The researchers from Department F6 have achieved an ultrafast differentiation by genomic GC content of the bacterial DNA at a molecular level using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) and fine-tuned plasmonic gold nanocrystals. Their atmospheric-pressure plasma-designed truncated plasmonic particulates revealed truly exceptional optical response within nanometric gaps between gold dimers/chains, from where the molecular fingerprints of bacterial DNA fragments gained the strongest Raman signal enhancement. It allowed not only to collect vibrational data from different DNA samples but also, for the first time, to distinguish reliably between bacterial species due to intrinsically different compositions of nucleobases adenine, guanine, cytosine, and thymine within the biological macromolecule. The realized approach was successfully validated by cutting-edge third-generation sequencing nanopore technology and published in NanoLetters.
Turbulent flows in active nematic liquid crystals lead to spontaneous topological defect creation. Researchers Maruša Mur, Žiga Kos, Miha Ravnik and Igor Muševič from the Department of Condensed Matter Physics at the Jožef Stefan Institute and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Ljubljana have published a paper in Nature Communications, titled Continuous generation of topological defects in a passively driven nematic liquid crystal, where they study a similar behavior in a passively driven system. Here, the flow is driven by a concentration gradient of small organic molecules added into a thin film of a nematic liquid crystal. Counter-rotating vortex rolls are generated in the film. Above a velocity threshold the flow transitions from a laminar into a turbulent regime, where topological defects start forming continuously. In the paper authors support their experimental findings by numerical simulations. The work describes one of the few mechanisms of topological defect creation in soft matter.
After his unanimous election last February, Prof. Dr. Jean-Marie Dubois, a member of the Department for Nanostructured Materials and honorary member of Jožef Stefan Institute, became a full member of the Académie Catholique de France on Oct 27th, 2022. This academy, created in 2018 in Paris, has several sections, among which one section assembles basic sciences, technologies and medicine. Prof. Dr. Jean-Marie Dubois, founder and first director of the Institute Jean Lamour, CNRS, world-renowned scientist, honorary doctor of several world universities, and a member of a few academies will share his knowledge of metallurgy and materials science and contribute to the discussions and debates that the academy promotes to cope with the current rapid changes of our society. His mentors, Prof. Dr Gilberte Chambeau and Prof. Dr Christian Amatore, were respectively head of the Chemistry Institute of CNRS and head of the Chemistry Department of Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris.
Asst. prof. dr. Tome Eftimov and Prof. dr. Peter Korošec from the Computer Systems Department have published a Springer book entitled Deep Statistical Comparison for Meta-heuristic Stochastic Optimization Algorithms. The book is focused on robust statistical methods for benchmarking single- and multi-objective optimization meta-heuristics. Robust statistical methods are crucial for fair benchmarking and to increase the reproducibility and replicability of experiments. The work presented in the book was supported by the postdoc project “Mr-BEC: Modern approaches for benchmarking in evolutionary computation" led by Asst. prof. dr. Tome Eftimov, and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 692286 led by Prof. dr. Peter Korošec. The book provides approaches to trustworthy benchmarking that can easily be transferred to other research domains. The book is organized for researchers interested in basic and recent advances ins statistical analysis.