News from the Physics Department
How to start a nanomotor?
2018-07-05 – Most people have never heard of them, and yet every living being needs them to survive: fine protrusions of cells known as cilia. They allow sperm to move, form fine protective hairs in the lungs and play a crucial role in the differentiation of organs in embryos. A research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now reconstructed the protein complex responsible for transport within cilia, which plays a decisive role in their functioning.
Prestigious ERC grants for research projects in physics
2017-09-05 – Two young scientists at TUM’s physics department will receive Starting Grants from the European Research Council (ERC). In addition a full professor is awarded a Proof of Concept Grant. Each of the three research fields at the department – Biophysics, Condensed Matter Physics and Nuclear, Particle and Astrophysics – has recieved one of the prestigious awards.
TUM and MPG strengthen their partnership to promote young scientists
2017-09-04 – Starting in 2018 the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the Max Planck Society (MPG) will join several partners to break new ground: at the Max Planck School “Physics, Chemistry and Construction of Life”, selected university students and Doctoral candidates will be taught by Germany’s best researchers in order to research the basic principles of living systems.
Optical tweezers unveil a secret of muscle power
2017-01-24 – Our hearts beat a life long. With every beat our heart muscle contracts and expands. How this can work throughout an entire life remains largely a mystery. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have now measured the forces acting between the building blocks titin and α-actinin which stabilize the muscle.
Measuring forces in the DNA molecule
2016-09-12 – DNA, our genetic material, normally has the structure of a twisted rope ladder. Experts call this structure a double helix. Among other things, it is stabilized by stacking forces between base pairs. Scientists at the Technical University of Munich (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 researchers published their findings in the journal “Science”.
Matthias Rief wird Mitglied der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
2015-03-21 – Die Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften hat elf Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aufgrund ihrer wissenschaftlichen Leistungen als neue Mitglieder gewählt – darunter auch Prof. Matthias Rief, Lehrstuhlinhaber für Molekulare Biophysik am Physik-Department.
New insight on molecular motor movement: Mini cargo transporters on a rat run
2012-05-02 – Kinesins assume a vital function in our cells: The tiny cargo transporters move important substances along lengthy protein fibers and ensure an effective infrastructure. Biophysicists of chair E22 and of LMU have now discovered why some of these transporters can, like cars on a multi-lane motorway, change lanes. The researchers report on this hitherto unknown phenomenon in the current edition of the renowned journal “Molecular Cell.”