Living fossils allow us a glimpse into a time long past, for they have changed little or not at all over millions of years. The platypus or the horseshoe crabs are well-known representatives from the world of animals; among plants, horsetail, ginkgo or the box tree are considered such living fossils. But the world of microorganisms can also come up with living fossils: the so-called archaea are a special group of microorganisms, which are characterised by a special composition of the cytoplasmic membrane and sometimes also through specific cell envelope that is not found in bacteria or eukaryotic organisms…
Even as we approach the end of 2023, the COVID-19 pandemic, which once seemed like a narrative out of a science fiction tale, continues to evolve. Austria, having lifted all COVID-19 restrictions, now faces the challenge of monitoring the virus’s ever-changing landscape. The persistence of COVID-19 is evident in the ongoing circulation of Omicron subvariants like EG.5 and BA.2.86, which are currently prevalent across Europe.
Viennese acib and BOKU researchers are developing a sterile 3D printing process that can be used to produce laboratory equipment from environmentally friendly and biodegradable plastic. This could avoid several million tons of single-use plastic waste and reduce resource, energy and water consumption by up to 90 percent.
Researchers have found a way to make the industrial production of pharmaceuticals, as well as flavorings and biopolymers, more environmentally friendly: Unlike chemical processes that use toxic heavy metals, the new biocatalytic synthesis pathway uses natural enzymes as reaction accelerators. In combination with an innovative enzyme search and screening process, the products can be manufactured faster and much more cost-effectively than before. The process has already been launched on the market: The bisy company is now using the new method to search for new enzymes for customers worldwide.
As technology advances and our understanding of biological systems deepens, the integration of biotechnology into architecture is likely to lead to even more innovative and sustainable solutions for buildings, gardens, and city districts. The intersection of biotechnology and architecture opens up innovative opportunities for creating sustainable, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing built environments. acib looks at several ways biotechnology can be integrated into architecture.
In the digital age, where information floods our screens, the rise of agnotology has darkened the pursuit of truth. Agnotology, a term coined by Robert N. Proctor1, refers to both, the study of culturally induced ignorance and the deliberate spread of misinformation to create confusion and doubt2.
As part of the EU project BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE, 22 scientific and industrial project partners from 13 countries are working on sustainable solutions for the production of biobased and biodegradable plastics to bring sustainable and safe products to market – from reusable cutlery and toys to packaging and agricultural products.