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Biotechnology and Life Sciences in Baden-Württemberg

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QIAGEN Lake Constance – pocket-sized laboratories for the identification of pathogens

Quick, simple and decentralized – this is how QIAGEN Lake Constance GmbH envisages diagnostics applications in the future. The Stockach-based QIAGEN subsidiary develops test systems for point-of-need diagnostics, i.e. tests that can be carried out in close proximity to the sample collection point, for example in GP surgeries. They enable the rapid identification of pathogens, and as a result the timely initiation of suitable treatment.
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Portrait

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Industrial biotechnology: a challenging change to the raw material base

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© Beta Renewables
Biogenic raw materials have never been as popular as they are now. Efforts to tap renewable carbon resources are already underway, despite the fact that new oil drilling technologies are boosting fossil fuel stockpiles. In the medium term, industry will have to expand its raw materials base, and in the long term it may have to renew it completely. Industrial biotechnology is one of the key technologies in the transition from an economy based on fossil fuels to one based on renewable resources. The microbes that produce renewable resources need access to a sufficient supply of biomass. But what kind of biomass will they use and do we have enough of it?
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Health

First ever eye gene therapy close to clinical testing

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There are many different retinal diseases simply because many different steps of the visual process can be affected. However, they all have one thing in common: correction of the relevant defective gene currently provides the only possibility of permanent cure. Prof. Dr. Mathias Seeliger and his group of researchers at the Institute of Ophthalmic Research at the University Hospital in Tübingen is specifically focused on the development of gene therapies for the treatment of neurodegenerative eye diseases. The techniques, developed in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Munich, have been lastingly successful in mice. A gene therapy for the treatment of this kind of retinal disease is now close to clinical testing.
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Bioeconomy

Crude mushroom solution to degrade micropollutants

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Sabine Sané, a doctoral student in the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg, has developed a concept that shows how micropollutants can be degraded in wastewater and how the latter can serve as a valuable source of raw materials. She is one of four researchers who have been awarded the 2014 Huber Technology Prize “Future Water” with a purse of 10,000 euros. Her concept is based on an enzyme that is secreted by the turkey tail fungus Trametes versicolor. This enzyme, known as laccase, has been shown to efficiently degrade pollutants and increase the performance of biofuel cells.
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