Kiel, Germany
Kiel, Germany

The Kiel University is a university in the city of Kiel, Germany. It was founded in 1665 as the Academia Holsatorum Chiloniensis by Christian Albert, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp and has approximately 24,000 students today. The University of Kiel is the largest, oldest, and most prestigious in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. Until 1864/66 it was not only the northernmost university in Germany but at the same time the 2nd largest university of Denmark. Wikipedia.

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Andresen M.,University of Kiel | Schloh M.,University of Kiel | Buticchi G.,University of Kiel | Liserre M.,University of Kiel
ECCE 2016 - IEEE Energy Conversion Congress and Exposition, Proceedings | Year: 2016

The junction temperature of power semiconductors in power converters must not exceed its maximum limits and it is of major importance for several failure mechanisms. But still, the junction temperature is hard to access. Direct measurement is not practical for industrial applications, indirect measurements require substantial effort and available junction temperature models have high calculation effort. This work develops a simple junction temperature estimator, which is applied for a maximum junction temperature limitation and the capability to be applied for further algorithm relying on the junction temperature, referring to active thermal control. It is experimentally shown, that a second order estimator is sufficient to achieve high bandwidth estimation. © 2016 IEEE.

Richter C.,University of Kiel | Allert H.,University of Kiel
Smart Innovation, Systems and Technologies | Year: 2017

Starting from the premise that a deeper understanding of creative design requires closer attention to the practitioners’ own accounts of what they are doing, a case study was aimed to trace and compare the way creative design is conceived and enacted by different design teams. Episodic interviews on past design projects were carried out with practitioners from two professional design teams and one educational institution. The case based analysis indicates locally coherent models of creative design, the cross-case comparison reveals fundamental differences in the way the local design processes and the underlying rationalities are construed. © Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017.

Schmidtko S.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Stramma L.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Visbeck M.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Visbeck M.,University of Kiel
Nature | Year: 2017

Ocean models predict a decline in the dissolved oxygen inventory of the global ocean of one to seven per cent by the year 2100, caused by a combination of a warming-induced decline in oxygen solubility and reduced ventilation of the deep ocean. It is thought that such a decline in the oceanic oxygen content could affect ocean nutrient cycles and the marine habitat, with potentially detrimental consequences for fisheries and coastal economies. Regional observational data indicate a continuous decrease in oceanic dissolved oxygen concentrations in most regions of the global ocean, with an increase reported in a few limited areas, varying by study. Prior work attempting to resolve variations in dissolved oxygen concentrations at the global scale reported a global oxygen loss of 550 ± 130 teramoles (10 12 mol) per decade between 100 and 1,000 metres depth based on a comparison of data from the 1970s and 1990s. Here we provide a quantitative assessment of the entire ocean oxygen inventory by analysing dissolved oxygen and supporting data for the complete oceanic water column over the past 50 years. We find that the global oceanic oxygen content of 227.4 ± 1.1 petamoles (10 15 mol) has decreased by more than two per cent (4.8 ± 2.1 petamoles) since 1960, with large variations in oxygen loss in different ocean basins and at different depths. We suggest that changes in the upper water column are mostly due to a warming-induced decrease in solubility and biological consumption. Changes in the deeper ocean may have their origin in basin-scale multi-decadal variability, oceanic overturning slow-down and a potential increase in biological consumption. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

Mercas R.,Loughborough University | Nowotka D.,University of Kiel
Information Processing Letters | Year: 2017

In this work we improve on a result from [1]. In particular, we investigate the situation where a word is constructed jointly by two players who alternately append letters to the same end of the construction. One of the players (Ann) tries to avoid (non-trivial) repetitions, while the other one (Ben) tries to enforce them. We show a construction that is closer to the lower bound of 6 showed in [2] using entropy compression while building on the probabilistic arguments based on a version of the Lovász Local Lemma from [4]. Our result provides an explicit strategy for Ann to avoid (non-trivial) repetitions over a 7-letter alphabet. © 2016

De Carne G.,University of Kiel | Liserre M.,University of Kiel | Vournas C.,National Technical University of Athens
IEEE Transactions on Power Systems | Year: 2017

This letter proposes a new on-line load sensitivity identification by means of power electronics-based devices. Applying a voltage and frequency perturbation and measuring the consumed power of the loads, the proposed method computes in real time the voltage and frequency dependency of the load active and reactive power. In this letter, a smart transformer application has been proposed, but the method is general for any power electronics converter able to influence dynamically the voltage and frequency in the grid. © 1969-2012 IEEE.

Schwarz A.,University of Kiel | Bruhs A.,University of Kiel | Schwarz T.,University of Kiel
Journal of Investigative Dermatology | Year: 2017

There is evidence that gut commensal microbes affect the mucosal immune system via expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the colon. This is mediated via short-chain fatty acids, bacterial metabolites generated during fiber fermentation, which include butyrate, propionate, and acetate. We postulated that short-chain fatty acids produced by commensal skin bacteria may also activate resident skin Tregs, the activity of which is diminished in certain inflammatory dermatoses. Sodium butyrate (SB) either injected subcutaneously or applied topically onto the ears of hapten-sensitized mice significantly reduced the contact hypersensitivity reaction. This effect was histone acetylation-dependent because suppression was abrogated by anacardic acid, a histone acetyltransferase inhibitor. The genes encoding for the Treg-specific transcription factor foxp3 and for IL-10 were up-regulated upon treatment with sodium butyrate, as determined by quantitative real-time reverse transcription-PCR. Immunofluorescence analysis showed enhanced numbers of Foxp3-positive cells in sodium butyrate-treated skin. Additionally, CD4+CD25– nonregulatory human T cells exerted suppressive features upon incubation with sodium butyrate. This indicates that Tregs can be induced by short-chain fatty acids, suggesting (i) that resident skin microbes may prevent exaggerated inflammatory responses by exerting a down-regulatory function and thereby maintaining a stable state under physiologic conditions and (ii) that short-chain fatty acids may be used therapeutically to mitigate inflammatory skin reactions. © 2016 The Authors

Piel A.,University of Kiel
Physics of Plasmas | Year: 2017

The interaction of an ion flow with charged microparticles is studied by simulations with the molecular asymmetric dynamics (MAD) code. This code treats positive ions as “Yukawa particles” that are shielded by thermal electrons while the microparticle is assumed unshielded. The code is described and critically compared with results from published particle-in-cell simulations of other authors. As an application, the MAD code is used for a systematic study of the repulsive and ion-wake induced attractive forces in a particle pair. It is shown that the combined wake charges of a vertically, flow-aligned particle pair do not lead to a net attractive force. When the lower particle is shifted sidewards, a horizontal restoring force is found, which gives harmonic confinement for small displacements and a decreasing attraction force for a large distance. © 2017 Author(s).

Wiesner C.D.,University of Kiel | Lindner C.,University of Kiel
PLoS ONE | Year: 2017

Exerting self-control in a first task weakens self-control in a second completely unrelated task (ego-depletion). It has been proposed that ego-depletion increases approach motivation which would amplify positive emotions to appetitive cues. Here we investigated the effect of the depletion of cognitive self-control on the subsequent emotional evaluation of appetitive cues. Participants of the depletion group copied a text omitting frequent letters and thereby exerting self-control to inhibit automated writing habits. Participants of the control group just copied the text. In a subsequent task participants had to rate valence and arousal of their responses to neutral vs. positive pictures of humans, animals, food, or sceneries. Ego-depletion caused more positive valence ratings of neutral pictures and lower arousal ratings of positive pictures. The findings do not support the notion that ego-depletion increases approach motivation in general. Rather they suggest that-without a specific motivational context-depletion of cognitive self-control differentially alters the immediate emotional evaluation of appetitive cues. © 2017 Wiesner, Lindner. 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.

Hoffmann C.,Study Center Hamburg | Hoffmann C.,University of Kiel | Sabranski M.,Study Center Hamburg | Esser S.,University of Duisburg - Essen
Oncology Research and Treatment | Year: 2017

Kaposi's sarcoma (KS) is still one of the most common malignancies in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Large randomized clinical trials have shown a protective effect of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) against the development of KS, even in patients with a relatively preserved immune system. In patients with sufficient cART, KS has become a rarity. In most patients with HIV-associated KS who initiate cART, the KS lesions stabilize with decreasing HIV plasma viremia and immune reconstitution, or even resolve completely without any specific treatment. In patients with advanced or rapidly progressive disease, especially in the setting of an immune reconstitution syndrome, cART should be combined with cytotoxic chemotherapies. With regard to the KS pathogenesis, several new therapies have been suggested, such as antiviral agents, cytokines, and inhibitors of angiogenesis. © 2017 S. Karger GmbH, Freiburg.

Ehlers T.,University of Kiel
Information Processing Letters | Year: 2017

We present a new sorting network on 24 channels, which uses only 12 layers, improving the previously best known bound by one layer. By monotonicity, this also implies improved sorting networks for 23 channels. This result was obtained by combining techniques for generating prefixes of sorting networks with propositional encodings. © 2016 Elsevier B.V.

This study analyses the environmental efficiency and changes in productivity of arable farms, taking greenhouse gas emissions into consideration as an undesirable output. Shadow prices of greenhouse gas emissions and determinants of efficiency are investigated and the influence of different sources of productivity change is quantified. The methodological framework is based on output-oriented and enhanced hyperbolic stochastic distance functions. The balanced data panel comprises 141 arable farms located in northern Germany between the 2002/03 and 2009/10 financial years. The results show that there are potential savings of 12% or 9% of product-related emissions for the output-oriented and enhanced hyperbolic distance functions, respectively. Better soil quality and a higher proportion of grain and sugar beet in the crop rotation influence efficiency positively. In contrast, a higher percentage of organic fertilizer and a higher percentage of outsourced services have a negative influence on efficiency. Average shadow prices of greenhouse gas emissions are, depending on the distance function, from €3.56 to €7.12 per tonne CO2 equivalent and from €1.71 to €3.41 per tonne CO2 equivalent. Shadow prices show an increasing trend during the observation period. The determined positive productivity change is mainly caused by technical progress. Average efficiency changes have only a marginal impact on productivity change. Scale changes inhibit productivity progress slightly.

Wiechert M.,University of Kiel | Beitz E.,University of Kiel
EMBO Journal | Year: 2017

Bacterial formate–nitrite transporters (FNTs) regulate the metabolic flow of small, weak mono-acids. Recently, the eukaryotic PfFNT was identified as the malaria parasite's lactate transporter and novel drug target. Despite crystal data, central mechanisms of FNT gating and transport remained unclear. Here, we show elucidation of the FNT transport mechanism by single-step substrate protonation involving an invariant lysine in the periplasmic vestibule. Opposing earlier gating hypotheses and electrophysiology reports, quantification of total uptake by radiolabeled substrate indicates a permanently open conformation of the bacterial formate transporter, FocA, irrespective of the pH. Site-directed mutagenesis, heavy water effects, mathematical modeling, and simulations of solvation imply a general, proton motive force-driven FNT transport mechanism: Electrostatic attraction of the acid anion into a hydrophobic vestibule decreases substrate acidity and facilitates protonation by the bulk solvent. We define substrate neutralization by proton transfer for transport via a hydrophobic transport path as a general theme of the Amt/Mep/Rh ammonium and formate–nitrite transporters. © 2017 The Authors

Jansen K.,University of Kiel | Klein K.-M.,University of Kiel
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2017

We consider the bin packing problem with d different item sizes and revisit the structure theorem given by Goemans and Rothvoβ[5] about solutions of the integer cone. We present new techniques on how solutions can be modified and give a new structure theorem that relies on the set of vertices of the underlying integer polytope. As a result of our new structure theorem, we obtain an algorithm for the bin packing problem with running time jV j2O(d) enc(I)O(1), where V is the set of vertices of the integer knapsack poly tope and enc(I) is the encoding length of the bin packing instance. The algorithm is fixed parameter tractable, parameterized by the number of vertices of the integer knap sack polytope jV j. This shows that the bin packing problem can be solved efficiently when the underlying integer knap sack polytope has an easy structure, i.e. has a small number of vertices. Furthermore, we show that the presented bounds of the structure theorem are asymptotically tight. We give a construction of bin packing instances using new structural insights and classical number theoretical theorems which yield the desired lower bound. Copyright © by SIAM.

Jansen K.,University of Kiel | Rohwedder L.,University of Kiel
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2017

We consider the classical problem of Scheduling on Un- related Machines. In this problem a set of jobs is to be distributed among a set of machines and the maximum load (makespan) is to be minimized. The processing time pij of a job j depends on the machine i it is assigned to. Lenstra, Shmoys and Tardos gave a polynomial time 2-approximation for this problem [8]. In this paper we focus on a promi- nent special case, the Restricted Assignment problem, in which pij ϵ (pj ∞). The configuration-LP is a linear programming relaxation for the Restricted Assignment problem. It was shown by Svensson that the multiplica- tive gap between integral and fractional solution, the inte- grality gap, is at most 2 - 1=17 ≈ 1:9412 [11]. In this paper we significantly simplify his proof and achieve a bound of 2 1/6 ≈ 1:8333. As a direct consequence this provides a polynomial (2 1=6 + ϵ)-estimation algorithm for the Restricted Assignment problem by approximating the configuration-LP. The best lower bound known for the integrality gap is 1:5 and no estimation algorithm with a guarantee better than 1:5 exists unless P = NP. Copyright © by SIAM.

Jansen K.,University of Kiel | Rau M.,University of Kiel
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2017

We study the well-known two-dimensional strip packing problem. Given is a set of rectangular axis-parallel items and a strip of width W with infinite height. The objective is to find a packing of these items into the strip, which minimizes the packing height. Lately, it has been shown that the lower bound of 3/2 of the absolute approximation ratio can be beaten when we allow a pseudo-polynomial running-time of type (nW)f(1/ε), for any function f. If W is polynomially bounded by the number of items, this is a polynomial running-time. We present a pseudo-polynomial algorithm with approximation ratio 4/3 + ε and running time (nW)1/ε O(21/ε). © Springer International Publishing AG 2017.

Herberg E.R.,University of Kiel | Sarneel J.M.,University Utrecht
Applied Vegetation Science | Year: 2017

Question: Restoration of channelized streams increases geomorphic complexity but it remains unclear how this interacts with processes that drive future vegetation changes (dispersal, germination and establishment). This study asks if increased geomorphic complexity increases recruitment conditions of sown seeds or affects post-dispersal natural seedling densities. Location: Vindel River catchment, northern Sweden. Methods: We selected seven study streams with paired reaches that differed in the degree to which geomorphic complexity was restored. Basic reaches used simple restoration methods while enhanced reaches additionally added large boulders and woody debris. We sowed seeds of six species at ten locations in each reach in 2014 and counted the number of seedlings after 8 wk and the number of naturally occurring seedlings in a plot adjacent to the sowing locations in 2013 and 2014. Using factor analysis based on 34 complexity measurements, overall geomorphic complexity was quantified for eight of the 14 reaches. Results: Total numbers of sown (2014) and natural seedlings (2013 and 2014) summed per reach did not differ between restoration types when tested pair-wise. Enhanced restoration did not always significantly increase geomorphic complexity, which differed considerably between the streams. More complex reaches were steeper, had larger size sediment and more nutrient-poor soils. Total recruitment of sown species significantly decreased with increasing complexity. Numbers of natural seedlings differed considerably from 2013 to 2014, but were not related to complexity. In 2014, a potential parent plant of the same species occurred within the same plot for 71.8% of the natural seedlings that could be identified. Conclusions: The recruitment of sown seeds was affected by overall geomorphic complexity rather than by the enhanced restoration. The absence of a correlation between geomorphic complexity and natural seedlings could indicate that natural seedling dynamics are not solely determined by recruitment conditions, but also by dispersal. © 2017 International Association for Vegetation Science.

Stoppe N.,University of Kiel | Horn R.,University of Kiel
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2017

A basic understanding of soil behavior on the mesoscale resp. macroscale (i.e. soil aggregates resp. bulk soil) requires knowledge of the processes at the microscale (i.e. particle scale), therefore rheological investigations of natural soils receive growing attention. In the present research homogenized and sieved (< 2 mm) samples from Marshland soils of the riparian zone of the River Elbe (North Germany) were analyzed with a modular compact rheometer MCR 300 (Anton Paar, Ostfildern, Germany) with a profiled parallel-plate measuring system. Amplitude sweep tests (AST) with controlled shear deformation were conducted to investigate the viscoelastic properties of the studied soils under oszillatory stress. The gradual depletion of microstructural stiffness during AST cannot only be characterized by the well-known rheological parameters G, G″ and tan δ but also by the dimensionless area parameter integral z, which quantifies the elasticity of microstructure. To discover the physicochemical parameters, which influences the microstructural stiffness, statistical tests were used taking the combined effects of these parameters into account. Although the influence of the individual factors varies depending on soil texture, the physicochemical features significantly affecting soil micro structure were identified. Based on the determined statistical relationships between rheological and physicochemical parameters, pedotransfer functions (PTF) have been developed, which allow a mathematical estimation of the rheological target value integral z. Thus, stabilizing factors are: soil organic matter, concentration of Ca2+, content of CaCO3 and pedogenic iron oxides; whereas the concentration of Na+ and water content represent structurally unfavorable factors. © Published under licence by IOP Publishing Ltd.

Faul F.,University of Kiel
ACM Transactions on Applied Perception | Year: 2017

Filter models of perceptual transparency relate to regularities in the retinal projections caused by light transmitting objects like clear liquids or glass and have been found to predict the color conditions for perceptual transparency more accurately than alternative models. An important but unsolved problem is how exactly the model parameters are related to the properties of the perceived transparent layer. We previously proposed a parametrization in terms of hue, saturation, overall transmittance and clarity of the filter that seems to capture important dimensions of the phenomenal impressions. However, these parameters are not independent and the corresponding scales are not perceptually uniform. Here, an invertible transformation of this parameter space is proposed that strongly mitigates these problems. This results in a more intuitively interpretable parameter set that seems well suited for the analysis of existing stimuli and the generation of transparent overlays with predefined perceptual properties. The latter property makes it suitable for graphics and visualization applications. © 2017 ACM.

Gruenewald M.,University of Kiel | Dempfle A.,University of Kiel
Minerva Anestesiologica | Year: 2017

INTRODUCTION: The adequate suppression of nociception is, besides induction of unconsciousness and immobility, the main objective during anesthesia. Analgesics, most commonly opioids, are usually titrated by established clinical surrogates of nociception. Recently, monitoring techniques became available to evaluate analgesia/nociception during anesthesia and provide better measures then clinical evaluation alone. They are primarily derived from autonomic response on physiologic standard measures. EVIDENCEACQUISITION: Aliterature search and systematic review of randomized controlled trials was performed. Trials enrolling patients undergoing general anesthesia and comparing the effects of opioids guided by analgesia/nociception monitoring were considered. Studies were analyzed regarding the outcome effects of opioid therapy, intraoperative events and postoperative pain. Meta-Analyses were performed for each outcome separately using a fixed-effects model and random effects models. EVIDENCEANALYSIS: Seven applicable randomized clinical trials using three different methods for analgesia/nociception monitoring and opioid guidance during anesthesia were found. All but one trial were single centre studies, with a high heterogeneity between the trials and differences in predefined primary outcome. This meta-Analysis found that the use of analgesia/nociception monitoring was associated with a significant reduction of movement events, a non-significant trend towards reduction of intraoperative administered opioids and emergence time, but was inconclusive with regard to effects on hemodynamic events, postoperatively reported pain and opioid consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring analgesia/nociception is often reliant on regular physiologic conditions, like sinus rhythm. Opioid guidance dependent on analgesia/nociception monitoring during anesthesia may have beneficial and clinically relevant effects, however the number of currently available randomized controlled studies is low and conclusions are hampered by heterogeneity. More studies with focussed clinical endpoints are therefore needed. © 2016 EDIZIONIMINERVAMEDICA.

Postuma R.B.,L7 305 Montreal General Hospital | Berg D.,University of Kiel
International Review of Neurobiology | Year: 2017

This chapter summarizes the advances in diagnosis of Parkinson's disease (PD) that were encapsulated in new International Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders Society diagnostic criteria for PD. Numerous changes in our understanding of PD have occurred, including our understanding of the nonmotor profile of disease, the recognition of PD as a synucleinopathy, identification of genetic causes, novel hypotheses about spread of disease, etc. These have been reflected in a new definition of PD, which includes a clinicogenetic subtype of PD, removes dementia with Lewy Bodies as an exclusion criterion against PD, and recognizes multiple stages of early disease. The Clinical Diagnostic Criteria for PD reflect these changes and offer a new standardized diagnostic method for use in clinical research and even clinical practice. The criteria for prodromal PD use a method not seen in previous diagnostic criteria; they rely upon published studies of PD predictors to calculate the probability that any individual will develop PD. The field of PD is constantly advancing, and our methods of diagnosis need to advance with it; one hopes for a future filled with constant revisions and updates in our diagnostic methodology. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.

Lokau J.,University of Kiel | Wandel M.,University of Kiel | Garbers C.,University of Kiel
International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology | Year: 2017

Proteolytic cleavage of the membrane-bound Interleukin-6 receptor (IL-6R) by the metalloprotease ADAM17 releases an agonistic soluble form of the IL-6R (sIL-6R), which is responsible for the pro-inflammatory trans-signaling branch of the cytokine's activities. This proteolytic step, which is also called ectodomain shedding, is critically regulated by the cleavage site within the IL-6R stalk, because mutations or small deletions within this region are known to render the IL-6R irresponsive towards proteolysis. In the present study, we employed cleavage site profiling data of ADAM17 to generate an IL-6R with increased cleavage susceptibility. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we showed that the non-prime sites P3 and P2 and the prime site P1′ were critical for this increase in proteolysis, whereas other positions within the cleavage site were of minor importance. Insertion of this optimized cleavage site into the stalk of the Interleukin-11 receptor (IL-11R) was not sufficient to enable ADAM17-mediated proteolysis, but transfer of different parts of the IL-6R stalk enabled shedding by ADAM17. These findings shed light on the cleavage site specificities of ADAM17 using a native substrate and reveal further differences in the proteolysis of IL-6R and IL-11R. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Becker-Pauly C.,University of Kiel | Pietrzik C.U.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience | Year: 2017

The membrane bound metalloprotease meprin β is important for collagen fibril assembly in connective tissue formation and for the detachment of the intestinal mucus layer for proper barrier function. Recent proteomic studies revealed dozens of putative new substrates of meprin β, including the amyloid precursor protein (APP). It was shown that APP is cleaved by meprin β in distinct ways, either at the β-secretase site resulting in increased levels of Aβ peptides, or at the N-terminus releasing 11 kDa, and 20 kDa peptide fragments. The latter event was discussed to be rather neuroprotective, whereas the ectodomain shedding of APP by meprin β reminiscent to BACE-1 is in line with the amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s disease, promoting neurodegeneration. The N-terminal 11 kDa and 20 kDa peptide fragments represent physiological cleavage products, since they are found in human brains under different diseased or non-diseased states, whereas these fragments are completely missing in brains of meprin β knock-out animals. Meprin β is not only a sheddase of adhesion molecules, such as APP, but was additionally demonstrated to cleave within the prodomain of ADAM10. Activated ADAM10, the α-secretase of APP, is then able to shed meprin β from the cell surface thereby abolishing the β -secretase activity. All together meprin β seems to be a novel player in APP processing events, even influencing other enzymes involved in APP cleavage. © 2017 Becker-Pauly and Pietrzik.

Keppler J.K.,University of Kiel | Schwarz K.,University of Kiel
Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects | Year: 2017

The emulsifying capacity of whey protein isolate (WPI) is reduced at acidic pH values, where the protein is fully protonated. A covalent modification (disulphide cleavage and amide group binding) of whey proteins with the electrophilic plant derived compound allyl isothiocyanate (AITC) was previously found to increase their hydrophobicity and backbone flexibility especially at acidic conditions. This could be a promising means to alter the physicochemical properties of WPI proteins in favour of a higher emulsifying capacity at acidic pH values. In a first step, the stability of the AITC modification during high-pressure homogenisation was assessed at pH 2–7. Following this, emulsions (o/w) with rapeseed oil were prepared and the oil droplet size and the zeta potential were measured as a function of pH value and oil concentration. The creaming stability was analyzed during storage and under accelerated conditions using an analytical photo-centrifuge. The AITC-modification remained stable during high-pressure treatment. A significantly enhanced emulsifying capacity of the modified WPI at pH 2 was observed. The creaming stability at pH 2 and 4 increased significantly. The effects were less pronounced at pH 6 or 7. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

News Article | May 8, 2017

In a recent study in Human Molecular Genetics, researchers from VIB and KU Leuven led by prof. Philip Van Damme, reveal a novel function for progranulin in lysosomes: it acts as chaperone of the lysosomal protease cathepsin D. The results were obtained in collaboration with Prof. Paul Saftig from the University of Kiel. Prof. Philip Van Damme (VIB-KU Leuven/University Hospital Leuven): "Our findings suggest that dysfunction of lysosomal enzymes such as cathepsin D can contribute to neuronal dysfunction caused by progranulin deficiency in diseases such as frontotemporal dementia. These are important new insights in our search for solutions." Frontotemporal dementia or FTD is the second most common form of early onset dementia, after Alzheimer's Disease, characterized by neuronal loss in the frontal and anterior temporal lobes. It generally affects people in their mid 40's to mid 60's leading to severe changes in behavior or language problems. Behavioral changes include, but are not limited to, apathy and disinhibition, which eventually prohibit the patient's ability for normal social interaction. Patients can also display different language problems leading to semantic dementia or primary progressive aphasia. Currently, there is no treatment available for this disease, limiting the prognosis of FTD patients to 6-8 years after symptom onset. In almost half of the patients, the disease runs in the family. Mutations in the gene encoding progranulin are one of the most frequent causes and result in a 50% loss of functional progranulin protein. Efforts to model the human disease in mice have been disappointing as the full knockout of progranulin leads to a mild phenotype without neurodegeneration. Previous studies have shown that progranulin can stimulate neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth in cultures. These findings led to the hypothesis that neurodegeneration in FTD patients might occur due to a reduced trophic support for neurons. An in vivo paradigm of facial nerve crush injury was used to study the neurotrophic effects of progranulin in more detail. The recovery from such injury was delayed in the absence of progranulin and reintroduction of human progranulin in these mice could completely rescue this deficit, indicating that axonal regeneration after nerve injury depends specifically on the presence of progranulin. Using newly generated microglial and neuronal specific progranulin knockout mice, it was show that basal progranulin expression is mainly neuronal and that only neuronal progranulin deletion drives the axonal outgrowth deficit. A transcriptomics approach to identify possible mediators of the observed effects pointed towards the lysosomal aspartic protease cathepsin d (CTSD) as the most upregulated gene in progranulin knockout mice. A direct interaction between the two proteins was established. In the brains of aged progranulin knockout mice, the relative CTSD activity was reduced. By adding progranulin, the proteolytic activity of CTSD could be stimulated in a dose-dependent manner. Progranulin was shown to bind to CTSD and prevented its heat induced degradation. The interaction between GRN and CTSD proved to be necessary for the recovery after facial nerve injury, linking the neurotrophic effects of GRN to a lysosomal chaperone function on CTSD. Note: Philip Van Damme and Sander Beel are part of the VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research

Kuhnt W.,University of Kiel | Holbourn A.,University of Kiel | Moullade M.,Aix - Marseille University
Geology | Year: 2011

The onset of the early Aptian oceanic anoxic event (OAE) 1a (ca. 120 Ma) coincided with a major perturbation of the carbon cycle, which is reflected in the sedimentary carbon isotope record. Triggering mechanisms, duration, and climatic repercussions of this episode of accelerated organic matter burial remain poorly constrained. Here, we present millennialscale bulk rock carbon and oxygen isotope data from a marly subtropical intrashelf basin (La Bédoule, southeast France) with unusually high sedimentation rates, which track the onset of OAE1a in unprecedented resolution. Our record reveals that the negative, low-amplitude δ13C excursion preceding OAE1a lasted >100 k.y., implying that enhanced volcanic CO2 emission and/or pulsed methane dissociation over a prolonged time span were instrumental in triggering OAE1a. The main positive carbon isotope shift at the onset of OAE1a, previously regarded as continuous, occurred stepwise over an extended period of >300 k.y. Transient climate cooling during the initial δ13C increase probably reflects ephemeral high-latitude glaciation, triggered by changes in radiative forcing and drawdown of atmospheric CO2. © 2011 Geological Society of America.

Sarnthein M.,University of Kiel | Sarnthein M.,University of Innsbruck | Schneider B.,University of Kiel | Grootes P.M.,University of Kiel
Climate of the Past | Year: 2013

Ice core records demonstrate a glacial-interglacial atmospheric CO 2 increase of ~ 100 ppm, while 14C calibration efforts document a strong decrease in atmospheric 14C concentration during this period. A calculated transfer of ~ 530 Gt of 14C-depleted carbon is required to produce the deglacial coeval rise of carbon in the atmosphere and terrestrial biosphere. This amount is usually ascribed to oceanic carbon release, although the actual mechanisms remained elusive, since an adequately old and carbon-enriched deep-ocean reservoir seemed unlikely. Here we present a new, though still fragmentary, ocean-wide Δ14C data set showing that during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Heinrich Stadial 1 (HS-1) the maximum 14C age difference between ocean deep waters and the atmosphere exceeded the modern values by up to 1500 14C yr, in the extreme reaching 5100 14C yr. Below 2000 m depth the 14C ventilation age of modern ocean waters is directly linked to the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). We propose as a working hypothesis that the modern regression of DIC vs. Δ14C also applies for LGM times, which implies that a mean LGM aging of ~ 600 14C yr corresponded to a global rise of ~ 85-115 μmol DIC kg-1 in the deep ocean. Thus, the prolonged residence time of ocean deep waters may indeed have made it possible to absorb an additional ~ 730-980 Gt DIC, one third of which possibly originated from intermediate waters. We also infer that LGM deep-water O2 dropped to suboxic values of < 10 μmol kg-1 in the Atlantic sector of the Southern Ocean, possibly also in the subpolar North Pacific. The deglacial transfer of the extra-aged, deep-ocean carbon to the atmosphere via the dynamic ocean-atmosphere carbon exchange would be sufficient to account for two trends observed, (1) for the increase in atmospheric CO2 and (2) for the 190‰ drop in atmospheric Δ14C during the so-called HS-1 "Mystery Interval", when atmospheric 14C production rates were largely constant. © Author(s) 2013.

Aukema S.M.,University of Groningen | Siebert R.,University of Kiel | Schuuring E.,University of Groningen | Van Imhoff G.W.,University of Groningen | And 3 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2011

In many B-cell lymphomas, chromosomal translocations are biologic and diagnostic hallmarks of disease. An intriguing subset is formed by the so-called doublehit (DH) lymphomas that are defined by a chromosomal breakpoint affecting the MYC/8q24 locus in combination with another recurrent breakpoint, mainly a t(14; 18)(q32;q21) involving BCL2. Recently, these lymphomas have received increased attention, which contributed to the introduction of a novel category of lymphomas in the 2008 WHO classification, "B cell lymphoma unclassifiable with features intermediate between DLBCLand BL." In this review we explore the existing literature for the most recurrent types of DH B-cell lymphomas and the involved genes with their functions, as well as their pathology and clinical aspects including therapy and prognosis. The incidence of aggressive B-cell lymphomas other than Burkitt lymphoma with a MYC breakpoint and in particular a double hit is difficult to assess, because screening by methods like FISH has not been applied on large, unselected series, and the published cytogenetic data may be biased to specific categories of lymphomas. DH lymphomas have been classified heterogeneously but mostly as DLBCL, the majority having a germinal center phenotype and expression of BCL2. Patients with DH lymphomas often present with poor prognostic parameters, including elevated LDH, bone marrow and CNS involvement, and a high IPI score. All studies on larger series of patients suggest a poor prognosis, also if treated with RCHOP or high-intensity treatment modalities. Importantly, this poor outcome cannot be accounted for by the mere presence of a MYC/8q24 breakpoint. Likely, the combination of MYC and BCL2 expression and/or a related high genomic complexity are more important. Compared to these DH lymphomas, BCL6 +/MYC+ DH lymphomas are far less common, and in fact most of these cases represent BCL2+/BCL6+/MYC+ triple-hit lymphomas with involvement of BCL2 as well. CCND1+/ MYC+ DH lymphomas with involvement of 11q13 may also be relatively frequent, the great majority being classified as aggressive variants of mantle cell lymphoma. This suggests that activation of MYC might be an important progression pathway in mantle cell lymphoma as well. Based on clinical significance and the fact that no other solid diagnostic tools are available to identify DH lymphomas, it seems advisable to test all diffuse large B-cell and related lymphomas for MYC and other breakpoints. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.

Heyland D.,Kingston General Hospital | Muscedere J.,Kingston General Hospital | Wischmeyer P.E.,Aurora University | Cook D.,St Josephs Healthcare | And 5 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2013

BACKGROUND: Critically ill patients have considerable oxidative stress. Glutamine and antioxidant supplementation may offer therapeutic benefit, although current data are conflicting. METHODS: In this blinded 2-by-2 factorial trial, we randomly assigned 1223 critically ill adults in 40 intensive care units (ICUs) in Canada, the United States, and Europe who had multiorgan failure and were receiving mechanical ventilation to receive supplements of glutamine, antioxidants, both, or placebo. Supplements were started within 24 hours after admission to the ICU and were provided both intravenously and enterally. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality. Because of the interim-analysis plan, a P value of less than 0.044 at the final analysis was considered to indicate statistical significance. RESULTS: There was a trend toward increased mortality at 28 days among patients who received glutamine as compared with those who did not receive glutamine (32.4% vs. 27.2%; adjusted odds ratio, 1.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 1.64; P = 0.05). In-hospital mortality and mortality at 6 months were significantly higher among those who received glutamine than among those who did not. Glutamine had no effect on rates of organ failure or infectious complications. Antioxidants had no effect on 28-day mortality (30.8%, vs. 28.8% with no antioxidants; adjusted odds ratio, 1.09; 95% CI, 0.86 to 1.40; P = 0.48) or any other secondary end point. There were no differences among the groups with respect to serious adverse events (P = 0.83). CONCLUSIONS: Early provision of glutamine or antioxidants did not improve clinical outcomes, and glutamine was associated with an increase in mortality among critically ill patients with multiorgan failure. (Funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; number, NCT00133978.) Copyright © 2013 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Karlsen T.H.,University of Oslo | Melum E.,University of Oslo | Franke A.,University of Oslo | Franke A.,University of Kiel
Hepatology | Year: 2010

Over the last 4 years, more than 450 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been successfully performed in a variety of human traits, of which approximately 2% relates to the field of hepatology. Whereas the many robust susceptibility gene findings have provided insight into fundamental physiological aspects of the phenotypes that have been studied, the widespread application has also revealed important limitations of the GWAS design. This review aims to systematically summarize both the strengths and the weaknesses of GWAS, as well as underscore important experiences made in model diseases outside the field of hepatology. By reviewing the GWAS performed in hepatology so far on this broader background, extensions and guidelines for the rational application of the study design in hepatology are proposed. Copyright © 2010 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Schull G.,CNRS Institute of Genetics and of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Frederiksen T.,Donostia International Physics Center | Arnau A.,Donostia International Physics Center | Arnau A.,University of the Basque Country | And 2 more authors.
Nature Nanotechnology | Year: 2011

The transport of charge through a conducting material depends on the intrinsic ability of the material to conduct current and on the charge injection efficiency at the contacts between the conductor and the electrodes carrying current to and from the material1-3. According to theoretical considerations4, this concept remains valid down to the limit of single-molecule junctions5. Exploring this limit in experiments requires atomic-scale control of the junction geometry. Here we present a method for probing the current through a single C 60 molecule while changing, one by one, the number of atoms in the electrode that are in contact with the molecule. We show quantitatively that the contact geometry has a strong influence on the conductance. We also find a crossover from a regime in which the conductance is limited by charge injection at the contact to a regime in which the conductance is limited by scattering at the molecule. Thus, the concepts of 'good' and 'bad' contacts, commonly used in macro- and mesoscopic physics, can also be applied at the molecular scale. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Miloch W.J.,University of Oslo | Block D.,University of Kiel
Physics of Plasmas | Year: 2012

The charging of dust grain in the wake of another grains in sonic and supersonic collisionless plasma flows is studied by numerical simulations. We consider two grains aligned with the flow, as well as dust chains and multiple grain arrangements. It is found that the dust charge depends significantly on the flow speed, distance between the grains, and the grain arrangement. For two and three grains aligned, the charges on downstream grains depend linearly on the flow velocity and intergrain distance. The simulations are carried out with DiP3D, a three dimensional particle-in-cell code with both electrons and ions represented as numerical particles [W. J. Miloch et al., Phys. Plasmas 17, 103703 (2010)]. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Grasner J.T.,University of Kiel | German Resuscitation Registry Working Group,Trauma Registry
Critical care (London, England) | Year: 2011

Cardiac arrest following trauma occurs infrequently compared with cardiac aetiology. Within the German Resuscitation Registry a traumatic cause is documented in about 3% of cardiac arrest patients. Regarding the national Trauma Registry, only a few of these trauma patients with cardiac arrest survive. The aim of the present study was to analyze the outcome of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after traumatic cardiac arrest by combining data from two different large national registries in Germany. This study includes 368 trauma patients (2.8%) out of 13,329 cardiac arrest patients registered within the Resuscitation Registry, whereby 3,673 patients with a cardiac cause and successful CPR served as a cardiac control group. We further analyzed a second group of 1,535 trauma patients with cardiac arrest and early CPR registered within the Trauma Registry, whereby a total of 25,366 trauma patients without any CPR attempts served as a trauma control group. The relative frequencies from each database were used to calculate relative percentages for patients with traumatic cardiac arrest in whom resuscitation was attempted. Within the Resuscitation Registry, cardiac arrest was present in 331 patients (89.9%) when the EMS personal arrived at the scene and in 37 patients (10.1%) when cardiac arrest occurred after arrival. Spontaneous circulation could be achieved in 107 patients (29.1%). A total of 101 (27.4%) were transferred to hospital, 95 of whom (25.8%) had return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) on admission. According to the Trauma Registry, the overall hospital mortality rate for cardiac arrest patients following trauma was 73% (n = 593 of 814). About half of the patients who were admitted alive to hospital died within 24 hours, resulting in 13% survivors within 24 hours. 7% of the patients survived until hospital discharge, and only 2% of the patients had good neurological outcome. Our present study encourages CPR attempts in cardiac arrest patients following severe trauma. When a manageable number of patients is present, the decision on whether to start CPR or not should be done liberally, using comparable criteria as in patients with cardiac etiology. In this respect, trauma management programs that restrict CPR attempts should not be encouraged.

Pena-Alzola R.,University of Aalborg | Liserre M.,University of Aalborg | Blaabjerg F.,University of Aalborg | Sebastian R.,Spanish University for Distance Education (UNED) | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Informatics | Year: 2014

Three-phase active rectifiers guarantee sinusoidal input currents and unity power factor at the price of a high switching frequency ripple. To adopt an LCL-filter, instead of an $L$-filter, allows using reduced values for the inductances and so preserving dynamics. However, stability problems can arise in the current control loop if the present resonance is not properly damped. Passive damping simply adds resistors in series with the LCL-filter capacitors. This simplicity is at the expense of increased losses and encumbrances. Active damping modifies the control algorithm to attain stability without using dissipative elements but, sometimes, needing additional sensors. This solution has been addressed in many publications. The lead-lag network method is one of the first reported procedures and continues being in use. However, neither there is a direct tuning procedure (without trial and error) nor its rationale has been explained. Thus, in this paper a straightforward procedure is developed to tune the lead-lag network with the help of software tools. The rationale of this procedure, based on the capacitor current feedback, is elucidated. Stability is studied by means of the root locus analysis in $z$-plane. Selecting the lead-lag network for the maximum damping in the closed-loop poles uses a simple optimization algorithm. The robustness against the grid inductance variation is also analyzed. Simulations and experiments confirm the validity of the proposed design flow. © 2005-2012 IEEE.

Ludwig P.,University of Kiel | Miloch W.J.,University of Oslo | Miloch W.J.,University of Tromsø | Kahlert H.,University of Kiel | Bonitz M.,University of Kiel
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2012

The theoretical description of complex (dusty) plasmas requires multiscale concepts that adequately incorporate the correlated interplay of streaming electrons and ions, neutrals and dust grains. Knowing the effective dust-dust interaction, the multiscale problem can be effectively reduced to a one-component plasma model of the dust subsystem. The goal of this paper is a systematic evaluation of the electrostatic potential distribution around a dust grain in the presence of a streaming plasma environment by means of two complementary approaches: (i) a high-precision computation of the dynamically screened Coulomb potential from the dynamic dielectric function and (ii) full 3D particle-in-cell simulations, which self-consistently include dynamical grain charging and nonlinear effects. The range of applicability of these two approaches is addressed. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.

Robin V.,University of Kiel | Nelle O.,CNRS Mediterranean Institute for Biodiversity and Ecology Marine and Continental
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany | Year: 2014

Fire caused by humans played an important role in prehistoric clearance of woodland, which was a prerequisite for the rise of agriculture since at least the Neolithic revolution. Therefore, reconstructed fire history provides insights into the spread of agriculture. However, for central Europe, the past fire regime is still poorly known. Thus, to help to fill this gap, fire history has been investigated using data relevant at a local scale, which is the scale of woodland clearance processes according to local human practices. For this purpose, soil/soil sediment charcoal analysis has been conducted at four sites in northern Germany and five in central Germany. At each site, four to nine sequences of soil/soil sediment were excavated, described in the field and sampled. The sampled material has been differentiated by soil horizons formed in situ and colluvial sediments. The charcoal content of both types of sampled material was quantified and some of it was taxonomically analysed. Chronological information was obtained by radiocarbon dating 73 single charcoal pieces that had previously been identified taxonomically. Such data sets have permitted us to identify a minimum number of fire events for every site, which had burnt various types of woodlands and at different chronological phases. Based on the local scale data, regional trends were identified. Charcoals from the late Pleistocene and early Holocene derived from conifers only, and these most probably indicate wildfire events in flammable woodlands. Charcoals dated to the mid and late Holocene derived predominantly from broad-leaved trees probably resulting from human-ignited fires in weakly flammable woodlands. The calculated minimum fire frequency indicates an increase in fire occurrences during the Holocene following the phases of cultural human development. This supports the importance of human-made fire in northern central Europe during the Holocene. Such minimum fire frequency appears much higher during the iron age and the middle ages, but not before. This fits with the general statement of regional woodland loss and landscape opening relatively recently, during the late Holocene. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Pena-Alzola R.,University of Aalborg | Liserre M.,University of Aalborg | Blaabjerg F.,University of Aalborg | Sebastian R.,Spanish University for Distance Education (UNED) | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2013

Passive damping is the most adopted method to guarantee the stability of LCL-filter-based grid converters. The method is simple and, if the switching and sampling frequencies are sufficiently high, the damping losses are negligible. This letter proposes the tuning of different passive damping methods and an analytical estimation of the damping losses allowing the choice of the minimum resistor value resulting in a stable current control and not compromising the LCL-filter effectiveness. Stability, including variations in the grid inductance, is studied through root locus analysis in the z-plane. The analysis is validated both with simulation and with experiments. © 2013 IEEE.

Ascierto P.A.,National Tumor Institute | Schadendorf D.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Berking C.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Agarwala S.S.,Temple University | And 11 more authors.
The Lancet Oncology | Year: 2013

Background: Patients with melanoma harbouring Val600 BRAF mutations benefit from treatment with BRAF inhibitors. However, no targeted treatments exist for patients with BRAF wild-type tumours, including those with NRAS mutations. We aimed to assess the use of MEK162, a small-molecule MEK1/2 inhibitor, in patients with NRAS-mutated or Val600 BRAF-mutated advanced melanoma. Methods: In our open-label, non-randomised, phase 2 study, we assigned patients with NRAS-mutated or BRAF-mutated advanced melanoma to one of three treatment arms on the basis of mutation status. Patients were enrolled at university hospitals or private cancer centres in Europe and the USA. The three arms were: twice-daily MEK162 45 mg for NRAS-mutated melanoma, twice-daily MEK162 45 mg for BRAF-mutated melanoma, and twice-daily MEK162 60 mg for BRAF-mutated melanoma. Previous treatment with BRAF inhibitors was permitted, but previous MEK inhibitor therapy was not allowed. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients who had an objective response (ie, a complete response or confirmed partial response). We report data for the 45 mg groups. We assessed clinical activity in all patients who received at least one dose of MEK162 and in patients assessable for response (with two available CT scans). This study is registered with, number NCT01320085, and is currently recruiting additional patients with NRAS mutations (based on a protocol amendment). Findings: Between March 31, 2011, and Jan 17, 2012, we enrolled 71 patients who received at least one dose of MEK162 45 mg. By Feb 29, 2012 (data cutoff), median follow-up was 3·3 months (range 0·6-8·7; IQR 2·2-5·0). No patients had a complete response. Six (20%) of 30 patients with NRAS-mutated melanoma had a partial response (three confirmed) as did eight (20%) of 41 patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma (two confirmed). The most frequent adverse events were acneiform dermatitis (18 [60%] patients with NRAS -mutated melanoma and 15 [37%] patients with the BRAF-mutated melanoma), rash (six [20%] and 16 [39%]), peripheral oedema (ten [33%] and 14 [34%]), facial oedema (nine [30%] and seven [17%]), diarrhoea (eight [27%] and 15 [37%]), and creatine phosphokinase increases (11 [37%] and nine [22%]). Increased creatine phosphokinase was the most common grade 3-4 adverse event (seven [23%] and seven [17%]). Four patients had serious adverse events (two per arm), which included diarrhoea, dehydration, acneiform dermatitis, general physical deterioration, irregular heart rate, malaise, and small intestinal perforation. No deaths occurred from treatment-related causes. Interpretation: To our knowledge, MEK162 is the first targeted therapy to show activity in patients with NRAS -mutated melanoma and might offer a new option for a cancer with few effective treatments. Funding: Novartis Pharmaceuticals. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Rabbel W.,University of Kiel | Kaban M.,German Research Center for Geosciences | Tesauro M.,German Research Center for Geosciences
Tectonophysics | Year: 2013

We provide an overview of contrast of elastomechanical parameters across the Moho, basically contrasts in seismic wave velocities, density and yield strength. These can be regarded as dynamic and quasi-static endmembers of elastomechanical parameters of the crust-mantle transition. With respect to practical applications they are closely related because seismic investigations play the role of exploring the earth structure and physical state forming the boundary conditions for determining density and rheological models. We address both average global Moho models and petrophysical and structural factors that cause deviations from the global averages, such as variations in Moho depth, temperature and rock composition, fabric (anisotropy) and macro-scale heterogeneity. Besides principle considerations these factors are put in a regional context in order to demonstrate how they are related to past and present tectonic processes. Seismic velocity and density contrasts are found between 0 and 25% whereas strength or viscosity contrasts may be orders of magnitude higher, but may vanish as well or show a discontinuity of higher order only. Especially, oceanic and old cratonic crust and near-Moho mantle may appear as a rheological unit although they are seismically well distinguishable. In terms of seismic velocities the Moho may "vanish" mainly under the influence of serpentinization or eclogitization. Originally defined as a first-order discontinuity in seismic velocity, the Moho has turned out to be an interface across which other seismic properties, such as seismic velocity gradients, anisotropy and heterogeneity scale parameters, can change strongly, too. However, knowledge of these parameters, as well as their relation to the rheology of the crust-mantle transition, is still restricted to local or regional examples so no global conclusions can be drawn. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Dannehl J.,University of Kiel | Fuchs F.W.,University of Kiel | Hansen S.,Danfoss A/S | Thogersen P.B.,Kk Electronic A/S
IEEE Transactions on Industry Applications | Year: 2010

This paper deals with various active damping approaches for PI-based current control of grid-connected pulsewidth-modulation (PWM) converters with LCL filters, which are based on one additional feedback. Filter capacitor current, as well as voltage feedback for the purpose of resonance damping, are analyzed and compared. Basic studies in the continuous Laplace domain show that either proportional current feedback or derivative voltage feedback yields resonance damping. Detailed investigations of these two approaches in the discrete z-domain, taking into account the discrete nature of control implementation, sampling, and PWM, are carried out. Several ratios of LCL resonance frequency and control frequency are considered. At high resonance frequencies, only current feedback stabilizes the system. At medium resonance frequencies, both approaches have good performance. At low resonance frequencies, stability gets worse, even though voltage feedback offers slightly better damping properties. Measurements validate the theoretical results. © 2010 IEEE.

Dannehl J.,University of Kiel | Fuchs F.W.,University of Kiel | Thogersen P.B.,Kk Electronic A/S
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2010

Design and analysis of PI state space control for grid-connected pulsewidth modulation (PWM) converters with LCL filters based on pole placement approach is addressed. State space control offers almost full controllability of system dynamic. However, pole placement design is difficult and usually requires much experience. In this paper, a suitable pole placement strategy is proposed, which ensures fulfilling the requirements, which are commonly specified with respect to rise time, overshoot, and proper resonance damping. Controller parameter expressions are derived in terms of system parameters and specified poles and zeros. Hence, straightforward controller tuning for a particular system setting is possible. Performance is analyzed by means of transfer function-based calculations, simulations with MATLAB, and experimental tests. Dynamic performance and robustness against grid impedance variations are addressed as well as harmonic rejection capability and other practical issues. © 2010 IEEE.

Wohlfahrt G.,University of Innsbruck | Widmoser P.,University of Kiel
Agricultural and Forest Meteorology | Year: 2013

Elucidating the causes for the energy imbalance, i.e. the phenomenon that eddy covariance latent and sensible heat fluxes fall short of available energy, is an outstanding problem in micrometeorology. This paper tests the hypothesis that the full energy balance, through incorporation of additional independent measurements which determine the driving forces of and resistances to energy transfer, provides further insights into the causes of the energy imbalance and additional constraints on energy balance closure options. Eddy covariance and auxiliary data from three different biomes were used to test five contrasting closure scenarios. The main result of our study is that except for nighttime, when fluxes were low and noisy, the full energy balance generally did not contain enough information to allow further insights into the causes of the imbalance and to constrain energy balance closure options. Up to four out of the five tested closure scenarios performed similarly and in up to 53% of all cases all of the tested closure scenarios resulted in plausible energy balance values. Our approach may though provide a sensible consistency check for eddy covariance energy flux measurements. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Block D.,University of Kiel | Miloch W.J.,University of Oslo
Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion | Year: 2015

The role of wake effects in the charging of dust grains by plasmas with subsonic and supersonic ion flows is studied with numerical simulations. Significant ion focusing which is common for supersonic flows is also observed for subsonic regimes. In both regimes, the charge on a downstream grain aligned with the flow depends linearly on the intergrain distance. For subsonic flows and systems with several grains, the complex ion dynamics can lead to significant modifications of the charge on grains located close to the boundary of a dust lattice and the charge distribution on the grains depends on the detailed grain arrangement. The studies are carried out with DiP3D, a self-consistent particle-in-cell code (Miloch 2010 Plasma Phys. Control. Fusion 52 124004; Miloch and Block 2012 Phys. Plasmas 19 123703). © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Assmann C.,University of Bamberg | Hermanussen M.,University of Kiel
Pediatric Research | Year: 2013

Background: Human growth is traditionally envisaged as a target-seeking process regulated by genes, nutrition, health, and the state of an individual's social and economic environment; it is believed that under optimal physical conditions, an individual will achieve his or her full genetic potential. Methods: Using a panel data set on individual height increments, we suggest a statistical modeling approach that characterizes growth as first-order trend stationary and allows for controlling individual growth tempo via observable measures of individual maturity. A Bayesian framework and corresponding Markov-chain Monte Carlo techniques allowing for a conceptually stringent treatment of missing values are adapted for parameter estimation. Results: The model provides evidence for the adjustment of the individual growth rate toward average height of the population. Conclusion: The increase in adult body height during the past 150 y has been explained by the steady improvement of living conditions that are now being considered to have reached an optimum in Western societies. The current investigation questions the notion that the traditional concept in the understanding of this target-seeking process is sufficient. We consider an additional regulator that possibly points at community-based target seeking in growth.

Marinus J.,Leiden University | Moseley G.L.,University of South Australia | Moseley G.L.,Neuroscience Research Australia Randwick | Birklein F.,University Medical Center Mainz | And 3 more authors.
The Lancet Neurology | Year: 2011

A complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)-multiple system dysfunction, severe and often chronic pain, and disability-can be triggered by a minor injury, a fact that has fascinated scientists and perplexed clinicians for decades. However, substantial advances across several medical disciplines have recently improved our understanding of CRPS. Compelling evidence implicates biological pathways that underlie aberrant inflammation, vasomotor dysfunction, and maladaptive neuroplasticity in the clinical features of CRPS. Collectively, the evidence points to CRPS being a multifactorial disorder that is associated with an aberrant host response to tissue injury. Variation in susceptibility to perturbed regulation of any of the underlying biological pathways probably accounts for the clinical heterogeneity of CRPS. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Brautigam J.,University of Kiel | Scheidig A.J.,University of Kiel | Egge-Jacobsen W.,University of Oslo
Glycobiology | Year: 2013

The infectious liver disease hepatitis C is caused by the small, enveloped, positive single-strand RNA hepatitis C virus (HCV). The HCV genome encodes for a single polyprotein precursor of ∼3010 amino acid residues. Host and cellular proteases co- and posttranslational process the precursor creating six nonstructural (NS) proteins and four structural components. Properly folded forms of the envelope proteins E1 and E2 form the associated E1-E2 complex. This complex represents a significant antigenic component at the viral surface that can interact with several target cell receptors. Extent and type of glycosylation is an important factor for virulence and escape from the immune system. Detailed characterization of the glycosylated sites is helpful for the understanding of different phenotypes as well as for the development of E1/E2-related treatments of HCV infection. Here, we have investigated in detail the O-linked glycosylation of the HCV envelope protein E2 expressed in and isolated from human embryonic kidney (HEK 293) cells. Using nano-liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry approaches, we clearly have identified six residues for O-linked glycosylation within isolated glycopeptides (Ser393, Thr396, Ser401, Ser404, Thr473 and Thr518), carrying mainly Core 1 and Core 2 mucin-type structures. Based on our data, Thr385 is probably glycosylated as well. In addition, we could show that Ser479 within the hyper variable region (HVR) I is not O-glycosylated. For most of these sites, different degrees of microheterogeneity could be verified. Concerning HCV E2, this is the first case of experimentally proven O-linked glycosylation in detail via mass spectrometry. © 2012 The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.46M | Year: 2010

The world-wide demand for primary plant products to be used for food, feed and fuel is increasing dramatically. The foreseen climate changes are expected to have a negative impact on plant productivity in addition. Future agriculture urgently needs new crop plant varieties with enhanced and sustainable productivity. To meet this challenge, CropLife focuses on leaf lifespan as a major determinant of plant productivity and aims to develop new breeding strategies for prolonging leaf photosynthesis and delaying senescence processes. The network focuses on barley and perennial ryegrass, which are excellent models for research and crop development in Europe. The CropLife primary objectives will be addressed in the four workpackages. These are: the identification of key factors initiating senescence (1), and proteins regulating leaf lifespan (2), the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of senescence-associated protein degradation and nitrogen remobilization (3), and the analysis of lifespan and exploitation of genetic variation in lifespan in order to breed new varieties with increased productivity (4). CropLife provides intersectorial experience by integrating partners from the public and private sectors. The training programme includes state-ofthe-art local training activities and network-wide courses, summer schools and workshops. Young researchers will be trained in a range of cutting edge research skills, as well as in complementary skills that will enhance their career prospects. Further benefits will arise from secondments in partner laboratories and intersectorial visits to associated partners from the private sector. To guarantee training at the most advanced level, outstanding scientists in the field will be integrated as visiting researchers. Workshops and a final network conference will provide a platform for dissemination of the networks achievements which are expected to increase the competitiveness of European plant research and agriculture.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.8.1 | Award Amount: 3.10M | Year: 2012

Innovation and creativity are predictors of success in a knowledge-based. Yet the fuzziness and unpredictability of the creative workflow remains an obstacle for effective ICT support. Tools that require users to formalize and structure their ideas and working processes to a degree at odds with creative practice are frequently rejected. The IdeaGarden project therefore starts from an understanding of creative problem solving as a complex and situated knowledge practice rather than as a set of well-defined methods and techniques.\n\nThe project will develop a creative learning environment, capitalizing on the notion of visual information mash-ups as catalysts for creative working and learning. Adopting a practice-oriented approach will further the understanding of creativity in different settings and open up new perspectives for ICT support. This perspective will also give rise to new methods for seeding and cultivating creative knowledge practices in workplace and educational settings. To leverage the capabilities of current ICT systems, new interactions techniques will be devised that enable users to stay in control and collaboratively navigate the creative process, handling multiple types of resources. In addition, taking benefit of the Linked Data paradigm will provide new possibilities for creative search, the construction of knowledge as well as the reflection of the collaborative process.\n\nThe R&D work starts with research into creative knowledge work in industry (at LEGO and EOOS) and education (at the Muthesius Academy of Fine Arts and Design). Based on the careful analysis of creative practices, we will envision and implement working demonstrators. Formative evaluation combined with a two-round development process will ensure that the IdeaGarden system fits its users needs while summative evaluation will validate the overall utility of the approach to promote nonlinear, non-standard thinking and problem solving among experts and novices.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: ICT-2013.9.9 | Award Amount: 74.61M | Year: 2013

This Flagship aims to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionize multiple industries from flexible, wearable and transparent electronics, to new energy applications and novel functional composites.\nOur main scientific and technological objectives in the different tiers of the value chain are to develop material technologies for ICT and beyond, identify new device concepts enabled by graphene and other layered materials, and integrate them to systems that provide new functionalities and open new application areas.\nThese objectives are supported by operative targets to bring together a large core consortium of European academic and industrial partners and to create a highly effective technology transfer highway, allowing industry to rapidly absorb and exploit new discoveries.\nThe Flagship will be aligned with European and national priorities to guarantee its successful long term operation and maximal impact on the national industrial and research communities.\nTogether, the scientific and technological objectives and operative targets will allow us to reach our societal goals: the Flagship will contribute to sustainable development by introducing new energy efficient and environmentally friendly products based on carbon and other abundant, safe and recyclable natural resources, and boost economic growth in Europe by creating new jobs and investment opportunities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SEAC-1-2015 | Award Amount: 1.80M | Year: 2016

The Marine Mammals proposes to create a European consortium of education and research institutions, alongside small to medium enterprises, to promote STEM subjects and students interest in science careers. All project partners are internationally renowned experts in their field of work. Together with teachers and educational scientists they will form expert groups who will develop teacher trainings and summer schools for secondary school students based on state of the art research on marine mammals. The project will draw on the vast variety of existing materials from all partners and use current methods and results from educational research to select and adapt it accordingly. Combining the resource materials delivered by the different expert groups coherent cross-national entities for teacher trainings and summer schools will be produced and translated into all languages of the participating countries plus English. It will be ensured that the materials can be used in conjunction with the science curriculum of the schools in all participating countries. Teacher trainings and summer schools will be carried out in all partner countries. During the summer camps and the teacher trainings both groups will work in close contact with scientists from different disciplines and gain first hand insights into real science as well as the profession of a scientist. As a consequence they will update their perception of scientists and scientific jobs and hopefully gain interest in scientific careers. For evaluating the success of the project, established questionnaires will be adapted, tested and revised to be finally used in a pre-/ post design. By involving science centres and public aquariums the developed teaching material will finally be used for creating outreach materials and activities suitable for audiences of different background and age, utilising current technology to engage a wider audience (e.g. interactive posters, podcasts, social media and 3D animations).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.1.5 | Award Amount: 6.52M | Year: 2008

The 3D4YOU project will develop the key elements of a practical 3D television system, particularly, the definition of a 3D delivery format and guidelines for a 3D content creation process. The project will develop 3D capture techniques, convert captured content for broadcasting and develop 3D coding for delivery via broadcast, i.e. suitable to transmit and make public.\n3D broadcasting is seen as the next major step in home entertainment. The cinema and computer games industries have already shown that there is considerable public demand for 3D content, but special glasses are needed which limits their appeal. 3D4YOU will address the consumer market which coexists with digital cinema and computer games. \nThe 3D4YOU project aims to pave the way for the introduction a 3D TV system. The project will build on previous European research on 3D, such as the FP5 project ATTEST, which has enabled European organisations to become world leaders in this field. 3D4YOU will maintain the momentum built up and to capitalise on the wealth of experience of the participants in this project. \nCombining strenghts from different European countries, the 3D4YOU consortium covers all important aspects of the 3D broadcast chain. Bringing these expertises together, its objective is to deliver an end-to-end system for 3D high quality media. The generated knowledge will have sustainable effects on the European community. On one hand it will strengthen the existing expertise in programme making and will make sure that the media industry gains technical advances to compete with the world-wide competition. On the other hand it will give the European industry advanced knowledge to develop new products for the emerging market of 3D TV systems that will help to create and secure jobs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.2-09 | Award Amount: 6.51M | Year: 2012

The MSY concept was included as a principle in the 2009 Green Paper on the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) in accordance with the global imperative to manage fish stocks according to the maximum sustainable yield (MSY). This implies a commitment to direct management of fish stocks towards achieving MSY by 2015. Attaining this goal is complicated by the lack of common agreement on the interpretation of sustainability and yield and by the effects that achieving MSY for one stock may have on other stocks and broader ecosystem, economic, or social aspects. MYFISH will provide definitions of MSY variants which maximize other measures of yield than biomass and which account for the fact that single species rarely exist in isolation. Further, MYFISH will redefine the term sustainable to signify that Good Environmental Status (MSFD) is achieved and economically and socially unacceptable situations are avoided, all with acceptable levels of risk. In short, MYFISH aims at integrating the MSY concept with the overarching principals of the CFP: the precautionary and the ecosystem approach. MYFISH will achieve this objective through addressing fisheries in all RAC areas and integrating stakeholders (the fishing industry, NGOs and managers) throughout the project. Existing ecosystem and fisheries models will be modified to perform maximization of stakeholder approved yield measures while ensuring acceptable impact levels on ecosystem, economic and social aspects. Implementation plans are proposed and social aspects addressed through active involvement of stakeholders. Finally, effects of changes in environment, economy and society on MSY variants are considered, aiming at procedures rendering the MSY approach robust to such changes. The expertise of 26 partners from relevant disciplines including fisheries, ecosystem, economic and social science are involved in all aspects of the project. Global experience is engaged from North America and the South Pacific.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.2-10 | Award Amount: 3.83M | Year: 2012

SOCIOEC is an interdisciplinary, European wide project bringing together scientists from several fisheries sciences with industry partners and other key stakeholders to work in an integrated manner on solutions for future fisheries management, that can be implemented at a regional level. The central concept is to provide a mechanism for developing measures that are consistent with the overarching sustainability objectives of the EU, and that can provide consensus across all stakeholders. The first step will be to develop a coherent and consistent set of management objectives, which will address ecological; economic and social sustainability targets. The objectives should be consistent with the aims of the CFP, MSFD and other EU directives, but they should also be understandable by the wider stakeholder community and engage their support. This will then lead to the proposal of a number of potential management measures, based on existing or new approaches. The second step will be to analyze the incentives for compliance provided by these measures. In particular, we will examine fishers responses and perceptions of these measures, based on historical analysis as well as direct consultation and interviews. This project part will also examine how the governance can be changed to facilitate self- and co-management to ensure fisher buy-in to promising management measures. In particular, the project will focus on the interpretation of overarching (i.e. EU) objectives in local and regional contexts. Finally, the project will examine the impacts of the management measures that emerge from this process, particularly in terms of their economic and social impacts. The IA analysis will be integrated by evaluating the proposed measures against the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and coherence. Special attention will be paid in evaluating the proposed management measures performance in terms of their ability to achieve the general and specific ecological objectives.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 4.67M | Year: 2009

Hypoxic (low oxygen) conditions in aquatic ecosystems increase in number, duration and extent due to global warming and eutrophication. Global warming will lead to degassing of oxygen, increased stratification, reduced deep-water circulation and changes in wind patterns affecting transport and mixing. Projected increases in hypoxia (e.g. doubling of dead zones) are accompanied by enhanced emission of greenhouse gases, losses in biodiversity, ecosystem functions and services such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. A better understanding of global changes in oxygen depletion requires a global observation system continuously monitoring oxygen at high resolution, including assessment of the role of the seafloor in controlling the sensitivity of aquatic systems to and recovery from hypoxia. Here we propose to monitor oxygen depletion and associated processes in aquatic systems that differ in oxygen status or sensitivity towards change: open ocean, oxic with high sensitivity to global warming (Arctic), semi-enclosed with permanent anoxia (Black Sea, Baltic Sea) and seasonally or locally anoxic land-locked systems (fjords, lagoons, lakes) subject to eutrophication. We will improve the capacity to monitor oxygen depletion globally, by implementing reliable long-term sensors to different platforms for in situ monitoring; and locally by training and implementing competence around the Black Sea. Our work will contribute to GEOSS tasks in the water, climate, ecosystem and biodiversity work plans, and comply to GEOSS standards by sharing of observations and products with common standards and adaptation to user needs using a state of the art world data centre. We will connect this project to the GOOS Regional Alliances and the SCOR working group and disseminate our knowledge to local, regional and global organisations concerned with water and ecosystem health and management.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IAPP | Award Amount: 611.95K | Year: 2012

Reduce the fish oil inclusion level in aquaculture feeds while maintaining high levels of marine omega 3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) in fish products to meet consumer expectations is a major problem of modern aquaculture. Both of these conditions reflect the necessity to examine in depth nutritional strategies aimed to maximise EPA and DHA retention on fish tissues. Omega3max aims to optimise dietary fatty acid composition and antioxidant sources and concentration to limit in vivo oxidative stress in fish tissues helping to preserve EPA and DHA. In addition not only the quantity of EPA\DHA, but also the position of both fatty acids to conform triacyglycerols and phospholipids, is becoming an important aspect in terms of function and bioavailability for human consumers. Therefore, the present project also aims to study the regiospecificity of fatty acids which is a novel issue for fish nutritionist with important implications on the nutritive quality of the fish flesh. This programme aims to increase the EU aquaculture industry competitiveness being more cost-effective and improving the nutritional value and quality of aquaculture products but also to strengthen the research and educational potential on aquaculture of both sectors industry and academia. The proposed research group in this Consortium comprises four partners, including two national non-commercial organisations namely the Universidad Politcnica de Madrid (UPM-Spain) and the Christian-Albrechts University Kiel (CAU-Germany) as well as two commercial enterprises namely Skretting Aquaculture Research Center (Skretting ARC-Norway) and Lucta (Spain). Both the academic and industrial partners have a strong track record on research activities and already established successful research collaborations in the recent past. We propose to create a long-lasting consortium of leading researchers with complementary expertise that can synergize innovative research in the fields of fish nutrition and health.

The objective of MOLD-NANONET is to assist the ELIRI Research Institute to develop and implement a research strategy that will expand its activities and increase its level of excellence in micro-nano-electronics related to the development of intelligent systems, so that it can compete and collaborate with leading research institutions in Europe. MOLD-NANONET will create a unified infrastructure in Moldova by integrating the R&D capabilities of the city of BELTI with those of the capital city (Chisinau). Training activities will be opened up and integrate with activities in other relevant research institutions in Moldova and with the new Technological Park affiliated to ELIRI. MOLD-NANONET will stimulate the creation of a bridge between applied research and innovative business. Focus is on a new research and training program for young researchers at ELIRI and BELTI in integrated nanostructure networks for implementation in intelligent systems. This will be realized through: - Combining existing facilities at ELIRI in the field of micro-nano-technology with new equipment to extend the expertise to integrated networks of nanostructures based on magnetic, thermoelectric and shape memory metals for applications in intelligent systems based on synergetic integration of nanoelectronics, fine mechanics, product design and soft development. - Establishment of a training program to integrate the principles of nanoscale science in research and coursework for the development of a new generation of experts at the intersection of nanoelectronics, fine mechanics, product design and soft development. - Training modules to teach Master and PhD students how to promote a new technology, novel material or device to the market via technology transfer based on innovation. - Training modules will assist researchers and staff from across Moldova to attain a practical understanding of FP rules and regulations and receive training to increase success in FP proposals.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.86M | Year: 2013

QuantFung represents the first European training platform for the production of novel bioactive compounds based on fungal synthetic biology. The ITN will train 11 early-stage (ESR) and 4 experienced researchers (ER) as new problem-solving, creative European scientists in interdisciplinary and intersectorial biotechnological research ranging from modelling, network analysis, systems biology (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics), and molecular biology (fungal genetics and biochemistry) to synthetic biology methods. To bridge the gap between science education and industry, industrial partners provide secondments and training modules to share their industry experience with the trainees. The driving force is a collaboration of 8 academic and 5 industrial partners to expedite the application of new secondary metabolites in health, nutrition or agriculture. The objective is to find novel bioactive molecules by exploiting the wealth of fungal biodiversity and to translate these into useful products. Work packages structure training through research focussed on discovery of secondary metabolite gene clusters, targeted activation of gene clusters, quantification of secondary metabolites in industrial hosts, and bioactivity testing to identify their mode of action. These multidisciplinary projects require physical and intellectual mobility and are organised as a structured training program where ESRs/ERs work for defined periods in different QuantFung laboratories and attend local and network training events to broaden their technical knowledge and acquire transferable skills to optimize career options. 46 secondments representing 19 new collaborations between the public and private sector will lead to new avenues of research. The broad spectrum of expertises of QuantFung covers numerous cross sector elements leading to researchers with significant translational and entrepreneurial skills to strengthen European research.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SC5-10a-2014 | Award Amount: 3.13M | Year: 2015

Mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services (ES) are core to the EU Biodiversity (BD) Strategy. They are essential if we are to make informed decisions. Action 5 sets the requirement for an EU-wide knowledge base designed to be: a primary data source for developing Europes green infrastructure; resource to identify areas for ecosystem restoration; and, a baseline against which the goal of no net loss of BD and ES can be evaluated. In response to these requirements, ESMERALDA aims to deliver a flexible methodology to provide the building blocks for pan-European and regional assessments. The work will ensure the timely delivery to EU member states in relation to Action 5 of the BD Strategy, supporting the needs of assessments in relation to the requirements for planning, agriculture, climate, water and nature policy. This methodology will build on existing ES projects and databases (e.g. MAES, OpenNESS, OPERAs, national studies), the Millennium Assessment (MA) and TEEB. ESMERALDA will identify relevant stakeholders and take stock of their requirements at EU, national and regional levels. The objective of ESMERALDA is to share experience through an active process of dialogue and knowledge co-creation that will enable participants to achieve the Action 5 aims. The mapping approach proposed will integrate biophysical, social and economic assessment techniques. Flexibility will be achieved by the creation of a tiered methodology that will encompass both simple (Tier 1) and more complex (Tier 3) approaches. The work will exploit expert- and land cover-based methods, existing ES indicator data and more complex ES models. As a result the outcomes will be applicable in different contexts. The strength of the ESMERALDA consortium lies in its ability to make solutions for mapping and assessment problems available to stakeholders from the start of the project, because our expertise allows us to build on existing research projects and data sharing systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.1.1-2 | Award Amount: 2.24M | Year: 2010

High-throughput next-generation DNA sequencing technologies allow investigators to sequence entire human genomes at an affordable price and within a short time frame. The correct interpretation, storage, and dissemination of the large amount of produced genomics data generate major challenges. Tackling these challenges requires extensive exchange of data, information and knowledge between medical scientists, sequencing centres, bioinformatics networks and industry at the European level. The GEUVADIS (genetic European variation in disease) Consortium aims at developing standards in quality control and assessment of sequence data, models for data storage, exchange and access, as well as standards for the handling, analysis and interpretation of sequencing data and other functional genomics datasets, standards for the biological and medical interpretation of sequence data and in particular rare variants for monogenic and common disorders, and finally standards for the ethics of phenotype prediction from sequence variation. The partners are all involved in international sequencing initiatives (1000 GP, ICGC), EU and other international projects (ENGAGE, GEN2PHEN, ENCODE, TECHGENE ), biobanking activities (BBMRI), data sharing initiatives (ELIXIR), and the European Sequencing and Genotyping Infrastructure (ESGI), ensuring tight collaborations. The Consortium will undertake pilot sequencing projects on selected samples from three medical fields (cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic), using RNA (RNASeq) and DNA (exonSeq) sequencing. The analysis of such samples will allow the consortium to set up standards in operating procedures and biological/medical interpretation of sequence data in relation to clinical phenotypes. The consortium will bring together the knowledge and resources on medical genome sequencing at a European level and allow researchers to develop and test new hypotheses on the genetic basis of disease.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009. | Award Amount: 4.16M | Year: 2010

With regard to the objectives specified in ENV-2009., modeling capabilities must be improved and appropriate tools developed to advance the capability to assess climate effects on water resources and uses. The project consortium will employ a combination of novel field monitoring concepts, remote sensing techniques, integrated hydrologic (and biophysical) modeling and socioeconomic factor analyses to reduce existing uncertainties in climate change impact analysis and to create an integrated quantitative risk and vulnerability assessment tool. Together, these will provide the necessary information to design appropriate adaptive water resources management instruments and select suitable agricultural practices under climate change conditions. The integrated risk and vulnerability analysis tool will also enable assessment of risks for conflict-inducing actions, e.g. migration. The improved models, new assessment tools, and their results will be evaluated against current methodologies. Improvements will be communicated to stakeholders and decision makers in a transparent, easy-to-understand form, enabling them to utilize the new findings in regional water resource and agricultural management initiatives as well as in the design of mechanisms to reduce potential for conflict (linkage to SSH-2009.4.2.1).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: NMP-2008-2.6-3 | Award Amount: 1.23M | Year: 2009

The stability of thin films in contact with different materials is a critical issue for a wide range of modern devices, including high-k films in the microelectronics industry, metal electrodes for fuel cells, and nanometer sized particles on oxides for catalysis. Some groups are working on thermodynamic analysis of thin film stability, who correlate relative interface energies with dopant adsorption. While this provides important thermodynamic parameters which can be used to evaluate the stability of thin films, information on the detailed atomistic structure and chemistry of the same interfaces needs to be correlated with the thermodynamic approach. Other groups use advanced characterization approaches to determine local atomistic structure and chemistry, and theoretical groups explore interface structure and energy through computational methods. It is the goal of this project to bridge between these working groups. This project will establish an environment to promote communication and collaboration between groups using thermodynamic approaches with groups studying the atomistic structure of interfaces, since bridging this particular scientific gap has the potential to result in new design criteria for advanced material systems. The project is based on a core group of European, and International partners, who have realized that such a form of communication is critical to advancing the field of interface science and interface based technology. The partners will establish structured programs for discussion via focused public workshops and summer schools, and via scientific exchange. While the core group of partners is academic, European industry will be involved in the structured discussions. The expected impact from this four-year project is methods to correlate between thermodynamic analyses of interfaces with atomistic structure. This will provide new approaches to understanding interface stability, adhesion and interface dependent functional properties.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SiS.2007-;SiS-2007- | Award Amount: 875.08K | Year: 2008

The key concept of this project is inquiry-based teaching of secondary school science. Research and development done in Europe in the area of inquiry-based science teaching (IBST) is abundant, however, the knowledge is spread and indistinct, and thereby not utilised to its full potential by teachers and educators throughout Europe. The project aims to gather, exchange, develop and disseminate ideas of good practices in IBST. The overall aim of Mind the Gap is to stimulate a more engaging and interesting science teaching based on principles of IBST so that more young people in general, and girls in particular, wish to pursue educations and careers in science and technology. We argue that if the science teaching shall succeed in meeting young people in their interests and concerns, we will need to examine and connect The gap between theory and practice in inquiry based science The gap between teaching and learning The gap between research, policy and practice The gap between educational policies and in-service training The gap between instructional designs and preferable tools The gap between cognitive demands and available tools The gap between the culture of science and marginalized groups (including girls) The Mind the Gap project and network will focus on such gaps and aim to bridge them across different European contexts (Norway, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, United Kingdom, Spain, and France). The project design involves six work packages (WPs), including one management WP, each lead from different Europeans countries with relevant expertise. One of the WPs provides an overall background for IBST, three WPs go more in-depth into three specific themes (scientific literacy, ICT, and communication and argumentation). And the last WP will try out models for disseminating knowledge and ideas for best practice of IBST through teacher professional development (including SINUS) in different countries and contexts.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.23M | Year: 2010

The ITN DYNAMOL will establish a powerful new approach for the preparation of nanostructures based on dynamic covalent chemistry. This approach combines the advantages of covalent synthesis (robustness of bonds) with those of non-covalent synthesis (error correction, responsiveness) without any of the disadvantages. It therefore has the potential to provide unique solutions for several important challenges in the preparation of nanostructures that still need to be addressed. The ITN unites most European leading academic experts in the area of dynamic covalent chemistry with partners from the industrial sector. Expertise of all partners encompasses the areas of supramolecular chemistry and dynamic covalent chemistry, but individual research competences are quite diverse focussing on molecularly defined nanostructures, analysis of nanostructures, and novel applications. The complementarity and diversity thus realised is crucial for successful research and training in this area. Moreover, the two full partners from the private sector, both representing small and medium-sized enterprises, and the two associated partners, one a major chemical company, will have the critical role to bridge fundamental science with application and commercialisation of the results. The objectives of the network will be achieved by recruiting 11 early stage researchers and 1 experienced researcher. A mobility program will allow the researchers to spend time in the various laboratories of the network, thus facilitating sharing of resources and expertise. Local training at the host institutions will be supplemented by a training programme containing various elements such as biannual workshops and a summer school with the participation of experts from outside the network to realise efficient exchange of information and transfer of knowledge. The ITN thus combines world-class research with a unique education to strengthen Europes prominence in the timely field of nanoscience.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISIB-02-2015 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2016

EuroDairy will foster development and dissemination of practice-based innovations in dairy farming on key sustainability issues for the post-quota era. Work Package 1 (Project co-ordination) oversees formation of the Thematic Network, ensures interconnectivity in generation, capture and demonstration of innovation and best practice, and reports project outputs including recommendations for further innovation-driven research. WP 2 (Network of innovating pilot farmers and Knowledge Transfer Centres) establishes a community of innovating dairy farmers which through experience and practice on their own farms, bring good ideas and implementable solutions to EuroDairy. The farms participate in regional multi-actor operational groups, and connect as a network to share knowledge across borders. WPs 3-6 focus on four key topics - Resource efficiency, Biodiversity, Animal care, and Socio-economic resilience. These WPs provide leadership, direction and technical expertise for the exchange of innovative thinking, tools, technologies and best practice across the thematic network (pilot farmers, Knowledge Transfer Centres, and regional operational groups). WP 7 (Synergies in scientific and practice-based knowledge) draws from WPs 3-6 to capture new insights from combining science with practice-based knowledge, including benefits and trade-offs in solutions identified. WP 8 (Production and communication of end-user materials) implements a mix of novel and tried-and-tested approaches to internal and external communications. A diverse range of end-user outputs will be produced, made widely accessible to farmers. EuroDairy supports H2020 objectives to increase productivity, improve competitiveness and impact less on the environment. Involvement of dairy levy bodies, farmers organisations and cooperatives in an interactive, bottom-up approach will ensure practical relevance, and multiply benefits across Europe. Direct links to Hennovation and AgriSPIN, will add value to the project.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.4-06 | Award Amount: 4.19M | Year: 2012

Agricultural production faces numerous challenges regarding competitiveness, conserving natural and non-renewable resources (water, soil, air, phosphorus, fossil fuels) and ecosystem services (pollination, natural pest control, soil fertility). Society also expects from agriculture to be more environment-friendly in several issues such as climatic change, declining biodiversity, fossil energy depletion, and water shortage. To overcome these limitations, CANTOGETHER will design innovative sustainable mixed farming systems (MFS). A design-assessment-adjustment iterative cycle will be adopted to ensure continuous validation and improvement of the innovative investigated MFS through a participative approach involving stakeholders and researchers across Europe. It will bring together a European network of 24 existing experimental and commercial farms covering a wide diversity of natural and socio-economic conditions in which the most promising MFS will be implemented in order to verify their practicability and to perform an in-depth integrated assessment (economic and environmental). The MFS will be designed for individual farm level or collective implementation at the territorial level. At the same time, CANTOGETHER will define recommendations for a common agricultural policy promoting the development of these MFS. The innovative analysed MFS will be based on the simultaneous utilization of crops (cash, feed and energetic) and various rearing animals with full recycling practices of animal wastes in view to ensure high resource-use efficiency (notably of nutrients), reduction in dependence on external inputs (fertilisers, pesticides, concentrated feeds), and acceptable environmental and economic performances. CANTOGETHER will produce a complete picture of their effects and will facilitate their adoption by jointly involving researchers and the key actors of the agricultural sector (farmers, advisors, policy makers, and actors of the food supply chain).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-4 | Award Amount: 16.45M | Year: 2013

DESIRE will focus on epileptogenic developmental disorders EDD, i.e. early onset epilepsies whose origin is closely related to developmental brain processes. A major cause of EDD are malformations of cortical development (MCD), either macroscopic or subtle. EDD are often manifested as epileptic encephalopathies (EE), i.e. conditions in which epileptic activity itself may contribute to severe cognitive and behavioral impairments. EDD are the most frequent drug-resistant pediatric epilepsies carrying a lifelong perspective of disability and reduced quality of life. Although EDD collectively represent a major medical and socio-economic burden, their molecular diagnosis, pathogenic mechanisms (PM) and rationale treatment are poorly understood. Specific objectives of DESIRE are to advance the state of the art with respect to: (1) the genetic and epigenetic causes and PM of EDD, particularly epileptogenic MCD, to elucidate molecular networks and disrupted protein complexes and search for common bases for these apparently heterogeneous disorders. (2) the diagnostic tools (biomarkers) and protocols through the study of a unique and well-characterized cohort of children to provide standardized diagnosis for patient stratification and research across Europe. (3) treatment of EDD using randomized, multidisciplinary clinical protocols and testing preclinical strategies in experimental models to also address novel preventative strategies. The workplan spans from clinical observation, to whole exome studies, cellular and animal models and basic research, identification of biomarkers and improvement of diagnostic methods, and back to the clinical trials and assessment of innovative, targeted treatment strategies. The consortium partners have an outstanding track record in genetics, basic neurophysiology, neuropathology and clinical research. Specialized expertise will be made available by the SMEs involved to develop novel diagnostic tools for tailored treatment approaches.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 9.17M | Year: 2009

Groundwater resources are facing increasing pressure from consumptive uses (irrigation, water supply, industry) and contamination by diffuse loading (e.g. agriculture) and point sources (e.g. industry). This cause major threat and risks to our most valuable water resource and on ecosystems dependent on groundwater. New information is need on how to better protect groundwaters and groundwater dependent ecosystems (GDE) from intensive land-use and climate change. The impacts of land-use changes and climate changes are difficult to separate as they partly result in similar changes in the ecosystems affected. The effects are highly interwoven and complex. The EU groundwater directive (GWD) and the water framework directive (WFD) provide means to protect groundwater (GW) aquifers from pollution and deterioration. At present, the maximum limits for groundwater pollutant concentrations have been set for nitrate and various pesticides. Also, water of sufficient quality and quantity should be provided to ecosystems dependent on groundwater. The European aquifers differ by their geology, climate, and threats to aquifers. This must be considered when general guidelines for management of these systems are developed. The concept of the present proposal is to base the research on different relevant aquifer sites in various European countries to test scientific issues and find new results to important problems. Seven WP are foreseen: WP1 Case studies on impacts and threats to GWs and GDEs WP2 Groundwater dynamics, re-charge and water balance WP3 Leaching to groundwater aquifers from different land-uses WP4 Groundwater dependent ecosystems: groundwater-surface water interaction WP5 Modelling processes in groundwater systems WP6 Concepts, scenarios and risk assessment WP7 Co-ordination

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: Ocean.2010-3 | Award Amount: 13.98M | Year: 2011

The ECO2 project sets out to assess the risks associated with the storage of CO2 below the seabed. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is regarded as a key technology for the reduction of CO2 emissions from power plants and other sources at the European and international level. The EU will hence support a selected portfolio of demonstration projects to promote, at industrial scale, the implementation of CCS in Europe. Several of these projects aim to store CO2 below the seabed. However, little is known about the short-term and long-term impacts of CO2 storage on marine ecosystems even though CO2 has been stored sub-seabed in the North Sea (Sleipner) for over 13 years and for one year in the Barents Sea (Snhvit). Against this background, the proposed ECO2 project will assess the likelihood of leakage and impact of leakage on marine ecosystems. In order to do so ECO2 will study a sub-seabed storage site in operation since 1996 (Sleipner, 90 m water depth), a recently opened site (Snhvit, 2008, 330 m water depth), and a potential storage site located in the Polish sector of the Baltic Sea (B3 field site, 80 m water depth) covering the major geological settings to be used for the storage of CO2. Novel monitoring techniques will be applied to detect and quantify the fluxes of formation fluids, natural gas, and CO2 from storage sites and to develop appropriate and effective monitoring strategies. Field work at storage sites will be supported by modelling and laboratory experiments and complemented by process and monitoring studies at natural CO2 seeps that serve as analogues for potential CO2 leaks at storage sites. ECO2 will also investigate the perception of marine CCS in the public and develop effective means to disseminate the project results to stakeholders and policymakers. Finally, a best practice guide for the management of sub-seabed CO2 storage sites will be developed applying the precautionary principle and valuing the costs for monitoring and remediation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 39.64M | Year: 2011

In response to the call for a high impact initiative on the human epigenome, the BLUEPRINT Consortium has been formed with the aim of generating at least 100 reference epigenomes and studying them to advance and exploit knowledge of the underlying biological processes and mechanisms in health and disease. BLUEPRINT will focus on distinct types of haematopoietic cells from healthy individuals and on their malignant leukaemic counterparts. Reference epigenomes will be generated by state-of-the-art technologies from highly purified cells for a comprehensive set of epigenetic marks in accordance with quality standards set by IHEC. This resource-generating activity will be conducted at dedicated centres to be complemented by confederated hypothesis-driven research into blood-based diseases, including common leukaemias and autoimmune disease (T1D), by epigenetic targets and compound identification, and by discovery and validation of epigenetic markers for diagnostic use. By focussing on 100 samples of known genetic variation BLUEPRINT will complete an epigenome-wide association study, maximizing the biomedical relevance of the reference epigenomes. Key to the success of BLUEPRINT will be the integration with other data sources (i.e. ICGC, 1000 genomes and ENCODE), comprehensive bioinformatic analysis, and user-friendly dissemination to the wider scientific community. The involvement of innovative companies will energize epigenomic research in the private sector by creating new targets for compounds and the development of smart technologies for better diagnostic tests. BLUEPRINT will outreach through a network of associated members and form critical alliances with leading networks in genomics and epigenomics within Europe and worldwide. Through its interdisciplinarity and scientific excellence combined with its strong commitment to networking, training and communication BLUEPRINT strives to become the cornerstone of the EU contribution to IHEC.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 4.75M | Year: 2008

At present there are a number of fixed point observatories that autonomously measure biological, chemical and physical variables in the oceans around Europe. These operate at various levels of sophistication but in a largely uncoordinated and fragmented manner. There is no agreed set of basic variables and common data protocols are not followed. EuroSITES has two main objectives: 1: To enhance the existing deep ocean observatories thus forming a coherent European network. This will then provide a clear and relevant description of the time varying properties of the ocean system. 2: To perform a small number of specific science missions that will, in the future, form the basis for greatly improved and novel monitoring capability. The work we propose addresses directly and explicitly the vision of GEOSS. We will address this in the context of the time changing properties of the ocean interior, seafloor and sub seafloor around Europe. EuroSITES will promote links with other international observation networks such as the network envisioned under the U.S. National Science Foundations Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). Long-term time-series data offer some of the most important insights into the ways our oceans are changing. Crucially important processes occur on time scales that can not be observed by ships and in the deep parts of the ocean that are outside the reach of satellites. Sustained in situ observations are therefore required to provide high quality data on climatically and ecologically relevant variables at a few key locations. EuroSITES is the means to achieve this.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NoE | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.1-3 | Award Amount: 14.22M | Year: 2011

ENCCA aims to establish a durable, European Virtual Institute clinical and translational research in childhood and adolescent cancers that will define and implement an integrated research strategy and will facilitate the necessary investigator-driven clinical trials to introduce the new generation of biologically targeted drugs into standard of care for children and adolescents with cancer. This will lead to more efficacious and less toxic therapies that will maximise the quality of life of the increasing number of survivors of cancer at a young age in Europe and allow them to assume their proper place in society. This biologically-driven research agenda will improve training of the clinical investigators and translational scientists of the future to spread excellence, increase capacity to participate in research and monitor outcomes across Europe. Patients and their families will be full partners and will be better informed about the need for and processes of clinical research. They will be in a better situation to care from their long term health risks for children. Drug development will be accelerated in partnership with industry through improved access to young patients with cancer, to academic expertise in care, clinical and biological research. All of this will be achieved with respect for the highest ethical and patient safety standards. ENCCA will bring all stakeholders to the table in a timely and efficacious manner. It will address the needs of all the current multinational clinical trial groups for the benefit of children with cancer. It will provide them with common tools and approaches to solve the bottlenecks in testing new therapeutic strategies for those rare diseases in a vulnerable age group and in running a competitive clinical research agenda. Ongoing efforts to coordinate EU and US clinical research will be reinforced. ENCCA will be led by the most active EU institutes in the field (31), recognised as being at the forefront of excellence.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2012.2.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.78M | Year: 2013

This project aims to promote a widespread use of inquiry-based science teaching (IBST) in primary and secondary schools. Our major innovation is to connect IBST in school with the world of work making science more meaningful for young European students and motivating their interest in careers in S & T. To this end, we will run training courses in which pre- and in-service teachers will learn about IBST supported by teachers from vocational education, representatives from industry and informal learning. They will develop inquiry tasks in vocational contexts, leading to a large European task repository. Teachers will experience IBST themselves and through iterative cycles of implementation followed by reflection integrate this into their practice. To ensure widespread participation we will use a pyramid model in which we will work with a small number of teachers first each of which will then work with further teachers. Additionally we will develop an innovative interactive e-learning platform. To profit from the international perspective offered by the project teachers will be connected with existing European networks and our own thematic network on IBST through (virtual) meetings, a forum and the task repository. We will adopt a systemic approach to dissemination working with teachers and additionally parents, students, school authorities and policy makers. National and European advisory panels will bring together stakeholders to advise partners throughout the project; dialogue with policy makers will be facilitated by workshops and policy papers. To ensure effectiveness our work will be informed by a detailed analysis of the educational systems in partner nations. We plan to reach more than 65.000 teachers directly and 800.000 teachers indirectly (via stakeholders, media). Throughout, our work will be subject to rigorous evaluation and measures of quality assurance that will be both summative and formative in informing the progress of the project.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-1 | Award Amount: 12.17M | Year: 2013

Tropical Atlantic climate recently experienced pronounced shifts of great socio-economic importance. The oceanic changes were largest in the eastern boundary upwelling systems. African countries bordering the Atlantic strongly depend upon their ocean - societal development, fisheries, and tourism. They were strongly affected by these climatic changes and will face important adaptation challenges associated with global warming. Furthermore, these upwelling regions are also of great climatic importance, playing a key role in regulating global climate. Paradoxically, the Tropical Atlantic is a region of key uncertainty in earth-climate system: state-of-the-art climate models exhibit large systematic error, climate change projections are highly uncertain, and it is largely unknown how climate change will impact marine ecosystems. PREFACE aims to address these interconnected issues, and has the following goals: To reduce uncertainties in our knowledge of the functioning of Tropical Atlantic climate. To improve climate prediction and the quantification of climate change impacts in the region. To improve understanding of the cumulative effects of the multiple stressors of climate variability, greenhouse induced climate change, and fisheries on marine ecosystems, and ecosystem services (e.g., fisheries, coastal vulnerability). To assess the socio-economic vulnerabilities and evaluate the resilience of Atlantic African fishing communities to climate-driven ecosystem shifts and global markets. To meet these goals we bring together European and African expertise to combine regional and global scale modelling capabilities, field experiments and observation systems. Our target region includes areas more affected by climate change and by its consequences, European outermost regions, and African countries bordering the Atlantic.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SIS-2008- | Award Amount: 5.24M | Year: 2009

Helping teachers raise the quality of science teaching and its educational environment has the potential to increase student engagement, attainment, scientific literacy and science career choices. S-TEAM will achieve this by connecting existing science education research and teacher knowledge to teacher education. This task requires the power of coordinated action across a wide range of institutions and national contexts. The 26 partners and 15 nations engaged in S-TEAM have a unique opportunity to systematically integrate their knowledge of teaching, research and teacher education, and to adapt science education to the diverse needs of citizens and the economy in Europe, focusing on inquiry-based methods. These involve problem-solving, hands-on experimentation, authentic, student-led content and critical dialogue, but they require wider development of teacher skills and knowledge. Many teachers are already competent in these methods, and are thus the best source of learning for others. S-TEAM will achieve its aims by disseminating research on, and teachers' experiences of inquiry-based methods to existing and future science teachers. Its actions will involve listening to teachers, working with teacher educators and researchers, and providing support for better science education. This support will include workshops, training packages, video case-studies, teaching materials and publications. S-TEAM will involve not only teachers, but also teacher educators, researchers, students, parents and policymakers in dialogue, to ensure that this dissemination is effective. S-TEAM is sustainable since learning through teacher collaboration and education can be continually regenerated, but also necessary because science teacher education needs to be shared across Europe. By enabling teachers to deliver more efficient and efficacious learning, S-TEAM will improve the attitudes, motivation and learning of young people, including girls, in science education.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 10.98M | Year: 2009

The HERMIONE project is designed to make a major advance in our knowledge of the functioning of deep-sea ecosystems and their contribution to the production of goods and services. This will be achieved through a highly interdisciplinary approach (including biologists, ecologists, microbiologists, biogeochemists, sedimentologists, physical oceanographers, modelers and socio-economists) that will integrate biodiversity, specific adaptions and biological capacity in the context of a wide range of highly vulnerable deep-sea habitats. Gaining this understanding is crucial, because these ecosystems are now being affected by climate change and impacted by man through fishing, resource extraction, seabed installations and pollution. To design and implement effective governance strategies and management plans we must understand the extent, natural dynamics and interconnection of ocean ecosystems and integrate socio-economic research with natural science. The study sites include the Arctic, North Atlantic and Mediterranean and cover a range of ecosystems including cold-water corals, canyons, cold and hot seeps, seamounts and open slopes and deep-basins. The project will make strong connections between deep-sea science and user needs. HERMIONE will enhance the education and public perception of the deep-ocean issues also through some of the major EU aquaria. These actions, together with GEOSS databases that will be made available, will create a platform for discussion between a range of stakeholders, and contribute to EU environmental policies.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-CG | Phase: ERC-CG-2013-PE7 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2014

In the last 10 years, power electronics has moved significantly towards the electric grid, making it more flexible and decentralized. Still important challenges remain. One of the most thrilling is re-inventing the distribution transformer after more than 125 years since its first use in the electrification of a city. In fact, actual distribution transformers can no longer fulfill the requirements of a modern electric grid highly dominated by distributed sources and new sizable loads, like heat pumps and electric vehicles. This project proposes the invention of a novel Smart Transformer (ST), based on a modular architecture of units made by power electronics converters, that will be able to manage the energy and the information flows among sources and loads in the distribution area with the goal of decoupling it from the rest of the bulk power system. Actual proposals of Smart Transformers cannot compete in terms of cost, efficiency and reliability with traditional transformers. This project has decided to take this challenge with a paradigm shift in how to approach it and a new set of methodologies. The breakthrough results of this research will be obtained taking the following high-risk high-gain bet: significantly influence the efficiency and the reliability of the Smart Transformer by routing the energy flows among its power converter units. A new understanding of how the energy flows are managed by the modular connection of power converter units will guide the design of new architectures for the ST allowing different routes for the energy. Graph theory will be used to find optimal paths for the energy flows with the goal of maximizing efficiency and reliability. The energy flows will be managed by relying on information coming from the electric distribution system sensors (requirements) and from the power module sensors (constraints). The holy grail of this research is to provide a new durable heart to the electric distribution system.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.85M | Year: 2011

The aim of MARINE FUNGI is the demonstration of sustainable exploitation of marine natural resources providing appropriate culture conditions for the underutilised group of marine fungi, thus enabling efficient production of marine natural products in the laboratory and also in large scale cultures, avoiding harm to the natural environment. The focus of MARINE FUNGI are new anti-cancer compounds The project will carry out the characterisation of these compounds to the stage of in vivo proof of concept ready to enter further drug development in order to valorise the results of the project. MARINE FUNGI covers two approaches to gain effective producer strains: a) Candidate strains originating from one partners strain collection will be characterised and optimised using molecular methods. b) New fungi will be isolated from unique habitats, i.e. tropical coral reefs, endemic macroalgae and sponges from the Mediterranean. Culture conditions for these new isolates will be optimised for the production of new anti-cancer metabolites. MARINE FUNGI will develop a process concept for these compounds providing the technological basis for a sustainable use of marine microbial products as result of Blue Biotech. The project will explore the potential of marine fungi as excellent sources for useful new natural compounds. This will be accomplished by the formation of a new strongly interacting research network comprising the scientific and technological actors, including 3 SMEs and 2 ICPC partners, necessary to move along the added-value chain from the marine habitat to the drug candidate and process concept. The generated and existing knowledge will be disseminated widely for the valorisation of the project results.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2011.2.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.38M | Year: 2011

The ARCH research project Architecture and roadmap to manage multiple pressures on lagoons aims to develop participative methodologies in collaboration with policy makers, local authorities and stakeholders to manage the multiple problems affecting lagoons (estuarine coastal areas). These areas represent ecosystems that are very vulnerable for climate change, increasing urbanisation and industrialisation. A central feature of ARCH is to provide realistic solutions to manage these pressures and establish a better connection (the arch) between science and policy. This is accomplished by facilitating the transition (i) from segregated disciplinary scientific results to well integrated and usable scientific knowledge, (ii) from government and sectoral policies towards governance and sustainable management; and (iii) from an unaware and uninformed lagoon community towards an involved and well-informed community. ARCH will work with 10 case study lagoons and estuaries having a geographical distribution covering all major seas surrounding Europe. A participatory workshop methodology will be used at the lagoon sites to develop a decision framework to choose strategies, interventions and measures to manage the existing and future problems in the lagoon. This is accomplished using an integrated planning approach, considering ecosystem services to assess the social, economic and ecological state of the lagoon and linking this to spatial planning methodology. The final products of ARCH are roadmaps for implementation of realistic solutions at the lagoon scale, a management guide for coastal managers and policy makers in Europe and the European Lagoon Management Handbook. The project will actively disseminate products and experiences via newsletters, multiplier seminars, a website and specific web-tool for discussion, and a final conference. The legacy beyond the lifetime of the project is ensured by the connection to international networks, like the UNESCO HELP-program.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.2.5-01 | Award Amount: 1.30M | Year: 2011

The overall objective of this project is to address the key aspects of the food chain both that determine the transmission of price changes from farm to consumer levels, emphasising the role of competition in the intermediate and retail stages of the food chain and the broader regulatory environment in which firms in food supply chains across the EU compete. Given that the characteristics of the food sector vary considerably throughout the member states of the EU, and the observation that experience resulting from the recent commodity price spikes were significantly different across many countries, a key feature of the project will be to address how the variation in the structure of the food chain across different EU Member States contributes to food price adjustment in individual countries. Further, the project will address on-going developments in the food chain with regard to various aspects of vertical coordination in food supply chains, consolidation in the food sector, how the regulatory environment in which firms compete affects the overall functioning of food supply chains across the EU and the extent to which these issues also impact on SMEs. To this end, the project will address the issue of price adjustment in various dimensions across EU Member States, the selection of Member States reflecting differences in industry structure, the regulatory environment in which firms compete and the experiences they have recently faced with regard to commodity price shocks. In addressing these issues, a selection of different commodity chains (both long and short) will form the basis of the analysis. The research project will be expected to result in significant new insights that address the functioning of food supply chains across the EU Member States that impact on food pricing transparency throughout the EU. To this end, the researchers will interact with stakeholder groups representing interests throughout the food chain in forming a potential Action Plan.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.1.13 | Award Amount: 13.42M | Year: 2011

The objective of this project is the integration of world class high-throughput sequencing and genotyping facilities that will provide sequencing and genotyping technologies and data analysis methodologies to the scientific community. The European Sequencing and Genotyping Infrastructure (ESGI) will enable external users to generate data rapidly and to acquire knowledge efficiently. By providing access to the ESGI facilities in order to benefit from the sequencing and genotyping technologies, there will be an outreach and sustainable impact for the scientific community in the area of biological and medical research to generate new knowledge. The ESGI will optimise European research programs and foster transnational collaborations. In general, the ESGI will defragment and thereby strengthen the European research capacities in genetics and genomics and improve the knowledge transfer from large genomics centers among themselves and to external expert groups or scientists who are focusing on specific research questions. Our aim is to apply and improve new high-throughput nucleic acids analysis technologies for a broad range of genetic and systems biology studies using well-phenotyped samples, for example those derived from standardised European biobanks and animal facilities. In particular, massively-parallel sequencing technologies are essential components of modern biomedical research and are ready to reveal molecular and cellular pathways underlying complex traits and common diseases. As the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) pointed out in the past, the development of an efficient infrastructure for sequencing and genotyping is of crucial importance to position Europe as one of the world-leading regions for genetics, genomics and systems biology research and thus a contribution to the European Research Area.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-4.2-1 | Award Amount: 4.24M | Year: 2008

Only for Children Pharmaceuticals, a French based Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) developing drug for children, is the Coordinator of a multinational, multidisciplinary and complementary Consortium. This Consortium is composed of highly qualified organizations and notorious clinicians in pediatric hemato-oncology. The Consortium is an integrated team of competencies (clinicians, pdiatricians, pharmacokineticists, pharmacists, manufacturers, engineers, regulatory and ethical experts) capable of executing a pdiatric drug development from its designing to market. The Consortium will perform the non-clinical development of Methotrexate (MTX) and the non-clinical and clinical development of 6-Mercaptopurine (6MP) oral liquid formulations adapted for maintenance treatment of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia with the crucial objective to make available these adapted formulation by 2012 at the latest. Methotrexate and 6-mercaptopurine are on the EMEA Priority list of off-patent medicinal products of paediatric working party of the European medicine agency - June 2007. On September 2007, EMEAs COMP Committee has granted the orphan status to Methotrexate (oral liquid) and 6-mercaptopurine (oral liquid).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.1-3 | Award Amount: 5.64M | Year: 2013

Coastal areas concentrate vulnerability to climate change due to high levels of population, economic activity and ecological values. Because of that RISES-AM- addresses the economy-wide impacts of coastal systems to various types of high-end climatic scenarios (including marine and riverine variables). It encompasses analyses from global to local scales across the full range of RCPs and SSPs. It considers the still significant uncertainties in drivers (physical and socio-economic) and coastal system responses (e.g. land loss or uses, biological functions, economic productivity) within a hazard-vulnerability-risk approach. The emphasis is on the advantages of flexible management with novel types of coastal interventions (e.g. green options) within an adaptive pathway whose tipping points will be identified/quantified in the project. The assessment of impacts and adaptation deficits will be based on modelling tools that will provide a set of objective and homogeneous comparisons. The extended/improved suite of models will be applied across scales and focusing on the most vulnerable coastal archetypes such as deltas, estuaries, port cities and small islands. This will lead to a motivated analysis of the synergies and trade-offs between mitigation and adaptation, including what level and timing of climate mitigation is needed to avoid social, ecological and economic adaptation tipping points in coastal areas. We shall evaluate the direct and indirect costs of high-end scenarios (e.g. the increasing demand for safety under increasingly adverse conditions) for coasts with/without climate change and contribute to determining which policy responses are needed at the European and global levels in the context of international climate discussions. The project will finally transfer results to authorities, users and stakeholders from all economic sectors converging in coastal zones, including the climate research community dealing with more generalistic assessments.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2013.2.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 2.80M | Year: 2013

IRRESISTIBLE In the project IRRISITIBLE partners work together to make young people more aware about Responsible Research and Innovation issues. Universities and science centres will cooperate in the project using the expertise they have in linking formal land informal learning. For a long term effect the project focusses on teacher training. Each partner will form a Community of Learners in which teachers work together with formal education experts and informal education experts. The topics they will work on are derived from cutting edge research taking place at the partners university. Researchers and people from industry will complement the Community of Learners. The Community of Learners will develop material to be used both in the classroom as well as in the science centres. During the first part content knowledge about the research will be introduced using the well established IBSE methodology. In the second part students will discuss and work on Responsible Research and Innovation issues regarding the research they have studied. Each partner will develop one module to be used in the classroom During the module students will be developing exhibits about the RRI issues that they have studied. These exhibits will be presented in the science centres.The best exhibits from each partner will be brought together during the yearly conferences of the project. By using new techniques like digital fabrication (ie. 3D printing) the exchange of exhibits will be easy between partners. In the second round of the project the teachers from the first Community of Learners will work in a new Community with 4 to 5 new teachers. They will help these teachers introduce the developed modules in their own classroom. This way the number of teachers involved grows. After receiving feedback from the first two rounds the 10 modules will be published and disseminated using and through workshops at local and (inter)national conferences

Parkinsons disease (PD) is a major, chronic, non-communicable disease and the 2nd most frequent neurodegenerative disorder worldwide. Excess iron is primarily detected in the substantia nigra pars compacta, where dopaminergic neurons are exposed to high levels of oxidative stress produced by mitochondrial disorders and dopamine metabolism. Our previous preclinical, translational and pilot clinical studies demonstrated that novel iron chelation therapy with the prototypic drug deferiprone (DFP) (i) induces neuroprotection in cell models of PD via a powerful antioxidant effect, (ii) reduces regional siderosis of the brain, (iii) reduces motor handicap via inhibition of catechol-o-methyl transferase, and (iv) slows the progression of motor handicap in the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine mouse model and in early PD patients. This project now seeks to demonstrate that conservative iron chelation therapy with moderate-dose DFP (30 mg/kg/day) slows the progression of handicap in de novo PD patients while not affecting systemic parameters. The 9-month, parallel-group, randomized, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial will be followed by a 1-month wash-out period. The primary efficacy criterion will be the change in motor and non-motor handicap scores on the Total Movement Disorders Society Unified Parkinsons Disease Rating Scale to identify disease-modifying and symptomatic effects. The secondary efficacy criterion will be the change in score between baseline and 40 weeks (i.e. probing the disease-modifying effect only). Potential surrogate radiological and biological biomarkers, health economics and societal impacts will be assessed. 17 national, European and international research and innovation activities will be linked with the project. The study results should prompt academic and industrial research on iron chelation as a disease-modifying treatment in neurodegenerative diseases.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: SiS.2007-;SiS-2007- | Award Amount: 1.43M | Year: 2008

CarboSchools\ proposes to link carbon science laboratories with secondary schools to develop partnerships where young Europeans learn and conduct experiments about climate research and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. In partnership projects, scientists and teachers co-operate over several months to give young people a practical experience of research through real-time experiments, site visits, debates etc. A final output (article, exhibition) shares the findings with parents, friends, community etc. Nine research institutes in 7 countries will explore how they can best motivate and support such partnerships at the regional level in a wide variety of contexts, approaches, topics and age-groups. European co-operation will allow a comparison of results, learn from each other and develop replicable good practice. Pupils will gain European experience by doing comparative measurements through a common school CO2-web. An in-depth study of impacts on attitudes, beliefs and skills will allow a better understanding of the projects level of effectiveness. Over 2 school years, partnerships will involve about 90 scientists, 140 teachers and more than 3000 students. Their direct interaction will support teachers in the highly complex, interdisciplinary and socially relevant field of global change, and improve the communication skills of scientists. Methods and materials will be jointly developed and shared with a broad range of players in science education via the internet, a European conference and regional dissemination activities. CarboSchools\ is proposed by institutes firmly rooted in two FP6 research projects on climate change on the basis of outstanding results from educational projects piloted since 2005. A field-tested concept, a first set of resources and an enthusiastic human network provides us with confidence and institutional support to make science learning more engaging and challenging for young people as future workers, consumers and citizens.

News Article | November 28, 2016

Topics range from medical imaging to analysis of authority and trust in US politics and society; €87 million in funding for an initial 4.5 years The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) is establishing 20 new Research Training Groups (RTGs) to further support early career researchers in Germany. They include three International Research Training Groups (IRTGs) with partners in the UK, New Zealand and Austria. This was decided by the responsible Grants Committee during its autumn session in Bonn. The Research Training Groups will receive funding of around 87 million euros for an initial period of four and a half years. In addition to the 20 new collaborations, the Grants Committee approved the extension of seven Research Training Groups for another four and a half years. This funding instrument enables doctoral researchers to complete their theses in a structured research and qualification programme at a high academic level. In total the DFG is currently funding 206 Research Training Groups, including 41 International Research Training Groups; the 20 new groups will commence their work in 2017. The new Research Training Groups in detail (in alphabetical order by their host universities, including the name of the applicant universities): Sketches, abstracts, notes, records, excerpts, essays, articles and glosses: all these 'small forms' of writing are an essential part of the practice of research, teaching, art and the media. The Research Training Group "The Literary and Epistemic History of Small Forms" intends to study their emergence and development, with which they are also involved in the success of prose, from antiquity to the present day. The group will also seek to understand how processes of understanding are controlled, reflected and channelled in specific media using these small forms. (Host university: Humboldt University of Berlin, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Joseph Vogl) Imaging techniques such as ultrasound, X-rays and CT scans are well known. Medical findings are established on the basis of the image data produced in technically and mathematically complex processes. However, physicians' diagnoses are normally made on the basis of qualitative arguments, which do not make full use of the information content of image data and in particular the potential of imaging methods. The "BIOQIC - BIOphysical Quantitative Imaging Towards Clinical Diagnosis" Research Training Group will therefore study biophysical quantitative medical imaging to further develop these quantitative methods and apply them in clinical pilot studies to obtain more information from the imaging process. (Host universities: Humboldt University of Berlin and Free University of Berlin / Charité - University Hospital Berlin, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Ingolf Sack) The Research Training Group "World Politics: The Emergence of Political Arenas and Modes of Observation in World Society" is concerned with the emergence of world politics as a type of politics in its own right. From the perspective of the theory of global society, the group aims to investigate the extent to which the emergence of world politics represents both a consequence and a precondition of the constitution of modern states. Researchers specialising in political science, sociology, history and law will collaborate to address this question. (Host university: University of Bielefeld, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Mathias Albert) Perception, the authorship of action, emotions, and social and linguistic understanding are central cognitive phenomena. The Research Training Group "Situated Cognition - New Concepts in Investigating Core Mental Phenomena" will combine the philosophy of the mind and cognition with cognition sciences, which closely interact with cognitive neurosciences. The main aim of the group is to identify deficits in existing concepts of the human mind and further develop these concepts such as to give more attention to more recent developments in cognition sciences that are not yet adequately reflected in philosophical theory formation. (Host university: University of Bochum, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Albert Newen; Additional applicant university: University of Osnabrück) Short-term dynamic loads such as impacts, detonations or earthquakes can cause structures to collapse. The aim of the Research Training Group "Mineral-Bonded Composites for Enhanced Structural Impact Safety" is to make existing buildings and structures more resilient through the addition of thin-layer reinforcements. With the help of new mineral-bonded materials known as composites, the researchers aim to improve the safety of people and the infrastructure essential to their lives. (Host university: Technical University of Dresden, Spokesperson: Professor Dr.-Ing. Viktor Mechtcherine) According to the World Health Organization, more than 422 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, with approximately 3.7 million mortalities per year. In Germany, experts estimate the number of sufferers at 8 to 10 million. The German-British Research Training Group "Immunological and Cellular Strategies in Metabolic Disease (ICSMD)" aims to achieve a better understanding of the pathophysiology of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and develop strategies to halt the progress of the disease or even discover a cure. (Host university: Technical University of Dresden, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Stefan R. Bornstein, Cooperation partner: King's College London, Great Britain) The German-Austrian Research Training Group "Resonant Self-World Relations in Ancient and Modern Socio-Religious Practices" will investigate ritual practices which generate, determine or express meaningful relations between people and the world - to other people, things, nature, self, heaven and God or the gods. The nature of these world relations, in turn, says much about a given culture and the social or gender positions which characterise it. The establishment of the group has been approved by the DFG's Grants Committee on Research Training Groups. The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) will reach a decision on co-funding at its next meeting. (Host university: University of Erfurt, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Jörg Rüpke, Cooperation partner: University of Graz, Austria) The Research Training Group "Configurations of Cinema" understands film as a medium in constant transformation. In three working areas, 'formations', 'usages' and 'localisations', the group intends to analyse the genealogy and transformation of a wide variety of configurations of film, also in regard to the shift from cinemas to portable digital devices. The researchers will thus explore new modes of writing the history of a medium that is subject to constant change and examine film's defining features. (Host university: Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Vinzenz Hediger) How are authority and trust formed in US politics? How does this happen in American society, in religion and culture? The Research Training Group "Authority and Trust in American Culture, Society, History and Politics" intends to answer these questions. The chosen object of analysis is the USA because, due to its early democratization, egalitarian-libertarian political culture, ethnocultural heterogeneity and international hegemony, the country offers particularly fundamental insights into the problems of authority and trust in the modern age. (Host university: University of Heidelberg, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Manfred Berg) The Research Training Group "Tip- and Laser-Based 3D-Nanofabrication in Extended Macroscopic Working Areas" will develop manufacturing methods for two-dimensional and three-dimensional structures on a nanometre scale using tip-based and laser-based techniques. The research work will primarily be based on nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machines, allowing structuring and measuring to take place on the same machine. With the aid of this equipment the researchers intend to give particular attention to larger and uneven surfaces, such as optical lenses. (Host university: Technical University of Ilmenau, Spokesperson: Professor Dr.-Ing. Eberhard Manske) Batteries are seen as key components of future technologies such as electric vehicles and energy supplies. The Research Training Group "SIMET - Simulation Mechano-Electro-Thermal Processes in Lithium-Ion Batteries" will work on numerical simulation methods for lithium-ion batteries. The researchers will address the problem in a multi-scale approach in several different orders of magnitude. As well as individual particles, they will simulate the electrode pair and the complete cell. (Host university: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Spokesperson: Professor Dr.-Ing. Thomas Wetzel) Patients with chronic diseases of the brain are normally treated with medication, but this is frequently associated with side effects. Neuroimplants, on the other hand, allow localised therapy, but must satisfy many requirements. The Research Training Group "Materials for Brain (M4B): Thin Film Functional Materials for Minimally Invasive Therapy of Brain Diseases" intends to study the use of nanoscale, therapeutically active coatings for implants of this type. Its aim is to achieve the controlled release of substances into the brain by means of the coating. (Host university: University of Kiel, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Christine Selhuber-Unkel) We do not know enough about the reaction of lake ecosystems to environmental changes to be able to predict reliably whether they actually return to their original state following renaturation measures. Taking the example of Lake Constance, the Research Training Group "R3 - Responses to Biotic and Abiotic Changes, Resilience and Reversibility of Lake Ecosystems" aims to better understand the reactions of lake ecosystems to environmental changes, their resilience - the resistance of an ecosystem to disturbances - and their reversibility, in other words the ability to return to an original state following disturbance. (Host university: University of Constance, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Frank Peeters) For many mathematical questions, approximation and dimension reduction are the most important tools for achieving simplified representation and therefore saving computing time. The Research Training Group "Mathematical Complexity Reduction (CoRe)" will approach complexity reduction in a more general sense and will also investigate when problems can be made easier to solve through embedding in higher dimensional spaces ('liftings'). The group also intends to systematically examine the influence of the costs of data collection. (Host university: University of Magdeburg, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Sebastian Sager) One of the basic requirements for the economic success of a business is the efficient use of resources. In an increasingly networked world, several decision-makers are often involved in resource management and the amount of data available is growing. The Research Training Group "Advanced Optimization in a Networked Economy (AdONE)", based in the fields of operations research and management science, aims to develop models and processes and transfer these into software solutions designed to enable efficient use of resources through intelligent planning and control. (Host university: Technical University of Munich, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Stefan Minner) Rapidly increasing antibiotic resistance and the growth of so-called lifestyle diseases confront humanity with enormous challenges. In the Research Training Group "Evolutionary Processes in Adaptation and Disease (RTG EvoPAD)", doctoral researchers in biology, medicine and the philosophy of science will therefore investigate adaptations and diseases by drawing on modern evolutionary research and approaches in the philosophy of science, in order to better understand them. (Host university: University of Münster, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Joachim Kurtz) The development of metropolises prior to the age of industrialisation and globalisation has not, so far, been the subject of sufficient research. The "Pre-Modern Metropolitanism" Research Training Group intends to close this gap by investigating the establishment, impact and evolution of major urban centres from Ancient Greece and Rome to the dawn of the industrial age. (Host university: University of Regensburg, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Jörg Oberste) Until now there have been few if any approaches to the improvement of robots that work with easily modifiable materials or handle soft tissue. In a German-New Zealand Research Training Group, doctoral researchers will investigate "Soft Tissue Robotics - Simulation-Driven Concepts and Design for Control and Automation for Robotic Devices Interacting with Soft Tissues". The aim is to further develop simulation techniques and sensors in order to enable new regulation and control technology for robots that interact with soft materials. (Host university: University of Stuttgart, Spokesperson: Professor Oliver Röhrle, Ph.D., Cooperation partner: University of Auckland, New Zealand) For many tumours there are no means of prevention, which is why they are usually diagnosed in advanced stages. It is also difficult to develop efficient therapies for tumours because there are genomic differences not only between different tumours (intertumoral) but also within a single tumour (intratumoral), which contributes to therapy resistance. The Research Training Group "Heterogeneity and Evolution in Solid Tumors (HEIST): Molecular Characterization and Therapeutic Consequences" aims to understand intra- and intertumoral heterogeneity, the evolutionary history of a tumour and the genes responsible for it in order to improve the treatment of tumours even in advanced stages. (Host university: University of Ulm, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Thomas Seufferlein) Aberrations in what is known as the ubiquitin system in the body contribute to the development of a wide range of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative diseases and infectious diseases. The aim of the Research Training Group "Understanding Ubiquitylation: From Molecular Mechanisms To Disease" is therefore to understand the biochemical and pathogenic mechanisms which underlie diseases associated with the ubiquitin system. (Host university: University of Würzburg, Spokesperson: Professor Dr. Alexander Buchberger) Further information will also be provided by the spokespersons of the Research Training Groups. More details about the funding programme and the funded Research Training Groups is available at: http://www.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016

This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.

Koester D.,University of Kiel | Gansicke B.T.,University of Warwick | Farihi J.,University College London
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

Context. Heavy metals in the atmospheres of white dwarfs are thought in many cases to be accreted from a circumstellar debris disk, which was formed by the tidal disruption of a rocky planetary body within the Roche radius of the star. The abundance analysis of photospheric elements and conclusions about the chemical composition of the accreted matter are a new and promising method of studying the composition of extrasolar planetary systems. However, ground-based searches for metal-polluted white dwarfs that rely primarily on the detection of the Ca II K line become insensitive at Teff > 15 000 K because this ionization state depopulates. Aims. We present the results of the first unbiased survey for metal pollution among hydrogen-atmosphere (DA type) white dwarfs with cooling ages in the range 20-200 Myr and 17 000 K 23 000 K, in excellent agreement with the absence of infrared excess from dust around these warmer stars. The median, main sequence progenitor of our sample corresponds to an A-type star of ≈ 2 M™, and we find 13 of 23 white dwarfs descending from main sequence 2-3 M™, late B- and A-type stars to be currently accreting. Only one of 14 targets with Mwd> 0.8 M ™ is found to be currently accreting, which suggests a large fraction of these stars result from double-degenerate mergers, and the merger disks do not commonly reform large planetesimals or otherwise pollute the remnant. We reconfirm our previous finding that two 625 Myr Hyades white dwarfs are currently accreting rocky planetary debris. Conclusions. At least 27% of all white dwarfs with cooling ages 20-200 Myr are accreting planetary debris, but that fraction could be as high as ≈50%. At Teff> 23 000 K, the luminosity of white dwarfs is probably sufficient to vaporize circumstellar dust grains, so no stars with strong metal-pollution are found. Planetesimal disruption events should occur in this cooling age and temperature range as well, and they are likely to result in short phases of high mass-transfer rates. It appears that the formation of rocky planetary material is common around 2-3 M™late B- and A-type stars. © ESO, 2014.

Bartsch T.,University of Kiel | Goadsby P.J.,University of California at San Francisco
Progress in Neurological Surgery | Year: 2011

The effect of peripheral neurostimulation has traditionally been attributed to the activation of non-noxious afferent nerve fibers (Aβ-fibers) thought to modulate Aδ and C-fiber-mediated nociceptive transmission in the spinal cord, compatible with the 'gate control theory of pain'. The concept has been extended since its initial description and more recent experimental evidence suggests that the analgesic effects of peripheral nerve stimulation in pain states such as in chronic headache require an interplay of multiple influences. Besides segmental pain-modulating mechanisms in the spinal cord involving various transmitter systems, experimental evidence suggests also a contribution of descending pain modulating pathways in mediating the analgesic effect of peripheral nerve stimulation. Beyond the concept of neuromodulation-decreasing excitation or increasing inhibition-a prerequisite of this arrangement is the convergence of different types of afferent activity and an intact descending modulatory network. In this review, we focus on the functional anatomy, pathophysiological mechanisms and neurophysiological and pharmacological findings elucidating the central mechanisms of peripheral nerve stimulation. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Wang S.,University of Notre Dame | Alekseev E.V.,Jülich Research Center | Depmeier W.,University of Kiel | Albrecht-Schmitt T.E.,University of Notre Dame
Chemical Communications | Year: 2011

The use of molten boric acid as a reactive flux for synthesizing actinide borates has been developed in the past two years providing access to a remarkable array of exotic materials with both unusual structures and unprecedented properties. [ThB5O6(OH)6][BO(OH) 2]·2.5H2O possesses a cationic supertetrahedral structure and displays remarkable anion exchange properties with high selectivity for TcO4 -. Uranyl borates form noncentrosymmetric structures with extraordinarily rich topological relationships. Neptunium borates are often mixed-valent and yield rare examples of compounds with one metal in three different oxidation states. Plutonium borates display new coordination chemistry for trivalent actinides. Finally, americium borates show a dramatic departure from plutonium borates, and there are scant examples of families of actinides compounds that extend past plutonium to examine the bonding of later actinides. There are several grand challenges that this work addresses. The foremost of these challenges is the development of structure-property relationships in transuranium materials. A deep understanding of the materials chemistry of actinides will likely lead to the development of advanced waste forms for radionuclides present in nuclear waste that prevent their transport in the environment. This work may have also uncovered the solubility-limiting phases of actinides in some repositories, and allows for measurements on the stability of these materials. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Biswas A.,University of Notre Dame | Bayer I.S.,Italian Institute of Technology | Biris A.S.,University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Wang T.,University of Notre Dame | And 2 more authors.
Advances in Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2012

This review highlights the most significant advances of the nanofabrication techniques reported over the past decade with a particular focus on the approaches tailored towards the fabrication of functional nano-devices. The review is divided into two sections: top-down and bottom-up nanofabrication. Under the classification of top-down, special attention is given to technical reports that demonstrate multi-directional patterning capabilities less than or equal to 100 nm. These include recent advances in lithographic techniques, such as optical, electron beam, soft, nanoimprint, scanning probe, and block copolymer lithography. Bottom-up nanofabrication techniques-such as, atomic layer deposition, sol-gel nanofabrication, molecular self-assembly, vapor-phase deposition and DNA-scaffolding for nanoelectronics-are also discussed. Specifically, we describe advances in the fabrication of functional nanocomposites and graphene using chemical and physical vapor deposition. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive platform for prominent nanofabrication tools and techniques in order to facilitate the development of new or hybrid nanofabrication techniques leading to novel and efficient functional nanostructured devices. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Heinze S.,University of Kiel | Von Bergmann K.,University of Hamburg | Menzel M.,University of Hamburg | Brede J.,University of Hamburg | And 4 more authors.
Nature Physics | Year: 2011

Skyrmions are topologically protected field configurations with particle-like properties that play an important role in various fields of science. Recently, skyrmions have been observed to be stabilized by an external magnetic field in bulk magnets. Here, we describe a two-dimensional square lattice of skyrmions on the atomic length scale as the magnetic ground state of a hexagonal Fe film of one-atomic-layer thickness on the Ir(111) surface. Using spin-polarized scanning tunnelling microscopy we can directly image this non-collinear spin texture in real space on the atomic scale and demonstrate that it is incommensurate to the underlying atomic lattice. With the aid of first-principles calculations, we develop a spin model on a discrete lattice that identifies the interplay of Heisenberg exchange, the four-spin and the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction as the microscopic origin of this magnetic state. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Helbig I.,University of Kiel | Lowenstein D.H.,University of California at San Francisco
Current Opinion in Neurology | Year: 2013

Purpose of Review: We aim to review the most recent advances in the field of epilepsy genetics with particular focus on the progress in gene discovery in monogenic epilepsies, identification of risk genes in complex genetic epilepsies and recent findings in the field of epilepsy pharmacogenomics. Purpose of Review: During the last 12 months, the use of massive parallel sequencing technologies has allowed for the discovery of several genes for monogenic epilepsies. Most importantly, PRRT2 was identified as the long-sought gene for benign familial infantile seizures. Mutations in KCNT1 were found in two seemingly unrelated monogenic epilepsies including malignant migrating partial seizures of infancy and severe autosomal dominant nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy. A genome-wide association study in idiopathic generalized epilepsy revealed the first common risk variants for human seizure disorders including variants in VRK2, PNPO and SCN1A. Furthermore, a landmark study provided evidence that screening for the HLA-B1502 variant may prevent carbamazepine CBZ-induced side effects in the Taiwanese population. Also, HLA-A3101 variants were identified as a risk factor for carbamazepine side effects in Europeans. Summary: Novel technologies and an unprecedented level of international collaboration have resulted in identification of novel genes for monogenic and complex genetic epilepsies as well as risk factors for side effects of antiepileptic drugs. This review provides an overview of the most relevant studies in the last year and highlights the future direction of the field. © 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Gansicke B.T.,University of Warwick | Koester D.,University of Kiel | Farihi J.,University of Leicester | Girven J.,University of Warwick | And 2 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2012

We present Hubble Space Telescope (HST) ultraviolet spectroscopy of the white dwarfs PG0843+516, PG1015+161, SDSS1228+1040, and GALEX1931+0117, which accrete circumstellar planetary debris formed from the destruction of asteroids. Combined with optical data, a minimum of five and a maximum of 11 different metals are detected in their photospheres. With metal sinking time-scales of only a few days, these stars are in accretion/diffusion equilibrium, and the photospheric abundances closely reflect those of the circumstellar material. We find C/Si ratios that are consistent with that of the bulk Earth, corroborating the rocky nature of the debris. Their C/O values are also very similar to those of bulk Earth, implying that the planetary debris is dominated by Mg and Fe silicates. The abundances found for the debris at the four white dwarfs show substantial diversity, comparable at least to that seen across different meteorite classes in the Solar system. PG0843+516 exhibits significant overabundances of Fe and Ni, as well as of S and Cr, which suggests the accretion of material that has undergone melting, and possibly differentiation. PG1015+161 stands out by having the lowest Si abundance relative to all other detected elements. The Al/Ca ratio determined for the planetary debris around different white dwarfs is remarkably similar. This is analogous to the nearly constant abundance ratio of these two refractory lithophile elements found among most bodies in the Solar system. Based on the detection of all major elements of the circumstellar debris, we calculate accretion rates of ≃1.7 × 10 8 to ≃1.5 × 10 9gs -1. Finally, we detect additional circumstellar absorption in the Siiv1394, 1403Å doublet in PG0843+516 and SDSS1228+1040, reminiscent to similar high-ionization lines seen in the HST spectra of white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables. We suspect that these lines originate in hot gas close to the white dwarf, well within the sublimation radius. © 2012 The Authors Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2012 RAS.

Barbaresko J.,University of Bonn | Barbaresko J.,University of Kiel | Koch M.,University of Kiel | Schulze M.B.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | And 2 more authors.
Nutrition Reviews | Year: 2013

The purpose of the present literature review was to investigate and summarize the current evidence on associations between dietary patterns and biomarkers of inflammation, as derived from epidemiological studies. A systematic literature search was conducted using PubMed, Web of Science, and EMBASE, and a total of 46 studies were included in the review. These studies predominantly applied principal component analysis, factor analysis, reduced rank regression analysis, the Healthy Eating Index, or the Mediterranean Diet Score. No prospective observational study was found. Patterns identified by reduced rank regression as being statistically significantly associated with biomarkers of inflammation were almost all meat-based or "Western" patterns. Studies using principal component analysis or a priori-defined diet scores found that meat-based or "Western-like" patterns tended to be positively associated with biomarkers of inflammation, predominantly C-reactive protein, while vegetable- and fruit-based or "healthy" patterns tended to be inversely associated. While results of the studies were inconsistent, interventions with presumed healthy diets resulted in reductions of almost all investigated inflammatory biomarkers. In conclusion, prospective studies are warranted to confirm the reported findings and further analyze associations, particularly by investigating dietary patterns as risk factors for changes in inflammatory markers over time. © 2013 International Life Sciences Institute.

Kruttgen A.,Labordiagnostisches Zentrum Dr. SteinKollegen | Rose-John S.,University of Kiel
Journal of Interferon and Cytokine Research | Year: 2012

Bacterial sepsis is one of the most frequent and dreaded causes of death in intensive care units. According to the current understanding of sepsis, bacterial components activate innate immune responses via pattern-recognition receptors that stimulate signaling pathways, thereby leading to activation of NF-κB and the release of cytokines, alarming the organism and coordinating appropriate defense mechanisms. The resulting "cytokine storm" not only restricts bacterial invasion; it also harms the host by triggering a hemodynamic collapse with a drop in blood pressure, which could lead to death. One of the cytokines released during sepsis is interleukin-6 (IL-6). Originally described as a B-cell-stimulating factor, this cytokine has since been shown to have multiple additional functions. Interestingly, there is emerging evidence of IL-6 trans-signaling in the pathogenesis of sepsis. We review recent findings and discuss whether therapeutic interference with IL-6 trans-signaling may be beneficial in this important clinical scenario. © Copyright 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2012.

Ziegler M.,University of Kiel | Soni R.,University of Kiel | Patelczyk T.,University of Kiel | Ignatov M.,University of Kiel | And 3 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2012

Neuromorphic plasticity is the basic platform for learning in biological systems and is considered as the unique concept in the brains of vertebrates, which outperform today's most powerful digital computers when it comes to cognitive and recognition tasks. An emerging task in the field of neuromorphic engineering is to mimic neural pathways via elegant technological approaches to close the gap between biological and digital computing. In this respect, functional, memristive devices are considered promising candidates with yet unknown benefit for neuromorphic circuits. It is demonstrated that a single Pt/Ge 0.3Se 0.7/SiO 2/Cu memristive device implemented in an analogue circuitry mimics non-associative and associative types of learning. For Pavlovian conditioning, different threshold voltages for the memristive device and the comparator are essential. Similarities to neurobiological correlates of learning are discussed in the framework of hebbian learning rule, plasticity, and long-term potentiation. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Polinski M.J.,University of Notre Dame | Wang S.,University of Notre Dame | Alekseev E.V.,Jülich Research Center | Depmeier W.,University of Kiel | Albrecht-Schmitt T.E.,University of Notre Dame
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2011

A matter of size: A dramatic change occurs between the reactivity of PuIII and AmIII centers in molten boric acid. The resulting complexes display different inner-sphere ligands and different coordination environments (see Pu[B4O6(OH)2Cl] and Am[B9O13(OH)4]·H2O in the picture). © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Monakhov K.Y.,RWTH Aachen | Bensch W.,University of Kiel | Kogerler P.,RWTH Aachen | Kogerler P.,Jülich Research Center
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2015

Polyoxovanadates (POVs), known for their wide applicability and relevance in chemical, physical and biological sciences, are a subclass of polyoxometalates and usually self-assemble in aqueous-phase, pH-controlled condensation reactions. Archetypical POVs such as the robust [VIV18O42]12- polyoxoanion can be structurally, electronically and magnetically altered by heavier group 14 and 15 elements to afford Si-, Ge-, As- or Sb-decorated POV structures (heteroPOVs). These main-group semimetals introduce specific chemically engineered functionalities which cause the generally hydrophilic heteroPOV compounds to exhibit interesting reactivity towards organic molecules, late transition metal and lanthanoid ions. The fully-oxidised (VV), mixed-valent (VV/VIV and VIV/VIII), "fully-reduced" (VIV) and "highly-reduced" (VIII) heteroPOVs possess a number of intriguing properties, ranging from catalytic to molecular magnet characteristics. Herein, we review key developments in the synthetic and structural chemistry as well as the reactivity of POVs functionalised with Si-, Ge-, As- or Sb-based heterogroups. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2015.

Girven J.,University of Warwick | Gansicke B.T.,University of Warwick | Steeghs D.,University of Warwick | Koester D.,University of Kiel
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2011

We present a method which uses colour-colour cuts on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) photometry to select white dwarfs with hydrogen-rich (DA) atmospheres without the recourse to spectroscopy. This method results in a sample of DA white dwarfs that is 95 per cent complete at an efficiency of returning a true DA white dwarf of 62 per cent. The approach was applied to SDSS Data Release 7 for objects with and without SDSS spectroscopy. This led to 4636 spectroscopicially confirmed DA white dwarfs with g≤ 19; a ~70 per cent increase compared to Eisenstein et al.'s 2006 sample. Including the photometric-only objects, we estimate a factor of 3 increase in DA white dwarfs. We find that the SDSS spectroscopic follow-up is 44 per cent complete for DA white dwarfs with Teff≳ 8000K. We further cross-correlated the SDSS sample with Data Release 8 of the UKIRT (United Kingdom Infrared Telescope) Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) Large Area Survey. The spectral energy distributions (SED) of both subsets, with and without SDSS spectroscopy, were fitted with white dwarf models to determine the fraction of DA white dwarfs with low-mass stellar companions or dusty debris discs via the detection of excess near-infrared emission. From the spectroscopic sample we find that 2.0 per cent of white dwarfs have an excess consistent with a brown dwarf type companion, with a firm lower limit of 0.8 per cent. From the white dwarfs with photometry only, we find that 1.8 per cent are candidates for having brown dwarf companions. Similarly, both samples show that ~1 per cent of white dwarfs are candidates for having a dusty debris disc. © 2011 The Authors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS.

Janig W.,University of Kiel | Green P.G.,University of California at San Francisco
Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical | Year: 2014

Inflammation of tissues is under neural control involving neuroendocrine, sympathetic and central nervous systems. Here we used the acute experimental inflammatory model of bradykinin-induced plasma extravasation (BK-induced PE) of the rat knee joint to investigate the neural and neuroendocrine components controlling this inflammation. 1. BK-induced PE is largely dependent on the sympathetic innervation of the synovium, but not on activity in these neurons and not on release of norepinephrine. 2. BK-induced PE is under the control of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) system and the sympatho-adrenal (SA) system, activation of both leading to depression of BK-induced PE. The inhibitory effect of the HPA system is mediated by corticosterone and dependent on the sympathetic innervation of the synovium. The inhibitory effect of the SA system is mediated by epinephrine and β2-adrenoceptors. 3. BK-induced PE is inhibited during noxious stimulation of somatic or visceral tissues and is mediated by the neuroendocrine systems. The nociceptive-neuroendocrine reflex circuits are (for the SA system) spinal and spino-bulbo-spinal. 4. The nociceptive-neuroendocrine reflex circuits controlling BK-induced PE are under powerful inhibitory control of vagal afferent neurons innervating the defense line (connected to the gut-associated lymphoid tissue) of the gastrointestinal tract. This inhibitory link between the visceral defense line and the central mechanisms controlling inflammatory mechanisms in body tissues serves to co-ordinate protective defensive mechanisms of the body. 5. The circuits of the nociceptive-neuroendocrine reflexes are under control of the forebrain. In this way, the defensive mechanisms of inflammation in the body are co-ordinated, optimized, terminated as appropriate, and adapted to the behavior of the organism. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Dietz S.,University of Tübingen | von Bulow J.,University of Kiel | Beitz E.,University of Kiel | Nehls U.,University of Bremen
New Phytologist | Year: 2011

Soil humidity and bulk water transport are essential for nutrient mobilization. Ectomycorrhizal fungi, bridging soil and fine roots of woody plants, are capable of modulating both by being integrated into water movement driven by plant transpiration and the nocturnal hydraulic lift. Aquaporins are integral membrane proteins that function as gradient-driven water and/or solute channels. Seven aquaporins were identified in the genome of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor and their role in fungal transfer processes was analyzed. Heterologous expression in Xenopus laevis oocytes revealed relevant water permeabilities for three aquaporins. In fungal mycelia, expression of the corresponding genes was high compared with other members of the gene family, indicating the significance of the respective proteins for plasma membrane water permeability. As growth temperature and ectomycorrhiza formation modified gene expression profiles of these water-conducting aquaporins, specific roles in those aspects of fungal physiology are suggested. Two aquaporins, which were highly expressed in ectomycorrhizas, conferred plasma membrane ammonia permeability in yeast. This indicates that these proteins are an integral part of ectomycorrhizal fungus-based plant nitrogen nutrition in symbiosis. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.

Schull G.,CNRS Institute of Genetics and of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Dappe Y.J.,CNRS Institute of Genetics and of Molecular and Cellular Biology | Dappe Y.J.,University Paris - Sud | Gonzalez C.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | And 2 more authors.
Nano Letters | Year: 2011

The contact conductance of oriented C60 molecules is probed with a scanning tunneling microscope as a function of the lateral position of the tip in contact to the molecular cage. Together with first principles calculations, these measurements reveal variations of the efficiency of charge injection to the fullerene molecule with the order of the contacted carbon-carbon bond. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Farihi J.,University of Cambridge | Gansicke B.T.,University of Warwick | Koester D.,University of Kiel
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

The Hyades is the nearest open cluster, relatively young and containing numerous A-type stars; its known age, distance, and metallicity make it an ideal site to study planetary systems around 2-3Mȯ stars at an epoch similar to the late heavy bombardment. Hubble Space Telescope farultraviolet spectroscopy strongly suggests ongoing, external metal pollution in two remnant Hyads. For ongoing accretion in both stars, the polluting material has log [n(Si)/n(C)] > 0.2, is more carbon deficient than chondritic meteorites and is thus rocky. These data are consistent with a picture where rocky planetesimals and small planets have formed in the Hyades around two main-sequence A-type stars, whose white dwarf descendants bear the scars. These detections via metal pollution are shown to be equivalent to infrared excesses of LIR/L* ̃ 10-6 in the terrestrial zone of the stars. © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 9.77M | Year: 2008

The overall goal of the European Project on Ocean Acidification (EPOCA) is to fill the numerous gaps in our understanding of the effects and implications of ocean acidification. EPOCA aims to document the changes in ocean chemistry and biogeography across space and time. Paleo-reconstruction methods will be used on several archives, including foraminifera and deep-sea corals, to determine past variability in ocean chemistry and to tie these to present-day chemical and biological observations. EPOCA will determine the sensitivity of marine organisms, communities and ecosystems to ocean acidification. Molecular to biochemical, physiological and ecological approaches will be combined with laboratory and field-based perturbation experiments to quantify biological responses to ocean acidification, assess the potential for adaptation, and determine the consequences for biogeochemical cycling. Laboratory experiments will focus on key organisms selected on the basis of their ecological, biogeochemical or socio-economic importance. Field studies will be carried out in systems deemed most sensitive to ocean acidification. Results on the chemical, biological and biogeochemical impacts of ocean acidification will be integrated in biogeochemical, sediment and coupled ocean-climate models to better understand and predict the responses of the Earth system to ocean acidification. Special special attention will be paid to the potential feedbacks of the physiological changes in the carbon, nitrogen, sulfur and iron cycles. EPOCA will assess uncertainties, risks and thresholds (tipping points) related to ocean acidification at scales ranging from sub-cellular, to ecosystem and from local to global. It will also assess pathways of CO2 emissions required to avoid these thresholds and describe the state change and the subsequent risk to the marine environment and Earth system should these emissions be exceeded.

University of Kiel, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign, Western University of Health Sciences and Universitatsklinikum Schleswig Holstein | Date: 2012-08-24

Specific applications of particles and particle agglomerates with semiconductor surfaces are provided. The particles and particle agglomerates display a high affinity for viral particles, and may be used therapeutically and/or prophylactically to treat or prevent viral infections. The particles and particle agglomerates may also be used to remove viral particles from a surface or fluid, e.g., as an absorbent in a filter, applied to surfaces to render them virostatic, and as tool to handle viral particles, e.g., for research, diagnostic, or decontamination purposes.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SiS.2012.2.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 5.35M | Year: 2013

ASSIST-ME is a high level research project with a societal impact that will investigate formative and summative assessment methods to support and to improve inquiry-based approaches in European science, technology and mathematics (STM) education. Based on an analysis of what is known about summative and formative assessment of knowledge, skills and attitudes related to key STM competences and an analysis of European educational systems, the project will design a range of combined assessment methods. These methods will be tested in primary and secondary schools in different educational cultures in Europe in order to analyse the conditions that support or undermine the uptake of formative assessment related to inquiry processes. The resulting synthesis of opportunities and restrictions for implementing an assessment culture using both formative and summative approaches will be evaluated and discussed in relevant forums in order to formulate guidelines and recommendations for policy makers, curriculum developers, teacher trainers and other stakeholders in the different European educational systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 2.54M | Year: 2010

A critical agenda for earth and life sciences is to determine how diverse tropical marine ecosystems such as coral reefs will respond to global environmental change. This will require long-term environmental and ecological data that rarely exist for living coral reefs. In contrast, the fossil record provides abundant examples that can be mined to predict future outcomes. The THROUGHFLOW network will train a cohort of eleven ESRs to enable them to reconstruct past environments and patterns of biotic change using up-to-date technologies within a collaborative interdisciplinary framework. The training program will explore the past record of change on coral reefs in SE Asia in response to reorganization of ocean currents during the Cenozoic. This region contains both the Indo-West Pacific Center of Biodiversity (the most diverse shallow marine ecosystems on Earth) and the Indonesian Throughflow (a primary control of global climate). THROUGHFLOW will reconstruct the history of these two features and develop a model for how coral reefs respond to regional environmental change. Practical training will include eleven integrated research projects and a series of joint training activities to facilitate collaboration and provide access to a variety of expertise. THROUGHFLOW will bring important new data to bear on long-standing scientific controversies, and the results will be relevant to a broad audience including industry and policy makers working to predict and plan for the effects of ongoing anthropogenic environmental change. By providing rigorous training in a range of applied techniques in geology and biodiversity, THROUGHFLOW will produce researchers able to pursue successful careers in academia or industry and will enhance the power of the European research community to tackle pressing issues related to the effects of ongoing environmental change on the biosphere.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2012.2.1.2-2 | Award Amount: 15.73M | Year: 2012

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a major health problem with severe co-morbidities, requiring life-long treatment. Oscillating processes, like biological clocks are well studied and modeled in a number of systems. Circadian rhythms are extremely important for optimal treatments of patients. Recently, the NfkB pathway has been shown to be oscillating. In this project, we will model NfkB oscillation in chronic inflammatory bowel diseases in animal models and patient cohorts with immunosuppressive treatments and controls. The aim is to build an experimentally validated model the NfkB oscillation in 4D within the gut tissue. Dynamic, experimental validation will be done for various types of cells in the gut by a combination of methods, including single-cell based transcriptomics, multi-photon microscopy and time-dependent, multi-component profiling. The validated model framework will enable searching for critical components of the NfB oscillation and to assess their relevance for the disease in patients. Interfering with the oscillation of biological pathways may provide new possibilities to influence biological processes like inflammation. Hence, we will search (assisted by the models and databases developed) for small molecules interfering with the NfkB oscillation in chemical databases and validate selected candidates in experimental systems. To this end, we will use cell lines with the correct indicator constructs using high content microscopy. To better translate the findings in animal models to patients, we will use a mouse model with transplanted human tissue so that we can verify the mathematical model in human tissue and verify functionality of small molecules in vivo. Owing to its systems, highly focused approach, the project will generate substantial insights into key mechanisms underlying IBD and will provide ways to modulate the oscillatory behavior of the NfB in IBD and IBD-dependent co-morbidities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-LS6 | Award Amount: 1.24M | Year: 2009

The Aryl hydrocarbon receptor is an evolutionary conserved widely expressed transcription factor that mediates the toxicity of a substantial variety of exogenous toxins, but is also stimulated by endogenous physiological ligands. While it is known that this receptor mediates the toxicity of dioxin, this is unlikely to be its physiological function. We have recently identified selective expression of AhR in the Th17 subset of effector CD4 T cells. Ligation of AhR by a candidate endogenous ligand (FICZ) which is a UV metabolite of tryptophan causes expansion of Th17 cells and the induction of IL-22 production. As a consequence, AhR ligation will exacerbate autoimmune diseases such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Little is known so far about the impact of AhR ligands on IL-17/IL-22 mediated immune defense functions. IL-22 is considered a pro-inflammatory Th17 cytokine, which is involved in the etiology of psoriasis, but it has also been shown to be a survival factor for epithelial cells. AhR is polymorphic and defined as high or low affinity receptor for dioxin leading to the classification of high and low responder mouse strains based on defined mutations. In humans similar polymorphisms exist and although on the whole human AhR is thought to be of low affinity in humans, there are identified mutations that confer high responder status. No correlations have been made with Th17 mediated immune responses in mice and humans. This study aims to investigate the role of AhR ligands and polymorphisms in autoimmunity as well as protective immune responses using both mouse models and human samples from normal controls as well as psoriasis patients.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 2.72M | Year: 2008

CalMarO aims at the comprehensive training of twelve young researchers in the field of calcification by marine organisms based on a Network of thirteen research institutions and four SMEs. The Network participants are acknowledged experts with complementary research or commercial approaches in this field. Calcification is a fundamental physiological process of marine organisms that is largely determined by the characteristics of seawater. Calcifying marine organisms differ in their adaptability to variations in environmental conditions, in particular temperature and seawater pH. If global CO2 emissions continue to rise at current trends seawater pH may decrease to levels that are probably lower than have been experienced for tens of millions of years and, critically, at a rate of change 100 times greater than at any time over this period, with dramatic effects on productivity and marine ecosystems. CalMarO comprises investigation of calcification processes and the sensitivities to changes in environmental conditions at all scales ranging from cellular, organism, population to ecosystem, and regional to global levels. Covering this important topic in a training Network will offer young researchers an integrated perspective on an emerging problem and position their own work within the framework of a concerted effort to better understand the risks and consequences associated with ocean change. Three pillars support the training programme: personalised programmes, Network activities and dissemination. The principle of co-supervision by at least two senior scientists and SME placement on the basis of an individual mentoring plan represents the core piece of the training programme, with links to joint activities across the Network. These include annual meetings and theme oriented workshops. CalMarO participants will disseminate the Network achievements in a special session at a major conference and a major joint publication.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.14M | Year: 2013

Euroclast proposes a research training program on osteoclast biology in the context of osteoclast-driven diseases. Osteoclasts are the complex, multinuclear cells responsible for bone breakdown. Many diseases of osteoclast malfunctioning manifest in bone loss, for example, osteoporosis, cancer-induced bone disease, periodontitis, or rheumatoid arthritis, all conditions set to increase in an ageing EU population. The Euroclast consortium (7 academic, 2 private and 1 ass. partner) focuses on osteoclast heterogeneity, a recent insight that poses new fundamental questions best tackled by a multi-partner consortium capable of assembling the sophisticated molecular, genetic and imaging tools required. We will analyze changes in gene and protein expression during osteoclast (trans)differentiation from different precursor cell pools and in various bone sites and relate this to osteoclast activity and sensitivity to therapeutics. The osteoclast resorptive apparatus will be studied using in depth and will define the key enzymatic and molecular machinery to be translated into novel site-specific drug targets or biomarkers. High throughput screening assays for therapeutics and ELISAs for biomarkers will be developed with our private partners. Our multidisciplinary and cross-sectorial approach will improve understanding and treatment of common disorders associated with osteoclast malfunction and train 11 early stage researchers (ESRs) in modern cell and bone biology. We will provide extensive training in generic skills and all ESRs will spend time with our private partners and be seconded to other academic partners to ensure they are well equipped for employment in research and industrial settings. Euroclast will produce an on-line repository for osteoclast protocols, make methodological and scientific advances in osteoclast and bone biology and create a sustainable network of ESRs and senior academics to tackle diseases of bone loss into the future.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 7.83M | Year: 2011

Allergy and autoimmunity cause increasing burden to societies worldwide. We study the effect of microbiome on the skin, the forefront barrier to environment, on autoimmunity and allergy, using atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis (PSO) as paradigmatic examples. We have detailed information about the genetic risk factors, as well as the molecular and cellular players in AD and PSO, but we know very little how microbe-host interaction triggers and regulate inflammatory cascade leading to allergic or autoimmune reaction. We propose that environmental and genetic factors, characteristic to particular disease, initiate a cascade of inflammatory events through the modulation of anti-microbial defence. The dysregulation of innate as well as adaptive immune responses leads to inappropriate responses to physical, microbial or allergen challenge, finally manifesting in the clinical symptoms of AD or PSO. We propose to use high-throughput whole microbiome and transcriptomics analysis with bioinformatics and systems biology to unravel the pathways during the host-pathogen interactions which may trigger an allergic or autoimmune reaction. We will identify key microbes and molecular targets to develop novel intervention strategies to decrease and prevent the burden of allergy and autoimmunity.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-2-14 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2010

Removal of a forage fish has consequences for both predators and prey of forage fish. As everything is connected, every management action has a price which goes beyond the apparent, direct effect on the target species. The fishery on forage fish can therefore not be seen in isolation, as the immediate gain in profit from the fishery has to be discounted by the lowered potential for production of large piscivorous fish. Management actions on other species also influences forage fish, i.e. conservation efforts on marine mammals or sea birds have direct consequences for the predation pressure on forage fish. The objective of the project is to provide insight and quantitative advice on the ecosystem wide consequences of management actions directly or indirectly related to forage fish. The two overarching questions are: 1. What are the consequences of forage fish fisheries on (a) predator growth and abundance, (b) economic output of fisheries on piscivorous species, and (c) ecosystem stability and the risk for regime shifts? 2. What are the consequences of changes in predator populations on forage fish populations and fisheries? The methods is a combination of ecosystem models, of process studies aimed at feeding into the models, of economical models, and of data-analysis of existing data sources. The project covers four ecosystems in detail; Norwegian-Barents Sea, Baltic Sea, North Sea and Bay of Biscay. FACTS bring together leading European fisheries and university institutes working on creating the tools for ecosystem based management. The active involvement of the institutes in the current management provides a means for the results of the project to feed into management. The project furthermore includes a network component which ensures a wider dissemination of methods and results within the marine scientific community.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-01-2016 | Award Amount: 16.02M | Year: 2017

The SYSCID consortium aims to develop a systems medicine approach for disease prediction in CID. We will focus on three major CID indications with distinct characteristics, yet a large overlap of their molecular risk map: inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematodes and rheumatoid arthritis. We have joined 15 partners from major cohorts and initiatives in Europe (e.g.IHEC, ICGC, TwinsUK and Meta-HIT) to investigate human data sets on three major levels of resolution: whole blood signatures, signatures from purified immune cell types (with a focus on CD14 and CD4/CD8) and selected single cell level analyses. Principle data layers will comprise SNP variome, methylome, transcriptome and gut microbiome. SYSCID employs a dedicated data management infrastructure, strong algorithmic development groups (including an SME for exploitation of innovative software tools for data deconvolution) and will validate results in independent retrospective and prospective clinical cohorts. Using this setup we will focus on three fundamental aims : (i) the identification of shared and unique core disease signatures which are associated with the disease state and independent of temporal variation, (ii) the generation of predictive models of disease outcome- builds on previous work that pathways/biomarkers for disease outcome are distinct from initial disease risk and may be shared across diseases to guide therapy decisions on an individual patient basis, (iii) reprogramming disease - will identify and target temporally stable epigenetic alterations in macrophages and lymphocytes in epigenome editing approaches as biological validation and potential novel therapeutic tool. Thus, SYSCID will foster the development of solid biomarkers and models as stratification in future long-term systems medicine clinical trials but also investigate new causative therapies by editing the epigenome code in specific immune cells, e.g. to alleviate macrophage polarization defects.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 2.86M | Year: 2009

This ITN will continue and enhance the success of a recent RTN The Emergence of European Communities (2-2001-00366): Several PhDs have been educated and new knowledge has been unearthed concerning the economic and political foundations of intercultural interaction in Bronze Age Europe a golden epoch between 3000 and 500 BC with new patterns of social identification, specialised production, complex polities and wide-reaching interaction networks across Europe. However, new questions have been evoked: 1. How did cultural mobility impact on the social life of settlements? 2. How did the movement of people, animals, plants, things, ideas, and knowledge take place and on what scale? 3. How were European and regional identities forged through interaction? These and other questions grown out of the preceding RTN will be researched by building on a continued European network and by using a similar cross-disciplinary methodology combining archaeology, natural science and sociology. This shared platform shall create knowledge of the mobility of people and culture including the new metal bronze and insight into the forging of European and regional identities that shaped this remarkable period. The ITN is expected to change current archaeological perspectives from national traditionalism towards transnational and cross-disciplinary engagements. It consists of 7 network partners and 11 associated partners. Network partners have considerable capacities in research training and will provide supervision and facilities for the employed ESRs and ERs. They will cooperate with each other in organising workshops, training courses, and summer schools. Associated partners will provide extra supervision, field sites, data, and secondments offering specific training facilities in archaeology and front-line sciences. Field schools will take place each summer.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.1-3 | Award Amount: 15.75M | Year: 2008

The REvolutionary Approaches and Devices for Nucleic Acid analysis READNA consortium is composed of researchers from 10 academic institutions, 5 SMEs and 3 large companies. The goals of the READNA consortium are to revolutionize nucleic acid analysis methods, by 1) improving elements necessary to use the currently emerging generation of nucleic acid sequencers in a meaningful and accessible way, 2) providing methods that allow in situ nucleic acid analysis and methods capable of selectively characterizing mutant DNA in a high background of wildtype DNA, 3) combining RNA and DNA analysis in a single analytical device, 4) providing technology to efficiently analyze DNA methylation (genome-wide, with high resolution and in its long-range context), 5) implementing novel concepts for high-throughput HLA-screening, 6) developing fully integrated solutions for mutational screening of small target regions (such as for screening newborns for cystic fibrosis mutations), 7) developing a device for screening multiple target regions with high accuracy, and 8) implementing strategies for effective and high-resolution genotyping of copy number variations. An important part of READNA is dedicated to the development of the next generation of nucleic analysis devices on individual DNA molecules by stretching out nucleic acid molecules in nanosystems, using alpha-hemolysing nanopores and carbon nanotubes. These approaches will benefit from improved interrogation and detection strategies which we will develop. Our methods and devices will boost the possibilities of genetic research by closing in on the target of 1000 Euros for the sequence of a complete human genome, while at the same time leading a revolution in cost-effective, non-invasive early screening for diseases such as cancer.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PROTEC-1-2014 | Award Amount: 1.21M | Year: 2015

HESPERIA will produce two novel operational forecasting tools based upon proven concepts (UMASEP, REleASE). At the same time it will advance our understanding of the physical mechanisms that result into high-energy solar particle events (SEPs) exploiting novel datasets (FERMI/LAT/GBM; PAMELA; AMS) and it will explore the possibility to incorporate the derived results into future innovative space weather services. In order to achieve these goals HESPERIA will exploit already available large datasets stored into databases such as the neutron monitor database (NMDB) and SEPServer that have been developed under FP7 projects from 2008 to 2013. The objectives of HESPERIA are: 1) To develop two novel SEP forecasting systems based upon proven concepts. 2) To develop SEP forecasting tools searching for electromagnetic proxies of the gamma-ray emission in order to predict large SEP events. 3) To perform systematic exploitation of the novel high-energy gamma-ray observations of the FERMI mission together with in situ SEP measurements near 1 AU. 4) To provide for the first time publicly available software to invert neutron monitor observations of relativistic SEPs to physical parameters that can be compared with the space-borne measurements at lower energies. 5) To perform examination of currently unexploited tools (radio emission) 6) To design recommendations for future SEP forecasting systems. The results will be openly accessible to the public through the dedicated web interface of HESPERIA and will further be posted in related servers such as NMDB and SEPServer. The HESPERIA consortium consists of 9 partners with complementary expertise covering all aspects of the project. HESPERIA will also collaborate with a number of institutes and individuals from US and Russia, ensuring both the in depth analysis of the novel datasets to be utilized within the project and the efficient dissemination of the results to the whole space physics/space weather community.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.2.2-2 | Award Amount: 14.17M | Year: 2008

RESOLVE has been outlined to better understand the regulatory networks that control the devel-opmental processes in organ repair and to identify mechanisms which cause the termination of regu-lar organ development leading to fibroproliferative wound healing. Fibroproliferative wound healing represents a major pathology in elderly people shifting regular organ development into progressive organ fibrosis with complete loss of organ function. Based on the identification of valuated molecu-lar targets of fibroproliferative repair, RESOLVE aims to create suitable treatment strategies to achieve healthy ageing in the elderly. In doing so, RESOLVE will create a significant impact on life quality of elderly people. RESOLVEs outcomes will strengthen the competitiveness of European science and biotechnology industry and contribute to cost saving strategies in the health care sector. RESOLVEs structured scientific approach combines as yet fragmented fields of research using model organisms which represent (a) different forms of wound healing, (b) different human diseases and (c) different genetic backgrounds, guaranteeing social and scientific relevance, modularity of re-search and the integration of existing biological knowledge, technical expertise and medical experi-ence. In addition, sequential generation of data during improvement or worsening ensures clinical relevance and leads to a stringent exploitation strategy. The sustainable outcomes of RESOLVEs efforts will be: (A) the urgently needed diagnostic tool for fibroproliferative wound healing in various organs, (B) highly valuable transgenic animals offering test systems for fibroproliferative wound healing, and (C) a characterization of compounds capable of interfering with targets involved in fibroprolifera-tive repair.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-1.2-01 | Award Amount: 669.89K | Year: 2008

We propose to set up a European digital repository for cosmic ray data\nby pooling existing data archives and by developing a real-time database\nwith the data of as many European neutron monitor stations as possible.\nThe data will be available through internet. Cosmic rays provide a\ndiagnostic tool to analyze processes in interplanetary space and at the\nSun. Cosmic rays also directly affect the terrestrial environment and\nserve as indicators of solar variability and non-anthropogenic climate\nchanges on Earth. In the fifties of the last century a worldwide network\nof standardized neutron monitors was developed to examine temporal and\nspatial variations in our space environment. Despite decades of\ntradition, neutron monitors remain the state-of-the-art instrumentation\nfor measuring GeV cosmic rays that cannot be measured by space\nexperiments. Therefore the worldwide network, which presently consists\nof about 50 stations, ideally complements cosmic ray observations in\nspace. Since the beginning of the coordinated neutron monitor\nmeasurements the data have been collected in world data centers. A big\nshortcoming of these data centers for todays demands is the fact that\nthe data are not available in real-time and only with a time resolution\nof one hour. Cosmic ray applications, e.g. space weather warnings\n(geomagnetic storms, solar energetic particle events) need access to\nneutron monitor measurements in real-time and with high time resolution.\nReliable forecasts of geomagnetic storms are important in many technical\nareas (radio communication, electric power lines, etc.). Confident alert\nprediction of solar energetic particle events is highly important for\nmanned space missions and for airline crews and passengers. The proposal\nunifies for the first time the cosmic ray community of the European\nneutron monitor network in a coordinated effort to advance the use of\ncosmic ray data in cutting-edge applications, as e.g. space weather.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2008. | Award Amount: 4.75M | Year: 2009

SHIVA aims to reduce uncertainties in present and future stratospheric halogen loading and ozone depletion resulting from climate feedbacks between emissions and transport of ozone depleting substances (ODS). Of particular relevance will be studies of short and very short-lived substances (VSLS) with climate-sensitive natural emissions. We will perform field studies of ODS production, emission and transport in understudied, but critical, regions of the tropics using ship, aircraft and ground-based instrumentation. We will parameterise potential climate sensitivities of emissions based on inter-dependencies derived from our own field studies, and surveys of ongoing work in this area. We will study the chemical transformation of ODS during transport from the surface to the tropical tropopause layer (TTL), and in the stratosphere, using a combination of aircraft and balloon observations together with process-oriented meso-scale modelling. These investigations will be corroborated by space-based remote sensing of marine phytoplankton biomass as a possible proxy for the ocean-atmosphere flux of ODS. From this a systematic emission inventory of VSLS ODS will be established to allow construction of future-climate scenarios. The impact of climate-sensitive feedbacks between transport and the delivery of ODS to the stratosphere, and their lifetime within it, will be studied using tracer observations and modelling. Further global modelling will assess the contribution of all ODS, including VSLS (which have hitherto normally been excluded from such models) to past, present and future ozone loss. Here, the sensitivity of natural ODS emissions to climate change parameters will be used in combination with standard IPCC climate model scenarios in order to drive measurement-calibrated chemical transport model (CTM) simulations for present and future stratospheric ozone; to better predict the rate, timing and climate-sensitivity of ozone-layer recovery.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-2.4-1 | Award Amount: 11.62M | Year: 2009

A major challenge facing European industry involves the development of more specific, energy saving processes with less environmental impact. The recent development of Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) may prove a major milestone in achieving these goals. MACADEMIA project is an extension to an FP6 STREP (DeSANNS) which highlighted some MOF materials for CO2 capture and storage. It will expand and continue this work on a much larger scale. The three Total branches will focus on bringing MOFs to key market sectors - gas separation and storage, liquid separation and catalysis. The Total-led consortium, with 11 academic partners from across EU, one leading South Korean partner, among world leaders among their particular domain of MOF science, will be contributing to the project, with a dedicated management partner. MACADEMIA intends to produce new MOFs and optimise those already of promising interest, characterise MOFs using specialised techniques, test MOFs using a three-tiered process, use predictive modelling and demonstrate the use of MOFs in key industrial processes. It will target separation processes in gas / vapour phase (propene/propane, acid gases separation, CO2 and H2 purification), in liquid phase (xylene separations, recovery of N- and/or S-compounds from hydrocarbons), and in catalysis (Lewis-acid MOFs as catalysts for epoxide polymerization, redox-active MOFs as catalysts for hydrocarbon autoxidation). Several of MACADEMIAs targets are expected to reach pilot scale whereas a blue sky approach will be taken for others giving room for innovation and step change. An attractive project, it is open to young researchers with industrially coordinated research to counterbalance competition from USA and Japan and able to contribute to a strong ERA.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.40M | Year: 2015

Challenges facing technology for power efficient, high density, high speed information processing and storage are well recognised, and strategies for meeting them in the short term define the shape of industry roadmaps. As a consequence, in the next ten years, radically new approaches will be implemented and will transform how data is stored and manipulated. Skyrmion-based devices are newcomers to this global race for the next generations of information technology. Skyrmions were discovered in magnetic crystals only a few years ago, but we already have within reach a possibility to create them in nanoscale devices that can be made compatible with conventional integrated circuit technology. Our work in MAGicSky will substantiate this possibility. The potential benefits are enormous. Skyrmions are magnetic solitons that carry information, and are remarkably robust against defects that can trap or destroy them due to the topology of their magnetic texture. Topology also appears to further underlie other of their technologically important features: mobility with small continuous currents and singular dynamics under radio-frequency. MAGicSky will engage some of the most advanced materials fabrication, characterisation and microscopic imaging facilities in Europe together with leading theoretical and computational modelling capabilities, to create the first proof-of-concept room temperature spintronic devices based on magnetic skyrmions.

Zhang H.,Jülich Research Center | Lazo C.,University of Kiel | Blugel S.,Jülich Research Center | Heinze S.,University of Kiel | Mokrousov Y.,Jülich Research Center
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Based on first-principles calculations, we predict that 5d transition metals on graphene present a unique class of hybrid systems exhibiting topological transport effects that can be manipulated effectively by external electric fields. The origin of this phenomenon lies in the exceptional magnetic properties and the large spin-orbit interaction of the 5d metals leading to significant magnetic moments accompanied with colossal magnetocrystalline anisotropy energies. A strong magnetoelectric response is predicted that offers the possibility to switch the spontaneous magnetization direction by moderate electric fields, enabling an electrically tunable quantum anomalous Hall effect. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Santamaria-Perez D.,Complutense University of Madrid | Liebau F.,University of Kiel
Structure and Bonding | Year: 2011

Intermetallic clathrate-type compounds, such as |Eu 8|[Ga 16Ge 30], are Zintl phases in which a formal charge transfer from the more electropositive guest atoms (Eu) to the more electronegative host atoms (Ga or Ge) allows the latter to form skeletons with strong directed covalent bonds (polyanions [Ga 16Ge 30] 16-). On the other hand, in clathrasils, porous silica polymorphs, such as melanophlogite |(CH 4, N 2, CO 2,...) 8| [Si 46 [4] O 92 [2] ] the Si atoms form skeletons which are related to those of Zintl phases, if oxygen atoms are neglected. As in other silicates, in clathrasils the oxygen atoms are located near to hypothetical Si(Al)-Si(Al) bonds, thus producing the tetrahedral coordination around the Si(Al) atoms. The similarities between the structures of intermetallic clathrates and clathrasils can be understood in the light of both the extended Zintl-Klemm concept and the Pearson's generalised octet rule. It is recalled that these principles were successfully applied to describe the structures of other ternary and quaternary aluminates and silicates. In this article, we report a comprehensive and comparative study of both clathrate-like and zeolite-like porous tectosilicate structures to show that their skeletons obey the same general principles. Clathrate hydrates, which also adopt similar skeletons to clathrasils, are also discussed in detail. © 2010 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 4.64M | Year: 2008

As formulated in the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection prepared by the European Commission soil degradation is a serious problem in Europe. The degradation is driven or exacerbated by human activity and has a direct impact on water and air quality, biodiversity, climate and human life-quality. High-resolution soil property maps are one major prerequisite for the specific protection of soil functions and restoration of degraded soils as well as sustainable land use, water and environmental management. However, the currently available techniques for (digital) soil mapping still have deficiencies in terms of reliability and precision, the feasibility of investigation of large areas (e.g. catchments and landscapes) and the assessment of soil degradation threats at this scale. A further quandary is the insufficient degree of dissemination of knowledge between the scientific community, relevant authorities and prospective users and deficiencies in standardisation. The focus of the iSOIL project is on improving fast and reliable mapping of soil properties, soil functions and soil degradation threats. This requires the improvement as well as integration of geophysical and spectroscopic measurement techniques in combination with advanced soil sampling approaches, pedometrical and pedophysical approaches. An important aspect of the project is the sustainable dissemination of the technologies and concepts developed. For this purpose guidelines will be written and published. Furthermore, the results will be implemented in national and European soil databases. The present state of technologies and future perspectives will also be transferred to authorities, providers of technologies (SMEs), and end users through workshops at regional level, international conferences and publications throughout the duration of the project.

Gilbert S.F.,Swarthmore College | Gilbert S.F.,University of Helsinki | Bosch T.C.G.,University of Kiel | Ledon-Rettig C.,Indiana University Bloomington
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2015

The integration of research from developmental biology and ecology into evolutionary theory has given rise to a relatively new field, ecological evolutionary developmental biology (Eco-Evo-Devo). This field integrates and organizes concepts such as developmental symbiosis, developmental plasticity, genetic accommodation, extragenic inheritance and niche construction. This Review highlights the roles that developmental symbiosis and developmental plasticity have in evolution. Developmental symbiosis can generate particular organs, can produce selectable genetic variation for the entire animal, can provide mechanisms for reproductive isolation, and may have facilitated evolutionary transitions. Developmental plasticity is crucial for generating novel phenotypes, facilitating evolutionary transitions and altered ecosystem dynamics, and promoting adaptive variation through genetic accommodation and niche construction. In emphasizing such non-genomic mechanisms of selectable and heritable variation, Eco-Evo-Devo presents a new layer of evolutionary synthesis. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Huang J.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Ellinghaus D.,University of Kiel | Franke A.,University of Kiel | Howie B.,University of Chicago | Li Y.,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
European Journal of Human Genetics | Year: 2012

We hypothesize that imputation based on data from the 1000 Genomes Project can identify novel association signals on a genome-wide scale due to the dense marker map and the large number of haplotypes. To test the hypothesis, the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC) Phase I genotype data were imputed using 1000 genomes as reference (20100804 EUR), and seven case/control association studies were performed using imputed dosages. We observed two missed disease-associated variants that were undetectable by the original WTCCC analysis, but were reported by later studies after the 2007 WTCCC publication. One is within the IL2RA gene for association with type 1 diabetes and the other in proximity with the CDKN2B gene for association with type 2 diabetes. We also identified two refined associations. One is SNP rs11209026 in exon 9 of IL23R for association with Crohn's disease, which is predicted to be probably damaging by PolyPhen2. The other refined variant is in the CUX2 gene region for association with type 1 diabetes, where the newly identified top SNP rs1265564 has an association P-value of 1.68 × 10 -16. The new lead SNP for the two refined loci provides a more plausible explanation for the disease association. We demonstrated that 1000 Genomes-based imputation could indeed identify both novel (in our case, missed because they were detected and replicated by studies after 2007) and refined signals. We anticipate the findings derived from this study to provide timely information when individual groups and consortia are beginning to engage in 1000 genomes-based imputation. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Krueger F.,Babraham Institute | Kreck B.,University of Kiel | Franke A.,University of Kiel | Andrews S.R.,Babraham Institute
Nature Methods | Year: 2012

Bisulfite conversion of genomic DNA combined with next-generation sequencing (BS-seq) is widely used to measure the methylation state of a whole genome, the methylome, at single-base resolution. However, analysis of BS-seq data still poses a considerable challenge. Here we summarize the challenges of BS-seq mapping as they apply to both base and color-space data. We also explore the effect of sequencing errors and contaminants on inferred methylation levels and recommend the most appropriate way to analyze this type of data. © 2012 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Frey C.E.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg | Wiechen M.,University of Kiel | Wiechen M.,Monash University | Kurz P.,Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg
Dalton Transactions | Year: 2014

Layered manganese oxides from the birnessite mineral family have been identified as promising heterogeneous compounds for water-oxidation catalysis (WOC), a key reaction for the conversion of renewable energy into storable fuels. High catalytic rates were especially observed for birnessites which contain calcium as part of their structures. With the aim to systematically improve the catalytic performance of such oxide materials, we used a flexible synthetic route to prepare three series of calcium birnessites, where we varied the calcium concentrations, the ripening times of the original precipitates and the temperature of the heat treatment following the initial synthetic steps (tempering) during the preparation process. The products were carefully analysed by a number of analytical techniques and then probed for WOC activity using the Ce4+-system. We find that our set of twenty closely related manganese oxides shows large, but somewhat systematic alterations in catalytic rates, indicating the importance of synthesis parameters for maximum catalytic performance. The catalyst of the series for which the highest water-oxidation rate was found is a birnessite of medium calcium content (Ca:Mn ratio 0.2:1) that had been subjected to a tempering temperature of 400°C. On the basis of the detailed analysis of the results, a WOC reaction scheme for birnessites is proposed to explain the observed trends in reactivity. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Nikulin Y.,University of Turku | Drexl A.,University of Kiel
Journal of Scheduling | Year: 2010

This paper addresses the airport flight gate scheduling problem with multiple objectives. The objectives are to maximize the total flight gate preferences, to minimize the number of towing activities, and to minimize the absolute deviation of the new gate assignment from a so-called reference schedule. The problem examined is a multicriteria multi-mode resource-constrained project scheduling problem with generalized precedence constraints or time windows. While in previous approaches the problem has been simplified to a single objective counterpart, we tackle it directly by a multicriteria metaheuristic, namely Pareto Simulated Annealing, in order to get a representative approximation of the Pareto front. Possible uncertainty of input data is treated by means of fuzzy numbers. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Bartsch A.,University of Kiel | Ratzke K.,University of Kiel | Meyer A.,German Aerospace Center | Faupel F.,University of Kiel
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We report radiotracer diffusivities in a Pd43Cu27Ni10P20 melt, presenting for the first time a complete set of data for all components over the whole relevant temperature range. While a vast decoupling of more than 4 orders of magnitude is observed between the diffusivity of Pd and of the smaller components, at the glass transition temperature Tg, the diffusivities of all components merge close to the critical temperature Tc of mode coupling theory. For Pd, the Stokes-Einstein relation holds in the whole range investigated encompassing more than 14 orders of magnitude suggesting the formation of a slow subsystem as a key to glass formation in systems with dynamic asymmetry. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Cooper D.N.,University of Cardiff | Krawczak M.,University of Kiel | Polychronakos C.,McGill University | Tyler-Smith C.,Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute | Kehrer-Sawatzki H.,University of Ulm
Human Genetics | Year: 2013

Some individuals with a particular disease-causing mutation or genotype fail to express most if not all features of the disease in question, a phenomenon that is known as 'reduced (or incomplete) penetrance'. Reduced penetrance is not uncommon; indeed, there are many known examples of 'disease-causing mutations' that fail to cause disease in at least a proportion of the individuals who carry them. Reduced penetrance may therefore explain not only why genetic diseases are occasionally transmitted through unaffected parents, but also why healthy individuals can harbour quite large numbers of potentially disadvantageous variants in their genomes without suffering any obvious ill effects. Reduced penetrance can be a function of the specific mutation(s) involved or of allele dosage. It may also result from differential allelic expression, copy number variation or the modulating influence of additional genetic variants in cis or in trans. The penetrance of some pathogenic genotypes is known to be age- and/or sex-dependent. Variable penetrance may also reflect the action of unlinked modifier genes, epigenetic changes or environmental factors. At least in some cases, complete penetrance appears to require the presence of one or more genetic variants at other loci. In this review, we summarize the evidence for reduced penetrance being a widespread phenomenon in human genetics and explore some of the molecular mechanisms that may help to explain this enigmatic characteristic of human inherited disease. © 2013 The Author(s).

Gong Y.,University of Washington | Gong Y.,Binzhou Medical College | Renigunta V.,University of Marburg | Himmerkus N.,University of Kiel | And 4 more authors.
EMBO Journal | Year: 2012

The paracellular claudin channel of the thick ascending limb (TAL) of Henle is critical for Ca ++ reabsorption in the kidney. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified claudin-14 associated with hypercalciuric nephrolithiasis. Here, we show that claudin-14 promoter activity and transcript are exclusively localized in the TAL. Under normal dietary condition, claudin-14 proteins are suppressed by two microRNA molecules (miR-9 and miR-374). Both microRNAs directly target the 3′-UTR of claudin-14 mRNA; induce its mRNA decay and translational repression in a synergistic manner. Through physical interaction, claudin-14 blocks the paracellular cation channel made of claudin-16 and -19, critical for Ca ++ reabsorption in the TAL. The transcript and protein levels of claudin-14 are upregulated by high Ca ++ diet, while downregulated by low Ca ++ diet. Claudin-14 knockout animals develop hypermagnesaemia, hypomagnesiuria, and hypocalciuria under high Ca ++ dietary condition. MiR-9 and miR-374 transcript levels are regulated by extracellular Ca ++ in a reciprocal manner as claudin-14. The Ca ++ sensing receptor (CaSR) acts upstream of the microRNA-claudin-14 axis. Together, these data have established a key regulatory role for claudin-14 in renal Ca ++ homeostasis. © 2012 European Molecular Biology Organization | All Rights Reserved.

Shin D.-H.,Hannam University | Hassink R.,University of Kiel
Regional Studies | Year: 2011

Shin D.-H. and Hassink R. Cluster life cycles: the case of the shipbuilding industry cluster in South Korea, Regional Studies. Although South Korean academics and policy-makers have applied industrial districts, regional innovation systems and clusters both to study and promote regional economic development, these concepts have little power to explain the changing economic landscape over time. This paper tackles this question with the help of the concept of cluster life cycle and shipbuilding as a case. It concludes that the cluster life cycle concept is useful for analysing and explaining spatial industrial dynamics in Korea, but the distinction between industry life cycle and cluster life cycle is not very relevant in the case of shipbuilding. © 2011 Copyright Regional Studies Association.

Hollmann J.,University of Kiel | Gregersen P.L.,University of Aarhus | Krupinska K.,University of Kiel
Journal of Experimental Botany | Year: 2014

The transcriptomes of senescing flag leaves collected from barley field plots with standard or high nitrogen supply were compared to identify genes specifically associated with nitrogen remobilization during leaf senescence under agronomically relevant conditions. In flag leaves collected in field plots with high nitrogen supply, the decline in chlorophyll content was delayed. By comparing changes in gene expression for the two nitrogen levels, it was possible to discriminate genes related to nitrogen remobilization during senescence and genes involved in other processes associated with the late development of leaves under field conditions. Predominant genes that were more strongly upregulated during senescence of flag leaves from plants with standard nitrogen supply included genes encoding the transcription factor HvNAC026, serine type protease SCPL51, and the autophagy factors APG7 and ATG18F. Elevated expression of these genes in senescing leaves from plants with standard nitrogen supply indicates important roles of the corresponding proteins in nitrogen remobilization. In comparison, the genes upregulated in both flag leaf samples might have roles in general senescence processes associated with late leaf development. Among these genes were the transcription factor genes HvNAC001, HvNAC005, HvNAC013, HvWRKY12 and MYB, genes encoding the papain-like cysteine peptidases HvPAP14 and HvPAP20, as well as a subtilase gene. © 2014 The Author.

Guse B.,University of Kiel | Reusser D.E.,Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research | Fohrer N.,University of Kiel
Hydrological Processes | Year: 2014

Model diagnostic analyses help to improve the understanding of hydrological processes and their representation in hydrological models. A detailed temporal analysis detects periods of poor model performance and model components with potential for model improvements, which cannot be found by analysing the whole discharge time series. In this study, we aim to improve the understanding of hydrological processes by investigating the temporal dynamics of parameter sensitivity and of model performance for the Soil and Water Assessment Tool model applied to the Treene lowland catchment in Northern Germany. The temporal analysis shows that the parameter sensitivity varies temporally with high sensitivity for three groundwater parameters (groundwater time delay, baseflow recession constant and aquifer fraction coefficient) and one evaporation parameter (soil evaporation compensation factor). Whereas the soil evaporation compensation factor dominates in baseflow and resaturation periods, groundwater time delay, baseflow recession constant and aquifer fraction coefficient are dominant in the peak and recession phases. The temporal analysis of model performance identifies three clusters with different model performances, which can be related to different phases of the hydrograph. The lowest performance, when comparing six performance measures, is detected for the baseflow cluster. A spatially distributed analysis for six hydrological stations within the Treene catchment shows similar results for all stations. The linkage of periods with poor model performance to the dominant model components in these phases and with the related hydrological processes shows that the groundwater module has the highest potential for improvement. This temporal diagnostic analysis enhances the understanding of the Soil and Water Assessment Tool model and of the dominant hydrological processes in the lowland catchment. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Martinez F.J.,New York Medical College | Martinez F.J.,University of Michigan | Calverley P.M.A.,University of Liverpool | Goehring U.-M.,Takeda Development Center Europe Ltd | And 4 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2015

Summary Background Roflumilast reduces exacerbations in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Its effect in patients using fixed combinations of inhaled corticosteroids and longacting β2 agonists is unknown. We postulated that roflumilast would reduce exacerbations in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at risk for exacerbations, even in combination with inhaled corticosteroid and longacting β2 agonist treatment. Methods For this 1-year double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel group, multicentre, phase 3-4 trial, the Roflumilast and Exacerbations in patients receiving Appropriate Combination Therapy (REACT) study, we enrolled patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease from 203 centres (outpatient clinics, hospitals, specialised pulmonologists, and family doctors) in 21 countries. Eligible patients were 40 years of age or older with a smoking history of at least 20 pack-years and a diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with severe airflow limitation, symptoms of chronic bronchitis, and at least two exacerbations in the previous year. We used a computerised central randomisation system to randomly assign patients in a 1:1 ratio to the two treatment groups: roflumilast 500 μg or placebo given orally once daily together with a fixed inhaled corticosteroid and longacting β2 agonist combination. Background tiotropium treatment was allowed. All patients and investigators were masked to group assignment. The primary outcome was the rate of moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations per patient per year, analysed by intention to treat. This study is registered with, number NCT01329029. Findings Between April 3, 2011, and May 27, 2014, we enrolled 1945 eligible participants and randomly assigned 973 to the roflumilast group and 972 to the placebo group. The rate of moderate-to-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations was 13·2% lower in the roflumilast group than in the placebo group according to a Poisson regression analysis (roflumilast 0·805 vs placebo 0·927; rate ratio [RR] 0·868 [95% CI 0·753-1·002], p=0·0529), and 14·2% lower according to a predefined sensitivity analysis using negative binomial regression (0·823 vs 0·959; 0·858 [0·740-0·995], p=0·0424). Adverse events were reported by 648 (67%) of 968 patients receiving roflumilast and by 572 (59%) of 967 patients in the placebo group; adverse event-associated patient withdrawal from the study was also more common in the roflumilast group (104/968 [11%]) than in the placebo group (52/967 [5%]). The most frequently reported serious adverse events were chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbations and pneumonia, and 17 (1·8%) deaths occurred in the roflumilast group compared with 18 (1·9%) in the placebo group. Interpretation Our findings suggest that roflumilast reduces exacerbations and hospital admissions in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic bronchitis who are at risk of frequent and severe exacerbations despite inhaled corticosteroid and longacting β2 agonist therapy, even in combination with tiotropium. Funding Takeda. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Gregersen P.L.,University of Aarhus | Culetic A.,University of Kiel | Boschian L.,University of Kiel | Krupinska K.,University of Kiel
Plant Molecular Biology | Year: 2013

Senescence is a developmental process which in annual crop plants overlaps with the reproductive phase. Senescence might reduce crop yield when it is induced prematurely under adverse environmental conditions. This review covers the role of senescence for the productivity of crop plants. With the aim to enhance productivity, a number of functional stay-green cultivars have been selected by conventional breeding, in particular of sorghum and maize. In many cases, a positive correlation between leaf area duration and yield has been observed, although in a number of other cases, stay-green cultivars do not display significant effects with regards to productivity. In several crops, the stay-green phenotype is observed to be associated with a higher drought resistance and a better performance under low nitrogen conditions. Among the approaches used to achieve stay-green phenotypes in transgenic plants, the expression of the IPT gene under control of senescence-associated promoters has been the most successful. The promoters employed for senescence-regulated expression contain cis-elements for binding of WRKY transcription factors and factors controlled by abscisic acid. In most crops transformed with such constructs the stay-green character has led to increased biomass, but only in few cases to increased seed yield. A coincidence of drought stress resistance and stay-green trait is observed in many transgenic plants. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Kapischke M.,Vivantes Klinikum Spandau | Schulze H.,Martin Luther Hospital | Caliebe A.,University of Kiel
Langenbeck's Archives of Surgery | Year: 2010

Introduction Secure fixation of the mesh in groin hernia repair is essential to avoid mesh dislocation. The fixation, however, is also thought to be a source of chronic postoperative pain.We tested the new self-fixating mesh Parietene progrip© vs. traditional suture fixating Lichtenstein repair in a double-blinded randomized study evaluating postoperative pain and the use of analgesics. Methods Fifty patients were randomized into two groups: Patients of group A (24 patients) were operated with the new self-fixating Parietene progrip© mesh without fixation sutures and patients of group B (26 patients) were operated with the traditional Lichtenstein repair. Postoperative course including pain and the use of analgesics were monitored. Patients were reinvestigated after 6 months regarding pain score and the amount of analgesics used during this interval. Primary end point was pain on the first operative day. Results The visual analog scale pain score showed at the first postoperative day a significantly lower level in group A than in group B (mean 17.9 vs. 32.3 mm, p=0.03). Additionally, the cumulative dose of postoperatively required analgesics was lower in group A than in group B. The operative time in group A was significantly shorter than in group B. Six months after the operation, a trend toward a lower pain score was observed in group A, but this did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions This is the first randomized study to show a beneficial effect of the new self-fixating mesh on pain score. According to our investigations, operative time is reduced, which is a considerable fact with regard to economic aspects as well as the beneficial aspects for the patients. A study with a larger cohort of patients should be conducted to confirm the promising results of this exploratory study. © Springer-Verlag 2010.

Schmidtke J.,Institute For Humangenetik | Krawczak M.,University of Kiel
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2010

A 20-year-old offspring of father-daughter incest, who has been suffering from serious psychomotoric health problems since early childhood, is seeking financial compensation under the German federal act of victim indemnification. For her appeal to be valid, the probability X that the incest was causal for her disorder must exceed 50%. Based upon the available medical records, we show that this is indeed the case and that X is even likely to exceed 65%, thereby rendering the victim's claim scientifically and legally justified. © Springer-Verlag 2009.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS-2009- | Award Amount: 3.77M | Year: 2010

The aim of ESTABLISH is to facilitate and implement an inquiry based approach in the teaching and learning of science and technology across Europe, mainly focussed, through the collaborative actions of the consortium, on appropriate teacher education and support using trialled and tested resource material particularly suited to inquiry based teaching. Inquiry based teaching methodologies are encouraged to engage students in science and mathematics by increasing their interest in science and also by stimulating teacher motivation. However, widespread implementation of such a methodology will only occur with inclusion and participation of all partners in education, both formal and informal. ESTABLISH addresses this by drawing together over 60 partners from across 11 European countries to work together on a 48 month multidisciplinary project to encourage and promote the more widespread use of inquiry-based science teaching techniques in second level schools through appropriate teacher education, creation of authentic learning environments and actions to bridge the gap between the science education research community, science teachers, students, parents, local industry as well as policy makers in order to facilitate the uptake of inquiry-based science teaching. The outcomes of this project will firstly be a large team of teachers across Europe who are skilled and confident in their delivery of inquiry based teaching. Further outcomes will be the identification of suitable model(s) of teacher education, at both pre- and in-service levels, for inquiry based teaching and also identification of best practice in guiding change through all the stakeholders involved in science and science education. Teachers are active partners as developers, researchers and agents so that real change in classroom practice can be achieved. ESTABLISH is committed to sharing and disseminating best practice in inquiry-based methods through European teacher networks, conferences and publications.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SPA.2011.3.5-01 | Award Amount: 349.28K | Year: 2011

DiPoP is an assessment study for the European Space Policy (9.3.5 / SPA.2011.3. 5-01). Disruptive space power and propulsion technologies as well as their applications are assessed. Recommendations and roadmaps for FP8 for enabling an independent, long term European leadership is the in fine goal of the project DiPoP. Disruptive space propulsion and power technologies studied are: continuous detonation wave engine, space and ground nuclear fission (power 30 kWe to 200 kWe, including Rules for Public Acceptance with Launch & Operations Constrains), solar and fuel cells, batteries, Power-MEMS (Power Micro- Electro-Mechanical System), Advanced Propulsion Systems and Power Processing Units. Space propulsion and power applications under DiPoP covers EC space work programme areas like propulsion (for entry, interplanetary flight, micro-propulsion systems, robotics), space exploration (mobility on planetary surfaces, habitation, life support), space power long term security and related areas.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-18-2015 | Award Amount: 8.19M | Year: 2016

Liver cancer in the paediatric population is rare with an incidence approximately 1-1.5 per million population. The commonest tumour seen in the childhood population is hepatoblastoma (HB), usually seen in young children and infants. Much rarer (about 10% of paediatric liver cancers) is hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), usually seen in the teenage population and sometimes associated with underlying cirrhotic liver diseases. The ChiLTERN project relates to topic PHC 18 establishing effectiveness of health care interventions in the paediatric population. The ChiLTERN project builds on a unique opportunity to undertake a comprehensive research programme linked to an ambitious global partnership which will see the single largest clinical trial (the Paediatric Hepatic International Tumour Trial - PHITT) ever undertaken in this population of patients, with several randomised questions in six subgroups of patients. ChiLTERN will allow us to move towards an era of personalised therapy in which each patient will receive the correct amount of chemotherapy and will undergo has the best surgical operation (surgical resection or liver transplant). By using both clinical and biological information, we can assign patients more accurately to risk groups based on their survival. Using genetic tests and biomarkers, we will determine those children who may be at risk of developing long term side effects (deafness, heart failure, kidney damage). In addition, biomarkers will allow us to monitor during therapy and detect toxicities early before serious damage is done so that we can adapt treatment and prevent these problems. Finally, we will be using imaging technology tools which will help our surgeons plan liver operations more safely and effectively. Ultimately ChiLTERN will allow us to cure more children with liver cancer, expose fewer children to toxic chemotherapy and ensure their surgery is both effective and safe.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 12.95M | Year: 2008

THOR will establish an operational system that will monitor and forecast the development of the North Atlantic THC on decadal time scales and access its stability and the risk of a breakdown in a changing climate. Together with pre-existing data sets, ongoing observations within the project will allow precise quantitative monitoring of the Atlantic THC and its sources. This will, for the first time, allow an assessment of the strength of the Atlantic THC and its sources in a consistent manner and will provide early identification of any systematic changes in the THC that might occur. Analysis of palaeo observations covering the last millennium and millennium time scale experiments with coupled climate models will be carried out to identify the relevant key processes and feedback mechanisms between ocean, atmosphere, and cryosphere. In THOR, the combined effect of various global warming scenarios and melting of the Greenland ice sheet will also be thoroughly assessed in a coupled climate model. Through these studies and through the assimilation of systematic oceanic observations at key locations into ocean circulation models, THOR will forecast the development of the Atlantic THC and its variability until 2025, using global coupled ocean-atmosphere models. THOR will also assess induced climate implications of changes in the THC and the probability of extreme climate events with special emphasis on the European/North Atlantic region. THOR builds upon techniques, methods and models developed during several projects funded within FP5 and FP6 as well as many nationally funded projects. The project will contribute to Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES), to Global Observing Systems such as to the Global Ocean Observing system (GOOS), and to the International Polar Year (IPY).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA-2007-2.1-01 | Award Amount: 1.38M | Year: 2008

The European Space Agencys project MATROSHKA (MTR), dedicated to determine the radiation load on astronauts in- and outside the International Space Station (ISS), launched in Jan. 2004 and is currently in its experimental phase 3. MTR is an anthropomorphic upper torso phantom containing over 6,000 radiation detectors to determine the depth- and organ dose distribution in the body. It is the largest international research initiative performed in the field of space dosimetry, combining the expertise of leading research institutions all over the world. Consequently it generates a huge pool of data of immense value. Aiming at optimal scientific exploitation, the project HAMLET will bring together a European expert committee, consisting exclusively of members of the MTR consortium, to process and compile the data acquired individually. Based on experimental input as well as on radiation transport calculations, a three-dimensional model for the dose distribution in an astronauts body will be built up. The results describe the exposure conditions both for extra-vehicular activities (MTR-1:200405) and inside the ISS (MTR-2A/B:200608). The project goes beyond essential data analysis and incorporates a modelling approach to guide new experimental measurements and strengthen the predictive capacity. This allows further utilization of the data, particularly with respect to detailed modelling of radiation interactions in the human body. The scientific achievements contribute essentially to radiation risk estimations for future interplanetary human missions, putting them on a solid experimental and theoretical basis. The synthesis of data, considerably extending previous knowledge, constitutes a major accomplishment by which Europe can establish worldwide leadership in this special branch of space radiation research. Public outreach is assured by making the data and reports available to the scientific community and the public via a web-based database and a dedicated homepage.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SC1-PM-09-2016 | Award Amount: 6.20M | Year: 2017

Due to lack of targeted interventions, compliance issues, insufficient effect sizes and a high non-responder rate to currently available interventions, there is an urgent need to develop innovative and new interventions for chronic paediatric neuropsychiatric disorders, such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been shown to be an innovative, effective and safe alternative treatment approach for neuropsychiatric disorders in adults. Here, for the first time, the effect of tDCS on core neurocognitive and behavioral outcomes will be proven in children and adolescents. First, effect sizes and safety of standard tDCS in the clinical setting targeting core brain regions and disorder specific cognitive tasks will be established by three phase-IIa randomized, double blind, sham-controlled studies in ADHD and ASD. Second, the impact of brain development and age-dependent anatomical / functional features on effects of tDCS will be studied systematically using methods of modern neurophysiology, neuroimaging and electric current modeling. This involves an additional phase-I clinical trial. Third, mechanisms of tDCS on brain function will be studied, and biomarkers will be developed in order to predict individual response to standard and individualized stimulation protocols. Finally, the applicability of tDCS in children and adolescents will be improved by developing an innovative personalized home-based treatment option in combination with a telemental health service, which will be tested by a fifth, phase-IIa clinical trial. Throughout the entire project, ethical concerns of the target population will be addressed. This project opens a new avenue for the application of tDCS as an alternative treatment for a great number of chronic neuropsychiatric disorders in children and adolescents and will allow flexible integration of tDCS in the daily routine of families.

Leinenkugel P.,German Aerospace Center | Kuenzer C.,German Aerospace Center | Oppelt N.,University of Kiel | Dech S.,German Aerospace Center
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2013

Information on vegetation phenology and land cover for the area of the Mekong Basin are derived for the year 2010, based on optical satellite data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). On account of almost persistent cloud cover in the rainy season, the application of optical remote sensing data presents a challenging exercise and demands special data processing and classification methods. An Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI) time series is produced based on data from both platforms AQUA and TERRA, with dropouts and noise being effectively reduced by applying an adaptive Savitzky-Golay filter. Thereby, different parameterisation is applied dependent on the number of harvest cycles, which are defined by an initial harmonic analysis, based on an EVI time series of 5. years. Information on land cover is derived by a multistep unsupervised classification approach optimised for regions with frequent cloud cover, based on multispectral monthly and seasonal composites, amplitude and phase information from a 11-year EVI time series (2001-2011), and phenological metrics from 2010. Moreover, the environmental heterogenic conditions in the region are addressed by a regionally tuned clustering approach based on physiographic subregions and the use of auxiliary geodata. The results obtained demonstrate that the adapted approach performs satisfactory in terms of accuracy under given conditions. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2010.2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 8.03M | Year: 2010

Alpha-Mannosidosis is a rare Lysosomal Storage Disorder with a worldwide incidence of about 1:500 000. This orphan and devastating disease is caused by the deficiency of the lysosomal alpha-mannosidase (LAMAN) which is responsible for the intralysosomal degradation of mannosyl linked oligosaccharides. To date no causative treatment for alpha-Mannosidosis is available and since most of the children are born healthy, an early initiated therapy could contribute to a normal development. To develop an efficient therapy for this disease the collaborative research project EURAMAN and HUE-MAN were initiated within FP5 and FP6, respectively. Within these collaborative networks, European scientists, clinicians and the industry successfully i) developed an efficient pre-clinical Enzyme Replacement Therapy (ERT) protocol using recombinant human (rh) LAMAN in a mouse model for alpha-Mannosidosis, ii) built up a database collecting patient data and iii) defined clinical endpoints for the future clinical trials in alpha-Mannosidosis patients by an European wide natural history study. Furthermore, the HUE-MAN network developed the conditions for a large-scale production of the recombinant enzyme and the way is now paved for the first clinical trials in man, which we aim to realize within FP7. The main objectives of the ALPHA-MAN project are i) the performance of efficient clinical trials (phase I-III) in alpha-Mannosidosis patients, ii) a better understanding of the pathophysiology and the mechanism of how the recombinant enzyme enters the cells of the central nervous system by performing ERT in a newly generated immuntolerant alpha-Mannosidosis mouse model, which allows chronic treatment and iii) the determination of the minimal effective dose with chronic treatment in the immuntolerant mice.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS-2009- | Award Amount: 3.31M | Year: 2010

This project aims to effect a change across Europe in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science with teachers supported to develop inquiry-based learning (IBL) pedagogies so that students gain experience of IBL approaches. Ultimately, our objective is a greater number of students with more positive dispositions towards further study of these subjects and the desire to be employed in related fields. The proposal brings together 13 teams of experts in IBL in mathematics and science education from 12 nations and will be led and managed by a researcher who has recent successful experience of European work of this type. The nine working packages will be led by appropriate experts from the wider team, who will ensure the successful completion of each stage of the project. Overall, our design of the project throughout has been focused so as to provide a multi-level dissemination plan addressed to teachers and important stakeholders to ensure maximum impact. This plan includes the provision of high quality support for, and training of, teachers and teacher trainers; selection of high quality materials and methods with which to work with teachers, supporting actions addressed to teachers to advertise IBL, methods of working with out-of-school parties such as local authorities and parents and summaries of analyses that will inform a wide range of policy makers about how they can support the required changes. Throughout the projects timeline national consultancy panels and two international panels will provide on-going advice and orientation at key stages. To maximise the projects reach to teachers either established networks for professional development of teachers will be expanded, or new networks will be built using models which have proven efficacy. Rigorous evaluation both by an internal team and an outside agency will provide formative and summative feedback about the validity of the project and its effectiveness.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 4.68M | Year: 2008

Conventional techniques for site characterization are time consuming, cost intensive, and do not support decision making. Therefore, new techniques for step by step site characterization strategy with smart feed back loops are necessary. These will be able to support a future soil framework directive. Advanced geophysical site characterization techniques combined with new types of vegetation analysis will be developed. Based on these non-invasive surveys, the extension of sources, contamination levels (THP, BTEX, PAH, CHC, explosives, heavy metals and radio nuclides) and soil heterogeneities will be localized first. Hot spots will then be investigated by new direct push probing systems integrated with geophysical & hydrogeological methods and combined with chemical & isotopic contaminant analysis for source localization and identification (environmental forensics). The actually occurring bioprocesses, such as contaminant degradation or precipitation/mobilization processes, will be assessed using biosensors, in situ microcosms, and stable isotope and biomarker analysis. These new techniques and tools will be evaluated against best practice of conventional methods. Therefore, they will be applied at fully equipped and characterized European reference sites available in the project and will be provided to consultants and SMEs for application. Integrated statistical analysis and modelling at different stages of the step by step approach will result in an improved view of soil and subsurface contamination and will provide a sound basis for risk assessment and decision.

Genzyme and University of Kiel | Date: 2016-04-22

The invention is directed to methods of producing a polypeptide or a variant thereof, wherein the polypeptide or variant thereof is dependent on LIMP-2 for trafficking, localization, stabilization and/or sorting of the polypeptide in the cell. In general, the methods comprise culturing a lysosomal integral membrane protein II (LIMP-2) deficient cell which expresses the polypeptide or the variant thereof under conditions in which the polypeptide or the variant thereof is produced.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-01-2014 | Award Amount: 5.98M | Year: 2015

Neuropathic pain (NP) is common (population prevalence of 7-8%) and will present a rising health burden in the future. NP results in significant morbidity, reduces quality of life and has a major deleterious impact on health in aging. The reason why some subjects develop neuropathic pain and others do not following the same injury is not known. The exact nature of risk factors for NP and their interaction are currently poorly understood and will be the focus of this project. We will establish an international consortium of leading researchers in the field of NP (DOLORisk consortium) involving members of established academic European consortia studying pain/genomics and neuropathy as well as the SMEs Neuroscience Technologies and Mentis Cura. The project will be highly translational and the starting point will be the study of patients with NP or at risk of developing NP. Specific objectives will be to: 1) Identify the influence of demographic factors, environmental/societal and clinical factors on the risk of developing and maintenance of NP 2) To apply modern genomics to validate (using a targeted approach) and find novel (using genome wide association) genetic risk factors for NP. 3) Use tissue samples and patient derived cells from Biobanks to validate of molecular pathways contributing to chronic pain in patients. 4) To determine if patient stratification using physiological (sensory profile, endogenous analgesic mechanisms and nerve excitability) and psychological factors can predict NP risk and progression. 5) Development of a risk model/algorithm for (severe) NP, combining measurable genetic and environmental factors. Our aim is to understand pain pathophysiology in terms of risk factors and protective mechanisms ranging from molecular pathways to societal impacts. The desired impact is to provide a firm platform to improve diagnosis and stratify patients according to risk profile, employ preventive strategies and ultimately develop novel therapeutics.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.2.1-03;SPA.2010.2.3-1 | Award Amount: 2.48M | Year: 2010

The SEPServer project will address the topic SPA.2010.2.1-03, Exploitation of space science and exploration data, of the call FP7-SPACE-2010-1. Through its impact, the project may also support other projects funded through the topic SPA.2010.2.3-01, Security of space assets from space weather events. The main objective of the SEPServer project is to produce a new tool, which greatly facilitates the investigation of solar energetic particles (SEPs) and their origin: a server providing SEP data, related electromagnetic (EM) observations and analysis methods, a comprehensive catalogue of the observed SEP events, and educational/outreach material on solar eruptions. The SEPServer project is coordinated by Dr. Rami Vainio, University of Helsinki. The project will combine data and knowledge from 11 European partners and several collaborating parties from Europe and US. The work is organised in 7 work packages (WPs): 1 Management; 2 SEP observations; 3 EM observations; 4 Simulations and inversion tools; 5 Scientific data analysis; 6 Server development; and 7 Dissemination and external coordination. WPs 2-5 provide data and analysis tools to the server development (WP6); the scientific data analysis (WP5) then makes use of these data and tools making sure that they meet the needs of the lead users. SEPServer will add value to several space missions and earth-based observations by facilitating the coordinated exploitation of and open access to SEP data and related EM observations, and promoting correct use of these data for the entire space research community. This will lead to new knowledge on the production and transport of SEPs during solar eruptions and facilitate the development of models for predicting solar radiation storms and calculation of expected fluxes/fluences of SEPs encountered by spacecraft in the interplanetary medium. SEPServer will, thus, add value to the national and European activities by combining them to a comprehensive space storm analysis service.

Flexible yet robust - this is one reason why nature codes genetic information in the form of a double helix. Scientists at TU Munich have now discovered an inorganic substance whose elements are arranged in the form of a double helix. The substance called SnIP, comprising the elements tin (Sn), iodine (I) and phosphorus (P), is a semiconductor. However, unlike conventional inorganic semiconducting materials, it is highly flexible. The centimeter-long fibers can be arbitrarily bent without breaking. "This property of SnIP is clearly attributable to the double helix," says Daniela Pfister, who discovered the material and works as a researcher in the work group of Tom Nilges, Professor for Synthesis and Characterization of Innovative Materials at TU Munich. "SnIP can be easily produced on a gram scale and is, unlike gallium arsenide, which has similar electronic characteristics, far less toxic." The semiconducting properties of SnIP promise a wide range of application opportunities, from energy conversion in solar cells and thermoelectric elements to photocatalysts, sensors and optoelectronic elements. By doping with other elements, the electronic characteristics of the new material can be adapted to a wide range of applications. Due to the arrangement of atoms in the form of a double helix, the fibers, which are up to a centimeter in length can be easily split into thinner strands. The thinnest fibers to date comprise only five double helix strands and are only a few nanometers thick. That opens the door also to nanoelectronic applications. "Especially the combination of interesting semiconductor properties and mechanical flexibility gives us great optimism regarding possible applications," says Professor Nilges. "Compared to organic solar cells, we hope to achieve significantly higher stability from the inorganic materials. For example, SnIP remains stable up to around 500°C (930 °F)." Just at the beginning "Similar to carbon, where we have the three-dimensional (3D) diamond, the two dimensional graphene and the one dimensional nanotubes," explains Professor Nilges, "we here have, alongside the 3D semiconducting material silicon and the 2D material phosphorene, for the first time a one dimensional material - with perspectives that are every bit as exciting as carbon nanotubes." Just as with carbon nanotubes and polymer-based printing inks, SnIP double helices can be suspended in solvents like toluene. In this way, thin layers can be produced easily and cost-effectively. "But we are only at the very beginning of the materials development stage," says Daniela Pfister. "Every single process step still needs to be worked out." Since the double helix strands of SnIP come in left and right-handed variants, materials that comprise only one of the two should display special optical characteristics. This makes them highly interesting for optoelectronics applications. But, so far there is no technology available for separating the two variants. Theoretical calculations by the researchers have shown that a whole range of further elements should form these kinds of inorganic double helices. Extensive patent protection is pending. The researchers are now working intensively on finding suitable production processes for further materials. An extensive interdisciplinary alliance is working on the characterization of the new material: Photoluminescence and conductivity measurements have been carried out at the Walter Schottky Institute of the TU Munich. Theoretical chemists from the University of Augsburg collaborated on the theoretical calculations. Researchers from the University of Kiel and the Max Planck Institute of Solid State Research in Stuttgart performed transmission electron microscope investigations. Mössbauer spectra and magnetic properties were measured at the University of Augsburg, while researchers of TU Cottbus contributed thermodynamics measurements. Explore further: Physicist discovers new 2D material that could advance material science More information: Daniela Pfister, Konrad Schäfer, Claudia Ott, Birgit Gerke, Rainer Pöttgen, Oliver Janka, Maximilian Baumgartner, Anastasia Efimova, Andrea Hohmann, Peer Schmidt, Sabarinathan Venkatachalam, Leo van Wullen, Ulrich Schu?rmann, Lorenz Kienle, Viola Duppel, Eric Parzinger, Bastian Miller, Jonathan Becker, Alexander Holleitner, Richard Weihrich and Tom Nilges; Inorganic Double Helices in Semiconducting SnIP. Advanced Materials, Early view, Spet. 12, 2016. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201603135

Home > Press > Semiconducting inorganic double helix: New flexible semiconductor for electronics, solar technology and photo catalysis Abstract: It is the double helix, with its stable and flexible structure of genetic information, that made life on Earth possible in the first place. Now a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has discovered a double helix structure in an inorganic material. The material comprising tin, iodine and phosphorus is a semiconductor with extraordinary optical and electronic properties, as well as extreme mechanical flexibility. Flexible yet robust - this is one reason why nature codes genetic information in the form of a double helix. Scientists at TU Munich have now discovered an inorganic substance whose elements are arranged in the form of a double helix. The substance called SnIP, comprising the elements tin (Sn), iodine (I) and phosphorus (P), is a semiconductor. However, unlike conventional inorganic semiconducting materials, it is highly flexible. The centimeter-long fibers can be arbitrarily bent without breaking. "This property of SnIP is clearly attributable to the double helix," says Daniela Pfister, who discovered the material and works as a researcher in the work group of Tom Nilges, Professor for Synthesis and Characterization of Innovative Materials at TU Munich. "SnIP can be easily produced on a gram scale and is, unlike gallium arsenide, which has similar electronic characteristics, far less toxic." Countless application possibilities The semiconducting properties of SnIP promise a wide range of application opportunities, from energy conversion in solar cells and thermoelectric elements to photocatalysts, sensors and optoelectronic elements. By doping with other elements, the electronic characteristics of the new material can be adapted to a wide range of applications. Due to the arrangement of atoms in the form of a double helix, the fibers, which are up to a centimeter in length can be easily split into thinner strands. The thinnest fibers to date comprise only five double helix strands and are only a few nanometers thick. That opens the door also to nanoelectronic applications. "Especially the combination of interesting semiconductor properties and mechanical flexibility gives us great optimism regarding possible applications," says Professor Nilges. "Compared to organic solar cells, we hope to achieve significantly higher stability from the inorganic materials. For example, SnIP remains stable up to around 500°C (930 °F)." Just at the beginning "Similar to carbon, where we have the three-dimensional (3D) diamond, the two dimensional graphene and the one dimensional nanotubes," explains Professor Nilges, "we here have, alongside the 3D semiconducting material silicon and the 2D material phosphorene, for the first time a one dimensional material - with perspectives that are every bit as exciting as carbon nanotubes." Just as with carbon nanotubes and polymer-based printing inks, SnIP double helices can be suspended in solvents like toluene. In this way, thin layers can be produced easily and cost-effectively. "But we are only at the very beginning of the materials development stage," says Daniela Pfister. "Every single process step still needs to be worked out." Since the double helix strands of SnIP come in left and right-handed variants, materials that comprise only one of the two should display special optical characteristics. This makes them highly interesting for optoelectronics applications. But, so far there is no technology available for separating the two variants. Theoretical calculations by the researchers have shown that a whole range of further elements should form these kinds of inorganic double helices. Extensive patent protection is pending. The researchers are now working intensively on finding suitable production processes for further materials. Interdisciplinary cooperation An extensive interdisciplinary alliance is working on the characterization of the new material: Photoluminescence and conductivity measurements have been carried out at the Walter Schottky Institute of the TU Munich. Theoretical chemists from the University of Augsburg collaborated on the theoretical calculations. Researchers from the University of Kiel and the Max Planck Institute of Solid State Research in Stuttgart performed transmission electron microscope investigations. Mössbauer spectra and magnetic properties were measured at the University of Augsburg, while researchers of TU Cottbus contributed thermodynamics measurements. ### The research was funded by the DFB (SPP 1415), the international graduate school ATUMS (TU Munich and the University of Alberta, Canada) and the TUM Graduate School. For more information, please click If you have a comment, please us. Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

News Article | September 12, 2016

Flexible yet robust — this is one reason why nature codes genetic information in the form of a double helix. Scientists at TU Munich have now discovered an inorganic substance whose elements are arranged in the form of a double helix. The substance called SnIP, comprising the elements tin (Sn), iodine (I) and phosphorus (P), is a semiconductor. However, unlike conventional inorganic semiconducting materials, it is highly flexible. The centimeter-long fibers can be arbitrarily bent without breaking. "This property of SnIP is clearly attributable to the double helix," says Daniela Pfister, who discovered the material and works as a researcher in the work group of Tom Nilges, Professor for Synthesis and Characterization of Innovative Materials at TU Munich. "SnIP can be easily produced on a gram scale and is, unlike gallium arsenide, which has similar electronic characteristics, far less toxic." The semiconducting properties of SnIP promise a wide range of application opportunities, from energy conversion in solar cells and thermoelectric elements to photocatalysts, sensors and optoelectronic elements. By doping with other elements, the electronic characteristics of the new material can be adapted to a wide range of applications. Due to the arrangement of atoms in the form of a double helix, the fibers, which are up to a centimeter in length can be easily split into thinner strands. The thinnest fibers to date comprise only five double helix strands and are only a few nanometers thick. That opens the door also to nanoelectronic applications. "Especially the combination of interesting semiconductor properties and mechanical flexibility gives us great optimism regarding possible applications," says Nilges. "Compared to organic solar cells, we hope to achieve significantly higher stability from the inorganic materials. For example, SnIP remains stable up to around 500 C (930 F)." "Similar to carbon, where we have the three-dimensional (3D) diamond, the two dimensional graphene and the one dimensional nanotubes," says Nilges, "we here have, alongside the 3D semiconducting material silicon and the 2D material phosphorene, for the first time a one dimensional material — with perspectives that are every bit as exciting as carbon nanotubes." Just as with carbon nanotubes and polymer-based printing inks, SnIP double helices can be suspended in solvents like toluene. In this way, thin layers can be produced easily and cost-effectively. "But we are only at the very beginning of the materials development stage," says Pfister. "Every single process step still needs to be worked out." Since the double helix strands of SnIP come in left and right-handed variants, materials that comprise only one of the two should display special optical characteristics. This makes them highly interesting for optoelectronics applications. But, so far there is no technology available for separating the two variants. Theoretical calculations by the researchers have shown that a whole range of further elements should form these kinds of inorganic double helices. Extensive patent protection is pending. The researchers are now working intensively on finding suitable production processes for further materials. An extensive interdisciplinary alliance is working on the characterization of the new material: Photoluminescence and conductivity measurements have been carried out at the Walter Schottky Institute of the TU Munich. Theoretical chemists from the University of Augsburg collaborated on the theoretical calculations. Researchers from the University of Kiel and the Max Planck Institute of Solid State Research in Stuttgart performed transmission electron microscope investigations. Mössbauer spectra and magnetic properties were measured at the University of Augsburg, while researchers of TU Cottbus contributed thermodynamics measurements. The research was funded by the DFB (SPP 1415), the international graduate school ATUMS (TU Munich and the University of Alberta, Canada) and the TUM Graduate School.

News Article | December 21, 2016

Nicholas Volker first developed the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) shortly before his second birthday. Childhood cases of this gut disease are often severe, but even by this standard Nicholas's case was extreme. Over the next three years, his parents and doctors watched, helpless, as wounds opened up on his abdomen and leaked faeces. The doctors could do nothing as treatment after treatment failed, and Nicholas endured sepsis, excruciating pain and more than 100 surgical procedures. In 2009, geneticist Howard Jacob, then at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, and his team sequenced Nicholas's genome in a last-ditch effort to find the cause of his symptoms and, they hoped, save his life. The team discovered that Nicholas had a mutation in the gene XIAP, which had previously been linked to immune deficiency. Doctors performed a cord-blood transplant, giving Nicholas a complement of stem cells that form immune cells with an intact XIAP, and his gut symptoms soon went into remission. His case is frequently touted as the first example of a person cured of any condition as a result of DNA sequencing. Paediatric IBD is thought to be predominantly due to genetic factors. Researchers have identified around 50 genes that, when mutated, can each cause IBD symptoms in young children. Many of these, like XIAP, have also been linked to immune deficiency. In a large number of the youngest patients, IBD can be thought of as a rare, single-gene disorder. In adults, the picture is much more complex — a clean fix is not an option. Over the past 15 years, research into the genetics of IBD has identified around 200 genomic hotspots that influence the risk of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, the two major forms of IBD (see page S98). But so far, this information has had little clinical impact. “These are flags waving towards different regions of the genome,” says Sarah Ennis, who leads the Genomics Informatics Group at the University of Southampton, UK. “But they're not very useful for a consultant sitting with a patient in front of him or her.” These genetic flags have provided clues to the underlying mechanisms of IBD, and revealed surprising subgroups within the IBD spectrum, connections with other conditions and possible drug targets. The challenge now, researchers such as Ennis say, is to apply this knowledge to improve the lives of patients. This challenge is hard to meet, however. In adults, IBD results from a complex mixture of environmental risk factors, which are themselves not fully understood, and genetic factors that have varying impact (see page S100). A clear pattern that has emerged is that the strongest genetic risk factors tend to be specific to either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. These differences provide clues to the mechanisms behind each disease and will hopefully inform new treatment approaches. The biggest player in Crohn's disease is a gene called NOD2, an important part of the innate immune system — the set of non-specific mechanisms that provide the body's first line of defence against infection. NOD2's role was uncovered in 2001, when two independent groups of researchers traced the inheritance of gut problems in families affected by the disease1, 2. “That was the first major insight that came from gene discovery, and that really spurred the next decade of immunological research into Crohn's disease,” says Charlie Lees, a gastroenterologist at the University of Edinburgh, UK. The advance also sparked a surge of research into the genetics of IBD more broadly. Subsequent research confirmed the link between NOD2 and Crohn's disease, but found only a weak association with ulcerative colitis. Autophagy, the process by which cells process and degrade intracellular bacteria and cellular components, has also been implicated only in Crohn's disease. These findings suggest that this condition could be due to an abnormal immune response to microbiota, the community of bacteria that inhabits our guts. For ulcerative colitis, the link seems to be with variations to genes involved in maintaining the integrity and function of the digestive-tract lining, suggesting that this disease might be caused by an inadequate barrier or 'leaky gut'. Variations within a set of genes from the human leukocyte antigen gene family (HLA class II) — which are involved in fine-tuning the immune system and helping it to recognize proteins made by foreign invaders — also make a major contribution to ulcerative-colitis risk, but are only weakly linked with Crohn's disease. This suggests that there might be an external trigger for ulcerative colitis, similar to the role that gluten has in coeliac disease, says Andre Franke, director of the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at the University of Kiel in Germany. Genetic investigations are also challenging the idea that IBD can be divided into two main diseases — Crohn's that can affect any part of the digestive tract and ulcerative colitis, which affects only the colon. In January, Lees and colleagues reported that certain genes determine where in the gut IBD causes inflammation, and that the genetic distinction provided a different way to classify IBD3. “What we found was that this disease location separated out IBD much more naturally into three main disease types, rather than just two,” Lees says. “Small-bowel Crohn's disease was as distinct from colonic Crohn's disease as it was from ulcerative colitis.” Curiously, the three-disease classification is how doctors thought of IBD half a century ago, but rather than that system being superseded by an advance in biological understanding, it seems to have steadily drifted out of favour, Lees says. There's still substantial genetic overlap between the three groups, so the analysis is not immediately clinically applicable. But the findings do suggest that simply sorting people into either those with Crohn's disease or those with ulcerative colitis may not be enough to determine the best treatment for them. Because so many genes linked with the immune system have been implicated in IBD, researchers are looking for genetic connections with other inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. About 70% of the genetic loci that contribute to IBD susceptibility are thought to be shared with other complex diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis. Perhaps the most surprising link that genetic studies have thrown up is that between IBD and susceptibility to mycobacteria — a group that includes the pathogens that cause tuberculosis and leprosy. NOD2 and roughly a dozen other genetic factors associated with IBD, particularly Crohn's disease, are also associated with susceptibility to tuberculosis and leprosy. There are two main ideas about the biological mechanisms behind this link. It is possible that certain genetic variants increase susceptibility to leprosy while also increasing the risk of Crohn's disease. “I believe that Crohn's disease is an immunodeficiency,” Franke says. In people who are susceptible to leprosy, the immune system overlooks the bacterium and enables the infection to become established. Similarly, Franke explains, this deficient immune response may permit normal gut bacteria to penetrate the intestinal wall and trigger the inflammation seen in Crohn's disease. Or, the link could run the other way around: some genetic variants might confer resistance to leprosy, but by coincidence increase the risk of Crohn's disease. Support for this hypothesis comes from the fact that some of the variants that increase IBD susceptibility are so widespread — present in 20–50% of people in certain populations — that many scientists think that they must have conferred some evolutionary advantage in the past. Many of these genetic insights into IBD have come from genome-wide association studies (GWAS), which scan the genomes of large numbers of people with the disease and compare certain genetic markers to those of controls. GWAS have been unusually successful in IBD, partly because of the uncommonly large and well-coordinated International Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics Consortium. “Around the globe we've got probably hundreds of clinicians contributing their own data sets and samples and patients into these studies,” says Miles Parkes, a gastroenterologist at the University of Cambridge, UK, and a member of the consortium. Some of the largest analyses have involved more than 75,000 patients. GWAS are a powerful approach — a practical way of finding markers for disease risk across the vast human genome — but they do have their downsides. For one, the gene chips (slides containing known sequences that are used to rapidly scan DNA for variations) are based on European genetics. But different ethnic groups are thought to have separate suites of genes that put them at risk. NOD2 variants seem to have little involvement in Japanese and Korean people with Crohn's disease, for instance. And a study of more than 2,300 African Americans with IBD found 2 genetic markers linked to ulcerative colitis that have not been seen in people of European ancestry4. The European chips have complicated efforts to identify the genes that are most important in various ethnic groups. And GWAS for IBD have so far involved a disproportionate number of individuals of European ancestry. Moreover, GWAS simply identify loci — positions in the genome — not the genes themselves, nor the precise mutations involved. On their own, GWAS don't directly illuminate the biological mechanisms behind the disease that might translate into clinical applications. Researchers are making progress in identifying the specific genes that increase the risk of IBD. The pro-inflammatory molecule interleukin-23 (IL-23) and other proteins in its signalling pathway, for example, repeatedly pop up as players in both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Indeed, several pharmaceutical companies have drug candidates in clinical trials that target the IL-23 pathway. Many of the most promising IBD treatments in the pipeline involve biochemical pathways highlighted by genetics studies, says Parkes. Still, a more comprehensive picture of the specific genes and variants involved is needed to move new treatments for IBD forward. And that picture may be about to develop. The International Inflammatory Bowel Disease Genetics Consortium has recently completed a three-year 'fine-mapping' effort that has pinpointed 45 specific genetic variants that contribute to the disease. The data suggest that some of these variants lie outside the coding and regulatory regions of genes — in parts of the genome that have no known function5. Working out how these variations contribute to disease will be a major challenge, but an exciting one. “There's clearly a huge amount of new biology waiting to be discovered,” Parkes says.

Contreras-Reyes E.,University of Chile | Flueh E.R.,University of Kiel | Grevemeyer I.,University of Kiel
Tectonics | Year: 2010

Based on a compilation of published and new seismic refraction and multichannel seismic reflection data along the south central Chile margin (33°-46°S), we study the processes of sediment accretion and subduction and their implications on megathrust seismicity. In terms of the frontal accretionary prism (FAP) size, the marine south central Chile fore arc can be divided in two main segments: (1) the Maule segment (south of the Juan Fernndez Ridge and north of the Mocha block) characterized by a relative large FAP (20-40 km wide) and (2) the Chiló segment (south of the Mocha block and north of the Nazca-Antarctic-South America plates junction) characterized by a small FAP (≤10 km wide). In addition, the Maule and Chiloé segments correlate with a thin (<1 km thick) and thick (∼1.5 km thick) subduction channel, respectively. The Mocha block lies between ∼37.5° and 40°S and is configured by the Chile trench, Mocha and Valdivia fracture zones. This region separates young (0-25 Ma) oceanic lithosphere in the south from old (30-35 Ma) oceanic lithosphere in the north, and it represents a fundamental tectonic boundary separating two different styles of sediment accretion and subduction, respectively. A process responsible for this segmentation could be related to differences in initial angles of subduction which in turn depend on the amplitude of the down-deflected oceanic lithosphere under trench sediment loading. On the other hand, a small FAP along the Chiloé segment is coincident with the rupture area of the trans-Pacific tsunamigenic 1960 earthquake (Mw = 9.5), while a relatively large FAP along the Maule segment is coincident with the rupture area of the 2010 earthquake (M w = 8.8). Differences in earthquake and tsunami magnitudes between these events can be explained in terms of the FAP size along the Chiló and Maule segments that control the location of the updip limit of the seismogenic zone. The rupture area of the 1960 event also correlates with a thick subduction channel (Chiloé segment) that may provide enough smoothness at the subduction interface allowing long lateral earthquake rupture propagation. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Xu S.,University of California at Los Angeles | Jura M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Koester D.,University of Kiel | Klein B.,University of California at Los Angeles | Zuckerman B.,University of California at Los Angeles
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2014

We report Keck/HIRES and Hubble Space Telescope/COS spectroscopic studies of extrasolar rocky planetesimals accreted onto two hydrogen atmosphere white dwarfs, G29-38 and GD 133. In G29-38, eight elements are detected, including C, O, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Cr, and Fe while in GD 133, O, Si, Ca, and marginally Mg are seen. These two extrasolar planetesimals show a pattern of refractory enhancement and volatile depletion. For G29-38, the observed composition can be best interpreted as a blend of a chondritic object with some refractory-rich material, a result from post-nebular processing. Water is very depleted in the parent body accreted onto G29-38, based on the derived oxygen abundance. The inferred total mass accretion rate in GD 133 is the lowest of all known dusty white dwarfs, possibly due to non-steady state accretion. We continue to find that a variety of extrasolar planetesimals all resemble to zeroth order the elemental composition of bulk Earth. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Tautz D.,Max Planck Institute For Evolutionsbiologie | Domazet-Loso T.,University of Kiel | Domazet-Loso T.,Ruder Boskovic Institute
Nature Reviews Genetics | Year: 2011

Gene evolution has long been thought to be primarily driven by duplication and rearrangement mechanisms. However, every evolutionary lineage harbours orphan genes that lack homologues in other lineages and whose evolutionary origin is only poorly understood. Orphan genes might arise from duplication and rearrangement processes followed by fast divergence; however, de novo evolution out of non-coding genomic regions is emerging as an important additional mechanism. This process appears to provide raw material continuously for the evolution of new gene functions, which can become relevant for lineage-specific adaptations. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Diel R.,University of Kiel | Vandeputte J.,Trivarop SPRL | De Vries G.,KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation | De Vries G.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment | And 3 more authors.
European Respiratory Journal | Year: 2014

Without better vaccines it is unlikely that tuberculosis (TB) will ever be eliminated. An investment of ,J560 million is considered necessary to develop a new, effective vaccine in the European Union (EU). However, less is known about the costs of TB disease in the EU. We performed a systematic review of literature and institutional websites addressing the 27 EU members to summarise cost data. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane bibliographies for relevant articles. Combining direct and indirect costs, we arrived at an average per-TB case costs in the original EU-15 states plus Cyprus, Malta and Slovenia of €10 282 for drug-susceptible TB, €57 213 for multidrug resistant (MDR)-TB and €170 744 for extensively drug resistant (XDR)-TB. In the remaining new EU states, costs amounted to €3427 for drug-susceptible TB and €24 166 for MDR-TB/XDR-TB. For the 70 340 susceptible TB cases, 1488 MDR-TB and 136 XDR-TB cases notified in 2011 costs of €536 890 315 accumulated in 2012. In the same year, the 103 104 disability-adjusted life years caused by these cases, when stated in monetary terms, amounted to a total of €5 361 408 000. Thus, the resulting economic burden of TB in the EU clearly outweighs the cost of investing in more efficient vaccines against TB. Copyright © ERS 2014.

Jura M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Xu S.,University of California at Los Angeles | Klein B.,University of California at Los Angeles | Koester D.,University of Kiel | Zuckerman B.,University of California at Los Angeles
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

Using ultraviolet spectra obtained with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope, we extend our previous ground-based optical determinations of the composition of the extrasolar asteroids accreted onto two white dwarfs, GD40 and G241-6. Combining optical and ultraviolet spectra of these stars with He-dominated atmospheres, 13 and 12 polluting elements are confidently detected in GD40 and G241-6, respectively. For the material accreted onto GD40, the volatile elements C and S are deficient by more than a factor of 10 and N by at least a factor of 5 compared to their mass fractions in primitive CI chondrites and approach what is inferred for bulk Earth. A similar pattern is found for G241-6 except that S is undepleted. We have also newly detected or placed meaningful upper limits for the amount of Cl, Al, P, Ni, and Cu in the accreted matter. Extending results from optical studies, the mass fractions of refractory elements in the accreted parent bodies are similar to what is measured for bulk Earth and chondrites. Thermal processing, perhaps interior to a snow line, appears to be of central importance in determining the elemental compositions of these particular extrasolar asteroids. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Dreyling M.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Ferrero S.,University of Turin | Vogt N.,University of Kiel | Vogt N.,University of Munster | Klapper W.,University of Kiel
Clinical Cancer Research | Year: 2014

The elucidation of crucial biologic pathways of cell survival and proliferation has led to the development of highly effective drugs, some of which have markedly improved mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) therapeutic opportunities in the past 10 years. Moreover, an undeniable clinical heterogeneity in treatment response and disease behavior has become apparent in this neoplasm. Thus, the need for biologic markers stratifying patients with MCL in risk classes deserving different treatment approaches has recently been fervently expressed. Among several newly discovered biomarkers, the dismal predictive value of a high proliferative signature has been broadly recognized in large studies of patients with MCL. Different techniques have been used to assess tumor cell proliferation, including mitotic index, immunostaining with Ki-67 antibody, and gene expression profiling. Ki-67 proliferative index, in particular, has been extensively investigated, and its negative impact on relapse incidence and overall survival has been validated in large prospective clinical trials. However, one important pitfall limiting its widespread use in clinical practice is the reported interobserver variability, due to the previous lack of a standardized approach for quantification among different laboratories. In the present review, we describe some of the major techniques to assess cell proliferation in MCL, focusing in particular on the Ki-67 index and its need for a standardized approach to be used in multicenter clinical trials. The value of MCL biologic prognostic scores (as MIPI-b) is discussed, along with our proposal on how to integrate these scores in the planning of future trials investigating a tailored therapeutic approach for patients with MCL. ©2014 AACR.

Jin X.,University of Kiel | Gotz M.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Wille S.,University of Kiel | Wille S.,Universitatsklinikum Schleswig Holstein Campus Kiel | And 3 more authors.
Advanced Materials | Year: 2013

The stress-induced photo-luminescence response of tetrapodal shaped ZnO filler embedded in a silicone elastomer is used to demonstrate a novel concept for self-reporting materials. Applied tensile stress can be followed in composites with low and high filler fractions by measuring the photoluminescence response of the T-ZnO. The deformation of the interlocked ZnO network appears to be essential for the self-reporting mechanism. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Austenfeld M.,University of Kiel | Beyschlag W.,Bielefeld University
Journal of Statistical Software | Year: 2012

For many ecological analyses powerful statistical tools are required for a profound analysis of spatial and time based data sets. In order to avoid many common errors of analysis and data acquisition a graphical user interface can help to focus on the task of the analysis and minimize the time to fulfill certain tasks in a programming language like R. In this paper we present a graphical user interface for R embedded in the ecological modeling software Bio7 which is based on an Eclipse rich client platform. We demonstrate that within the Bio7 platform R can not only be effectively combined with Java but also with the powerful components of Eclipse. Additionally we present some custom Bio7 components which interact with R and make use of some useful advanced concepts and libraries of this connection. Our overview on the Bio7 R interface also emphasizes a broad applicability for disciplines beyond ecological modeling.

Sauter M.,University of Kiel | Moffatt B.,University of Waterloo | Saechao M.C.,University of Waterloo | Hell R.,University of Heidelberg | Wirtz M.,University of Heidelberg
Biochemical Journal | Year: 2013

Both Met (methionine) and SAM (S-adenosylmethionine), the activated form of Met, participate in a number of essential metabolic pathways in plants. The subcellular compartmentalization of Met fluxes will be discussed in the present review with respect to regulation and communication with the sulfur assimilation pathway, the network of the aspartate-derived amino acids and the demand for production of SAM. SAM enters the ethylene, nicotianamine and polyamine biosynthetic pathways and provides the methyl group for the majority of methylation reactions required for plant growth and development. Themultiple essential roles of SAM require regulation of its synthesis, recycling and distribution to sustain these different pathways. A particular focus of the present review will be on the function of recently identified genes of the Met salvage cycle or Yang cycle and the importance of the Met salvage cycle in the metabolism of MTA(5-methylthioadenosine).MTAhas the potential for product inhibition of ethylene, nicotianamine and polyamine biosynthesis which provides an additional link between these pathways. Interestingly, regulation of Met cycle geneswas found to differ between plant species as shown for Arabidopsis thaliana and Oryza sativa. © 2013 The Author(s).

Frey N.,University of Kiel | Luedde M.,University of Kiel | Katus H.A.,University of Heidelberg
Nature Reviews Cardiology | Year: 2012

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most-common monogenically inherited form of heart disease, characterized by thickening of the left ventricular wall, contractile dysfunction, and potentially fatal arrhythmias. HCM is also the most-common cause of sudden cardiac death in individuals younger than 35 years of age. Much progress has been made in the elucidation of the genetic basis of HCM, resulting in the identification of more than 900 individual mutations in over 20 genes. Interestingly, most of these genes encode sarcomeric proteins, such as myosin-7 (also known as cardiac muscle β-myosin heavy chain; MYH7), cardiac myosin-binding protein C (MYBPC3), and cardiac muscle troponin T (TNNT2). However, the molecular events that ultimately lead to the clinical phenotype of HCM are still unclear. We discuss several potential pathways, which include altered calcium cycling and sarcomeric calcium sensitivity, increased fibrosis, disturbed biomechanical stress sensing, and impaired cardiac energy homeostasis. An improved understanding of the pathological mechanisms involved will result in greater specificity and success of therapies for patients with HCM. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

McCord J.,University of Kiel | Mangin S.,CNRS Jean Lamour Institute
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2013

The temperature and time dependence of exchange bias for as-deposited Ni81Fe19-NiO films is studied. Using various cooling and measurement protocols, different contributions to the exchange anisotropy are separated. Depending on the cooling procedure, a strong increase or a controlled reversal of sign of exchange bias field is achieved at lower temperatures far away from the antiferromagnetic blocking temperature. The behavior is explained in terms of antiferromagnetic grain instability and the influence of the interfacial spin structure, the latter freezing at very low temperatures. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Gedamu D.,University of Kiel | Paulowicz I.,University of Kiel | Kaps S.,University of Kiel | Lupan O.,University of Kiel | And 6 more authors.
Advanced Materials | Year: 2014

Two flame-based synthesis methods are presented for fabricating ZnO-nanostructure-based UV photodetectors: burner flame transport synthesis (B-FTS)and crucible flame transport synthesis (C-FTS). B-FTS allows rapid growth of ZnO nanotetrapods and in situ bridging of them into electrical contacts. The photo detector made from interconnected ZnO nanotetrapod networks exhibits fast response/recovery times and a high current ratio under UV illumination. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Klein B.,University of California at Los Angeles | Jura M.,University of California at Los Angeles | Koester D.,University of Kiel | Zuckerman B.,University of California at Los Angeles
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

We report Keck High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer data and model atmosphere analysis of two helium-dominated white dwarfs, PG1225-079 and HS2253+8023, whose heavy pollutions most likely derive from the accretion of terrestrial-type planet(esimal)s. For each system, the minimum accreted mass is 1022 g, that of a large asteroid. In PG1225-079, Mg, Cr, Mn, Fe, and Ni have abundance ratios similar to bulk Earth values, while we measure four refractory elements, Ca, Sc, Ti, and V, all at a factor of ∼2-3 higher abundance than in the bulk Earth. For HS2253+8023 the swallowed material was compositionally similar to bulk Earth in being more than 85% by mass in the major element species, O, Mg, Si, and Fe, and with abundances in the distinctive proportions of mineral oxides - compelling evidence for an origin in a rocky parent body. Including previous studies we now know of four heavily polluted white dwarfs where the measured oxygen and hydrogen are consistent with the view that the parents' bodies formed with little ice, interior to any snow line in their nebular environments. The growing handful of polluted white dwarf systems with comprehensive abundance measurements form a baseline for characterizing rocky exoplanet compositions that can be compared with bulk Earth. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.5.1 | Award Amount: 8.27M | Year: 2013

WELCOME is an ambitious project aiming to develop an integrated care approach for continuous monitoring, early diagnosis and detection of worsening events and treatment of patients suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) with comorbidities Chronic Heart Failure, Diabetes, Anxiety and Depression.The WELCOME solution for the patient will be based on:1. An adjustable, wearable and washable vest providing continuous monitoring of a large number of sensors each one measuring various physiological signals, like chest sounds, pleural effusion, tachycardia or arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation etc,. The vest will be comfortable, inconspicuous, and easy to put on by the patient, it will require simple maintenance (simultaneous sensor recharging, normal washing procedure) and can be modified according to each patients individual needs.2. Wearable sensors for measuring blood trends like glucose, cholesterols, triglycerides, potassium, serum creatinine, blood pressure etc in a periodic basis.3. Inhaler devices for measuring and evaluating the medical adherence of the patients.Remote, continuous monitoring and analysis of patient multi-parametric data, such as physiological, environmental, emotional and genetic data, will be used for designing the personalized integrated care programs ranging from self-care guidance and regulation (e.g e-coaching) at home and outdoors to professional primary and secondary health-care support (e.g including telemonitoring and remote support or comprehensive expert support at the clinic). The process will be facilitated by a cloud based Decision Support System, providing statistical/intelligent analysis of the therapy policies and patient conditions enhanced by multiple patients data fusion and discovery of patterns on the patients disease progress.Great attention will be paid to the small-scale validation of the project and its impact on healthcare in five countries (Greece, UK, Ireland, Germany and Nethelands).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: GERI-4-2015 | Award Amount: 2.23M | Year: 2016

Baltic Gender is a consortium of research organisations and higher education institutions from the Baltic Sea Region aiming at reducing gender segregation and gender inequalities in Marine Science and Technology. The diversity of the consortium members (from Nordic, Continental and Eastern countries) with regard to gender equality policies and practices as well as gatekeeping provides an excellent basis for exchange, comparison, collaborative learning and transfer of knowledge. The action will work toward the establishment and implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEPs) as instruments that can catalyse institutional change. Collection, standardisation and evaluation of gender-segregated data will facilitate the establishment of gender-sensitive indicators and enable the consortium to develop concrete targets and measures for reaching the set goals of the GEPs and to monitor the progress of their implementation. GEP implementation activities will be supported by established approaches and innovative strategies developed in the four core work packages on (i) career advancement, (ii) work and family, (iii) structural changes, and (iv) gender dimension in marine research. Cross-cutting work packages will support actions progress via giving trainings, strengthening networks, raising awareness, disseminating results and reaching out to a wider scientific community and public in general. The outputs are designed to maximize impact and, due to the inter-disciplinary nature of marine sciences, to have a broader impact in the field of natural science and technology. The deliverables include blogs, brochures, best-practice handbooks, recommendations, training-materials, synthesis reports. Schemes and good practices established during the action (e.g., grass-root networks, work-family balance, transparency in decision making, modernised recruitment processes, mentoring) are foreseen to pave the way for long-lasting institutional practices.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 909.00K | Year: 2016

EXCHANGE-Risk is an Intersectoral/International Research and Innovation staff exchange scheme between academia and the industry in Europe and North America focusing on mitigating Seismic Risk of buried steel pipeline Networks that are subjected to ground-imposed permanent deformations. It also aims at developing a Decision Support System for the Rapid Pipeline Recovery to minimize the time required for inspection and rehabilitation in case of a major earthquake. EXCHANGE-Risk involves novel hybrid experimental and numerical work of the soil-pileline system at a pipe, pipeline and network level integrated with innovative technologies for rapid pipe inspection. The outcome of the project is a series of well targeted exchanges between the partners (involving more than 30 early stage and experienced researchers) within a well defined framework of innovation that ensures transfer of knowledge between the academia and the industry, Europe and North America as well wide dissemination of the methodologies and tools developed to the engineering community.

Gruenewald M.,University of Kiel | Ilies C.,Cardiovascular Clinic
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Anaesthesiology | Year: 2013

At present, short-acting drugs are used in order to achieve the three components of anaesthesia, that is, analgesia, hypnosis and immobility. Assessment of the 'analgesia' component in daily clinical routine is, in contrast to the other components, still based on very unspecific clinical 'end' points such as movement, tearing, tachycardia or hypertension. Individually tailored analgesia, however, should enable to maintain an individual nociceptive-anti-nociceptive balance and better avoid these unwanted responses to surgical stimulation. During the last decade, a variety of monitoring systems were developed in order to assess the nociceptive balance. These are, among others, based on the frontal electroencephalography (EEG) and electromyography (EMG) response, evaluation of the autonomic state and autonomic reactions, spinal reflex pathways and calculated drug concentrations. The present review gives an overview on the topic of 'analgesia' monitoring, the available monitoring systems and their clinical evaluation. Most of the systems allow a rapid detection of the nociceptive input; nonetheless, the prediction of an autonomic or somatic response has still to be improved. Several studies reported fewer unwanted events, reduced opioid consumption and shorter emergence from anaesthesia, when opioid administration was based upon monitoring of the nociceptive-anti-nociceptive balance. However, research on the mechanisms of pain processing and for better tools to assess the 'analgesia' component has to continue in order to improve our daily practice. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Paemeleire K.,Ghent University | Bartsch T.,University of Kiel
Neurotherapeutics | Year: 2010

Occipital nerve stimulation (ONS) was originally described in the treatment of occipital neuralgia. However, the spectrum of possible indications has expanded in recent years to include primary headache disorders, such as migraine and cluster headaches. Retrospective and some prospective studies have yielded encouraging results, and evidence from controlled clinical trials is emerging, offering hope for refractory headache patients. In this article we discuss the scientific rationale to use ONS to treat headache disorders, with emphasis on the trigeminocervical complex. ONS is far from a standardized technique at the moment and the recent literature on the topic is reviewed, both with respect to the procedure and its possible complications. An important way to move forward in the scientific evaluation of ONS to treat refractory headache is the clinical phenotyping of patients to identify patients groups with the highest likelihood to respond to this modality of treatment. This requires multidisciplinary assessment of patients. The development of ONS as a new treatment for refractory headache offers an exciting prospect to treat our most disabled headache patients. Data from ongoing controlled trials will undoubtedly shed new light on some of the unresolved questions. © 2010 The American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics, Inc.

Ding H.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Greatbatch R.J.,University of Kiel | Latif M.,University of Kiel | Park W.,Leibniz Institute of Marine Science | Gerdes R.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Journal of Climate | Year: 2013

The use of a coupled ocean-atmosphere-sea ice model to hindcast (i.e., historical forecast) recent climate variability is described and illustrated for the cases of the 1976/77 and 1998/99 climate shift events in the Pacific. The initialization is achieved by running the coupled model in partially coupled mode whereby global observed wind stress anomalies are used to drive the ocean/sea ice component of the coupled model while maintaining the thermodynamic coupling between the ocean/sea ice and atmosphere components. Here it is shown that hindcast experiments can successfully capture many features associated with the 1976/77 and 1998/99 climate shifts. For instance, hindcast experiments started from the beginning of 1976 can capture sea surface temperature (SST) warming in the central-eastern equatorial Pacific and the positive phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) throughout the 9 years following the 1976/77 climate shift, including the deepening of the Aleutian low pressure system. Hindcast experiments started from the beginning of 1998 can also capture part of the anomalous conditions during the 4 years after the 1998/99 climate. The authors argue that the dynamical adjustment of heat content anomalies that are present in the initial conditions in the tropics is important for the successful hindcast of the two climate shifts. © 2013 American Meteorological Society.

Perino G.,University of East Anglia | Requate T.,University of Kiel
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management | Year: 2012

We show that for a broad class of technologies the relationship between policy stringency and the rate of technology adoption is inverted U-shaped. This happens when the marginal abatement cost (MAC) curves of conventional and new technologies intersect, which invariably occurs when emissions are proportional to output and technological progress reduces emissions per output. This outcome does not result from policy failure. On the contrary, in social optimum, the relationship between the slope of the marginal damage curve and the rate of technology adoption is also inverted U-shaped. Under more general conditions, these curves can look even more complicated (e.g., such as inverted W-shaped). © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Vanden Berghe T.,Inflammation Research Center | Vanden Berghe T.,Ghent University | Linkermann A.,University of Kiel
Kidney International | Year: 2015

Necrosis is not only a regulated process, it is an interconnected molecular network allowing different genetically encoded forms that are more or less immunogenic. Zhao et al. elegantly illustrate this concept, underscore the need for combination therapy to successfully interfere with regulated necrosis, and identify the role of regulated necrosis in the pathophysiology of remote lung injury. © 2015 International Society of Nephrology.

Schonborn J.B.,University of Potsdam | Hartke B.,University of Kiel
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2014

With the present theoretical study of the photochemical switching of E-methylfurylfulgide we contribute an important step towards the understanding of the photochemical processes in furylfulgide-related molecules. We have carried out large-scale, full-dimensional direct semiempirical configuration-interaction surface-hopping dynamics of the photoinduced ring-closure reaction. Simulated static and dynamical UV/Vis-spectra show good agreement with experimental data of the same molecule. By a careful investigation of our dynamical data, we were able to identify marked differences to the dynamics of the previously studied E-isopropylfurylfulgide. With our simulations we can not only reproduce the experimentally observed quantum yield differences qualitatively but we can also pinpoint two reasons for them: kinematics and pre-orientation. With our analysis, we thus offer straightforward molecular explanations for the high sensitivity of the photodynamics towards seemingly minor changes in molecular constitution. Beyond the realm of furylfulgides, these insights provide additional guidance to the rational design of photochemically switchable molecules. © 2014 the Owner Societies.

Dargaville P.A.,University of Tasmania | Rimensberger P.C.,University of Geneva | Frerichs I.,University of Kiel
Intensive Care Medicine | Year: 2010

Purpose: To determine whether, during mechanical ventilation, an optimal positive endexpiratory pressure (PEEP) can be identified by measurement of regional tidal volume and compliance [VT(reg), CRS(reg)]. Methods: Sixteen anaesthetized intubated neonatal piglets underwent a stepwise vital capacity manoeuvre performed during pressure control ventilation, with 5 cmH2O PEEP increments to 25 cmH2O, and decrements to 0 cmH2O. Peak inflating pressure was 10 cmH2O above PEEP throughout. The manoeuvre was performed in the normal lung, after repeated saline lavage and after surfactant therapy. Global VT and CRS were measured at the airway opening; VT(reg) and CRS(reg) were measured in the ventral, medial and dorsal lung using electrical impedance tomography (EIT). Results: Most uniform distribution of regional tidal ventilation was noted during PEEP decrements after lung recruitment, at varying PEEP levels. In the lavaged and surfactant-treated lung the PEEP optimal for ventilation distribution was also associated with highest mean V T(reg) [lavaged: 95 ± 9.3% of maximum, mean ± standard deviation (SD); surfactant-treated: 92 ± 17%] and global VT (96 ± 10%; 96 ± 15%). Regional CRS plots clearly demonstratedco-existent ventral overdistension and dorsal recruitment, particularly during PEEP increments; whereas during PEEP decrements, peak CRS(reg) values showed considerable interregional concordance [e.g. peak CRS(reg) in the lavaged left lung; ventral: 0.017 ± 0.0036; medial: 0.016 ± 0.0054; dorsal: 0.017 ± 0.0073 cmH 2O-1; P = 0.98, analysis of variance (ANOVA)]. Conclusions: After lung recruitment, a PEEP level can be identified by EIT at which tidal ventilation is uniformly distributed, with associated concordance in compliance between lung regions. Bedside monitoring of regional tidal ventilation and compliance using EIT may thus aid in PEEP selection. © The Author(s) 2010.

Kralemann B.,University of Kiel | Pikovsky A.,University of Potsdam | Pikovsky A.,Novgorod State University | Rosenblum M.,University of Potsdam
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2014

We present a novel approach for recovery of the directional connectivity of a small oscillator network by means of the phase dynamics reconstruction from multivariate time series data. The main idea is to use a triplet analysis instead of the traditional pairwise one. Our technique reveals an effective phase connectivity which is generally not equivalent to a structural one. We demonstrate that by comparing the coupling functions from all possible triplets of oscillators, we are able to achieve in the reconstruction a good separation between existing and non-existing connections, and thus reliably reproduce the network structure. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.

Wessels C.,Nordex Energy GmbH | Hoffmann N.,University of Kiel | Molinas M.,Norwegian University of Science and Technology | Fuchs F.W.,University of Kiel
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics | Year: 2013

The stability of fixed-speed induction generator (FSIG)-based wind turbines can be improved by a StatCom, which is well known and documented in the literature for balanced grid voltage dips. Under unbalanced grid voltage dips, the negative-sequence voltage causes heavy generator torque oscillations that reduce the lifetime of the drive train. In this paper, investigations on an FSIG-based wind farm in combination with a StatCom under unbalanced grid voltage fault are carried out by means of theory, simulations, and measurements. A StatCom control structure with the capability to coordinate the control between the positive and the negative sequence of the grid voltage is proposed. The results clarify the effect of the positive- and the negative-sequence voltage compensation by a StatCom on the operation of the FSIG-based wind farm. With first priority, the StatCom ensures the maximum fault-ride-through enhancement of the wind farm by compensating the positive-sequence voltage. The remaining StatCom current capability of the StatCom is controlled to compensate the negative-sequence voltage, in order to reduce the torque oscillations. The theoretical analyses are verified by simulations and measurement results on a 22-kW laboratory setup. © 1982-2012 IEEE.

Nelson-Sathi S.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Sousa F.L.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Roettger M.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Lozada-Chavez N.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | And 9 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

Themechanisms that underlie the origin of major prokaryotic groups are poorly understood. In principle, the origin of both species and higher taxa among prokaryotes should entail similar mechanisms-ecological interactions with the environment paired with natural genetic variation involving lineage-specific gene innovations and lineage-specific gene acquisitions1-4.To investigate the origin of higher taxa in archaea, we have determined gene distributions and gene phylogenies for the 267,568 protein-coding genes of 134 sequenced archaeal genomes in the context of their homologues from 1,847 reference bacterial genomes. Archaeal-specific gene families define 13 traditionally recognized archaeal higher taxa in our sample. Here we report that the origins of these 13 groups unexpectedly correspond to 2,264 group-specific gene acquisitions frombacteria. Interdomain gene transfer is highly asymmetric, transfers frombacteria to archaea aremore than fivefold more frequent than vice versa. Gene transfers identified atmajor evolutionary transitionsamong prokaryotes specifically implicate gene acquisitions for metabolic functions from bacteria as key innovations in the origin of higher archaeal taxa. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Freeman R.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Baron R.,University of Kiel | Bouhassira D.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | Bouhassira D.,University of Versailles | And 2 more authors.
Pain | Year: 2014

This manuscript aimed to characterize the clinical profile of various neuropathic pain (NeP) disorders and to identify whether patterns of sensory symptoms/signs exist, based on baseline responses on the Neuropathic Pain Symptom Inventory (NPSI) questionnaire and the quantitative sensory testing (QST). These post hoc analyses were based on data from 4 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies of pregabalin (150-600 mg/day) in patients with NeP syndromes: central poststroke pain, posttraumatic peripheral pain, painful HIV neuropathy, and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. The NPSI questionnaire includes 10 different pain symptom descriptors. QST was used to detect sensory thresholds of accurately calibrated sensory stimuli and to quantify the intensity of evoked sensation. To identify symptoms/signs clusters and select the number of clusters, a principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical clustering methods with clinical input were used. Analysis of the NPSI pain qualities and individual QST measures at baseline indicated no clear association between particular symptoms/signs profiles and etiologies. Based on NPSI symptoms, PCA identified 3 pain dimensions: provoked, deep, and pinpoint. A hierarchical cluster analysis identified 3 clusters with distinct pain characteristics profiles independent of NeP syndrome. Based on QST signs, PCA identified 2 pain dimensions: evoked by cold and evoked by touch. A hierarchical cluster analysis identified 4 clusters with distinct pain characteristics profiles. These "trans-etiological" profiles may reflect distinct pathophysiological mechanisms and therefore, potential differential responses to treatment. © 2013 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Poetsch M.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Von Wurmb-Schwark N.,University of Kiel
International Journal of Legal Medicine | Year: 2013

Allele frequencies for those short tandem repeats (STRs) used in forensic routine analysis are necessary for any biostatistical calculation. In this study, allele frequencies for the STRs of the Powerplex ESX® kit including the five STRs D1S1656, D2S441, D10S1248, D12S391 and D22S1045 only recently added to the German database standard in an admixed population from Turkey are presented. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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.

Haie-Meder C.,Institute Gustave Roussy | Siebert F.-A.,University of Kiel | Potter R.,Medical University of Vienna
Radiotherapy and Oncology | Year: 2011

Brachytherapy has consistently provided a very conformal radiation therapy modality. Over the last two decades this has been associated with significant improvements in imaging for brachytherapy applications (prostate, gynecology), resulting in many positive advances in treatment planning, application techniques and clinical outcome. This is emphasized by the increased use of brachytherapy in Europe with gynecology as continuous basis and prostate and breast as more recently growing fields. Image guidance enables exact knowledge of the applicator together with improved visualization of tumor and target volumes as well as of organs at risk providing the basis for very individualized 3D and 4D treatment planning. In this commentary the most important recent developments in prostate, gynecological and breast brachytherapy are reviewed, with a focus on European recent and current research aiming at the definition of areas for important future research. Moreover the positive impact of GEC-ESTRO recommendations and the highlights of brachytherapy physics are discussed what altogether presents a full overview of modern image guided brachytherapy. An overview is finally provided on past and current international brachytherapy publications focusing on "Radiotherapy and Oncology". These data show tremendous increase in almost all research areas over the last three decades strongly influenced recently by translational research in regard to imaging and technology. In order to provide high level clinical evidence for future brachytherapy practice the strong need for comprehensive prospective clinical research addressing brachytherapy issues is high-lighted. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sohel M.S.I.,University of Kiel | Ullah M.H.,University of Algarve
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2012

Coastal ecosystem of Bangladesh has experienced notable degradation due to shrimp farming during the last two decades. This shrimp farming industry has been heavily criticized because of its devastating ecological and socio-economic impacts and requires major changes in practice to become environmentally sustainable. Therefore, this study proposes an ecohydrology based shrimp farming (ESF) approach to management practice which has the potential to reverse the degradation of coastal ecosystems. To make such as strategy successful, a change in present practice is needed and must be accepted by the farm owner (e.g. national and multinational investors) as well as supported by the policy makers. Shrimp farming will continue to degrade coastal ecosystems as well as the farms themselves unless change is made to current management and practices. So, there is therefore, an urgent need to develop a better understanding of the interaction between biota and water of this coastal ecosystem, which is the core concern of ecohydrology. Then to develop ecohydrology based shrimp farming (ESF) system that includes the introduction of a sequential ponds, buffer zone with halophytes, and constructed wetland. This would enhance the carrying capacity of the shrimp farm and the local coastal ecosystem, thereby increase overall resilience against anthropogenic pressure. This approach could be highly successful and effective by finding out the suitable salt accumulator halophytes, the width of buffer zone, the size of fish-bivalves pond, sediment trap pond and constructed wetland. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Ott T.,University of Kiel | Kahlert H.,University of Kiel | Reynolds A.,University of Kiel | Reynolds A.,University of Birmingham | Bonitz M.,University of Kiel
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

A first-principles study of the collective oscillation spectrum of a strongly correlated one-component plasma in a strong magnetic field is presented. The spectrum consists of six fundamental modes that are found to be in good agreement with results from the quasilocalized charge approximation. At high frequencies, additional modes are observed that include Bernstein-type oscillations and their transverse counterparts, which are of importance for the high-frequency optical and transport properties of these plasmas. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Leduc G.,University of Kiel | Schneider R.,University of Kiel | Kim J.-H.,Netherlands Institute for Sea Research | Lohmann G.,Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research
Quaternary Science Reviews | Year: 2010

In this study we review a global set of alkenone- and foraminiferal Mg/Ca-derived sea surface temperatures (SST) records from the Holocene and compare them with a suite of published Eemian SST records based on the same approach. For the Holocene, the alkenone SST records belong to the actualized GHOST database (Kim, J.-H., Schneider R.R., (2004). GHOST global database for alkenone-derived Holocene sea-surface temperature records. Available from:, while the Mg/Ca-derived SST database represents a new compilation. The actualized GHOST database not only confirms the SST changes previously described but also documents the Holocene temperature evolution in new oceanic regions such as the Northwestern Atlantic, the eastern equatorial Pacific, and the Southern Ocean. A comparison of Holocene SST records stemming from the two commonly applied paleothermometry methods reveals contrasting - sometimes divergent - SST evolution, particularly at low latitudes where SST records are abundant enough to infer systematic discrepancies at a regional scale. Opposite SST trends at particular locations could be explained by out-of-phase trends in seasonal insolation during the Holocene. This hypothesis assumes that a strong contrast in the ecological responses of coccolithophores and planktonic foraminifera to winter and summer oceanographic conditions is the ultimate reason for seasonal differences in the origin of the temperature signal provided by these organisms. As a simple test for this hypothesis, Eemian SST records are considered because the Holocene and Eemian time periods experienced comparable changes in orbital configurations, but had a higher magnitude in insolation variance during the Eemian. For several regions, SST changes during both interglacials were of a similar sign, but with higher magnitudes during the Eemian as compared to the Holocene. This observation suggests that the ecological mechanism shaping SST trends during the Holocene was comparable during the penultimate interglacial period. Although this "ecology hypothesis" fails to explain all of the available results, we argue that any other mechanism would fail to satisfactorily explain the observed SST discrepancies among proxies. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SSH.2013.1.3-2 | Award Amount: 2.78M | Year: 2014

The ability of financial markets to bear risk is central to economic welfare and stability. Growth and economic wellbeing is inhibited if financial markets are unable to transfer resources efficiently from the suppliers of liquidity to entrepreneurs. However, this proper functioning of financial markets has been distorted by levels of volatility considerably in excess of those implied by fundamentals. Markets have undergone dramatic crashes and they display speculative bubbles with market prices far removed from their equilibrium values. Economic research has hitherto been able to make only limited progress in resolving these important practical and policy relevant issues of the apparent instability in financial markets. This proposal seeks to develop elements of a new paradigm which (i) explicitly takes into account the existence of various forms of heterogeneous, boundedly rational behaviour in financial markets as well as in goods and labour markets, (ii) investigates the potential of such behaviour to generate bubbles, crashes and a system-wide break down of activity as collective outcomes of individual activities, (iii) investigates the linkages and repercussions between the complex area of financial activity and real economic activity which could be affected by e.g., the cancellation of credit lines and a breakdown of expected liquidity provision, (iv) studies how the transmission channel of monetary policy works in times of distress in the financial markets (particularly the interbank market) and how it could restore the credit flow from banks to companies operating in the real sector. We will adopt a methodologically pluralistic approach trying to augment existing macro models and construct new (agent-based) ones from bottom-up. The results will provide insights into the consequences of different modelling paradigms for the conduct of monetary policy, and in particular, appropriate reactions of monetary authorities to prevalent financial distress.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2008

Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) constitute a group of rare to very rare mostly heritable disorders affecting the genito-urinary tract and in most instances also the endocrine-reproductive system. We hypothesize that stringent and stepwise analysis of cases with DSD will result in a systematic and reliable discovery of DSD-relevant biochemical, genetic and functional profiles, allowing for the detection of new diagnostic markers, both in steroid biosynthesis as well as in genetics to provide the basis for explaining the nature of these disorders. Characterization of the functional aspects of androgen action as the main basis for sex-related phenotype will improve the understanding of the pathophysiology of DSD phenotypes. This will allow for better decision-making in gender assignment and therapeutic approaches to DSD as well as improve gender medicine in general.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-18-2015 | Award Amount: 5.54M | Year: 2016

Each year 15 million babies are born prematurely and many suffer from respiratory failure due to immaturity of the lung and lack of control of breathing. Although respiratory support, especially mechanical ventilation, can improve their survival, it also causes severe injury to the vulnerable lung resulting in severe and chronic pulmonary morbidity lasting in to adulthood. Heterogeneity of lung aeration, resulting in areas of lung over inflation and lung collapse, plays a crucial part in the risk of mortality and morbidity due to respiratory failure. This distribution of lung aeration cannot be detected by currently available bedside monitoring tools and imaging methods. Thus, an imaging technique for continuous non-invasive bedside monitoring of infants lung function is urgently needed. In order to address this, CRADL will use EIT technology to establish a monitoring tool for interventions in the paediatric population. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is a non-radiative, inexpensive technique that can facilitate real time dynamic monitoring of lung aeration, and recent studies have shown that it is effective in monitoring aeration in preterm babies. CRADL will show how EIT can provide new cost effective, easy to use, respiratory management tools and clinical protocols that can be universally adopted to reduce deaths and disability in preterm babies by delivering a tool that provides continuous, non-invasive, radiation free, bedside information on regional lung aeration and ventilation during daily clinical care of (preterm) infants and children with respiratory failure. CRADL will also assess the effectiveness, efficacy and safety of such a system in guiding respiratory management and supportive care of the most common causes of paediatric respiratory failure (respiratory distress syndrome, bronchiolitis and acute respiratory distress syndrome), with the final goal of reducing short and long term adverse effects of disease and its treatment in this populat

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2008

COCOS will assess the status of harmonization of key carbon cycle variables with international partners. It will improve the interoperability of data sets that are used in global scale carbon cycle studies through joint activities between ecosystem, atmospheric and ocean bottom-up and top down observation communities. COCOS will also perform integrated regional-scale multiple constraint assessments of the land and ocean carbon balance through the use of harmonized data sets. It will identify, narrow down uncertainties and decrease differences in emerging global data sets that are aimed at providing constraints on the vulnerability of the global carbon cycle. COCOS will thus contribute to the implementation and improvement of global observing systems. It will organize a large international conference to demonstrate the status and way ahead of global carbon observations in light of monitoring requirements for GEO and the implementation of future climate change mitigation commitments. As such, it will contribute to an effective monitoring of the carbon cycle at global level as recommended by GEO and GCOS in supporting the European participation to an international CO2 research monitoring project. The research and harmonization work developed in this proposal will contribute significantly to building an integrated global approach that promotes close collaboration with the international carbon cycle research community.

Bosy-Westphal A.,University of Hohenheim | Bosy-Westphal A.,University of Kiel | Muller M.J.,University of Kiel
International Journal of Obesity | Year: 2015

Although reduced skeletal muscle mass is a major predictor of impaired physical function and survival, it remains inconsistently diagnosed to a lack of standardized diagnostic approaches that is reflected by the variable combination of body composition indices and cutoffs. In this review, we summarized basic determinants of a normal lean mass (age, gender, fat mass, body region) and demonstrate limitations of different lean mass parameters as indices for skeletal muscle mass. A unique definition of lean mass depletion should be based on an indirect or direct measure of skeletal muscle mass normalized for height (fat-free mass index (FFMI), appendicular or lumbal skeletal muscle index (SMI)) in combination with fat mass. Age-specific reference values for FFMI or SMI are more advantageous because defining lean mass depletion on the basis of total FFMI or appendicular SMI could be misleading in the case of advanced age due to an increased contribution of connective tissue to lean mass. Mathematical modeling of a normal lean mass based on age, gender, fat mass, ethnicity and height can be used in the absence of risk-defined cutoffs to identify skeletal muscle mass depletion. This definition can be applied to identify different clinical phenotypes like sarcopenia, sarcopenic obesity or cachexia. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Scheller J.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Garbers C.,University of Kiel | Rose-John S.,University of Kiel
Seminars in Immunology | Year: 2014

Cytokines receptors exist in membrane bound and soluble form. A soluble form of the human IL-6R is generated by limited proteolysis and alternative splicing. The complex of IL-6 and soluble IL-6R stimulates target cells not stimulated by IL-6 alone, since they do not express the membrane bound IL-6R. We have named this process trans-signaling. Soluble gp130 is the natural inhibitor of IL-6/soluble IL-6R complex responses. Recombinant soluble gp130 protein is a molecular tool to discriminate between gp130 responses via membrane bound and soluble IL-6R responses. Neutralizing monoclonal antibodies for global blockade of IL-6 signaling and the sgp130Fc protein for selective blockade of IL-6 trans-signaling have been used in several animal models of human diseases. Using the sgp130Fc protein or sgp130Fc transgenic mice we demonstrate in models of inflammatory bowel disease, peritonitis, rheumatoid arthritis, atherosclerosis pancreatitis, colon cancer, ovarian cancer and pancreatic cancer, that IL-6 trans-signaling via the soluble IL-6R is the crucial step in the development and the progression of the disease. Therefore, sgp130Fc is a novel therapeutic agent for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer and it undergoes phase I clinical trials as an anti-inflammatory drug since June 2013. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Ott T.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Ott T.,University of Kiel | Lowen H.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Bonitz M.,University of Kiel
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

Crystallization in a two-dimensional strongly coupled plasma from a rapidly cooled fluid is found to be efficiently blocked by an external magnetic field. Beyond a threshold of the magnetic field strength B, the relaxation time to the equilibrium crystal increases exponentially with B, which is attributed to an impeded conversion of potential to kinetic energy. Our finding is opposed to the standard picture of two-dimensional freezing of one-component systems which does not exhibit a nucleation barrier and opens the way to keep two-dimensional fluids metastable over long times. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Westphal F.,State Bureau of Criminal Investigation Schleswig Holstein | Sonnichsen F.D.,University of Kiel | Thiemt S.,Bavarian State Criminal Police Office
Forensic Science International | Year: 2012

Besides the cannabinoid mimetic JWH-073, a novel 4 methylnaphthoyl homologue of JWH-073 was detected in a herbal mixture. The structure of the compound was elucidated after thin layer chromatographic enrichment from the herbal mixture by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and gas chromatographic mass spectrometric (GC-MS) analysis. The paper outlines data after GC-MS, liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) and NMR spectroscopy, and describes the structure elucidation. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Locatelli F.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Bambino Gesu Childrens Hospital | Locatelli F.,University of Pavia | Schrappe M.,University of Kiel | Bernardo M.E.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Bambino Gesu Childrens Hospital | Rutella S.,Instituto Of Ricovero E Cura A Carattere Scientifico Bambino Gesu Childrens Hospital
Blood | Year: 2012

The most common cause of treatment failure in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) remains relapse, occurring in ∼ 15%-20% of patients. Survival of relapsed patients can be predicted by site of relapse, length of first complete remission, and immunophenotype of relapsed ALL. BM and early relapse (< 30 months from diagnosis), as well as T-ALL, are associated with worse prognosis than isolated extramedullary or late relapse (> 30 months from diagnosis). In addition, persistence of minimal residual disease (MRD) at the end of induction or consolidation therapy predicts poor outcome because children with detectable MRD are more likely to relapse than those in molecular remission, even after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. We offer hematopoietic stem cell transplantation to any child with high-risk features because these patients are virtually incurable with chemotherapy alone. By contrast, we treat children with first late BM relapse of B-cell precursor ALL and good clearance of MRD with a chemotherapy approach. We use both systemic and local treatment for extramedullary relapse, mainly represented by radiotherapy and, in case of testicular involvement, by orchiectomy. Innovative approaches, including new agents or strategies of immunotherapy, are under investigation in trials enrolling patients with resistant or more advanced disease. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.

Garbers C.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Hermanns H.M.,University of Würzburg | Schaper F.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg | Muller-Newen G.,RWTH Aachen | And 3 more authors.
Cytokine and Growth Factor Reviews | Year: 2012

Interleukin (IL)-6-type cytokines are critically involved in health and disease. The duration and strength of IL-6-type cytokine-mediated signaling is tightly regulated to avoid overshooting activities. Here, molecular mechanisms of inter-familiar cytokine cross-talk are reviewed which regulate dynamics and strength of IL-6 signal transduction. Both plasticity and cytokine cross-talk are significantly involved in pro- and anti-inflammatory/regenerative properties of IL-6-type cytokines. Furthermore, we focus on IL-6-type cytokine/cytokine receptor plasticity and cross-talk exemplified by the recently identified composite cytokines IL-30/IL-6R and IL-35, the first inter-familiar IL-6/IL-12 family member. The complete understanding of the intra- and extracellular cytokine networks will aid to develop novel tailor-made therapeutic strategies with reduced side effects. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Diel R.,University of Kiel | Lampenius N.,University of Hohenheim | Nienhaus A.,University of Hamburg
PharmacoEconomics | Year: 2015

Objective: In view of the goal of eliminating tuberculosis (TB) by 2050, economic evaluations of interventions against the development of TB are increasingly requested. Little research has been published on the incremental cost effectiveness of preventative therapy (PT) in groups at high risk for progression from latent TB infection (LTBI) with Mycobacterium TB (MTB) to active disease. A systematic review of studies with a primary focus on model-driving inputs and methodological differences was conducted. Methods: A search of MEDLINE, the Cochrane Library and EMBASE to July 2014 was undertaken, and reference lists of eligible articles and relevant reviews were examined. Results: A total of 876 citations were retrieved, with a total of 24 studies being eligible for inclusion, addressing six high-risk groups other than contact persons. Results varied considerably between studies and countries, and also over time. Although the selected studies generally demonstrated cost effectiveness for PT in HIV-infected subjects and healthcare workers (HCWs), the outcome of these analyses can be questioned in light of recent epidemiologic data. For immigrants from high TB-burden countries, patients with end-stage renal disease, and the immunosuppressed, now defined as further vulnerable groups, no consistent recommendation can be taken from the literature with respect to cost effectiveness of screening and treating LTBI. When the concept of a fixed willingness-to-pay (WTP) threshold as a prerequisite for final categorization was used, the sums ranged between ‘no specification’ and US$100,000 per quality-adjusted life-year. Conclusions: To date, incremental cost-effectiveness analyses on PT in groups at high risk for TB progression, other than contacts, are surprisingly scarce. The variation found between studies likely reflects variations in the major epidemiologic factors, particularly in the estimates on the accuracy of the tuberculin skin test (TST) and interferon-gamma release assays (IGRA) as screening methods used before considering PT. Further research, including explicit evaluation of local epidemiological conditions, test accuracy, and methodology of WTP thresholds, is needed. © 2015, Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

McDonald B.A.,ETH Zurich | Stukenbrock E.H.,Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology | Stukenbrock E.H.,University of Kiel
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2016

Agricultural ecosystems are composed of genetically depauperate populations of crop plants grown at a high density and over large spatial scales, with the regional composition of crop species changing little from year to year. These environments are highly conducive for the emergence and dissemination of pathogens. The uniform host populations facilitate the specialization of pathogens to particular crop cultivars and allow the build-up of large population sizes. Population genetic and genomic studies have shed light on the evolutionary mechanisms underlying speciation processes, adaptive evolution and long-distance dispersal of highly damaging pathogens in agro-ecosystems. These studies document the speed with which pathogens evolve to overcome crop resistance genes and pesticides. They also show that crop pathogens can be disseminated very quickly across and among continents through human activities. In this review, we discuss how the peculiar architecture of agro-ecosystems facilitates pathogen emergence, evolution and dispersal. We present four example pathosystems that illustrate both pathogen specialization and pathogen speciation, including different time frames for emergence and different mechanisms underlying the emergence process. Lastly, we argue for a re-design of agro-ecosystems that embraces the concept of dynamic diversity to improve their resilience to pathogens. © 2016 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

Bosy-Westphal A.,University of Hohenheim | Bosy-Westphal A.,University of Kiel | Muller M.J.,University of Kiel
Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care | Year: 2014

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The impact of weight cycling on body composition and metabolic risk remains controversial. Very few studies, however, meet the methodological requirements to analyze and normalize changes in body composition with weight loss and regain. RECENT FINDINGS: Methodological drawbacks that limit the interpretation of results are as follows:first, a small and only partial weight regain, second, the choice of an obese study population who experiences only small changes in fat-free mass, third, a lack of adjustment for the age-related decline in fat-free mass when examining elderly people and fourth, a lack of validity and precision of the body composition method that are important in a nonstable condition of weight loss and for measuring small changes in body composition. Normalization of changes in fat and lean mass for baseline body composition and measurement of fat and lean tissue distribution lead to further insights into the etiology and consequences of weight cycling. SUMMARY: Current evidence does not support an adverse effect of weight cycling on body composition. By contrast, severe weight loss in normal-weight people that comprises a large loss of lean mass may shift the partitioning toward a transient higher regain in total and abdominal fat mass. Copyright © Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Scheller J.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Chalaris A.,University of Kiel | Garbers C.,University of Kiel | Rose-John S.,University of Kiel
Trends in Immunology | Year: 2011

A disintegrin and metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17), also known as tumor necrosis factor-α converting enzyme (TACE), is a membrane-bound enzyme that cleaves cell surface proteins, such as cytokines (e.g. TNFα), cytokine receptors (e.g. IL-6R and TNF-R), ligands of ErbB (e.g. TGFα and amphiregulin) and adhesion proteins (e.g. L-selectin and ICAM-1). Here we examine how ectodomain shedding of these molecules can alter their biology and impact on immune and inflammatory responses and cancer development. Gene targeting of Adam17 is embryonic lethal, highlighting the importance of ectodomain shedding during development. Tissue-specific deletion, or hypomorphic knock-in, of Adam17 demonstrates an in vivo role for ADAM17 in controlling inflammation and tissue regeneration. The potential of ADAM17 as therapeutic target is also discussed. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Bergaya F.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Lagaly G.,University of Kiel
Developments in Clay Science | Year: 2013

Clays and clay minerals are recognized as the materials of the twenty-first century. Chapter 1 provides a general introduction into clay science, illustrates the classification of the clay minerals (planar and non-planar 1:1 and 2:1 clay minerals), shows the idealized formulae of some representative clay minerals, lists the current names of clays, and reports the important properties of clay minerals. As yet, there is no uniform nomenclature in clay science, a unifying terminology is proposed that should be acceptable to all disciplines, users, and producers. This mainly concerns the terms "clay and clay mineral", "associated minerals and associated phases", "particles and aggregates", "swelling", and "delamination and "exfoliation". Finally, in addition to belonging to the class of silicates, three alternative concepts of clay minerals are proposed to extend the benefit to a wider scientific audience. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Schafer M.,ETH Zurich | Dutsch S.,ETH Zurich | Auf Dem Keller U.,ETH Zurich | Navid F.,University of Kiel | And 4 more authors.
Genes and Development | Year: 2010

Ultraviolet (UV) B irradiation can severely damage the skin and even induce tumorigenesis. It exerts its effects by direct DNA modification and by formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). We developed a strategy to genetically activate target gene expression of the transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in keratinocytes in vivo based on expression of a constitutively active Nrf2 mutant. Activation of Nrf2 target genes strongly reduced UVB cytotoxicity through enhancement of ROS detoxification. Remarkably, the protective effect was extended to neighboring cells. Using different combinations of genetically modified mice, we demonstrate that Nrf2 activates the production, recycling, and release of glutathione and cysteine by suprabasal keratinocytes, resulting in protection of basal cells in a paracrine, glutathione/cysteine-dependent manner. Most importantly, we found that endogenous Nrf2 controls selective protection of suprabasal keratinocytes from UVB-induced apoptosis through activation of cytoprotective genes. This finding explains the preferential UVB-induced apoptosis of basal cells, which is important for elimination of mutated stem cells as well as for preservation of skin integrity. Taken together, our results identify Nrf2 as a key regulator in the UV response of the skin. © 2010 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Gilron I.,Queen's University | Baron R.,University of Kiel | Jensen T.,Aarhus University Hospital
Mayo Clinic Proceedings | Year: 2015

Neuropathic pain is caused by disease or injury of the nervous system and includes various chronic conditions that, together, affect up to 8% of the population. A substantial body of neuropathic pain research points to several important contributory mechanisms including aberrant ectopic activity in nociceptive nerves, peripheral and central sensitization, impaired inhibitory modulation, and pathological activation of microglia. Clinical evaluation of neuropathic pain requires a thorough history and physical examination to identify characteristic signs and symptoms. In many cases, other laboratory investigations and clinical neurophysiological testing may help identify the underlying etiology and guide treatment selection. Available treatments essentially provide only symptomatic relief and may include nonpharmacological, pharmacological, and interventional therapies. Most extensive evidence is available for pharmacological treatment, and currently recommended first-line treatments include antidepressants (tricyclic agents and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors) and anticonvulsants (gabapentin and pregabalin). Individualized multidisciplinary patient care is facilitated by careful consideration of pain-related disability (eg, depression and occupational dysfunction) as well as patient education; repeat follow-up and strategic referral to appropriate medical/surgical subspecialties; and physical and psychological therapies. In the near future, continued preclinical and clinical research and development are expected to lead to further advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of neuropathic pain. © 2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Ku C.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Nelson-Sathi S.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Roettger M.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Sousa F.L.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | And 8 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

Chloroplasts arose from cyanobacteria, mitochondria arose from proteobacteria. Both organelles have conserved their prokaryotic biochemistry, but their genomes are reduced, and most organelle proteins are encoded in the nucleus. Endosymbiotic theory posits that bacterial genes in eukaryotic genomes entered the eukaryotic lineage via organelle ancestors. It predicts episodic influx of prokaryotic genes into the eukaryotic lineage, with acquisition corresponding to endosymbiotic events. Eukaryotic genome sequences, however, increasingly implicate lateral gene transfer, both from prokaryotes to eukaryotes and among eukaryotes, as a source of gene content variation in eukaryotic genomes, which predicts continuous, lineage-specific acquisition of prokaryotic genes in divergent eukaryotic groups. Here we discriminate between these two alternatives by clustering and phylogenetic analysis of eukaryotic gene families having prokaryotic homologues. Our results indicate (1) that gene transfer from bacteria to eukaryotes is episodic, as revealed by gene distributions, and coincides with major evolutionary transitions at the origin of chloroplasts and mitochondria; (2) that gene inheritance in eukaryotes is vertical, as revealed by extensive topological comparison, sparse gene distributions stemming from differential loss; and (3) that continuous, lineage-specific lateral gene transfer, although it sometimes occurs, does not contribute to long-term gene content evolution in eukaryotic genomes. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Neel N.,University of Kiel | Neel N.,TU Ilmenau | Kroger J.,TU Ilmenau | Berndt R.,University of Kiel
Nano Letters | Year: 2011

The conductance of a single-molecule junction in a low-temperature scanning tunneling microscope has been measured at nanosecond time resolution. In a transition region between tunneling and contact the conductance exhibits rapid two-level fluctuations which are attributed to different geometries of the junction. The voltage dependence of the fluctuations indicates that electrons injected into the lowest unoccupied molecular orbital may efficiently couple to molecular vibrations. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Rabe K.F.,University of Kiel | Calhoun W.J.,Center for Pulmonology and Thoracic Surgery | Smith N.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Jimenez P.,Novartis
Allergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology | Year: 2011

Airway remodeling is a central feature of asthma. It is exemplified by thickening of the lamina reticularis and structural changes to the epithelium, submucosa, smooth muscle, and vasculature of the airway wall. Airway remodeling may result from persistent airway inflammation. Immunoglobulin E (IgE) is an important mediator of allergic reactions and has a central role in airway inflammation and asthma-related symptoms. Anti-IgE therapies (such as omalizumab) have the potential to block an early step in the allergic cascade and therefore have the potential to reduce airway remodeling. The reduction in free IgE levels following anti-IgE therapy leads to reductions in high-affinity IgE receptor (Fc∈RI) expression on mast cells, basophils, and dendritic cells. This combined effect results in attenuation of several markers of inflammation, including peripheral and bronchial tissue eosinophilia and levels of granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor, interleukin (IL)-2, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13. Considering the previously demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects of anti-IgE therapy, along with results from a small study showing continued benefit after discontinuation of long-term treatment, a larger study to assess its effect on markers of airway remodeling is underway. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Jones S.A.,University of Cardiff | Scheller J.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf | Rose-John S.,University of Kiel
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2011

The successful treatment of certain autoimmune conditions with the humanized anti-IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) antibody tocilizumab has emphasized the clinical importance of cytokines that signal through the &βετ α;-receptor subunit glycoprotein 130 (gp130). In this Review, we explore how gp130 signaling controls disease progression and examine why IL-6 has a special role among these cytokines as an inflammatory regulator. Attention will be given to the role of the soluble IL-6R, and we will provide a perspective into the clinical blockade of IL-6 activity in autoimmunity, inflammation, and cancer.

Zander S.,Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society | Seidlhofer B.,University of Kiel | Behrens M.,Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society
Dalton Transactions | Year: 2012

In order to better understand the critical influence of the synthesis parameters during preparation of Cu/ZnO catalysts at the early stages of preparation, the aging process of mixed Cu,Zn hydroxide carbonate precursors was decoupled from the precipitation and studied independently under different conditions, i.e. variations in pH, temperature and additives, using in situ energy-dispersive XRD and in situ UV-Vis spectroscopy. Crystalline zincian malachite, the relevant precursor phase for industrial catalysts, was formed from the amorphous starting material in all experiments under controlled conditions by aging in solutions of similar composition to the mother liquor. The efficient incorporation of Zn into zincian malachite can be seen as the key to Cu/ZnO catalyst synthesis. Two pathways were observed: direct co-condensation of Cu 2+ and Zn 2+ into Zn-rich malachite at 5 ≥ pH ≥ 6.5, or simultaneous initial crystallization of Cu-rich malachite and a transient Zn-storage phase. This intermediate re-dissolved and allowed for enrichment of Zn into malachite at pH ≥ 7 at later stages of solid formation. The former mechanism generally yielded a higher Zn-incorporation. On the basis of these results, the effects of synthesis parameters like temperature and acidity are discussed and their effects on the final Cu/ZnO catalyst can be rationalized. This journal is © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Altenburg S.J.,University of Kiel | Kroger J.,TU Ilmenau | Wehling T.O.,University of Hamburg | Sachs B.,University of Hamburg | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

The influence of graphene islands on the electronic structure of the Ir(111) surface is investigated. Scanning tunneling spectroscopy (STS) indicates the presence of a two-dimensional electron gas with a binding energy of -160meV and an effective mass of -0.18m e underneath single-layer graphene on the Ir(111) surface. Density functional calculations reveal that the STS features are predominantly due to a holelike surface resonance of the Ir(111) substrate. Nanometer-sized graphene islands act as local gates, which shift and confine the surface resonance. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Sauer J.,University of Kiel | Wossink A.,University of Manchester
European Review of Agricultural Economics | Year: 2013

We provide a new approach for assessing the cost effectiveness of green payment schemes. We allow for complementary, supplementary and competitive relationships between agricultural production and non-marketed ecosystem services generation. Our theoretical model distinguishes three theoretical cases depending on the minimum level of the non-marketed ecosystem services. These cases are empirically investigated using a flexible transformation function and farm-level panel data from the UK. We find that the biophysical connections between the non-marketed ecosystem services and market activities have important implications for marginal costs. © 2012 Oxford University Press and Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics. All rights reserved.

Hua Q.,Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation | Barbetti M.,Naresuan University | Rakowski A.Z.,University of Kiel
Radiocarbon | Year: 2013

We present a compilation of tropospheric 14CO2 for the period 1950-2010, based on published radiocarbon data from selected records of atmospheric CO2 sampling and tree-ring series. This compilation is a new version of the compilation by Hua and Barbetti (2004) and consists of yearly summer data sets for zonal, hemispheric, and global levels of atmospheric 14C. In addition, compiled (and extended) monthly data sets for 5 atmospheric zones (3 in the Northern Hemisphere and 2 in the Southern Hemisphere) are reported. The annual data sets are for use in regional and global carbon model calculations, while the extended monthly data sets serve as calibration curves for 14C dating of recent, short-lived terrestrial organic materials. © 2013 by the Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona.

Gutbrodt K.L.,ETH Zurich | Schliemann C.,University Hospital Muenster | Giovannoni L.,Philogen SpA | Frey K.,ETH Zurich | And 4 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2013

Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is a rapidly progressing disease that is accompanied by a strong increase in microvessel density in the bone marrow. This observation prompted us to stain biopsies of AML and acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) patients with the clinical-stage human monoclonal antibodies F8, L19, and F16 directed against markers of tumor angiogenesis. The analysis revealed that the F8 and F16 antibodies strongly stained 70% of AML and 75% of ALL bone marrow specimens, whereas chloroma biopsies were stained with all three antibodies. Therapy experiments performed in immunocompromised mice bearing human NB4 leukemia with the immunocytokine F8-IL2 [consisting of the F8 antibody fused to human interleukin-2 (IL-2)] mediated a strong inhibition of AML progression. This effect was potentiated by the addition of cytarabine, promoting complete responses in 40% of treated animals. Experiments performed in immunocompetent mice bearing C1498 murine leukemia revealed long-lasting complete tumor eradication in all treated mice. The therapeutic effect of F8-IL2 was mediated by both natural killer cells and CD8+ T cells, whereas CD4 + T cells appeared to be dispensable, as determined in immunodepletion experiments. The treatment of an AML patient with disseminated extramedullary AML manifestations with F16-IL2 (consisting of the F16 antibody fused to human IL-2, currently being tested in phase 2 clinical trials in patients with solid tumors) and low-dose cytarabine showed significant reduction of AML lesions and underlines the translational potential of vascular tumor-targeting antibody-cytokine fusions for the treatment of patients with leukemia. Copyright © 2013, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Muller M.J.,University of Kiel | Bosy-Westphal A.,University of Hohenheim
Obesity | Year: 2013

Adaptive thermogenesis (AT) with weight loss refers to underfeeding- associated fall in resting and nonresting energy expenditure (REE, non-REE); this is independent of body weight and body composition. In humans, the existence of AT was inconsistently shown and its clinical significance has been questioned. Objectives: Discrepant findings are mainly due to different definitions of AT, the use of various and nonstandardized study protocols, and the limits of accuracy of methods to assess energy expenditure. With controlled underfeeding, AT takes more than 2 wk to develop. AT accounts to an average of 0.5 MJ (or 120 kcal) with a considerable between subject variance. Design and Methods: Low-sympathetic nervous system activity, 3,5,3'-tri-iodothyronine (T3) and leptin are likely to add to AT; however, the kinetic changes of their plasma levels with underfeeding differ from the time course of AT and controlled intervention studies substituting and titrating these hormones are rare in humans. AT in response to underfeeding is independent of thermogenesis in response to either diet or cold. Although fat-free mass (FFM) and, thus, liver, and skeletal muscle are considered as major sites of AT, cold-induced nonshivering thermogenesis relates to the metabolism of brown adipose tissue (BAT). In humans, diet-induced thermogenesis is related to postprandial substrate metabolism of FFM with a questionable role of BAT. Obviously, the REE component of AT differs from and its non-REE component with respect to organ contribution as well as mechanisms. Thus, AT cannot be considered as unique. Conclusions: AT should be characterized based on individual components of daily energy expenditure, detailed body composition analyses, and mathematical modeling. The biological basis of AT as well as the influences of age, sex, obesity, stress, and inflammation remain to be established in humans.

Zheng H.,University of Kiel | Kroger J.,TU Ilmenau | Berndt R.,University of Kiel
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Donors near the polar (0001) surface of nominally undoped ZnO were investigated with scanning tunneling microscopy at 5 K. Spatially resolved spectroscopy reveals single and double charging. Equidistant peaks in spectra of ionized donors are attributed to polaron excitation. The data are consistent with doping due to Zn interstitials or complexes. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Worzewski T.,University of Kiel | Jegen M.,University of Kiel | Kopp H.,University of Kiel | Brasse H.,Free University of Berlin | Taylor Castillo W.,Instituto Costarricense Of Electricidad
Nature Geoscience | Year: 2011

Fluids entering the subduction zone play a key role in the subduction process. They cause changes in the dynamics and thermal structure of the subduction zone1, and trigger earthquakes when released from the subducting plate during metamorphism2,3. Fluids are delivered to the subduction zone by the oceanic crust and also enter the oceanic plate as it bends downwards at the plate boundary. However, the amount of fluids entering subduction zones is not matched by that leaving through volcanic emissions 4 or transfer to the deep mantle2, implying possible storage of fluids in the crust. Here we use magnetotelluric data to map the entire hydration and dehydration cycle of the Costa Rican subduction zone to 120 km depth. Along the incoming plate bend, we detect a conductivity anomaly that we interpret as sea water penetrating down extensional faults and cracks into the upper mantle. Along the subducting plate interface we document the dehydration of sediments, the crust and mantle. We identify an accumulation of fluids at ∼20-30 km depth at a distance of 30 km seaward from the volcanic arc. Comparison with other subduction zones5-14 indicates that such fluid accumulation is a global phenomenon. Although we are unable to test whether these fluid reservoirs grow with time, we suggest that they can account for some of the missing outflow of fluid at subduction zones. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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

Current displays fall far short of truly recreating visual reality. This can never be achieved by painting an image on a flat surface such as a TV screen, but requires a full-parallax display which can recreate the complete lightfield, i.e. the light traveling in every direction through every point in space. Recent years have seen major developments towards this goal, promising a new generation of ultra-realistic displays with applications in medicine, informatics, manufacturing, entertainment, gaming and more. However, achieving this will require a new generation of researchers trained both in the relevant physics, and in the biology of human vision. The European Training Network on Full-Parallax Imaging (ETN-FPI) aims at developing this new generation. The research concept of the network is to depart from the notations of plenoptics, light field and integral imaging, used sometimes interchangeably, and to harmonize and advance further the research in these areas under the umbrella of the wider and viewer-centred FPI concept. Fifteen early-stage researchers will be employed on novel inter-disciplinary FPI projects. The training disciplines include theoretical and applied optics, multi-dimensional image processing, and visual neuroscience. The targeted applications range from plenoptic microscopy to interaction with visual content generated by wide field-of-view displays. Extensive studies on perception of continuous parallax and subjective tests on various displays are planned. The training program includes local training, online seminars, workshops, training schools and a conference. The researchers trained within the network are expected to gather competitive skills and become highly competent in bringing innovations to the field of ultra-realistic and interactive visual media. This will enhance their employability in a rapidly growing sector in academia and industry and position Europe as a leader in this emerging multidisciplinary field.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: H2020-TWINN-2015 | Award Amount: 1.01M | Year: 2016

The project HURMUR: Human rights mutually raising excellence will decisively expand the world-class research area of human rights in Europe. Tallinn University Law School will develop research excellence of human rights and become involved in global research and regional dissemination networks through specific activities of an outstanding consortium, where two other partners are premier global academic institutions in the field of human rights the Danish Institute for Human Rights and Walther Schcking Institute of International Law (Kiel University, Germany). Their rennomee which is a guarantee that Tallinn University Law School will develop capacity to i) become a leader in the Baltic region of participating in state-of-the art research of human and fundamental rights, ii) initiate new research and development project of European magnitude exploring the changing nature of human rights in the contemporary society; iii) build bridges between Estonian/Baltic/Russian human rights research and activist communities. This goal is achievable via: i) organizational reform of Tallinn Universitys International Research Centre of Fundamental Rights; ii) establishment and publication of a new regional peer-reviewed academic journal, the East European Yearbook on Human Rights; iii) strengthened research capacities of TLU on universality of human rights (including in particular freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and identity rights), and human rights narratives and discourses, and on new human rights (including rights related to well-being; rights related to the exercise of public authority; rights related to new technologies and rights related to identity and personality), as well as increased publication activity in this area; iv) increased dissemination and communication of TLU research and knowledge to the public, including academia, policy makers, law makers and civil society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 3.66M | Year: 2009

GATEWAYS will conduct interdisciplinary climate change research on an ocean regime of regional and global significance: the Agulhas Current off southern Africa. It will provide 15 Early-Stage (ESR) and 3 Experienced Researchers (ER) with extensive multi-level scientific and complementary skills training in (1) processes relevant to climatic developments and projections, (2) efficient organization and management of interdisciplinary research, and (4) proficient transfer of information between the academic and private sectors. GATEWAYS will test the sensitivity of the Agulhas Current to changing climates of the past; the Currents influence on southern Africa climates; buoyancy transfer to the Atlantic by Agulhas leakage around southern Africa; and modulation of the Atlantic circulation by the leakage. Training encompasses novel laboratory-based methodologies; high-end equipment such as isotope-ratio and multi-sector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometers; high-resolution climate modelling, accessing supercomputing facilities at national high-performance computing centres. Combined with the diverse scientific expertise converging on a common scientific theme, this provides the ESR and ER outstanding research training opportunities. Schools/workshops will deepen the insight gained and stimulate Network-wide discussion. Courses on project management, data processing and communication techniques will foster generic complementary skills. Secondments, longer stays at partner institutes and internships at SME partners add to the training. ESR and ER will acquire a solid knowledge in their own specialty field; a firm multi-level grounding in the marine and climate sciences; proficiency in analytical procedures and high-end numerical data processing and modelling; managerial skills to design and carry out research in an efficient and pragmatic way. This will boost their self-esteem and outlook for seeking attractive careers in research or allied areas in the future.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-LS8 | Award Amount: 1.50M | Year: 2012

Lateral gene transfer (LGT) is the process by which prokaryotes acquire DNA across wide taxonomic boundaries and incorporate it into their genome. Accumulating evidence shows that LGT plays a major role in prokaryote evolution. The biological and evolutionary significance of lateral gene transfer has broad implications for our understanding of microbial biology, not only in terms of evolution, but also in terms of human health. Mechanisms of lateral gene transfer include: transformation, transduction, conjugation, and gene transfer agents. Each of these transfer mechanisms leaves distinct and recognizable molecular footprints in genome sequences. The molecular details of these footprints betray the workings of the corresponding mechanisms in nature, but their relative contributions to the evolution of sequenced genomes have so far not been investigated. By identifying these footprints one can specify and quantify the relative contribution of the different LGT mechanisms during prokaryote genome evolution and thereby uncover more of the biology underlying prokaryote evolution in nature. The goal of this proposal is to quantify those contributions and to bring forth a general computer-based model of prokaryote genome evolution that approximates the underlying evolutionary process far more realistically than phylogenetic trees alone possibly can. Here I propose to apply directed networks to the study of prokaryotic genome evolution in an evolutionary model that allows both for vertical inheritance and for lateral gene transfer events. With methods to identify gene donors, all recent LGTs can be described in a single directed network. This is a fundamentally new, biologically more realistic and evolutionarily more accurate, general computational model of prokaryote genome evolution. Such a model will substantially enrich our ability to understand the process of prokaryote evolution as it is recorded in genomic and metagenomic data.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2011

With over 3 million new cases and 1.5 million arising deaths each year in Europe, cancer is a major public health problem with an urgent need for new therapies. This proposal builds upon mounting evidence that ion channels and transporters underlie many of the hallmarks of cancer. Thus, proteins involved in membrane transport, long known as important drug targets in other pathologies (channelopathies), are a new class of therapeutic and/or diagnostic targets in oncology. IonTraC is first to propose a systematic analysis of the expression, function, as well as therapeutic and diagnostic potential of proteins involved in ion transport (the transportome) in cancer. This paradigm will be implemented in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) which has one of the worst prognoses of all cancers, with an overall 5-year survival rate of less than 5%. IonTraC thereby provides the framework for an inter- and supra-disciplinary training for early stage researchers in a highly innovative, exponentially growing field in oncology which will have a major impact on other disciplines such as immunology and angiology as well. The main objectives of IonTraC are: to provide a scientific and methodological platform for supra-disciplinary training of early stage researchers in and beyond the fields of ion transport and oncology to provide an inter-sectoral training programme with special focus on career development of young researchers to determine the concerted expression and function of ion channels and transporters required for the progression of PDAC, and to provide validated therapeutic and diagnostic concepts and tools that are based on transport proteins serving as novel drug targets and/or biomarkers.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.2.2-2 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2011

Scientific evidence clearly indicates that ageing and health in adult life is programmed by genetic and epigenetic mechanisms early in life. Developmental plasticity in response to the environment, including nutrient availability, of mammalian embryos indicates the capacity for newly emerging embryonic and extraembryonic cell lineages to initiate compensatory responses which may attune nutrient delivery to the needs of the developing fetus. EpiHealth will focus on these early events in several relevant models(diabetes, obesity and assisted reproductive technologies (ART)),using human samples, stem cell lines, animal models and data mining/bioinformatics tools to decipher some of the most important pathways and to offer options for early intervention to avoid adverse health effects. Main goal of the project is to improve health of the human population by understanding the mechanisms and pathways in early development, with special emphasis on epigenetic changes and developmentally relevant metabolic signalling, which create biological variation and have a long term effect on the health of individuals across the lifespan. Specific goals include: i)Identification of the main genetic pathways affecting the health of the developing embryos in a diabetic or obese maternal environment; ii) Identification of the main genetic and metabolic pathways affected and epigenomic and imprinting perturbations from mouse and human ART resulting in altered health of the progeny; iii)Discovery of the key genes and pathways affecting epigenetic and imprinting sensitivity in early stages of development in order to create intervention tools against epigenetic mis-programming; iv)Linking for the first time by bioinformatics tools the longevity related pathways and those susceptible to early epigenetic perturbations in order to explain how early events influence the health and lifespan of individuals; v)Studying the possibilities of early intervention by controlling the maternal environment.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 2.87M | Year: 2010

The main aim of the CASE Initial Training Network Programme is to train the next generation of European paleoclimate scientists via state-of-the-art training in marine biotic proxies and modelling of past climate changes. It will be implemented through a joint research project aiming to describe and identify the mechanisms and impacts of recent environmental changes in the Nordic Seas. The composition of the consortium reflects the various expertises on marine biotic indicators needed to efficiently evaluate the nature and amplitudes of oceanographic and climate changes and their implications on the structure of the marine ecosystem during the present interglacial, the Holocene. The project is designed according to specific expertises of each network participant and the contribution of associated industry partners, hereby providing an ideal setting for training actions to the benefit of early stage researchers (ESR). CASE will therefore address the following key scientific objectives: 1, Advance our fundamental understanding on the impact of various natural climatic forcing factors in high northern latitudes during the Holocene. 2, Obtain a more complete knowledge on Holocene natural variability of physical parameters affecting ecosystem processes and structure in the Nordic Seas. 3, Improve our understanding and quantification of Holocene changes in ocean circulation and climate variability of the Arctic and Subarctic domains. 4, Expand our knowledge of previous Holocene polar amplifications of warming. 5, Gain fundamental knowledge of the impact of global warming beyond the range of Holocene natural variability over the last 150 years on the Nordic Seas environmental system.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2013

Subduction zones play a fundamental role in our daily life. Half of the world population lives on top or nearby one of them, in coastal areas repeatedly devastated by large earthquakes, tsunamis or volcanic eruptions. Giant earthquakes occurring on subduction zone mega-thrusts (Mw close to 9 or larger) are indeed amongst the deadliest natural hazards. During the last decade, very large earthquakes took many lives (Sumatra, Chile, Japan) and, according to the World Bank, over 200 billion for the 2011 Japan earthquake. These dramatic phenomena are fundamentally controlled by the mechanical coupling and global material transfer at and across subduction zone inter-plate boundaries, between the down-going subducting plate and the overriding plate. Stresses and energy release via earthquakes together with fluid-mediated mass transfer are indeed highly focused on the plate interface, where they interact on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, both at short- (10e-4 yr) and longer time-scales (10e6 yr). However, despite its social and economic impact, the nature, structure and properties of this plate interface are still largely unknown, calling for a thorough Zoom In between the Plates (ZIP). ZIP represents a real challenge for a new generation of geoscientists and requires innovative, high-end, cross-disciplinary scientific and technologic training to provide them with the skills and strength to tackle such problems, make major contributions, and undertake an academic or industrial career on managing geohazards. This scientific effort is mandatory for risk assessment, to enhance the reliability of early-warning systems and help reduce human loss and economic costs. Educational outreach in vulnerable countries is also crucial to explain the seismic, tectonic and tsunamic processes both to politics and populations.

Diel R.,University of Kiel | Lampenius N.,University of Hohenheim
PharmacoEconomics | Year: 2014

The emergence of multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in the European region and the high costs (nearly €536 million) generated by the nearly 72,000 notified TB cases in the EU are the factors driving the need for development and implementation of new tools against TB. In this context, cost-effectiveness analyses applying quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) or disability-adjusted life-years (DALYs) as outcome measures for economic evaluation of improved approaches to TB control are increasingly important. While the methodology applied to derive the effectiveness data is commonly reported, less information is given regarding the derivation of utility weights in the calculation of QALYs for TB treatment. To date, despite the particular complexities of the disease, TB health effects have not been fully measured and there is no agreement on how disutility of TB disease should be accounted for. Consequently, disutility values in published studies vary considerably, and often appear to lack empirical evidence. As the need for a solid heath-economics rationale for investment in new tools against TB grows, adequate and comprehensive methods for assessing the impairments caused by different types of TB must be developed. Focusing on the assessment of DALYs as a measure of outcome in economic evaluation, we have built an exemplary model calculation applying the original TB data for Germany as reported to the Robert Koch Institute. Our work demonstrates that the use of standard equations provided in the scientific literature probably results in an underestimation of lost DALYs compared with probabilistic techniques. Providing distributions around epidemiological averages, coupled with Monte Carlo simulation to address uncertainty, may result in more realistic values. In line with a previous recommendation by the World Health Organization, it appears worthwhile to consider this more intricate approach to providing healthcare resource allocation decisions, particularly for TB. © 2014 Springer International Publishing.

« Ricardo supplying single-cylinder diesel research engine with TVCS to DongFeng Commercial Vehicles | Main | Jaguar unveils Formula E team’s official name, title sponsor, driver line-up and electric racing livery » Researchers at the University of Kiel (Germany) have developed a new process—which they call “nanoscale-sculpturing”—for the surface preparation of metals. Nanoscale-sculpturing, which is based on knowledge from semiconductor etching, turns surfaces of everyday metals into their most stable configuration, but leaves the bulk properties unaffected. Thus, nanoscale-sculpturing ensures stronger, reliable joints to nearly all materials, reduces corrosion vastly, and generates a multitude of multifunctional surface properties. An open-access paper on their work is published in the RSC journal Nanoscale Horizons. In strong contrast to nearly all relevant technical surface treatments on metals and semiconductors, the sculpturing approach utilizes the intrinsic features of the surface-near grain structure on the nanoscale. The (electro-)chemistry is tuned to selectively etch out entire or at least large parts of grains on the nanolevel in a coordinated manner introducing an intrinsic micro 3D-character into the resulting surfaces. Deep cavities with undercuts allowing for mechanical interlocking are thus an intrinsic feature of sculpturing. Due to the 3D-character the preserved grains, plains, and facets, i.e., the bulk structure is extremely stable, since, e.g., no grain boundaries are widened weakening the surface microstructure. The surfaces of metals consist of many different crystals and grains, some of which are less chemically stable than others. These unstable particles can be specifically removed from the surface of a metal by a targeted etching. The top surface layer is roughened by the etching process, creating a three-dimensional surface structure. This changes the properties of the surface, but not of the metal as a whole. This is because the etching is only 10 to 20 micrometers deep—a layer as thin as a quarter of the diameter of human hair. The research team has therefore named the process “nanoscale-sculpturing”. To use this process in such a way is completely new, said Dr. Jürgen Carstensen, co-author of the publication. As such, we have developed a process which—unlike other etching processes—does not damage the metals, and does not affect their stability. In this way, we can permanently connect metals which could previously not be directly joined, such as copper and aluminium. —Professor Rainer Adelung, head of the Functional Nanomaterials team at the Institute for Materials Science The change due to etching is visible to the naked eye: the treated surface becomes matt. Through the etching process, a 3D-structure with tiny hooks is created. If a bonding polymer is then applied between two treated metals, the surfaces inter-lock with each other in all directions like a three-dimensional puzzle. Even a thin layer of fat, such as that left by a fingerprint on a surface, does not affect the connection. The researchers even smeared gearbox oil on metal surfaces, and found that the connection still held, said Baytekin-Gerngroß. Laborious cleaning of surfaces, such as the pre-treatment of ships’ hulls before they can be painted, could thus be rendered unnecessary. Extreme heat and moisture also did not affect the joins. A beneficial side-effect of the process is that the etching makes the surfaces of metal water-repellent. The resulting hook structure functions like a closely-interlocked 3D labyrinth, without holes which can be penetrated by water. The metals therefore possess a kind of built-in corrosion protection. Because the nanoscale-sculpturing process not only creates a 3D surface structure which can be purely physically bonded without chemicals, the targeted etching can also remove harmful particles from the surface, which is of particularly great interest in medical technology. The researchers have so far applied for four patents for the process. Businesses have already shown substantial interest in the potential applications.

Makarewicz C.A.,University of Kiel | Sealy J.,University of Cape Town
Journal of Archaeological Science | Year: 2015

The use of stable isotope ratio analysis in archaeology has exploded over the past few decades to the point where it is now an established tool that is routinely used to investigate questions relating to diet and mobility. Early applications focused mostly on the analysis of human skeletal tissues as a way to reconstruct major shifts in human diet, but current stable isotopic approaches have expanded to include high resolution analyses of human, animal, and plant remains, which are helping to better define the resource exploitation and management strategies that underscore changes in the human diet. In addition, stable isotopic data sets are now regularly filtered through interpretive archaeological theoretical frameworks to explore socially mediated food acquisition and consumption choices, mortuary practices, and social identity. Much work remains to be done in documenting the biological and ecological variation in the distribution of stable isotopes in ancient food webs and the mechanisms responsible for the isotopic signals observed in archaeological plant and animal tissues. Here, we identify several areas in stable isotope analysis where additional 'first principles' driven research would help to improve existing isotopic methods, or develop new ones, and consequently improve our ability to answer questions of archaeological significance. We consider the strengths and limitations of the application of stable isotope analysis to ancient skeletal material obtained from archaeological contexts. We also pay particular attention to nitrogen isotopic variation in ancient ecosystems, organic oxygen and hydrogen isotopes to;mixing models as a means of estimating source contributions in human diet, mobility, and isoscapes; and to how compound specific analyses may help detangle dietary routing. We conclude with a plea for greater scientific rigour and more informed use of stable isotope analyses and call for a closer integration of stable isotope analysis with other aspects of archaeological research programmes, in order to optimise the information that isotopes can provide. © 2015 .

Abdelsadik A.,University of Kiel | Abdelsadik A.,South Valley University | Trad A.,University of Kiel
Human Immunology | Year: 2011

There is a permanent interaction amid the innate and adaptive immune systems that leads to a defensive immune response against pathogens and contributes substantially to self-nonself discrimination. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are essential molecules of the innate immune system that stimulate numerous inflammatory pathways and harmonize systemic defense against a wide array of pathogens. In addition to identifying unique molecular patterns associated with various sections of pathogens, TLRs may also recognize a number of self proteins and endogenous nucleic acids. Several reports have indicated that inappropriate stimulation of the TLR pathway via endogenous or exogenous ligands in animal models or humans may lead to the induction and/or prolongation of autoimmune response and tissue injury. © 2011 American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics.

Wunsch L.,University of Lübeck | Holterhus P.M.,University of Kiel | Wessel L.,University of Mannheim | Hiort O.,University of Lübeck
BJU International | Year: 2012

OBJECTIVE • To investigate the role of laparoscopy for the early detection of gonadal tumours, with emphasis on gonadal preservation, in patients with 46XY disorders of sex development (DSD). In patients with DSD, gonadectomy is frequently recommended and depending on the age and the molecular diagnosis, an increased gonadal tumour risk exists and undesired hormone effects may arise. However, gonadectomy is irreversible and impacts considerably on body image. It represents an overtreatment for some patients and should be considered after a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation. Laparoscopy is an important technique, because it is able to retrieve small gonads and allows guided biopsies. PATIENTS AND METHODS • We performed laparoscopic assessment of the gonads in 40 patients with various 46XY DSD. • In all, 77 gonads were evaluated, images were analysed and compared with histological findings. • Laparoscopic procedures included gonadectomy, biopsy, laparoscopic orchidolysis or the Fowler-Stephens procedure as well as the removal or splitting of uterine remnants. RESULTS • In all, 19 patients underwent gonadectomy and tumours were discovered in four. • Three patients had only microscopic evidence of tumour, in one the tumour was diagnosed intraoperatively. • In 21 patients, biopsies were taken and the gonads preserved. • Laparoscopic biopsy and gonadopexy was performed in six patients with complete androgen insensitivity syndrome (CAIS). CONCLUSION • Laparoscopy and biopsy detected three microscopic tumours, one tumour was macroscopically evident. • In CAIS, gonadopexy improved the visibility of the gonads on postoperative ultrasonography. This procedure facilitated the examination of the gonad at follow-up. • In complete gonadal dysgenesis, a highly variable morphology of the gonads was found. Laparoscopy improved exposure of gonads and Müllerian structures, and facilitated biopsies and organ-preserving procedures. © 2012 THE AUTHORS.

Loch T.,University of Kiel | Carey B.,St James Institute Of Oncology | Walz J.,Institute Paoli Calmettes Cancer Center | Fulgham P.F.,Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas
European Urology | Year: 2015

Background The terminology and abbreviations used in urologic imaging have generally been adopted on an ad hoc basis by different speciality groups; however, there is a need for shared nomenclature to facilitate clinical communication and collaborative research. Objective This work reviews the current nomenclature for urologic imaging used in clinical practice and proposes a taxonomy and terminology for urologic imaging studies. Design, setting, and participants A list of terms used in urologic imaging were compiled from guidelines published by the European Association of Urology and the American Urological Association and from the American College of Radiology Appropriateness Criteria. Outcome measurements and statistical analysis Terms searched were grouped into broad categories based on technology, and imaging terms were further stratified based on the anatomic extent, contrast or phases, technique or modifiers, and combinations or fusions. Terms that had a high degree of utilisation were classified as accepted. Results and limitations We propose a new taxonomy to define a more useful and acceptable nomenclature model acceptable to all health professionals involved in urology. The major advantage of a taxonomic approach to the classification of urologic imaging studies is that it provides a flexible framework for classifying the modifications of current imaging modalities and allows the incorporation of new imaging modalities. The adoption of this hierarchical classification model ranging from the most general to the most detailed descriptions should facilitate hierarchical searches of the medical literature using both general and specific terms. This work is limited in its scope, as it is not currently all-inclusive. This will hopefully be addressed by future modification as others embrace the concept and work towards uniformity in nomenclature. Conclusions This paper provides a noncomprehensive list of the most widely used terms across different specialties. This list can be used as the basis for further discussion, development, and enhancement. Patient summary In this paper we describe a classification system for urologic imaging terms with the aim of aiding health professionals and ensuring that the terms used are more consistent. © 2014 European Association of Urology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Kirleis W.,University of Kiel | Fischer E.,Landesamt For Denkmalpflege Labor For Archaobotanik
Vegetation History and Archaeobotany | Year: 2014

For the first time, rachis fragments of tetraploid free threshing wheat were discovered for the Early Neolithic of the North European Plain, proving its cultivation by farmers of the Neolithic Funnel Beaker North group. A compilation of finds of free threshing wheat for Northern Europe based on a temporal resolution of Funnel Beaker sub-periods shows the importance of free threshing wheat-independent of genomic constitution-in the Early Neolithic Funnel Beaker crop assemblage. Based on this new evidence, we assume that the crop assemblages of the first farmers on the North European Plain consisted of three main cereals: emmer, barley and free threshing wheat. Both the new finds and the compilation of free threshing wheat finds support the scenario of a chronological separation of different agricultural systems that were implemented within different Funnel Beaker phases. Furthermore, the evidence for tetraploid free threshing wheat shows that the tradition of early Funnel Beaker groups is linked to southwestern agricultural developments, for example, of the Michelsberg group. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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