University Professor Dr. Assen Zlatarov Burgas
Burgas, Bulgaria

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The advantage is that the body locations are so familiar that the individual control elements can be operated even with one's eyes shut. In addition, they enable a completely new type of interaction, and also allow for a natural way to provide operating instructions. That the human body represents an excellent touch-sensitive input surface for mobile devices was shown by the Saarbrücken computer scientists as early as 2015. Together with researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in the US, they used flexible silicone and conductive electronic sensors to develop "iSkin", touch-sensitive stickers for the skin. When attached on the forearm and connected to a smartphone, the sticker could be touched in order to take a call or change the volume of a song being played. However, this process was suitable only for certain body locations, because it required a relatively flat surface. Moreover, the stickers were comparatively large. "We wanted to focus on body locations where no interaction had been possible before. But placing electronics precisely on the skin, let alone fitting them onto bony structures like the knuckles or microstructures like wrinkles, is very complicated," explains Martin Weigel, PhD student of Jürgen Steimle, professor of human-computer interaction at Saarland University. But the researchers were also convinced that this would be worthwhile for users. "When you have to press on the first knuckle of your left hand, you know very intuitively where it is. The same goes for the inside of the index finger," Weigel adds. Together with Alex Olwal from Google, his colleague Aditya Shekhar Nittala and Professor Jürgen Steimle, Weigel tinkered with the right combinations of conductive inks and printing processes, in order to print the conductive traces and the electrodes as compactly and thinly as possible on the temporary tattoo paper. After several tests the breakthrough finally came. A conductive plastic named PEDOT:PSS was the solution. With this, the researchers could print the tattoo to be thinner than a hair's breadth, and therefore they could ensure that it would not only fit onto knuckles and wrinkles, but also be so flexible that it could withstand compression and stretching. The researchers named the electronic tattoos SkinMarks. They are applied on the skin with water, and they come back off after a few days. In the laboratory, the scientists need only 30 to 60 minutes to print such a tattoo. "This could even be speeded up. We are convinced that in the future, everyone will be able to make their own e-tattoo in less than a minute on a standard, commercially available printer," explains Professor Jürgen Steimle. With the prototypes, the researchers also tested new input forms. Each e-tattoo was connected via a conductive copper tape to an Arduino mini-computer placed near the body. In this way, for example, an e-tattoo was attached on the inside of the index finger. If the finger is extended, the wearer could swipe the tattoo with another finger to adjust the volume of a music player. If the finger is bent, then pressing on one of the three segments would stop the current song, or skip to the previous or next one. During their experiments the researchers identified four classes of suitable orientation points on the body. Among these, they also used accumulations of pigment-forming cells. On a liver spot of a participant, they attached a heart-shaped tattoo. If an electric voltage is applied, it lights up in blue. "Linked to the corresponding smartphone app, it could light up when the loved person is available," Steimle explains the application, adding: "Touching the heart then begins a call."

News Article | August 7, 2017

The European Union's research programme is funding the project "ONE-FLOW" with a total of four million Euros. Bielefeld University has now succeeded in gaining a scientist from the renowned Keio University (Japan) for the project. Dr. Yasunobu Yamashita has started his work on the project at the beginning of August. Professor Dr. Harald Gröger from the Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec) and Chair of Organic Chemistry I of Bielefeld University is the head of the German ONE-FLOW sub-project. The Bielefeld scientist is active in the field of "green chemistry" aiming to develop environmentally friendly chemical reactions. Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) is coordinating the entire ONE-FLOW project with eight partners. Gröger's research team is working particularly closely with Professor Dr. Volker Hessel's team from Eindhoven. Hessel is the project coordinator and an expert on micro-reaction technology and flow chemistry. "Because of the many stages in production, the current batch reactor-type vessel technology is particularly time-consuming. A further disadvantage is that work-up and isolation of intermediates lead to many waste products. Hence, the technology does not use raw materials efficiently," says Gröger. After every stage in production, the intermediate typically is purified. This might require significant amounts of solvent that then become waste products. "The flow method offers a way to reduce resource requirements and save waste, thus making production not only economically more attractive but also more sustainable," says the chemist and biotechnologist. Gröger and his colleagues take their inspiration for the flow technology from nature. In biological cells, chemical processes proceed concurrently and as so-called "domino reactions" and they carry on doing this constantly. The conditions in cells remain the same all the time: the pressure, the temperature, and the solvent (water). In the cells, enzymes ensure that the reactions are initiated and concluded. "We want to apply the principles of the cell to production in microreactors," says Gröger. A further advantage of the new production method is that it requires far less energy and space than the conventional way of producing the desired chemicals. As microreactors, the researchers mostly use plug-flow reactors with "low tube" with an average diameter of markedly less than one millimetre. "What's special is that we can also produce large amounts of material on a small scale. This enables us to gain the substance at a specifically desired amount without great effort," says Gröger. "If we want to increase the amount, we simply add extra microreactors. Hence, problems with upscaling disappear." Before things reach this stage, Harald Gröger, his new co-worker Yasunobu Yamashita, and their colleagues have some preparatory work to do. In order to conduct several reactions concurrently in the miniaturized flow tube, these must not interfere with each other. "We are developing methods that will ensure that each reaction is shielded," says Gröger. To initiate reactions, the chemists are using catalysts. Although these particles are part of the reaction, they return to their initial state at the end of the process. As a result, they can be used repeatedly. One of Yasunobu Yamashita's goals in the project is to work out how to ensure that these particles will perform its optimal activity under the chosen reaction conditions. Gröger's research team is specialized in the combination of bio- and chemo-catalysts. In nature, biocatalysts are found in the form of enzymes. Chemocatalysts, in contrast, are developed artificially. "By combining chemo- and biocatalysts in a flow reactor, we want to efficiently produce pharmaceutically relevant products at room temperature and thereby produce them in a more sustainable and specific mode," says Gröger. The European Union is funding "ONE-FLOW" with four million Euros in "Horizon 2020", its highly competitive "Framework Programme for Research and Innovation". Bielefeld University will be receiving 400,000 Euros of this funding. The project was launched at the beginning of 2017 and will run for four years. After review, it was rated twelfth out of more than 500 research proposals of which only 23 finally received funding. Eindhoven University of Technology and Bielefeld University are cooperating on the project with Delft University of Technology (Netherlands), Graz University of Technology (Austria), the National Center for Scientific Research (France), the University of Cambridge and the University of Hull (both in England), and the company Microinnova Engineering (Austria).

News Article | August 2, 2017

The Minoan Civilization and its counterpart on the Greek Mainland, the Mycenaean Civilization, were Europe's first literate societies and the cultural ancestors of later Classical Greece. However, the question of the origins of the Minoans and their relationship to the Mycenaeans has long puzzled researchers. A paper published today in Nature suggests that, rather than being recently arrived, advanced outsiders, the Minoans had deep roots in the Aegean. The primary ancestors of both the Minoans and Mycenaeans were populations from Neolithic Western Anatolia and Greece and the two groups were very closely related to each other, and to modern Greeks. The Minoans and Mycenaeans occupy an important place in Greek, and European, history. The Minoan civilization (c. 2600 to 1100 BC) has been described as the first literate society in Europe, with their Linear A script. Because Linear A, and the hieroglyphic scripts used on Crete, were never deciphered, the origins of the language they represent are not clear but it is thought to be distinct from early Greek. Minoan Crete is the setting for many Greek legends and immediately conjures images of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur. The Mycenaean civilization (c. 1700 to 1050 BC) originated in mainland Greece eventually controlling the nearby islands, including Crete. Their Linear B script represented an early form of Greek. Despite this rich archaeological and textual history, the origins of the Minoans have long puzzled researchers. Their cultural innovations, including the first European writing system, vast palace complexes, and vibrant art, seeming to spring up in isolation on Crete, have led to speculation that they moved to the area from a more advanced society in another location. The Mycenaeans, with their roots in mainland Greece, seem to have adopted much of the Minoan technology and culture, but it is not clear how they were related. "We wanted to determine if the people who made up the Minoan and Mycenaean populations were actually genetically distinct or not. How were they related to each other? Who were their ancestors? And how are modern Greeks related to them?" says Johannes Krause, director at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and one of the corresponding authors of the study. To answer these questions, the researchers analyzed genome-wide data from 19 individuals, including Minoans, Mycenaeans, a Neolithic individual from mainland Greece, and Bronze Age individuals from southwestern Anatolia, which they were able to recover despite the notoriously poor preservation in the Mediterranean. By comparing the data generated from these persons with previously published data from nearly 3,000 others, both ancient and modern, the researchers were able to clarify the relationships between these groups. The researchers found that the Minoans, rather than coming from a distant civilization, were locals, descended from the first Neolithic farmers of western Anatolia and the Aegean. They found that the Minoans and Mycenaeans were very closely related, but with some specific differences that made them distinct from each other. Both the Bronze Age Minoans and Mycenaeans, as well as their neighbors in Bronze Age Anatolia, derived most of their ancestry from a Neolithic Anatolian population, and a smaller component from farther east, related to populations in the Caucasus and Iran. It was previously believed that this eastern ancestry was brought to Europe by steppe pastoralists from the north, who themselves shared this eastern ancestry. However, although the Minoans have this eastern heritage, they do not show genetic heritage from the northern steppe populations. On the other hand, the Mycenaeans show evidence of both eastern and northern genetic heritage. This indicates that, at least in some cases, this eastern heritage from the Caucasus and Iran arrived in Europe on its own, perhaps in a previously unknown migration event. It also indicates that the migration of the northern steppe pastoralists reached as far as mainland Greece, but did not reach the Minoans on Crete. The study helps to provide boundaries on the timing of the arrival of both the eastern and the northern ancestry. "Neolithic samples from Greece, down to the Final Neolithic, approximately 4100 BC, do not possess either type of ancestry, suggesting that the admixture we detect probably occurred during the 4th-2nd millennium BCE time window," explains David Reich of Harvard Medical School and the Broad Institute and a co-corresponding author of the study. To determine the timing of these events more precisely, further samples from broader time periods and geographic locations will be necessary. While they are not identical to the Bronze Age populations, modern Greeks are genetically closely related to the Mycenaeans. Modern Greeks show some additional admixture with other groups and a corresponding decrease in heritage from the Neolithic Anatolians. This suggests that there has been a large degree of population continuity in Greece, but it has not been isolated. "It is remarkable how persistent the ancestry of the first European farmers is in Greece and other parts of southern Europe, but this does not mean that the populations there were completely isolated. There were at least two additional migrations in the Aegean before the time of the Minoans and Mycenaeans and some additional admixture later. The Greeks have always been a 'work in progress' in which layers of migration through the ages added to, but did not erase the genetic heritage of the Bronze Age populations," stated Iosif Lazaridis of Harvard Medical School, lead author of the study. The findings help to clarify some aspects of the relationships in Bronze Age Greece, but leave other questions open. The scientists hope to clarify the time period of this possible new influx of eastern genetic heritage, and the logistics of the arrival of northern steppe heritage - slowly over time, or in a mass migration - in future research. Title: Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans Authors: Iosif Lazaridis, Alissa Mittnik, Nick Patterson, Swapan Mallick, Nadin Rohland, Saskia Pfrengle, Anja Furtwängler, Alexander Peltzer, Cosimo Posth, Andonis Vasilakis, P.J.P. McGeorge, Eleni Konsolaki-Yannopoulou, George Korres, Holley Martlew, Manolis Michalodimitrakis, Mehmet Özsait, Nesrin Özsait, Anastasia Papathanasiou, Michael Richards, Songül Alpaslan Roodenberg, Yannis Tzedakis, Robert Arnott, Daniel M. Fernandes, Jeffery R. Hughey, Dimitra M. Lotakis, Patrick A. Navas, Yannis Maniatis, John A. Stamatoyannopoulos, Kristin Stewardson, Philipp Stockhammer, Ron Pinhasi, David Reich, Johannes Krause, George Stamatoyannopoulos Publication: Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature23310 Professor Dr. Johannes Krause Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History Kahlaische Strasse 10 07745 Jena GERMANY Phone: +49 (0)3641 686 600 Email: Dr. Alissa Mittnick Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History Kahlaische Strasse 10 07745 Jena GERMANY Phone: +49 (0)3641 686 649 Email: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History Public Relations & Press Office Anne Gibson | Petra Mader Kahlaische Str. 10 07745 Jena GERMANY Phone: English: +49 (0) 3641 686-950 German: +49 (0) 3641 686-960 Email:

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.6.2-2 | Award Amount: 16.30M | Year: 2013

SOLUTIONS will deliver a conceptual framework for the evidence-based development of environmental and water policies. This will integrate innovative chemical and effect-based monitoring tools with a full set of exposure, effect and risk models and assessment options. Uniquely, SOLUTIONS taps (i) expertise of leading European scientists of major FP6/FP7 projects on chemicals in the water cycle, (ii) access to the infrastructure necessary to investigate the large basins of Danube and Rhine as well as relevant Mediterranean basins as case studies, and (iii) innovative approaches for stakeholder dialogue and support. In particular, International River Commissions, EC working groups and water works associations will be directly supported with consistent guidance for the early detection, identification, prioritization, and abatement of chemicals in the water cycle. A user-friendly tool providing access to a set of predictive models will support stakeholders to improve management decisions, benefiting from the wealth of data generated from monitoring and chemical registration. SOLUTIONS will give a specific focus on concepts and tools for the impact and risk assessment of complex mixtures of emerging pollutants, their metabolites and transformation products. Analytical and effect-based screening tools will be applied together with ecological assessment tools for the identification of toxicants and their impacts. Beyond state-of-the-art monitoring and management tools will be elaborated allowing risk identification for aquatic ecosystems and human health. The SOLUTIONS approach will provide transparent and evidence-based lists of River Basin Specific Pollutants for the case study basins and support the review of the list of WFD priority pollutants.

Atanassov K.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Atanassov K.,University Professor Dr. Assen Zlatarov Burgas
Knowledge-Based Systems | Year: 2015

The Intuitionistic Fuzzy Sets (IFSs), proposed in 1983, are extensions of fuzzy sets. Some years after their introduction, sequentially, intuitionistic fuzzy propositional logic, intuitionistic fuzzy predicate logic, intuitionistic fuzzy modal logic and intuitionistic fuzzy temporal logic have been introduced, presented here shortly. During the last 25 years, different intuitionistic fuzzy tools have been used for evaluation of objects from the area of the Artificial Intelligence, as expert systems (having, e.g. facts and rules, with intuitionistic fuzzy degrees of validity and non-validity), decision making processes (having, e.g. intuitionistic fuzzy estimations of the criteria), neural networks, pattern recognitions, metaheuristic algorithms, etc. Short review of these legs of research is offered, with some concrete ideas of possible new directions of study. On this basis, a non-formal discussion is raised on the benefits of applying various elements of intuitionistic fuzzy logics as tools for evaluation of Data Mining processes. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Krastanov A.,University of Food Technologies | Alexieva Z.,Bulgarian Academy of Science | Yemendzhiev H.,University Professor Dr. Assen Zlatarov Burgas
Engineering in Life Sciences | Year: 2013

Phenol and its derivatives are one of the largest groups of environmental pollutants due to their presence in many industrial effluents and broad application as antibacterial and antifungal agents. A number of microbial species possess enzyme systems that are applicable for the decomposition of various aliphatic and aromatic toxic compounds. Intensive efforts to screen species with high-degradation activity are needed to study their capabilities of degrading phenol and phenolic derivatives. Most of the current research has been directed at the isolation and study of microbial species of potential ecological significance. In this review, some of the best achievements in degrading phenolic compounds by bacteria and yeasts are presented, which draws attention to the high efficiency of strains of Pseudomonas, Candida tropicalis, Trichosporon cutaneum, etc. The unique ability of fungi to maintain their degradation potential under conditions unfavorable for other microorganisms is outstanding. Mathematical models of the microbial biodegradation dynamics of single and mixed aromatic compounds, which direct to the benefit of the processes studied in optimization of modern environmental biotechnology are also presented. © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Kirova-Yordanova Z.,University Professor Dr. Assen Zlatarov Burgas
Energy | Year: 2011

In this work the exergy method is used to compare various methods for removal of NO. x from waste (tail) gas released into the atmosphere from nitric acid production plants with respect to their overall environmental impact. Three basic methods for NO. x abatement are analysed: selective catalytic reduction (SCR), non-selective catalytic reduction (NSCR) and extended absorption. The positive and negative effects and the net effect from the NO. x abatement are calculated. The following exergy-based indicators are used for comparing the energy efficiency and the environmental impact of different treatment processes as a result from pollutants removal: reduction of the exergy of the emissions from the whole process route (ammonia and nitric acid production units); exergy of the additional emissions, arising as a result of the treatment process; total net reduction of the exergy consumption, Cumulative Energy Consumption (CEnC) and Cumulative Exergy Consumption (CExC) of natural resources as a result of the waste flows treatment. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Kirova-Yordanova Z.,University Professor Dr. Assen Zlatarov Burgas
Energy | Year: 2010

The exergy method is used to compare different production processes and various methods for emission abatement with respect to their overall environmental impact. Some ammonium nitrate production processes are studied as examples, because the pollutants (ammonia and ammonium nitrate), emitted from these processes into the air and/or into the water, are really a feedstock and a product from the production process. Therefore, the essential result of the waste flows treatment is the recycling of the pollutants (ammonia and ammonium nitrate) back into the production process, decreasing simultaneously the exergy input and cumulative exergy consumption. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Risselada A.J.,University Professor Dr. Assen Zlatarov Burgas
Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde | Year: 2013

The introduction of the new oral anticoagulant drugs (NOACs) has recently been paid much attention. The main advantage of these drugs is that routine monitoring of the anticoagulant effects does not seem necessary. A 53-year-old man who had just undergone partial knee arthroplasty went to the emergency department with shortness of breath and respiratory chest pain. The symptoms arose the day after thromboprophylaxis was switched from dalteparin 5000 IU QD to rivaroxaban 10 mg QD. The patient also used carbamazepine 600 mg BID for epilepsy. Based on a CT scan the patient was diagnosed with pulmonary embolisms. Use of carbamazepine, a CYP3A4 inducer, probably led to an increased clearance of rivaroxaban resulting in pulmonary embolisms. We encourage monitoring of the anticoagulant effects of NOACs in case of drug-drug interactions, especially when NOACs are given in higher doses for a long period, in order to prevent treatment complications.

Wiens and University Professor Dr. Assen Zlatarov Burgas | Date: 2010-11-10

The invention concerns the application of silintaphin-1 in the sustainable fabrication of hierarchically ordered silica structures from nano- to macro-scale at environmentally benign conditions and low energy costs (low temperature, low pressure, absence of caustic chemicals).

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