Weihnachten naht, und mit den Geschenken droht der Verpackungsmüll wieder Überhand zu nehmen. Nichtsdestotrotz ist Plastik eine der größten Materialinnovationen des letzten Jahrhunderts, und es gibt Plastik sogar in “bio”! Im Rahmen unseres Life is Science Podcasts “Die BioTexperten” unterhalten wir uns mit acib Forscherin Dr. Anita Emmerstorfer-Augustin, die Teil des Teams rund um das EU Projekt BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE ist. Wir klären wichtige Begriffsdefinitionen wie “bio-basiert” oder “bio-abbaubar” und schauen uns an, wo Bio-Plastik heutzutage schon Anwendung findet.
An intact microbiome protects our skin as a natural shield against external influences. However, if this sensitive system is disturbed, it can lead to serious skin diseases. A Styrian consortium has therefore set itself the goal of developing a natural, medical skin care product. Living bacteria contained in it are strengthening the skin microbiome and warding off pathogens.
UPLIFT is a project funded from the European Commission in the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program. The overall concept of the project is to boost the development and validation of novel enzymatic and microbial processes for the sustainable use of plastics in food and drinks packaging applications, which will be tested and evaluated from a technical, environmental and socio-economical point of view, thereby contributing to the development of a more circular European plastic packaging industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An enzyme called tyrosinase, which is responsible for triggering a protective mechanism in plants and turning apples brown, even possesses further, previously unknown properties: For the first time, acib researchers have used the proteolytic abilities of tyrosinases to improve another enzyme – so that it can degrade plastic.
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.
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.
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