Fermenting Futures
Arts and natural sciences have nothing in common at first sight. But if we have a closer look, sculptural artworks can be the ideal tool for exploring scientific contents from a visual perspective while reaching audiences that haven’t been targeted before. The discipline of “BioArt” allows artists to put their hands on the techniques of biotechnological science and methodologies. These first-hand experiences enable them to tell their own – science-based – story from an artistic point of view.
Hydrogel bubbles
Climate change is causing temperatures to rise, making water an increasingly scarce resource. A natural, wood-based hydrogel that can absorb and store a multiple of its own weight in water and continuously release it to soils over long periods of time. This will enable agriculture to use water more efficiently in the future and, in particular, to supply water to areas severely affected by climate change. The technology has the potential to significantly accelerate the sustainability goals of the Agenda 2030, which officially declared the sustainable management of water resources a human right.
sugar beets
Sustainability and use of renewable resources represent an important part of any production process with regard to circular economy and for the sake of our planet. With all the biomass available, utilization thereof offers a variety of applications. The European project CARBAFIN has developed a radically new value chain for the use of sucrose from sugar beet biomass. Specific enzymes convert sucrose into new compounds, such as functional glycosides or platform chemicals. These are relevant for different industry sectors, which are highlighted below.
Bionanocomposites + bottle with Bionanopolys logo
Climate protection, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and saving of fossil resources are key elements for a more sustainable future. Potential alternatives to fossil-based materials are so called biomaterials. However, these substances must offer functional properties for high-volume applications and need to perform even better than their fossil counterparts and still have to get cheaper in order to drive their adoption by industry and end users. In order to provide biomaterials with the requested properties and make them more interesting for an industrial use, the EU-project Bionanopolys was founded.
Co-Autorin: Aleksandra Fuchs

Die Umwelt – Ein Thema, das global gesehen, seit 2019 immer mehr Menschen beschäftigt und oft sogar mehr Sorgen bereitet als zB ihre eigenen Jobs.1 Wir achten darauf weniger Plastik zu verschwenden, weniger zu reisen und möglichst Waren mit langen Transportwegen zu meiden. Ein weiterer, stark diskutierter Punkt ist zudem der enorme Fleischkonsum, der nicht nur schrecklich viele Ressourcen und Land benötigt, sondern auch mehr Wasser- und Luftverschmutzung verursacht als der gesamte Verkehrssektor.
Brain as a visual connection to epilepsy
The pharmaceutical industry has had to resort to rather inefficient, environmentally harmful chemical synthesis routes for the production of the active ingredient levetiracetam, a drug which is used to treat epilepsy. A consortium led by acib has now developed a chemoenzymatic manufacturing route that promises twice the yield of current production methods while being environmentally friendly. The production method could be ready for industrial use in a year’s time.
DNA strand, lab and Coronavirus
Gut ein Jahr nach dem Ausbruch der Coronavirus-Pandemie ist sie den meisten Menschen ein Begriff: die Polymerase-Kettenreaktion, kurz PCR (englisch: polymerase chain reaction). Sie ist im Moment eines der verlässlichsten Werkzeuge, um eine Coronavirusinfektion nachzuweisen. Was passiert bei der PCR und warum ist sie soviel genauer als ein Antigentest?
Innophore Catalaphore approach
Like any virus, SARS-CoV-2 is constantly changing. A wide variety of mutations are the result, to which vaccine manufacturers have so far only been able to react retroactively. Researchers from Graz, Austria have succeeded in using modern AI-based screening methods and virtual scenarios to study and predict the relevance of existing, but also future corona virus variants. This will allow vaccine manufacturers to optimize existing vaccines more quickly to make them effective against a wide range of mutations and to to gain earlier control over epidemics.
In times of COVID-19, we are spending a lot of time at home. Some of us feel the desire to give one of the rooms or even the whole flat a new coat. There is only one challenge: From furniture to window frames and indoor walls, whenever something is painted it should dry and harden fast. This is currently being solved by adding so called siccatives, which contain heavy metals such as cobalt, copper or lead. But we all know that these are toxic and harmful to our health and to the environment.