project proposal

Research funding is a highly competitive process and only a small fraction of applicants get the grant in the end. EU-Horizon 2020, with almost 80 billion Euros the largest research program worldwide, has an average success rate of only 14%. What is the secret of success of those, who have made it? 

arugula as an example for explored salad plants

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are not only restricted to clinical environments, nor do they always pose an immediate danger for humans. Various environmental niches are occupied by complex microbial communities that also include members that can carry one or different antibiotic resistances. The plant microbiome often harbors highly competitive microorganisms that can shield of pathogens and contribute to the host’s health. In their latest study researchers from acib-partner TU Graz have focused on antibiotic resistances in a common salad plant and found that the indigenous enterobacterial community contributes to the highly interesting profile.

Bioproducts for various applications such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, nutrients or industrial enzymes are manufactured with biotechnological methods; microorganisms or immortalized cell lines are the vehicles for production. Due to the long development times such products, especially in the area of pharmaceuticals, are often very expensive. The question is how can we make the production process of bioproducts faster, cheaper and fit for the future.

drug development: hamster and book

Did you know that nowadays bacteria and mammalian cells, especially hamster cells, produce a wide range of drugs? And who tells them to do so? The answer is the four-letter code of DNA. Biotechnologists spend a lot of time to explore natural DNA sequences of different organisms for production. The Chinese Hamster is a mammalian system and suits well for cell factories because of its similarity to human cells. However, for a long time the knowledge about the hamster DNA sequence had many gaps that needed to be investigated.

Symbolic image of drugs

Co-author: Martin Walpot

In the development of drugs and pharmaceutical compounds, expensive tests are necessary, to know, which metabolic by-products and side-effects could emerge and to ensure that drugs are working effectively and in a safe manner. Human-like CYP450 enzymes, which mimic the same activities happening in the human body, are new, excellent biocatalytic tools to screen side effects outside the human body. They also enable the timely production of reasonable amounts of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Used as biocatalysts in industrial applications, new CYP450 enzymes, developed in the EU-project ROBOX, have the potential to speed up drug development, enhance pharmaceutical safety and to innovate chemical markets such as flavour-, fragrance or food industries.

targeting cancer - pink ribbon

The complex tumour structure makes the treatment of breast cancer a medical challenge. A promising, novel selenium-based breast cancer nanoparticle therapy, which is topic of the EU-project Neosetac, could change that: It has proved to boost the active agent delivery and assure it’s active only in the target tissue while also bringing the suggestion of reduced side effects. The project findings are expected to increase the efficiency of future chemotherapies and prevent recurrence of the cancer after complete remission.

In our previous article Insights into crowdfunding the concept of crowdfunding was explained while the following article focuses on investment. Crowdinvesting is not a miracle. However, there are a few myths due to misinformation about some basic principles and due to still changing legal provisions of this new financial instrument. Some of these myths are related to the expectations about the parties involved.  The following facts are supposed to dismantle the myths of crowdinvesting.

Enzyme im Alltag - die Enzos

Auf das Abenteuer Forschung haben sich im Rahmen des Projektes „Enzyme im Alltag“ neun Schulklassen aus Volksschulen, NMS und Gymnasien eingelassen. Gemeinsam mit Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftlern vom acib und der TU Graz und den Firmenpartnern Bisy, Qualizyme und QPS erkundeten die Kinder und ihre Lehrkräfte innerhalb von 2 Jahren die enorme Vielfalt enzymatischer Abläufe und entdeckten sie im täglichen Leben.