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Almost all research groups at the Institute use molecular biological methods to study the genes and proteins of different organisms. To help make their work easier, the General Facilities Biotechnology Unit offers comprehensive services.
Thanks to state-of-the-art equipment, including an ABI-Prism 3100 Genetic Analyser, staff members of the biotechnology team can determine the exact sequence of building blocks of certain DNA segments in no time at all. Altogether, they perform about 20 000 of these sequences for the Institute’s scientists per year.
To analyse proteins, researchers often need large amounts of raw materials: protein-producing bacteria, yeast and other unicellular organisms, out of which the respective protein first has to be derived. At the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, scientists can leave the production of such proteins to specialists: The General Facilities Biotechnology Unit not only has a great deal of experience in breeding microorganisms, but also has special expertise working with fermenters of up to 30 litres capacity. Even rare proteins can be produced in such great amounts that they crystallise and can be analysed using synchrotron radiation crystallography.
Culture media and sterilisation service
Furthermore, the Biotechnology Unit carries out many routine tasks for the researchers. It provides culture media and agar plates, is responsible for the sterilisation of lab equipment and instruments and aids in the disposal of used materials.