example for PET fraction

Plastic waste management has become a challenge for our planet. Mankind produces 27.1 million tons per year of plastic waste and only 31.1% can be recycled! More than 65% are landfilled or incinerated. These huge amount of waste comes along with CO2 emissions of 6.7 million tons per year.

To counteract to these numbers, the project ENZYCLE was launched: it looks for new processes to treat and to recycle plastic fractions that nowadays cannot be recycled. It mainly addresses multilayer packaging, PET trays and clamshell containers and microplastics in waste water. Therefore, the project aims to reduce the amount of plastics that ends up in soil and the oceans.

sharks

Squalene acts as a booster for potential vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. However, the richest squalene source, shark liver, can and should not be exploited further. acib offers a solution: Yeast cell factories can be designed via biotechnological tools to produce high amounts of squalene.

Coronavirus

Globally, the search for potential drugs and vaccines is proceeding rapidly. A collaborative acib-research project focuses on the identification, evaluation and pre-clinical testing of a certain group of active ingredients, combining faster availability with high effectiveness. These so-called antiviral drugs have been used in the fights against HIV, MERS and SARS. They can inhibit the multiplication rates of enzymes or prevent virus particles from invading lung cells and consequently avert  possible infections. This makes them effective tools in the fight against COVID-19.

Some magnetic materials are able to absorb electro-magnetic waves and transform them into heat. But how do they do it? And is there a single mechanism or an optimum frequency for this process? To answer these and other fundamental questions of magnetic heating, first some introductory concepts must be clarified related to the magnetic response of the materials to a magnetic field.

induction

Contactless magnetic heating may sound scary, but it is part of your daily life experience. Every time you heat-up your morning coffee mocha with an induction cooker, you are using magnetic fields and magnetic materials. But can this kind of heating also be used to solve high-tech problems? This is the question that scientists are trying to answer in the H2020-FETOPEN project HOTZYMES.

© Lunghammer - TU Graz

Whether activating or silencing genes, breaking down defective cells or building new tissue, our body is constantly working to repair itself, even in cases of illness. To fight a disease, our body sends out signals, often long before we ourselves notice the disease. Such signals are, for example, DNA molecules that are released from the body’s own cells, circulate in the blood and are most likely recognised by other cells as a message to stimulate a defence reaction. The identification of these messengers leads to an early detection of sepsis.

FASTCURE activities

Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has turned the whole world upside down. After weeks of curfew to relieve the national health care systems, the economic impact becomes more and more perceptible: We are facing a substantial crisis. The only way out of this misery is finding a) an effective drug for the treatment of COVID-19 or b) a safe vaccine, which prevents us from a Coronavirus infection.

Wir sitzen nun schon alle seit geraumer Zeit in unseren eigenen vier Wänden fest. Doch wir sind auf gar keinen Fall allein! Unsere Enzymfreunde, die Enzos, sind zu Besuch am Frühstückstisch und während ich mir ein Müsli mit Milch mache, sitzen die Enzos schon da. Die Laktase rutscht aufgeregt hin und her und meint: „Weißt du, dass meine Freunde genau in diesem Moment ganz wichtig für dich sind? Die Laktasen in deinem Darm spalten nämlich den Milchzucker! Menschen mit Lactoseintoleranz haben keine Laktasen und leiden dann an Bauchweh oder Durchfall, wenn sie Milchprodukte essen.“ Die anderen Enzos wollen plötzlich auch mitreden und erklären mir, dass man aus Milch auch Joghurt und Käse herstellen kann. Gesagt – getan: Voller Vorfreude beschließen wir, heute Käse selber herzustellen.

baby diapers

The waste produced using absorbent hygiene products represent nowadays a large fraction of the common public solid waste. In the recent years, baby diapers waste have received a lot of attention due to the high volume produced and the difficult recycling processes. In our daily life disposable diapers are normally dismissed after single use and their usage is preferred over that of cloth diapers since they are more practical. But what about recycling them?