Biologie and Geography

In Medical Biotechnology, the characterisation of chromatin remains a main focus of research work. Within the scope of the successful Research Training Group 1431, mechanisms of gene expression and repair of DNA strands are examined with regard to their influence on the DNA packa­ging and on the specification and determination of separate cells and the development of entire organs. A further focus is on the investigation of signal transduction pathways on the molecular level, which contribute to the growth of tumours and the dissemination of metastases. The joint application for a Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) on tumour biology together with research groups from the Faculty of Medicine is expected to be evaluated in 2009. An additional project deals with the development of small synthetic molecules that are intended to help detect meta­stases. A BMBF project is meanwhile working to improve the diagnosis of HIV with the aid of computerised modelling of synthetic molecules.
In the EU project, WISER (Water bodies in Europe: Integrative Systems to assess Ecological status and Recovery), water and environmental research is concentrating on the development of new methods to assess the state of lakes, rivers and coastal waters by measuring the occurrence of plankton, hydrophytes, small animals and fish. The same project is also attempting to develop new approaches to predicting the effects of planned recovery processes (e. g. reducing environmental stressors and creating new habitats).
In the Didactics of Biology, cooperation is set to continue within the DFG Research Unit and DFG “Teaching Natural Sciences” Research Training Group.