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Two Austrians admitted to the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS)

Rudolf Zeller © University of Graz/Kernasenko

Accordingly, a total of six Austrian scientists, all of whom are members of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, are now represented in this renowned scientific institution, which has 100 new American members and 25 new members from abroad.

The experimental physicist Rainer Blatt is scientific director at the Institute of Quantum Optics and Quantum Information (IQOQI) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW) and professor at the University of Innsbruck. Blatt and his team are working on the realization of quantum computers. Ions trapped electromagnetically in a vacuum chamber and cooled to temperatures close to absolute zero serve as quantum bits. Captured ions are the most advanced quantum information processing technology to date. Similarly, the molecular biologist Rudolf Zechner was named a "foreign associate". Zechner is professor at the Institute for Molecular Biosciences at the University of Graz. He focuses on lipolysis or the breakdown of fats by enzymes. At present his work focuses on molecular mechanisms explaining how obesity causes or facilitates the outbreak of many diseases, for example Type 2 diabetes. In addition to Blatt and Zecher, six Austrians are now represented in the NAS, including the demographer Wolfgang Lutz, the chemist Peter Schuster and the two physicists Anton Zeilinger and Peter Zoller. All six are also full members of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW).

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