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
Unique genome architectures after fertilisation in single-cell embryos
30.03.2017 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
Transport of molecular motors into cilia
28.03.2017 | Aarhus University
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine
30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering