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Forschungszentrum Jülich - Annual Report 2012

10 Forschungszentrum Jülich | Annual Report 2012 Attack on Tuberculosis Pathogens 25 June 2012 | Biotechnologists from Jülich and Birmingham have decoded the structure of an enzyme that is indispen- sable for tuberculosis pathogens. The researchers report in PNAS that they identified two regions where the new group of antibiotics attack. The pathogens of tuberculosis, one of the most frequently occurring infectious diseases worldwide, are increasingly resistant to common antibiotics. Cheap Catalyst 10 June 2012 | In the journal Nature Materials, scientists from Jülich, Dresden, Berlin, Munich and Budapest present a cheap alternative to a catalyst made of the expensive noble metal palladium, which promotes an important reaction in the production of polyethylene. The new catalyst is a complex intermetallic compound consisting of aluminium and iron. Polyethylene is the plastic material of which the largest quantities are produced worldwide. Haemoglobin in the Neutron Beam 13 June 2012 | Haemoglobin in red blood cells transports oxygen from the lungs to the entire body in humans as well as in chickens, crocodiles, and platypuses. As neutron beam measurements by an international team headed by Jülich researcher Dr. Andreas Stadler show, the haemoglobins in these animals differ in their flexibility. This means that they are perfectly adapted to each animal’s body temperature, which is 33 °C in platypuses and 42.8 °C in chickens, for example. The researchers published their results in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface. When Seals Become Untight 19 June 2012 | The daily Berlin newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reports on rubber seals that last for longer than thought. Simulations on Jülich supercomputer demonstrated that only 42% of the area between two surfaces must be in contact to make the seal impermeable for liquids – instead of at least 50% as suggested by previous theories. Forschungszentrum Jülich | Annual Report 201210