Modern Biotechnology is everywhere
Repairing spinal cord injuries with nanotechnology
A Europe-wide project named “Piezo4Spine” sets the high goal of developing a novel therapy against spinal cord injuries (SCI). Based on the latest findings in materials science, regenerative medicine and nanotechnology, research is being conducted on a 3D-theramesh equipped with bioactive nanocarriers that delivers therapeutic agents to the site of the lesion through electrical stimulation. These bioactive ingredients activate the neuronal regeneration processes after an SCI has occurred. If successful, this technology could be useful in the future for pathologies such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, among others.
Enabling Alkaloid production in engineered poppy cells
Opiate alkaloids such as morphine and codeine are important pharmaceutical ingredients used to treat severe pain. Morphine is even classified as an essential medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO). Opiate-based medications are crucial to provide normal life for patients who need long-term pain management due to living with terminal cancer, sickle cell disease, COPD- related dyspnea, (etc.). Unfortunately, morphine is practically unavailable in low- and middle-income countries leaving patients in suffering.
Microalgae polymers instead of synthetic ones – a greener future for skin care
Petrochemical synthetic-based polymers are still everywhere in our daily lives, despite strict regulations and general awareness of their long-term risks to the environment and human health. This is especially true of the numerous cosmetics and personal care products that we apply to our skin every day, and which can cause skin problems, allergies, hormonal changes, and even lead to cancer with prolonged use!
CO2: Feedstock of the future bioprocesses
Carbon serves as the building block of life, as well as the goods and products we use every day. We consume fossil fuels and use carbon to make plastic and a variety of other products. Life as we know it today would not be possible without it. Therefore, carbon balance is crucial to have a sustainable world and future. In this context, CO2 balance is of particular interest because the rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations due to human activities is the main trigger for global warming, which in turn leads to a climate crisis that affects the global health, economy, and future of our planet.
Biotechnological yeast instead of crude oil – the way to renewable plastics
Viennese researchers from the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) and BOKU Vienna found a way to use the harmful greenhouse gas CO2 as a raw material for the production of industrial products such as bioplastics, absorbents or important chemicals with the help of an optimized yeast, thus binding it into durable materials. The technology, which is still on a laboratory scale, is not only climate-neutral, but could also make a contribution to the fight against climate change in the future.
MOOC “The new plastics economy: circular business models and sustainability”
The MOOC “The new plastics economy: circular business models and sustainability”, realized within the Horizon 2020 BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE project
Pinpoint accuracy: Graz researchers develop technology for precise assessment of the danger of viral variants
One of the greatest difficulties in combating viral infectious diseases is the excellent adaptability of viruses. Especially with of SARS-CoV-2 new variants are quickly and constantly forming, bringing different properties with them. That’s why it’s important that in the future it will be crucial to predict more quickly and precisely how dangerous a virus can become.
“Smart-factories” for continuous downstream processing of antibodies
Antibodies are an important part of our immune system and work by recognizing potential hazards entering the body, such as bacteria and viruses, and activating an immune response if necessary. Antibodies that are produced in the laboratory, so called monoclonal antibodies, are widely used in modern medicine for diagnostics as well as for treating infections and some types of cancer, e.g. breast cancer.
Vom heimischen Schrebergarten zum europäischen Forschungsinnovationsfeld
Im acib-Interview gibt Marko Mihovilovic, Dekan an der Fakultät für Technische Chemie an der Technischen Universität Wien, Einblick in die Zukunft der Life Sciences Fortbildungen und zeichnet den Weg nach, wie aus einer Idee mithilfe tragfähiger Synergien zwischen Forschung und Industrie ein innovatives Produkt entsteht. Laut Mihovilovic müssen Universitäten auch dem Aufrag nachkommen, Problemlösekapazitäten in Bereichen wie dem Klimawandel zu entwickeln, um nicht zuletzt dem angeschlagenen Image der Chemie einen grüneren Anstrich zu verleihen.
Emerging Technologies on Biocatalysis
The climate crisis is on everyone’s lips! The chemical industry plays an important role in finding more efficient measures for industrial production processes. Most recently, the Ukraine crisis has also caused that quick solutions are urgently needed for independence from fossil resources. In this context, the keyword “green chemistry” quickly comes to our mind.