Microbes

  • Hannover Messe: Triple treatment for heat-exchangers

    New nano-coatings have an anti-adhesive, anti-corrosive and antimicrobial effect. Source: Ollmann

    INM - Leibniz Institute for New Materials is introducing new nano-coatings that reduce the effort required for cleaning heat exchangers as well as their corrosion. In these new coatings, the research scientists combine antiadhesive, anticorrosive and, on demand, also antimicrobial properties.

    When processing milk and juice, the food industry is using heat exchangers in numerous steps throughout the process. To have no risk to the consumers, heat exchangers have to be free from microbes. Especially in the numerous grooves and recesses of the heat exchanger, persistent biofilms can remain stuck. As a result, heat exchangers must be cleaned at regular intervals using aggressive chemicals.

  • Like the Earthworm: New Breathing Material Lubricates Itself When Needed

    Like the earthworm: The new INM breathing system lubricates itself when pressure is applied to the material. Source: Iris Maurer; free within this press release

    Earthworms are always clean, even if they come from moist, sticky soil. They owe this to a dirt-repellent, lubricating layer, which forms itself again and again on its skin. Researchers at INM have now artificially recreated this system of nature: They developed a material with a surface structure that provides itself with lubricant whenever pressure is applied. Because the lubricated material reduces friction and prevents the growth of microbes, scientists can envision numerous applications in industry and biomedicine.

  • Mikroben fertigen Bioplastik aus Rauchgas und Strom

    Der Biologe Johannes Eberhard Reiner vom KIT mit den Reaktoren zur mikrobiellen Elektrosynthese. (Foto: Constanze Zacharias)

    Ein ressourcenschonendes und kostengünstiges Verfahren zur Herstellung von Bioplastik entwickeln Forscher am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT): In dem vom Bundesforschungsministerium geförderten Projekt „BioElectroPlast“ setzen sie Mikroorganismen ein, die aus Rauchgas, Luft sowie Strom aus erneuerbaren Quellen das Polymer Polyhydroxybuttersäure produzieren. Der so optimierte Prozess der mikrobiellen Elektrosynthese eröffnet für die Zukunft weitere Perspektiven, etwa zur Herstellung von Biokraftstoffen oder zur Speicherung von Strom aus regenerativen Quellen in Form chemischer Produkte.

  • The Microbiota in the Intestines Fuels Tumour Growth

    Prof. Dirk Haller discovered that it is not cell stress alone that leads to tumour growth, but the cooperation of stress and microbiota - here with Sandra Bierwirth (left) and Olivia Coleman. A. Heddergott/ TUM

    The team of Professor Dirk Haller at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) made an unexpected discovery while investigating the triggering factors of colon cancer: Cell stress in combination with an altered microbiota in the colon drives tumour growth. Previously, it was assumed that this combination only contributes to inflammatory intestinal diseases.

  • Use of bacteria to produce valuable substances from carbon dioxide

    Ball-and-stick model of the carbon dioxide molecule, one of the most important chemical compounds in the world - vital for life as we know it, but catastrophic at excess levels. Colour code: Carbon, C: black Oxygen, O: red

    Goethe University Frankfurt coordinates European two million Euro project. Microbes are already used on a wide scale for the production of fuels and base chemicals, but for this most of them have to be “fed” with sugar. However, since sugar-based biotechnology finds itself in competition with food production, it is faced with increasingly fierce criticism. Carbon dioxide has meanwhile become the focus of attention as an alternative raw material for biotechnological processes. Goethe University Frankfurt has now taken charge of a collaborative European project, the aim of which is to advance the development of processes for microbial, CO2-based biotechnology. The project will be funded over the next three years with € 2 million.