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Course Descriptions International Science Camp 2022

Physics in Life Sciences

How does a laser work and how can we use it as a tool to watch individual proteins at work and even manipulate them? What is fluorescence and how does it help to better understand biological processes in cells? Why can the actually dangerous radiation from radioactive substances help treat cancer? In this course you will learn which physical methods are used to answer questions in the life sciences. We will work on these and other topics both in XLAB's own laboratories and together with scientists in their research institutes on the campus.

 

Light and Matter

In this course, you will learn how scientists use the interaction of light and matter to generate light and colours by chemical processes, up to building an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) yourself. We will also investigate chemical reactions driven by light, such as a photocatalytic model system for photosynthesis. We construct an organic photovoltaic cell to generate electricity and use molecular switch systems to investigate how self-tinting glasses work, for example. In addition, researchers who use the interaction of light and matter will report on their work.

 

Renewable Energies

The limitation of fossil fuels like mineral oil or natural gas and the climate change caused by greenhouse gas emission require an energy revolution. However, how are we going to meet our energy needs in the future? In this course, you will get insights into the cutting-edge research on renewable energies that is conducted at Georg-August-University Göttingen by the Collaborative Research Center (CRC) 1073. The goal of this knowledge-driven research initiative in the area of the physical and chemical sciences is to understand and control the elementary steps of energy conversion in materials, which is crucial for advancement of environmentally friendly generation and storage of energy. You will gain an insight into CRC projects and work with different highly advanced microscopes that are capable of resolving atoms.

 

Polymers from Natural and Synthetic Raw Materials

How do chemists use fossil and bio-based building blocks for the production of plastics? How can we sustainably redevelop the production chains? 

 

In this camp we will, based on the common production reactions and desired properties of polymers, work out production chains of petroleum-based (e.g. PVC) and renewable raw materials (e.g. wood) based plastics in a series of experiments. In addition to the usual laboratory methods (e.g. fractional distillation, catalytic cracking, bleaching with peroxides) we will use modern analytic (e.g. mass spectrometry, REM microscopy) and processing methods (e.g. electrospinning). We will also take a look at the detection and analysis of plastic waste. Here we will get to know infrared spectroscopy and fluorescence coloring.

Biomedicine

Discover and analyze how our bodies' own little army of immune cells watch over our health. In times of pandemic, understanding the immune system is very important. We are witnessing how a formerly harmless virus is upsetting our world order, pushing boundaries in social life and keeping all the world's scientists on their toes.

After this week, you will be able to have your own say when it comes to neutralizing antibodies, T cells, ELISA, and HEPA filters because you will be using them in laboratory experiments.

Molecular Biology of Plants

Plant breeding is a current global task necessary to meet the demands of food security and to face challenges of climate change. Besides classical breeding, genetic engineering offers a promising technology to improve food and industrial crops.

Transgenic plants are already cultivated in many countries. But have you heard of products like bt-corn or golden rice? In this camp we will perform together basic techniques to produce and analyze transgenic plants and will show you, how these modern methods are utilized in research and breeding approaches.