Technical University Munich

  • In the pure white snow of Antarctica, scientists have found rare isotopes that don't occur naturally on Earth. The isotope, known as iron-60, is usually forged in the crucible of supernova explosions, and the researchers believe it fell to Earth as our solar system passed through an interstellar gas cloud.
  • ​Many people get a tattoo as a means of making a statement. Thanks to new research into permanent tattoos that change color in response to certain biomarkers, that statement could one day be something along the lines of, "My pH levels are being monitored."
  • Commercial aircraft are already guided in for automatic landings at large airports, as their autopilot follows radio signals transmitted by ground-based antennas. Such auto-landings currently aren't possible at small airports, although that could be about to change, thanks to a new system.
  • Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have demonstrated a prototype of a drug that can release three active ingredients, at different times in sequence. The key to this unusual and useful ointment is artificial DNA, which breaks down at precise intervals.
  • The pigment melanin is a natural defense against skin cancer – and now it could help fight other cancers too. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich and Helmholtz Zentrum München have found that melanin-loaded nanoparticles can help diagnose tumors and slow their growth.
  • ​Although it's associated with nasty cigarettes, the tobacco plant is also a potential source of vaccines, biofuel and antibiotics. Now, a chemical from the plant is also being used as a bug repellent for crops, which could replace eco-unfriendly insecticides.
  • ​When the water in a building's air conditioning system gets infected with Legionella bacteria, people can get Legionnaires' disease. Therefore, it's important to check that water for the bacteria on a regular basis. A new chip is promised to do the job faster than ever.
  • Inspired by biological processes, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) are developing materials that “die” when they run out of energy, which could lead to time-release drug delivery systems and eventually electronics and packaging that self-destructs when required.
  • Science
    ​​People that wear contact lenses may be familiar with the irritation that comes from dried-out eyes, which can cause damage to ocular tissue. Scientists say that they can better avert this danger, and it involves a molecule found in the stomach of pigs.
  • If you kick a ball on the ground, it will roll away from you – that’s pretty basic science. But mathematicians have found that a quantum ball would roll toward your foot instead. When a force is applied to them, quantum particles can move in the opposite direction, in an effect known as “backflow.”
  • ​When doctors assess psoriasis, they generally do so via an examination of the scaly patches on the skin's surface. This can be subjective, however, plus it doesn't take into account what's going on at a deeper level. That's why scientists have developed a scanner that looks beneath the skin.
  • ​We think of Wi-Fi as bathing us in a comfy, invisible blanket of data and internet access, but just as a blanket can take on the shapes of the bodies it covers, the microwave radiation sent out from a hotspot can be used to generate a three-dimensional image of the surrounding environment.