Projects
Name
Deuterium primary isotope effect on (bio)chemical reactions and cell growth
University
Germany (bvmd) - Ruprecht-Karls-Universitaet, Heidelberg
Domain
Anatomy
Departement
Institute of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Heidelberg, Im Neuenheimer Feld 307, D-60129 Heidelberg
Head
Prof. Dr. med. A. Kirsch
Tutor
Dr. med. H.P. Koest, guest scientist
Languages
English
Duration
4 weeks
Availability
Cities/Months Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Augt Sep Oct Nov Dec
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No No No
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Roughly 70% of Earths surface and animal bodies are made out of water (H2O). H2O and its properties are essential for life on Earth. Water plays an active role in recognition and binding of biomolecules (Ball, 2011); examples are biological system where a protein binds to its ligand, associates with another protein, or folds into its functional form. Substituting hydrogen (H) by its heavier stable (i.e. non radioactive) isotope deuterium (D) results in some strong primary isotope effects on biomolecules and cells, including effects of D2O on plant growth (Koest, in preparation) and animal neuron glucose uptake (Koest, unpublished). The strength of the isotope effect depends on the nature of the D substituted compound investigated and has only been looked at in relatively few cases. In order to finish up studies begun about 2 years ago, the determination of glucose and D labeled glucose by using different enzyme systems (eg. glucose oxidase in coupled enzymatic reactions) and in cell culture systems will be carried out. Students will have the chance to help to finish some running research and possibly co author a publication. The aim is to finish up running studies on the primary deuterium isotope effect on (bio)chemical reactions and cell growth Techniques: enzymatic determination of normal and D-labeled glucose and other compounds; different polymerase chain reactions (PCR), preparation of microscopic slides from cell culture specimen; staining by applying different staining techniques (plain dye stain, different immunostains, silver stain, microscopy, recording of pictures, evaluation); if there will be sufficient time: cell culture of rat neurons in different media with subsequent evaluation.
What is the aim of the project?
To finish up running studies on the primary deuterium isotope effect on (bio)chemical reactions and cell growth
What techniques and methods are used?
Techniques: enzymatic determination of normal and D-labeled glucose and other compounds; different polymerase chain reactions (PCR), preparation of microscopic slides from cell culture specimen; staining by applying different staining techniques (plain dye stain, different immunostains, silver stain, microscopy, recording of pictures, evaluation); if there will be sufficient time: cell culture of rat neurons in different media with subsequent evaluation.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
To perform on his/ her own: lab notebook notes, literature check, scientific report Under supervision: any practical lab work: preparation of buffers and solutions based on concentrations, “chemical” calculations (molarities etc.), analytical working, use of all sorts of lab instruments (eg. spectrophotometer), electrophoresis, PCR (polymerase chain reaction), determination of pH-values, workup of specimen material, preparation of microscopic slides, staining, microscopy, characterization of types of neurons, statistics.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
yes: Regular weekly Progress Report, readings of scientific background of work in progress, scientific writing, molecular modeling, use of diverse computer programs: Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and others
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- The student will prepare a presentation
- The student will prepare a scientific report
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
The student should be interested in practical lab work and prefereably would have lab work experience. Computer knowledge preferred. No pregnancy because of lab work required Students for a 8 week project are prefered!
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Yes
No pregnancy because of lab work required
Hours
7
Type of students accepted
This project accepts:
- Medical students
Articles
- Ball P. 2011. More than a bystander. Nature 478:467?468 DOI 10.1038/478467a
- Kalkur et al. (2014); Effects of deuterium oxide on cell growth and vesicle speed in RBL-2H3 cells. PeerJ 2:e553; DOI 10.7717/peerj.553 and literature cited herein