„JUNK FOOD VS. MEDITERRANEAN DIET”
Full of expectations and in a good mood, we started at the Bielefeld station at 8:45 am. We arrived at the Airport in Düsseldorf and flew to Munich and from there to Verona. We were very happy because warm weather surprised us in Italy. In Verona we met our host families and experienced a typical Italian evening.
After the first meeting of the group at Licio Galilei we were introduced to the topic. We saw presentations about the last Erasmus+ projekt in Xativa and got a lecture about Verona. Then we went to the city by bus. The Italian students showed us the sights of Verona, for example the arena or the famous balcony of Romeo and Juliet. Afterwards we had lunch and our first ice cream. We also visited the theatre and enjoyed the view of Verona. After a long day we went back to the host families and had a great evening.
For the main topic “How can we feed our genes?“ we research on antioxidants. At the Biotechnology Institute of the University of Verona Professor Gianni Zoccatelli introduced us to the free radical theory of aging. As an effect of the metabolism process, molecular oxygen in cells becomes “free radicals“. These free radicals displace tissues into oxidative stress. Molecules of the cell like the DNA and the RNA as well as proteins and lipids are damaged or destroyed. To counteract this process, the cell produces substances that catalyze the radical catalytically. These are the urate and the enzyme catalase. In addition, we need the Antioxidants from our food. The antioxidant “ascorbic acid” (such as vitamin c) stops the free radicals, too. After the presentation we got an insight into university life. In the labs, we saw how the DNA was replicated and antioxidants in foods were analyzed. In the afternoon we wanted to find antioxidants in fruit tee. We made orange tee in cold and hot water. We used 1ml“ABTS+” (synthetic cationradicals) and added 25ml PBS as an indicator. Then we start to slowly add the antioxidants (Tee infusion) into the free radicals until they equalize. From the consumption of the infusion we were able to see which type of tea has the most antioxidants. We found out that hot water got out of the tee bag more antioxidants than the cold water. The molecules moved faster in hot water. The most Antioxidants were in raspberry tea.
We mostly used this day to work on our presentations in the computer room at Liceo Galilei. After lunch we had a lecture about “Epigenetics and Mediterranean“ by professor Elisa Salvetti. Later we went grocery shopping in a small group and to the River, where we watched the sunset.
On Wednesday we met at 8:30 am at school. After traveling one hour by bus we arrived at the lake Garda where we went to an oil mill. Beside learning many things about olive oil production, we were given the chance to taste products made of olive oil. The mill had a shop where we could buy the products we tasted before. After taking a little walk along the lake we took the bus to Sirmione and had a guided tour to the Catullo Caves. In the city center of Sirmione we ate ice ceam.
On the last morning we presented all group works results at Liceo Galilei: ntioxidants, junk food, epigenetics and a survey. Then it was time to say good by. We arrived in Düsseldorf desperate a storm and ended at the Bielefeld train station. We would like to thank our host families and the great Erasmus+ project which makes international research and work possible for us as students.Annabel Melching,
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