Before RNA copies of genes can program the synthesis of proteins, the non-coding regions are removed by the spliceosome. Munich researchers report that distinct conformations of a member of this molecular complex play a vital role in the process.
Physicists at LMU have developed a novel nanotool that provides a facile means of characterizing the mechanical properties of biomolecules. They constructed a molecular clamp out of artificial DNA strands that can be programmed to exert a defined force on a test molecule.
DNA normally has the structure of a double helix. Among other things, it is stabilized by stacking forces between base pairs. Scientists at the TUM have succeeded at measuring these forces for the very first time on the level of single base pairs. This new knowledge could help to construct precise molecular machines out of DNA.
The cell’s internal skeleton undergoes constant restructuring. LMU physicists now show that its constituent proteins can be efficiently transported to their sites of action by diffusion – provided they can be arrested when they get there.
Normally, individual molecules of genetic material repel each other. However, when space is limited DNA molecules must be packed together more tightly. This case arises in sperm, cell nuclei and the protein shells of viruses. An international team of physicists has now succeeded in artificially recreating this "DNA condensation" on a biochip.
Cavity-enhanced Raman-scattering reveals information on structure and properties of carbon nanotubes
Control of the spatial distribution of specific proteins within cells is crucial for many biological processes. NIM researchers have now shown that, once such patterns have been set up, they are remarkably robust to changing conditions.
NIM scientists and their colleagues have found a clever way to decouple organic nanosheets grown on metal surfaces. By intercalation of iodine atoms the “organic carpet” behaved almost as it was free-standing: Ideal conditions to transfer organic nanostructures from metal onto more suitable substrates for molecular electronics.
The LMU physicist Chase Broedersz and co-workers have developed a way to distinguish the random motions of particles in non-living molecular systems from the motility of active living matter.
The method affords new insights into fundamental biological processes.
The NIM member Friedrich Simmel from the Physics Department of TUM won out in the latest round of ERC grants. His interdisciplinary project is at the interface of physics and biology. It would not have been possible just a few years ago. It is ambitious in trying to carve out new scientific grounds.
Living cells must alter their external form actively, otherwise functions like cell division would not be possible. At the Technical University of Munich (TUM) the biophysicist Professor Andreas Bausch and his team have developed a synthetic cell model to investigate the fundamental principles of the underlying cellular mechanics.
Water electrolysis has not yet established itself as a method for the production of hydrogen. Too much energy is lost in the process. With a trick researchers of the Technical University of Munich (TUM), the Ruhr University Bochum and Leiden University have now doubled the efficiency of the reaction.
Computer simulations performed by a group led by the physicist Erwin Frey (LMU München & NIM) have now shown that mixtures of equally sized particles in solution will sort themselves out, provided that the components differ in diffusivity.
The Bavarian Academy of Sciences and Humanities awards the Arnold Sommerfeld Prize 2015 to Dr. Gregor Koblmüller (WSI, TUM). The prize recognizes his outstanding scientific contributions towards the realization of complex semiconductor nanowire heterostructures and their use for next generation electronic and photonic devices.
Precise control of the distribution of specific proteins is essential for many biological processes. An LMU team has now described a new model for intracellular pattern formation. Here, the shape of the cell itself plays a major role.
Image: E. coli Bacteria (Dr Kateryna / Fotolia.com)
Using a new procedure researchers at the TUM and the LMU can now produce extremely thin and robust, yet highly porous semiconductor layers. A very promising material – for small, light-weight, flexible solar cells, for example, or electrodes improving the performance of rechargeable batteries.
After serving eight years at the helm of NIM, our coordinator Jochen Feldmann has decided to step down and to entrust another colleague with the coordination of the cluster. Recently, the members of NIM have elected me to be his successor as cluster coordinator.
Physicists at TU München detect mechanisms in semiconductor nanostructures which can cause stored quantum information to be lost and inhibit this by applying magnetic fields.
LMU‘s Nanocandy team was highly successful in this year’s BIOMOD competition held at Harvard University. Team members Luzia Kilwing, Jonathan Wagner, Chaochen Lu and Maximilian Schiff won the second prize overall, as well as picking up the prize for the best presentation of their research project – NanocANDy.
After one year in the making, it is finally done: the 2015 NIM image film. In the seven minute videoclip, NIM scientists Bein, Feldmann, Gross, Lipfert and Wagner give some inspiring insights into the visions and goals of the Nanosystems Initiative Munich, featuring the Research Areas I, III and V.
Collaborative research between the University of Augsburg, Germany, and UC Riverside, USA, opens up new ways of understanding monolayer films for (opto-)electronic application.
A group of LMU researchers led by Alexander Urban and Carlos Cardenas-Daw at the Chair for Photonics and Optoelectronics of Professor Jochen Feldmann, has succeeded in synthesizing ultrathin perovskite nanocrystals in the form of ultrathin nanoplatelets suitable for use in tunable and energy-efficient LEDs.
While the cleaning of car exhausts is among the best known applications of catalytic processes, it is only the tip of the iceberg. Practically the entire chemical industry relies on catalytic reactions. Catalyst design plays a key role in improving these processes. An international team of scientists has now developed a concept that elegantly correlates geometric and adsorption properties.
NIM physists of the Augsburg University and TU Munich (TUM) successfully used nanomechanical sound waves to control a ‘molecule of light’ formed by two neighboring nanophotonic resonators. The scientists show, that the vibrating sound wave switches on and off the bond of their photonic molecule at unprecedented speeds.
NIM chemists at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München have fabricated a novel nanosheet-based photonic crystal that changes color in response to moisture. The new material could form the basis for humidity-sensitive contactless control of interactive screens on digital devices.
NIM physicists were able to show how biological motors and molecules can be used for precise measurements of magnetic materials. Superparamagnetic beads are for example able to track certain substances in liquids or they can mix liquids measuring only a few microliters.
NIM scientists developed a new type of microscope, that enables the optical investigation of nanoparticles. Using a resonator, the vanishing small signals of their interaction with light are being amplified by a factor of 1000, yet achieving an optical resolution close to the fundamental diffraction limit.
Optimized printing enables custom organic electronics
They are thin, light-weight, flexible and can be produced efficiently: printed microelectronic components made of synthetics. Physicists at TUM have now observed the creation of razor thin polymer electrodes and improved the electrical properties of the printed films.
Hydrogen is a promising storage medium for electricity generated via renewable sources. NIM scientists have successfully synthesized iron-nickel oxide nanoparticles that allows for the hydrogen production process to be ten times more efficient than existing solutions.
Awarded by Deutsche Bunsengesellschaft
At the conference of the Deutsche Bunsengesellschaft NIM member Prof. Christoph Bräuchle (LMU) received the Walther-Nernst-Denkmünze. The price is awarded every three years to scientists for important contributions in the field of Applied Physical Chemistry.
In the current issue of "Nature Nanotechnology" NIM physicists from Augsburg University present how they successfully realized the first synthesizer for tailored nanomechanical waves.
Game theory elucidates collective behavior
Quantum particles behave in strange ways and it is often difficult to study them experimentally in a laboratory. Using mathematical methods from the field of game theory, NIM-physicists could now show why some quantum particles, the bosons, like to form multiple groups.
Nanorobot signals new flexibility in DNA origami
NIM physicists demonstrate a breakthrough in using DNA as a programmable building material for nanomachines by snapping together complementary shapes instead of zipping together strings of base pairs.Their results are published in the journal Science.
Measurement with extremly high temporal resolution
The surface of topological insulators conducts electricity exceptionally well. NIM scientists now measured this with extremely high temporal resolution. They also could influence the direction of the surface currents with a polarized laser beam.
Highly precise movement of nanoparticles
Tiny glass nanospheres coated on one side with a very fine gold film: LMU scientists have shown that particles modified in this way can be moved about with high precision using laser beams, creating an optically controlled micro-elevator.
Doping with magnetite
Magnetic nanoparticles can increase the performance of organic solar cells - provided the mix is right. NIM scientists now proved that adding about one per cent by weight makes the solar cells more efficient.
The taming of magnetic vortices
Magnetic vortex structures, so-called skyrmions, could in future store and process information very efficiently. NIM physicists now characterized their electromagnetic properties and developed a unified theoretical description of their behavior.
Nanoparticles can function as carriers for medicines to combat lung cancer. In a joint project with other researchers NIM scienists have now developed nanocarriers that site-selectively release drugs at the tumor site in human and mouse lungs.
The origin of life
Water-filled micropores in hot rock may have acted as the nurseries in which life on Earth began. NIM scientists have now shown that temperature gradients in pore systems promote the cyclical replication and emergence of nucleic acids. Read more