Fundamental Research Health Science Highlights

Smartly solved: How molecules release active ingredients in a targeted way

Smart molecules can change their shape and properties depending on temperature or other parameters such as macromolecular architecture. In pharmaceutic applications, they release active ingredients in a targeted manner at the desired locations. Neutrons at the MLZ reveal these nanostructures and help specifically design new molecules with desired properties.

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Health Science Highlights

Small-angle scattering techniques offer new insight towards the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Aggregates of amyloid beta- (Aβ-)peptide, known as fibrils, are one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease and play a key role in the sequence of events leading to dementia symptoms. Using small-angle neutron and X-ray scattering, researchers from Lund University and the Paul Scherrer Institut have determined the detailed structure of Aβ42-fibril, obtaining important information to design future therapeutics.

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Fundamental Research Health Industrial Applications Science Highlights

Revolution in imaging with neutrons

An international research team at the Research Neutron Source Heinz Maier-Leibnitz (FRM II) of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed a new imaging technology. In the future, this technology could not only improve the resolution of neutron measurements by many times, but could also reduce the radiation dose for medical x-ray imaging.

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Health Industrial Applications Science Highlights

Skin-like material developed for wearables

Scientists at Forschungszentrum Jülich and Donghua University in Shanghai, China, have demonstrated a skin-like synthetic material intended to advance the development of so-called “wearables”, as well as smart clothing and artificial skin for robots. Neutrons from the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz research neutron source helped them to study the new material in detail.

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Health Industrial Applications Science Highlights

Metals with memory

When metallic objects change their shape seemingly without any external influence and only according to the will of their owners, this at first sounds like something only comic superheroes like Magneto and Ironman could do. However, the idea from those comics has a real-world manifestation in existing materials called magnetic shape memory alloys (MSMAs). Moreover, they have potential applications e.g. in robotics or medical devices.

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Health Science Highlights

Neutron reflectometry reveals SARS-CoV-2 spike protein induces lipid stripping from cell membrane

Scientists at the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), in collaboration with the Paul Scherrer Institut (PSI), the Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS) and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), have published new data on how the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interacts with mammalian lung cell membranes allowing the viral RNA to enter human cells.

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Climate and environment Food & Water Health Science Highlights

Nanomaterial fights back against resistant bacteria

Significant amounts of antibiotic residues and pathogens enter the environment via our wastewater. A German Italian team of researchers has now investigated a novel nanomaterial that has an antibacterial effect and can bind antibiotics at the Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum. Wastewater could thus be treated more effectively and safely.

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Health Science Highlights

Making the gray cells happy

Depressive disorders are among the most frequent illnesses worldwide. The causes are complex and to date only partially understood. The trace element lithium appears to play a role. Using neutrons of the research neutron source at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), a research team has now proved that the distribution of lithium in the brains of depressive people is different from the distribution found in healthy humans.

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