Science and research in Germany

AllemagnePrinceton, Stanford, Harvard, NIH – those are the big names when it comes to scientific research.Today, the whole world looks to the United States when trying to find answers to the most pressing scientific questions. Whether it is NASA for astronomy, Silicon Valley for the IT world or the NIH for medicine – US science centers are the most well known in the world. In fact, no other country in the world spends as much money on scientific research as the US. In the past, the hub of science research was somewhere else. Albert Einstein, Alexander Humboldt, Johann Kepler, Max Planck – these great minds, who shaped the world, came from the country that is now ranked 3rd leading country in the world for scientific research.

Germany has neither an NIH nor a Silicon Valley, but it has well-equipped and very specialized research centers, such as the Max Planck Insitute, or the Bernhardt Noth Institute, which had a great impact in the fight against Ebola last year. German researchers from Bernhardt Noth Institute collaborated with other European scientists to establish mobile laboratories, where the virus could be diagnosed and on-site research could be conducted.helger2

A ready-to-use DNA Test for the Zika virus established by the german Biotech Company GENEKAM.

In 2016, the world is facing the next epidemic. ZIKA, a mosquito-transmitted virus, is infecting much of Latin America and soon spreading to the rest of the world. What makes this disease especially dangerous is the fact that only 1 in 5 infected victims actually get sick, making it extremely hard to diagnose.

A German biotechnology company by the name of GENEKAM found a solution to this problem. They created a DNA test that detects the chemicals reacting with the ZIKA virus and can then determine whether ZIKA pathogens are present in the blood sample. The first packages of tests are already underway to Brazil, the country hit hardest with the virus. Fortunately, Germany has been rather lucky concerning epidemics and natural disasters (although food borne diseases such as the swine flu, hit the country once in a while), but all the more strives to solve the great problems of our time, not least global warming.

by Pauline F.