Robotics researchers in Munich have joined forces with Japanese scientists to develop an ingenious technical solution that gives robots a human face. By using a projector to beam the 3D image of a face onto the back of a plastic mask, and a computer to control voice and facial expressions, the researchers have succeeded in creating Mask-bot, a startlingly human-like plastic head. Yet even before this technology is used to give robots of the future a human face, it may well soon be
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How Metastases Develop in the Liver
In order to invade healthy tissue, tumor cells must leave the actual tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. For this purpose, they use certain enzymes, proteases that break down the tissue surrounding the tumor, thus opening the way for tumor cells to reach blood or lymphatic vessels. To keep the proteases in check, the body produces inhibitors such as the protein TIMP-1, which thwart the proteases in their work.
On the Scent of a Wine's Bouquet
The majority of wines are produced from around 20 different types of grape, all of which have their own typical aroma. This is due to the terpenes, a diverse category of chemical substances including cholesterol and estrogen. Scientists from Technische Universität München (TUM), the Hochschule Geisenheim and the Universität Bonn have now identified two enzymes that determine the terpene content – and thus the aroma intensity – of grapes. The findings could play an important role in the future development of grape varieties.
What Happens in Our Brain When We Unlock a Door?
People who are unable to button up their jacket or who find it difficult to insert a key in lock suffer from a condition known as apraxia. This means that their motor skills have been impaired – as a result of a stroke, for instance. Scientists in Munich have now examined the parts of the brain that are responsible for planning and executing complex actions. They discovered that there is a specific network in the brain for using tools. Their findings have been published in the Journal of Neuroscience.
A New Dimension for Integrated Circuits: 3-D Nanomagnetic Logic
Electrical engineers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) have demonstrated a new kind of building block for digital integrated circuits. Their experiments show that future computer chips could be based on three-dimensional arrangements of nanometer-scale magnets instead of transistors. As the main enabling technology of the semiconductor industry – CMOS fabrication of silicon chips – approaches fundamental limits, the TUM researchers and collaborators at the University of Notre Dame are exploring "magnetic computing" as an alternative. They report their latest results in the
Spot on Against Autoimmune Diseases And Chronic Inflammations
The immune system functions as the body's police force, protecting it from intruders like bacteria and viruses. However, in order to ascertain what is happening in the cell it requires information on the foreign invaders. This task is assumed by so-called immunoproteasomes. These are cylindrical protein complexes that break down the protein structures of the intruders into fragments that can be used by the defense system.