Computer Science Students Design AI Applications for Research

BNTrAinee, a project funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and based at the University of Bonn, is developing AI-supported answers to specific research questions and is forging links between the University’s computer science teams and all manner of other subjects. This collaboration is now beginning to bear fruit, with computer science students joining forces with historians to create an algorithm that can help analyze old newspaper articles.

“Virtual Brain Twin” Project Launch

Mental health is an increasingly important public health issue in the European Union. Effective treatment options are in greater demand today than ever before. Roughly one percent of the world’s population suffers from schizophrenia, and the limitations of current medicine are apparent in that 30–50% of patients do not properly respond to the available medication. This is where the four-year Virtual Brain Twin project comes in, backed by roughly €10 million in European Union funding. The University of Bonn Center for Life Ethics is a project member, serving as a review instance of attendant ethical questions. The project kick-off meeting was just held in Brussels. 

AI to Make Crop Production More Sustainable

Drones monitoring fields for weeds and robots targeting and treating crop diseases may sound like science fiction but is actually happening already, at least on some experimental farms. Researchers from the PhenoRob Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bonn are working on driving forward the smart digitalization of agriculture and have now published a list of the research questions that will need to be tackled as a priority in the future. Their paper has appeared in the “European Journal of Agronomy.”

New insights into our immune system

Dendritic cells play an important role in setting the course of our immune system. However, what determines their heterogeneity and functional specialization is still not sufficiently understood. An international collaboration consisting of researchers from the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), the University of Bonn and the Technical University of Denmark, among others, has investigated the role of the transcription factor Bcl6 in dendritic cells in a mouse model and discovered that a subgroup is highly dependent on this protein. The findings contribute to a better understanding of immunological processes during infections, vaccinations, allergies and autoimmunity. The results have now been published in the renowned scientific journal "Nature Communications".

Possible alternative to antibiotics produced by bacteria

Many bacteria produce substances to gain an advantage over competitors in their highly competitive natural environment. Researchers at the University Hospital Bonn (UKB), the University of Bonn and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) have discovered a new so-called lantibiotic, namely epilancin A37. It is produced by staphylococci that colonize the skin and acts specifically against their main competitors there, the corynebacteria. This specificity is presumably mediated by a very special mechanism of action, which the researchers were able to decipher in detail. Their results have now been published in the renowned ISME Journal.

Breakthrough in brown fat research

Researchers from the University of Southern Denmark, the Novo Nordisk Center for Adipocyte Signaling (SDU), the University of Bonn and the University Hospital Bonn (UKB) have found a protein that is responsible for turning off brown fat activity. This new discovery could lead to a promising strategy for safely activating brown fat and tackling obesity and related health problems. The results of the study have now been published in the journal „Nature Metabolism“.

Awarding of the 2023 Gender Studies Prize and Maria von Linden Gender Equality Prize

The winners of the 2023 Gender Studies Prize and Maria von Linden Gender Equality Prize were honored at a ceremony last Friday. The University of Bonn Gender Equality Office presents these awards recognizing outstanding theses and dissertations in the fields of gender studies and queer studies and exemplary commitment in the area of gender equality.

Japan’s Imperial House Bestows Prestigious Honor on Michael Hoch

Yesterday, the Japanese government officially announced its intention to honor Professor Michael Hoch, the Rector of the University of Bonn, with the “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays” of the country’s Imperial House. Professor Hoch, who has held office since 2015, is thus being recognized for his contribution to academic exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and Germany. The order is one of the highest awarded for services to civil society. Other recipients of honors besides Rector Hoch include former federal minister Peter Altmaier and Professor Matthias Kleiner, former president of the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Leibniz Association.

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