First discover the disorder and then find the patients

Published on 5. Januar 2018

Bielefeld biochemists confirm cause of initially unclear symptoms 

Der Biochemiker Prof. Dr. Thomas Dierks forscht zu Erbkrankheiten und Therapie-Konzepten, wobei defekte Enzyme und deren Ersatz im Mittelpunkt stehen. Foto: Universität Bielefeld
The sequencing of the human genome has made it possible: nowadays scientists can discover potential disorders for which there are no known patients. Such a disorder is ‘MPS III-E’, originally also called ‘Dierks’s disorder’ after its discoverer. Doctors at the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem (Israel) found consistent symptoms of progressive blindness in three patient families that indicated the presence of a previously unknown genetic defect. Genome analyses at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) delivered a candidate gene on which Professor Dr. Thomas Dierks from Bielefeld University had already published a research article in 2012. Studies by Dierks’ research team now revealed that these patients indeed suffer from ‘MPS III-E’.  The researchers are now presenting their analysis in the journal ‘Genetics in Medicine’, published by the Nature Publishing Group.


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New initiative giving a chance to refugee researchers

Published on 4. Januar 2018
Bielefeld University coordinating pan-European project with six partners

Die Initiative BRiDGE vernetzt gefährdete Forschende. Foto: Universität Bielefeld

They flee from regions beset by war and crises, and many come to Europe. They are academics in danger. Some find refuge in European academic institutions – including Bielefeld University, where they can continue their academic work. The newly approved project BRiDGE (Bridge for Researchers in Danger Going to Europe) aims to build bridges for these refugee researchers and researchers in danger. The project is supporting 220 refugee researchers, mostly those displaced in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Switzerland, and Germany, but also in all other European countries. Bielefeld University is taking responsibility for coordinating the project.[Weiterlesen]
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Virtual Twin in Ten Minutes

Published on 2. Januar 2018
CITEC Cluster of Excellence Project Accelerates Avatar Generation

Um das neue Verfahren zu testen, ließ sich der Doktorand Jascha Achenbach gleichzeitig von 40 Kameras fotografieren (links). Zehn Minuten später war die virtuelle Version des Forschers fertig (rechts). Foto: CITEC/Universität Bielefeld

Avatars - virtual persons - are a core element of ICSpace, the virtual fitness and movement environment at Bielefeld University’s Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC). The system makes it possible to practise and improve motion sequences by providing individualised feedback in real time. The system is embodied by a virtual person acting as a coach. In addition, users see themselves as avatars - virtual copies of themselves in the mirror of the virtual room. The creation of such personalised avatars used to take several days, but CITEC researchers have now developed an accelerated process.[Weiterlesen]
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The biological clock of plants

Published on 15. Dezember 2017

‘research_tv’ presents Bielefeld research on Nobel Prize topic

Die Biochemikerin Professorin Dr. Dorothee Staiger von der Universität Bielefeld forscht seit zwanzig Jahren an der inneren Uhr der Pflanzen. Screenshot: research_tv
On Sunday (10.12.2017), the Americans Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young were awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology for their research on the biological clock. They discovered the molecular mechanisms controlling biological rhythms. A new ‘research_tv’ report describes how scientists at Bielefeld are also advancing research on the biological clock. The biochemist Professor Dr. Dorothee Staiger from Bielefeld University explains what the three Nobel Prize winners have achieved and reports on the discoveries her research team has made together with collaborators.[Weiterlesen]
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New Collaborative Research Centre: The individual and its ecological niche

Published on 28. November 2017
Bielefeld University and the University of Münster cooperate in Transregio consortium

Prof. Dr. Oliver Krüger

A new Transregio Collaborative Research Centre (CRC/TRR) with the abbreviated name ‘NC3’ will link the sub-disciplines of behavioural biology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. Its goal is to elucidate how animals succeed by individually adapting to their environment and thereby finding and exploiting their individualised ecological niche. The German Research Foundation (DFG) has now approved funding for CRC/TRR 212. Starting in January 2018, it will be supporting this new direction in research with a total of roughly 8.5 million Euros. The behavioural ecologist Professor Dr. Oliver Krüger from Bielefeld University is the speaker; the evolutionary biologist Professor Dr. Joachim Kurtz from the University of Münster, assumes the role of vice-speaker.[Weiterlesen]
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Spin current from heat: new material increases efficiency

Published on 20. November 2017
Study published by physicists from Bielefeld University

Electronic devices such as computers generate heat that mostly goes to waste. Physicists at Bielefeld University have found a way to use this energy: They apply the heat to generate magnetic signals known as ‘spin currents’. In future, these signals could replace some of the electrical current in electronic components. In a new study, the physicists tested which materials can generate this spin current most effectively from heat. The research was carried out in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Greifswald, Gießen University, and the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden. Their findings are being published today (20.11.2017) in the research journal ‘Nature Communications’.[Weiterlesen]
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Biological Timing: Biologists Investigate the Mechanism of an Auxiliary Clock

Published on 17. November 2017
Researchers use new systems biology methods on plants

Prof. Dr. Dorothee Staiger ist Expertin für die innere Uhr der Pflanzen. Foto: Universität Bielefeld
In December, the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology will be awarded for the identification of genes that control the biological clock. The honoured academics examined fruit flies to investigate the molecular basis of biological rhythms. Biochemist Professor Dr. Dorothee Staiger (Photo) of Bielefeld University has been investigating the biological clock of plants for twenty years. Her team has now published a new study in the research journal “Genome Biology”. One finding: not only the biological clock, but also a protein acting as an "auxiliary clock" ensures that recurring routines take place in the cells.[Weiterlesen]
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New Funding for Bio-Production with Microorganisms

Published on 6. November 2017
Center for Biotechnology raises funding for international cooperative research projects

Prof. Dr. Olaf Kruse Foto: Universität Bielefeld

Using bacteria and microalgae to produce valuable compounds from alternative, sustainable sources: biology professors Prof. Dr. Olaf Kruse and Prof. Dr. Volker F. Wendisch are investigating this topic with their research groups at the Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec) and the Faculty of Biology at Bielefeld University. The researchers have now received funding approval for their work within three new cooperative research projects: the international research consortia will be funded with a total of 4.8 million Euro over a period of three years.[Weiterlesen]
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A Specialist in Sensory Integration

Published on 2. November 2017

Dr. Christoph Kayser accepts professorship at Bielefeld University / 2 Million Euro Funding from European Research Council 

Durch das neue System reagieren Erntemaschinen automatisch auf Hindernisse im Erntefeld. Foto: CLAAS

Whether it is the lively activity of a festival, the vibe at the beach, or the chaos at the scene of an accident, the brain classifies these situations at lightning speed. To do this, the brain continuously sorts and combines the information it receives through the eyes, ears, and other sensory organs. Professor Dr. Christoph Kayser, a biologist and mathematician, researches how, and where in the brain, sensory information is integrated. Prof. Dr. Kayser previously headed a research group at the University of Glasgow (Great Britain), and has now accepted a professorship in Cognitive Neuroscience at Bielefeld University. His research is well known internationally: the European Research Council (ERC) provides 2 million Euros to fund his work through 2020.

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A Social Robot and Data Sonification in the Caring Apartment

Published on 27. Oktober 2017
Large-scale project at Cluster of Excellence CITEC nearing completion

Prof. Dr. Britta Wrede vom Exzellenzcluster CITEC gehört zur Leitung des Projekts, das Roboter Floka – hier mit „sozialem Kopf“ – mit einer intelligenten Wohnung vernetzt. Foto: CITEC/Universität Bielefeld

What makes an intelligent apartment socially competent, allowing it to provide optimal support to its guests? Researchers at Bielefeld University’s Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC) have been investigating this question in a large-scale project.  The main result of this project has been the creation of an intelligentapartment in the CITEC Building, which can be used around the clock as a research apartment. Among the innovations developed by the researchers include an “emotional” robot head, a sound-based energy consumption notification system, and a light signaling system in the kitchen. The project, called the “caring apartment,” will officially be concluded at the end of October. The researchers are presenting the results of their project this week at the international conference “Human Agent Interaction” (HAI), which is being held at CITEC. A new video gives a glimpse into the research on the cognitive robot service apartment.[Weiterlesen]
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