Visit from the Bundestag
On 28 March 2019, MP Steffi Lemke (Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen) used the non-sitting weeks of the Bundestag to obtain information about current research projects of the IPB and the ScienceCampus Plant Based Economy in Halle. After a general introduction to our research projects in front of the greenhouses, we had interesting discussions with the project leaders of the ScienceCampus Halle. They presented topics that strongly focus on sustainability in agriculture and the production of bioactive compounds. The presentations included production of pink coral proteins in bacterial cultures, the search for active substances in liverwort, and the screening of virtual databases to find chemical agents that increase plants' resistance against drought stress. A stopover with tea from the sweet-tasting leaves of the Japanese Hydrangea plant promptly led our guests into the world of plant-based sugar substitutes, flavor enhancers and bitter masking compounds. Here we discussed the possibilities and challenges of using enzymatic synthesis to produce these natural products.
Altogether, the tour offered many opportunities for exchange. The member of the Bundestag was very interested, but also pointed out that the information flow from science to politics has to increase. According to her, there was a great need for information on the part of parliamentarians about basic methods in the life sciences as well as about current application-oriented projects.