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The idea is to use the power of bacteria to turn toxic waste gases into valuable compounds such as acetate or ethanol
Carbon monoxide is a very poisonous gas. Humans die within minutes when they inhale it. However, some microorganisms tolerate carbon monoxide and even use it to breathe and replicate. Knowledge about how these bacteria survive opens a window into the primeval times of the earth and the origin of ...
New insights into a mechanism that reduces the ice formation ability of bacterial ice-nucleating proteins in an acidic environment
Because of mild winters, ski resorts produce artificial snow to supplement the natural snowfall or extend the ski-season. Ice-nucleating proteins, extracted from the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae, can make ice better than any other known material and are already used in snow making. Researchers ...
Algorithm to estimate coronavirus infection risk from aerosol transmission in the indoor environment and under different safety measures
An easy-to-use algorithm can now be used to determine the risk of being infected by SARS-CoV-2 via aerosol particles from patients in indoor environments. It also estimates how protective measures such as wearing masks and ventilation reduce the risk. The model, developed by researchers at the ...
A user-friendly method to reconstruct and analyze SSU rRNA from raw metagenome data
First the background: Microbiologists traditionally determine which organisms they are dealing with using the small subunit ribosomal RNA or in short SSU rRNA gene. This marker gene allows to identify almost any living creature, be it a bacterium or an animal, and thus assign it to its place in ...
Max Planck Innovation licenses process for the generation of organ-like tissue aggregates to biotech company StemoniX
Sometimes hundreds of thousands of potential therapeutics need to be tested in large-scale, fully automated experiments to identify a single effective drug. Most compounds do not work as desired, and some are even toxic. Since the development of the induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) Cell technology ...
Remarkable and unexpected insights into the workings of the biological system: Quantum chemical calculations illuminate excited states of chlorophyll molecules
The sun sustains all life on earth through photosynthesis, the process by which plants and other organisms convert the energy of sunlight into chemical energy, stored in the bonds of organic molecules. A central challenge of modern science is to replicate this process using synthetic catalysts, ...
Novel technique visualizes individual atoms in a protein with cryo-electron microscopy for the first time
A crucial resolution barrier in cryo-electron microscopy has been broken. Holger Stark and his team at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) for Biophysical Chemistry have observed single atoms in a protein structure for the first time and taken the sharpest images ever with this method. Such ...
This enables scientists to track down causes of diseases more quickly
The way DNA is organized in the cell nucleus is very important for the normal development and function of the cell. A mutation that affects the packaging of the genetic material in the cell nucleus can lead to developmental disorders or diseases such as cancer. A team of scientists from the Max ...
A segment of DNA that causes their carriers to have an up to three times higher risk of developing severe Covid-19 is inherited from Neandertals
Covid-19 affects some people much more severely than others. Some reasons for this such as old age are already known, but other as yet unknown factors also play a role. This summer, a large international study linked a group of genes on chromosome 3 to a higher risk of hospitalisation and ...
The groove of the self-organized active nematic ribbon
Nematic materials, such as the liquid crystals in our displays, contain molecules that align themselves in parallel. When they are constructed from microtubules and kinesins, materials found in our cells, they become active and move and deform without the supply of energy from the outside. In a ...