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RUBIN Science Magazine

Featured topic: When science and science-fiction merge Go to article overview
PhD student Abhishek Sharma performs one of many lablet production steps. He positions electrodes in order to coat a part of the wafer.

Autonomous micro labs the size of cells that monitor chemical systems  from the inside – pure fiction, as yet. But several crucial steps have been taken.

Utopias of human breeding existed long before genetic engineering has revolutionised biomedicine. Concepts of “Improving Mankind” were discussed as far back as the Early Modern Period.

The idea to improve humans and to optimise procreation emerged long before genetic engineering. As far back as the 18th century, concepts did exist that appear unthinkable from the modern perspective.

A car key should open only the one car to which it belongs. In order to ensure that this is the case, cryptographic protocols run on the microprocessor integrated in the key.
Information Technology

In search of economical encoding

Remote control of radiators or wireless door locks – the possibilities offered by interconnected devices are fascinating, but they have to be protected against hacker attacks.

Patient files may contain hints for detecting diseases at an early stage
Mathematics

Distorted data, correct conclusions

Patient files might contain hints for detecting diseases at an early stage. But how can the collated data be evaluated without invading the patients’ privacy? With the help of mathematics.

PhD student Abhishek Sharma performs one of many lablet production steps. He positions electrodes in order to coat a part of the wafer.
Chemistry

Imitating nature

Autonomous micro labs the size of cells that monitor chemical systems  from the inside – pure fiction, as yet. But several crucial steps have been taken.

In the audiometry lab, Hendrik Meutzner asks participants to solve his audio captchas in order to assess their usability.
Information Technology

Audio captchas: a challenge for the ears

In order to avoid spam, on many websites users are prompted to prove that they are human by entering symbols that are difficult to read. In case of partially sighted people, audio captchas are used, but there’s room for improvement.

Olivia Masseck (right) happily shares her knowledge of optogenetic methods with students.
Neuroscience

New optogenetic tools

Anxiety and depression are two of the most frequently occurring mental disorders worldwide. Light-activated nerve cells may indicate how they are formed.

Prof Dr Stefan Rieger was a Heisenberg scholar and has been professor for Media History and Communication Theory at RUB since 2007.
Media Studies

Interview with Stefan Rieger

Visions of future technologies and lifestyles have influenced many research projects. More often than not, the researchers weren’t aware that they were skirting science fiction.

Sarah Weigelt (left) and Marisa Nordt research how the ability to perceive faces develops in children.
Psychology

A gradual learning process

Humans are experts in facial perception. But not from birth. At which point do children become as skilled at it as adults?

Andreas Pflitsch sinks sensors to measure the water temperature  in an ice cave on the summit of Mount Rainier.
Geosciences

Andreas Pflitsch explores glacier caves on Mount Rainier

The ice-covered Mount Rainier welcomes its few visitors with an inhospitable world. Most people who come here stay only for one hour. Andreas Pflitsch stayed for a week and entered new scientific territory.

Utopias of human breeding existed long before genetic engineering has revolutionised biomedicine. Concepts of “Improving Mankind” were discussed as far back as the Early Modern Period.
History

Concepts from the Enlightenment era

The idea to improve humans and to optimise procreation emerged long before genetic engineering. As far back as the 18th century, concepts did exist that appear unthinkable from the modern perspective.

Prof Dr Maren Lorenz reconstructs utopias of human breeding from the Early Modern Period.
History

A commentary by Maren Lorenz

Maren Lorenz researches into past utopias of human breeding. She often spots links between modern society an those utopias.

Packing a rucksack in such a manner that, taken together, the items inside offer optimal benefit is not trivial from the mathematical point of view – at least if you assume the rucksack is very big.
Information Technology, Mathematics

Hard mathematical problems as basis

IT security experts dream of unbreakable cryptographic algorithms. Vision or fantasy?

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