Press releases of the UDE
10.09.2018 - 09:59:09Researchers pave the way for graphene-based nanoelectronics
11.12.2017 - 11:28:12DFG Award for UA Ruhr Project
16.11.2017 - 11:25:11Program for Educational Upward Mobility Receives European Award
23.10.2017 - 16:53:10Professor Kaeding leads EU project
While they are situated thousands of kilometres apart and characterised by different political values, Central Asia »mehrProfessor Kaeding leads EU project
While they are situated thousands of kilometres apart and characterised by different political values, Central Asia and the European Union have become important partners. In the Horizon 2020-project “SEnECA – Strengthening and energizing EU-Central Asia Relations” researchers and think tanks will analyse how the relationship between the EU and the Central Asian countries can be further intensified. Prof. Dr. Michael Kaeding, professor for European politics at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) and Dr. Katrin Böttger, Deputy Director of the Institut für Europäische Politik (IEP) are coordinating the project conjointly with financial support from Brussels: The EU is funding the project with about 1.5 million Euros in the following two years.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan: For ten years now, the EU has been pursuing its ‘Strategy for a New Partnership’ in this region. Intersecting Asia and Europe, these countries are of high geopolitical importance. The development and consolidation of stable and democratic societies in these countries is essential to the European Union.
“The five former members of the Soviet Union have a rich political history marked by a variety of conflicts. The EU is keen to strengthen its ties with Central Asian countries, both for economic and security reasons, such as energy trade and counter-terrorism.. An additional goal is the stabilization of the very diverse political situations. From a researcher's point of view, we would like to support Central Asian research organisations in cooperating on an international level”, explains Prof. Kaeding. “We are looking forward to strengthening and shaping the future cooperation between EU and Central Asia.”
The aim of the SEnECA project is threefold: Firstly, an interdisciplinary network of researchers working on Central Asia in Europe and European integration in the Central Asian region will be established. In the spirit of scientific cooperation, the project consortium involves ten partner organisations, five from Europe and five from Central Asia, in addition to UDE and IEP.
Secondly, the researchers will accompany the revision of the EU-Central Asia Strategy. In 2015 the strategy was updated and a proposal for the new strategy should be presented in 2019. The SEnECA team will provide policy recommendations for Europe’s future policy towards the region and will cooperate closely with Peter Burian, the EU Special Representative for Central Asia.
Thirdly, the consortium wants to contribute to intensifying the existing relations. Therefore, the partners will analyse the current relations and will interview stakeholders from politics, economics and culture from Brussels and the EU member states as well as from Central Asia in order to identify future forms of cooperation and give recommendations.
UDE: Prof. Dr. Michael Kaeding, Jean Monnet Lehrstuhl für Europäische Integration und Europapolitik, Tel. 0203/379-2050, michael.kaeding@uni-due
IEP: Julian Plottka, Tel. 030/889134-84, firstname.lastname@example.org
26.06.2017 - 13:42:06A fossil sheds light on the origin of the neocortex
According to a recent study an early relative of mammals already possessed an extraordinarily expanded »mehrA fossil sheds light on the origin of the neocortex
According to a recent study an early relative of mammals already possessed an extraordinarily expanded brain with a neocortex-like structure. This has been discovered by Michael Laaß from the Institute of General Zoology at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE).
Today, mammals possess large and efficient brains. But, what was the bauplan of the brain of their far relatives, the therapsids? When and why evolved the neocortex?
For his doctoral thesis the palaeontologist Michael Laaß invesitgated a ca. 255 million years old fossil skull of the therapsid Kawingasaurus fossilis in collaboration with Dr. Anders Kaestner from the Paul Scherrer Institute in Switzerland by means of neutron tomography and reconstructed the internal cranial anatomy in 3D.
The results were amazing: The relative brain volume of Kawingasaurus was about two or three-times larger than in other non-mammalian therapsids. Laaß: “Interestingly, Kawingasaurus already possessed a large forebrain with two distinct cerebral hemispheres”. Obviously, a neocortex-like structure at the forebrain similar to the mammalian neocortex was present in this animal.
Why is this brain structure evolved in Kawingasaurus? “Kawingasaurus was a burrower and special sensory adaptations were crucial for life under ground”, explained the UDE scientist. For example, this therapsid possessed frontally placed eyes, which were probably useful for binocular vision in dimlight environments as it is known from modern cats and owls. Furthermore, extremely ramified trigeminal nerve endings penetrated the snout, which might be an indication for a well developed sense of touch. The inner ear vestibules were also very large, which suggests that Kawingasaurus was well adapted to detect seismic vibrations from the ground.
Laaß: “These special sensory adaptaions also required a more efficient neural processing of the brain than in other therapsids.” It seems reasonable that these special adaptations of the sense organs and the brain to underground life triggered the expansion of the brain. Interestingly, a similar scenario for the origin of the neocortex has been also proposed for early mammals. Consequently, the recent study at the UDE supports this hypothesis.
Moreover, the new discovery also shows that a neocortex-like structure already developed in the therapsid Kawingasaurus about 25 million years earlier before the emergence of the first mammals. However, Kawingasaurus was not a direct ancestor of mammals. Consequently, neocortex-like structures evolved several times independently in pre-mammalian and mammalian evolution.
Explanation to the figure:
A figure, which shows the skull of Kawingasaurus (Fotonachweis: Michael Laaß / Verlag Wiley-VCH) is provided under the following link:
Michael Laaß, phone: 0176-61755621, email@example.com (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
Editor: Cathrin Becker, Tel. 0203/379-1488
30.03.2017 - 12:22:03Report in Nature: observing live phase transition
By comparison, a blink lasts a lifetime – atoms can rearrange themselves within one 350 quadrillionths »mehrReport in Nature: observing live phase transition
By comparison, a blink lasts a lifetime – atoms can rearrange themselves within one 350 quadrillionths of a second. As reported in the latest issue of the prestigious journal Nature, scientists at the Center for Nanointegration (CENIDE) at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), together with their colleagues from the University of Paderborn, have been able to observe the movement of a one-dimensional material in real-time. Their research confirms that the acceleration of the atoms could leave even a Porsche standing.
Everything that surrounds us in our everyday life is three-dimensional, no matter how small: salt crystals, pollen, dust – even aluminium foil has a certain thickness. The first truly two-dimensional material graphene, was first discovered just 15 years ago, and ever since it has been used in applications such as transparent displays due to its outstanding electronic properties. Now, scientists are recognising the potential of one-dimensional systems: systems comprising a string of atoms lined up like pearls on a necklace. These wires, the thinnest in the world, are unstable, a fascinating effect which is not at all well investigated – a fact that Dr. Tim Frigge, working within Prof. Michael Horn-von Hoegen’s research group, set out to address.
Frigge’s sample consisted of two single chains of indium atoms on a silicon substrate. At temperatures above approximately -140°C, the atoms form long chains, making the system metallic and enabling the conduction of electricity. Below this temperature, however, the atoms slip together in pairs and form hexagons, turning the system into an insulator.
This transition takes place at lightning-speed, within just 350 femtoseconds. In order to study it, the researchers had to induce the process artificially, doing so several million times at a rate of 5000 times per second. In order to achieve this, they stimulated the material with an ultrashort laser pulse, which, despite the icy temperatures of around -243°C, triggered the transition into the chain-shaped metallic state that otherwise only occurs at higher temperatures. The system subsequently reverted back to its non-metallic state one atom after the other, like a row of falling dominos.
In order to observe this transition, the physicists shot an electron beam across their sample, using its diffraction to determine the position of the atoms. Taking such a diffraction image every 50 femtoseconds results in a kind of ‘molecular movie’: a film that shows the path of the atoms over the sample surface – ‘just like in a flip-book,’ Frigge explains.
The researchers’ atomic level film represents the first step towards understanding – and, if possible, controlling – one-dimensional systems. It is worth noting, too, that as well as the path of the atoms, their speed can also be measured: over the short distance, the atoms hit speeds of around 100 km/h – and this in tiny fractions of a second, boasting acceleration trillions of times higher than that of a Porsche.
Original publication: Frigge et al., Optically excited strutural transition in atomic wires at the quantum limit, Nature, doi: 10.1038/nature21432
Prof. Dr. Michael Horn-von Hoegen, Physics Faculty, 0203 379-1438, email@example.com
Editor: Birte Vierjahn, 0203/ 379-8176, firstname.lastname@example.org
29.03.2017 - 14:53:03University Alliance Ruhr signs new agreement
After ten years of successful cooperation, the three large universities in the Ruhr Area have resealed »mehrUniversity Alliance Ruhr signs new agreement
After ten years of successful cooperation, the three large universities in the Ruhr Area have resealed their partnership: the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, TU Dortmund University and the University of Duisburg-Essen have renewed their Framework Cooperation Agreement in order to reinforce their collaboration in the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr). The contract illustrates the extent of dynamic development the network has undertaken since its foundation on March 12, 2007.
Rectors signing the framework cooperation agreement
They have resealed their successful cooperation: (from left to right) Prof. Ulrich Radke, Dr. Rainer Ambrosy, Prof. Axel Schölmerich, Dr. Christina Reinhardt, Prof. Ursula Gather and Albrecht Ehlers. Photo: Roland Baege/TU Dortmund
As University Alliance Metropolis Ruhr (UAMR), the three universities had partnered ten years ago in order to cooperate more closely, while at the same time still preserving their autonomy. The network presented itself as “a new entity in the scientific landscape” with 89,000 students at that time. Today, the significance of the Ruhr Area as a scientific region has become even more visible: in the current funding atlas of the German Research Foundation, the UA Ruhr ranks nationwide at fifth place among scientific regions, behind Berlin, Munich, Heidelberg/Mannheim and Aachen. The number of students has risen to nearly 120,000.
A pioneer in university networks in Germany
The UA Ruhr is seen as a pioneer in university networks in Germany, and no other network has such a distinctive tradition. With the signing of the first cooperation agreement, the universities had already been operating a joint liaison office in New York for three years. Inspired by this success, it was decided to expand the collaboration “wherever it is appropriate”. The ten-year anniversary has now provided the impetus to trace the dynamic development and incorporate it into a new framework agreement. While the M for Metropolis has disappeared from the name through the years, diverse cooperations have been formed and solid structures have been established.
A high-level research council was for example founded in 2013 which identifies joint Flagship Programs in research. With “Ruhr explores solvation (RESOLV)” and “Materials Chain“, two joint Flagship Programs were established in which the UA Ruhr conducts international top-level research. Since 2010, the Mercator Research Center Ruhr has been supporting the collaboration of the three universities, especially through funding of bi- and tri-lateral research projects. The UA Ruhr places particular emphasis on offering development programs for junior scientists. Building on the existing programs ScienceCareerNet Ruhr and Global Young Faculty, the activities are bundled under the umbrella of the Research Academy Ruhr starting in 2017.
Together for visibility: New York, Moscow, São Paulo
The three universities established the study room RuhrCampus3 as early as 2009, so that students can receive, free of charge, visiting-student status at the partner universities. The first joint course of study, that is the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree program Medical Physics, had its startup in 2011, while the Master’s degree Program Biodiversity followed in 2013. Internationalization has been further developed as well: a joint liaison office in Moscow was opened in 2009, and a branch soon followed in Brazil in 2011.
Although internationalization provided the impulse for the partnership, the three universities particularly underscore their economic and social responsibility for the region. Thus, the UA Ruhr has also become a member, since last year, in the initiative circle Ruhr. Their strongest contribution to the regional economy lies in the training of highly-qualified specialists – 16,000 students graduate at the UA Ruhr every year.
The three universities would like to celebrate these and other successes together with partners and members in this year: The official ceremony “ten years of University Alliance Ruhr” will take place in the Jahrhunderthalle Bochum on July 13.
About the UA Ruhr
Since 2007, the three Ruhr Area universities have been collaborating, strategically and closely, under the umbrella of the UA Ruhr. By bundling their strengths, the achievements of the partner universities are being systematically expanded. Following the motto “three universities, one community, endless opportunities”, the Alliance has grown in the meantime to 100 cooperations in research, teaching and administration. With about 120,000 students and almost 1,300 professors, the UA Ruhr is among the largest and best-performing hubs for science and technology in Germany.
Contact regarding queries: Dr. Hans Stallmann, Coordinator UA Ruhr, Phone: +49 (0)234/32-27892 »weniger
18.10.2016 - 14:39:10For stomach germ Helicobacter pylori
Helicobacter pylori is a spiral bacterium that can colonize the human stomach – sometimes with fatal consequences. »mehrFor stomach germ Helicobacter pylori
Helicobacter pylori is a spiral bacterium that can colonize the human stomach – sometimes with fatal consequences. A research group led by Prof. Markus Gerhard of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Assistant Professor Dr. Bernhard B. Singer of the Institute for Anatomy at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Duisburg-Essen at Essen University Medical Centre has discovered a completely new approach to preventing or treating infections with this bacterium as well as secondary complications. This research was done in collaboration with the group of Prof. Han Remaut (VIB – VUBrussels, Belgium). “Nature Microbiology”, a scientific journal, reports on this in its current edition.
Helicobacter pylori infection usually occurs during childhood. The bacterium is widely spread: every third person in Germany and every other person worldwide is a carrier. Secondary complications include gastritis, stomach and duodenal ulcers. In addition, there is an increased risk of developing stomach cancer. The typical treatment for Helicobacter pylori infections is currently antibiotics. The disadvantage of this treatment, however, is that it not only destroys the bacterium itself but also the ‘good germs’ of the gut flora. In addition, the bacterium is developing increasing resistance.
In order to ensure permanent survival in the human stomach, Helicobacter pylori must attach to the epithelial cells in the gastric mucosa. Research groups in Munich, Essen, and Brussels have now detected a highly specific and exceptionally strong variant of this adhesion, in which the bacterial surface molecule HopQ binds itself to so-called “Carcinoembryonic Antigen-Related Cell Adhesion Molecules”, or CEACAMs for short, inside the stomach.
“In contrast to previously known binding partners of the bacterium, this bond is independent of sugar structures. This seems to ensure that it is especially stable in the acid environment of the stomach,” explains Bernhard B. Singer. CEACAMs do not occur in healthy stomach tissue, but primarily when there is an inflammation of the gastric mucosa (gastritis) caused by Helicobacter pylori infection.
“One could say that these germs create additional and particularly strong binding opportunities by stimulating the formation of CEACAMs,” adds Singer. Once bound to CEACAM, Helicobacter pylori can transfer additional proteins, so-called virulence factors, to the stomach cells. This secretion system contributes significantly to the development of stomach ulcers and bowel cancer. “Against this backdrop, we assume that HopQ could be used diagnostically and therapeutically,” says Markus Gerhard, Professor at the Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene at TUM.
The Scientists are currently researching various approaches in order to replace current types of treatment for Helicobacter pylori infection, due to the aforementioned side effects. The adhesion of the bacterium to stomach cells could be prevented with a soluble version of HopQ or parts of the protein, and the damaging effects of the germ could potentially be suppressed, as the data in the publication indicate. As a further therapeutic option, the researchers are pursuing the approach of using specifically developed antibodies against CEACAMs in order to fight diseases associated with the bacterium. An additional treatment option being considered is immunization against the HopQ protein and thus vaccination against infection with the bacterium. The German Research Foundation (DFG) considers the project a promising approach and will be sponsoring further research over the next three years. Results by a group led by Prof. Wolfgang Haas of Ludwig-Maximilians-University’s Max von Pettenkofer-Institute confirm the data collected by Markus Gerhard and his colleagues. Both articles appear in the current issue of “Nature Microbiology”.
PD Dr. rer. nat. Bernhard B. Singer +49/201/723-4389 email@example.com
Prof. Dr. med. Markus Gerhard +49 / 89 4140 4962 firstname.lastname@example.org »weniger
01.06.2016 - 14:23:06First-time Survey of Voting Behavior among Germans of Russian and Turkish Origin
Political scientists from the University of Duisburg-Essen and the »mehrFirst-time Survey of Voting Behavior among Germans of Russian and Turkish Origin
Political scientists from the University of Duisburg-Essen and the University of Cologne are conducting a first-time study of how people with a migrant background in Germany tend to vote. Who votes at all and which parties do they prefer? In previous surveys of voting behavior, scientists in Germany have mostly focused on characteristics such as age, profession, income and gender. The surveys rarely took into account that many Germans or their ancestors come from other countries.
On the occasion of the federal parliamentary elections in the fall of 2017, Prof. Achim Goerres (University of Duisburg-Essen) and Dr. Dennis C. Spies (University of Cologne) will conduct a survey among Germans of Russian and Turkish origin as well as their children. The German Research Foundation (DFG) is financing the study for three years with 730,000 euros.
German passport, international roots: almost nine million people of voting age, and counting, come from other countries or have parents who come from other countries. “For us as researchers, these people are interesting because their political socialization can differ significantly from that of other groups of voters,” say Goerres and Spies. “We want to find out if they ‘march to a different beat,’ or if their background influences in any way if and for whom they cast their ballot.”
In the past, research has yielded few results in this area. The two political scientists would like to change that. In their survey, they focus on the two largest immigrant groups in the country: Germans with a Turkish background – approximately 1.3 million potential voters – and approximately 2.4 million so called ethnic German repatriates from Russia and the former Soviet Union, including their children of legal age. This is a significant group whose voice could play a decisive role in elections.
But what proportion of those eligible to vote actually do so? What do Germans of Russian or Turkish origin think about the country’s top politicians? Do they trust parties, the political system and the legal system? Which topics are important to them? And do they engage in social or political activities? These are just some of the questions that Goerres and Spies will include in their survey in order to find out if there is a voting behavior specific to immigrants.
“It is possible that repatriates who came to Germany in the 1990s lean more towards the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) / Christian Social Union (CSU) because a CDU-led government was in office at the time. Now, one generation later, they might still feel loyal towards those parties who made it possible for them to come to Germany,” says Spies.
“The cultural context may be another important factor,” Goerres adds. “Somebody who grew up in a religious environment would not prefer secular parties like the Free Democratic Party (FDP) or the Green Party.” Or would they? Perhaps Germans of Turkish origin will vote for the Green Party because its co-chairman Cem Özdemir is “one of them.”
The study is also special in technical terms, the scientists say. “Firstly, we have to clearly identify Germans with a migrant background. To do so, we will apply a first name–last name combination. Secondly, we have to get a representative sample.” Goerres and Spies will use newly developed methods to conduct personal interviews on the occasion of the federal parliamentary elections in the fall of 2017. First results will be available in January 2018.
Contact: Prof. Achim Goerres, University of Duisburg-Essen, Institute of Political Science, +49 203 379 1385, email@example.com
Dr. Dennis C. Spies, University of Cologne, Cologne Center for Comparative Politics, +49 221 470 8811, firstname.lastname@example.org
06.04.2016 - 14:56:04Materials Chain at the Hanover Fair
What do gold nanoparticles, parts of human skulls from the 3D printer, and a screw weighing 15 kilograms have in »mehrMaterials Chain at the Hanover Fair
What do gold nanoparticles, parts of human skulls from the 3D printer, and a screw weighing 15 kilograms have in common? They all belong to the broad scientific portfolio of "The Materials Chain": From 25 to 29 April, the strategic programme of the University Alliance Ruhr (UA Ruhr) will be at the Hannover Fair in Hall 2 at booth B 30.
From the smallest material particles to the functional prototype: More than 200 research groups of The Materials Chain focus on six research priorities called "Discovery", "Engineering", "Production", "Characterization", "Modelling and Simulation", and "Data Science".
The project is an example of the intensive cooperation between the three Ruhr universities under the umbrella of the UA Ruhr: The Materials Chain brings together the excellent materials and production sciences of the Ruhr University Bochum, Dortmund Technical University, the University of Duisburg-Essen and its partners: from material design to material production and finishing to the characterization and processing. The aim is to observe materials throughout the production process – from the device to the atom. The strategic programme of UA Ruhr is supported by the Mercator Research Center Ruhr (Mercur).
The Hannover Fair is held annually and has more than 6,500 exhibitors and 220,000 visitors. It is the most important industrial fair worldwide.
Further Information: Dr. Sonja Berghoff, Materials Chain Office, phone: +49 234 – 32 22422, email@example.com
Edited by: Birte Vierjahn, +49 203/ 379-8176, firstname.lastname@example.org »weniger
10.12.2015 - 09:46:12Safe and less invasive search for metastases
For the first time, melanoma metastases in sentinel lymph nodes can be detected safely and without surgery. »mehrSafe and less invasive search for metastases
For the first time, melanoma metastases in sentinel lymph nodes can be detected safely and without surgery. The new procedure has now first been implemented for diagnosis by scientists of the medical faculty of the University Duisburg-Essen at the University Hospital Essen. It reduces the burden to the patients and the results are more precise than with the established diagnostic procedure.
Malignant melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Every year more than 220,000 new cases are identified worldwide, and the annual incidence is climbing. The earlier one can make the diagnosis, the better the chances for a complete cure. If the tumor has already formed metastases, the prognosis for the patient becomes significantly worse. Since the tumor metastases spread primarily via the lymphatic system, one usually first assesses the lymph nodes closest to the primary tumor.
Typically, surgery would then follow to resect the lymph nodes. Thanks to the new imaging procedure established by Dr. Joachim Klode and Dr. Ingo Stoffels, surgery will not be necessary for many patients in the future. Via a technology called “Multispectral Optoacoustic Tomography”, which has been developed by the German company iThera Medical, cancer cells in the lymph nodes closest to the primary tumor can be detected safely and less invasively.
First, the lymph nodes that should be diagnosed need to be identified. In contrary to today’s procedure, this no longer requires a radioactive tracer, but a dye called indocyanine green. Its drainage via the lymphatic vessels marks the sentinel lymph node. After identification, the lymph node would normally be surgically resected and assessed in the pathology. The patient needs to be hospitalized for several days for this procedure.
With optoacoustic technology, a pulsed laser illuminates the tissue through the skin. The light energy absorbed in the tissue generates an ultrasound signal which is acquired by a highly sensitive ultrasound detector. Once the lymph node for diagnosis has been identified through detection of the injected dye, the images acquired at multiple wavelengths reveal the presence of melanin in the tissue. Melanin is a clear indicator for a possible metastasis. In the absence of such a signal, the patient can be given the all-clear. The patient then does not require a surgery.
In nearly half of the patients diagnosed with the new MSOT procedure, a metastasis could be ruled out. The usual surgical procedure with its burden on the patient would have been unnecessary in these cases. The results of this study are reported in the current edition of the scientific journal Science Translational Magazine.
The Skin Clinic is part of the West German Tumor Center (WTZ) at the University Hospital Essen. It is the country’s largest of its kind and has been awarded as oncologic excellence center. Oncology is an emphasis of the clinic, as is research and teaching at the University Hospital Essen and the Medical Faculty of the University Duisburg-Essen.
Further information: http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/7/317/317ra199.full
Christine Harrell, Tel. +49 (0)201 723-1615, email@example.com
06.02.2015 - 09:39:02Chances for highly qualified migrants
A resource, a treasure which promises tremendous dividends but has yet to be tapped: the knowledge of highly qualified »mehrChances for highly qualified migrants
A resource, a treasure which promises tremendous dividends but has yet to be tapped: the knowledge of highly qualified migrants. Many countries throughout the world are competing for the best and brightest, but those who choose to leave their home countries often land in jobs which match neither their capabilities nor their qualifications. This situation poses absolutely no benefit to the migrants or the receiving countries. Prof. Anja Weiss of the University of Duisburg-Essen is seeking to explicate this seemingly contradictory state of affairs. A book has just been published outlining the results from a recently concluded international, VW Foundation-supported study group consisting of researchers from Germany and Canada.
The publication, Work in Transition, offers a comparison of labor market entry in Germany, Canada and Turkey. The study group interpreted and analyzed more than 200 interviews with well-educated and well-trained immigrants, and the results have made clear just how important the recognition and approval of cultural capital is. The study also shows how people who have been denied entry into the labor market come up against a dead end.
An asylum seeker reports: “I went to the public health authority and told them: ‘In Iraq, I worked as a senior physician and now I’m recognized in Germany as a medical doctor.’ Then the bureaucrat said: ‘No, if anything you can work as a maid, but you can’t work here as a doctor.’” From this and other similar statements, the authors have concluded that “objective” reasons are not always the deciding factors in determining whether academic credentials can be put to good use in the labor market. More decisive is the way in which individuals are able to negotiate with employers and government agencies.
Weiss et al. explain that these processes generally vary from country to country. In some vocational fields, a certain degree of cross-national similarities can be observed. Managers in Canada, Germany and Turkey, for example, pursue above all else the requisite language skills for doing business in their adopted countries. Physicians are more occupied with overcoming official, bureaucratic barriers to entry. Success stories can be observed in both occupational groups, and amongst migrants who are employed in international, English-speaking fields (for example, in the natural sciences).
“Trajectories into the labor market are dependent on several different dimensions. The job search is intertwined with family life,” argues Weiss. “And legal constraints also impact on both domains.” Those highly qualified individuals who are living without documents in Germany can only escape illegality through marriage. Some interview partners have refused to marry for that very reason. Women with temporary work visas and thus temporary statuses do not want to bring children into the world.
The majority of those with professional degrees who move to Germany and Turkey are not treated by law as highly qualified but are instead handled like refugees, the undocumented, spouses or – in the best case – as students. Legal exceptions to the regulations governing foreigners within the countries are rarely applied in practice. Long-term unemployment or underemployment must also be interpreted against the backdrop of legal restrictions to employment or an outright prohibition to work.
In Germany and Turkey, some highly qualified migrants experience open racism. On a commuter train, one interview partner, a lawyer, was told that being from Brazil she must be a prostitute. One computer scientist of African descent was confounded when a potential employer exclaimed at the beginning of a job interview: “But you’re black!” Experiences such as these contribute to the fact that some foreign professionals are channeled into positions geared towards foreign clients. Their international experience is particularly valued in these “ethnic” occupational fields. The problem, however, is that these fields are not as highly paid and do not offer many opportunities for career advancement.
According to the authors, a basic understanding of the complexity of labor market integration has evaded the respective employment offices. In Germany, they have largely offered foreign professionals a kind of occupational retraining but no academic courses of study. This has resulted in a higher rate of unemployment among ethnic German resettlers than among other groups with higher education. With this in mind, the University of Duisburg-Essen has put together a project called ProSALAMANDER. The project offers a tailor-made German program of study for migrant professionals who were not been able to find adequate employment based on their foreign university degrees. That way, an industrial engineer will not have to work behind a cash register but can instead resume the leadership position she held before, for example, she fell in love with a German and moved to Germany.
Anja Weiss, who authored the book together with Arnd Michael Nohl, Karin Schittenhelm and Oliver Schmidtke, will present the new publication, Work in Transition. Cultural Capital and Highly Skilled Migrants, at 5 p.m. on February 11 at the UDE Institute of Sociology on the Duisburg campus (Room LF 132).
Prof. Dr. Anja Weiss, Tel. 0049-176/96879051, firstname.lastname@example.org
18.08.2014 - 12:09:08New tools for plant research
A new chemical tool to analyze plant hormone pathways is established by Prof. Dr. Markus Kaiser, Centre for Medical Biotechnology, »mehrNew tools for plant research
A new chemical tool to analyze plant hormone pathways is established by Prof. Dr. Markus Kaiser, Centre for Medical Biotechnology, University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), and Dr. Erich Kombrink, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne. In the latest issue of „Nature Chemical Biology“, the researchers disclose a small molecule inhibitor, which interferes with the activity of the plant hormone jasmonic acid. The approach resembles concepts, which are well established in medical therapy and opens new opportunities for plant research. (Doi:10.1038/nchembio.1591).
Currently, research into plant hormone signalling relies primarily on molecular genetics. Genes of interest are modified or extinguished to then study resultant changes in the plant’s phenotype. This strategy is powerful but has its limitations, as is highlighted by the plant hormone jasmonic acid. Although jasmonic acid controls a diversity of biological functions, as flower formation, root growth, protection against insect attack and infections, wound healing, plant aging and others, only one signal transduction pathway has been elucidated so far. This single pathway however is not sufficient to explain the broad spectrum of hormone actions. Other, so far unknown, signaling pathways and mechanisms must exist. To get a better understanding of jasmonic acid’s signaling mechanisms, alternative experimental approaches are therefore required. The teams from Essen and Cologne took up this challenge and used a procedure, which is well established in medical research but still rarely used in plant science: They searched for a chemical drug that can be used to block a specific signalling pathway. In medicine, such compounds find applications as drugs to treat diseases. In plant science, however, such inhibitors may represent important chemical tools to advance the study of plant signalling pathways.
In the search of candidate inhibitors of jasmonic acid signalling, the scientists performed studies in intact plants. They started with a screening in the ‘model plant’ Arabidopsis thaliana. From 1.728 tested compounds, 16 molecules were identified that impaired jasmonic acid signalling. These were then studied in more detail and finally, only one compound was confirmed as a suitable specific inhibitor. The compound was called Jarin-1. “Structurally, the compound is a plant alkaloid whose amino groups may carry different side chains” the researchers comment. “The activity of the compound depends on a specific side chain. Modifications deactivate the inhibitor. As a final proof of the active chemical structure, we synthesized it from scratch.’
As a next step the scientists looked for the molecular target of the new inhibitor. The already known signal transduction pathway of jasmonic acid starts with an enzyme called JAR1 that links the plant hormone jasmonic acid to the amino acid isoleucine. The resulting chemical product then modulates the transcription of various genes that together form the particular biological activity of jasmonic acid. Kombrink and Kaiser were able to show that this enzyme JAR1 is the target of the inhibitor Jarin-1. Inhibition of JAR1 causes depletion of the required jasmonic acid-isoleucine conjugate, thus impairing gene transcription. They furthermore found that the molecule Jarin-1 is not only active in Arabidopsis but also in Candamine hirsuta, lamb’s cress. Therefore, the inhibitor seems to be broadly applicable and thus may be used in future applications to advance the understanding of jasmonic acid signalling.
What is particular about this new approach and caused the renowned journal “Nature Chemical Biology” to publish the work? Small molecules are promising new tools for plant research. The scientists demonstrate exemplarily how to screen for a specific small molecule inhibitor, how to characterize it and how to identify its target protein and they point out possible applications. The scope of the study turns the publication into something highly special.
Dr. Erich Kombrink
Max-Planck-Institut for Plant Breeding Research
Telefon: +49 221 5062 320
Prof. Dr. Markus Kaiser
University of Duisburg-Essen
Center for Medical Biotechnology
45117 Essen »weniger
23.08.2013 - 09:50:08Start-up presents an indoor navigation system at the international trade fair IFA
Everything is new, the building confusing and full of people - one »mehrStart-up presents an indoor navigation system at the international trade fair IFA
Everything is new, the building confusing and full of people - one is likely to get lost. Especially in airports, malls and fairs the orientation often is difficult. In this situation a localization app would be very useful, as they are already available outdoor. This is what the start-up company Locoslab shows at the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin (06.-11.09.2013). The indoor navigation system works with Wi-Fi and can be adapted quickly and flexibly. Locoslab is a start-up of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE).
The research focus of the three computer scientists and inventors of the system at the University Duisburg-Essen are networked embedded systems such as for wireless communication. To take the step from the fiction to a marketable product Locoslab was founded by Stephan Wagner, Dr. Marcus Handte and Prof. Pedro José Marrón last year with assistance of the University Duisburg-Essen, holder of the patents.
"GPS devices, as already known for traffic, need a line of sight to the satellite so they are not usable indoors" says Stephan Wagner, who leads the start-up conjointly with Professor Pedro José Marrón and Dr. Marcus Handte. "Our navigation system uses standard wireless networks - even outdoors - and it is very accurate. But really new is the calibration software." If you want to use a positioning system in different areas nowadays e.g. for a campus instead of an airport the app needs to be reconfigured and adapted. This is very complex and expensive. "Our patented technique is much faster and cheaper. We can customize the app for each customer quickly."
How to get from A to B in the exhibition jungle can be tested by the visitors locally during the IFA (Hall 11.1, Booth 3B). Or they can find out about what the localization systems from Locoslab can fulfill additionally: monitor/supervise the logistics and transport of goods.
Find more information here: http://www.locoslab.com or contact Stephan Wagner email@example.com, Tel.+49 (0) 203 379 1668
Responsible for Press Release: Ulrike Bohnsack, Tel. +49 (0) 203 379 2429
Translation: Stephan Wagner
01.08.2013 - 11:53:08UDE-project seeking companies in the IT industry
The software engineer works in Hong Kong, the supervisor has his office in Berlin and the graphic designer »mehrUDE-project seeking companies in the IT industry
The software engineer works in Hong Kong, the supervisor has his office in Berlin and the graphic designer in Paris does the finishing touch. But how can work be done perfectly when all tasks are distributed? This is what researchers at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) want to find out in the new project «TransSoft». The research is focused on software companies in which transnational distribution of software development is common practice. The «TransSoft»-research team is seeking IT companies interested in taking part in this academic study.
The aim of «TransSoft» is to analyze the interplay between technically pre-structured processes of transnational cooperation and their corresponding patterns of work. The UDE-experts also aim to explain how the results are combined optimally afterwards, even if the team is working organizationally or geographically separated. Do too many cooks spoil the broth? – Or are there certain environments that promote a successful collaboration? For this purpose, they conduct interviews with software developers and compare the cooperation practices in the companies.
The project is funded by The German Research Foundation for the next two years and is embedded in the main research area „Transformation of contemporary societies: Building order in a borderless world“.
For more information:
Melike Sahinol, phone 0049 203/379-1382, melike.sahinol @ uni-due.de
Editorial: Carmen Tomlik, phone 0049 203/379-1489
20.02.2013 - 13:52:02Chemists at the UDE develop a nanopaste for the repair of bone defects
Following accidents or cancer surgery surgeons often have to transplant healthy »mehrChemists at the UDE develop a nanopaste for the repair of bone defects
Following accidents or cancer surgery surgeons often have to transplant healthy bone tissue or synthetic material to repair the resulting bone defects. Unfortunately, these procedures do not always have the desired effect. Now Prof. Dr. Matthias Epple and his research team at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) have developed a nanoparticle paste which can be injected into the defect and results in improved healing. The trick: the researchers have combined synthetic calcium phosphate with DNA.
Now a professor for inorganic chemistry, Matthias Epple was attracted to the interface between biology and medical science. “We have been investigating the impact of mineral tissue such as teeth, bone and sea shells for many years and are now using the knowledge we have gained to produce new biomaterials.” To achieve this he has collaborated closely with medical scientists and his current project – carried out with three of his doctoral students – was no exception.
"The repair of bone defects presents a real challenge for surgeons,” he relates. “When possible they collect the patient’s own bone from various locations, such as the iliac crest, and implant it where needed to fill defects.” The researcher explained that since there is only a limited amount of surplus bone material in the body, synthetic materials are now being used. “Calcium phosphate is a natural choice here since it is an inorganic mineral found in bones in the form of nanocrystals. It is a material familiar to the body, which makes it a suitable carrier.” He added that the calcium and phosphate ions lead to improved new bone formation.
However, the use of synthetic materials creates a host of new problems: the bones heal more slowly, the risk of infection is greater and the mechanical stability is not ideal. Epple’s team has now created a bone repair paste by coating synthetic nanocrystals of calcium phosphate with nucleic acids – in other words, with DNA. The professor explains what happens when this paste is injected into a bone defect: “The nanoparticles are taken up by cells. The calcium phosphate dissolves and the DNA that is released stimulates the formation of two proteins important for healing: BMP-7, which stimulates bone formation, and VEGF-A, which is responsible for the creation of new blood vessels. As a result, the new bone is supplied with valuable nutrients.”
The UDE researchers expect that the paste will have a long-lasting effect since the nanoparticles are released successively and thus continuously stimulate the surrounding cells. They have demonstrated that the paste works in three different cell types. Further tests now have to be conducted. Epple and his co-researchers hope that “our development will be used several years from now in the field of traumatology and in the treatment of osteoporosis.”
The results of this research were recently published in the international journal RSC Advances:
Information for editorial staffs:
A graphic showing the mode of action of the paste (photo © UDE) is available at the following link: http://www.uni-due.de/imperia/md/images/samples/2013/bilderpressemitteilungen/knochpaste_grafik.jpg
For additional information, contact:
Prof. Dr. Matthias Epple, University of Duisburg-Essen, Tel. +49 (0) 201 183 2413, firstname.lastname@example.org
Responsible for Press Release: Ulrike Bohnsack, Tel. +49 (0) 203 379 2429
Translation: Shawn Christoph
12.02.2013 - 14:53:02A major step forward in the battle against leukemia and lymphoma
An international research effort in which the University of Essen was a participant »mehrA major step forward in the battle against leukemia and lymphoma
An international research effort in which the University of Essen was a participant has produced results which lay the foundation for a totally new approach to the treatment of leukemia and lymphoma. These results have now been published in the prestigious journal Cancer Cell*.
The first author of the article describing the breakthrough is Dr. Cyrus Khandanpour from the Department of Hematology of the West German Cancer Center at Essen University Hospital. Khandanpour has been involved in this effort since working as a postdoc on the research team headed by Prof. Tarik Möröy, who was previously a professor at the University of Duisburg-Essen and is now head of the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal in Canada.
The various types of leukemia and lymphoma account for only three to five percent of all malignancies. However, in up to 80 percent of the affected patients, even intensive treatment fails to produce a cure. “We went straight to the heart of the matter and examined exactly how the various genes participating in the origin and development of leukemia interact. I am now convinced that these results will also serve as starting points for new treatment strategies,” stated Khandanpour. One of the aspects his research group is looking at especially closely is the role played by the transcription factor Gfi1.
This has in fact proved to be the decisive key. Working together with various international research groups in Canada and the U.S. (Prof. Leighton. L. Grimes and Dr. James Phelan, Cincinnati). Khandanpour and Moroy examined the impact of Gfi1 on the origin and development of leukemia and lymphoma. In the absence of Gf1 a different course, remission or complete healing even without chemotherapy is observed in patients with leukemia. This has been clearly demonstrated in experiments with mice models. The results of the first studies carried out with human leukemia cells have confirmed that Gfi1 plays an important role there as well. When Gfi1 is lost, human leukemia also disappears.
These promising results will now be explored further in another study at the University Clinic of Essen, exploring the possibility of targeting Gfi1 to cure human leukemia. The work will be carried out at various locations. The work was supported among others by the Max Eder Program of the Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid) the IFORES program at Essen University Hospital and the Cole foundation.
* Cyrus Khandanpour, James D. Phelan, Lothar Vassen, Judith Schütte, Riyan Chen1, Shane R. Horman, Marie-Claude Gaudreau, Joseph Krongold, Jinfang Zhu, William E. Paul, Ulrich Dührsen, Bertie Göttgens, H. Leighton Grimes, and Tarik Möröy.
Growth factor independent-1antagonizes a p53-induced DNA damage response pathway in lymphoblastic leukemia Cancer Cell, in press
For further information, contact:
• Prof. Dr. med. Ulrich Dührsen, Tel: +49 (0) 201/723-2417,
email@example.com (Head of department of hematology at University Clinic Essen)
• Dr. med. Cyrus Khandanpour, Tel. +49 (0) 201/723-85185, +49 (0) 151-44543324, firstname.lastname@example.org,
• Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Tarik Möröy, Tel 0015149875764, Tarik.email@example.com (corresponding senior author of the study, president of the IRCM)
Press Release: Beate H. Kostka, Tel. +49 (0) 203/379-2430
07.02.2013 - 17:46:02International Workshop in Cairo
Egypt is struggling not only with the new form of government. There are also existential problems in the water sector. »mehrInternational Workshop in Cairo
Egypt is struggling not only with the new form of government. There are also existential problems in the water sector. More than 20 million cubic meters of water are missing in the Nile country. The Nile remains the most important source of water. Under the direction of the Center for Water and Environmental Research (ZWU) at the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) an international consortium invites to take part in a three-day workshop in Cairo. From 18th till 20th February 2013 German, Egyptian, Tunisian and Jordanian scientists discuss “Sustainable Water Technologies”.
Project leader Prof. Mathias Ulbricht: "In short time already over 140 participants signed up. This proves how urgent these issues are for the region." High-level political representatives from various countries signalized to participate as well, including the Minister for Water and Sanitation Facilities in Egypt.
The workshop will inform about the current status of research in the field of sustainable water management, water purification and quality as well as reuse of treated wastewater. During a poster exhibition young local researchers will have the opportunity to present their own projects and results. The aim of the event is to advance the transformation process into a sustainable water management and let the future top talents in science, business and politics take part in it.
The Cairo workshop benefits from collaboration between the UDE, the Technical University of Munich and the Technical University of Braunschweig, which already carry out their own water projects in Egypt. Under the leadership of the ZWU the Consortium could attract the necessary funding for the workshop on site. It is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and funded by the Federal Foreign Office (AA).
• Prof. Dr. Mathias Ulbricht, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. 0201/183-3151,
• Simon Kustos, email@example.com, Tel. 0201/183-3201
Editorial: Beate H. Kostka, Tel. 0203/379-2430 »weniger