Covid-19: New energy for flagging immune cells

In severe Covid-19 patients, the metabolism produces insufficient amounts of certain energy-rich compounds called ketone bodies. However, these energy carriers are needed by two important cell types in the immune system in order to fight the virus effectively. Perhaps this finding explains why some people fall ill so much more severely than others. A study led by the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn at least points in this direction. The results have now been published in the journal Nature. They also give hope for new therapies.

Ten million euros for archaeologists at the University of Bonn

The four Roman legionary fortresses in Bonn, Neuss, Xanten and Nijmegen still hold unexplored treasures of knowledge about the multifaceted life of the Romans on the Lower Rhine. The goal of a team led by archaeologist Prof. Dr. Jan Bemmann from the University of Bonn is to decipher these and preserve them for future generations of researchers. The project is now receiving major support from the Academies Programme, which is jointly funded by the federal and state governments: As one of five newly funded long-term projects, it will receive around ten million euros for the next 18 years.

Four ERC Grants for the University of Bonn

Good news for the University of Bonn: Four scientists receive a coveted grant from the European Research Council (ERC) and thus funding in the millions for the next five years. Prof. Dr. Valentin Blomer from the Institute of Mathematics receives a so-called Advanced Grant, Prof. Dr. Claude Duhr from the Institute of Physics a Consolidator Grant, Dr. Julian Schmitt from the Institute of Applied Physics and Prof. Dr. Georg Oberdieck from the Institute of Mathematics each a Starting Grant.

Genetic defect leads to motor disorders in flies

Researchers at the Universities of Bonn and Osnabrück have discovered a protein whose defect causes motor disorders in flies. The protein had also previously been found in human patients with Parkinson's disease. So far, however, it was not known what function it has in the cell. The study now provides an answer to this question. The work, in which the University Hospital Aachen was also involved, has now been published in the journal Science Advances.

Soil scientist receives Klaus Töpfer Research Prize

Not only in the sea, but also in our soils there is "invisible" plastic - nanoplastics to be precise. This is a problem because it can be absorbed by plants and thus enter the food chain. But how much of such plastic is actually hiding in the soil? To find out, Dr. Melanie Braun from the University of Bonn wants to develop a new method. For her innovative project, the junior scientist has now received the Klaus Töpfer Research Prize worth 50,000 euros, which is awarded internally by the Transdisciplinary Research Area "Innovation and Technology for Sustainable Futures" (TRA Sustainable Futures) at the University of Bonn. The prize was named after Prof. Dr. Klaus Töpfer, former Federal Minister for the Environment and pioneer of climate policy, who was a guest at the award ceremony.

On the way to a circular economy

How can new and environmentally friendly materials be developed, tested and optimized? And how can primary raw materials be reused in the best possible way? To support industrial and university research groups in these issues, more than 50 research infrastructures in Europe have now joined forces. Among them are researchers from the Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies (CASSIS) at the University of Bonn. They bring a social science perspective to strategic sustainability research and will receive 317,000 euros. The European Commission is providing a total of 13.6 million euros for the project.

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