YES, Proteins and Microbes do have Superpowers!!


Hundreds of children and adults took part and had fun while learning about microbes in the Science in the City Festival  in Toulouse, France.


From July 9th to July 12th, partners from CarbaZymes and MetaFluidics were present in Toulouse for the “Science in the City Festival”, the general public event of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF) Congress. For 4 days on the Place du Capitole, children and adults could discover the many different uses of microbes and proteins in our daily life as part of the « Proteins and Microbes with Superpowers » activities, co-organised by Horizon 2020-funded projects MetaFluidics and Carbazymes.

To begin with, after being briefed on what we, as scientists, do in Carbazymes and MetaFluidics , children and adults were invited to join our microbiology team to go and explore the environment in search for microbes with specific characteristics. The “environment” as such was represented by a ball pool, which was very much appreciated by all visitors (as well as the scientists involved! :-)).


After finding the super microbes, participants continued their mission by carrying out different experiments involving microorganisms. The message was clear: “Whatever you do in your daily life, microbes are involved!”. Visitors could for instance learn about the superpowers that the bacteria in our bodies have by identifying where the “good” and the “bad” microbes are: in our skin, in our mouth, in our lungs, in our stomach, in our gut, in our blood…

They also learned about how microbes are useful in preparing and preserving some very tasty food products like cheese, bread, wine, and mimicked the use of microbes in several depollution processes.

And last but not least, adult visitors learned that all these microbial abilities are due to the efficient production of a battery of enzymes with superpowers: They were introduced to how cells decode DNA and how enzymes can be synthesised at large scales to help us live better!



In total, nearly 400 persons (both adults and children) visited our stand on Place du Capitole. Despite the warm weather, everyone thoroughly enjoyed exchanging and communicating about microbiology with the general public, including children of all ages who may one day join the scientific community for real!

This article has been extracted from the Metafluidics news page.



The European Federation of Biotechnology (EFB) is Europe’s non-profit federation of National Biotechnology Associations, Learned Societies, Universities, Scientific Institutes, Biotech Companies and individual biotechnologists working to promote biotechnology throughout Europe and beyond. As the independent “Voice of Biotechnology in Europe”, EFB promotes the safe, sustainable and beneficial use of fundamental research and innovation in life sciences, while providing a forum for interdisciplinary and international cooperation.

EFB organizes a major congress every two years, with the Geneva 2018 venue marking its 18th edition CarbaZymes partners from the University of Zagreb participated with a strong team presenting three posters highlighting the advances of the Carbazymes research, below: 


Morana Česnik

Mathematical model based optimization of enzymatic aldol addition of propanal to formaldehyde.

The mathematical model of the aldol addition of propanal to formaldehyde was used to optimize the reaction conditions in the fed-batch reactor. At the optimal process conditions after 5.5 hours product concentration was 814 mmol dm-3  (72 g L–1), product yield was 88.5% and volume productivity was 313.7 g L–1 d–1.


Zvjezdana Findrik Blažević

Chemical engineering methodology in process development: a case study of MenD-catalyzed 1,4 addition of a-ketoglutaric acid to acrylonitirile.

The poster shows how process model based on reliable kinetic data can be used for process optimization as well as a sound basis for preliminary calculation of process costs. The work presented showed that the process is profitable at the most probable product 6-cyano-4-oxohexanoic acid price.  


Martina Sudar

Kinetic characterization of enzymes in a multi-enzyme cascade reaction to the synthesis of statin side-chain precursors. .

The poster presents the development of the mathematical model of the cascade reaction towards the statin side-chain precursors which will later be used for process optimisation.


An article on CarbaZymes has been published on EU Research. In this article Professor Wolf- Dieter Fessner explains the project as inspiration from the natural world to develop more sustainable processes. This Journal is distributed to more than 50.000 readers across Europe. 

This is the full article. Click for full page.


EU Research SPR18/P22


Last February 5th – 7th took place the 16th Iberian Peptide Meeting combined with the 4th ChemBio Group Meeting at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB). The event was envisaged as an opportunity for researchers in both peptide and chemical biology to converge into a single scientific event with a program that reflects cutting edge research in these frequently inter-related areas. An impressive roster of internationally known speakers, from Portugal, Spain and other European countries, as well as Canada and Australia, participated in the plenary and invited lectures, and will be completed by a good number of oral, flash and poster communications. CarbaZymes was represented by Dr Clapes and Dr Bujon from CSIC with two posters:  “2-Keto-3-Deoxy-l-Rhamnonate Aldolase (YfaU) as Catalyst for the synthesis of amino acid derivative” and “Synthesis of Cyclic β-Hydroxy-α-amino Acid Derivatives by 3-Methyl-2-oxobutanoate Hydroxymethyl Transferase”. This work is related to the latest articles published by the group.


An article titled “New Routes in Biocatalysis” about the Carbazymes project and its aims was featured on the 19/12/2017 in German newspaper Darmstaedter Echo, which reaches daily up to 367,000 readers.

Our coordinator Prof. Fessner provide general inforamtion about the carbazymes Aims and objectives, our conosritum and the impact of the project.

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