The emergence of more and more new SARS-CoV-2 variants, which can spread rapidly and undermine vaccine protection, threatens the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the Delta variant and its subtype Delta Plus carry mutations that make them more dangerous than the virus of origin. Our infection biologists have taken a closer look at both variants. In cell culture studies, they have found that Delta and Delta Plus viruses are better at infecting lung cells and worse at being inhibited by antibodies. This has probably contributed to their rapid spread. Read more about this starting on page 3.
Animal experiments are of great importance in biomedical research and are still indispensable for certain questions. Where possible, however, alternative methods are being used and continuously developed – also at the DPZ. In a new series, we present the alternative and complementary methods used and developed at the DPZ. The first part is about our Skills Lab. You can find out what it's all about starting on page 7.
In September of this year, we held our first institute-wide Climate Day. Under the motto "Making a difference together", DPZlers met in various workshops, excursions and tours and discussed topics related to energy, waste, nutrition, mobility and biodiversity. The event was a first step on the way to a viable sustainability management system at the institute, which will now be implemented through various measures. We have compiled our ideas and evaluations on pages 18 to 27.
We wish you a pleasant reading!
"DPZ aktuell" is published four times a year, has about 35 pages each time and can be subscribed to free of charge. Of course, the magazine is also available in the building: You will find it at the reception desk or in the library.