The University of Ljubljana Presents 10 Leading Scientific Findings of the Year

The working group has chosen 10 findings among 39 proposals of the University’s structural divisions. When selecting, the Commission took into account the level of scientific research, which is reflected in the work citation index and the degree of edition prestige, in which it was published. The completeness of scientific finding, relevance for professionals and society, usefulness and interdisciplinarity also influenced the choice.

The purpose of the event is to emphasize the Ljubljana University focus on research work and to highlight those scientists who have achieved the most significant results this year.

Ten Scientific Findings:

1. Detection of Mechanical Bonds between Bacteria.

Researchers from the Faculty of Biotechnology at the University of Ljubljana denied the 130-year-old plankton paradigm and found a way to convert unicellular life forms into multicellular ones. Scientists managed to prove that plankton bacteria not only helplessly move in water, but also are able to create interconnected mechanical connections.

2. Seismic-resistant Consolidation of Historical Stone Buildings by Means of Seismic Isolation.

Scientists from the Faculty of Architecture developed a new way for computer modelling of damages in buildings during earthquakes. Their method allows selecting the appropriate type of insulation devices for the protection of immovable cultural heritage.

3. “Why Does the Shortage of Knowledge Transfer Occur When Conducting Foreign Direct Investment?”

The article of the Slovenian author (co-authored with foreign scientists) analyses the latest theoretical and methodological aspects of the analysis of knowledge transfer in conducting foreign direct investment, which brought certain optimistic results. The most important novelty of the research is the use of the entire spectrum of heterogeneity sources of both Slovenian parent companies and their foreign representative offices.

4. A New Method of Imaging the Energy Band Gap of Photovoltaic Modules.

A group of scientists from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana in cooperation with the Juelich Research Centre developed a unique method of imaging the energy band gap of the photovoltaic module absorbers with variable stoichiometry.

5. Molecular Mechanism of Bacteria Survival under Stressful Conditions.

Slovenian researchers in cooperation with their Belgian counterparts for the first time explained the molecular mechanism of the toxin-antitoxin modules.

6. Hexagonal Bronze-based Quasicrystal.

Slovene Primož Ziherl and Japanese Tomonari Dotera and Shinichi Bekku from the Kindai University (Osaka) published an article in the prestigious Nature Materials Journal, which describes a two-dimensional bronze-based quasicrystal with hexadecimal area of symmetry.

7. New Methodology for Estimating Short-Term Visual Trackers.

Researchers from the Faculty of Computer Science conducted a comprehensive theoretical and experimental study and developed a rigorous methodology for the analysis of trackers.

8. The First Proof of Effective Virus Inactivation by Hydrodynamic Cavitation.

Standard water purification procedures are energetically and environmentally inefficient. This is stated by the scientists from the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and the National Institute of Biology. They were the first in the world to point out the possibility of virus inactivation through hydrodynamic cavitation (rapid evaporation and condensation of water as a result of sudden local pressure changes). They have achieved a reduction in the number of inactivated viruses by over 10,000 times, thereby reaching the disinfection threshold prescribed by the US EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).

9. Manifold Computational Models of Metabolism in the Liver: Prospects for Clinical Use.

Scientists from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Computer Science jointly with German specialists from the University of Saarlandes presented “the most advanced computing models,” among which the SteatoNet metabolic model was developed at the University of Ljubljana. It first described features of interaction between the liver and the surrounding organs.

10. Prospects for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Cancer.

The gadolinium modified TiO2 microspheres possess the controllable multifunctional properties. Semiconducting TiO2 microspheres were enriched with gadolinium for further investigation by optical imaging and magnetic resonance imaging. The main advantage of using halogenium alloyed TiO2 microspheres is the possibility of their simultaneous application for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

The University comprises 23 faculties and 3 academies of arts. In 2017, the University celebrates its 98th anniversary. It is the largest and oldest Slovenian university, which occupies high positions in the international education quality rankings. The University of Ljubljana is one of the world’s top 500 universities. Its average annual budget is approximately 300 million euros. About 40 thousand students study at the university.