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03 | 2017

Oct 09, 2017

Freie Universität Berlin Most Popular Institution in Germany for Leading Researchers and Outstanding Young Scholars from Abroad

Alexander von Humboldt Fellow Wu Jianshuang from China at a reception for new academics at Freie Universität. He worked at the Institute of Biology.

University Again First in Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Ranking

According to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), Freie Universität Berlin is the most popular destination in Germany for leading researchers and young scholars from abroad. As the foundation announced in Bonn on Friday, Freie Universität reached first place by a wide margin in a comparison of the number of research stays. According to the AvH calculations, Freie Universität had 124.77 visiting researchers. The second and third places are held by Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (92.69), and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU Munich, 70.88). Technische Universität Berlin reached 7th place (55.04).

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German Excellence Strategy: Berlin’s Higher Education Institutions Overcome First Hurdle

The Cluster projects of the Berlin universities are characterized by a particularly large disciplinary spectrum and include both the natural sciences, technology, and life sciences as well as the humanities and social sciences.

Five research projects based at Freie Universität Berlin or with participation by Freie Universität asked to submit full proposals

Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin, and Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin performed very well in the preliminary decision regarding the Cluster proposals. Through this funding line the German federal and state governments will promote strong university research fields, at first for a seven-year period. A total of nine research projects from Berlin were invited to submit full proposals, which must be submitted to the DFG by February 2018.

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A Sightseeing Trip with the Mars Express

The Mars Express space probe operated by the European Space Agency has been circling Mars for nearly 14 years now. On board is an HRSC camera, which records nine channels at once.

The Planetary Sciences and Remote Sensing unit at Freie Universität has been studying the Red Planet for 14 years.

Dark chasms where dunes of black sand have accumulated weave between ice-capped hills. The Mars Express space probe takes us along on a flight above the ice cap at the Martian north pole and through canyons and valleys, past craters and across barren landscapes – volcanoes, sand dunes, and ice fields.

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Origami under the Microscope

Christoph Böttcher, scientific head of the Research Center of Electron Microscopy at the Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, introduces a container with the snap-frozen preparation into the high-vacuum chamber of an electron microscope.

Wrapped up and inhibited: Rainer Haag renders viruses and bacteria harmless with highly sophisticated nanosystems.

Antiviral drugs usually target an individual, precisely-defined structure. The influenza drug Tamiflu, for example, has a very particular binding site on the virus. It only works, however, at an early stage. Therapy strategies that also work at a later stage are desperately being sought.

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Discovering Lost Texts

A wealth of comments: The original of this Arabic manuscript by philologist az-Zamaḫšarī dates to the 12th century, while the copy shown with comments is from 1546.

Scholars from the United States, Europe, Africa, India, and the Middle East attended a conference at Freie Universität, where they discussed the long-overlooked history of Arabic-language text practice.

Arabic is a global language: It is written and spoken from West Africa through the Middle East and even some parts of India, and has been for centuries. But the tradition of preserving and interpreting Arabic texts was abruptly interrupted with the start of the colonial era in the 19thcentury.

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Looking for Lenders!

Sao Paulo Linie 17 Unfinished: Line 17 of the São Paulo Metro should already have been completed in time for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It is still under construction in 2017.

Adriano de Marchi Fernandes, who holds a fellowship from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, conducts research at Freie Universität on the financing of major infrastructure projects in Brazil.

Hydroelectric power plants and wind-powered electrical generators, sewage treatment plants, and hospitals: Major infrastructure projects cost a lot of money. For many companies in Brazil it’s difficult to put in place the necessary financing to realize such projects. How would the financial market need to be structured to facilitate financing?

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What Remains?

Back in the family: In the synagogue of Maastricht, Alexander Ernst Berets was presented with a book that belonged to an uncle who was murdered by the Nazis.

Staff members from the Nazi Loot Investigation Bureau (Stabstelle NS-Raub- und Beutegut) were able to establish the owner of a book from the Campus Library.

What remains of a person after their death? At times, very little – sometimes only a book that had been in their possession. But Elena Brasiler and Susanne Paul, who work at the University Library’s Nazi Loot Investigation Bureau, are well aware that this can be a lot. Books, after all, are the starting point for their research: In a best case scenario, it may even be possible to identify a books’ rightful owner – or legal heir.

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