1. Construction of a new class of tetracycline lead structures with potent antibacterial activity through biosynthetic engineering (Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana)

Authors: Urška Lešnik, Tadeja Lukežič, Ajda Podgoršek, Jaka Horvat, Tomaž Polak,Martin Šala,
Branko Jenko, Kirsten Harmrolfs, Alain Ocampo-Sosa, Luis Martinez-Martinez, Paul R. Herron, Štefan Fujs, Gregor Kosec, Iain S. Hunter, Rolf Müller , Hrvoje Petković

Antimicrobial resistance and a shortage of novel antibiotics have led to an urgent need for new antibacterial drug leads.

Petković and research collaborators at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana cloned the gene cluster encoding the tetracycline antibiotic chelocardin from actinobacterium Amycolatopsis sulphurea. Working with Acies Bio Ltd. (Slovenia) and by applying modern approaches to biosynthetic engineering, they have developed a new tetracycline lead structure, an amidated analogue of chelocardin, namely, 2-carboxamido-2-deacetyl-chelocardin. The new chelocardin analogue displayed significantly improved antibacterial activity.


2. Recovery of large carnivores in Europe's modern human-dominated landscapes (Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana)

Authors: Klemen Jerina, Ivan Kos, Miha Krofel, Aleksandra Majić Skrbinšek, Hubert Potočnik, Tomaž Skrbinšek


By the early 20th century, large carnivores had been exterminated from most of Europe, reduced to relict populations with a poor outlook persisting in remote areas. Today, the situation is entirely different. In many places we now have increasing or stable populations of brown bears, wolves, Eurasian lynx and wolverines, and they do not live in remote wilderness but in a human-dominated landscape.


3. Bibliometric methods in management and organization (Faculty of Economics, University of Ljubljana)

Authors:Ivan Župič, Tomaž Čater

Bibliometric methods can be used to summarize and visualize scientific fields. In the future these methods (citation analysis, co-citation analysis, bibliographical coupling, co-author analysis and co-word analysis) will be one of the three main approaches (along with meta-analysis and qualitative structured literature reviews) for reviewing and evaluating scientific literature in the field of management and organization. Researchers can use bibliometric methods in several ways: they can more easily and comprehensively follow the development of their scientific fields (through mapping and visualization), quickly find the most influential works within a new scientific field (through citation analysis) and, potentially better predict future development of the field.


4. A simple and efficient preparation of high-purity hydrogen trioxide (HOOOH) (Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana)

Authors: Gregor Strle, Janez Cerkovnik

Water (HOH) and hydrogen peroxide (HOOH) are the only known naturally stable compounds consisting of hydrogen and oxygen elements. The existence of hydrogen trioxide (HOOOH), their higher homologue, has been assumed for more than 100 years, however, the first reliable reports of its existence only date back to the 1960s. In the last two decades research in this field has become more intense, mainly due to the development of methods for the preparation of hydrogen trioxide. An important part of this research has been made at the University of Ljubljana.


5. Protein aggregation in salt solutions (Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology, University of Ljubljana)

Authors: Miha Kastelic, Yurij V. Kalyuzhnyi, Barbara Hribar Lee, Ken A. Dill, Vojko Vlachy

Proteins are biological macromolecules essential to life. The molecules are prone to form clusters in a process called aggregation, and it may be desirable or undesirable in a given context. The consequence of aggregation may be a separation of the system into two liquid phases, differing in protein concentration. This is a necessary first step in protein crystallization and further isolation. On the other side, the process causes a problem in the formulation of biological drugs as well as in living organisms, where aggregation may cause condensation diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Due to their complicated structure the behavior of proteins is generally very complex. Despite this, some of their properties can be predicted by relatively simple models.


6. Light-controlled of topological charge in a nematic liquid crystal (Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, University of Ljubljana)

Authors:Maryam Nikkhou, Miha Škarabot, Simon Čopar, Miha Ravnik, Slobodan Žumer, Igor Muševič

Members of the Jožef Stefan Institute and Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Ljubljana have published an article entitled "Light-controlled topological charge in a nematic liquid crystal" in the journal Nature Physics. This article describes the experiment and theoretical analysis where strong laser light was used to create and stabilise one or a multitude of pairs of topological defects in the nematic liquid crystal. Each defect-pair is formed of a defect and an anti-defect, which are the equivalent to a particle and an anti-particle in particle physics.


7. Large-scale data fusion (Faculty of Computer and Information Science, University of Ljubljana)

Authors:Marinka Žitnik, Blaž Zupan

The increased prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria urges us to explore alternative strategies to treat bacterial infections. Nature abounds with species that are highly resistant to pathogenic bacteria, including the popular model organism Dictyostelium, which is a bacterial predator. Uncovering its bacterial resistance pathways could improve our understanding of core resistance mechanisms and lead us to drugs that target such pathways in humans. But even in Dictyostelium, the experiments are expensive and take time. Our partners at Baylor College of Medicine took five years to discover four bacterial resistant genes.


8. Present and future caloric refrigeration and heat pump technologies (Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ljubljana)

Authors:Andrej Kitanovski, Jaka Tušek, Urban Tomc, Uroš Plaznik, Marko Ožbolt, Blaž Jelenc, Alojz Poredoš

Today, large efforts are dedicated to research on alternative solutions for energy efficient devices with the least possible environmental impact. In the domain of refrigeration and heat pumps, several technologies have been developed as alternatives to conventional vapour-compression. From these, the highest potential can be detected among the so-called caloric technologies, which represent a serious future alternative. The team from the Laboratory of refrigeration and district energy of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Ljubljana represents one of the leading engineering research groups in the field of caloric energy conversion via magnetocaloric, electrocaloric and elastocaloric effects.


9. Temporal and spatial analysis of the 2014–2015 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa (Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana)

Authors:Tatjana Avšič Županc, Miša Korva

The Ebola virus claimed the lives of over 11,000 people during the epidemic in West Africa. The origin of the virus is thought to have been a zoonotic transmission from a bat to a two year-old boy in December 2013. From this index case the virus was spread by human-to-human contact throughout Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. However, the origin of the particular virus in each country and time of transmission was not known, and concerns have been expressed that the virus might be adapting to humans and become more easily transmissible. The authors of the present paper were members of an international team of the European Mobile Laboratory, which was the first diagnostics unit to be deployed to the centre of the outbreak in Guinea.


10. Universal screening for familial hypercholesterolemia in children (Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana)

Authors:Gašper Klančar, Urh Grošelj, Jernej Kovač, Nevenka Bratanič, Nataša Bratina, Katarina Trebušak Podkrajšek, Tadej Battelino

Prof. Dr. Tadej Battelino's research group at the University Children’s Hospital Ljubljana has published a notable research article in a leading scientific journal in the field of cardiology – Journal of American College of Cardiology, reporting successful implementation of the universal national screening program for familial hypercholesterolemia in a population of 5-years old children. The causative genetic change for familial hypercholesterolemia has been confirmed in 57 percent of children referred to the University Children’s Hospital with positive results from universal population screening. The system of early detection and treatment of familial hypercholesterolemia is crucial for reduction of more than 100-times higher risk of early cardio-vascular disease development in untreated patients with familial hypercholesterolemia as compared to a healthy population.