As part of the series "Spitzenforschung in Niedersachsen" (translation: "top research in lower saxony") the public service broadcaster NDR made a stopover at our premises and took a look inside our ultra-modern research building. Check out how top research is made possible at the Osnabrück Biology department and what it looked like behind the scenes during the shoot!

Top-class research made in Osnabrück: For us, this became reality at the latest since the completion of the research center 'Center for Cellular Nanoanalytics', or 'CellNanOs' for short. Since then, almost one hundred scientists have been working here on their research projects on a daily basis - short distances between facilities, an interdisciplinary exchange with chemists and physicists, and the excellent equipment put us right at the top ever since.
How special the research building with its infrastructure and equipment is in comparison to other buildings in Germany, we realized once more when we received a request for a television report by the NDR. On the day of shooting in June, Prof. Piehler was able to show the filming team some of our special high-performance microscopes and could explain why CellNanOs helps us to perform top-class research. The high performance microscopes, which can cost up to 1 million Euros each help us to understand how pathogens penetrate a cell for instance - thus CellNanOs also provides medically relevant basic research on a high level.

© Universität Osnabrück | Lena Dehnen

The ultramodern equipment infrastructure of the Center for Cellular Nanoanalytics enables us to conduct top-level research in the field of molecular cell biology here in Osnabrück. The research building is also designed for interdisplinary research, saying biologists are working in close contact with chemists and physicists to develop new materials or methods. In order to train scientists for this interdisciplinary approach, we have now also established a joint masters degree program 'Nanosciences: Materials, Molecules and Cells'.

Prof. Jacob Piehler

Another protagonist of the NDR report is botany professor Sabine Zachgo. She tells how she has succeeded in making a scientific quantum leap with the help of the equipment in the CellNanOs: For the first time, she and her team were able to elucidate the function of genes and gene products inside the cell nucleus - in a resolution that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. No wonder, since such a cell nucleus of the model organism moss (Marchantia polymorpha) is only 5 micrometers in size - that is just two hundredths of a millimeter! Nevertheless, this is no problem for our high-performance microscopes, which can even image at the atomic level.

© Universität Osnabrück | Lena Dehnen

For me, top-level research in Osnabrück means that I can use an infrastructure with excellent equipment and the expertise of microscopy experts. This enables me to investigate new questions, which in plant cell biology are often more difficult and microscopically more challenging than in animal cells, due to the special characteristics of plant cells. Here, however, I am able to make adaptations with competent scientists, which for the first time allow to apply new high-resolution techniques to plants.

Prof. Sabine Zachgo

Dr. Holtmannspötter, scientist at CellNanOs and expert for light microscopy at our department, also reports how special the technical equipment at our location is. Especially at conferences, where he is approached by colleagues, he is aware of the uniqueness of the research center's equipment . For example, there are only a handful of so-called Lattice Light Sheet microscopes available in Germany, which is a special light microscope with high resolution. Therefore, this is a special opportunity for biology students from Osnabrück as well, who even have access to these devices during their studies!

© Universität Osnabrück | Lena Dehnen

Osnabrück is not one of the largest universities in Germany, but nevertheless we have equipment here that is second to none! The equipment we have here is among the most modern available. Because we are so small, students also have the opportunity to get their hands on these microscopes and other equipment. That can be a huge advantage for our students! For example, the Lattice Light Sheet microscope, which is not very common - I get asked about it at every conference I visit! The CellNanOs with the good networking is also one of the reasons why we can do top-class research here.

Dr. Michael Holtmannspötter

If you have become curious about the movie, you can find it in the NDR Mediathek: