric perspective. It is not possible to discuss all facets of this early phase of development in detail. The reader is referred to further reading material. Specific developmental aspects of preterm babies are not presented. © 2017, Springer Medizin Verlag GmbH.


Graeser P.,Ruhr University Bochum | Schiemann M.,Ruhr University Bochum
Fuel | Year: 2017

The investigation of burnout effects on the char particle emissivity in the spectral range from 1.25 to 5.5 µm is presented. Single coal particles of a bituminous coal were combusted in a flat flame burner under oxy-fuel conditions (20.1 mol%). The emissivity was determined using a test-rig, which also measures particle temperature and diameter, both being necessary input parameters for single particle emissivity, in the visual spectral range. The infrared radiation was measured spectrally resolved with a fiber spectrometer (1.25–2.25 µm) and integrated with an InSb detector (2.4–5.5 µm). The emissivity decreases clearly with progressing burnout: E.g. at 1255 nm the emissivity decreases from 0.49 to 0.38. The effect is larger in the spectral range from 1.25 to 2.25 µm, but still visible in the longer wave length range. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Ignatova Z.,University of Hamburg | Narberhaus F.,Ruhr University Bochum
Current Opinion in Microbiology | Year: 2017

RNA folds into intricate structures. Recent discoveries using next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches have revealed unprecedented structural complexity with a pivotal role in regulating RNA function and stability. Here, we present new discoveries from the transcriptome-wide determination of RNA structuromes in bacteria and discuss emerging concepts in the role of mRNA structures in regulating transcription, translation and degradation. We also provide critical viewpoints on the use of NGS approaches for elucidating of RNA structuromes at the systems level. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd


Lunze J.,Ruhr University Bochum
2016 IEEE 55th Conference on Decision and Control, CDC 2016 | Year: 2016

Networked control systems pose the problem of choosing the communication structure of the controller with the aim to get an overall system with satisfactory performance. This paper shows that in multi-agent systems with leader-follower structure a small percentage p of all possible communication links suffice to ensure a quick reaction of all agents to set-point changes of the leader. It considers agents that are connected in a single path and choose additional communication links randomly with the probability p. The main result shows that for any p > 0 there is an upper bound of the delay with which any agent in a network of arbitrary size reacts on leader commands. This result appears as a consequence of the property to have short paths from the leader to all followers, which is known as 'six degrees of separation' in large networks and which is extended here to networked control systems in which the nodes represent dynamical systems. © 2016 IEEE.


Herold G.,Ruhr University Bochum | Kirshanova E.,Ruhr University Bochum
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2017

We present an algorithm for the approximate k-List problem for the Euclidean distance that improves upon the Bai-Laarhoven-Stehlé (BLS) algorithm from ANTS’16. The improvement stems from the observation that almost all the solutions to the approximate k-List problem form a particular configuration in n-dimensional space. Due to special properties of configurations, it is much easier to verify whether a k-tuple forms a configuration rather than checking whether it gives a solution to the k-List problem. Thus, phrasing the k-List problem as a problem of finding such configurations immediately gives a better algorithm. Furthermore, the search for configurations can be sped up using techniques from Locality-Sensitive Hashing (LSH). Stated in terms of configurationsearch, our LSH-like algorithm offers a broader picture on previous LSH algorithms. For the Shortest Vector Problem, our configuration-search algorithm results in an exponential improvement for memory-efficient sieving algorithms. For k = 3, it allows us to bring down the complexity of the BLS sieve algorithm on an n-dimensional lattice from 20.4812n+o(n) to 20.3962n+o(n) with the same space requirement 20.1887n+o(n). Note that our algorithm beats the Gauss Sieve algorithm with time resp. space of 20.415n+o(n) resp. 20.208n+o(n), while being easy to implement. Using LSH techniques, we can further reduce the time complexity down to 20.3717n+o(n) while retaining a memory complexity of 20.1887n+o(n). © International Association for Cryptologic Research 2017.


Glasmachers T.,Ruhr University Bochum
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2017

Maintaining an archive of all non-dominated points is a standard task in multi-objective optimization. Sometimes it is sufficient to store all evaluated points and to obtain the non-dominated subset in a post-processing step. Alternatively the non-dominated set can be updated on the fly. While keeping track of many non-dominated points efficiently is easy for two objectives, we propose an efficient algorithm based on a binary space partitioning (BSP) tree for the general case of three or more objectives. Our analysis and our empirical results demonstrate the superiority of the method over the brute-force baseline method, as well as graceful scaling to large numbers of objectives. © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.


Herold G.,Ruhr University Bochum | May A.,Ruhr University Bochum
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2017

We consider Galbraith’s space efficient LWE variant, where the (m × n)-matrix A is binary. In this binary case, solving a vectorial subset sum problem over the integers allows for decryption. We show how to solve this problem using (Integer) Linear Programming. Our attack requires only a fraction of a second for all instances in a regime for m that cannot be attacked by current lattice algorithms. E.g. we are able to solve 100 instances of Galbraith’s small LWE challenge (n,m) = (256, 400) all in a fraction of a second. We also show under a mild assumption that instances with m ≤ 2n can be broken in polynomial time via LP relaxation. Moreover, we develop a method that identifies weak instances for Galbraith’s large LWE challenge (n,m) = (256, 640). © International Association for Cryptologic Research 2017.


Piechota Hj.,Ruhr University Bochum
Gynakologische Praxis | Year: 2017

Urinay tract infection (UTI) as one of the most frequent bacterial infections in humans is of utmost individual and socio-economical relevance. Because of the rising prevalence of antimicrobial resistance urinalysis should always include urine culture and a resistogram in order to avoid an unspecific selection and overuse of antibiotics. Prevention of recurrent UTI must first of all rule out predisposing uropathogenic conditions. Nowadays a great variety of drugs, behavioural and supportive treatment options can effectively minimize UTI recurrence. The growing importance of vaccines (immunotherapy), probiotics (Lactobacilli) and standardized herbal preparations meets the need of reducing antibiotic use and the development of antimicrobial resistance.


Stockfleth E.,Ruhr University Bochum
Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology | Year: 2017

Actinic keratoses (AKs) are intraepithelial atypical proliferations of keratinocytes that develop in skin that has undergone long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Given the ageing population and an increasing prevalence of AK, the socio-economic burden of AK is likely to rise over the coming years. Areas of subclinical (non-visible) sun damage in the periphery of visible AK lesions contain the same genetic changes as those found in the lesions themselves, and are known as areas of field cancerization. AK lesions and the field are associated with an increased risk of skin cancer, including invasive squamous cell carcinoma. Although effective in clearing visible AK, lesion-directed therapies do not address field cancerization and can lead to high recurrence rates. In contrast, field-directed therapies, such as ingenol mebutate, imiquimod and diclofenac, can clear both visible and subclinical AK lesions and reduce the development of new lesions in the treated field. Additionally, preclinical studies suggest that field therapy may prevent or delay the recurrence of non-melanoma skin cancer. AK treatment guidelines now recognize the importance of treating the field in patients with AK, and adaptation of treatment guidelines into clinical practice is warranted. Physician and patient education around the consequences of leaving the field of cancerization untreated is necessary in order to reduce the increasing burden associated with AK. © 2017 European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology


Collet F.,Technical University of Delft | Kraaij R.C.,Ruhr University Bochum
Stochastic Processes and their Applications | Year: 2017

We derive moderate deviation principles for the trajectory of the empirical magnetization of the standard Curie-Weiss model via a general analytic approach based on convergence of generators and uniqueness of viscosity solutions for associated Hamilton-Jacobi equations. The moderate asymptotics depend crucially on the phase under consideration. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


Loquai C.,Ruhr University Bochum
Melanoma Research | Year: 2017

Biological-based (BbCAM) methods from complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) may interact with cancer treatments, reduce efficacy, or enhance adverse effects. Although CAM usage has been evaluated well in other cancer entities, data on melanoma patients are still missing. The aim of this study was to determine CAM usage of melanoma patients using a standardized questionnaire to identify potential interactions with established and new systemic melanoma therapies. This multicenter study was carried out in seven German skin cancer centers. During routine care contact, CAM usage of former and current melanoma treatment was assessed in melanoma patients. The probability of interaction was classified into four categories ranging from ‘interaction unlikely’ (I), ‘possible’ (II), ‘likely’ (III), or ‘no data’ (IV). The questionnaire was filled out by 1157 patients, of whom 1089 were eligible for evaluation. CAM usage was reported by 41% of melanoma patients, of whom 63.1% took BbCAM such as vitamins, trace elements, supplements, or phytotherapeuticals. Of 335 patients with former or current therapy, 28.1% used BbCAM. The melanoma treatment included interferon, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, BRAF-inhibitor, or other tyrosine kinase inhibitors and ipilimumab. On the basis of our model of likelihood of interaction, we found that 23.9% of those on cancer therapy and 85.1% of those also using BbCAM were at some risk of interactions. The main limitation of our study is that no reliable and comprehensive database on clinical relevant interactions with CAM in oncology exists. Most patients receiving a melanoma-specific treatment and using BbCAM methods are at risk for interactions, which raises concerns on the safety and treatment efficacy of these patients. To protect melanoma patients from potential harm by the combination of their cancer treatment and CAM usage, patients should systematically be encouraged to report their CAM use, while oncologists should be trained on evidence of CAM, and patient guidance for saver CAM use. Copyright © 2017 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Schwabe L.,Ruhr University Bochum | Pruessner J.C.,McGill University
Biological Psychiatry | Year: 2014

The processes of memory formation and storage are complex and highly dynamic. Once memories are consolidated, they are not necessarily fixed but can be changed long after storage. In particular, seemingly stable memories may re-enter an unstable state when they are retrieved, from which they must be re-stabilized during a process known as reconsolidation. During reconsolidation, memories are susceptible to modifications again, thus providing an opportunity to update seemingly stable memories. While initial demonstrations of memory reconsolidation came mainly from animal studies, evidence for reconsolidation in humans is now accumulating as well. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of human memory reconsolidation. After a summary of findings on the reconsolidation of human fear and episodic memory, we focus particularly on recent neuroimaging data that provide first insights into how reconsolidation processes are implemented in the human brain. Finally, we discuss the implications of memory modifications during reconsolidation for the treatment of mental disorders such as posttraumatic stress disorder and drug addiction. © 2014 Society of Biological Psychiatry.


Harbo H.F.,University of Oslo | Gold R.,Ruhr University Bochum | Tintore M.,Autonomous University of Barcelona
Therapeutic Advances in Neurological Disorders | Year: 2013

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is universally found to be more prevalent in women than men. This has led to extensive studies of differences in the immune system or nervous system between women and men, which might be caused by the effects of gonadal hormones, genetic differences, and different environmental exposures and modern lifestyle in men and women. We review the effects of sex and gender from a genetic, immunological and clinical point of view. We discuss the effects of sex on the clinical expression of MS and responses to therapy, as well as issues concerning pregnancy. © The Author(s), 2013.


Hettema E.H.,University of Sheffield | Erdmann R.,Ruhr University Bochum | van der Klei I.,University of Groningen | Veenhuis M.,University of Groningen
Current Opinion in Cell Biology | Year: 2014

Significant progress has been made towards our understanding of the mechanism of peroxisome formation, in particular concerning sorting of peroxisomal membrane proteins, matrix protein import and organelle multiplication. Here we evaluate the progress made in recent years. We focus mainly on progress made in yeasts. We indicate the gaps in our knowledge and discuss conflicting models. © 2014.


Abrahamsen H.,University of Oslo | Stenmark H.,University of Oslo | Platta H.W.,Ruhr University Bochum
FEBS Letters | Year: 2012

The class III phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K-III) complex and its phosphorylated lipid product phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) control the three topologically related membrane-involution processes autophagy, endocytosis, and cytokinesis. The activity of the catalytic unit of PI3K-III complex, the Vacuolar sorting protein 34 (VPS34), depends on the membrane targeting unit Vacuolar sorting protein 15 (VPS15), and the tumor suppressor protein Beclin 1. It is established that the overall activity of VPS34 is positively regulated by Beclin 1, whose positive influence is further controlled through the association with a set of Beclin1 interacting components, which stimulate or inhibit VPS34. The interaction between Beclin 1 and Beclin 1-associated components are controllable and is regulated by phosphorylation in a context-dependent manner. Here, we focus on an emerging concept whereby the activity of the PI3K-III complex is controlled by ubiquitination of Beclin 1 or Beclin 1-associated molecules. In summary, at least three different ubiquitin ligases can affect the positive regulatory function of Beclin 1 towards VPS34, suggesting that ubiquitination is an important and physiologically relevant event in tuning the tumor suppressor function of Beclin 1. © 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Schildmann J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Tan J.,University of Swansea | Salloch S.,Ruhr University Bochum | Vollmann J.,Ruhr University Bochum
Oncologist | Year: 2013

Background. Surveys indicate considerable variation regarding the provision of cancer treatment at the end of life. The variation cannot be fully explained by differences concerning the clinical situation or patients' preferences. The aim of this qualitative study was to explore medical oncologists' experiences with advanced cancer, as well as their views of the relevance of medical and nonmedical criteria for decisions about limiting treatment. Methods. Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with physicians working in medical oncology in tertiary care hospitals or district general hospitals in England. Purposive sampling and qualitative analysis were performed. Results. Physicians reported that a number of nonmedical factors influence professional decisionsaboutthe offering or limiting of cancer treatment in advanced cancer in addition to medical criteria. Physicians' individual judgments about the benefit of treatment, as well as the amount of their clinical experience, were cited as such factors. In addition, the physicians' perceptions of the patient's age and life circumstances were reported to influence their treatment decisions. Multiprofessional team discussions and the systematic collection of relevant clinical data regarding the outcomes of different treatment approaches in advanced cancerweresuggested as strategies toimprovethe quality of treatment decisions. Conclusion. The findings of this study provide explanations for the variation in treatment in advanced cancer. Making value judgments explicit and gathering more appropriate clinical data on the outcomes of treatment near the end of life are prerequisites for improved ethical and evidencebased treatment decisions in advanced cancer. © AlphaMed Press.


Yan H.,Peking University | Lazarian A.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Schlickeiser R.,Ruhr University Bochum
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

High-energy gamma-ray emission has been detected recently from supernova remnants (SNRs) and their surroundings. The existence of molecular clouds near some of the SNRs suggests that the gamma rays originate predominantly from p-p interactions with cosmic rays (CRs) accelerated at a closeby SNR shock wave. Here we investigate the acceleration of CRs and the gamma-ray production in the cloud self-consistently by taking into account the interactions of the streaming instability and the background turbulence both at the shock front and in the ensuing propagation to the clouds. We focus on the later evolution of SNRs, when the conventional treatment of the streaming instability is valid but the magnetic field is enhanced due to Bell's current instability and/or the dynamo generation of magnetic field in the precursor region. We calculate the time dependence of the maximum energy of the accelerated particles. This result is then used to determine the diffusive flux of the runaway particles escaping the shock region, from which we obtain the gamma spectrum consistent with observations. Finally, we check the self-consistency of our results by comparing the required level of diffusion with the level of the streaming instability attainable in the presence of turbulence damping. The energy range of CRs subject to the streaming instability is able to produce the observed energy spectrum of gamma rays. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Vladimirov A.A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Diakonov D.,RAS Petersburg Nuclear Physics Institute
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

We construct a well-defined lattice-regularized quantum theory formulated in terms of fundamental fermion and gauge fields, the same type of degrees of freedom as in the Standard Model. The theory is explicitly invariant under local Lorentz transformations and, in the continuum limit, under diffeomorphisms. It is suitable for describing large nonperturbative and fast-varying fluctuations of metrics. Although the quantum curved space turns out to be, on the average, flat and smooth owing to the noncompressibility of the fundamental fermions, the low-energy Einstein limit is not automatic: one needs to ensure that composite metrics fluctuations propagate to long distances as compared to the lattice spacing. One way to guarantee this is to stay at a phase transition. We develop a lattice mean-field method and find that the theory typically has several phases in the space of the dimensionless coupling constants, separated by the 2nd order phase transition surface. For example, there is a phase with a spontaneous breaking of chiral symmetry. The effective low-energy Lagrangian for the ensuing Goldstone field is explicitly diffeomorphism invariant. We expect that the Einstein gravitation is achieved at the phase transition. A bonus is that the cosmological constant is probably automatically zero. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Kiedrowski G.V.,Ruhr University Bochum | Otto S.,University of Groningen | Herdewijn P.,Catholic University of Leuven
Journal of Systems Chemistry | Year: 2013

It is our utmost pleasure to launch the Journal of Systems Chemistry. What systems chemistry exactly is will be known in a few years from now when one is able to sketch the scope and vision of the field also based on upcoming contributions to our journal. How systems chemistry came up is more easy to tell. In this editorial we therefore focus predominantly on how the term "Systems Chemistry" came into being and how its scope evolved over recent years. It is perhaps not surprising that the term emerged within the communities researching the origin and synthesis of life, as this is probably the most challenging question in Systems Chemistry. The field however encompasses much more than just this subject - it offers a plethora of new opportunities for the discovery of lifelike dynamic signatures in all areas in chemistry © 2010 von Kiedrowski et al.


Faak K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Chakraborty S.,Ruhr University Bochum | Coogan L.A.,University of Victoria
Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta | Year: 2013

The temperature-sensitive exchange of Mg between plagioclase (Pl) and clinopyroxene (Cpx) has been studied experimentally, accounting for different anorthite-contents in plagioclase (XAn) and various silica activities (aSiO2) in the system. The partitioning of Mg between plagioclase and clinopyroxene was determined over a temperature range of 1100-1200°C, using plagioclase single crystals of different compositions (XAn=0.5-0.8), surrounded by different clinopyroxene-bearing matrix powders to account for different silica activities from 0.55 to 1.0. The experimental design also allows the diffusivity (DMgPl) of Mg in plagioclase under these conditions to be determined. Both KMgPl/Cpx (defined as KMgPl/Cpx=CMgPl/CMgCpx) and DMgPl decrease with temperature and increase with aSiO2. Isothermal data for different XAn in plagioclase show a linear increase of lnKMgPl/Cpx with increasing XAn, but DMgPl appears to be insensitive to XAn. The partitioning data allow a new geothermometer to be calibrated, which may be widely applicable to terrestrial and extraterrestrial rocks where plagioclase and clinopyroxene coexist:T[K]=(-9219+2034XAn)/(lnKMgPl/Cpx-1.6-lnaSiO2).Application of this geothermometer to experimental data from this study reproduces the experimental temperatures within ±20. °C. Diffusion of Mg in plagioclase is described by. DMgPl[m2s-1]=1.25×10-4[m2s-1]exp(-320,924[J mol-1]/(RT))(aSiO2)2.6. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Kalantar-Nayestanaki N.,University of Groningen | Epelbaum E.,Ruhr University Bochum | Messchendorp J.G.,University of Groningen | Nogga A.,Jülich Research Center
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2012

Recent experimental results in three-body systems have unambiguously shown that calculations based only on nucleon-nucleon forces fail to accurately describe many experimental observables and one needs to include effects which are beyond the realm of the two-body potentials. This conclusion owes its significance to the fact that experiments and calculations can both be performed with high accuracy. In this review, both theoretical and experimental achievements of the past decade will be underlined. Selected results will be presented. The discussion on the effects of the three-nucleon forces is, however, limited to the hadronic sector. It will be shown that despite the major successes in describing these seemingly simple systems, there are still clear discrepancies between data and the state-of-the-art calculations. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.


Gerlach G.,Ruhr University Bochum | Herpertz S.,Ruhr University Bochum | Loeber S.,Ruhr University Bochum | Loeber S.,University of Bamberg
Obesity Reviews | Year: 2015

Summary: Based on a bio-social-ecological systems model of the development and maintenance of obesity, there has been in the last few years a growing research interest in the association of obesity and personality traits. The aim of the present review was a comprehensive and critical evaluation of the existing literature taking into account the methodological quality of studies to enhance our understanding of personality traits associated with body weight, the development of overweight and obesity as well as the effectiveness of weight loss interventions including bariatric surgery. Personality traits play an important role both as risk as well as protective factors in the development of overweight and obesity. While thus in particular 'neuroticism', 'impulsivity' and 'sensitivity to reward' appear as risk factors, 'conscientiousness' and 'self-control' have been shown to have a protective function in relation to weight gain. Conscientiousness is a measure of regulation of internal urges and self-discipline, and may thus provide a potential source of control over impulsive reward-oriented behaviour. The results of the present review suggest that, within the context of therapeutic weight reduction measures, it is meaningful to identify subgroups of patients for whom specific treatment options need to be developed, such as measures for strengthening self-control skills. © 2014 World Obesity.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: DS-05-2015 | Award Amount: 7.47M | Year: 2016

Against the background of the regulation 2014/910/EU on electronic identification (eID) and trusted services for electronic transactions in the internal market (eIDAS), the FutureTrust project aims at supporting the practical implementation of the regulation in Europe and beyond. For this purpose the FutureTrust project will address the need for globally interoperable solutions through 1) basic research with respect to the foundations of trust and trustworthiness, with the aim of developing new, widely compatible trust models or improving existing models, 2) actively driving the standardisation process, and 3) providing Open Source software components and trustworthy services as a functional base for fast adoption of standards and solutions. FutureTrust will demonstrate positive business cases for the reliance on electronic signatures, sealing services, and long-term authenticity of data and documents, all with a focus on accountability, transparency and usability. For a subset of use cases, carefully selected for relevance and visibility, the FutureTrust consortium will devise real world pilot applications for the public and private sector with a focus on legally significant global electronic transactions in between EU member states and with non-EU countries. The FutureTrust project will in particular develop a comprehensive Open Source validation service as well as a scalable preservation service for electronic signatures and will provide components for the eID-based application for qualified certificates across borders, and for the trustworthy creation of remote signatures and seals in a mobile environment. Furthermore, the FutureTrust project will extend and generalize existing trust management concepts to build a Global Trust List, which allows to maintain trust anchors and metadata for trust services and eID related services around the globe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.5.3 | Award Amount: 2.23M | Year: 2011

The 3rd European Network for the Advancement of Artificial Cognitive Systems, Interaction and Robotics (EUCogIII) will organise a network of many hundreds of researchers and continue building the cognitive systems community in Europe, which straddles the divides of traditional academic disciplines in its work towards artificial intelligent systems that are autonomous, robust, flexible and self-improving in pursuing their goals. Such a network is the grease for the gears of research; fostering a self-standing community with clear aims that can produce efficient, focused research with deep impact.Further to building the community itself, EUCogIII will focus on reaching out to show what artificial cognitive systems research has to offer and to increase the impact of the research already done; this outreach will centre on a specific selection of themes and communities that lend themselves well to this purpose.Structurally, we will build bridges from the network to related communities, to extant organisations and networks especially with a view towards application of artificial cognitive systems research in robotics, but also in other areas of industry that move towards systems that are more intelligent and inspired by natural systems. This orientation towards application also provides added focus to cognitive artificial systems research itself. To further the community, the EUCogIII network will provide and support education of new researchers (of PhD student level) on the latest developments at the cutting edge of science. Finally our network will provide a one-stop-shop of online resources, as a service to the community.In terms of specific activities in work packages, we provide structures and content in WP 1 Outreach, WP 2 Bridges, WP 3 Education, WP 4 Online Resources and we organise these, in WP 5 academic Coordination and WP 6 Management of finances and events.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.05M | Year: 2012

PEPMIP represents a joint European effort involving eleven partners aimed at the development of the next generation of dedicated separation materials, designed to recognize peptides and proteins, and the implementation of these materials in new high performance methods for peptide and protein analysis. Artificial receptors will be developed by various Molecular Imprinting techniques. This will be supplemented by a new class of generic peptide and protein fractionation tools that will be integrated in new formats to produce new protein/peptide separation and detection solutions. The research results will lead to technological advances having a major impact on 1) health care since it will profit from methods involving PEPMIPs for earlier, more reliable diagnosis of diseases, 2) drug discovery allowing a faster target or biomarker identification; and 3) biochemistry research laboratories in resulting in improved protein fractionation tools for revealing low abundant post translational modifications. The training will focus on 10 early stage researchers (ESRs) who, within four work packages, will develop a well-balanced spectrum of scientific, business and entrepreneurial skills that will be particularly attractive to European industry when the ESRs eventually leave PEPMIP.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-32-2014 | Award Amount: 3.96M | Year: 2015

Online banking, e-commerce, telemedicine, mobile communication, and cloud computing depend fundamentally on the security of the underlying cryptographic algorithms. Public-key algorithms are particularly crucial since they provide digital signatures and establish secure communication without requiring in-person meetings. Essentially all applications today are based on RSA or on the discrete-logarithm problem in finite fields or on elliptic curves. Cryptographers optimize parameter choices and implementation details for these systems and build protocols on top of these systems; cryptanalysts fine-tune attacks and establish exact security levels for these systems. Alternative systems are far less visible in research and unheard of in practice. It might seem that having three systems offers enough variation, but these systems are all broken as soon as large quantum computers are built. The EU and governments around the world are investing heavily in building quantum computers; society needs to be prepared for the consequences, including cryptanalytic attacks accelerated by these computers. Long-term confidential documents such as patient health-care records and state secrets have to guarantee security for many years, but information encrypted today using RSA or elliptic curves and stored until quantum computers are available will then be as easy to decipher as Enigma-encrypted messages are today. PQCRYPTO will allow users to switch to post-quantum cryptography: cryptographic systems that are not merely secure for today but that will also remain secure long-term against attacks by quantum computers. PQCRYPTO will design a portfolio of high-security post-quantum public-key systems, and will improve the speed of these systems, adapting to the different performance challenges of mobile devices, the cloud, and the Internet of Things. PQCRYPTO will provide efficient implementations of high-security post-quantum cryptography for a broad spectrum of real-world applications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.3.4 | Award Amount: 4.56M | Year: 2008

ICT-eMuCo addresses the platform architecture of future mobile devices. This comprises the relevant controller elements as well as the operating system and application layers. It is expected that the computational performance needed by these devices will grow exponentially due to the growing number of features implemented and the advances in the wireless communication standards. The fast growing number of applications and the resulting diversification requires a co-existence of open and protected environments.It is therefore proposed to choose a multi-core architecture to get the best ratio of performance and power consumption while maintaining a high flexibility and scalability in the system through variations in number of cores, cache sizes, clock speeds etc. Existing multi-cores are taken as a starting point for the controller architecture. The actual implementation of e.g. the cache and memory system will be optimized to the specific needs as well as the extension by hardware accelerators for dedicated tasks.Virtualization technology will be employed to abstract the applications including potential legacy operating systems from the hardware architecture. This provides the means to separate real-time from non-real-time and secure from open domains. To account for the embedded nature of mobile devices and its limitations in performance and power consumption the virtualisation functionalities are supported by hardware where appropriate.The awareness for the existence of multi-cores must also arise at the programmers level. This is taken care of by a model-driven code generation technology based on SDL for typical communications protocol tasks and UML for the application development and modelling.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.8.1 | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2012

In the aftermath of the PISA studies, which identified weaknesses of students in many European countries, especially in mathematics, the education of children in the elementary school grades has received a lot of attention. Yet, most learning systems that have been developed for mathematics education have two significant limitations: first, they are usually constrained to text-based interactions and are thus hard to use by young learners (6 to 11-year-olds) who are still perfecting their basic literacy skills. Second, support is rarely tailored to the childrens needs in an adaptive fashion, even though depending on the current stage of the learning process, the support that children need varies between structured practice and more exploratory, conceptually-oriented learning.\n\nThe Intelligent Tutoring and Exploration for Robust Learning project aims to facilitate robust learning by creating a platform for intelligent support that combines structured learning with exploratory learning activities and applies cognitive models of the learning behaviour of students in elementary education. Relying on state-of-the-art machine learning methods, intelligent components will be able to provide adaptive feedback -- e.g., praise or hints --and suggest subsequent tasks. The platform will enable learners to communicate and interact more naturally via rich intuitive user interfaces leveraging direct manipulation and, in particular, natural language user interfaces. The pedagogical and technological outcomes of the project will be evaluated in two proven application scenarios in two European languages.\n\nThe project proposes to perform interdisciplinary, cutting-edge research in a multidisciplinary team with members from fields as diverse as artificial intelligence/machine learning, user modelling, intelligent tutoring systems, and natural language processing, as well as educational psychology and mathematics education.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.4.2 | Award Amount: 8.79M | Year: 2010

Due to the dynamics in business environments and the large number of changes in job roles and tasks for employees, a time-consuming development of formal learning offers and the organisational-wide provision of vocational training are barriers for the wide adoption and use of learning technologies. Especially SMEs perceive current learning technologies as insufficient to support learning-on-the-job.Thus, the overall objective of MIRROR is to empower and engage employees to reflect on past work performances and personal learning experiences in order to learn in real-time and to creatively solve pressing problems immediately. MIRROR shall help employees to increase their level and breadth of experience significantly within short time by capturing experiences of others. A prerequisite for exploring innovative solutions in this context is to rely on human ability to efficiently and effectively learn directly from tacit knowledge without the need for making it explicit.Specifically MIRROR will provide the following output:\tConceptual model of holistic continuous learning by reflection which incorporates the essential ingredients of training critical thinking, awareness of emotions, (collaborative) knowledge construction, creative problem solving and innovation.\tWithin a so-called AppSphere a bundle of real-time, interoperable learning applications that can be used within the collaborative and social work environment of the employees.\tProve of learning effectiveness through evaluation within five testbeds.MIRROR will be the first technology-enhanced learning approach that can be used in highly dynamic working situations where no teachers, no formal content, and no explicit knowledge are available. Existing research results from projects such as APOSDLE, MATURE, PROLIX will be made enriched by combining them with MIRROR applications.The MIRROR consortium brings together 15 partners of Europes TEL industry, high-quality research and testbeds.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.2 | Award Amount: 6.69M | Year: 2014

EmployID aims to support and facilitate the learning process of Public Employment Services (PES) practitioners in their professional identity transformation process. To perform successfully in their job they need to acquire a set of new and transversal skills, develop additional competencies, as well as embed a professional culture of continuous improvement. EmployID will offer efficient use of technologies to provide advanced coaching, reflection and networking services. Based on adult learning theories, the project focuses on technology developments that make facilitation services for professional identity transformation cost-effective and sustainable by empowering the individual to engage in peer learning and facilitation. This will include (1) e-coaching tools that make coaching processes more efficient and enables peers to develop coaching skills, (2) reflection tools that integrate into coaching processes and support on-going conversation across contexts, (3) novel networking and facilitation tools that support individuals in becoming effective facilitators for the learning of others, and (4) flexible scorecard visualizations as a form of workplace learning analytics, partially fed by data collected from the user activities and feedback. These new tools will integrate into existing learning and training infrastructures, such as existing LMS. Privacy aspects will be addressed carefully by appropriate technical and organizational means. The EmployID framework will help PES practitioners to become self-directed learners and competent in their job counselling and PES organisations in effectively managing the up-skilling of their staff. A comprehensive and empirically validated indicator framework for PES organizations adaptable to their needs will support the development of a performance improvement culture. Our holistic approach is targeting professional identity transformation on an individual, network and organisational level.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-4.0-2 | Award Amount: 11.31M | Year: 2009

The general objectives of the OCMOL project, focussed on the development of an alternative chemical route based on oxidative coupling of methane followed by oligomerization to liquids, are twofold: 1. To develop a small-scale process: process intensification via cutting-edge micro reactor technologies will enable to skip the expensive scaling up stage to provide a proof of concept of the OCMOL liquefaction route for companies to make go/ no go decisions. 2. To develop a fully integrated process, which will be self-sufficient through the re-use and the recycling of by-products at every process stages. Such an innovative route offers 4 main advantages: 1. An economic operation at capacities of 100 kT/year, which is nowadays not possible by using state of the art technologies. 2. An operation at more uniform pressure levels 3. The flexibility of product streams 4. Low if not zero CO2 emission thus contributing to face global warming. The OCMOL route to convert natural gas into liquid fuel will encompass methane oxidative coupling, methane dry reforming, membrane/PSA separation and oligomerization. Process intensification, such as the integration between methane oxidative coupling reactor, dry reforming reactor, and membranes integration will be one of the main challenges addressed to improve the energy efficiency of the whole process. A strong focus will be put on cutting-edge material science to develop effective catalysts/membranes which are of paramount importance to implement the innovative processes foreseen. Moreover, micro reactor technologies will be adopted to investigate novel reactor designs necessary to ensure the efficiency and the cost-effectiveness of the OCMOL solution.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-1.2-02 | Award Amount: 4.80M | Year: 2008

The increasing cost of experimental facilities in many research fields is powering a concentration of such facilities in a few selected places, sometimes driven also by environmental conditions.\nThe clear, steady skies without light pollution necessary to Astronomical Observatories are generally not easily found. In the Southern hemisphere the best observing facility for optical and infrared astronomy is widely acknowledged to be ESO.\nAt the same time the ever increasing data volumes as detectors get bigger and more complex, raises a number of problems for the builders, the operators and the users as well.\nThe remoteness of the facilities makes the travelling from European home institutions difficult and expensive.\nInformation Technologies can offer a solution to these problems, provided the necessary infrastructure and tools are put in place.\nThe strategic objective of this proposal is to make possible a strict integration in the ever-growing instrumental grid emerging worldwide of the world-class facilities created in Chile by the European Astronomical Community. These represent an investment of many hundred million Euros that will be exploited in the next decades.\nThe present project proposes to create a physical infrastructure (and the tools to exploit it) to efficiently connect these facilities to Europe. The infrastructure will be complementary to the international infrastructures created in the last years with the EC support (RedCLARA, ALICE, GEANT) and will be another step in the creation in Latin America of an advanced instrumentation GRID. This will allow the European Research a competitive edge having faster access to the collected data and use the facilities in an ever more efficient way.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISSI-5-2014 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2015

NUCLEUS develops, supports and implements inclusive and sustainable approaches to Responsible Research and Innovation within the governance and culture of research organisations in Europe. A major goal of the transdisciplinary project will be to stimulate research and innovation which continuously reflects and responds to societal needs. In order to achieve a multifaceted and cross-cultural New Understanding of Communication, Learning and Engagement in Universities and Scientific Institutions, 26 renowned institutions from 15 countries, among them leading representatives of 14 universities, will collaboratively identify, develop, implement and support inclusive and sustainable approaches to RRI. For a mutual learning and exchange process, the project will reach out beyond the European Research Area by including renowned scientific institutions in China, Russia and South Africa. Within a 4-year timeframe NUCLEUS will systematically uncover and analyse structural and cultural obstacles to RRI in scientific institutions. The partners will collaboratively develop innovative approaches to overcome these barriers. The project is expected to lead to an applicable RRI DNA, providing practical guidelines for higher education institutions and funding agencies across Europe and beyond. This DNA will form the basis for the NUCLEUS Living Network, an alliance to ensure sustainability of the approach beyond the project timeline. By offering new academic insights and practical recommendations derived from 30 RRI test beds, NUCLEUS will contribute to the debate on science policies both on a national and European level, including the future design of HORIZON 2020 and the European Research Area (ERA).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 1.13M | Year: 2016

The challenge posed by urban vulnerability is immense and is being compounded by rapid unplanned urbanisation, climate change and resource pressures. While the realisation that there is a fundamental shift in the landscape of crises to cities is no longer contested, aid actors are nonetheless grappling with the complexities of adapting their approaches to the urban context. The Preparedness and Resilience to address Urban Vulnerability (PRUV) Consortium aims to inform the pressing need to reshape how humanitarian action and development aid is undertaken in urban areas to address the challenge posed by urban vulnerability. Assembled within the PRUV Consortium is an exciting mix of actors with considerable experience and expertise in urban contexts that will transcend disciplines and sectors to frame a new resilience and preparedness paradigm to respond to urban challenges. It seeks to combine existing best practice with innovative thinking and technology to challenge current state of the art thinking in order to arrive at a novel approach with affected urban populations at the centre. By combining legal, social, cultural, political and public health perspectives in a holistic manner, considerable purchase is added to the research around preparedness and resilience, which, while not new within the aid sector more generally, has not been focussed sufficiently on the urban context to date. The opportunities to carry out the research in test-bed sites in Africa, Asia and Latin America adds to the potentially broad utility and transferability of the findings globally.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.2.2 | Award Amount: 2.84M | Year: 2009

Research in artificial cognitive systems currently suffers from fragmentation and the lack of a clear agenda. It is for this reason that EUCogII establishes a closely cooperating research community in Europe that develops its vision for the discipline. The project sets up a network of several hundred European researchers in the wider area of artificial cognitive systems, with an emphasis on participants in projects of FP7 ICT Cognitive Systems, Interaction, Robotics, building on the achievements of the FP6 project euCognition.This EUCogII community will meet in about 30 events with over 1000 participants during the project duration and participate in web-based work throughout. In these network activities its members are invited to step back from their day-to-day research, talk to people other than the usual experts in their sub-field and consider the bigger picture. It is this bigger picture of aims and methods that is needed for coherent artificial cognitive systems research and funding, and that EUCogII helps to clarify by its coordination action.The activities are structured in four content work packages: (1) state of the art, (2) challenges, (2) education and (4) outreach: (1) The network establishes and maps the a basic image of what is the state of the art in the discipline, with an emphasis on the coherence of the whole. (2) It formulates a set of specific medium and long-term challenges for cognitive systems; these challenges provide a direction for research and a measure of its success. (3) The network contributes to the education of future researchers by the formulation of European aims for specific educational programmes in cognitive systems, by providing material for such programmes and by specific training events for its members. (4) The partners reach out to the members of the network and to the wider community in a variety of events where researchers meet regularly, such as the bi-annual members meetings, workshops, summer-schools, a


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.1.20. | Award Amount: 12.58M | Year: 2012

The Project promotes the access to five European Research Infrastructures, and it is structured into nine Networking Activities, plus the Management of the Consortium, and fourteen Joint Research Activities. The Project will profit of the success of the previous HadronPhysics project in FP6 and the current HadronPhysics2 in FP7, and originates from the initiative of more than 2.500 European scientists working in the field of hadron physics. Hadron physics deals with the study of strongly interacting particles, the hadrons. Hadrons are composed of quarks and gluons. Their interaction is described by Quantum Chromo Dynamics, the theory of the strong force. Hadrons form more complex systems, in particular atomic. Under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, hadrons may loose their identity and dissolve into a new state of matter similar to the primordial matter of the early Universe. The Networking Activities are related to the organization of experimental and theoretical collaborative work concerning both ongoing activities at present Research Infrastructures and planned experiments at future facilities. In hadron physics the close interaction between experimentalists and theoreticians is of paramount importance. The Joint Research Activities concentrate on technological innovations for present and future experiments. Applications in material science, medicine, information, technology, etc., represent natural fall-outs. The main objective of this Integrating Activity is to optimize the use and development of the Research Infrastructures existing in Europe working in the field of hadron physics. The Project aims as well at structuring, on European scale, the way Research Infrastructures operate, and at fostering their joint development in terms of capacity and performance. The approach used is the bottom up approach, to respond to the needs of the scientific community in all fields of science and technology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-17-2015 | Award Amount: 9.63M | Year: 2016

The share of renewable energy is growing rapidly driven by the objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The amount of electric power which can be supplied to the grid depends on the time of the day and weather conditions. A conventional fleet of thermal power plants is required to compensate for these fluctuations before large scale energy storage technologies will be mature and economically viable. All power market projections expect this to be the case for the next 50 years at least. For a strong expansion of renewables, this fleet has to operate flexibly at competitive cost. Current power plants cannot fill this role immediately without impeding their efficiency and engine lifetime through increased wear and damage induced by the higher number of (shorter) operating/loading cycles. New technologies need to be introduced to balance demand peaks with renewable output fluctuations at minimal fuel consumption and emissions without negative effects on cycling operation. The FLEXTURBINE partners have developed a medium to long term technology roadmap addressing future and existing power plants. The FLEXTURBINE project presented hereafter is the first step in such technology roadmap and consists of: (1) new solutions for extended operating ranges to predict and control flutter, (2) improved sealing and bearing designs to increase turbine lifetime and efficiency by reducing degradation/damages, and (3) an improved lifecycle management through better control and prediction of critical parts to improve competitive costs by more flexible service intervals and planned downtime, and by reducing unplanned outages. In all areas, individual technologies will be developed from TRL 3 to TRL 4-6. FLEXTURBINE brings together the main European turbine manufacturers, renowned research institutes and universities. It involves plant and transmission system operators to include user feedback and to prepare the take-up of the FLEXTURBINE technologies in power plants world-wide.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: Fission-2012-2.1.2 | Award Amount: 6.27M | Year: 2013

The Fukushima accidents highlighted that both the in-depth understanding of such sequences and the development or improvement of adequate severe accident management measures is essential in order to further increase the safety of the nuclear power plants operated in Europe. CESAM (Code for European Severe Accident Management) is a R&D project that aims in particular at the improvement of the European reference code ASTEC towards a usage in severe accident management analysis for nuclear power plants (NPP). The models of ASTEC that are available for the relevant phenomena during severe accidents in the reactor core as well as in the spent fuel ponds are assessed and recommendations for improvement are developed. The lessons learned from the severe accident in Fukushima will be especially considered. Based on these recommendations ASTEC models will be improved and validated by the partners. In addition, ASTEC will be coupled to environmental consequences tools and a methodology will be investigated that evaluates the probability of different possible accident scenarios based on available on-side data during an accident in a nuclear power plant. This way, ASTEC will be extended to become a tool used for decision-making in emergency cases. ASTEC reference datasets for the main generic types of NPPs in Europe (PWR, BWR, CANDU) will jointly be prepared to give users appropriate guidance how to apply ASTEC for real plant analyses used e.g. for accident management. Plant analyses and possible improvements of SAM measures based on various plant scenarios and accounting for the lessons drawn from the Fukushima accidents, will be performed. A workshop will be organized to elaborate on ASTEC capabilities for calculations of the Fukushima accidents, both in the reactor core and the spent fuel ponds.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2012.10.2.1 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2012

CyanoFactory brings together ten selected leading, highly complementary European partners with the aim to carry out integrated, fundamental research aiming at applying synthetic biology principles towards a cell factory notion in microbial biotechnology. The vision is to build on recent progress in synthetic biology and develop novel photosynthetic cyanobacteria as chassis to be used as self-sustained cell factories in generating a solar fuel. This will include the development of a toolbox with orthogonal parts and devices for cyanobacterial synthetic biology, improvement of the chassis enabling enhanced growth and robustness in challenging environmental conditions, establishment of a data warehouse facilitating the modelling and optimization of cyanobacterial metabolic pathways, and strong and novel bioinformatics for effective data mining. To reach the goal, a combination of basic and applied R&D is needed; basic research to design and construct the cyanobacterial cells efficiently evolving H2 from the endless resources solar energy and water, and applied research to design and construct the advanced photobioreactors that efficiently produce H2. Biosafety is of highest concern and dedicated efforts will be made to address and control cell survival and death. The aim, to develop a (photo)synthetic cell factory, will have an enormous impact on the future options and possibilities for renewable solar fuel production. The consortium includes academic, research institute and industry participants with the direct involvement of two SMEs in the advanced photobioreactor design, construction and use. Purpose-designed, specifically engineered self-sustained cells utilising solar energy and CO2 from the air, may be the mechanisms and processes by which we generate large scale renewable energy carriers in our future societies. CyanoFactory offers Europe the possibility to take a lead, and not only follow, in these very important future and emerging technologies!


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: Fission-2008-2.1.1 | Award Amount: 39.59M | Year: 2009

Most of the actors involved in severe accident research in Europe, plus Canada, Korea and the United States (41 partners), will network in SARNET2 (Severe Accident Research NETwork of Excellence - Phase 2) their capacities of research in order to resolve important pending issues on postulated severe accidents of existing and future Nuclear Power Plants (NPPs). The project has been defined in order to optimise the use of the available means and to constitute a sustainable consortium in which common research programmes and a common computer tool to predict NPP behaviour during a postulated severe accident (ASTEC integral code) are developed. With this aim, the SARNET2 partners contribute to a Joint Programme of Activities, which consists of: - Maintaining and improving an advanced communication tool (developed during SARNET Phase 1) for accessing all project information, fostering exchange of information, and managing documents; - Harmonizing and re-orienting the research programmes, and defining new ones; - Performing experimental programmes on high priority issues, defined during SARNET Phase 1; - Analyzing experimental results in order to elaborate a common understanding of relevant phenomena; - Developing the ASTEC code (including its applicability to all types of European NPPs), which capitalizes in terms of physical models the knowledge produced within SARNET2; - Developing Scientific Databases, in which all the results of research programmes are stored in a common format (DATANET); - Developing education courses on severe accidents for students and researchers, and training courses for specialists; - Promoting personnel mobility amongst various European organizations; - Organizing yearly a large international conference on Severe Accident research (ERMSAR). After the first phase (2004-2008), and the four-year proposed second phase, co-funded by the EC, the network will evolve toward self-sustainability: a legal entity will be created.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.50M | Year: 2013

OILTEBIA (Optical Imaging and Laser TEchniques for BIomedical Applications) is an Initial Training Network (ITN) that seeks to train researchers in a multidisciplinary environment where pulsed laser technology, sensor and signal processing techniques meet in the biomedical environment to achieve novel optical imaging technologies from bench to bedside, spanning from basic research and drug discovery to preclinical imaging and clinical translation. Our particular focus is the development of novel probes and tomographic techniques using the broad range of information obtained from scattered light, diffuse light, the optoacoustic effect and fluorescence of targeted tracers. This will be accomplished by advances in new imaging modalities that allow non-invasive or minimally invasive interrogations of function and gene-expression in living subjects on different scales from tissue samples to vertebrae laboratory animal models to humans. The trainees will take advantage of the unique combination of physics, bioengineering, biology and medical training. Their careers will be opened up to multiple paths within academia, research laboratories and industry. The activities of the network will be closely followed by industry, represented in OILTEBIA by leading industry full partners (VERMON, SACHER and PHILIPS) and several associated industrial partners. OILTEBIA has set-up a sophisticated and well coordinated programme in Optical Biomedical Imaging at a European Level. The programme training activities include on-site courses, joint laboratory training platforms, common training courses at summer schools as well as short courses. Since the cooperation between academia and industry is the priority of OILTEBIA, Vermon, Sacher and Philips and the associated partners will actively participate in the training activities to give the students a complete view of the industrial environment and it needs.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENERGY-2007-3.5-01 | Award Amount: 5.53M | Year: 2008

SOLAR-H2 brings together 12 world-leading European laboratories to carry out integrated, basic research aimed at achieving renewable hydrogen (H2) production from environmentally safe resources. The vision is to develop novel routes for the production of a Solar-fuel, in our case H2, from the very abundant, effectively inexhaustible resources, solar energy and water. Our multidisciplinary expertise spans from molecular biology, biotechnology, via biochemistry and biophysics to organo-metallic and physical chemistry. The project integrates two frontline research topics: artificial photosynthesis in man-made biomimetic systems, and photobiological H2 production in living organisms. H2 production by these methods on a relevant scale is still distant but has a vast potential and is of utmost importance for the future European economy. The scientific risk is high - the research is very demanding. Thus, our overall objective now, is to explore, integrate and provide the basic science necessary to develop these novel routes and advance them toward new horizons. Along the first track, the knowledge gained from biochemical/biophysical studies of efficient enzymes will be exploited by organometallic chemists to design and synthesize bio-mimetic compounds for artificial photosynthesis. The design of these molecules is based on molecular knowledge about how natural photosynthesis works and how hydrogenase enzymes form H2. Along the second track, we perform research and development on the genetic level to increase our understanding of critical H2 forming reactions in photosynthetic alga and cyanobacteria. These studies are directly aimed at the improvement of the H2 producing capability of the organisms using novel genetic and metabolic engineering. The project also involves research aimed at demonstrating the concept of photobiological H2 production in photobioreactors.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.11M | Year: 2010

SPBuild is created and developed by a solid and dynamic network of 11 institutions (EDEN Network for Peace and Conflict) with a proven commitment and capacity to deliver high-quality training in the rapidly developing field of Peace and Conflict research. These universities have undertaken joint research, published, and jointly created a European Doctoral Enhancement Programme on Peace and Conflict Studies. The aim is to provide high quality training and research on sustainable peace building, implying a good understanding of the cross-impacts of the necessary and interdependent peace building activities, especially the promotion of good governance, inclusive development and comprehensive security. The study is comprehensive and trans-disciplinary; it sees peace building as a complex dynamic process of change involving different sectors, levels and actors, and researches the interdependencies or cross-impacts between the diplomatic, political, economic, security, and humanitarian efforts made in post-conflict situations. Each of the 11 participants will belong to one or more of three research programme teams good governance, comprehensive security and inclusive development. Researchers, upon choosing their research tracks, will be closely connected to one of the three teams and receive close professional and academic supervision. This project is based on the idea of participative governance, which reconciles social values with those of a market economy, defending the promotion of peace and economic and social development through the participation of all social agents and actors, including local communities, special interest groups and companies, the public sector and development agencies and the voluntary sector including arts and environmental organisations. The industry partners are major actors in economic life and it is crucial to look at their implication in society, along with the significant role of academia.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.04M | Year: 2012

Systems Chemistry (the chemistry of complex mixtures of interacting molecules) is a rapidly developing new fronteir in the chemical sciences. Where chemistry has for centuries been a firmly reductionistic science, Systems Chemistry breaks with this tradition by focussing on complexity and emergent behaviour. This network brings together nearly all major academic players active in Europe on experimental approaches to Systems Chemistry in general and molecular networks in particular. Our consortium is of exceptional quality and is a balanced mix of highly experienced scientists with mutiple publications in Science and/or Nature and talented young scientists of whom four have recently been awarded prestigious ERC starting grants. We have two full partners from industry that provide essential analytical support and the perspective on commercialisation of complex chemical systems. Aim of our high-level consortium is to provide a comprehensive high-quality training program on Systems Chemistry, in the context of a cutting-edge and wide-ranging research program, focusing on two important phenomena: adaptation and replication in molecular networks. These subjects will be developed towards application in enantioselective organoautocatalysis, molecular Boolean logic protocols, self-synthesising materials that exhibit electronic conductivity and adaptive biological functionality, sensing of bio-analytes, assessing molecular similarity and materials for anti-counterfeiting. Our comprehensive training and research program will deliver a new generation of young researchers eager to push the frontiers of the rapidly emerging field of Systems Chemistry, expanding Europes lead in this exciting new area.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 12.34M | Year: 2013

BIO-GO-For-Production is a Large Scale Collaborative Research Project that aims to achieve a step change in the application of nanocatalysis to sustainable energy production through an integrated, coherent and holistic approach utilizing novel heterogeneous nanoparticulate catalysts in fuel syntheses. BIO-GO researches and develops advanced nanocatalysts, which are allied with advanced reactor concepts to realise modular, highly efficient, integrated processes for the production of fuels from renewable bio-oils and biogas. Principal objectives are to develop new designs, preparation routes and methods of coating nanocatalysts on innovative micro-structured reactor designs, enabling compact, integrated catalytic reactor systems that exploit fully the special properties of nanocatalysts to improve process efficiency through intensification. An important aim is to reduce the dependence on precious metals and rare earths. Catalyst development is underpinned by modelling, kinetic and in-situ studies, and is validated by extended laboratory runs of biogas and bio-oil reforming, methanol synthesis and gasoline production to benchmark performance against current commercial catalysts. The 4-year project culminates in two verification steps: (a) a 6 month continuous pilot scale catalyst production run to demonstrate scaled up manufacturing potential for fast industrialisation (b) the integration at miniplant scale of the complete integrated process to gasoline production starting from bio-oil and bio-gas feedstocks. A cost evaluation will be carried out on the catalyst production while LCA will be undertaken to analyse environmental impacts across the whole chain. BIO-GO brings together a world class multi-disciplinary team from 15 organisations to carry out the ambitious project, the results of which will have substantial strategic, economic and environmental impacts on the EU petrochemicals industry and on the increasing use of renewable feedstock for energy.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2012.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.43M | Year: 2013

The starting point for MOPACT is the ambitious goals set by Horizon 2020 and the European Innovation Partnership Pilot Project on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIPAHA). Our response is ambitious too: we aim to provide the research and practical evidence upon which Europe can make longevity an asset for social and economic development. MOPACT will create a high quality, multi-disciplinary critical mass of leading researchers and, in the closest possible partnership with stakeholders and through a carefully planned iterative process, build a compendium of essential state-of-the-art and foresight intelligence upon which to develop the policy, practice, service and product developments and innovations required to meet the goals of Horizon 2020 and, in particular, the EIPAHA. Active and healthy ageing is the primary focus of MOPACT and it will build on the momentum created by EY2012.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.90M | Year: 2013

The goal of the Multi-Partner ITN-RAPID (Reactive Atmospheric Plasma processIng - eDucation network) is the realization of an interdisciplinary training involving the disciplines physics, chemistry and engineering. As a result, RAPID will create the platform for a truly European PhD in plasma technology. The scientific goal is the development of non-equilibrium reactive processes in atmospheric pressure plasmas. Thereby, the great success of low pressure plasmas enabling a multitude of applications ranging from material synthesis, automotive and microelectronics can be repeated. In addition, even more applications become possible due to the easy integration of atmospheric pressure plasmas in current industrial processes. Hot topics such as large area solar cells, barrier coatings to improve the permeation properties of polymers and plasma chemical gas conversion are selected. The research success requires a specific training covering diverse aspects such as modeling and simulation of plasmas and surfaces, diagnostic to validate these models and the implications for industrial scale-up. This will be trained in a coordinated effort involving 10 academic and 10 industrial partners from 8 European countries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.2-4 | Award Amount: 15.96M | Year: 2011

More than 50% of heart failure (HF) patients present without a major deficit of left ventricular (LV) systolic function and are presumed to suffer from diastolic HF (DHF) because diastolic LV distensibility is usually impaired in these patients. The vast majority (~80%) of DHF patients is exposed to metabolic risk factors. The MEDIA consortium therefore investigates:1) how metabolic derangements contribute to DHF; 2) how diagnostic algorithms for DHF can be improved by assessing metabolic risk; 3) how correction of metabolic risk can open new therapeutic perspectives for DHF.Hereto MEDIA will: 1) Expose animal models of DHF to intense metabolic risk in order to accelerate DHF development. 2) Perform mechanistic studies in cardiomyocytes derived from DHF animal models or from DHF patients. Because of the acquired nature of metabolic risk, these studies will focus on posttranslational modifications of proteins and on epigenetic control of hypertrophy development. Their relevance for global LV function will also be appraised; 3) Perform mechanistic studies on myocardial collagen synthesis, which is enhanced by metabolic risk, and execute a phase II trial in DHF with cardiac specific antifibrotic therapy; 4) Explore the use of biomarkers as premorbid identifiers of DHF in existing cohorts of patients exposed to metabolic risk; 5) Prospectively test biomarkers and arterial stiffening, which is accelerated by metabolic risk, for their diagnostic potential in a large DHF cohort; 6) Assess myocardial metabolic substrate preference with modern imaging techniques and improve diastolic LV dysfunction through modified substrate utilization in a phase II trial. Expected results of MEDIA are: 1) Identification of metabolic risk-related mechanisms as therapeutic targets; 2) Improved diagnostic algorithms through inclusion of biomarkers and arterial stiffness tests. 3) Novel treatments consisting of modified myocardial substrate utilization and myocardial antifibrotic therapy.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.8.0 | Award Amount: 2.62M | Year: 2008

ECCell The aim of the project is to establish a novel basis for future embedded information technology by constructing the first electronically programmable chemical cell. This is naturally a high-risk, embryonic research project, but aimed at a breakthrough which will lay the foundation for immersed micro- and nanoscale molecular information processing with a paradigm shift to digitally programmable chemical systems. Chemical cells must combine self-replication, self-containment and self-regulation of resources (metabolism) enabling evolution to qualify as alive. ECCell will employ novel families of fully synthetic hybrid informational polyelectrolyte copolymers (not simply DNA), which simultaneously support all three cell functionalities. Their microscopic multiphase self-assembly under electric field control is the primary information processing mode of this technology. Realtime digital electric field control sequences, regulating the semi-autonomous self-assembly and reactive molecular processing, will both provide an online programming methodology for these complex systems and potentially serve as electronic genomes for the chemical cells. Programming methodologies (beyond optimal control theory) will be explored and evaluated which deal effectively with the remote real time distributed regulation of these novel semi-autonomous combinatorially complex chemical systems. The research will establish an effective IT interface between microelectronic and molecular information processing, by demonstrating its use to achieve a hard chemical synthetic systems objective (an artificial cell) opening a platform for programming a novel chemical living technology at the microscale.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.9.6 | Award Amount: 4.46M | Year: 2012

The goal of the project is to give electronics and chemistry an equal autonomous say in programming complex chemical constructions, processes and analyses at the nano and microscales: the same scale where information processing in living systems occurs where to construct is to compute. To do this MICREAgents (MIcroscopic Chemically Reactive Electronic Agents) will develop novel electronically active microreactor components, called lablets, that self-assemble at a scale less than 100 m, approaching that of living cells. The project will integrate the necessary components to ensure autonomous action of millions of these very smart chemicals, including electronic logic, supercapacitors for power, pairwise coupling for communication, programmable chemical sensors and electronic actuation of chemical processing. Key examples of MICREAgent actuation are to reversibly switch their association, load or dose chemicals, modify surfaces, initiate reactions and control locomotion in complex chemical environments. MICREAgents lablets can join forces to communicate both chemicals and electronic information in order to solve complex tasks, acting as smart collective agents of chemical change. Like cells, they will be essentially genetically encoded, but with chemical and electronic memories, translating electronic signals into constructive chemical processing and recording the results of this processing. They will also reversibly employ DNA molecules as chemical information, for example to control surface-surface binding of lablets, or to program chemical sensors, not to synthesize proteins as in cells. The project builds on pioneering FET-funded work towards electronic chemical cells, taking a giant stride to cell-like microscopic autonomous chemical electronics with self-assembling electronic membranes controlling the entry and exit of chemicals.\n\nThese autonomous mobile smart reactors will provide a novel form of computation that microscopically links reaction processing and chemical construction with computation, providing a radical integration of autonomous chemical experimentation. The self-assembling smart micro reactors can be programmed for molecular amplification and other chemical processing pathways, that start from complex mixtures, concentrate and purify chemicals, perform reactions in programmed cascades, sense completion, and transport and release products to defined locations. The project defines a continuous achievable path towards this ambitious goal, making use of a novel pairwise local communication strategy to overcome the limitations of current smart dust and autonomous sensor network communication. It will provide a technical platform spawning research in new computing paradigms that integrate multilevel construction with electronic ICT. The 10 groups, from 8 countries including Israel and New Zealand, are all pioneers in the multidisciplinary areas required to achieve the project goals, with a common grounding in IT.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FoF.ICT.2010.10.1 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2010

The QCOALA project will develop a new dual-wavelength laser processing system for welding thin-gauge aluminium and copper, 0.1mm to 1.0mm in thickness, with integrated process monitoring and in-line non-destructive inspection, and establish its capability to provide a reliable, high-speed, low-cost and high-quality joining solution for electric car battery and thin-film photovoltaic (PV) cell interconnections. Through fully integrated process ICT and Statistical Process Control (SPC), the new system will facilitate in-line quality control, as well as a higher level of automation in manufacturing, and thereby achieve higher yield and throughput, for both these high-in-demand applications. This project will help the Beneficiaries, with expertise in the constituent components of the new system, to increase their annual turnover between 15 and 25%, their productivity between 50 and 100% and their yield between 2 and 10%.\n\nThe new laser processing system will be based on a pulsed platform for PV interconnections, capable of laser pulses in the range of s to ms and pulse energies of up to (tens of) Joules, and capable of generating both the near-IR and green wavelength through a dual-wavelength beam scanner. Real-time temporal pulse control will be developed to allow closed-loop control of the monitored process. A dual , pulsed green and continuous wave (cw) IR platform will be used for welding battery interconnections. In this case, the combined green and IR beams will be delivered through the same dual wavelength welding head. The fully-integrated system will produce 100% inspection rate, with a fingerprint of each laser weld captured in real-time, and allow in-line process control when welding car battery and thin-film PV cell interconnections QCOALA is focused on energy-efficient, environmental-friendly and agile manufacturing, through the feed-back of in-line-monitoring and inspection information into the production line, allowing process control and continuous quality improvement and waste reduction. Whereas the concept of the project is aimed at smarter and more energy-efficient manufacturing, the applications that are addressed in the project fall are categorised in the green alternative energy market.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2009.3.5 | Award Amount: 4.94M | Year: 2010

ICT developments both enable and also enforce large-scale, highly-connected systems in society and industry. Knowledge to cope with these emerging systems is lacking. HYCON2 will stimulate and establish the long-term integration of the European research community, leading institutions and industry in the strategic field of control of complex, large-scale, and networked dynamical systems. It will interconnect scattered groups to create critical mass and complementarity, and will provide the necessary visibility and communication with the European industries. HYCON2 will assess and coordinate basic and applied research, from fundamental analytical properties of complex systems to control design methodologies with networking, self-organizing and system-wide coordination. HYCON2 has identified several applications domains to motivate, integrate, and evaluate research in networked control. These domains are ground and aerospace transportation, electrical power networks, process industries, and biological and medical systems. Benchmarking will serve as a tool for testing and evaluating the technologies developed in HYCON2 and for stimulating and enforcing excellence by the identification and adoption of best practices. In particular, two show-case applications corresponding to real-world problems have been selected in order to demonstrate the applicability of networked control and the need for research in control. As no substantial technological breakthrough can be achieved without preparing the proper cultural background, a further important objective of HYCON2 is to spread and disseminate excellence through multi-disciplinary education at the graduate and undergraduate level. The proposed research, integration and dissemination program will make Europe both the prominent scientific and the industrial leader in the area of highly complex and networked control systems, therefore posing Europe in an extraordinary position to exploit their impact in economy and society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.0 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2011

CADMAD aims to make a foundational breakthrough in the way computers and computer-aided design and manufacturing is employed in DNA-based research and development, making a radically new use of information technologies in biology and biotechnology.Biology and biotechnology research involves DNA programming, which is akin to computer programming. Researchers modify and combine DNA of interest in a programmatic way to uncover its function, to improve its function, or to create new functions. Whereas the composition and editing of computer programs is as easy as using a word-processor, the design, construction and editing of DNA in a programmatic fashion is still a slow, expensive, labour-intensive wet-lab process.CADMADs vision is to replace the labour-intensive DNA processing carried out today by tens of thousands of skilled wet-lab workers around the world, by high-throughput computer-aided design and manufacturing of DNA, which would be fundamentally more efficient than plain de novo DNA synthesis by effectively reusing existing DNA. Computed-aided design and manufacturing of semiconductor chips has enabled the computer revolution, the Internet revolution, and the mobile phone revolution. Computer-aided design and manufacturing of DNA may similarly enable a revolution in biology and biotechnology, in which high-throughput computer-aided and robotically executed experiments replace manual wet-lab work, resulting in accelerated progress in key areas of research and development.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2013

The PERFUME (PERoxisome Formation, Function, MEtabolism) program is an interdisciplinary and intersectoral ITN providing state-of-the-art research training at the interface of medicine, plant and fungal biology. The PERFUME S&T specifically aims at unraveling the principles of peroxisome biology. Peroxisomes have been discovered relatively recently (in 1954). Consequently, the level of understanding of their biology is relatively weak compared to the knowledge of other organelles. Despite their modest appearance, they are crucially important for cell vitality. Peroxisomes ubiquitously occur in eukaryotes, display an unprecedented versatility of functions and are essential in man. Recent findings indicate that improper functioning of peroxisomes contributes to ageing and age-related diseases. However, there are still major gaps in our current knowledge of peroxisome biology. PERFUME aims to fill these gaps by focusing on i) the identification of novel peroxisome functions, ii) in-depth understanding of the compartmentalization of functions in peroxisomes and iii) unraveling the principles of peroxisome proliferation. Enhancing knowledge on these three themes is relevant for medicine, agriculture and biotechnology and demands directed analyses, which require the combined expertise from different disciplines and sectors that cut across historically separated fields. PERFUME brings together such a team comprising of top scientists from the fields of cell biology, biochemistry, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, mathematical modeling, bioinformatics and protein structure analysis. Together, PERFUME shows maximal complementarity and synergy to warrant optimal training facilities for the participating students.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 18.74M | Year: 2009

The Project promotes the access to five European Research Infrastructures, and it is structured intop eight Networking Activities, plus the Management of the Consortium, and fourteen Joint Research Activities. The Project represents the continuation of the successful HadronPhysics project in FP6 and originates from the initiative of more than 2.500 European scientists working in the field of hadron physics. Hadron physics deals with the study of strongly interacting particles, the hadrons. Hadrons are composed of quarks and gluons. Their interaction is described by Quantum Chromo Dynamics, the theory of the strong force. Hadrons form more complex systems, in particular atomic. Under extreme conditions of pressure and temperature, hadrons may loose their identity and dissolve into a new state of matter similar to the primordial matter of the early Universe. The Networking Activities are related to the organization of experimental and theoretical collaborative work concerning both ongoing activities at present Research Infrastructures and planned experiments at future facilities. In hadron physics the close interaction between experimentalists and theoreticians is of paramount importance. The Joint Research Activities concentrate on technological innovations for present and future experiments. Applications in material science, medicine, information, technology, etc., represent natural fall-outs. The main objective of this Integrating Activity is to optimize the use and development of the Research Infrastructures existing in Europe working in the field of hadron physics. The Project aims as well at structuring, on European scale, the way Research Infrastructures operate, and at fostering their joint development in terms of capacity and performance. The approach used is the bottom up approach, to respond to the needs of the scientific community in all fields of science and technology.


News Article | February 2, 2016
Site: phys.org

Engineers Marvin Schmidt and Johannes Ullrich from the research team headed by Professors Andreas Schütze and Stefan Seelecke are working on developing an environmentally sustainable and resource-friendly cooling method. Credit: Oliver Dietze Cooling is a hugely important process in today's world. But how can cooling be carried out in future in a way that does not harm the climate and that helps to conserve natural resources? The approach taken by Professors Stefan Seelecke and Andreas Schütze from Saarland University focuses on systems that use shape memory materials, also known as 'metal muscles' or 'artificial muscles'. Working together with researchers in Bochum, they are developing a new method of cooling in which heat and cold are transferred using 'muscles' made from a nickel-titanium alloy. Extensive series of tests have yielded results that are now being used to develop a prototype cooling circuit that will be used to further increase the efficiency of the process. The German Research Foundation (DFG), which has been funding the project for the last three years, has agreed to invest a further 500,000 euros. In total, the project has brought around 950,000 euros in funding to the region. Cooling is carried out in all parts of the world. Refrigerators operate around-the-clock, air conditioning units cool offices, cooling systems help to keep computers and motors running smoothly. And the demand for cooling is being driven both by climate change and global population growth. But more cooling systems come at a price – and not just a financial one. Increased cooling means increased consumption of electrical power and therefore higher emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, driving global warming even faster. A more environmentally friendly cooling method has been developed by the research teams led by engineers Stefan Seelecke and Andreas Schütze in conjunction with the materials scientists Gunther Eggeler and Jan Frenzel at Ruhr University Bochum. The cooling process that they are developing does not require climatically harmful refrigerants and should consume less energy than the conventional cooling technologies used thus far. 'In our systems, shape memory alloys (SMAs) are used to remove heat,' explains Stefan Seelecke, Professor for Intelligent Material Systems at Saarland University. 'Shape memory means that wires or sheets made from a nickel-titanium alloy have a certain ability to remember their original shape: If they undergo deformation, they will return to their earlier shape. So they are able to tense and flex like muscles. The fact that they absorb and release heat when they do so is something we exploit to achieve cooling,' explains Seelecke. If a nickel-titanium wire or sheet is deformed or pulled in tension, the crystal lattice structure can change creating strain within the material. This change in the crystal structure, known as a phase transition, causes the shape memory alloy to become hotter. If the stressed sample is allowed to relax after temperature equalization with the environment, it undergoes substantial cooling to a temperature about 20 degrees below ambient temperature. 'The basic idea was to remove heat from a space – like the interior of a refrigerator – by allowing a pre-stressed, super-elastic shape memory material to relax and thus cool significantly. The heat taken up in this process is then released externally to the surroundings. The SMA is then re-stressed in the surroundings, thereby raising its temperature, before the cycle begins again,' explains Seelecke. In the experimental and modelling studies carried out so far, the researchers at Saarland University and the Center for Mechatronics and Automation Technology (ZeMA) in Saarbrücken have demonstrated that this type of cooling works and that it can be used in practice. They used a model system to determine how to optimize the efficiency of the cooling process, examining such factors as how strongly the material has to be elongated or bent in order to achieve a certain cooling performance, or whether the process is more effective when carried out slowly or more rapidly. A thermal imaging camera was deployed to analyse precisely how the heating and cooling stages proceed. 'We're currently using these results to construct an optimized prototype for an air-cooling system. We are creating a cooling cycle in which hot air passes over one side of a rotating bundle of shape memory wires. Multiple wires are used in order to enhance cooling power. The bundle is mechanically stressed on one side as it rotates, thus heating up the SMA wires, as it rotates further the SMA relaxes and cools. The air to be cooled is guided past the cold wire bundle, thus cooling an adjacent space,' says Professor Schütze from the University's Measurement Technology Lab. The team of engineers are currently fine tuning the process to optimize its efficiency. 'Further optimization of the cooling process will involve modelling all component stages and then refining these models by comparing the predictions with experimental results. The data from the modelling and experimental work should allow us to determine the ideal number of shape memory wires for our rotating wire bundle as well as the optimum speed of rotation,' explains Schütze.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 2.20M | Year: 2011

Over the last few years the field of proteomics has evolved into a prolific data producer. As a result, various databases that collect and redistribute the acquired data have been established. While data format standards for quantitative proteomics have now been defined and implemented with significant contribution from the recently completed EU ProDaC grant, standards for quantitative proteomics are still lacking. This simultaneous creation of multiple repositories and databases, and lack of standards for quantitative proteomics result in a fragmentation of data, and cause confusion for data submitters and users alike. Based on consortium expertise in the operation of large scale proteomics repositories (PRIDE, PeptideAtlas, Tranche, Peptidome) we aim to implement the next step, regular data exchange between major international proteomics resources. In parallel, we will further develop standards (mzQuantML) for the dynamic field of quantitative mass spectrometry. The main objectives of ProteomExchange are user-oriented: (i) to provide a single point of data submission to the user; (ii) to ensure data availability in all of the different member databases; (iii) to use community standard formats to represent the data, so it becomes accessible to all regardless of data origin; (iv) to provide added value through different views on the same data, from repositories to derived search tools. With an international consortium and support from large scale data producers (ISAS (Germany), U. Cambridge (UK), Karolinska Institute (Sweden)), industry (Pfizer, Philips, Waters), and journals (Nature Biotechnology, MCP, JPR), we here propose a Coordination Action project to solidify an emerging informal collaboration between major repositories into a production-quality data deposition and dissemination consortium on par with the systems so successfully employed by three-dimensional structure databases and nucleotide sequence databases, amongst others.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Infants with a genetic polymorphism of the serotonin transporter gene may be more susceptible to a psychosocial intervention designed to promote maternal-infant attachment in South Africa, according to a study in PLOS Medicine. In a study led by Mark Tomlinson from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, with lead author Barak Morgan from the University of Cape Town, South Africa and colleagues, data from a randomized controlled trial were reanalysed in light of new genetic data. In the study, researchers reanalysed data from a randomized controlled trial that was originally published in 2009. This had found that infants whose mothers were visited by lay community workers to provide support and guidance in parenting were significantly more likely to be securely attached to their primary caregiver after 18 months. Using genetic data collected from 220 participants when they were 13 years of age (approximately half of those who participated in the original trial) the researchers were able to compare attachment rates for participants with different polymorphisms of the serotonin transporter gene. Individuals with the short form of the gene, which is involved in nerve signalling in the brain, have previously been found to be sensitive to psychosocial interventions. The researchers found that, for those with the short allele of the serotonin transporter gene, the probability of secure attachment being observed for those who received the intervention was 84% (95% CI [73%, 94%]), compared to 58% (95% CI [43%, 72%]) in the control group. For those with two copies of the long allele of the serotonin transporter gene, the probability of secure attachment being observed for those who received the intervention was 70% (95% CI [59%, 81%]), compared to 71% (95% CI [60%, 82%]) of infants in the control group. The researchers note, "[b]eyond illuminating the role of genetic differential susceptibility in early childhood development, the current finding also speaks to a fundamental issue in the quest to understand and mitigate the developmental effects of poverty through psychosocial intervention. The near large effect size reported here for the intervention in children with susceptible genotypes [...] is at variance with the general conclusion that psychosocial interventions in the context of poverty produce only small to medium effect sizes [...] Without taking account of genetic susceptibility, it is possible that other intervention studies have, at least in some subpopulations, underestimated the impact of their interventions, as we originally did. By the same token [...] other studies might also have underestimated the negative impact on susceptible subpopulations of not receiving an intervention [...] In short, averaging outcomes across all participants may well lead to an invalid conclusion about the efficacy of an intervention. The researchers also note, "[a]n important limitation of this study is that we were not able to follow-up all cases of the individuals from the original trial, and there were missing data for attachment and genotype. In total, our primary analysis included 49% (220/449) of the original sample of children whose mothers were randomized to treatment and control conditions. Although the intervention and control groups were highly similar in our follow-up sample, and the follow-up sample was generally very similar to the original sample, there was some evidence of selective loss to follow-up on two variables [...] This means that randomization within our follow-up subsample may have been imperfect. Attribution of the primary outcome to causal effects of treatment in the present subsample should therefore be treated with caution. This study was supported by a grant from Grand Challenges Canada, grant reference #0066-03). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. MT is a member of the Editorial Board of PLOS Medicine. PF received an honorarium for providing a workshop on attachment at the Meeting of Minds Conference, organised by Shire Pharmaceuticals. Morgan B, Kumsta R, Fearon P, Moser D, Skeen S, Cooper P, et al. (2017) Serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) polymorphism and susceptibility to a home-visiting maternal-infant attachment intervention delivered by community health workers in South Africa: Reanalysis of a randomized controlled trial. PLoS Med 14(2): e1002237. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002237 Global Risk Governance Program, Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development, DVC Research Office, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa Neonatal Unit, Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden Department of Genetic Psychology, Faculty of Psychology, Ruhr University Bochum, Bochum, Germany Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, Faculty of Brain Sciences, University College London, London, United Kingdom Department of Psychology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom Department of Psychology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa Department of Psychology, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER: http://journals.


News Article | December 7, 2015
Site: phys.org

A number of remarkable observations such as an enormous kidney, grooved three-pointed teeth and a huge seasonally present penis are reported in the recent study, conducted by Adrienne Jochum, Naturhistorisches Museum der Burgergemeinde Bern, Switzerland, and her international team of researchers from University of Bern, Switzerland; Shinshu University, Japan; Universitaetsklinikum Giessen und Marburg GmbH, Germany; Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany; University of Ljubljana, Slovenia; University of Bern Goethe-University Frankfurt, Germany; Ruhr University Bochum, Germany; Croatian Biospeleological Society, Croatia and University Duisburg-Essen, Germany. The scientists describe these characteristics as adaptations the miniature creatures have acquired in order to survive austerity in the subterranean realm. Usually, adaptations to cave life can include blindness or lack of eyes, loss of pigmentation, sensitivity to changes in temperature and humidity, a high starvation tolerance, or anatomical compromises such as small size and transparent shells. The present study shows that miniscule carychiid subterranean snails have developed huge organs to tolerate the unique conditions of cave life. "Studying adaptations in extreme environments such as those found in snails of subterranean habitats can help us to understand mechanisms driving evolution in these unique habitats," explains the first author. Glassy cave-dwelling snails known only from Northern Spain, the southern Eastern Alpine Arc and the Dinarides might have tiny hearts, but their enormous kidney extends from one to two thirds of the total length of their minute shells. This phenomenon could be explained as an effective mechanism used to flush out large amounts of excess water during flooding seasons in caves. The same impressive creatures have also developed elaborate muscular plates, forming the girdle that surrounds the gastric mill (gizzard) in their digestive tract. The muscular gizzard grinds the grainy stew of microorganisms and fungi the snails find in moist cave mud. These mysterious creatures graze stealthily using an elastic ribbon (radula), aligned with seemingly endless rows of three-pointed, centrally-grooved teeth, as they glide through the depths of karst caves while searching for food and partners. Deprived from the hospitable aspects of life we have grown used to, some of the snails discussed in the present paper have evolved their reproductive system in order to be able to reproduce in the harshest of environments, even when they fail to find a partner for an extended period of time. As a result, not only are these snails protandric hermaphrodites, meaning that they possess male sexual features initially, which later disappear so that the female phase is present, but they have a large retractable, pinecone-shaped penis for instantaneous mating in the summer when mating is most probable. To guarantee offspring, a round sac, known as the receptaculum seminis, stocks sperm received from a partner during a previous mating and allows them to self-inseminate if necessary. Teeth in these cave snails are also described using histology for the first time. They bear a median groove on the characteristic cusps known for the Carychiidae. Sketchy, past dissections provide the current knowledge upon which the findings from this investigation are based. Otherwise, historical descriptions of these tiny snails are only known from empty shells found in samples of cave sediment. The genus Zospeum can only be found alive by inspecting cave walls using a magnifying glass. "Knowledge of their subterranean ecology as well as a "gut feeling" of where they might be gliding about in their glassy shells is necessary to find them," comments Adrienne Jochum. The authors also emphasize that this groundbreaking work is important for biodiversity studies, for biogeographical investigations and for conservation management strategies. Adrienne Jochum and her team investigated the insides of the shells using nanoCT to differentiate species in synchronization with molecular approaches for genetic delimitation. Four well-defined genetic lineages were determined from a total of sixteen Zospeum specimens found in the type locality region of the most common representative, Zospeum isselianum. This investigation is the first integrative study of live-collected Zospeum cave snails using multiple lines of data (molecular analyses, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), nano-computer tomography (nanoCT), and histology. This work is dedicated to the industrious Slovenian malacologist Joze Bole, whose work greatly inspired the present research. Explore further: Life deep down: A new beautiful translucent snail from the deepest cave in Croatia More information: Jochum A, Slapnik R, Klussmann-Kolb A, Páll-Gergely B, Kampschulte M, Martels G, Vrabec M, Nesselhauf C, Weigand AM (2015) Groping through the black box of variability: An integrative taxonomic and nomenclatural re-evaluation of Zospeum isselianum Pollonera, 1887 and allied species using new imaging technology (Nano-CT, SEM), conchological, histological and molecular data (Ellobioidea, Carychiidae). Subterranean Biology 16: 123-165. DOI: 10.3897/subtbiol.16.5758


Epelbaum E.,Ruhr University Bochum | Krebs H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Lee D.,North Carolina State University | Meissner U.-G.,University of Bonn | Meissner U.-G.,Jülich Research Center
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

The Hoyle state plays a crucial role in the helium burning of stars heavier than our Sun and in the production of carbon and other elements necessary for life. This excited state of the carbon-12 nucleus was postulated by Hoyle as a necessary ingredient for the fusion of three alpha particles to produce carbon at stellar temperatures. Although the Hoyle state was seen experimentally more than a half century ago nuclear theorists have not yet uncovered the nature of this state from first principles. In this Letter we report the first abAAinitio calculation of the low-lying states of carbon-12 using supercomputer lattice simulations and a theoretical framework known as effective field theory. In addition to the ground state and excited spin-2 state, we find a resonance at -85(3)MeV with all of the properties of the Hoyle state and in agreement with the experimentally observed energy. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Zittermann A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Iodice S.,Italian National Cancer Institute | Pilz S.,Medical University of Graz | Grant W.B.,Nutrition and Health Research Center | And 3 more authors.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Year: 2012

Background: Low vitamin D status may increase mortality risk. Objective: We used nonparametric ("highest compared with lowest"categories) and parametric (>2 categories) statistical models to evaluate associations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] serum concentrations and mortality in observational studies among general populations. Design: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, and reference lists for relevant articles. We included studies that contained data on relative risks (RRs) for mortality for different 25(OH)D concentrations, which included a corresponding measure of uncertainty, and this yielded 14 prospective cohort studies that involved 5562 deaths out of 62,548 individuals. We applied logtransformed RRs and CIs, adjusted for the maximal number of confounding variables. In the parametric model, which is based on 11 studies and 59,231 individuals, we used the lowest quantile as the reference category. Results: For "highest compared with lowest" categories of 25(OH)D, the estimated summary RR of mortality was 0.71 (95% CI: 0.50, 0.91). In the parametric model, the estimated summary RRs (95% CI) of mortality were 0.86 (0.82, 0.91), 0.77 (0.70, 0.84), and 0.69 (0.60, 0.78) for individuals with an increase of 12.5, 25, and 50 nmol 25(OH)D serum values/L, respectively, from a median reference category of ∼27.5 nmol/L. There was, however, no significant decrease in mortality when an increase of ∼87.5 nmol/L above the reference category occurred. Conclusion: Data suggest a nonlinear decrease in mortality risk as circulating 25(OH)D increases, with optimal concentrations ∼75-87.5 nmol/L. © 2012 American Society for Nutrition.


Cui C.,TU Berlin | Gan L.,TU Berlin | Neumann M.,TU Berlin | Heggen M.,Jülich Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2014

Colloid-based chemical synthesis methods of bimetallic alloy nanoparticles (NPs) provide good monodispersity, yet generally show a strong variation of the resulting mean particle size with alloy composition. This severely compromises accurate correlation between composition of alloy particles and their size-dependent properties. To address this issue, a general CO adsorption-assisted capping ligand-free solvothermal synthesis method is reported which provides homogeneous bimetallic NPs with almost perfectly constant particle size over an unusually wide compositional range. Using Pt-Ni alloy NPs as an example, we show that variation of the reaction temperature between 160 and 240 °C allows for precise control of the resulting alloy particle bulk composition between 15 and 70 atomic % Ni, coupled with a constant mean particle size of ∼4 nm. The size-confining and Ni content-controlling role of CO during the nucleation and growth processes are investigated and discussed. Data suggest that size-dependent CO surface chemisorption and reversible Ni-carbonyl formation are key factors for the achievement of a constant particle size and temperature-controlled Ni content. To demonstrate the usefulness of the independent control of size and composition, size-deconvoluted relations between composition and electrocatalytic properties are established. Refining earlier reports, we uncover intrinsic monotonic relations between catalytic activity and initial Ni content, as expected from theoretical considerations. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Bockmann M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Doltsinis N.L.,King's College London | Marx D.,Ruhr University Bochum
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2010

(Figure Presented) Counterintuitively improved photoswitching properties of bridged azobenzene compared to the unbridged counterpart (see picture) were demonstrated recently. Mechanistic insights obtained from nonadiabatic ab initio molecular dynamics reveal that the bridge suitably preorients the phenyl rings and thus enhances the E→Z quantum yield and shortens the lifetime of the first excited state. © 2010 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.


Carroll J.B.,Western Washington University | Bates G.P.,King's College London | Steffan J.,University of California at Irvine | Saft C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Tabrizi S.J.,University College London
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2015

Huntington's disease is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder with symptoms that are linked to the progressive dysfunction and neuronal death in corticostriatal circuits. The causative gene (mutated HTT) is widely expressed outside the CNS and several peripheral signs of disease, including weight loss and increased proinflammatory signalling, are often seen; however, their importance in the pathophysiology of Huntington's disease is not clear. Studies in animals have shown that features of the disease involving the CNS, including synapse loss and behavioural alterations, are susceptible to modulation by treatments that target tissues and organs outside the CNS. Links between peripheral biology and neurodegeneration have also been shown in other chronic neurodegenerative diseases, suggesting that modulation of these peripheral targets can offer new approaches to therapeutic development. Treatments targeted to tissues and organs outside the CNS might therefore substantially improve the quality of life of patients with Huntington's disease, even in the absence of disease-modifying effects. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Schweitzer P.,University of Connecticut | Teckentrup T.,Ruhr University Bochum | Metz A.,Temple University
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2010

It is shown that intrinsic transverse parton momenta pT in semi-inclusive deep-inelastic scattering (SIDIS) and the Drell-Yan process (DY) are very well and consistently described in the Gauss model with energy-dependent Gaussian widths. Our work solidifies the basis for future studies of pT-effects. We also discuss the Cahn and Boer-Mulders effect in SIDIS and DY. © 2010 The American Physical Society.


Ghosh P.,Indian Institute of Science | Farnesi Camellone M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Fabris S.,CNR Institute of Materials | Fabris S.,International School for Advanced Studies
Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters | Year: 2013

Density functional theory (DFT) calculations are used to identify correlations among reactivity, structural stability, cohesion, size, and morphology of small Au clusters supported on stoichiometric and defective CeO2(111) surfaces. Molecular adsorption significantly affects the cluster morphology and in some cases induces cluster dissociation into smaller particles and deactivation. We present a thermodynamic rationalization of these effects and identify Au3 as the smallest stable nanoparticle that can sustain catalytic cycles for CO oxidation without incurring structural/morphological changes that jeopardize its reactivity. The proposed Mars van Krevelen reaction pathway displays a low activation energy, which we explain in terms of the cluster fluxionality and of labile CO2 intermediates at the Au/ceria interface. These findings shed light on the importance of cluster dynamics during reaction and provide key guidelines for engineering more efficient metal-oxide interfaces in catalysis. © 2013 American Chemical Society.


Epelbaum E.,Ruhr University Bochum | Krebs H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Lahde T.A.,Jülich Research Center | Lee D.,North Carolina State University | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

The Hoyle state plays a crucial role in the helium burning of stars that have reached the red giant stage. The close proximity of this state to the triple-alpha threshold is needed for the production of carbon, oxygen, and other elements necessary for life. We investigate whether this life-essential condition is robust or delicately fine-tuned by measuring its dependence on the fundamental constants of nature, specifically the light quark mass and the strength of the electromagnetic interaction. We show that there exist strong correlations between the alpha-particle binding energy and the various energies relevant to the triple-alpha process. We derive limits on the variation of these fundamental parameters from the requirement that sufficient amounts of carbon and oxygen be generated in stars. We also discuss the implications of our results for an anthropic view of the Universe. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Hemmi M.H.,University of Basel | Wolke D.,University of Warwick | Schneider S.,Ruhr University Bochum
Archives of Disease in Childhood | Year: 2011

Background: Excessive crying, sleeping or feeding problems are found in approximately 20% of infants an d may predict behavioural problems in childhood. Methods: A quantitative meta-analysis of 22 longitudinal studies from 1987 to 2006 that statistically tested the association between infant regulatory problems and childhood internalising, externalising and attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) problems was carried out; 1935 children with regulatory problems were tested. Cohen's d was used to express the association between regulatory problems and behavioural problems. Heterogeneity of the effect sizes was assessed using the I2 statistic and meta-analysis of variance and meta-regressions were conducted to assess the influence of moderators. Rosenthal's classic fail-safe N and correlation of sample sizes to effect sizes were used to assess publication bias. Results: The weighted mean effect size for the main regulatory problems-behavioural problems association was 0.41 (95% CI 0.28 to 0.54), indicating that children with previous regulatory problems have more behavioural problems than controls. Externalising and ADHD problems were the strongest outcome of any regulatory problem, indicated by the highest fail-safe N and lowest correlation of sample size to effect size. Meta-analyses of variance revealed no significant moderating influences of regulatory problem comorbidity (I2=44.0, p>0.05), type (I2=41.8, p>0.05) or duration (I2=44.0, p>0.05). However, cumulative problems and clinical referral increased the risk of behavioural problems. Conclusions: The meta-analyses suggest that children with previous regulatory problems have more behavioural problems than controls, particularly in multi-problem families. Further studies are required to assess the behavioural outcomes of previously sleep, feeding or multiply disturbed children.


Epelbaum E.,Ruhr University Bochum | Meissner U.-G.,University of Bonn | Meissner U.-G.,Jülich Research Center
Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Science | Year: 2012

This review briefly introduces the chiral effective field theory of nuclear forces and atomic nuclei. We discuss the status of the nuclear Hamiltonian derived in this framework and some recent applications in few-nucleon systems. We also introduce nuclear lattice simulations as a new tool to address the many-body problem and present some of the first results based on that method. © 2012 by Annual Reviews.


Pox C.P.,Ruhr University Bochum | Altenhofen L.,Central Research Institute of Ambulatory Health Care in Germany | Brenner H.,German Cancer Research Center | Theilmeier A.,Gastroenterology Practice | And 2 more authors.
Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Background & Aims: Screening colonoscopy examinations for colorectal cancer are offered in the United States and some European countries. Data on results and adverse effects of screening colonoscopy are limited. In autumn 2002, colonoscopy was introduced as part of a nationwide cancer screening program in Germany; it was offered to the general population for individuals 55 years of age or older. We collected and analyzed data from this program. Methods: We performed a prospective cross-sectional study, collecting results from 2,821,392 screening colonoscopies performed at more than 2100 practices by highly qualified endoscopists in Germany from January 2003 to December 2008. Data on participation, colorectal adenoma and cancer detection, and complications were collected using standardized documentation forms. The data generated were centrally processed and evaluated. Results: The cumulative participation rate was 17.2% of eligible women and 15.5% of eligible men 55-74 years old. The adenoma detection rate (ADR) was 19.4%, with a higher rate in men (25.8% vs 16.7% in women). Advanced adenomas were found in 6.4% of patients. Carcinomas were detected in 25,893 subjects (0.9%); most were of an early UICC stage (I, 47.3%; II, 22.3%; III, 20.7%; IV, 9.6%). The ADRs for gastroenterologists and nongastroenterologists were 25.1% and 22.3%, respectively (adjusted odds ratio, 1.18; 95% confidence interval, 1.16-1.21). The overall complication rate was 2.8/1000 colonoscopies, and the rate of serious complications was 0.58/1000 colonoscopies. Conclusions: A nationwide colonoscopy screening program that uses highly qualified endoscopists can detect a significant number of adenomas and early-stage carcinomas. The ADR for gastroenterologists was higher than for nongastroenterologists. © 2012 AGA Institute.


Hattig C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Tew D.P.,University of Bristol | Kohn A.,University Mainz
Journal of Chemical Physics | Year: 2010

We propose a novel explicitly correlated coupled-cluster singles and doubles method CCSD (F 12*), which retains the accuracy of CCSD-F12 while the computational costs are only insignificantly larger than those for a conventional CCSD calculation. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.


Lahde T.A.,Jülich Research Center | Epelbaum E.,Ruhr University Bochum | Krebs H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Lee D.,North Carolina State University | And 3 more authors.
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We extend Nuclear Lattice Effective Field Theory (NLEFT) to medium-mass nuclei, and present results for the ground states of alpha nuclei from 4He to 28Si, calculated up to next-to-next-to-leading order (NNLO) in the EFT expansion. This computational advance is made possible by extrapolations of lattice data using multiple initial and final states. For our soft two-nucleon interaction, we find that the overall contribution from multi-nucleon forces must change sign from attractive to repulsive with increasing nucleon number. This effect is not produced by three-nucleon forces at NNLO, but it can be approximated by an effective four-nucleon interaction. We discuss the convergence of the EFT expansion and the broad significance of our findings for future ab initio calculations. © 2014 The Authors.


Davi L.,TU Darmstadt | Sadeghi A.-R.,TU Darmstadt | Winandy M.,Ruhr University Bochum
Proceedings of the 6th International Symposium on Information, Computer and Communications Security, ASIACCS 2011 | Year: 2011

Modern runtime attacks increasingly make use of the powerful return-oriented programming (ROP) attack techniques and principles such as recent attacks on Apple iPhone and Acrobat products to name some. These attacks even work under the presence of modern memory protection mechanisms such as data execution prevention (DEP). In this paper, we present our tool, ROPdefender, that dynamically detects conventional ROP attacks (that are based on return instructions). In contrast to existing solutions, ROPdefender can be immediately deployed by end-users, since it does not rely on side information (e.g., source code or debugging information) which are rarely provided in practice. Currently, our tool adds a runtime overhead of 2x which is comparable to similar instrumentation-based tools. Copyright 2011 ACM.


Epelbaum E.,Ruhr University Bochum | Krebs H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Meissner U.-G.,University of Bonn | Meissner U.-G.,Jülich Research Center
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

We present a nucleon-nucleon potential at fifth order in chiral effective field theory. We find a substantial improvement in the description of nucleon-nucleon phase shifts as compared to the fourth-order results utilizing a coordinate-space regularization. This provides clear evidence of the corresponding two-pion exchange contributions with all low-energy constants being determined from pion-nucleon scattering. The fifth-order corrections to nucleon-nucleon observables appear to be of a natural size, which confirms the good convergence of the chiral expansion for nuclear forces. Furthermore, the obtained results provide strong support for the novel way of quantifying the theoretical uncertainty due to the truncation of the chiral expansion proposed by the authors. Our work opens up new perspectives for precision ab initio calculations in few- and many-nucleon systems and is especially relevant for ongoing efforts towards a quantitative understanding of the structure of the three-nucleon force in the framework of chiral effective field theory. © 2015 American Physical Society.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.5 | Award Amount: 11.38M | Year: 2012

Healthcare at affordable cost is a major challenge with the aging population and the prevalence of chronic disease, supporting the need for early diagnosis and optimal treatment monitoring already at the level of the General Practitioner. Within this context, research on diagnostic imaging has recently gone hand in hand with the notion that the combination of various modalities is the key step towards improved diagnostic accuracy.Ultrasound (US) is promising for point-of-care imaging because, of its real-time display, high temporal and spatial resolution, low cost and safe of use. However, it falls short in terms of functional imaging. On the other hand optical techniques provide high contrast by the pronounced optical absorption variations in tissue and functional imaging when probing spectral features, but optical scattering limits the resolution of purely optical methods. Photoacoustic imaging (PA) shows optical absorption at ultrasound resolution via thermo-elastically generated ultrasound.The objective of FULLPHASE is the transition of PA imaging from a lab-based technique to a low-cost portable multi wavelength combined PA and US system. In order to reach that goal, the FULLPHASE partners offer specific expertise over complementary backgrounds in diode laser technology, laser beam shaping, ultrasound imaging technology, and system integration. The impact of the FULLPHASE system will be shown in oncology, rheumatology and cardio vascular disease.The ultrasound technology market is currently dominated by few large companies mainly located in the US, Europe and Asia. The FULLPHASE low cost portable PA and US medical system for early disease detection that will be commercialised by ESAOTE Europe will give the involved research institutes and the industrial partners access to new know-how and new markets. It will stimulate the implementation of a new imaging concept that will create a change in health care delivery.


Patent
Basf and Ruhr University Bochum | Date: 2015-11-20

The present invention relates to a process for preparing at least one sheet silicate comprising Ga and/or Zn, and based thereon, a framework silicate, preferably of the RRO structure type, to the sheet silicate and framework silicate themselves and to the uses of the silicates, especially of the framework silicate, preferably as catalysts.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EeB-06-2015 | Award Amount: 4.31M | Year: 2015

There is a compelling need of encouraging energy efficiency in buildings, enhance green technologies and promote advance thermal energy storage solutions. TESSe2b will enable the optimal use of renewable energy and provide one of the most advantageous solutions for correcting the mismatch that often occurs between the supply and demand of energy in residential buildings. The target of TESSe2b is to design, develop, validate and demonstrate a modular and low cost thermal storage technology based on solar collectors and highly efficient heat pumps for heating, cooling and domestic hot water (DHW) production. The idea is to develop advanced compact integrated PCM TES tanks exploiting RES (solar and geothermal) in an efficient manner coupled with enhanced PCM borehole heat exchangers (BHEs) that will take advantage of the increased underground thermal storage and maximize the efficiency of the ground coupled heat pumps (GCHP). The two TES tanks developed within TESSe2b project will be integrated with different PCM materials; (i) enhanced paraffin PCM, (ii) salt-hydrates PCM, while in both of them a highly efficient heat exchanger will be included. Even if the concept of phase change thermal stores has been demonstrated, TESSe2b project discriminates itself through incorporating; (i) PCM materials innovation, (ii) advanced energy management through self-learning model-based control system, (iii) enhanced PCM BHEs (v) compact modular design of thermal storage tank. Since the lifetime of TESSe2b solution is among the most critical factors determining its acceptability, reliability and success the on the long run, special emphasis will be given in the life-expectancy of the involved components.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FCT-14-2014 | Award Amount: 5.00M | Year: 2015

The challenges of international police reform assistance are formidable. Conventional top-down institutional reform has proven neither effective nor sustainable. Community-based policing (COP) holds promise, however evaluations have pointed to a lack of in-depth understanding of police-community relations in police reform assistance. This project will conduct integrated social and technical research on COP in post-conflict countries in S.E. Europe, Asia, Africa and Central America. New knowledge, reflection on lessons learnt and best practices will support both national police and EU/International police reform assistance. The project will lead to a better understanding of police-community relations, and innovation in information and communication technology (ICT) for enhancing these relations in post-conflict countries undergoing serious security reform. Linking social and technological research, the project will study social, cultural, human security, legal and ethical dimensions of COP to understand how citizens and police can develop sustainable relations with the use of ICTs. We will explore how technological innovation can support COP in crime reporting and prevention. The project will explore ICT solutions to facilitate, strengthen and accelerate positive COP efforts and police-citizen interactions where trust levels are weak. Solutions will depend on the context and identified needs of end-users: communities, local police, national and international police (EU/UN), and policymakers, and may include citizen reporting, information monitoring, mobile value transfer, or improved organizational systems. The project includes a Policing Experts Network whose role is to support research planning, and dissemination and exploitation of findings, grounding the research in police practice. This will ensure findings are communicated by engaged police practitioners, and directly applied in COP education and training curricula in Europe and case countries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2008-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.43M | Year: 2009

Future breakthroughs in the understanding of fundamental biological processes causing major diseases are expected from the development of miniaturized probes or microscopes able to detect and identify a single or a small number of molecules. The SingleMoleculeDetection (SMD) proposal will develop a unique device able to perform simultaneously and in a dynamic way force and spectroscopic measurements. We will design and fabricate novel devices for the generation of plasmon polaritons as well as combine photonic crystals and plasmonic nanolenses. These new devices will be able to detect few/single molecules through Raman, InfraRed and Terahertz (THz) signals and in combination with Atomic Force Microscopy and Optical Tweezer force spectroscopy with a spatial resolution in the sub-10 nm for Raman and IR and sub-100 nm for the THz region. The complete characterization of single unknown molecule will be demonstrated through: i- investigations on the chemical and physical properties of membrane receptors, such as rhodopsin, odorant receptors and ionic channels; ii- identification of new molecules involved in cancer development and metastasis. The new devices will allow the acquisition of THz images and we will explore the possibilities of this new spectral region for biomedical scanning. The SMD proposal is based on an original idea of the coordinator, prof. E. di Fabrizio and will be exploited thanks to the complementary expertise present in the different sites and to a tight coordination between the various groups. The design, fabrication and testing will be performed at UMG, TASC and CBM Integration in a single instrument will be carried out at TASC, CBM, IIT Nanotec, RUB. Validation activities will be performed by all the partners taking advantage of the world leading expertise of the TUDO and the STRATH- AC in spectroscopy of natural and artificial biological systems. The SME NANOTEC and CBM will provide the commercial exploitation of the obtained results.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-3.2-1 | Award Amount: 29.36M | Year: 2009

The F3 consortiums vision is that the EUs chemical industrys competitive position would be strongly enhanced if it could operate modular continuous plant (F3 plant) which combines world scale continuous plant efficiency, consistency and scalability with the versatility of batch operation. Our project will deliver such a radically new production mode based on: a) Plugandplay modular chemical production technology, capable of widespread implementation throughout the chemical industry. This technology uses generic backbone facilities designed for rapid interfacing with standardized process equipment containers (PEC). The PEC house process equipment assemblies (PEA) composed of intensified process equipment for fast, flexible future chemical production b) Holistic process design methodology applying process intensification concepts and innovative decision tools. This will accelerate process development and provides a substantial reduction in energy consumption, raw material usage and plant volumes. Our consortium of leading academic & research institutions and 7 major synthetic chemical producing industrial companies has 3 main goals: 1. To prove the technical feasibility of the F3 mode of manufacturing by building and operating a 0.1 to 30 kg/hr demonstration facility, 2. To demonstrate that operation of F3 plant will be more economical, ecoefficient and more sustainable than conventional production modes like large scale continuous or small to medium scale batch processing. 3. To drive a step change in the technology available to EU chemical production and engineering companies by designing intensified equipment for reaction and down stream processing, dissemination of standards for plug and play modular plant and providing open access to the backbone facility Our estimates indicate that the F3 concept will generate additional new business and will save 3.75 billion euro when existing products change to the F3 mode of manufacture.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-29-2016 | Award Amount: 4.70M | Year: 2016

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), more specifically, vulnerable plaque rupture, remains the major cause of death for people at middle age. The CVENT consortium will revolutionize screening, diagnosis and monitoring of CVD by means of a compact photoacoustic imaging (PAI) system for vulnerable plaque imaging. In the carotid arteries feeding the brain, vulnerable plaque rupture initiates cerebrovascular ischemic attacks. The state-of-the-art decision-making approach for a high-risk surgical intervention to avoid plaque rupture is based on stenosis severity alone, measured with ultrasound (US) imaging. However, this does not distinguish between vulnerable (rupture-prone) and stable (harmless) plaques, leading to severe overtreatment. Consequently, there is a worldwide unmet and urgent clinical need for functional information to enable in-depth diagnosis of carotid plaque vulnerability, avoiding cardiovascular events (CVENT) and reducing overtreatment risk. The objective of the CVENT consortium is the development of a portable multimodal and multiwavelength PAI system with a 3 cm imaging depth, for diagnosis and monitoring of carotid plaque vulnerability. The combination of high optical contrast of PAI and the high resolution of US will be used to identify plaque vulnerability markers, typically lipid pools and intra-plaque haemorrhage. Improved diagnosis of carotid plaque vulnerability will lead to a significant reduction in CVD-related disability and mortality. Simultaneously, by stratifying patients into high and low risk groups, overtreatment is reduced, leading to better allocation of healthcare funds. The CVENT consortium unites leading research groups, clinicians, industrial partners, and their expertise on R&D and a focus on exploitation, creating a breakthrough in carotid plaque vulnerability diagnosis. CVENT will bring together leading experts in the field of CVD, functional US imaging and PAI, introducing clinically applied PAI into the vascular medical arena.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.64M | Year: 2012

Luminescent materials have entered our every day life. They can be found in lamps, traffic lights, computer screens, cell phones, in labels for goods, are used in medical applications, airport security check devices and many more. Indeed, they have become indispensable and much of societies convenience and welfare depend on them. No wonder that the development and use of luminescent materials has truly exploded in the past decade stimulated by the challenging requirements of technological applications spanning domains from solid-state lighting, optics and photonics, energy conversion and storage to well as labelling, detection and imaging in biomedicine. The production of luminescent materials and related devices also is the basis for a large industrial sector with the most key stake holders situated in Europe. There is and there will be a strong demand for skilled scientists in the area of luminescent materials which demands the definition of a precise human resource policy to attract young and highly motivated students that can be well qualified to address the exigent technological requirements of the field and help to strengthen the European technology and research area and allow European companies to keep their status as world market leaders. At the same time sustainable employment opportunities can be guaranteed with high quality jobs. To address theses topics, LUMINET intends, through a rigorous training programme, to strategically position the EU with respect to new and improved possibilities and educated young scientists. It aims at educating a number of well-educated and talented young researchers with a broad, interdisciplinary knowledge in chemistry, physics, materials science and engineering but also in soft-skills like problem-solving and project management that are able to meet the challenges of the future.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.4 | Award Amount: 5.34M | Year: 2011

A major challenge in computing is to leverage multi-core technologies to enable the development of energy-efficient high performance systems. This is especially critical for embedded systems which have very limited energy budget as well as for supercomputers in respect to sustainability. But, efficient programming of multi-core architectures, moving towards manycores with more than a thousand cores predicted by 2020, remains an unresolved issue. The FlexTiles project will define and develop an energy-efficient and programmable heterogeneous manycore platform (THALES, CSEM, CEA) with self-adaptive capabilities, based on the following innovations:\n\tEnergy-efficiency, performance and flexibility provided by a reconfigurable layer linked to the manycore and enabling the dynamic instantiation of dedicated accelerators (UR1).\n\tPower consumption, load balancing, dynamic mapping and resilience to faulty modules managed through self-adaptation features (KIT).\n\tVirtualised executable codes enabling dynamic relocation of configuration (TUE) and bitstreams respectively on standard processor and network on chip and on reconfigurable layer (UR1).\n\tA virtualisation layer monitoring the system and optimising the application mapping for load balancing, power consumption and faults tolerance (KIT, TUE).\n\tParallelisation and compilation tools improvement to take into account the mixture of static and dynamic behaviours (ACE, THALES).\nFlexTiles proposed final platform will be validated on two main applications (smart camera, cognitive radio) of the targeted embedded technology market (THALES, SUNDANCE). FlexTiles achieved new type of manycore will also benefit from other markets and applications domains opportunities (e.g. automotive, autonomous systems, medical imaging systems, supercomputers), where there is a combined need for energy-efficiency, performance and interactivity, while guaranteeing short time to market.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.8.0 | Award Amount: 4.22M | Year: 2009

The goal of the UNIQUE project is to tackle the problem of counterfeiting of and tampering with Integrated Circuits (ICs). Since ICs are at the core of modern and often critical electronics products and IT systems it is very important that their integrity can be guaranteed. We will develop an integrated approach to protect hardware systems against counterfeiting, cloning, reverse engineering, tampering, and insertion of malicious components. The technical focus within UNIQUE is on the development of new hardware based security functionality for hardware systems and components in general but in particular for those ICs and hardware components that provide cryptographic and security services (e.g. cryptographic co-processors, smartcards) within modern IT and communication systems. These new components can be used as security anchors in the devices they are embedded in. ICs equipped with these security anchors are referred to as security hardware. In order to address the IC counterfeiting and tampering problem comprehensively, we aim at investigating and developing a complete solution by covering all aspects starting from hardware-based crypto, security building blocks, security architectures, protocols and algorithms to system design and evaluation principles required to detect counterfeiting of or malicious components embedded in hardware. Finally, the feasibility of the developed concepts will be shown in a prototype.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.1.4 | Award Amount: 4.73M | Year: 2008

Development of hardware devices and software products is facilitated by a design flow, and a set of tools (e.g., compilers and debuggers), which automate tasks normally performed by experienced, highly skilled developers. However, in both hardware and software examples the tools are generic since they seldom provide specific support for a particular domain. The goal of this project is to design, develop and deploy a toolbox that will support the specific domain of cryptographic software engineering. Ordinarily, development of cryptographic software is a huge challenge: security and trust is mission critical and modern applications processing sensitive data typically require the deployment of sophisticated cryptographic techniques. The proposed toolbox will allow non-experts to develop high-level cryptographic applications and business models by means of cryptography-aware high-level programming languages and compilers. The description of such applications in this way will allow automatic analysis and transformation of cryptographic software to detect security critical implementation failures, e.g., software and hardware based side-channel attacks, when realizing low level cryptographic primitives and protocols. Ultimately, the end result will be better quality, more robust software at much lower cost; this provides both a clear economic benefit to the European industry in the short term, and positions it better in dealing with any future roadblocks to ICT development in the longer term.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 2.97M | Year: 2013

Aim of the Training Program (DoHip) is to meet the growing demand of Europes industry for highly trained scientists and engineers in process technology. Process Technology is fundamental for chemical, pharmaceutical, and polymer industry as well as food industry and cosmetics. High Pressure Processes like the Polyethylene Synthesis have been developed in Europe, leading to the outstanding position of European industries. Todays demand on industry is to develop sustainable products and processes. High Pressure Technology can provide the answer. In the training network knowledge on the unique possibilities of high pressure is generated. New technologies and biobased products like leather from pressure supported tanning, free of waste water containing chromium, are developed and demonstrated in science and industry. For designing new, innovative and sustainable products and processes interdisciplinary project teams will work hand in hand. This is reflected in the consortium, comprising chemical and mechanical engineers as well as natural scientists. Five leading European universities with proven records in high pressure technology (Bochum, Budapest, Graz, Maribor and Valladolid) together with one Fraunhofer institute and one SME are forming the core of DoHip. They are supported by 8 companies from 7 European countries ranging from SMEs to global players. Each partner has complementary expertise and equipment which will be combined, resulting in a unique training program. Besides the highly sophisticated training through research in high pressure technology training on complementary skills (e.g. IP, presentation skills, project management, entrepreneurship, scientific writing) will be provided. Each ESR will absolve an internship at an associated industrial partner to improve job opportunities. Researchers educated in former RTN programs are taking over mentorship for the DoHip ESRs, introducing them into the existing high pressure network across Europe.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: ICT-04-2015 | Award Amount: 4.73M | Year: 2016

Tulipp will develop a reference platform that defines implementation rules and interfaces to tackle power consumption issues while delivering high, efficient and guaranteed computing performance for image processing applications. Using this reference platform will enable designers to develop an elementary board at a reduced cost to meet typical embedded systems requirements: Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) requirements. Moreover, for less constrained systems which performance requirements cannot be fulfilled by one instance of the platform, the reference platform will also be scalable so that the resulting boards be chained for higher processing power. To demonstrate its effectiveness, an instance of the reference platform will be developed during the project. The instance of the reference platform will be use-case driven and split between the implementation of: a reference HW architecture - a scalable low-power board; a low-power operating system and image processing libraries; an energy aware tool chain. It will lead to three proof-of-concept demonstrators across different application domains: real-time and low-power medical image processing product prototype of surgical X-ray system (Mobile c-arm); embedded image processing systems within Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV); automotive real time embedded systems for driver assistance. The Tulipp approach will also give rise to advances in system integration, processing innovation and idle power management. Tulipp will closely work with standardisation organisations to propose new standards derived from its reference platform to the industry. Its consortium includes the necessary and sufficient number of partners covering all the required inter-disciplinary expertise to successfully carry out the required experimentation, integration and demonstration activities as well as to assure a manageable project structure and minimise the risks to achieve the ambitious goals of the project.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2011.2.2-4 | Award Amount: 5.19M | Year: 2012

This proposal aims at developing a new generation of novel materials for high performance permanent magnets (PM) with energy product 60 kJ/m3 <(BH)max < 160 kJ/m3, which do not contain any rare-earths or platinum. To achieve this objective two strategies will be used: a) exploitation of shape anisotropy of high magnetic moment materials produced in the form of high-aspect-ratio (>5) nanostructures by environmentally friendly synthesis methods and b) using high-throughput (HT) thin film synthesis and characterization techniques to identify new PM candidate phases. The first strategy, through the control of the nanostructure will lead to a factor of 4 increase of the coercivity (over conventional Alnico) . The second strategy will use (HT) methods to screen hundreds of possible compositions and synthesis conditions. Investigations will focus on promising candidate materials of the type {Fe-Co}-X-Y (X = other 3d or 4d metals and Y= B,C,P or N) and Heusler alloys of the type X2YZ (where X is usually Fe, Co, Ni, Cu; Y other transition metals, most often Mn; and Z a group-B element (Al, Ga, Ge, Sn...). High Ms materials that can be stabilized in tetragonal or hexagonal structures by epitaxial growth on selected substrates are the goal with magnetic anisotropies in excess of 107 ergs/cm3.This range covers a wide field of applications and represents a sizeable market fraction of over 100 M. All research will be performed taking into consideration the critical issues of toxicology and sustainability of the full life cycle of the materials from production to recycling. The consortium will generate breakthroughs to re-establish the EU as a leader in the science, technology and commercialization of this very important class of materials with a wide range of applications, helping to decrease our dependence on raw materials from abroad providing a positive socioeconomic impact and increased employability of young European scientists.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 580.50K | Year: 2016

Complications related to infectious diseases have significantly reduced, particularly in the developed countries, due to the availability and use of broad-range antibiotics and wide variety of antimicrobial agents. Excessive use of antibiotics and antimicrobial agents increased significantly the number of multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria. This has resulted in a serious threat to public health. The inexorable rise in the incidence of antibiotic resistance in bacterial pathogens, coupled with the low rate of emergence of new clinically useful antibiotics, has refocused attention on finding alternatives to overcome antimicrobial resistance. Novel strategies aiming to reduce the amount of antibiotics, but able to prevent and treat animal and human infections should be investigated, evidenced and approved. Among the various approaches, the use of graphene and its derivatives is currently considered a highly promising strategy to overcome microbial drug resistance. In line with this interest in graphene by the European Commission through the graphene flagship initiatives, we respond in this consortium by exploring the utility of novel graphene based nanocomposites for the management and better understanding of microbial infections. The anti-microbical potential of the novel graphene based nanomaterials, the possibility of using such structures for the development of non-invase therapies together with the understanding of the mechanism of action will be the main focal points of the proposed project entitled PANG, relating to Pathogen and Graphene. We have gathered the essential elements, namely different academic institutions in Europe (France, Germany, and Sweden) and their associated countries (Ukraine) as well as two European companies (Graphenea-Spain and LSO Medical-France) and one company (RS RESEARCH) in one of the associated countries (Turkey). The proposed multidisciplinary project uniquely suits high-level interdisciplinary and cross-border training.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.70M | Year: 2009

The multi-site European initial training network ENHANCE New Materials: Innovative Concepts for their Fabrication, Integration and Characterization will be established to deal with the mid and long term issues of concern to the European industry encompassing the whole spectrum of functional materials for microelectronics, nano-electronics, data storage, photovoltaic, with emphasis on emerging nano-technologies. This network consisting of 3 academic groups from chemistry 1 from physics, 3 from Material Science and Engineering and 1 industrial partners from 6 different countries of Germany, Finland, Netherlands, Italy, Denmark and Austria. Despite the exceptional importance of thin film processing of many new materials and their integration in emerging nanotechnologies, there is no systematic interdisciplinary training of students in the traditional courses of chemistry, materials science and engineering. ENHANCE aims to close this gap by combining the classical knowledge of chemistry, materials science, physics and engineering i.e. the knowledge of precursor molecules, materials properties, study of physical phenomena, to electronic devices and circuit integration. The training of ENHANCE fellows will be based on a structured 3 year academic curriculum, including, generic skills workshops and on-site research training at the state of the art laboratories, facilities under clean room conditions and a training at the industrial laboratories. This will provide the young scientists with necessary in-depth knowledge in materials synthesis and thin film processing as well as experimental skills in operating the instruments and analytical skills in different materials characterization techniques. The training concludes with European doctoral examination and will be reviewed by external experts in the field and their remarks will be addressed during the final disputation.


Epelbaum E.,Ruhr University Bochum | Krebs H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Lahde T.A.,Jülich Research Center | Lee D.,North Carolina State University | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

The excited state of the C12 nucleus known as the "Hoyle state" constitutes one of the most interesting, difficult, and timely challenges in nuclear physics, as it plays a key role in the production of carbon via fusion of three alpha particles in red giant stars. In this Letter, we present abinitio lattice calculations which unravel the structure of the Hoyle state, along with evidence for a low-lying spin-2 rotational excitation. For the C12 ground state and the first excited spin-2 state, we find a compact triangular configuration of alpha clusters. For the Hoyle state and the second excited spin-2 state, we find a "bent-arm" or obtuse triangular configuration of alpha clusters. We also calculate the electromagnetic transition rates between the low-lying states of C12. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Jaekel J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Jaekel J.,University of Warwick | Wolke D.,University of Warwick
Journal of Pediatrics | Year: 2014

Objective To evaluate whether the risk for dyscalculia in preterm children increases the lower the gestational age (GA) and whether small-for-gestational age birth is associated with dyscalculia. Study design A total of 922 children ranging from 23 to 41 weeks' GA were studied as part of a prospective geographically defined longitudinal investigation of neonatal at-risk children in South Germany. At 8 years of age, children's cognitive and mathematic abilities were measured with the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children and with a standardized mathematics test. Dyscalculia diagnoses were evaluated with discrepancy-based residuals of a linear regression predicting children's math scores by IQ and with fixed cut-off scores. We investigated each GA group's ORs for general cognitive impairment, general mathematic impairment, and dyscalculia by using binary logistic regressions. Results The risk for general cognitive and mathematic impairment increased with lower GA. In contrast, preterm children were not at increased risk of dyscalculia after statistically adjusting for child sex, family socioeconomic status, and small-for-gestational age birth. Conclusion The risk of general cognitive and mathematic impairments increases with lower GA but preterm children are not at increased risk of dyscalculia. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Camellone M.F.,Ruhr University Bochum | Camellone M.F.,CNR Institute of Materials | Marx D.,Ruhr University Bochum
Journal of Physical Chemistry C | Year: 2014

The heterogeneously catalyzed selective oxidation of alcohols has been studied by using methanol on gold nanoparticles supported on reduced titania surfaces. Our density functional theory based simulations shed light on the atomistic details of the mechanism responsible for the CH3OH oxidation toward formaldehyde, CH2O, at these complex Au/TiO2 interfaces. The selectivity and high catalytic activity of the Au/TiO2 nanocatalyst in the oxidation of methanol is traced back to the presence of active sites right at the interface between the Au nanoparticle and the TiO2 support where preadsorbed molecular oxygen is activated as a result of significant metal-support interactions. The activation of O2 at such dual perimeter sites occurs via charge transfer from Au/TiO2 leading to the formation of peroxide species, O2 δ-. These activated O2 δ- species open up an efficient low-temperature reaction channel for the oxidation of methanol to yield formaldehyde and water. © 2014 American Chemical Society.


Gussner T.,TU Darmstadt | Jost M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Adamy J.,TU Darmstadt
Systems and Control Letters | Year: 2012

In this paper, we propose a new design strategy for nonlinear systems with input saturation. The resulting nonlinear controllers are locally asymptotically stabilizing the origin. The proposed methodology is based on exact feedback linearization which is used to reformulate the nonlinear system as a linear system having state-dependent input saturation. Linear saturating state feedback controllers and soft variable-structure controllers are developed based on this system formulation. The resulting convex optimization problems can be written in terms of linear matrix inequalities and sum of squares conditions for which efficient solvers exist. Polynomial approximation based on Legendre polynomials is used to extend the methodology to a more general class of nonlinear systems. To demonstrate the benefit of this design method, a stabilizing controller for a single link manipulator with flexible joint is developed. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


-- Despite living in strong and supportive families for over 20 years, many children exposed to severe early deprivation in Romanian institutions aged 0-3 experience a range of mental health problems in early adulthood. Experiencing severe deprivation and neglect in childhood can have a lasting psychological impact into early adulthood, according to a unique study which has followed the mental health of a group of children adopted from Romanian institutions to UK families in the 1990s. Published in The Lancet, this is the first large-scale study to follow a group of children who were subjected to extreme deprivation into adulthood, tracking how their mental health and cognition has developed as a result. The English and Romanian Adoptees study began shortly after the fall of the communist regime in Romania. Children living in institutions were subjected to extremely poor hygiene, insufficient food, little personalised care and no social or cognitive stimulation. The study, running since 1990, analyses the mental health of 165 children who spent time in Romanian institutions and who were adopted by families in the UK between the ages of two weeks and 43 months. In the UK, they joined socioeconomically advantaged, stable, caring and supportive families. Comparing against 52 children adopted within the UK, the study has followed them throughout their childhood using questionnaires, IQ tests and interviews with the children and their parents to analyse social, emotional and cognitive outcomes at ages 6, 11 and 15. The latest part of the study followed the adoptees to ages 22 to 25 years old. It includes around three-quarters of the original adoptees - 39 UK adoptees, 50 Romanian adoptees who had spent less than six months in an institution as children and 72 who had spent over six months. The researchers found that the amount of time spent in a Romanian institution was an important marker of children's future mental health. Romanian adoptees who had spent less than six months had similar rates of mental health symptoms as UK adoptees. However, adoptees who had spent more time in the institutions had higher rates of social, emotional and cognitive problems throughout their lives. People who had lived in Romanian institutions for more than six months as children had higher rates of social problems including autistic features, difficulties engaging with others, inattention and overactivity which persisted from childhood into adulthood. They were also three to four times more likely to experience emotional problems as adults, and had lower educational attainment and employment rates than the other UK and Romanian adoptees. This all despite living in strong and supportive families for over 20 years. As children, more adoptees who lived in Romanian institutions for over six months had an IQ of less than 80, but this recovered within normal levels (an IQ of 90 or above) by early adulthood, suggesting developmental delays but no permanent impact on general cognitive abilities. Additionally, one in five (21%, 15 children) adoptees who spent over six months in Romanian institutions did not experience any mental health problems throughout their lives. The next steps of the research will involve an in-depth genetic analysis of the most exposed adoptees who did not develop mental health problems to distinguish whether genetic and epigenetic differences contribute to resilience. "Being exposed to very severe conditions in childhood can be associated with lasting and deep-seated social, emotional and cognitive problems, which are complex and vary over time," said lead author Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke, King's College London, UK, who conducted the follow-up study while at the University of Southampton. "This highlights the importance of assessing patients from deprived backgrounds when providing mental health support and carefully planning care when these patients transfer from child to adult mental health care. Although focussed on children adopted from Romanian institutions in the early 1990s, our findings may also be relevant to large numbers of children who are still exposed to abusive or neglectful conditions around the world." [1] Because the children were different ages when they entered institutions and lived there for different amounts of time, the study could not determine whether there is a window during childhood development when children may be more or less likely to be affected by deprivation. In addition, it cannot control for other early risk factors affecting the child's mental health, such as maternal smoking or substance abuse during pregnancy, but the authors argue that there are unlikely to be significant differences among the two groups of Romanian adoptees. Writing in a linked Comment, Professor Frank Verhulst, Erasmus University Medical Centre, The Netherlands, said: "Whatever the underlying mechanisms, the findings of Sonuga-Barke and colleagues' study elegantly support the rule of the earlier the better for improving the caregiving environment for young children whose basic needs are profoundly violated. This finding is true for millions of children around the world who are exposed to war, terrorism, violence, or mass migration. As a consequence, many young children face trauma, displacement, homelessness, or family disruption." From its beginning the study was funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council, the UK Medical Research Council, the UK Department of Health, the Jacobs Foundation and the Nuffield Foundation. It was conducted by scientists from the University of Southampton, King's College London, Ruhr University Bochum, The Amy Winehouse Foundation and the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics. [1] Quote direct from author and cannot be found in the text of the Article. IF YOU WISH TO PROVIDE A LINK FOR YOUR READERS, PLEASE USE THE FOLLOWING, WHICH WILL GO LIVE AT THE TIME THE EMBARGO LIFTS: http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(17)30045-4/fulltext


Frondel M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Frondel M.,Westphalian Institute for Economic Research
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

Estimating the degree of substitution between energy and non-energy inputs is the key for any evaluation of environmental and energy policies. Yet, given the variety of substitution elasticities, the central question arises as to which measure would be most appropriate. Apparently, Allen's elasticities of substitution have been the most-used measures in applied production analysis. In line with Frondel (2004), this paper argues that cross-price elasticities are preferable for many practical purposes. This conclusion is based on a survey of classical substitution measures, such as those from Allen, Morishima, and McFadden. The survey highlights the fact that cross-price elasticities are their essential ingredients. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


Lissek S.,Ruhr University Bochum | Glaubitz B.,Ruhr University Bochum | Uengoer M.,University of Marburg | Tegenthoff M.,Ruhr University Bochum
NeuroImage | Year: 2013

The renewal effect describes the reoccurrence of a previously extinguished response in situations where the context of extinction differs from that of acquisition, thus illustrating the context-dependency of extinction learning. A number of studies on contextual fear extinction have implicated hippocampus and vmPFC in processing and retrieval of context both during extinction learning and recall of extinction. In this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study we explored the neural correlates of the renewal effect in associative learning, using a predictive learning task that required participants to learn relations between cues and outcomes presented in particular contexts.During extinction in a novel context, compared to extinction in a context identical to the acquisition context, participants who exhibited the renewal effect (REN) showed increased activation in brain regions including bilateral posterior hippocampus and left parahippocampal gyrus. This activation pattern was absent in participants that did not show the renewal effect (NOREN). In direct comparisons between the groups, the REN group exhibited higher activation in bilateral hippocampus, while the NOREN group showed higher activation in left dlPFC (BA 46) and right anterior cingulate (BA 32).During extinction recall, stimuli that had been extinguished in a different context were again presented in the context of acquisition. Here both groups exhibited predominantly prefrontal activation, with the REN group's focus upon bilateral OFC (BA 47) and bilateral vmPFC (BA 10), while the NOREN group showed generally more widespread activation, predominantly in large clusters of dlPFC (BA 8,9,45). In a direct comparison, the REN group showed higher activation than the NOREN group in left vmPFC (BA 10), while NOREN participants exhibited more activation in dlPFC (BA 9, 46). Activation in left vmPFC during extinction recall correlated with the number of renewal effect responses, while the dlPFC activation showed a negative correlation with renewal effect responses.These results highlight the differential activation patterns of processes that will eventually produce or not produce a renewal effect, indicating that during extinction learning hippocampus encodes the relation between context and cue-outcome, while in extinction recall vmPFC is active to retrieve this association. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Schindler D.,Ruhr University Bochum | Schindler D.,University of Marburg | Nowrousian M.,Ruhr University Bochum
Fungal Genetics and Biology | Year: 2014

Filamentous ascomycetes have long been known as producers of a variety of secondary metabolites, many of which have toxic effects on other organisms. However, the role of these metabolites in the biology of the fungi that produce them remains in most cases enigmatic. A major group of fungal secondary metabolites are polyketides. They are chemically diverse, but have in common that their chemical scaffolds are synthesized by polyketide synthases (PKSs). In a previous study, we analyzed development-dependent expression of pks genes in the filamentous ascomycete Sordaria macrospora. Here, we show that a deletion mutant of the pks4 gene is sterile, producing only protoperithecia but no mature perithecia, whereas overexpression of pks4 leads to enlarged, malformed fruiting bodies. Thus, correct expression levels of pks4 are essential for wild type-like perithecia formation. The predicted PKS4 protein has a domain structure that is similar to homologs in other fungi, but conserved residues of a methyl transferase domain present in other fungi are mutated in PKS4. Expression of several developmental genes is misregulated in the pks4 mutant. Surprisingly, the development-associated app gene is not downregulated in the mutant, in contrast to all other previously studied mutants with a block at the protoperithecial stage. Our data show that the polyketide synthase gene pks4 is essential for sexual development and plays a role in regulating fruiting body morphology. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Mendonca J.T.,University of Lisbon | Shukla P.K.,Ruhr University Bochum
Physics of Plasmas | Year: 2011

We consider the excitation and dispersion of electrostatic ion-acoustic (IA) waves in a nonstationary ultra-cold neutral plasma (UCNP). This can be seen as an extension of time-refraction models of photons and plasmons to the case of low-frequency IA waves in the UCNP. It is shown that temporal changes in the medium lead to a frequency-shift of the IA wave, and to the emission of the IA waves propagating in a direction opposite to each other. We consider an arbitrary temporal variation of the background plasma density, and determine the transmission and reflection coefficients. We also consider the influence of a fast ionization process, assumed inhomogeneous in volume and show that it excites a well-defined spectrum of ion-acoustic waves, which agree very well with a recent experimental observation. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.


Moslem W.M.,Port Said University | Moslem W.M.,Ruhr University Bochum
Physics of Plasmas | Year: 2011

Progress in understanding the nonlinear Langmuir rogue waves which accompany collisionless electron-positron (e-p) plasmas is presented. The nonlinearity of the system results from the nonlinear coupling between small, but finite, amplitude Langmuir waves and quasistationary density perturbations in an e-p plasma. The nonlinear Schrödinger equation is derived for the Langmuir waves' electric field envelope, accounting for small, but finite, amplitude quasistationary plasma slow motion describing the Langmuir waves' ponderomotive force. Numerical calculations reveal that the rogue structures strongly depend on the electron/positron density and temperature, as well as the group velocity of the envelope wave. The present study might be helpful to understand the excitation of nonlinear rogue pulses in astrophysical environments, such as in active galactic nuclei, in pulsar magnetospheres, in neutron stars, etc. © 2011 American Institute of Physics.


Shekhah O.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Liu J.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Fischer R.A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Woll C.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2011

The applications and potentials of thin film coatings of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) supported on various substrates are discussed in this critical review. Because the demand for fabricating such porous coatings is rather obvious, in the past years several synthesis schemes have been developed for the preparation of thin porous MOF films. Interestingly, although this is an emerging field seeing a rapid development a number of different applications on MOF films were either already demonstrated or have been proposed. This review focuses on the fabrication of continuous, thin porous films, either supported on solid substrates or as free-standing membranes. The availability of such two-dimensional types of porous coatings opened the door for a number of new perspectives for functionalizing surfaces. Also for the porous materials themselves, the availability of a solid support to which the MOF-films are rigidly (in a mechanical sense) anchored provides access to applications not available for the typical MOF powders with particle sizes of a few μm. We will also address some of the potential and applications of thin films in different fields like luminescence, QCM-based sensors, optoelectronics, gas separation and catalysis. A separate chapter has been devoted to the delamination of MOF thin films and discusses the potential to use them as free-standing membranes or as nano-containers. The review also demonstrates the possibility of using MOF thin films as model systems for detailed studies on MOF-related phenomena, e.g. adsorption and diffusion of small molecules into MOFs as well as the formation mechanism of MOFs (101 references). © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Zacher D.,Ruhr University Bochum | Schmid R.,Ruhr University Bochum | Woll C.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Fischer R.A.,Ruhr University Bochum
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

MOFs on surfaces: Many parameters need to be considered in the formation of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs; see structures) at the liquid-solid interface. The methods and growth mechanisms for the layer-by-layer deposition of MOFs on functional materials, the homo- and heteroepitaxial deposition of MOF heterocrystals, and the coordination modulation of MOF surfaces are reviewed. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Liu B.,Ruhr University Bochum | Shekhah O.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Arslan H.K.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Liu J.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Stuck on you: Preferred (110) and (001) orientation of enantiopure [{Zn 2((+)cam) 2(dabco)} n] ((+)cam=(1R,3S)-(+)- camphoric acid, dabco=1,4-diazabicyclo(2.2.2)octane) thin films can be controlled by carboxylate and pyridyl groups on self-assembled monolayers (SAMs). With a quartz crystal microbalance, the enantioselective adsorption of enantiomeric hexanediol pairs by enantiopure surface-attached metal-organic frameworks (SURMOF) [Zn 2((±)cam) 2(dabco)] pairs can be demonstrated (see picture). Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Furche F.,University of California at Irvine | Ahlrichs R.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Hattig C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Klopper W.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Molecular Science | Year: 2014

Turbomole is a highly optimized software package for large-scale quantum chemical simulations of molecules, clusters, and periodic solids. Turbomole uses Gaussian basis sets and specializes on predictive electronic structure methods with excellent cost to performance characteristics, such as (time-dependent) density functional theory (TDDFT), second-order Møller-Plesset theory, and explicitly correlated coupled cluster (CC) methods. These methods are combined with ultraefficient and numerically stable algorithms such as integral-direct and Laplace transform methods, resolution-of-the-identity, pair natural orbitals, fast multipole, and low-order scaling techniques. Apart from energies and structures, a variety of optical, electric, and magnetic properties are accessible from analytical energy derivatives for electronic ground and excited states. Recent additions include post-Kohn-Sham calculations within the random phase approximation, periodic calculations, spin-orbit couplings, explicitly correlated CC singles doubles and perturbative triples methods, CC singles doubles excitation energies, and nonadiabatic molecular dynamics simulations using TDDFT. A dedicated graphical user interface and a user support network are also available. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Schultz T.,Ruhr University Bochum | Ezeanosike E.,Federal Teaching Hospital | Dick H.B.,Ruhr University Bochum
Journal of Refractive Surgery | Year: 2013

PURPOSE: To report femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery in pediatric Marfan syndrome. METHODS: Case report. RESULTS: A 10-year-old boy with ectopia lentis due to Marfan syndrome underwent femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery (Catalys Precision Laser System; OptiMedica, Sunnyvale, CA) under general anesthesia. Anterior capsulotomy was performed on the decentered lens. Routine irrigation/aspiration devices were used for lens and cortex removal. Centration of the capsular bag was achieved using a Cionni scleral fi xation ring. A foldable intraocular lens was implanted. A free-positioned and precise sized capsulotomy was cut by the femtosecond laser. No intraoperative or postoperative complications were observed within the 10 weeks of follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: The use of a femtosecond laser has potential to perform a circular, well-centered capsulotomy for subsequent capsular tension ring and intraocular lens implantation without decentration in patients with Marfan syndrome. Copyright © SLACK Incorporated.


Bjerg L.,University of Aarhus | Madsen G.K.H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Iversen B.B.,University of Aarhus
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2011

Zinc antimonides are interesting as thermoelectric materials, since their constituents are relatively cheap and abundant, and a number of compounds have exhibited good thermoelectric figures of merit. This paper focuses on theoretical studies of BaZn2Sb2, CaZn2Sb 2, and ZnSb using density functional theory. In all compounds, a gap at the Fermi level is found which can be rationalized using the Zintl-Klemm principle. On the basis of electronic structure calculations, the transport properties are calculated using Boltzmann transport theory. BaZn 2Sb2 as both p and n-type is found to have favorable properties along the b-axis. ZnSb was predicted to have favorable thermoelectric properties as n-type. Minima in the lowest conduction band in ZnSb are rationalized as stemming from increased bonding between distant neighbors at special k-points. By comparing the calculated transport properties to experimental measurements from literature, the carrier concentrations, band gaps, and relaxation times of the compounds are determined and the relevance of a constant κl/τ approximation is discussed. © 2011 American Chemical Society.


Hofheinz D.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Kiltz E.,Ruhr University Bochum
Journal of Cryptology | Year: 2012

We introduce a new combinatorial primitive called programmable hash functions (PHFs). PHFs can be used to program the output of a hash function such that it contains solved or unsolved discrete logarithm instances with a certain probability. This is a technique originally used for security proofs in the random oracle model. We give a variety of standard model realizations of PHFs (with different parameters). The programmability makes PHFs a suitable tool to obtain black-box proofs of cryptographic protocols when considering adaptive attacks. We propose generic digital signature schemes from the strong RSA problem and from some hardness assumption on bilinear maps that can be instantiated with any PHF. Our schemes offer various improvements over known constructions. In particular, for a reasonable choice of parameters, we obtain short standard model digital signatures over bilinear maps. © International Association for Cryptologic Research 2011.


Pospech J.,Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock | Fleischer I.,Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock | Franke R.,Evonik Industries | Franke R.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 2 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2013

Transition-metal-catalyzed hydroformylation reactions constitute one of the most powerful tools for C-C bond formation in organic synthesis and represent an outstanding example of the application of homogeneous catalysis on an industrial scale. This process allows for the straightforward conversion of inexpensive chemical feedstock into broadly applicable aldehydes, which serve as major building blocks for numerous chemical products. These products are highly valuable for the chemical industry and used as plasticizers, detergents, and surfactants on a million ton scale. Moreover, aldehydes serve as versatile chemical intermediates for the production of fine chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Currently, most of the bulk hydroformylation processes rely on rhodium-based catalysts. The increasing demand and resulting high cost of this precious metal has resulted in alternative transition-metal catalysts becoming highly desirable. The following Review summarizes the progress achieved utilizing Ru, Ir, Pd, Pt, and Fe catalysts in hydroformylation reactions. New possibilities: There is a growing awareness that organometallic complexes based on ruthenium, iridium, palladium, and even iron as the central metal offer new opportunities for catalytic hydroformylations (see scheme; TM=transition metal). Research from the past few decades is critically summarized in this Review. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Meinecke M.,University of Osnabrück | Meinecke M.,University of Cambridge | Cizmowski C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Schliebs W.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 4 more authors.
Nature Cell Biology | Year: 2010

The peroxisomal protein import machinery differs fundamentally from known translocons (endoplasmic reticulum, mitochondria, chloroplasts, bacteria) as it allows membrane passage of folded, even oligomerized proteins. However, the mechanistic principles of protein translocation across the peroxisomal membrane remain unknown. There are various models that consider membrane invagination events, vesicle fusion or the existence of large import pores. Current data show that a proteinaceous peroxisomal importomer enables docking of the cytosolic cargo-loaded receptors, cargo translocation and receptor recycling. Remarkably, the cycling import receptor Pex5p changes its topology from a soluble cytosolic form to an integral membrane-bound form. According to the transient pore hypothesis, the membrane-bound receptor is proposed to form the core component of the peroxisomal import pore. Here, we demonstrate that the membrane-associated import receptor Pex5p together with its docking partner Pex14p forms a gated ion-conducting channel which can be opened to a diameter of about 9nm by the cytosolic receptor-cargo complex. The newly identified pore shows striking dynamics, as expected for an import machinery translocating proteins of variable sizes. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Harbauer A.B.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Zahedi R.P.,Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences | Sickmann A.,Leibniz Institute for Analytical Sciences | Sickmann A.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 2 more authors.
Cell Metabolism | Year: 2014

Mitochondria fulfill central functions in bioenergetics, metabolism, and apoptosis. They import more than 1,000 different proteins from the cytosol. It had been assumed that the protein import machinery is constitutively active and not subject to detailed regulation. However, recent studies indicate that mitochondrial protein import is regulated at multiple levels connected to cellular metabolism, signaling, stress, and pathogenesis of diseases. Here, we discuss the molecular mechanisms of import regulation and their implications for mitochondrial homeostasis. The protein import activity can function as a sensor of mitochondrial fitness and provides a direct means of regulating biogenesis, composition, and turnover of the organelle. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Bjerg L.,University of Aarhus | Madsen G.K.H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Iversen B.B.,University of Aarhus
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2012

Several efficient thermoelectric materials have been found among the ternary Zintl antimonides. If the band structure is highly asymmetric around the band gap, the efficiency as either n- or p-type may differ significantly. The Zintl antimonides have generally been found to be p-type. Surprisingly, this also holds true for the narrow band gap binary ZnSb and Zn 4Sb 3. Using ab initio calculations, we investigate intrinsic point defects in ZnSb as a possible origin of the p-type conductivity. Only Zn vacancies are found to be present in significant amounts at room temperature. The low formation energy of negatively charged Zn defects pins the electronic chemical potential to the lower part of the band gap leading to intrinsic ZnSb being p-type. We discuss this finding as a general explanation of p-type conductivity in Zintl antimonides, and how to overcome the doping limits in these materials. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Kunz O.,Ruhr University Bochum | Kunz O.,RWE Supply and Trading GmbH | Wagner W.,Ruhr University Bochum
Journal of Chemical and Engineering Data | Year: 2012

A new equation of state for the thermodynamic properties of natural gases, similar gases, and other mixtures, the GERG-2008 equation of state, is presented in this work. This equation is an expanded version of the GERG-2004 equation. GERG-2008 is explicit in the Helmholtz free energy as a function of density, temperature, and composition. The equation is based on 21 natural gas components: methane, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, ethane, propane, n-butane, isobutane, n-pentane, isopentane, n-hexane, n-heptane, n-octane, n-nonane, n-decane, hydrogen, oxygen, carbon monoxide, water, hydrogen sulfide, helium, and argon. Over the entire composition range, GERG-2008 covers the gas phase, liquid phase, supercritical region, and vapor-liquid equilibrium states for mixtures of these components. The normal range of validity of GERG-2008 includes temperatures from (90 to 450) K and pressures up to 35 MPa where the most accurate experimental data of the thermal and caloric properties are represented to within their accuracy. The extended validity range reaches from (60 to 700) K and up to 70 MPa. The given numerical information (including all of the sophisticated derivatives) enables the use of GERG-2008 for all of the various technical applications. Examples are processing, transportation through pipelines or by shipping, storage and liquefaction of natural gas, and processes to separate gas components. Comparisons with other equations of state, for example, AGA8-DC92 and Peng-Robinson equation (P-R), are also presented. GERG-2008 will be adopted as an ISO Standard (ISO 20765-2/3) for natural gases. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Gonzalez-Gallardo S.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Bollermann T.,Ruhr University Bochum | Fischer R.A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Murugavel R.,Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

A study was conducted to demonstrate ligands in coordination chemistry and link between metal rich molecules and intermetallic materials. It was demonstrated that the coordination chemistry of RE ligands initially focused on transition-metal carbonyl substitution reactions yielding stable and kinetically inert complexes that simultaneously contained CO and RE ligands. The coordination chemistry of these ligands was expanded to complexes of s-, p-, and f-block metals, stabilizing electrophilic metal centers, such as Ca, Mg, and lanthanides. The stability, isolability, and ease of handling of the low-coordinated compounds RE provided them with significant potential as ligands toward transition metals. It was essential to analyze the frontier orbitals of the RE compounds, along with their interaction with the corresponding orbitals of the appropriate symmetry at the transition metals for a better understanding.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 702.00K | Year: 2016

Fueled by a string of high profile attacks and recent revelations about unprecedented cyber surveillance, interest in systems security is rising-not just among industry and governments, but even among individual citizens across Europe. Corporate organizations worry about the viability of their businesses, nation states about cyber attacks by other nation states or terrorist groups, and citizens about the trustworthiness of the ICT infrastructures. The long list of recent security incidents is eroding peoples trust in the digital economy and shows that more research is needed. Unfortunately, expertise is fragmented across many places, while the exchange of knowledge is lacking. If one group specializes in code-reuse attacks and another in embedded systems, ideally they should team up to detect code-reuse vulnerabilities in embedded devices. Today, however, the flow of ideas is limited to publications and ad-hoc collaborations. A more efficient exchange would occur if a researcher temporarily joins the other group to collaborate directly on-site. Over the past few years Europe has created several world-class research centers in systems security. They publish in the most prestigious venues and have a significant impact on both the scientific community and society at large. Nevertheless, in terms of numbers, most top groups are still in the US and the ability to collaborate with them would be a tremendous boost for security research in Europe. We plan to foster such collaborations by supporting researchers from European institutes to spend time with their American counterparts in top universities. We will gather the research results in a repository that links all the exchanges and provides a valuable input for collaborative projects in itself. We will focus our research efforts on both advanced attacks (e.g., exploits, malware, and exfiltration techniques), and defenses (e.g., developing secure software and protecting resource-constrained devices).


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2007.1.4 | Award Amount: 4.08M | Year: 2008

ECRYPT II is a NoE in the area of cryptology with a duration of 54 months. Cryptology is the science that studies mathematical techniques in order to provide secrecy, authenticity and related properties for digital information including the secure implementations of these techniques. It is an interdisciplinary research area with a high strategic impact for European industry and for the society as a whole. It is a fundamental enabler for secure, dependable and trusted infrastructures. The ECRYPT II research roadmap is motivated by the changing environment and threat models in which cryptology is deployed, by the gradual erosion of the computational difficulty of the mathematical problems on which cryptology is based, and by the requirements of new applications and cryptographic implementations. Its main objective is to ensure a durable integration of European research in both academia and industry and to maintain and strengthen the European excellence in these areas. In order to reach this goal, 11 leading players propose to integrate their research capabilities within three virtual labs focusing on symmetric key algorithms, public key algorithms and protocols, and hardware and software implementation. They will be joined by more than 20 adjoint members to the network who will closely collaborate with the core partners. ECRYPT II plans to build on an expand the integration activities developed within ECRYPT that include joint workshops, exchange of researchers and students, development of common tools and benchmarks and a website and forum which will be a focal point for the network and the wider cryptographic community. Spreading activities will include a training program, a substantial contribution towards standardization, bodies and an active publication policy. The project team has the critical mass and breadth to address the key questions in these areas.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.81M | Year: 2015

As wind energy is considered one of the most promising renewable energy resources, energy production technologies relying on wind energy are currently flourishing under the EU ambitious plan for 2020. Market demands to prepare a generation of researchers within the EU that are able to face the challenge of fulfilling the EU ambitious plan, to sustain the production of wind energy and to innovate and promote wind energy systems (WES) for the future needs, are clearly met in AEOLUS4FUTURE. The primary research aim is to develop a sustainable WES for a variety of EU needs. There are a number of detailed scientific and technical issues that will be addressed by the project starting from identifying the wind energy potential (off-shore and on-shore, including the built environment) to the design of a sustainable and highly efficient WES. Also the new challenging load conditions imposed on wind farms located on places where existing type of wind turbine towers are not suitable require the development of new type of support structures for wind energy converters. This fosters new structural concepts taking advantage of high performance materials e.g. high strength steel and novel maintenance free fasteners. In addition, while most research efforts and practical applications of wind energy have focused on large-scale wind installations in remote offshore or onshore areas, much less attention has been given to wind energy installations near buildings. The project has a major training aim to create technical experts who will be able to lead the necessary industrial developments in the WES, and have a broad overview of a new and emerging multi-disciplinary field. The project will thus enable a number of young scientists and engineers to obtain high level training in various technical aspects of the problem, to gain an overall understanding of how this work fits into the wider EU Directives and plans for the future and in doing so to improve their career prospects.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.47M | Year: 2016

Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinsons disease, are a major public health issue given the aging population in Europe and beyond. While curative pharmacological treatment of these diseases is not in sight, cell replacement therapies (CTs) are considered very promising, in particular with the advent of stem-cell reprogramming technologies. However, a fundamental challenge in the medical application of CTs in the brain of patients lies in the lack of control of cell behaviour at the site of transplantation, and particularly their differentiation and oriented growth. The aim of this project is to introduce a fundamentally new concept for remote control of cellular functions by means of magnetic manipulation. The technology is based on magnetic nanoparticles functionalized with proteins involved in cellular signalling cascades. These biofunctionalized MNPs (bMNPs) will be delivered into target cells, where they act as intracellular signalling platforms activatable in a spatially and temporally controlled manner by external magnetic fields. The project will focus on engineering these tools for the control of neuronal cell programming and fibre outgrowth by hijacking Wnt and neurotrophin signalling, respectively, with the ulti-mate objective of advancing cell replacement therapies for PD using dopaminergic precursor neurons. To achieve this ambitious goal, we have gathered an interdisciplinary consortium interfacing scientists having cutting-edge know-how in bMNP engineering, surface functionalization and cellular nanobiophysics with renowned experts in neuronal cell differentiation, stem-cell reprogramming and regenerative (nano-)medicine. By exploiting this complementary expertise, a novel, versatile technology for magnetic control of intracellular signalling is envis-aged, which will be a breakthrough for remote actuation of cellular functions and its successful implementation in CTs for neurodegenerative diseases and injuries within the following decade.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.4.2-1 | Award Amount: 2.89M | Year: 2014

The project Media, Conflict and Democratisation investigates the role of traditional media and ICTs in conflicts that accompany and follow transitions to democracy. Our research focuses on three major arenas of contentious politics in emerging democracies: constitutional conflicts, accountability conflicts and election conflicts. We argue that the media cannot be sufficiently understood in isolation, but have to be seen as part of an arena of public contestation that is occupied by multiple actors, each of which thriving to dominate the interpretations and outcomes of ongoing conflicts. Thus, the project aims to investigate The way in which traditional media in emerging democracies portray conflicts and whether media coverage contributes to the polarisation or moderation of divisions The diffusion of conflict messages through new ICTs; The role perceptions, ethics and working practices of journalists in conflict situations; The communication behaviour of conflict parties governments, political leaders, civil society groups during conflicts and how communications heightens or ameliorates tensions The empirical research will be carried out in four emerging democracies: Serbia, Egypt, Kenya and South Africa. These countries were chosen because their political development is of great significance for the respective geographical region in which they are located. All four countries have experienced severe democratisation conflicts, but represent distinct contexts that help to understand how cultural, political and social factors shape the role of the media in democratisation conflicts. The project will closely work together with relevant stakeholders to develop recommendations for communication interventions that help to prevent conflicts and provide strategies for effective conflict management and conflict resolution. In particular, we will provide knowledge and skills as to how ICT tools can be used for effective communication management during conflicts


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: REFLECTIVE-5-2015 | Award Amount: 2.49M | Year: 2016

The main purpose of this project is to deliver new empirical yet also theoretically informed knowledge of those memory agents, practices and contexts capable of countering fixed and essentialist war and conflict memories, opening them to reflexive reinterpretation and change. Theoretically, the project will develop the concept of an agonistic ethico-political mode of remembering as distinct from the antagonistic and cosmopolitan modes, and provide a thick description of their defining characteristics. A related aim is to assess which of the two reflective modes, the cosmopolitan or the agonistic, best contributes to a shared European ethico-political framework and transnational solidarity. Empirically, the project will test the different ethico-political modes of remembering in contemporary heritage discourses and practices by different memory milieus located at various territorial scales in relation to some of the armed conflicts of the 20th century with an enduring legacy. By exploring the relationship between 1) the modes of remembering being negotiated and contested in various European settings; 2) the memory agents promoting them (heritage professionals, policy-makers, historians, creative artists, socio-political activists); and 3) material and immaterial heritage (museums, burial sites, media, visual and written culture), the project will assess how, why and in which contexts certain modes of remembering the violent past are able to prevail as well as their articulation with various territorial identities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-20-2014 | Award Amount: 3.26M | Year: 2015

Heat management is a paramount challenge in many cutting edge technologies, including new GaN electronic technology, turbine thermal coatings, resistive memories, or thermoelectrics. Further progress requires the help of accurate modeling tools that can predict the performance of new complex materials integrated in these increasingly demanding novel devices. However, there is currently no general predictive approach to tackle the complex multiscale modeling of heat flow through such nano and micro-structured systems. The state of the art, our predictive approach ShengBTE.org, currently covers the electronic and atomistic scales, going directly from them to predict the macroscopic thermal conductivity of homogeneous bulk materials, but it does not tackle a mesoscopic structure. This project will extend this predictive approach into the mesoscale, enabling it to fully describe thermal transport from the electronic ab initio level, through the atomistic one, all the way into the mesoscopic structure level, within a single model. The project is a 6 partner effort with complementary fields of expertise, 3 academic and 3 from industry. The widened approach will be validated against an extensive range of test case scenarios, including carefully designed experimental measurements taken during the project. The project will deliver a professional multiscale software permitting, for the first time, the prediction of heat flux through complex structured materials of industrial interest. The performance of the modeling tool will be then demonstrated in an industrial setting, to design a new generation of substrates for power electronics based on innovating layered materials. This project is expected to have large impacts in a wide range of industrial applications, particularly in the rapidly evolving field of GaN based power electronics, and in all new technologies where thermal transport is a key issue.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETHPC-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2015

To handle the stringent performance requirements of future exascale High Performance Computing (HPC) applications, HPC systems need ultra-efficient heterogeneous compute nodes. To reduce power and increase performance, such compute nodes will require reconfiguration as an intrinsic feature, so that specific HPC application features can be optimally accelerated at all times, even if they regularly change over time. In the EXTRA project, we create a new and flexible exploration platform for developing reconfigurable architectures, design tools and HPC applications with run-time reconfiguration built-in from the start. The idea is to enable the efficient co-design and joint optimization of architecture, tools, applications, and reconfiguration technology in order to prepare for the necessary HPC hardware nodes of the future. The project EXTRA covers the complete chain from architecture up to the application: More coarse-grain reconfigurable architectures that allow reconfiguration on higher functionality levels and therefore provide much faster reconfiguration than at the bit level. The development of just-in time synthesis tools that are optimized for fast (but still efficient) re-synthesis of application phases to new, specialized implementations through reconfiguration. The optimization of applications that maximally exploit reconfiguration. Suggestions for improvements to reconfigurable technologies to enable the proposed reconfiguration of the architectures. In conclusion, EXTRA focuses on the fundamental building blocks for run-time reconfigurable exascale HPC systems: new reconfigurable architectures with very low reconfiguration overhead, new tools that truly take reconfiguration as a design concept, and applications that are tuned to maximally exploit run-time reconfiguration techniques. Our goal is to provide the European platform for run-time reconfiguration to maintain Europes competitive edge and leadership in run-time reconfigurable computing.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP-2008-1.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.86M | Year: 2009

The main scientific objective of the project is to enhance the understanding of the fundamental principles for controlling electron transfer reactions between nanoparticles (NPs), carbon nanotubes (CNTs), their assemblies confined into three-dimensional (3D) microscale networks, conductive nano/-microporous silicone (NMPSi) chips and different bioelements, such as glucose oxidising and oxygen reducing enzymes. The technological objective of the project is to construct potentially implantable microscale self-contained wireless biodevices working in different biomatrices, e.g. blood, plasma, saliva. Novel biodevices will be constructed by combination of glucose and oxygen sensitive biosensors powered by biofuel cells, all made from 3D nanobiostructured materials and operated by wireless microtransmitter/transducer system. To produce 3D microscale devices with superior characteristics mathematical modelling of their performance will be compared against experimentally determined parameters. Nanowiring of appropriate redox enzymes with NPs, CNTs, proper surface modifications, and use of Os and Ru redox complexes, are chosen as a major direction to solve main obstacles in the area of bioelectronics, i.e. poor electronic communication between the biocomponents and the electronic elements along with insufficient operational stability. The 3D structure of nanobiodevices will provide very high efficiency and stability along with their miniaturisation for successful application in biomedicine and health care. The developed, wireless self-contained and potentially implantable, 3D nanobiostructure-based devices will be used to improve quality of life and increase safety in case of widely occurring chronic diseases. Moreover, in the long-term, 3D nanobiostructure-based elements will be essential for constructing devices to be used for neuron/nerve stimulations and compensation of human disabilities.


Hattig C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Klopper W.,Karlsruhe Institute of Technology | Kohn A.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Tew D.P.,University of Bristol
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

A comprehensive review of explicitly correlated approaches, beginning with the early ideas and methods and progressing to the state of the art of the field, is presented. Antisymmetric wave functions correlate electrons over and above the correlation present in a Hartree product description. The energetic consequences of Fermi correlation and the strength of mixing of states due to Coulombic interactions both depend on the internuclear separation. Pack and Byers Brown's analysis may be applied to the HartreeFock equations for the orbitals in a Slater determinant wave function, showing that the electronnucleus coalescence conditions apply to each orbital individually. The Hylleraas, Hy-CI, and ECG methods aim at reaching ultimate accuracy for few-electron atoms and small molecules. Persson and Taylor suggested to fit the electronelectron distance with only a few Gaussian functions with good accuracy.


Franke R.,Evonik Industries | Franke R.,Ruhr University Bochum | Selent D.,Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock | Borner A.,Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock | Borner A.,University of Rostock
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2012

Special reviews were dedicated to spectroscopic aspects of catalysts and catalytic intermediates. In 2008, Haumann and Riisager summarized recent developments in the area of hydroformylation in room-temperature ionic liquids (RTIL). Especially the production of high-boiling aldehydes or alcohols from long-chain and branched olefins remains a domain of cobalt catalysis. There are still some patent activities in this area from Shell, which indicates a renewed interest. One of the main differences between all of these large-scale rhodium-catalyzed hydroformylations is the technology used to separate the product and the catalyst with the aim of reusing the metal. The lifetime of a catalyst charge may exceed 1 year under the condition that sufficient purity of the feed and careful process control is guaranteed.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EID | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-EID | Award Amount: 2.79M | Year: 2015

In BIOCASCADES, nine early-stage researchers (ESRs) will investigate the development of sustainable (chemo)enzymatic cascade reactions under the green chemistry philosophy. The proposed BIOCASCADES project combines different techniques such as compartmentalization, protein engineering and reaction engineering in order to develop commercially viable and environmentally benign one pot reactions. By avoiding intermediate downstream- and purification-steps, cascade reactions minimize production costs, energy demand and waste production and are thus expected to make a major contribution for the development of sustainable and efficient production processes. Small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are emerging as main drivers of European Research. They are dynamic, explore new areas and create new ideas, while large companies rely more and more on outsourcing research or involving SMEs by joint ventures. However, small companies are not strong enough as stand-alone enterprises, which requires them to form networks with other SMEs and academia. This creates a strong demand for young researchers who can move freely in an international and interdisciplinary environment. In a tailor-made training program BIOCASCADES aims to provide the nine early stage researchers with specific scientific and transferable skills for careers in the highly dynamic European biotechnology sector. Training at leading laboratories of biocatalysis will develop their scientific skills, while secondments to the industry and specific workshops will develop their entrepreneurship. The graduates of this doctorate program will be highly qualified for collaborative research between European academia and industry. The consortium is formed by leading academic laboratories from biocatalysis and protein engineering together with a network of four innovative biotech companies. By combining their versatile expertise, the consortium can achieve a success that would not be possible in isolated projects.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2014 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2015

This project analyzes Jews in Eastern Christian communities and Eastern Christian sources, beyond the Byzantine context, namely, relations between Jews and Christian communities in the Middle East Central Asia, the Caucasus, Ethiopia, and South India. In order to obtain a truly accurate understanding of the dynamics of Jewish-Christian relations in the non-Latin world during the Middle Ages, these various regions and traditions must be studied together because they were all profoundly interconnected through the exchange and translation of texts, artistic motifs and techniques, and other goods, via long-distance trade along the silk road, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean, which, of course, also entailed the movement and encounter of peoples, Jews and Christians among them. The research team endeavors to answer four intertwined questions: 1) what we can know about actual real-life interactions between Jews and a variety of Eastern Christian communities; 2) what were the meanings and functions of invented or rhetorical Jewish identities; 3) what is the significance of Jewish-Christian polemics, both written and visual, in lands or among communities where: a) there were supposedly few to no Jews, or Jewish identity was invented; b) there were Jewish and Christian communities who had the opportunity to be in regular contact with one another; 4) how were Christian stories, laws, biblical interpretations, or motifs in which Jews featured prominently, or Jewish tales and motifs about Christians transformed as they were transported from one cultural milieu to another? Because scholars have examined Jewish relations with Christians, and even Muslims primarily in the context of uneven power relationships; namely Jewish-Christian relations in Western Europe or Byzantium, or Jewish-Muslim relations in the Islamic one leaving Jewish-Christian relations untouched apart from shared communal structures, this project opens a new field.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.47M | Year: 2008

To achieve energy generation from sustainable resources the production of bio mass and the hydrogen economy are now featured worldwide with a tremendous effort. The processes for producing and cleaning of bio and hydrogen gas mixtures will be performed under elevated or high pressures. The design and performing as well as the control of those processes will generate an increasing demand for in Situ high pressure concentration measuring. Up to now no accurate instruments or even measuring methods are available for this purpose. To perform high pressure concentration measuring the usual treatment is to expand the fluid mixtures down to ambient or very low pressure, which has many disadvantages and may even be not possible in certain cases. The goal of the ProBio-HySens project is the development and combination of sensors for measuring optical, thermo physical and electro magnetic properties, to achieve an in Situ high pressure concentration measuring in bio and hydrogen gas mixtures. To reach this main goal the development of new high pressure in Situ sensors and of a high pressure Gas Mixture Generating and Sensor Calibration apparatus (GMG-SC) is required. This instrumentation will allow the first time to analyze multi component gas mixtures in Situ under process conditions up to 200 C and 20 MPa may be even 50 MPa. It avoids devices for sampling, pressure reduction and control which have to be used up to now. Thereby no blocking of valves and tubings by condensation, freezing or precipitation will occur any more. More over it avoids sophisticated, time and cost consuming analyzers requiring intermediately high calibration efforts. The new senor modules will be robust and reliable and range between very economic versions to high end solutions. They will be specially tailored for bio and hydrogen gas mixtures but being also applicable to all other kind of fluid mixtures including super critical fluids if a pressure range up to 50 MPa is reached.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2012.5.2.2 | Award Amount: 5.57M | Year: 2013

IMPACTS - The impact of the quality of CO2 on transport and storage behaviour will underpin the realisation of the EU CCS European Industrial Initiative implementation plan by developing knowledge and technology needed for Carbon Dioxide Capture, Transport and Storage (CCS) pilots and large-scale demonstrations. IMPACTS is linked to demonstration projects, and will therefore benefit from realistic data, adequate framework conditions and relevant cases provided by the projects. The objective of IMPACTS is to develop the CO2 quality knowledge base required for defining recommendations to ensure safe and reliable design, construction and operation of CO2 pipelines and injection equipment, and safe long-term geological storage of CO2. This will support the objectives of the Innovation Union and the competitiveness of the European CCS industry. The work will combine experimental and modelling work and, among others, the following scientific and technological objectives will be pursued: - To quantify fundamental properties of relevant CO2 mixtures. This includes phase behaviour, thermodynamics, fluid flow and chemical reactions. - To reveal the impacts of relevant impurities in the CO2 stream on the design and operation of the transport and storage infrastructure through techno-economic assessments. - To derive CO2 quality issues while considering integrity of the whole CCS chain. - To provide recommendations for optimized CO2 quality on a case-by-case basis in the form of tolerance levels, mixing protocols and material selection. - To build knowledge critical for implementation of optimized safe and cost-efficient transport and storage of CO2.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2011

One of the most promising green processes for power and combined heat generation is the production of hydrogen and biogas by gasification of biomass or organic waste. Especially if the tremendous amount of existing organic waste can be used for gasification, these processes become both, ecologically and economically extremely interesting. Gasification processes are performed under elevated or high temperatures and ambient or elevated pressures. A special gasification and evolved gas refinery treatment becomes indispensable if different kind of organic waste will be used. Therefore many new processing treatments have to be developed which will constitute a rising demand for laboratory scale gasification process analyzers as well as in Situ high temperature concentration sensors. The goal of this project is a new laboratory gasification process analyzer including several new in Situ high temperature concentration sensors for process application in a broad temperature and pressure range. The analyzer consists of a gravimetric pyrolyzer to determine the time dependent reaction rates of gasification processes under industry-oriented conditions and a following catalyser unit for gas refinery treatment investigation. For high temperature concentration sensors different optical methods like UV/VIS, NIR, Raman and FTIR spectroscopy will be applied and several electro ceramic and piezo electric sensors for impedance, thermal conductivity, heat capacity, VOS and calorific value will be developed. This project will educe an universal gasification processes analyser allowing an experimental simulation of industrial gasification processes in laboratory scale and providing various kind of high temperature sensors for process use at all scales. It will be an essential step to optimise current processes and develop new ways of combined heat and power generation for all kind of existing organic waste and bio mass.


News Article | January 26, 2016
Site: cen.acs.org

Researchers have used probe microscopy techniques to drive and then watch a chemical reaction proceed in both directions at a single-molecule level (Nat. Chem. 2016, DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2438). Leo Gross of IBM Research Zurich and coworkers there and at the University of Santiago de Compostela used scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) to push a molecule to react and atomic force microscopy (AFM) to image atomic-level details of that molecule as it formed radical intermediates and a final product. The technique could allow chemists to initiate radical reactions by manipulating molecules at an atomic level, the researchers say. They note that the approach could be useful not only for making new chemical reactions possible but also for assembling functional molecules for molecular electronic devices and other applications. The team chose to study a version of the Bergman cyclization, a molecular rearrangement discovered by Robert G. Bergman of the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972, while at California Institute of Technology. In the reaction, an enediyne forms a diradical intermediate that then takes on two hydrogens to form a cyclized product. Some anticancer drugs, such as calicheamicin, work by cleaving DNA through the reaction. In 2003, Felix R. Fischer and Michael F. Crommie of UC Berkeley used AFM to observe an enediyne cyclize by a similar reaction mechanism (Science 2013, DOI: 10.1126/science.1238187 and C&EN, June 3, 2013, page 7). In that work, the researchers heated the molecule to make the reaction occur. In the new study, Gross and coworkers used voltage pulses from an STM probe to break first one and then another C–Br bond in the tricyclic compound 9,10-dibromoanthracene to form mono- and then diradical intermediates. The salt surface on which the researchers ran the reaction stabilized the radicals, allowing for AFM imaging. They then used another voltage pulse to convert the diradical to a bicyclic diyne. The overall process is a ring-opening retro-Bergman reaction with an extra monoradical step that is not actually part of the Bergman mechanism. The researchers also demonstrated the reversible nature of the reaction by jolting the diyne to re-form the diradical intermediate. The IBM study “is a real breakthrough,” says Wolfram Sander of Ruhr University Bochum, a chemist who studies reaction intermediates. The ability to visualize and push the system in both reaction directions “is a great achievement,” he says. Peter Chen of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, also a reactive intermediates expert, notes that the technique “allows the chemist to initiate the reaction of a single molecule and then see the bonding changes in that very same molecule—not quite directly, but as close to directly as one can possibly imagine. This corresponds to the state of the art of what can be achieved” with probe microscopy today. This article has been translated into Spanish by Divulgame.org and can be found here.


Yamamoto M.,University of Tokyo | Takada S.,University of Tokyo | Bauerle C.,University of Tokyo | Bauerle C.,CNRS Neel Institute | And 4 more authors.
Nature Nanotechnology | Year: 2012

Solid-state approaches to quantum information technology are attractive because they are scalable. The coherent transport of quantum information over large distances is a requirement for any practical quantum computer and has been demonstrated by coupling super-conducting qubits to photons. Single electrons have also been transferred between distant quantum dots in times shorter than their spin coherence time. However, until now, there have been no demonstrations of scalable 'flying qubit' architectures - systems in which it is possible to perform quantum operations on qubits while they are being coherently transferred - in solid-state systems. These architectures allow for control over qubit separation and for non-local entanglement, which makes them more amenable to integration and scaling than static qubit approaches. Here, we report the transport and manipulation of qubits over distances of 6 μm within 40 ps, in an Aharonov - Bohm ring connected to two-channel wires that have a tunable tunnel coupling between channels. The flying qubit state is defined by the presence of a travelling electron in either channel of the wire, and can be controlled without a magnetic field. Our device has shorter quantum gates (< μm), longer coherence lengths (∼86 μm at 70 mK) and higher operating frequencies (∼100 GHz) than other solid-state implementations of flying qubits. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Gelis L.,Ruhr University Bochum | Wolf S.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Hatt H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Neuhaus E.M.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Gerwert K.,Ruhr University Bochum
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Reprogramming a smell receptor: The ligand-binding niche within a three-dimensional model of a human olfactory receptor has been predicted by dynamic homology modeling and confirmed experimentally by functional studies of site-directed receptor mutants. Even a proposed reprogramming of the receptor's binding and activation properties was experimentally confirmed. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.


Pasta M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Wessells C.D.,Stanford University | Cui Y.,Stanford University | Cui Y.,SLAC | La Mantia F.,Ruhr University Bochum
Nano Letters | Year: 2012

Water desalination is an important approach to provide fresh water around the world, although its high energy consumption, and thus high cost, call for new, efficient technology. Here, we demonstrate the novel concept of a "desalination battery", which operates by performing cycles in reverse on our previously reported mixing entropy battery. Rather than generating electricity from salinity differences, as in mixing entropy batteries, desalination batteries use an electrical energy input to extract sodium and chloride ions from seawater and to generate fresh water. The desalination battery is comprised by a Na 2-xMn 5O 10 nanorod positive electrode and Ag/AgCl negative electrode. Here, we demonstrate an energy consumption of 0.29 Wh l -1 for the removal of 25% salt using this novel desalination battery, which is promising when compared to reverse osmosis (∼ 0.2 Wh l -1), the most efficient technique presently available. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Gerwert K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Gerwert K.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences | Freier E.,Ruhr University Bochum | Wolf S.,CAS Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics | Year: 2014

Protein-bound internal water molecules are essential features of the structure and function of microbial rhodopsins. Besides structural stabilization, they act as proton conductors and even proton storage sites. Currently, the most understood model system exhibiting such features is bacteriorhodopsin (bR). During the last 20 years, the importance of water molecules for proton transport has been revealed through this protein. It has been shown that water molecules are as essential as amino acids for proton transport and biological function. In this review, we present an overview of the historical development of this research on bR. We furthermore summarize the recently discovered protein-bound water features associated with proton transport. Specifically, we discuss a pentameric water/amino acid arrangement close to the protonated Schiff base as central proton-binding site, a protonated water cluster as proton storage site at the proton-release site, and a transient linear water chain at the proton uptake site. We highlight how protein conformational changes reposition or reorient internal water molecules, thereby guiding proton transport. Last, we compare the water positions in bR with those in other microbial rhodopsins to elucidate how protein-bound water molecules guide the function of microbial rhodopsins. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Retinal Proteins - You can teach an old dog new tricks. © 2013 The Authors.


Schulte A.,Suranaree University of Technology | Nebel M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Schuhmann W.,Ruhr University Bochum
Annual Review of Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

This article reviews recent work involving the application of scanning electrochemical microscopy (SECM) to the study of individual cultured living cells, with an emphasis on topographical and functional imaging of neuronal and secretory cells of the nervous and endocrine system. The basic principles of biological SECM and associated negative amperometric-feedback and generator/collector-mode SECM imaging are discussed, and successful use of the methodology for screening soft and fragile membranous objects is outlined. The drawbacks of the constant-height mode of probe movement and the benefits of the constant-distance mode of SECM operation are described. Finally, representative examples of constant-height and constant-distance mode SECM on a variety of live cells are highlighted to demonstrate the current status of single-cell SECM in general and of SECM in neuroscience in particular. Copyright © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.


Chaaban A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Sezgin A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Avestimehr A.S.,Cornell University
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2013

A network where three users want to establish multiple unicasts between each other via a relay is considered. This network is called the Y-channel and resembles an elemental ingredient of future wireless networks. The sum-capacity of this network is studied. A characterization of the sum-capacity within an additive gap of 2 bits, and a multiplicative gap of 4, for all values of channel gains and transmit powers is obtained. Contrary to similar setups where the cut-set bounds can be achieved within a constant gap, they cannot be achieved in our case, where they are dominated by our new genie-aided bounds. Furthermore, it is shown that a time-sharing strategy, in which at each time two users exchange information using coding strategies of the bidirectional relay channel, achieves the upper bounds to within a constant gap. This result is further extended to the k-user case, where it is shown that the same scheme achieves the sum-capacity within 2\log (K-1) bits. © 1963-2012 IEEE.


Sezgin A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Avestimehr A.S.,Cornell University | Khajehnejad M.A.,California Institute of Technology | Hassibi B.,California Institute of Technology
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2012

The capacity region of multi-pair bidirectional relay networks, in which a relay node facilitates the communication between multiple pairs of users, is studied. This problem is first examined in the context of the linear shift deterministic channel model. The capacity region of this network when the relay is operating at either full-duplex mode or half-duplex mode for arbitrary number of pairs is characterized. It is shown that the cut-set upper-bound is tight and the capacity region is achieved by a so called divide-and-conquer relaying strategy. The insights gained from the deterministic network are then used for the Gaussian bidirectional relay network. The strategy in the deterministic channel translates to a specific superposition of lattice codes and random Gaussian codes at the source nodes and successive interference cancelation at the receiving nodes for the Gaussian network. The achievable rate of this scheme with two pairs is analyzed and it is shown that for all channel gains it achieves to within 3 bits/sec/Hz per user of the cut-set upper-bound. Hence, the capacity region of the two-pair bidirectional Gaussian relay network to within 3 bits/sec/Hz per user is characterized. © 2006 IEEE.


Behrmann E.,Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology | Muller M.,Hannover Medical School | Penczek P.A.,University of Houston | Mannherz H.G.,Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology | And 3 more authors.
Cell | Year: 2012

Regulation of myosin and filamentous actin interaction by tropomyosin is a central feature of contractile events in muscle and nonmuscle cells. However, little is known about molecular interactions within the complex and the trajectory of tropomyosin movement between its "open" and "closed" positions on the actin filament. Here, we report the 8 Å resolution structure of the rigor (nucleotide-free) actin-tropomyosin- myosin complex determined by cryo-electron microscopy. The pseudoatomic model of the complex, obtained from fitting crystal structures into the map, defines the large interface involving two adjacent actin monomers and one tropomyosin pseudorepeat per myosin contact. Severe forms of hereditary myopathies are linked to mutations that critically perturb this interface. Myosin binding results in a 23 Å shift of tropomyosin along actin. Complex domain motions occur in myosin, but not in actin. Based on our results, we propose a structural model for the tropomyosin-dependent modulation of myosin binding to actin. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Brenner H.,German Cancer Research Center | Kloor M.,University of Heidelberg | Pox C.P.,Ruhr University Bochum
The Lancet | Year: 2014

More than 1.2 million patients are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year, and more than 600 000 die from the disease. Incidence strongly varies globally and is closely linked to elements of a so-called western lifestyle. Incidence is higher in men than women and strongly increases with age; median age at diagnosis is about 70 years in developed countries. Despite strong hereditary components, most cases of colorectal cancer are sporadic and develop slowly over several years through the adenoma-carcinoma sequence. The cornerstones of therapy are surgery, neoadjuvant radiotherapy (for patients with rectal cancer), and adjuvant chemotherapy (for patients with stage III/IV and high-risk stage II colon cancer). 5-year relative survival ranges from greater than 90% in patients with stage I disease to slightly greater than 10% in patients with stage IV disease. Screening has been shown to reduce colorectal cancer incidence and mortality, but organised screening programmes are still to be implemented in most countries.


This project aims to advance our fundamental molecular understanding of metal homeostasis in plants, enabling the rational design of bio-fortification and phytoremediation technologies. Nutritional zinc deficiency affects more than a third of the Worlds population. Also, large areas of soils in industrialized nations are contaminated with high levels of chemically similar harmful metals such as lead and cadmium. Since plants are a major route for the entry of both essential and toxic non-essential trace elements into the food chain, a comprehensive molecular understanding of metal homeostasis networks governing trace element accumulation in plants is highly desirable. Following from recent progress in the field, the proposed project will tackle three selected central aspects of plant zinc homeostasis. The role of low-molecular weight chelators in subcellular partitioning of zinc will be addressed through biochemical analysis of Arabidopsis thaliana ZIF1, a vacuolar membrane protein required for zinc tolerance, through combined reverse genetics, biochemistry and recently developed sub-cellular fractionation techniques. A forward genetic screen will identify genes within regulatory pathways governing zinc homeostasis, based on unique tools and technical expertise previously generated by the applicant. Finally, molecular regulatory links within the metal homeostasis network will be revealed by combining genetic resources uniquely available in the host lab and from the applicant, and subjecting them to genome-wide transcript profiling. This research will not only advance metal homeostasis, but also our general understanding of regulation and signalling in plants. By integrating unique tools, resources and knowledge between the applicant, his laboratory of origin in Australia and the European host lab, tight collaborative links will be established, thus accelerating scientific progress and fostering continued scientific exchange between Europe and Australia.


The objective of the HEALTH-2009-2.3.1-2 call is to study the impact of different antibiotics on the prevalence of resistant bacteria in the human host. In ANTIRESDEV we will achieve this objective using the approaches suggested in the call as follows. We will use culture-based and culture-independent approaches to investigate the impact of four different types of antibiotics (with different modes of action, antimicrobial spectra and pharmacokinetic properties) on the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms and their persistence at several body sites. Disruption of the indigenous microbiota is recognized as an important factor in the persistence and transmission of antibiotic-resistant organisms, therefore we will also study the ecological impact of the antibiotics on the indigenous microbiotas of several body sites using culture-dependent and -independent techniques. We will then identify, using state-of-the-art microarrays, the genes responsible for resistance in the antibiotic-resistant organisms isolated. The genetic elements involved in resistance transfer by a number of these organisms will also be determined as knowledge of these elements is essential to fully understand the mechanisms underlying resistance transmission. By using state-of-the-art 454 pyrosequencing we will determine the full complement of resistance genes (the resistome) present in cultivable and not-yet-cultivated members of the oral and faecal microbiotas and the effect on these resistomes of antibiotic administration. Another important aspect of the dynamics and transmission of resistance is the fitness cost associated with resistance acquisition by an organism and we will investigate this in a variety of clinically-important organisms. We will ensure that the results of this study are made available to appropriate governmental and healthcare agencies so that they can be used to help in the formulation of measures designed to reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2013

The proposed ITN BIOENERGY deals with the understanding of experimental limits and fundamental principles for exploiting and developing electro-conducting nanoarchitectures to assemble highly efficient bioelectrocatalytic structures as a basis for efficient and stable biofuel cells. Based on that fundamental understanding, the main technological objective of BIOENERGY is to develop efficient and stable biofuel cells including potentially implantable biodevices. Individual elements like electrodes, enzymes and mediators will be developed, integrated into each other and finally assembled to bio fuel cells. ESR and ER will be work on the all tasks of this scientific chain being therefore trained in the fundamentals of bioelectrochemistry, modern experimental methods in bioelectrochemistry and applications of bioelectrochemistry. Training of the fellows will take place at the host institute, via secondments, workshops, summer schools and joint measurement campaigns. The scientific training will be completed by training of complementary skill with respect management, fund raising and scientific communication. The consortium consists of the leading scientists in bioelectrochemistry in Europe and is supported by several private partners working in the field. It is expected that BIOENERGY will improve the availability of a highly skilled workforce for European industries and research, and will be the seed of innovative long-term research and education in bioelectrochemistry.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.80M | Year: 2015

Porous coordination network materials, also known as Metal-organic Frameworks (MOFs), are at the cutting edge of molecular materials science. DEFNET, DEFect NETwork materials science and engineering, is the first European Training Network (ETN) at the intersection of chemistry, physics and engineering aimed at structural and functional complexity of MOFs. It provides a unique interdisciplinary training platform for early stage researchers and combines the expertise of the academic and the non-academic sector for fundamental development and industrial application and technology transfer aspects. The research and the training program in materials synthesis, characterization, computational modelling and application is accomplished in a coordinated effort involving 8 academic and 8 industrial partners from 6 European countries. DEFNET will particularly investigate defects, disorder and correlated phenomena in MOFs and related materials. The understanding and the intentional modification of defect structures of porous coordination networks is essential for advanced controlling their properties in catalysis, gas capture and separation beyond existing materials limitations. Benchmarking will be done against selected zeolite materials, which are very well established for large scale industrial applications. It is anticipated that superior functionalities of defect engineered MOFs will be identified which cannot be achieved by employing other porous materials.


Physical diseases are often linked to mental disorders that enhance them. A new research found that arthritis and diseases of the digestive system are most common in people who have suffered from depression. The study also underlined that disorders from the anxiety spectrum are commonly associated with skin diseases. The research was conducted by researchers at the University of Basel and Ruhr University Bochum, and was published in the journal Plos One. The way psychological events and the manner people perceive them impacting our health has never been scientifically proven, although previous studies have shown correlation between the two. Until this study, there was no clear causality between these types of affections. Young people, who are still developing, are the most affected by these causality, as their psychological state of mind can trigger health issues, according to this research. The research analyzed the temporal patterns and the relationship between physical diseases and the mental ones, looking at a representative data sample of 6,483 teenagers from the United States, within the age interval of 13 to 18. As part of the research, the scientists observed that a series of physical diseases tend to take place more frequently in children and adolescents who have previously been affected by a series of mental disorders. Anxiety is more common when subjects suffered from a heart disease, and epileptic disorders can be linked to developing eating disorders. "For the first time, we have established that epilepsy is followed by an increased risk of eating disorders — a phenomenon, that had previously been described only in single case reports. This suggests that approaches to epilepsy treatment could also have potential in the context of eating disorders," noted Marion Tegethoff, the study's lead author. The results of this study are all the more important as they offer insight on the anatomy of physical diseases, as well as on the repercussions of some psychological and psychiatric affections. The research could help in finding a new series of treatments that could address the underlying causes of these disorders, thus avoiding these causalities in future young people. As part of the research, patients who had a skin condition called atopic dermatitis improved their physical condition after psychotherapy sessions, which suggests a correlation between the two types of manifestations. A significant part of the patients who experienced the skin disease had been suffering from anxiety, which was found to be a significant contributing factor to their physical condition. Other underlying mechanisms that consisted of psychological disorders could have triggered skin diseases, such as skin health-relevant immune alterations, including slowed wound healing and augmented induction of inflammatory processes and immunoglobulin production. A previous study led by the same research team proved that chronic physical diseases and mental disorders are correlated, occurring systematically in adults as well as teenagers. The study also connected depression with indigestion, after 35.3 percent of the children and adolescents reported at least a mental disorder and a chronic physical disease. "Future studies should identify risk factors as well as the biological and psychological mechanisms responsible for these associations, in order to develop interdisciplinary approaches," noted Tegethoff, who was also a lead author of that study. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-15-2015 | Award Amount: 6.70M | Year: 2016

Spinal cord injury is a severe and devastating neurological disorder that leaves patients with permanent paralysis of the body. No treatment is available today to regenerate interrupted nerve fibers and repair the damaged spinal cord. The incidence of spinal cord injury is about newly injured 10000 people per year in the EU, and due to an almost normal life expectancy more than 200000 patients are living with a spinal cord injury in the EU. The impact on the individual quality of life is high, and social costs are enormous. Recent preclinical research in animal models succeeded to greatly enhance axonal sprouting, fiber regeneration and neuroplasticity following injuries of brain and spinal cord. These results warrant translation now to patients suffering from acute spinal cord injury. A previous phase I clinical study using intrathecal application of a nerve fiber growth promoting antibody against the growth inhibitory protein Nogo-A has shown in patients with complete spinal cord injury that this treatment is safe and well tolerated. The present study will enroll patients with various degrees of complete to incomplete acute spinal cord injury for a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to test the efficacy of this antibody therapy to improve motor outcome and quality of life of tetraplegic patients. The enrollment of patients with different degrees of spinal cord injury is considered essential to reveal drug activity and eventual proof of concept in a broad patient population. Advancements in clinical trial design, improved prediction algorithms of clinical outcomes and development of surrogate markers (in cerebro-spinal fluid/serum and by neuroimaging) will allow for scrutinizing the effectiveness of this novel treatment in an unprecedented way. A positive outcome of this trial will represent a breakthrough for the future therapy of spinal cord injuries and beyond (traumatic brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis).


News Article | November 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Mental disorders and physical diseases frequently go hand in hand. For the first time, psychologists at the University of Basel and Ruhr University Bochum have identified temporal patterns in young people: arthritis and diseases of the digestive system are more common after depression, while anxiety disorders tend to be followed by skin diseases. Physical diseases and mental disorders affect a person's quality of life and present a huge challenge for the healthcare system. If physical and mental disorders systematically co-occur from an early age, there is a risk that the sick child or adolescent will suffer from untoward developments. In a project financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, a research group led by PD Dr. Marion Tegethoff in collaboration with Professor Gunther Meinlschmidt from the University of Basel's Faculty of Psychology has now examined the temporal pattern and relationship between physical diseases and mental disorders in children and young people. In the journal PLOS ONE, they analyzed data from a representative sample of 6,483 teenagers from the US aged between 13 and 18. The researchers noted that some physical diseases tend to occur more frequently in children and adolescents if they have previously suffered from certain mental disorders. Likewise, certain mental disorders tend to occur more frequently after the onset of particular physical diseases. Affective disorders such as depression were frequently followed by arthritis and diseases of the digestive system, while the same relationship existed between anxiety disorders and skin diseases. Anxiety disorders were more common if the person had already suffered from heart disease. A close association was also established for the first time between epileptic disorders and subsequent eating disorders. The results offer important insights into the causal relationship between mental disorders and physical diseases. The newly identified temporal associations draw attention to processes that could be relevant both to the origins of physical diseases and mental disorders and to their treatment. In an earlier study, the same authors had already provided evidence for the relationship between mental disorders and physical diseases in young people. "For the first time, we have established that epilepsy is followed by an increased risk of eating disorders - a phenomenon, that had previously been described only in single case reports. This suggests that approaches to epilepsy treatment could also have potential in the context of eating disorders," explains Marion Tegethoff, the study's lead author. From a health policy perspective, the findings underscore that the treatment of mental disorders and physical diseases should be closely interlinked from an early age on. Marion Tegethoff, Esther Stalujanis, Angelo Belardi, Gunther Meinlschmidt Chronology of Onset of Mental Disorders and Physical Diseases in Mental-Physical Comorbidity - A National Representative Survey of Adolescents PLOS ONE (2016), doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0165196


Hasenbring M.I.,Ruhr University Bochum | Verbunt J.A.,Rehabilitation Foundation Limburg | Verbunt J.A.,Maastricht University
Clinical Journal of Pain | Year: 2010

Objectives: Patients' beliefs and expectations about their pain have been identified as important disabling factors in chronic musculoskeletal pain. Besides fear-avoidance beliefs and pain-related fear, cognitions such as thought suppression as well as pain/task persistence behavior have been shown to be associated with pain and disability. The aim of this report is to present a critical evaluation of research, based on the avoidance-endurance model of pain. Methods: A qualitative review of the literature concerning the occurrence of fear-avoidance-versus endurance-related pain responses as well as concerning the association of these pain responses and different self-reported and overtly measured outcomes. Results: While consistent evidence has confirmed the role of fear-avoidance responses to pain and pain-related disability measured via self-report, the influence of fear-avoidance responses on objectively assessed physical activity is less clear. There is preliminary evidence that avoidance-endurance model based subgroups showing a pattern of cognitions of thought suppression, anxious/depressive mood and task/pain persistence behavior (distress endurance responses) or a pattern of cognitions of ignoring/minimizing pain, positive mood despite pain and task/pain persistence behavior (eustress endurance responses) will develop more pain prospectively and show higher levels of specific strain postures, measured by accelerometer, than patients showing adaptive pain responses. Conclusion: Although both, fear-avoidance and endurance responses have been identified in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain, currently evidence to confirm their hypothesized consequences for daily functioning is incomplete. Finally, thoughts on the development of differentially targeted and individually scheduled behavioral interventions are reported, including suggestions for further research. © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


Penders J.,Maastricht University | Gerhold K.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Stobberingh E.E.,Maastricht University | Thijs C.,Maastricht University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2013

Background Perturbations in the intestinal microbiota may disrupt mechanisms involved in the development of immunologic tolerance. The present study aimed to examine the establishment of the infant microbiota and its association to the development of atopic dermatitis (AD). Methods Within a randomized, placebo-controlled trial on the prevention of AD by oral supplementation of a bacterial lysate between week 5 and the end of month 7, feces was collected at the ages of 5 weeks (n = 571), 13 weeks (n = 332), and 31 weeks (n = 499) and subjected to quantitative PCRs to detect bifidobacteria, bacteroides, lactobacilli, Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile, and Clostridium cluster I. Results Birth mode, breast-feeding but also birth order had a strong effect on the microbiota composition. With increasing number of older siblings the colonization rates at age 5 weeks of lactobacilli (P <.001) and bacteroides (P =.02) increased, whereas rates of clostridia decreased (P <.001). Colonization with clostridia, at the age of 5 and 13 weeks was also associated with an increased risk of developing AD in the subsequent 6 months of life (odds ratioadjusted = 2.35; 95% CI, 1.36-3.94 and 2.51; 1.30-4.86, respectively). Mediation analyses demonstrated that there was a statistically significant indirect effect via Clostridium cluster I colonization for both birth mode and birth order in association to AD. Conclusion The results of this study are supportive for a role of the microbiota in the development of AD. Moreover, the "beneficial" influence of older siblings on the microbiota composition suggests that this microbiota may be one of the biological mechanisms underlying the sibling effect. © 2013 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.


Kittler S.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Greulich C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Diendorf J.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Koller M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Epple M.,University of Duisburg - Essen
Chemistry of Materials | Year: 2010

The dissolution of citrate-stabilized and poly(vinylpyrrolidone)-stabilized silver nanoparticles in water was studied by dialysis for up to 125 days at 5, 25, and 37 °C. The particles slowly dissolve into ions on a time scale of several days. However, in all cases, a limiting value of the released silver was observed, i.e., the particles did not completely dissolve. In some cases, the nanoparticles released up to 90% of their weight. Formal kinetic data were computed. Rate and degree of dissolution depended on the functionalization as well as on the storage temperature. The release of silver led to a considerably increased toxicity of silver nanoparticles which had been stored in dispersion for several weeks toward human mesenchymal stem cells due to the increased concentration of silver ions. Consequently, "aged" (i.e., immersed) silver nanoparticles are much more toxic to cells than freshly prepared silver nanoparticles. © 2010 American Chemical Society.


Costabel U.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Bonella F.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Guzman J.,Ruhr University Bochum
Clinics in Chest Medicine | Year: 2012

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis (HP) is a complex syndrome caused by the inhalation of environmental antigens. Chronic HP may mimic other fibrotic lung diseases, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Recognition of the antigen is important for diagnosis; avoidance of further exposure is critical for treatment. Fibrosis on biopsy or high-resolution computed tomography is a predictor of increased mortality. Additional research is needed to understand why the disease develops only in a minority of exposed individuals and why cases of chronic HP may progress without further antigen exposure. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.


Vetter P.,Ruhr University Bochum | Vetter P.,University of Geneva | Newen A.,Ruhr University Bochum
Consciousness and Cognition | Year: 2014

Is our perceptual experience a veridical representation of the world or is it a product of our beliefs and past experiences? Cognitive penetration describes the influence of higher level cognitive factors on perceptual experience and has been a debated topic in philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Here, we focus on visual perception, particularly early vision, and how it is affected by contextual expectations and memorized cognitive contents. We argue for cognitive penetration based on recent empirical evidence demonstrating contextual and top-down influences on early visual processes. On the basis of a perceptual model, we propose different types of cognitive penetration depending on the processing level on which the penetration happens and depending on where the penetrating influence comes from. Our proposal has two consequences: (1) the traditional controversy on whether cognitive penetration occurs or not is ill posed, and (2) a clear-cut perception-cognition boundary cannot be maintained. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Timmann D.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Daum I.,Ruhr University Bochum
Behavioural Neurology | Year: 2010

Many human lesion und functional brain imaging studies suggest involvement of the cerebellum in cognitive functions. However, negative and inconsistent findings are rarely discussed. It is still an open question as to which areas of cognition the cerebellum contributes, as well as how, and to what extent. Frequently cited earlier findings in one area of cognition have been challenged in more recent studies, that is the cerebellum may not be directly involved in attention. Furthermore, disorders in patients with acquired cerebellar disease are frequently mild and less severe compared to lesions of the corresponding areas of the cerebral cortex. Patients with cerebellar disease often perform within the normal range of neuropsychological test norms. This pattern is illustrated based on general intelligence and verbal working memory, which have been assessed by a large number of authors using comparable tests. Findings, however, appear to be more pronounced in individual cases with acute onset cerebellar disorders and in children, in particular with congenital disease. The review suggests that the inconsistencies in cognitive impairments may offer clues as to the nature of cerebellar cognitive involvement. © 2010 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.


Schertl H.-P.,Ruhr University Bochum | O'Brien P.J.,University of Potsdam
Elements | Year: 2013

Finding evidence for ultrahigh-pressure (UHP) metamorphism in crustal rocks is far from straightforward. The index minerals coesite and diamond are incredibly inconspicuous and are therefore difficult to use as UHP prospecting tools. Consequently, petrographers rely on recognizing subtle breakdown microstructures that result from pressure release during the return to the surface of the once deeply buried rock. Similarly, many other UHP minerals are first suspected on the basis of typical reaction or exsolution microstructures. Thus, the painstaking use of microscopic techniques has been fundamental to the tremendous advances in characterizing, quantifying, and understanding macroscopic-scale, deep continental subduction, rapid exhumation, and mountain-building processes.


Pasquini B.,University of Pavia | Pasquini B.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Polyakov M.V.,Ruhr University Bochum | Vanderhaeghen M.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We present a dispersive representation of the D-term form factor for hard exclusive reactions, using unsubtracted t-channel dispersion relations. The t-channel unitarity relation is saturated with the contribution of two-pion intermediate states, using the two-pion distributions amplitude for the γ*γ→ππ subprocess and reconstructing the ππ→NN- subprocess from available information on pion-nucleon partial-wave helicity amplitudes. Results for the D-term form factor as function of t as well as at t=0 are discussed in comparison with available model predictions and phenomenological parametrizations. © 2014 The Authors.


Du Y.A.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Rogal J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Drautz R.,Ruhr University Bochum
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

Structural defects in materials such as vacancies, grain boundaries, and dislocations may trap hydrogen and a local accumulation of hydrogen at these defects can lead to the degradation of the materials properties. An important aspect in obtaining insight into hydrogen-induced embrittlement on the atomistic level is to understand the diffusion of hydrogen in these materials. In our study we employ kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) simulations to investigate hydrogen diffusion in bcc iron within different microstructures. All input data to the kMC model, such as available sites, solution energies, and diffusion barriers, are obtained from first-principles calculations. We find that hydrogen mainly diffuses within the interface region with an overall diffusivity that is lower than in pure bcc Fe bulk. The concentration dependence of the diffusion coefficient is strongly nonlinear and the diffusion coefficient may even decrease with an increasing hydrogen concentration. To describe the macroscopic diffusion coefficient we derive an analytic expression as a function of hydrogen concentrations and temperatures which is in excellent agreement with our numerical results for idealized microstructures. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Endrun B.,University of Potsdam | Lebedev S.,Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies | Meier T.,University of Kiel | Tirel C.,Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies | Friederich W.,Ruhr University Bochum
Nature Geoscience | Year: 2011

Continental lithosphere can undergo pervasive internal deformation, often distributed over broad zones near plate boundaries. However, because of the paucity of observational constraints on three-dimensional movement at depth, patterns of flow within the lithosphere remain uncertain. Endmember models for lithospheric flow invoke deformation localized on faults or deep shear zones or, alternatively, diffuse, viscous-fluid-like flow. Here we determine seismic Rayleigh-wave anisotropy in the crust and mantle of the Aegean region, an archetypal example of continental deformation. Our data reveal a complex, depth-dependent flow pattern within the extending lithosphere. Beneath the northern Aegean Sea, fast shear wave propagation is in a North-South direction within the mantle lithosphere, parallel to the extensional component of the current strain rate field. In the south-central Aegean, where deformation is weak at present, anisotropic fabric in the lower crust runs parallel to the direction of palaeo-extension in the Miocene. The close match of orientations of regional-scale anisotropic fabric and the directions of extension during the last significant episodes of deformation implies that at least a large part of the extension in the Aegean has been taken up by distributed viscous flow in the lower crust and lithospheric mantle. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Mitchell T.M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Ben-Zion Y.,University of Southern California | Shimamoto T.,Hiroshima University
Earth and Planetary Science Letters | Year: 2011

We present field and laboratory data on pulverized rocks at the Hakusui-kyo outcrop of the Arima-Takatsuki Tectonic Line (ATTL), which is a dextral strike slip fault with ~. 17. km displacement juxtaposing granite to the south against rhyolite to the north. The majority of slip at the surface is localized to a clay-rich gouge fault core 8-10. cm in width, surrounded by a coarsening outwards fault breccias up to 3. m wide. Fault damage is highly asymmetric with respect to the slipping zone. The granite south of the fault has a pulverized damage zone up to 200. m wide, while the rhyolite to the north has only about 3. m wide non-pulverized fault breccia. The degree of pulverization in the granite decreases approximately logarithmically with normal distance from the slip zone. The highly fractured pulverized rocks exhibit several distinct textural characteristics. In thin section, grains appear to be highly comminuted but the original grain shapes and margins are recognizable. Microfractures tend to be tensile in no preferred orientation. Grain fragments display little to no rotation and lack evidence of in-situ shear. Consequently, at macroscale the rocks appear to preserve original granitic textures, despite being highly fractured and friable. The observed pulverization and rock damage asymmetry are most consistent with generation mechanism involving ruptures on a bimaterial interface with statistically preferred propagation direction, leading to damage primarily on the side with higher seismic velocity at depth. This is supported by laboratory measurements of P-wave ultrasonic velocities on intact samples which indicate that the granites have consistently higher velocity than the rhyolite with increasing confining pressure. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-32-2014 | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2015

SAFEcrypto will provide a new generation of practical, robust and physically secure post quantum cryptographic solutions that ensure long-term security for future ICT systems, services and applications. Novel public-key cryptographic schemes (digital signatures, authentication, public-key encryption, identity-based encryption) will be developed using lattice problems as the source of computational hardness. The project will involve algorithmic and design optimisations, and implementations of the lattice-based cryptographic schemes addressing the cost, energy consumption, performance and physical robustness needs of resource-constrained applications, such as mobile, battery-operated devices, and of real-time applications such as network security, satellite communications and cloud. Currently a significant threat to cryptographic applications is that the devices on which they are implemented on leak information, which can be used to mount attacks to recover secret information. In SAFEcrypto the first analysis and development of physical-attack resistant methodologies for lattice-based cryptographic implementations will be undertaken. Effective models for the management, storage and distribution of the keys utilised in the proposed schemes (key sizes may be in the order of kilobytes or megabytes) will also be provided. This project will deliver proof-of-concept demonstrators of the novel lattice-based public-key cryptographic schemes for three practical real-word case studies with real-time performance and low power consumption requirements. In comparison to current state-of-the-art implementations of conventional public-key cryptosystems (RSA and Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC)), SAFEcryptos objective is to achieve a range of lattice-based architectures that provide comparable area costs, a 10-fold speed-up in throughput for real-time application scenarios, and a 5-fold reduction in energy consumption for low-power and embedded and mobile applications.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-32-2014 | Award Amount: 1.00M | Year: 2015

This CSA intends to strengthen European excellence in the area of cryptology and to achieve a durable integration and structuring of the European cryptography community, involving academia, industry, government stakeholders and defence agencies. The project will coordinate ongoing research, develop a joint research agenda and foresight study, identify technology gaps and market and innovation opportunities and coordinate and strengthen standardization efforts; it will also address governance of security standards at a European level. The project will tackle through advanced training initiatives the skill shortage of academia and industry. The CSA responds to the growing attention of EU policy makers for societal needs related to privacy and cybersecurity and more in particular the trust and security component of the Digital Agenda for Europe and the European Cyber Security Strategy. The project will help to bridge the gap between academic research on the one hand and standards and industry innovations on the other hand, hereby strengthening the European industrial landscape in a strategic area. The project will result in the availability of more trustworthy security and privacy solutions `made in Europe, resulting in an increased user trust in ICT and online services and empowerment of users to take control over their data and trust relations. The work will also result in more resilient critical infrastructures and services. The project intends to reach out beyond its constituency to the broader public and to policy makers. The ECYPT-CSA consortium consists of five leading players in cryptographic research, including one SME. In order to ensure the involvement of the broader community, the project will build on a Research Advisory Board consisting of leading European researchers and a Strategic Advisory Board with leading experts from the security industry and relevant government actors.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: NMP.2012.2.2-6 | Award Amount: 4.88M | Year: 2013

The project 4G-PHOTOCAT allies the expertise of 7 academic and 3 industrial partners from 5 EU countries (Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Poland, and Finland) and 2 ASEAN countries (Malaysia and Vietnam) for the development of a novel generation of low-cost nano-engineered photocatalysts for sunlight-driven water depollution. Through rational design of composites in which the solar light-absorbing semiconductors are coupled to nanostructured redox co-catalysts based on abundant elements, the recombination of photogenerated charges will be suppressed and the rate of photocatalytic reactions will be maximized. In order to achieve fabrication of optimal architectures, advanced chemical deposition techniques with a high degree of control over composition and morphology will be employed and further developed. Furthermore, novel protocols will be developed for the implementation of the photocatalysts into a liquid paint, allowing for the deposition of robust photoactive layers onto flat surfaces, without compromising the photoactivity of immobilized photocatalysts. Such paintable photoreactors are envisaged particularly as low-cost devices for detoxification of water from highly toxic persistent organic pollutants which represent a serious health issue in many remote rural areas of Vietnam and other countries. The 4G-PHOTOCAT project will provide novel scientific insights into the correlation between compositional/structural properties and photocatalytic reaction rates under sunlight irradiation, as well as improved fabrication methods and enhanced product portfolio for the industrial partners. Finally, 4G-PHOTOCAT will lead to intensified collaboration between scientists working at the cutting edge of synthetic chemistry, materials science, heterogeneous photocatalysis, theoretical modelling, and environmental analytics, as well as to unique reinforcement of cooperation between scientists and industry partners from EU and ASEAN countries.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2009.8.9 | Award Amount: 542.39K | Year: 2010

COBRA is a coordination action to help organize the international CHEM-IT community towards the next major science and technology revolution, involving the integration of information processing with production during deployment. The industrial revolution mechanized production with factories, and the information revolution mechanized information processing with computers. The next large-scale technological revolution most likely involves their integration and its decentralization, as found so far only in living systems and it is now clear that significant scientific and technical progress towards this integration is imminent. The EC-sponsored CHEM-IT projects are spearheading the development and exploration of the first simple systems integrating production and information processing. This is done at the nano-bio-info interface, involving cellular engineering, protocells, artificial neurons and programmable information chemistry. At the centre of this work is a desire to create ICT-based systems with living and intelligent desirable properties that current technologies lack (such as robustness, autonomy, self-repair, adaptation, learning and local intelligence, as well as self-replication and evolution). The potential long-term impact of this emerging enabling technology will be considerable, as even minor progress on making technology more life-like and intelligent can improve processes in all sectors of society. CHEM-IT addresses issues of sustainability in production and deployment, and the information explosion of ubiquitous nanoscale systems. The proposed project on the coordination of biological and chemical IT research activities (COBRA) seeks to engage the European research community to construct the first roadmap for how best to develop ICT-based integrated information processing and production technology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2010

Aberrant molecular signalling and intracellular trafficking are the molecular cause of many human diseases. TRANSPOL is an interdisciplinary initial stage training network (ITN) at the intersection of cell/molecular biology and membrane physics aimed specifically at the molecular understanding of the functional relationship between intracellular trafficking and cellular signalling and their relevance to human diseases. The importance of intracellular trafficking processes serving as an integral part of signalling has only recently received broader attention and demands further in-depth analysis. This ITN is specifically designed to bridge this gap between conventional signalling cascades and processes of membrane fusion, fission and intracellular trafficking. To tackle this important task we have assembled a unique multidisciplinary consortium combining top European scientists from the fields of cell biology, biochemistry, and physics as well as specialists from the private sector. The scientific objectives will concentrate on a better understanding of ligand/receptor-mediated signalling mechanism across the membrane, the lipid/protein interface in endocytosis, the signalling properties of endosomes, and deregulated trafficking and signalling pathways in disease. Three private enterprises are fully integrated in this ITN underlining its intersectorial character. The multidisciplinary research and training program comprises cell biology, protein and lipid biochemistry, biophysics, computational simulations, protein design and systems biology. TRANSPOL has designed a structured 3-year curriculum providing the following hallmarks: 1. A joined academic and industrial training program/2. A combination of local and network wide European training/3. A training in scientific and complementary skills including soft skills/4. An in-depth scientific training focused on a specific PhD topic/5. Doctoral examination under the auspices of external international examiners.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2015

The goal of this ETN is to develop advanced cryptographic techniques for the Internet of Things and the Cloud and to create implementations that offer a high level of security and increased usability, for a wide range of physical computation platforms. The ITN will equip a group of 15 early stage researchers with a set of interdisciplinary skills combining mathematics, computer science and electrical engineering that will allow them to create advanced cryptographic solutions that will be available for commercial applications. The 8 partners (including 2 companies) are leading research teams in the area of applied cryptology with a strong track record of collaboration; it is complemented by 6 partner organisations from industry (including 2 SMEs).The training from the ERSs will be guided by a personal development plan. A central component is training by research supported by an intensive program of workshops, summer schools, seminars, research visits, and secondments. The training will be complemented with transferable skills that also support the transfer of research to an industrial context. The management structure of the project is built on a pro-active approach with responsibilization of the fellows. The dissemination and outreach of the project activities target a broad range of stakeholders. The ITN contributes to the ERA by helping to overcome the fragmentation in the area of applied cryptology. The research supports the trust and security component of the Digital Agenda for Europe and responds to the growing attention of EU policy makers for societal needs related to privacy and cybersecurity. The societal relevance and timeliness of this research has been emphasized by revelations made by Snowden, that provide clear evidence of mass surveillance by nation states and of serious weaknesses of our current infrastructure. An essential component of a response to these revelations consists a broad deployment of advanced and innovative cryptographic techniques.


German astronomers have come up with the largest known image of the Milky Way to date — a 46 billion pixel photo with a file size of 194 GB, featuring a vast bed of stars. The photo was finally completed through five years' worth of data gathering in astronomical studies. The astronomers from Ruhr University Bochum led by Dr. Rolf Chini have been following the Milky Way in the quest for cosmic objects that exude variable brightness. These materials may entail stars located in front of a passing planet and numerous systems where stars rotate and sometimes abstruse each other. Moritz Hackstein, who was then working on his thesis as part of his doctoral studies, compiled pictures of objects with medium brightness. Part of this endeavor is the nightly capturing of southern sky images by a group from the Chair of Astrophysics. The team utilized the telescopes of the university's observatory in the Atacama Desert in Chile for the project. So far, over 50,000 new variable materials have been discovered and recorded. The astronomers had to divide the subject area of study into 268 sections because of its massive size. They captured a photo of each region in intervals for a couple of days. They then compared the images and were able to determine the objects with variable brightness. In the end, the team was able to assemble individual photo sections into one extensive image. The images were taken using different filters and entered into one file, that is so huge, the size was determined after calculating it for a couple of weeks. The researchers have provided an online tool where the public could see the entire Milky Way just by merely looking at their work. "Using the online tool, any interested person can view the complete ribbon of the Milky Way at a glance, or zoom in and inspect specific areas," the researchers. Users can observe specific regions of the galaxy through an input window, which also gives the position of the photo section being displayed. For example, if the user keys in "Eta Carinae," the tool will maneuver to the corresponding star. The endeavor of locating and collating data about the 50,000 new objects was described in a scientific journal called Astronomical Notes, first published online on Oct. 4, 2012.


Nauck M.A.,Diabeteszentrum Bad Lauterberg | Meier J.J.,Ruhr University Bochum
Nature Reviews Endocrinology | Year: 2011

Up to one-third of patients treated with levothyroxine for primary hypothyroidism have biochemical evidence of inadequate thyroid hormone replacement. Could treatment effects of levothyoxine be optimized by bedtime administration on an empty stomach? A new study reveals the answer and also sheds light on other possible benefits of this alternative timing. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Deller A.T.,Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy | Middelberg E.,Ruhr University Bochum
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2014

We present the description and early results of the mJy Imaging VLBA Exploration at 20 cm (mJIVE-20). mJIVE-20 is a large project on the Very Long Baseline Array which is systematically inspecting a large sample of mJy radio sources, pre-selected from the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty cm (FIRST) survey made with the Very Large Array, to identify any compact emission that may be present. The survey is being undertaken using filler time on the VLBA, which utilizes short segments scheduled in bad weather and/or with a reduced number of antennas, during which no highly rated science projects can be scheduled. The newly available multifield capability of the VLBA makes it possible for us to inspect of the order of 100 sources per hour of observing time with a 6.75σ detection sensitivity of approximately 1 mJy beam -1. The results of the mJIVE-20 survey are made publicly available as soon as the data are calibrated. After 18 months of observing, over 20,000 FIRST sources have been inspected, with 4336 very long baseline interferometry detections. These initial results suggest that within the range 1-200 mJy, fainter sources are somewhat more likely to be dominated by a very compact component than brighter sources. Over half of all arcsecond-scale mJy radio sources contain a compact component, although the fraction of sources that are dominated by milliarcsecond scale structure (where the majority of the arcsecond scale flux is recovered in the mJIVE-20 image) is smaller at around 30%-35%, increasing toward lower flux densities. Significant differences are seen depending on the optical classification of the source. Radio sources with a stellar/point-like counterpart in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) are more likely to be detected overall, but this detection likelihood appears to be independent of the arcsecond-scale radio flux density. The trend toward higher radio compactness for fainter sources is confined to sources that are not detected in SDSS or that have counterparts classified as galaxies. These results are consistent with a unification model of active galactic nuclei in which less luminous sources have on average slower radio jets, with lower Doppler suppression of compact core emission over a wider range of viewing angles. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Rosenkranz P.,University of Hohenheim | Aumeier P.,Ruhr University Bochum | Ziegelmann B.,University of Hohenheim
Journal of Invertebrate Pathology | Year: 2010

The ectoparasitic honey bee mite Varroa destructor was originally confined to the Eastern honey bee Apis cerana. After a shift to the new host Apis mellifera during the first half of the last century, the parasite dispersed world wide and is currently considered the major threat for apiculture. The damage caused by Varroosis is thought to be a crucial driver for the periodical colony losses in Europe and the USA and regular Varroa treatments are essential in these countries. Therefore, Varroa research not only deals with a fascinating host-parasite relationship but also has a responsibility to find sustainable solutions for the beekeeping. This review provides a survey of the current knowledge in the main fields of Varroa research including the biology of the mite, damage to the host, host tolerance, tolerance breeding and Varroa treatment. We first present a general view on the functional morphology and on the biology of the Varroa mite with special emphasis on host-parasite interactions during reproduction of the female mite. The pathology section describes host damage at the individual and colony level including the problem of transmission of secondary infections by the mite. Knowledge of both the biology and the pathology of Varroa mites is essential for understanding possible tolerance mechanisms in the honey bee host. We comment on the few examples of natural tolerance in A. mellifera and evaluate recent approaches to the selection of Varroa tolerant honey bees. Finally, an extensive listing and critical evaluation of chemical and biological methods of Varroa treatments is given. This compilation of present-day knowledge on Varroa honey bee interactions emphasizes that we are still far from a solution for Varroa infestation and that, therefore, further research on mite biology, tolerance breeding, and Varroa treatment is urgently needed. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Stefanis N.G.,Ruhr University Bochum | Bakulev A.P.,Joint Institute for Nuclear Research | Mikhailov S.V.,Joint Institute for Nuclear Research | Pimikov A.V.,University of Valencia
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

A state-of-the-art analysis of the pion-photon transition form factor is presented based on an improved theoretical calculation that includes the effect of a finite virtuality of the quasireal photon in the method of light-cone sum rules. We carry out a detailed statistical analysis of the existing experimental data using this method and by employing pion distribution amplitudes with up to three Gegenbauer coefficients a2, a4, a6. Allowing for an error range in the coefficient a6≈0, the theoretical predictions for γ*γ→π0 obtained with nonlocal QCD sum rules are found to be in good agreement with all data that support a scaling behavior of the transition form factor at higher Q2, like those of the Belle Collaboration. The data on γ *γ→η/η′ from CLEO and BABAR are also reproduced, while there is a strong conflict with the auxetic trend of the BABAR data above 10 GeV2. The broader implications of these findings are discussed. © 2013 American Physical Society.


Nauck M.A.,Diabeteszentrum Bad Lauterberg | Baranov O.,Diabeteszentrum Bad Lauterberg | Ritzel R.A.,Diabetes and Nuclear Medicine | Meier J.J.,Ruhr University Bochum
Diabetologia | Year: 2013

Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists (RAs) are incretin-derived glucose-lowering agents that have been used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes since 2007. Agents such as exenatide (short-acting and once weekly preparations), liraglutide, taspoglutide, albiglutide and lixisenatide lower fasting glucose and HbA1c upon subcutaneous injection, leading to glycaemic control that is equivalent to, or better than, that observed with other oral glucose-lowering agents or bedtime insulin. However, varying proportions of patients report nausea and vomiting, adverse events that typically narrow the therapeutic dose range. Furthermore, GLP-1 RAs reduce fasting glucose to a clinically meaningful extent, but not into the normal range. In contrast, where GLP-1 is administered as a short-term intravenous infusion, a full normalisation of glucose concentrations (approximately 5 mmol/l) has been observed without any risk of gastrointestinal side effects. Subcutaneous infusions or injections of GLP-1 are much less effective. The present analysis relates the proportion of patients who report nausea following treatment with GLP-1 and GLP-1 RAs to the clinical effectiveness of the treatment (represented by the fasting glucose concentration achieved with treatment). The results suggest that GLP-1 RAs injected into the subcutaneous compartment do not exploit the full potential inherent in GLP-1 receptor activation. Reasons for this may include modifications of the peptide molecules in the subcutaneous environment or high local concentrations triggering side effects through GLP-1 receptors on autonomic nerves in subcutaneous adipose tissue. Elucidation of the mechanisms underlying differential responses to GLP-1/GLP-1 RAs administered intravenously vs subcutaneously may help to develop improved agents or modes of administration that are more effective and have fewer side effects. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Bakulev A.P.,Joint Institute for Nuclear Research | Mikhailov S.V.,Joint Institute for Nuclear Research | Pimikov A.V.,Joint Institute for Nuclear Research | Stefanis N.G.,Ruhr University Bochum
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

We perform a detailed analysis of all existing data (CELLO, CLEO, BABAR) on the pion-photon transition form factor by means of light-cone sum rules in which we include the next-to-leading order QCD radiative corrections and the twist-four contributions. The next-to-next-to-leading order radiative correction together with the twist-six contribution are also taken into account in terms of theoretical uncertainties. Keeping only the first two Gegenbauer coefficients a2 and a4, we show that the 1σ error ellipse of all data up to 9GeV2 greatly overlaps with the set of pion distribution amplitudes obtained from nonlocal QCD sum rules-within the range of uncertainties due to twist-four. This remains valid also for the projection of the 1σ error ellipsoid on the (a2,a4) plane when including a 6. We argue that it is not possible to accommodate the high-Q2 tail of the BABAR data with the same accuracy, despite opposite claims by other authors, and conclude that the BABAR data still pose a challenge to QCD. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Bakulev A.P.,Joint Institute for Nuclear Research | Mikhailov S.V.,Joint Institute for Nuclear Research | Pimikov A.V.,University of Valencia | Stefanis N.G.,Ruhr University Bochum
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

We perform a comparative theoretical study of the data at spacelike momentum transfer for the γ*γ→π0 transition form factor, just reported by the Belle Collaboration, vs. those published before by BABAR, also including the older CLEO and CELLO data. Various implications for the structure of the π0 distribution amplitude vis-à-vis those data are discussed and the existing theoretical predictions are classified into three distinct categories. We argue that the actual bifurcation of the data with antithetic trends is artificial and reason that the Belle data are the better option. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Adolph D.,Ruhr University Bochum | Meister L.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Pause B.M.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2013

During emotion perception, context is an important source of information. Whether contextual cues from modalities other than vision or audition influence the perception of social emotional information has not been investigated.Thus, the present study aimed at testing emotion perception and regulation in response to fearful facial expressions presented in the context of chemosensory stimuli derived from sweat of anxious individuals. In groups of high (HSA) and low socially anxious (LSA) participants we recorded the startle reflex (Experiment I), and analysed event-related potentials (ERPs; Experiment II) while they viewed anxious facial expressions in the context of chemosensory anxiety signals and chemosensory control stimuli. Results revealed that N1/P1 and N170 amplitudes were larger while Late Positive Potential (LPP) activity was smaller for facial expressions presented in the context of the anxiety and the chemosensory control stimulus as compared to facial expressions without a chemosensory context. Furthermore, HSA participants were highly sensitive to the contextual anxiety signals. They showed enhanced motivated attention allocation (LPP, Study II), as well aslarger startle responses towards faces in the context of chemosensory anxiety signals than did LSA participants (Study I). Chemosensory context had no effect on emotion regulation, and both LSA and HSA participants showed effective emotion regulation (Study I and II). In conclusion, both anxiety and chemosensory sport context stimuli enhanced early attention allocation and structural encoding, but diminished motivated attention allocation to the facial expressions. The current results show that visual and chemosensory information is integrated on virtually all levels of stimulus processing and that socially anxious individuals might be especially sensitive to chemosensory contextual social information.


Thomas M.F.H.,University of Manchester | Bodin S.,Ruhr University Bochum
Marine and Petroleum Geology | Year: 2013

Large scale channel systems are commonly imaged using seismic data and classified hierarchically. Where exposed at outcrop, similar scale ancient channel systems provide an opportunity to investigate subseismic scale architectures, produced for example through short duration autocyclic processes, and assess how they contribute to larger seismic scale architectures. In this study, a seismic scale slope-confined channel system from the Numidian Flysch Formation of northern Sicily is described using a hierarchical classification scheme. The channel system is 5.7 km wide and is organised within 3 hierarchical levels, comprising; 2 channel complex sets, 16 channel complexes, and >30 channel elements. channel complexes are mappable bodies and reach 500 m wide and 90 m thick. Slope confined sinuous channel complexes contain stacked channel elements which show a progression of incision and bypass to fill with massive sandstones interspersed with graded turbidite deposits. Flows are interpreted to predominantly deposit during quasi-steady flow conditions although flow non-uniformity produced beds with complex grading patterns. Lateral expansion of channel elements produced terracing within the complex margin and had the capacity to alter flow rheology through incorporation of large mud volumes. Sinuosity of channel element thalwegs and offset stacking produced asymmetric channel complexes with heterogeneous internal architectures and lithofacies distributions. Both channel complexes and channel elements thicken with younging indicating increased entrenchment through allocyclic forcing. The frequency distribution of channel-element thicknesses also shows a positive skew centred around 12 m as with published data global datasets. We question whether this distribution similarity may result from a fundamental process at the channel-element scale such as substrate armouring through coarse grained sedimentary deposits exceeding the capacity limits of transiting flows. The use of a hierarchical classification scheme therefore highlights the importance of subseismic scale processes on mappable architectures. The quantification of specific hierarchical elements also allows the role of allocyclic forcing to be investigated in an area of complex palaeogeography. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Fuhrmann K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Fuhrmann K.,Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes | Chini R.,Ruhr University Bochum | Chini R.,Católica del Norte University
Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series | Year: 2012

As part of a homogeneous all-sky volume-complete sample of half a thousand solar-type stars within 25pc we present a census for the subset of the 150 - mostly F-type stars - in the mass range 1.1 M ≤ M ≤ 1.7 M in terms of their observed multiplicities. The major obstacle, as expected, arises from the onset of stellar rotation in this mass range for it continues to support many hidden companions. Yet, a solid increase of the fraction of binary and higher level systems as a function of the primary mass is manifest. There is even the prospect that on account of many companion candidates the single-star fraction may already converge to zero at the transition to the A-type stars. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Kellner R.,Ruhr University Bochum | Vollmeister E.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Feldbrugge M.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Begerow D.,Ruhr University Bochum
PLoS Genetics | Year: 2011

The grass smuts comprise a speciose group of biotrophic plant parasites, so-called Ustilaginaceae, which are specifically adapted to hosts of sweet grasses, the Poaceae family. Mating takes a central role in their life cycle, as it initiates parasitism by a morphological and physiological transition from saprobic yeast cells to pathogenic filaments. As in other fungi, sexual identity is determined by specific genomic regions encoding allelic variants of a pheromone-receptor (PR) system and heterodimerising transcription factors. Both operate in a biphasic mating process that starts with PR-triggered recognition, directed growth of conjugation hyphae, and plasmogamy of compatible mating partners. So far, studies on the PR system of grass smuts revealed diverse interspecific compatibility and mating type determination. However, many questions concerning the specificity and evolutionary origin of the PR system remain unanswered. Combining comparative genetics and biological approaches, we report on the specificity of the PR system and its genetic diversity in 10 species spanning about 100 million years of mating type evolution. We show that three highly syntenic PR alleles are prevalent among members of the Ustilaginaceae, favouring a triallelic determination as the plesiomorphic characteristic of this group. Furthermore, the analysis of PR loci revealed increased genetic diversity of single PR locus genes compared to genes of flanking regions. Performing interspecies sex tests, we detected a high potential for hybridisation that is directly linked to pheromone signalling as known from intraspecies sex. Although the PR system seems to be optimised for intraspecific compatibility, the observed functional plasticity of the PR system increases the potential for interspecific sex, which might allow the hybrid-based genesis of newly combined host specificities. © 2011 Kellner et al.


Nauck M.A.,Diabeteszentrum Bad Lauterberg | Kemmeries G.,Conservative Emergency Room | Holst J.J.,Copenhagen University | Meier J.J.,Ruhr University Bochum
Diabetes | Year: 2011

OBJECTIVE - Glucagon-like peptide (GLP)-1 lowers postprandial glycemia primarily through inhibition of gastric emptying. We addressed whether the GLP-1-induced deceleration of gastric emptying is subject to rapid tachyphylaxis and if so, how this would alter postprandial glucose control. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Nine healthy volunteers (25 ± 4 years old, BMI: 24.6 ± 4.7 kg/m 2) were examined with intravenous infusion of GLP-1 (0.8 pmol · kg -1 · min -1) or placebo over 8.5 h. Two liquid mixed meals were administered at a 4-h interval. Gastric emptying was determined, and blood samples were drawn frequently. RESULTS - GLP-1 decelerated gastric emptying significantly more after the first meal compared with the second meal (P = 0.01). This was associated with reductions in pancreatic polypeptide levels (marker of vagal activation) after the first but not the second meal (P < 0.05). With GLP-1, glucose concentrations declined after the first meal but increased after the second meal (P < 0.05). The GLP-1-induced reductions in postprandial insulin and C-peptide levels were stronger during the first meal course (P < 0.05). Likewise, glucagon levels were lowered by GLP-1 after the first meal but increased after the second test meal (P < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS - The GLP-1-induced delay in gastric emptying is subject to rapid tachyphylaxis at the level of vagal nervous activation. As a consequence, postprandial glucose control by GLP-1 is attenuated after its chronic administration. © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.


Nauck M.A.,Diabeteszentrum Bad Lauterberg | Vardarli I.,Diabeteszentrum Bad Lauterberg | Deacon C.F.,Copenhagen University | Holst J.J.,Copenhagen University | Meier J.J.,Ruhr University Bochum
Diabetologia | Year: 2011

The incretin hormones gastric inhibitory polypeptide and especially glucagon-like peptide (GLP) have an important physiological function in augmenting postprandial insulin secretion. Since GLP-1 may play a role in the pathophysiology and treatment of type 2 diabetes, assessment of meal-related GLP-1 secretory responses in type 2 diabetic patients vs healthy individuals is of great interest. A common view states that GLP-1 secretion in patients with type 2 diabetes is deficient and that this applies to a lesser degree in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. Such a deficiency is the rationale for replacing endogenous incretins with GLP-1 receptor agonists or re-normalising active GLP-1 concentrations with dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors. This review summarises the literature on this topic, including a meta-analysis of published studies on GLP-1 secretion in individuals with and without diabetes after oral glucose and mixed meals. Our analysis does not support the contention of a generalised defect in nutrient-related GLP-1 secretory responses in type 2 diabetes patients. Rather, factors are identified that may determine individual incretin secretory responses and explain some of the variations in published findings of group differences in GLP-1 responses to nutrient intake. © Springer-Verlag 2010.


Khaliullin R.Z.,ETH Zurich | Eshet H.,ETH Zurich | Kuhne T.D.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Behler J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Parrinello M.,ETH Zurich
Nature Materials | Year: 2011

Graphite and diamond have comparable free energies, yet forming diamond from graphite in the absence of a catalyst requires pressures that are significantly higher than those at equilibrium coexistence. At lower temperatures, the formation of the metastable hexagonal polymorph of diamond is favoured instead of the more stable cubic diamond. These phenomena cannot be explained by the concerted mechanism suggested in previous theoretical studies. Using an ab initio quality neural-network potential, we carried out a large-scale study of the graphite-to-diamond transition assuming that it occurs through nucleation. The nucleation mechanism accounts for the observed phenomenology and reveals its microscopic origins. We demonstrate that the large lattice distortions that accompany the formation of diamond nuclei inhibit the phase transition at low pressure, and direct it towards the hexagonal diamond phase at higher pressure. The proposed nucleation mechanism should improve our understanding of structural transformations in a wide range of carbon-based materials. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Bellebaum C.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Bellebaum C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Colosio M.,University of Padua
Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Humans can adapt their behavior by learning from the consequences of their own actions or by observing others. Gradual active learning of action-outcome contingencies is accompanied by a shift from feedback- to response-based performance monitoring. This shift is reflected by complementary learning-related changes of two ACC-driven ERP components, the feedbackrelated negativity (FRN) and the error-related negativity (ERN), which have both been suggested to signal events "worse than expected," that is, a negative prediction error. Although recent research has identified comparable components for observed behavior and outcomes (observational ERN and FRN), it is as yet unknown, whether these components are similarly modulated by prediction errors and thus also reflect behavioral adaptation. In this study, two groups of 15 participants learned action-outcome contingencies either actively or by observation. In active learners, FRN amplitude for negative feedback decreased and ERN amplitude in response to erroneous actions increased with learning, whereas observational ERN and FRNin observational learners did not exhibit learning-related changes. Learning performance, assessed in test trials without feedback, was comparable between groups, as was the ERN following actively performed errors during test trials. In summary, the results show that action-outcome associations can be learned similarly well actively and by observation. The mechanisms involved appear to differ, with the FRN in active learning reflecting the integration of information about own actions and the accompanying outcomes. © 2014 Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Meier J.J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Nauck M.A.,Diabeteszentrum Bad Lauterberg
Diabetologia | Year: 2014

Aims/hypothesis: Incretin-based therapies have been suggested to increase the risk of pancreatitis, but the results of the available studies are controversial. Because results from prospective trials are limited by low statistical power, and because retrospective studies are often subject to bias, a pooled analysis of phase III clinical trials and two endpoint trials was performed. Methods: Event numbers for acute pancreatitis and patient-years of exposure (PYOs) were obtained from representatives of the pharmaceutical companies, or by literature research. Data were pooled for glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists and dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP-4) inhibitors in comparison with their respective controls and expressed as exposure-adjusted incidence rates. Results: A total of 38 cases of pancreatitis were reported in clinical trials with GLP-1 receptor agonists, comprising 17,775 PYOs. With the comparator treatment, nine events occurred in 5,863 PYOs. The pooled event rates were 2.1 and 1.5 per 1,000 PYOs, respectively, resulting in an OR of 1.39 (95% CI 0.67, 2.88). With DPP-4 inhibitors, 57 events were reported in 45,132 PYOs compared with 46 events in 38,883 PYOs with the comparator treatment. Pooled event rates were 1.3 and 1.2 per 1,000 PYOs, respectively, resulting in an OR of 1.07 (CI 0.72, 1.58). Conclusions/interpretation: This analysis suggests a trend towards a slightly elevated risk of pancreatitis with GLP-1 receptor agonists. With DPP-4 inhibitors, no consistent trend was found. However, the incidence numbers of cases of pancreatitis were still very small, and the statistical power was limited. Future endpoint trials may help to provide a better estimate of the true risk of pancreatitis with incretin-based therapies. © 2014 Springer-Verlag.


Kozyrev V.,Institute For Neuroinformatik | Eysel U.T.,Ruhr University Bochum | Jancke D.,Institute For Neuroinformatik
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2014

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is widely used in clinical interventions and basic neuroscience. Additionally, it has become a powerful tool to drive plastic changes in neuronal networks. However, highly resolved recordings of the immediate TMS effects have remained scarce, because existing recording techniques are limited in spatial or temporal resolution or are interfered with by the strong TMS-induced electric field. To circumvent these constraints, we performed optical imaging with voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) in an animal experimental setting using anaesthetized cats. The dye signals reflect gradual changes in the cells' membrane potential across several square millimeters of cortical tissue, thus enabling direct visualization of TMS-induced neuronal population dynamics. After application of a single TMS pulse across visual cortex, brief focal activation was immediately followed by synchronous suppression of a large pool of neurons. With consecutive magnetic pulses (10 Hz), widespread activity within this "basin of suppression" increased stepwise to suprathreshold levels and spontaneous activity was enhanced. Visual stimulation after repetitive TMS revealed long-term potentiation of evoked activity. Furthermore, loss of the "deceleration-acceleration" notch during the rising phase of the response, as a signature of fast intracortical inhibition detectable with VSD imaging, indicated weakened inhibition as an important driving force of increasing cortical excitability. In summary, our data show that high-frequency TMS changes the balance between excitation and inhibition in favor of an excitatory cortical state. VSD imaging may thus be a promising technique to trace TMS-induced changes in excitability and resulting plastic processes across cortical maps with high spatial and temporal resolutions.


Haghikia A.,Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine | Haghikia A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Hohlfeld R.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Gold R.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 2 more authors.
Trends in Molecular Medicine | Year: 2013

In recent years, multiple sclerosis (MS) research has progressed on several fronts, prompting numerous clinical trials, primarily for immunotherapeutics. Although several new therapies have been disappointing and some were revealed to have devastating side effects, others have shown benefits and all have generated valuable knowledge about the progression of MS, the key contributors to pathogenesis, and on natural surveillance mechanisms for brain infections. This makes now a useful time to take stock of recent advances in developing MS treatments and consider new approaches for adding information where the gaps are greatest - mainly in understanding the degenerative processes responsible for most of the long-term disability. Here, we summarize currently accepted therapeutic principles and the drugs in late stages of development, as well as spotlighting potential novel openings for future research. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Marx D.,Ruhr University Bochum | Chandra A.,Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur | Tuckerman M.E.,Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2010

A scientific review informed about the anomalous diffusion of hydroxide in basic solutions OH-. The discussion was initiated with a review of structural diffusion of H+ in acidic solutions, enabling a comparison to be made. The presentation was based on the formal and unifying 'presolvation concept' that was explained within the context of the H+ diffusion process. A theoretical formalism was used by the researchers to connect the qualitative predictions of the presolvation concept to actual mechanisms and the resulting kinetics in quantitative detail. The theoretical formalism allowed structural diffusion to be analyzed on the basis of appropriately defined population correlation functions. This theoretical framework led to consistent sets of various lifetimes and rates for OH- that were directly compared to H+.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-19-2014 | Award Amount: 3.81M | Year: 2015

Demographic and epidemiologic transitions have brought a new health care paradigm with the presence of both, growing elderly population and chronic diseases. Life expectancy is increasing as well as the need for long-term care. Institutional care for the aged population faces economical struggles with low staffing ratios and consequent quality problems. Although the aforementioned implications of ageing impose societal challenges, at the same time new opportunities arise for the European citizens, the healthcare systems as well as the industry and the European market. Two of the most important aspects of assistive environments and independent living are user acceptance and unobtrusiveness. Mostly explored in a smart home setup and the unobtrusive installation of audio-visual monitoring equipment, the consensus is that users accept monitoring if they are not constantly aware of its presence. A more recent trend is home assistant robots. These two lines of development have for the most part ran without heavily interacting with each other and, even more so, without developing integrated solutions that combine smart home automation with robotics. In RADIO, we will develop an integrated smart home/assistant robot system, with the objective of pursuing a novel approach to acceptance and unobtrusiveness: a system where sensing equipment is not discrete but an obvious and accepted part of the users daily life. By using the integrated smart home/assistant robot system as the sensing equipment for health monitoring, we mask the functionality of the sensors rather than the sensors themselves. In this manner, sensors do not need to be discrete and distant or masked and cumbersome to install; they do however need to be perceived as a natural component of the smart home/assistant robot functionalities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.3 | Award Amount: 3.63M | Year: 2010

MATCHIT (MATrix for CHemical IT) will develop programmable information chemistry by introducing an addressable chemical container (chemtainer) production system and interfacing it with electronic computers via MEMS technology with regulatory feedback loops. As in the biological subcellular matrix, the chemical containers at the micro- and nanoscales will be self-assembling, replicable and self-repairing. At the nanoscale, DNA containers will provide a programmable and replicable chemistry in which positional information can be harnessed for a range of nanoscale utilities. At the microscale, containers based on DNA-labeled heterophase droplets and vesicles, will form microscopic labeled reaction vessels that can themselves determine their next processing steps. Their DNA-based addresses will be computable, enabling parallel chemical programming in a new multilevel architecture through autonomous address modification and resolution at the container-container, container-surface, and container-molecule levels, providing a concrete embedded application for DNA computing. This generic programmable information chemistry will not only be an enabling technology for immersed systems IT applications in the life sciences, chemistry, and nanotechnology, but also promote a deeper understanding of the computational power of coupled production and information processes, as in biology, and provide a platform for building the more organic computers of the future.\n\nMATCHIT will investigate the general use of self-assembling chemtainers for information-intensive Chem-IT. The project will develop and apply multiscale physical simulation tools and novel embedded IT architectures to process and integrate modular chemical and digital information. It will integrate and disseminate multidisciplinary European activities in Chem-IT, supported by the European Center for Living Technology and provide an assessment of the likely long-term socio-technical impact of this powerful technology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.9.1 | Award Amount: 4.13M | Year: 2013

TWO!EARS replaces current thinking about auditory modelling by a systemic approach in which human listeners are regarded as multi-modal agents that develop their concept of the world by exploratory interaction. The goal of the project is to develop an intelligent, active computational model of auditory perception and experience in a multi-modal context. Our novel approach is based on a structural link from binaural perception to judgment and action, realised by interleaved signal-driven (bottom-up) and hypothesis-driven (top-down) processing within an innovative expert system architecture. The system achieves object formation based on Gestalt principles, meaning assignment, knowledge acquisition and representation, learning, logic-based reasoning and reference-based judgment. More specifically, the system assigns meaning to acoustic events by combining signal- and symbol-based processing in a joint model structure, integrated with proprioceptive and visual percepts. It is therefore able to describe an acoustic scene in much the same way that a human listener can, in terms of the sensations that sounds evoke (e.g. loudness, timbre, spatial extent) and their semantics (e.g. whether the sound is unexpected or a familiar voice). Our system will be implemented on a robotic platform, which will actively parse its physical environment, orientate itself and move its sensors in a humanoid manner. The system has an open architecture, so that it can easily be modified or extended. This is crucial, since the cognitive functions to be modelled are domain and application specific. TWO!EARS will have significant impact on future development of ICT wherever knowledge and control of aural experience is relevant. It will also benefit research in related areas such as biology, medicine and sensory and cognitive psychology.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.1-4 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2008

The MEMOLOAD project will focus on the molecular and biological mechanisms underlying memory loss that occurs in Alzheimers disease, the leading cause of dementia and an enormous medical, social and economic challenge to Europe. Several lines of evidence point to accumulation of beta-amyloid peptide (A) in the brain as the key pathologic event in the disease. There is growing evidence that A causes memory loss by directly or directly interacting with the known key signalling pathways involved in memory consolidation. However, at present the data is fragmentary and consists mainly of single observations in particular models (cell culture, brain slice, in vivo). In most cases, we still lack the evidence that a clear molecular level interaction translates into memory impairment in vivo. The objective of this proposal is to elucidate the molecular level mechanisms by which accumulation of A in the brain results in impaired synaptic plasticity and memory loss. The MEMOLOAD consortium consists of a well-balanced mixture of the seven best available European research groups in terms of research experience on both the mechanisms of memory consolidation and the pathophysiology of Alzheimers disease. The current research topic is thus the primary research interest of all partners. MEMOLOAD will significantly contribute to a better understanding of brain memory mechanisms at the behavioural, network, synaptic and molecular levels and of dysfunction at all these levels in Alzheimers disease (AD). The knowledge acquired during the course of MEMOLOAD will translate into new validated in vitro and in vivo models for the memory impairing effect of A and will feed into industrial development leading to new therapies. The output of MEMOLOAD will include both identification of new drug targets and development of novel peptidomimetic compounds that neutralize the deleterious effects of most harmful A species.


Wubker A.,Witten/Herdecke University | Wubker A.,Ruhr University Bochum
European Journal of Health Economics | Year: 2014

Objective: In this study I aim to explore the statistical causes of country differences in mammography screening among women aged 50-69 years in 13 European countries. I focus on the relative importance of individual (e.g. age, education, etc.) and institutional (e.g. public screening programmes) factors in explaining these differences. Data and methods: I use individual level data from the first three waves (2004-2006-2009) of the SHARE as well as regional and country level data on institutional factors. The analytical approach is based on multilevel statistical models, which allow me to analyse the contribution of individual and institutional factors in explaining the variation in breast cancer screening across European countries. Results: I find that the standard deviation in screening rates across countries increases slightly from 19.5 to 20.8 per cent after controlling for individual factors. Observed individual factors such as age, education, health status, etc., do not significantly contribute to the explanation of cross-country differences. In contrast, after controlling for observed institutional factors such as the availability of an organised screening programme, the standard deviation drops from 20.86 to 12.92 per cent. These factors can statistically explain about 40 per cent of the between-country differences in screening rates. Moreover, I found that these institutional factors seem to prevent a woman from considering a mammogram "not necessary". Conclusion: This analysis provides important insights about patient's attitudes and understanding of benefits of breast cancer prevention and highlights the importance of the availability of an organised screening programme for screening differences across European countries. © Springer-Verlag 2013.


News Article | October 23, 2015
Site: www.materialstoday.com

An international team of scientists has developed a concept for designing catalysts that elegantly correlates their geometric and adsorption properties. They validated their approach by designing a new platinum-based catalyst for hydrogen-powered fuel cells. Such fuel cells generate electricity by oxidizing hydrogen at a cathode, forming water, while oxygen is reduced at an anode. The oxygen reduction reaction requires a platinum-based catalyst, but platinum (Pt) is extremely expensive and the world's annual output would not be sufficient for the widespread adoption of fuel cells in electric cars. It is well known, however, that only a few particularly exposed areas of the platinum-based catalyst are catalytically active: these areas are known as active centers. A team of scientists from the Technical University of Munich and the Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), the Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS) de Lyon, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1 (France) and Leiden University (Netherlands) have now determined what makes a good active center. A common method used in developing catalysts and in modeling the processes that take place on their surfaces is computer simulation. But as the number of atoms increases, the required quantum chemical calculations quickly become extremely complex. By developing a new methodology called ‘coordination-activity plots’, the research team came up with an alternative solution that elegantly correlates a catalyst’s geometric and adsorption properties. As they report in Science, this methodology is based on the ‘generalized coordination number’ (GCN). This is a variant of the coordination number, which is the number of atoms surrounding a specific atom, and involves weighting each surrounding atom according to its own coordination number. Calculated with the new approach, a typical Pt (111) surface has a GCN value of 7.5. According to the coordination-activity plot, the optimal catalyst should, however, have a value of 8.3, which could potentially be obtained by inducing atomic-size cavities into the platinum surface. In order to validate the accuracy of their new methodology, the researchers computationally designed a new type of platinum catalyst for fuel cell applications, which they then prepared experimentally using three different synthesis methods. In all three cases, the resultant catalyst showed up to three and a half times greater catalytic activity. "This work opens up an entirely new way for catalyst development: the design of materials based on geometric rationales which are more insightful than their energetic equivalents," says Federico Calle-Vallejo from Leiden University. "Another advantage of the method is that it is based clearly on one of the basic principles of chemistry: coordination numbers. This significantly facilitates the experimental implementation of computational designs." "With this knowledge, we might be able to develop nanoparticles that contain significantly less platinum or even include other catalytically active metals," says Aliaksandr Bandarenka, tenure track professor at Technical University of Munich. "And in future we might be able to extend our method to other catalysts and processes, as well." This story is adapted from material from the Technical University of Munich, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.


Friese D.H.,Ruhr University Bochum | Hattig C.,Ruhr University Bochum | Ruud K.,University of Tromsø
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2012

An implementation of two-photon absorption matrix elements using the approximate second-order coupled-cluster singles and doubles model CC2 is presented. In this implementation we use the resolution-of-the-identity approximation for the two-electron repulsion integrals to reduce the computational cost. To avoid storage of large arrays we introduce in addition a numerical Laplace transformation of orbital energy denominators for the response of the doubles amplitudes. The error due to the numerical Laplace transformation is found to be negligible. Using this new implementation, we performed a series of benchmark calculations on substituted benzene and azobenzene derivatives to get reference values for TD-DFT results. We show that results obtained with the Coulomb-attenuated B3LYP functional are in reasonable agreement with the coupled-cluster results, whereas other density functionals which do not have a long-range correction give considerably less accurate results. Applications to the AF240 dye molecule and a weakly bound molecular tweezer complex demonstrate that this new RI-CC2 implementation allows for the first time to compute two-photon absorption cross sections with a correlated wave function method for molecules with more than 70 atoms and to apply this method for benchmarking TD-DFT calculations on molecules which are of particular relevance for experimental studies of two-photon absorption. This journal is © the Owner Societies.


Zhu Y.,Southwest Jiaotong University | Kang G.,Southwest Jiaotong University | Kan Q.,Southwest Jiaotong University | Bruhns O.T.,Ruhr University Bochum
International Journal of Plasticity | Year: 2014

Based on the logarithmic stress rate, a constitutive model is developed to describe the material behaviour under cyclic loading histories (including ratchetting) in the framework of finite plasticity by using combined nonlinear isotropic and kinematic hardening rules. The nonlinear kinematic hardening rule is extended from that developed by Abdel-Karim and Ohno (2000) for infinitesimal plasticity. The cyclic hardening/softening feature of materials is reflected by using a nonlinear isotropic hardening rule. Then, the proposed model is implemented into a finite element code (e.g., ABAQUS) by employing a simple fully-implicit time-integration procedure. Finally, some numerical examples are carried out to verify the capability of the model to predict the cyclic deformation of materials in finite deformation by comparing the predictions with the corresponding experiment results in referable literature. The predicted stress responses during a simple shear with large shear strain and ratchetting during the cyclic loading tests in finite deformation are in good agreement with the corresponding experimental results. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Kochmann D.M.,California Institute of Technology | Hackl K.,Ruhr University Bochum
Continuum Mechanics and Thermodynamics | Year: 2011

The analysis and simulation of microstructures in solids has gained crucial importance, virtue of the influence of all microstructural characteristics on a material's macroscopic, mechanical behavior. In particular, the arrangement of dislocations and other lattice defects to particular structures and patterns on the microscale as well as the resultant inhomogeneous distribution of localized strain results in a highly altered stress-strain response. Energetic models predicting the mechanical properties are commonly based on thermodynamic variational principles. Modeling the material response in finite strain crystal plasticity very often results in a non-convex variational problem so that the minimizing deformation fields are no longer continuous but exhibit small-scale fluctuations related to probability distributions of deformation gradients to be calculated via energy relaxation. This results in fine structures that can be interpreted as the observed microstructures. In this paper, we first review the underlying variational principles for inelastic materials. We then propose an analytical partial relaxation of a Neo-Hookean energy formulation, based on the assumption of a first-order laminate microstructure, thus approximating the relaxed energy by an upper bound of the rank-one-convex hull. The semi-relaxed energy can be employed to investigate elasto-plastic models with a single as well as multiple active slip systems. Based on the minimization of a Lagrange functional (consisting of the sum of energy rate and dissipation potential), we outline an incremental strategy to model the time-continuous evolution of the laminate microstructure, then present a numerical scheme by means of which the microstructure development can be computed, and show numerical results for particular examples in single- and double-slip plasticity. We discuss the influence of hardening and of slip system orientations in the present model. In contrast to many approaches before, we do not minimize a condensed energy functional. Instead, we incrementally solve the evolution equations at each time step and account for the actual microstructural changes during each time step. Results indicate a reduction in energy when compared to those theories based on a condensed energy functional. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Sitnov M.I.,Johns Hopkins University | Schindler K.,Ruhr University Bochum
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2010

The sufficient stability criterion of the collisionless ion tearing mode in the magnetotail current sheet, which was first obtained by Lembege and Pellat in 1982, is considered. For many conventional 2D current sheet equilibria, this criterion is satisfied within the WKB approximation, which is commonly interpreted as stability of those equilibria with respect to tearing. However, this is not necessarily the case for equilibria with more than two characteristic spatial scales. An example for substantial tearing destabilization of an equilibrium with accumulation of the magnetic flux at the tailward end of a thin current sheet is presented. Similar equilibria are reported in Geotail and THEMIS observations prior to onsets of magnetospheric substorms and dipolarization fronts associated with bursty bulk flows. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.


Ocklenburg S.,Ruhr University Bochum | Beste C.,TU Dresden | Arning L.,Ruhr University Bochum | Peterburs J.,Johns Hopkins University | Gunturkun O.,Ruhr University Bochum
Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews | Year: 2014

Dominance of the left hemisphere for many aspects of speech production and perception is one of the best known examples of functional hemispheric asymmetries in the human brain. Classic theories about its ontogenesis assume that it is determined by the same ontogenetic factors as handedness because the two traits are correlated to some extent. However, the strength of this correlation depends on the measures used to assess the two traits, and the neurophysiological basis of language lateralization is different from that of handedness. Therefore, we argue that although the two traits show partial pleiotropy, there is also a substantial amount of independent ontogenetic influences for each of them. This view is supported by several recent genetic and neuroscientific studies that are reviewed in the present article. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.


Chernov V.,Dartmouth College | Nemirovski S.,Ruhr University Bochum
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2013

It is observed that on many 4-manifolds there is a unique smooth structure underlying a globally hyperbolic Lorentz metric. For instance, every contractible smooth 4-manifold admitting a globally hyperbolic Lorentz metric is diffeomorphic to the standard ℝ4. Similarly, a smooth 4-manifold homeomorphic to the product of a closed oriented 3-manifold N and ℝ and admitting a globally hyperbolic Lorentz metric is in fact diffeomorphic to N × ℝ. Thus one may speak of a censorship imposed by the global hyperbolicty assumption on the possible smooth structures on (3 + 1)-dimensional spacetimes. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


Braunewell K.H.,Southern Research Institute | Braunewell K.H.,Ruhr University Bochum
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2012

The neuronal Ca 2+-sensor proteins VILIP-1 and VILIP-3 have been implicated in the etiology of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) show association of genetic variants of VILIP-1 (VSNL1) and VILIP-3 (HPCAL1) with AD+P (+psychosis) and late onset AD (LOAD), respectively. In AD brains the expression of VILIP-1 and VILIP-3 protein and mRNA is down-regulated in cortical and limbic areas. In the hippocampus, for instance, reduced VILIP-1 mRNA levels correlate with the content of neurofibrillary tangles (NFT) and amyloid plaques, the pathological characteristics of AD, and with the mini mental state exam (MMSE), a test for cognitive impairment. More recently, VILIP-1 was evaluated as a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) biomarker and a prognostic marker for cognitive decline in AD. In CSF increased VILIP-1 levels correlate with levels of Aβ, tau, ApoE4, and reduced MMSE scores. These findings tie in with previous results showing that VILIP-1 is involved in pathological mechanisms of altered Ca 2+-homeostasis leading to neuronal loss. In PC12 cells, depending on co-expression with the neuroprotective Ca 2+-buffer calbindin D28K, VILIP-1 enhanced tau phosphorylation and cell death. On the other hand, VILIP-1 affects processes, such as cyclic nucleotide signalling and dendritic growth, as well as nicotinergic modulation of neuronal network activity, both of which regulate synaptic plasticity and cognition. Similar to VILIP-1, its interaction partner α4β2 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor is severely reduced in AD, causing severe cognitive deficits. Comparatively little is known about VILIP-3, but its interaction with cytochrome b5, which is part of an antioxidative system impaired in AD, hint towards a role in neuroprotection. A current hypothesis is that the reduced expression of VSNLs in AD is caused by selective vulnerability of subpopulations of neurons, leading to the death of these VILIP-1-expressing neurons, explaining its increased CSF levels. While the Ca 2+-sensor appears to be a good biomarker for the detrimental effects of Aβ in AD, its early, possibly Aβ-induced, downregulation of expression may additionally attenuate neuronal signal pathways regulating the functions of dendrites and neuroplasticity, and as a consequence, this may contribute to cognitive decline in early AD. © 2012 Braunewell.


Nauck M.A.,Diabetes Center | Del Prato S.,University of Pisa | Meier J.J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Duran-GARCIA S.,Hospital Universitario Of Valme | And 3 more authors.
Diabetes Care | Year: 2011

OBJECTIVE - Although initially effective, sulfonylureas are associated with poor glycemic durability, weight gain, and hypoglycemia. Dapagliflozin, a selective inhibitor of sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2), reduces hyperglycemia by increasing urinary glucose excretion independent of insulin andmay cause fewer of these adverse effects. We compared the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of dapagliflozin with the sulfonylurea glipizide in patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with metformin monotherapy. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - This 52-week, double-blind, multicenter, active-controlled, noninferiority trial randomized patients with type 2 diabetes (baseline mean HbA 1c, 7.7%), who were receiving metforminmonotherapy, to add-on dapagliflozin (n = 406) or glipizide (n = 408) up-titrated over 18 weeks, based on glycemic response and tolerability, to ≤10 or ≤20 mg/day, respectively. RESULTS - The primary end point, adjusted mean HbA 1c reduction with dapagliflozin (-0.52%) compared with glipizide (-0.52%), was statistically noninferior at 52 weeks. Key secondary end points: dapagliflozin produced significant adjusted mean weight loss (-3.2 kg) versus weight gain (1.2 kg; P < 0.0001) with glipizide, significantly increased the proportion of patients achieving ≥5% body weight reduction (33.3%) versus glipizide (2.5%; P < 0.0001), and significantly decreased the proportion experiencing hypoglycemia (3.5%) versus glipizide (40.8%; P < 0.0001). Events suggestive of genital infections and lower urinary tract infections were reported more frequently with dapagliflozin compared with glipizide but responded to standard treatment and rarely led to study discontinuation. CONCLUSIONS - Despite similar 52-week glycemic efficacy, dapagliflozin reduced weight and produced less hypoglycemia than glipizide in type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled with metformin. Long-termstudies are required to further evaluate genital and urinary tract infections with SGLT2 inhibitors. © 2011 by the American Diabetes Association.


Dreier J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Juhl D.,University of Lübeck
Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy | Year: 2014

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been recognized since 2004 as a transfusion-transmissible infectious agent, and recent epidemiological data suggest that it may pose a safety threat to the blood supply. It has recently become obvious that hepatitis E is endemic in industrialized countries, and that more infections are autochthonous than travel-associated. Epidemiological and phylogenetic analysis suggests that HEV infection has to be considered as a zoonosis and that viral transmission from animals (pigs, wild animals) occurs through food or direct contact. The seroprevalence and incidence of HEV in the general population and blood donors in European countries indicate an underestimated risk for transfusion transmissions. Recently reported cases of transfusion transmission of HEV infection, and detection of viremic, asymptomatic blood donors in nucleic acid amplification technique screening programs give an indication of the importance of this virus. Diagnostic assays for detection of anti-HEV antibodies, HEV antigens and RNA are discussed. Recent studies support the idea that active immunization can prevent hepatitis E, highlighting the need for vaccination programs. Here we review current knowledge of HEV and its epidemiology, blood transmission and prevention of this disease with emphasis on blood supply. © 2014 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.


Pierrard V.,Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy | Pierrard V.,Catholic University of Louvain | Lazar M.,Ruhr University Bochum | Lazar M.,Center for Plasma Astrophysics
Solar Physics | Year: 2010

The plasma particle velocity distributions observed in the solar wind generally show enhanced (non-Maxwellian) suprathermal tails, decreasing as a power law of the velocity and well described by the family of Kappa distribution functions. The presence of non-thermal populations at different altitudes in space plasmas suggests a universal mechanism for their creation and important consequences concerning plasma fluctuations, the resonant and nonresonant wave - particle acceleration and plasma heating. These effects are well described by the kinetic approaches where no closure requires the distributions to be nearly Maxwellian. This paper summarizes and analyzes the various theories proposed for the Kappa distributions and their valuable applications in coronal and space plasmas. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.


Braun J.,Ruhr University Bochum | Sieper J.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin
Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology | Year: 2013

Remission has not been a major topic in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) inrecent years but there is now increasing interest in analogy to rheumatoid arthritis (RA). RA and AS are chronic inflammatory disease with more differences than similarities. New classification criteria for axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) have recently added patients with so called non-radiographic axSpA to the spectrum, hereby including earlier disease stages without structural changes. Therapeutic strategies include nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) and biologics, mainly anti- TNF agents. Both work ratherwell for signs and symptoms, and possibly also for structure modification. Discontinuation of anti-TNF agents has been a major topic in RA in the last2 years. In axSpA there has been less enthusiasm because early reports havebeen rather discouraging. However, no prospective controlled trials have been performed. This is a clear unmet need which should be addressed in future trials. © Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology 2013.


Masseck O.A.,Ruhr University Bochum | Spoida K.,Ruhr University Bochum | Dalkara D.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Maejima T.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 4 more authors.
Neuron | Year: 2014

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) coupling to Gi/o signaling pathways are involved in the control of important physiological functions, which are difficult to investigate because of the limitation of tools to control the signaling pathway with precise kinetics and specificity. We established two vertebrate cone opsins, short- and long-wavelength opsin, for long-lasting and repetitive activation of Gi/o signaling pathways invitro and invivo. We demonstrate for both opsins the repetitive fast, membrane-delimited, ultra light-sensitive, and wavelength-dependent activation of the Gi/o pathway in HEK cells. We also show repetitive control of Gi/o pathway activation in 5-HT1A receptor domains in the dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) in brain slices and invivo, which is sufficient to modulate anxiety behavior in mice. Thus, vertebrate cone opsins represent a class of tools for understanding the role of Gi/o-coupled GPCRs in health and disease. © 2014 Elsevier Inc.


Groneberg D.,Julius Maximilians University Wrzburg | Konig P.,University of Lübeck | Koesling D.,Ruhr University Bochum | Friebe A.,Julius Maximilians University Wrzburg
Gastroenterology | Year: 2011

Background & Aims: The nitric oxideguanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) signaling pathway has an important role in the control of smooth muscle tone. NO is produced by NO synthases and acts as a major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The main target, NO-sensitive guanylyl cyclase (NO-GC), is stimulated by NO to produce the intracellular messenger cGMP. We investigated the role of NO-GC in nitrergic relaxation and GI motility. Methods: We tested relaxation of GI smooth muscle in mice that do not express NO-GC or mice with disruption of NO-GC specifically in smooth muscle cells. Different segments of the GI tract (fundus, lower esophageal sphincter, pyloric sphincter, and duodenum) were used in isometric force studies. NO donors and electrical field stimulation were used to assess nitrergic signaling. Whole-gut transit time was measured as an indicator of GI motility. Results: Mice that lack NO-GC do not have NO-induced relaxation of GI smooth muscle. Gut transit time was increased, resulting in GI dysfunction. Surprisingly, in mice that lack NO-GC specifically in smooth muscle, NO-induced relaxation was reduced only slightly, and whole-gut transit time was unchanged compared with wild-type mice. Conclusions: Lack of NO-GC in smooth muscle cells does not impair NO-induced relaxation of GI tissues or GI motility. The NO receptor guanylyl cyclase in GI smooth muscle is therefore dispensable for nitrergic signaling in mice. © 2011 AGA Institute.


Baraliakos X.,Ruhr University Bochum | Baraliakos X.,Epidemiology Unit | Baraliakos X.,Universitair Ziekenhuis Ghent | Baraliakos X.,University of Versailles | And 2 more authors.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases | Year: 2014

OBJECTIVE: To study the relationship of spinal inflammation and fatty degeneration (FD) as detected by MRI and new bone formation seen on conventional radiographs (CRs) in ankylosing spondylitis (AS).METHODS: CRs at baseline, 2 years and 5 years and spinal MRIs at baseline and 2 years of 73 AS patients treated with infliximab in European AS Infliximab Cohort were available. Relative risks (RR) were calculated with a general linear model after adjustment for within-patient variation.RESULTS: In a total of 1466 vertebral edges (VEs) without baseline syndesmophytes, 61 syndesmophytes developed at 5 years, the majority of which (57.4%) had no corresponding detectable MRI lesions at baseline. VEs with both inflammation and FD at baseline had the highest risk (RR 3.3, p=0.009) for syndesmophyte formation at 5 years, followed by VEs that developed new FD or did not resolve FD at 2 years (RR=2.3, p=0.034), while inflammation at baseline with no FD at 2 years had the lowest risk for syndesmophyte formation at 5 years (RR=0.8). Of the VEs with inflammation at baseline, >70% resolved completely, 28.8% turned into FD after 2 years, but only 1 syndesmophyte developed within 5 years.CONCLUSIONS: Parallel occurrence of inflammation and FD at baseline and development of FD without prior inflammation after 2 years were significantly associated with syndesmophyte formation after 5 years of anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy. However, the sequence 'inflammation-FD-new bone formation' was rarely observed, an argument against the TNF-brake hypothesis. Whether an early suppression of inflammation leads to a decrease of the risk for new bone formation remains to be demonstrated. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-SH5 | Award Amount: 2.11M | Year: 2010

One of the prominent features of Medieval Aristotelianism, both Arabic and Latin, is the fact that Aristotle has been credited with writings that, albeit Neoplatonic in origin, circulated under his name. Crucial as it might be for the genesis of Arabic-Islamic philosophy, the main text of the Neoplatonic tradition into Arabic, i.e., the so-called Theology of Aristotle, is still poorly edited and no running commentary exists on it. The Theology of Aristotle, derived in reality from Plotinus Enneads, will be critically edited, translated and commented upon. This project will also study the Graeco-Arabic translations from a linguistic viewpoint. It will develop the extant Greek and Arabic Lexicon; of the Medieval translations of philosophical works into a computational resource. For the first time, the project allows Ancient and Arabic philosophy to interact with computational linguistics.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 535.50K | Year: 2014

The objective of this project is to build upon, solidify, formalise and condense the recently initiated, but as yet informal, relationships between leading research institutions representing different regions and historical traditions in order to conduct joint research and participate in knowledge exchange to identify new paradigms for understanding how national identities are disrupted and formed by the traumas of history. By moving this consortium from an informal, ad hoc set of alliances to a structured programme of exchanges, the SPeCTReSS programme, we will generate new research results and new methodologies across the disciplinary spectrum we represent, a rich transfer of knowledge between institutions, research groups and culturally inscribed traditionas of scholarship, generating the basis for long term, sstainable cooperation between the partners. The basis of the research question we share is as follows: In contemporary scholarship, much discussion of national identity is framed in a context of something specific that has come before: post-colonial, post-war, post-apartheid, post-communism, etc.. More useful, however, than such contested terms as nationalism or patriotism, is that of cultural trauma. culturally defined and interpreted shock to the cultural tissue of a society. SPeCTReSS will pursue this revised notion not just in theoretical and historical terms, but focussing on the cultural production of affected communities.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: NMP.2013.2.2-1 | Award Amount: 5.87M | Year: 2014

Active therapeutic biodegradable and biocompatible materials are highly in demand. These are required for the production of medicinal products in a variety of areas including implant technology, tissue engineering, drug delivery and wound healing. Within implant technology such biomaterials can be used for dental, bone and cardiovascular implants. Tailored mechanical properties, biocompatibility and degradation rate is the key to the development for a specific implant. Stents are tubular type implants that are deployed most commonly to recover the shape of narrowed arterial segments. Although, the clinical use of stents is widespread, they cause adverse responses including inflammation, in-stent restenosis and thrombosis. Endothelialisation of the stent greatly reduces these adverse reactions. In contrast to permanent stents there is great attraction in the notion of a biodegradable stent that recovers and maintains arterial shape and then gradually disappears and avoids further complications. In this multi-institution & disciplinary SME focussed project we will aim to provide the technological framework that leads to the production of reinforced polymeric biomaterials tailored towards stent manufacturing without adverse effects. Both natural and synthetic polymers will be produced and used. These will be reinforced and functionalised using a variety of techniques. Controlled delivery of suitable positive additives including antimitotic factors will be aimed for and their release monitored. These highly functionalised active biomaterials will be characterised thoroughly for material properties, biocompatibility, rate of biodegradation and used for the production of ideal stents. These will be characterized thoroughly leading to preclinical validation. All required production and manufacturing guidelines will be followed.

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