The citizen science campaign "The Microbial Treasure Chest" of the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) is currently on a grand voyage through Germany as an exhibition project on the MS Wissenschaft. The exhibit explains the importance of myxobacteria for the development of new antibiotics and provides information about resistant pathogens. From August 5 to 8, the science ship will also be anchored in Saarbrücken (near Congresshalle in Bürgerpark).
The exhibition on the MS Wissenschaft is open daily from 10 am to 7 pm. On Saturday, August 6, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., there will also be presentations about the citizen science campaign and about research at HIPS. On Saturday evening at 7 p.m. a science slam, hosted by Saarland University, is on the program.
The crucial contribution that tiny soil bacteria can make in the fight against resistant germs has been the subject of research at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) for many years: Here, scientists examine soil samples in search of novel myxobacteria. These predatory soil dwellers produce a wide variety of chemical substances, known as microbial natural products, which can be important starting substances for new antibiotics and other active ingredients. HIPS is a site of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in collaboration with Saarland University.
An exhibit from HIPS depicting these connections has been traveling aboard the exhibition ship MS Wissenschaft since May. Entitled "The Microbial Treasure Chest," it explains to visitors the important role of myxobacteria for drug research and what the increasing antibiotic resistance of disease-causing bacteria is all about.
The exhibit is a showcase in which a biotope has been created with different substrates, for example, moss, stones and a watercourse. They represent some of the habitats where myxobacteria were collected and studied. Petri dishes with photos of the corresponding soil bacteria show which myxobacteria are involved. If you select a location on the map of Germany on a touchscreen, the bacterium discovered there is backlit in the box, and you can call up further information about the bacterium on a second screen. In addition, questions about antibiotics research can be clicked on and are answered in videos. What real myxobacteria look like, can also be seen on a microscope sponsored by the Zeiss company.
Visitors will receive up-to-date information on the status of the citizen science campaign as well as an insight into the results to date during presentations on board the MS Wissenschaft on Saturday, August 6:
At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., HIPS researchers will present the project. In further lectures from 12 to 2 p.m., they will provide insight into the research at HIPS. Interested visitors can pick up their own sample collection kit on the MS Wissenschaft, or request one via the campaign website: http://hips.saarland/sample/
The exhibition on the MS Wissenschaft can be visited in Saarbrücken daily from August 5 to 8, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Admission is free.
All info at: MS Wissenschaft