On 24 April 2017 is "World Day for Laboratory Animals" – the BIOPRO provides information about this topic. In Baden-Württemberg alone, up to 600,000 animals are used for scientific purposes every year. In order to reduce their pain and suffering as much as possible, researchers all over the world are working on the development of innovative methods to replace animal experiments, including cell culture methods for drug analysis, artificial blood vessel systems for testing chemicals and rapid computer simulations used in diabetes research.
Amyloid fibrils consisting of clumped α-synuclein protein are characteristic of Parkinson's disease. Chaperones, which ensure the correct folding of newly synthesised polypeptides, can inhibit α-synuclein aggregation and, as a consequence, prevent fibrils from forming. Researchers from Heidelberg have shown that a specific combination of human molecular chaperones is able to disassemble fibrils and transform them into non-toxic α-synuclein monomers.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Marx, chemist and polymerase specialist, is Professor of Organic Chemistry/Cellular Chemistry at the University of Konstanz. Three years ago, he also founded a company called myPOLS Biotec GmbH together with his then doctoral student Ramon Kranaster. myPOLS Biotec GmbH produces DNA polymerases that are tailored to the requirements of the company’s clients. In addition, the company also carries out contract research. The dual roles of professor and entrepreneur involve working more than just standard 9-to-5 hours, but this does not bother Marx at all.
Phytopharmaceuticals are herbal medicines whose efficacy is down to one or several plant substances or active ingredients. They have been used for treating diseases since time immemorial. This traditional knowledge is still the basis for many medicinal products made from plants or parts thereof. Herbal medicines have been produced in Baden-Württemberg for many generations.