Soils play a major role when it comes to the long-term storage of CO2 and the resulting reduction of this gas in the atmosphere - therefore they can contribute to slowing down climate change. In order to gain a better understanding of these mechanisms, it can be helpful to look at the microscopic level of soil microorganisms. An international and interdisciplinary group of researchers has examined how microorganisms interact with each other to contribute to the decomposition and storage of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems.
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Atoms, molecules or even living cells can be manipulated with light beams. At TU Wien a method was developed to revolutionize such "optical tweezers". They are reminiscent of the "tractor beam" in Star Trek: special light beams can be used to manipulate molecules or small biological particles. Even viruses or cells can be captured or moved.
A new type of material generates electrical current very efficiently from temperature differences. This allows sensors and small processors to supply themselves with energy wirelessly. Thermoelectric materials can convert heat into electrical energy. This is due to the so-called Seebeck effect: If there is a temperature difference between the two ends of such a material, electrical voltage can be generated and current can start to flow.
One million species are threatened with extinction, many of them already in the coming decades. This unprecedented loss of biodiversity threatens valuable ecosystems and human well-being. But what is holding us back from putting conservation research into practice? The journal Biological Conservation has published a collection of 14 articles on this topic.
Scholars have been all over Rome for hundreds of years, but it still holds some secrets - for instance, relatively little is known about where the city's denizens actually came from. Now, an international team led by Researchers from the University of Vienna, Stanford University and Sapienza University of Rome, is filling in the gaps with a genetic history that shows just how much the Eternal City's populace mirrored its sometimes tumultuous history.
Conotoxins are bioactive peptides found in the venom that marine cone snails produce for prey capture and defense. They are used as pharmacological tools to study pain signalling and have the potential to become a new class of analgesics. To date, more than 10,000 conotoxin sequences have been discovered.
The identification of new chemical bonds is crucial for the design of new material structures. A team led by Jani Kotakoski at the University of Vienna and Jannik Meyer at the University of Tübingen has found unexpected new configurations of oxygen and nitrogen in graphene. Direct images of the actual atoms and the analysis of Life as we know it is based on just a handful of different types of atoms (called elements), among them carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.
With a new process developed at TU Wien (Vienna), living cells can be integrated into fine structures created in a 3D printer - extremely fast and with very high resolution. Tissue growth and the behavior of cells can be controlled and investigated particularly well by embedding the cells in a delicate 3D framework.
Researchers at TU Wien have developed a new type of sensing element for atomic force microscopy, which enables a high measurement speed and can even image sensitive processes in living cells. High-definition images of minute objects are standard these days including the imaging of bacteria and viruses, and even molecules and individual atoms in extremely fine details.
A very special kind of light is emitted by tungsten diselenide layers. The reason for this has been unclear. Now an explanation has been found at TU Wien (Vienna). It is an exotic phenomenon that nobody was able to explain for years: when energy is supplied to a thin layer of the material tungsten diselenide, it begins to glow in a highly unusual fashion.
Researchers show path of zearalenone through the womb using new technology The human foetus is considered to be particularly sensitive to environmental contaminants. A team led by Benedikt Warth from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna and Tina Bürki from the Swiss Materials Science and Technology Institute, Empa, has now been able to demonstrate for the first time how the widespread food estrogen zearalenone behaves in the womb.
Chemists investigate the interactions of metal complexes and light Metal complexes show a fascinating behavior in their interactions with light, which for example is utilized in organic light emitting diodes, solar cells, quantum computers, or even in cancer therapy. In many of these applications, the electron spin, a kind of inherent rotation of the electrons, plays an important role.
"An experiment of nature" after the end-Cretaceous mass extinction An international research team led by Giuseppe Marramà from the Institute of Paleontology of the University of Vienna discovered a new and well-preserved fossil stingray with an exceptional anatomy, which greatly differs from living species.
Is it possible to borrow energy from an empty space? And if yes, do we have to give it back? Energy values smaller than zero are allowed - at least within certain limits. Energy is a quantity that must always be positive - at least that's what our intuition tells us. If every single particle is removed from a certain volume until there is nothing left that could possibly carry energy, then a limit has been reached.
A new measurement protocol, developed at TU Wien (Vienna), makes it possible to measure the quantum phase of electrons - an important step for attosecond physics. It is like a microscope for time: Today's methods of attosecond physic allows us to measure extremely short time intervals. With the help of short laser pulses, physical processes can be investigated on a time scale of attoseconds - that is billionths of a billionth of a second.
The quantum superposition principle has been tested on a scale as never before in a new study by scientists at the University of Vienna in collaboration with the University of Basel. Hot, complex molecules composed of nearly two thousand atoms were brought into a quantum superposition and made to interfere.
Scientists use deep neural networks to achieve simulations on long time scales The prediction of molecular reactions triggered by light is to date extremely time-consuming and therefore costly. A team led by Philipp Marquetand from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Vienna has now presented a method using artificial neural networks that drastically accelerates the simulation of light-induced processes.
Researchers from European countries discuss life in the Universe at the University of Vienna Astrobiology is a young, rapidly developing branch of science that seeks to address the question of whether life exists, or has existed, elsewhere in the Universe. It is by nature an interdisciplinary science that explores the origins of life, the conditions, and processes that support or challenge life, the influence of different environmental conditions on preservation and detection of biosignatures of past and present life.
The interplay of quantum mechanics and special relativity requires a new alphabet to send reliable quantum messages Quantum information relies on the possibility of writing messages in a quantum particle and reading them out in a reliable way. If, however, the particle is relativistic, meaning that it moves with velocities close to the speed of light, it is impossible for standard techniques to unambiguously decode the message and the communication fails.
For the first time, a team led by Innsbruck physicist Ben Lanyon has sent a light particle entangled with matter over 50 km of optical fiber. This paves the way for the practical use of quantum networks and sets a milestone for a future quantum internet. The quantum internet promises absolutely tap-proof communication and powerful distributed sensor networks for new science and technology.
The research group of Nuno Maulide from the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Vienna has, in cooperation with the Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, achieved the synthesis of a potential immunosuppressive agent by modification of a naturally occurring compound.