Researchers at the Max Rubner-Institut have developed a process that may not completely kill the moulds, but effectively inhibits their growth: certain wavelengths of visible light disrupt the rhythm of life of many forms of mildew so successfully that they stop producing fungal toxins and in the best-case scenario, stop growing altogether.
Ochratoxins are the toxins of a large group of mildews, which also includes various Penicillium and Aspergillus species. Like most living organisms these moulds have a biological clock that regulates growth and metabolism. At the beginning of the project, Prof. Rolf Geisen, a researcher at the Max Rubner-Institut, suspected that “if we can manage to change the rhythm of this clock, then we can stop the production of toxins.”
Blue light with a wavelength of 450 nanometres has proven to be a particularly effective inhibitor. “We don’t use harmful UV radiation. The blue light is sufficient to destroy 80 per cent of the mould spores,” says Dr. Markus Schmidt-Heydt, a researcher in Prof. Geisen’s team. On the other hand, researchers have also discovered that yellow and green light promotes the growth of the moulds. Moulds are therefore certainly not ‘blind’. They have light receptors for different wavelengths. Unfortunately, however, the varieties of mould have different levels of sensitivity. Typical cereal moulds like the Fusaria react differently to being illuminated, producing higher levels of light protection pigments like carotin, for instance.
This discovery is being intensively tested for its practical application in the context of the EU project “Novel strategies for worldwide reduction of mycotoxins in foods and feed chain” (MycoRed). If the illumination strategy meets its promise in the practical testing stage then this would be a huge step forward in the battle against the spoilage of food in Germany and throughout the world.
Dr. Iris Lehmann | idw
Glycosylation: Mapping Uncharted Territory
21.09.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
Molecular Force Sensors
20.09.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
21.09.2017 | Life Sciences
21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.09.2017 | Earth Sciences