Second online meeting 29.09 -1.10.2021

Report about second online meeting 29.09. – 1.10.2021

Our second online meeting with 95 participants was focused on two science speaches done by two experts and a third part in which participants were introduced by the coordinator in two epigenetic experiments we want to conduct together in the next physical meeting. 

First session on September 29th (6 pm – 8.30 pm):

Wednesday, September 29th we heard a presentation about genetic versus epigenetic held by Master of Science Thomas Dürr. He talked about the basics of genetic regulated by DNA-sequence. Mutations change base sequence of DNA and cell regulation doesn`t work properly. Cancer can occur.

In addition to genetic regulation also epigenetic regulation takes place. Most important three mechanisms of epigenetic regulation were discussed in his speach:

– Methylation of DNA and demethylation catalyzed by enzymes is a process which can mute or activate genes without changing base sequence of DNA. 

– Acetylation of histones which is also a reversible enzyme catalyzed process can activate genes. Deacetylation of histones increases positive charge of histones. Negatively charged DNA is attracted to positive charged histones because of opposite charges and DNA wraps around histones and genes are muted. 

– Third mechanism of epigenetic regulation of genes is done by micro RNA (miRNA). 5000 different miRNAs are detected so far. Micro RNA binds complementary by Hoogsteen base pairing with DNA or Watson and Crick base pairs with mRNA which is on the way to the ribosomes. Partly double stranded miRNA/mRNA can`t be translated at the ribosomes and will be destroyed. Genes were muted.

Second session on September 30th (6 pm – 8.30 pm):

Speaker was Prof. Dr. Diethard Baron (University of Weihenstephan, emir.)

Speech was focused on epigenetic in cancer diagnostic and cancer therapy. First drugs to cure cancer on epigenetic level and mechanism of treatments were presented.

After both presentations of the experts an intensive discussion round took place. Students asked a lot of questions and experts were challenged.

Third session on October 1st (4.30 pm – 7.30 pm):

Part 1: Together with student mentors of Pforzheim the project coordinator gave a detailed introduction about both experiments CpG methylation and histone assembling to the participants. Enzyme catalyzed methylation followed by a restriction analysis and a successful histone assembling can be detected by gel-electrophoresis. Both experiments will be conducted and by the way evaluated as new teaching materials during next lab workshop in Vienna. 

Part 2: Teacher meeting for scheduling the remaining time of the project till April 30th 2022. Next physical meetings in February in Vienna and final meeting in Brno were dated and necessary plannings were fixed by the teachers of the partner schools. Translations of histone assembling experiment protocols into mother tongues as homework for each partner school was discussed.

Presentations from the online meeting: