Nobel Prize for Chemistry
Has Beiersdorf Connection
•GERMANY: This year’s announcement of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry
was especially interesting for Beiersdorf
Research & Development team as it honored one of the company’s cooperation
Dr. Stefan Hell, director of the
Max Planck Institute for Biophysical
Chemistry in Göttingen, together with
Eric Betzig and William Moerner from
the US, was awarded the Nobel Prize
for Chemistry for his groundbreaking
invention of STED Microscopy. With the
so-called GSDIM Technology, Dr. Frank
Fischer, head of the Beiersdorf Research
Microscopy Lab, uses an advancement of
the method of the German Nobel Prize
winner. GSDIM stands for“Ground State
Depletion Individual Molecule Return
Microscopy.” The GSDIM technology is
supported by the Federal Ministry for
Education as part of the joint research
project“GSDIM Widefield Nanoscopy.”
Dr. Stefan Hell succeeded in crack-
ing the basic resolution limit of optical
microscopes. Until now it wasn’t possible
to distinguish two objects if the distance
between them was smaller than 200
nanometers. This is due to the diffraction
of light, which causes both objects to be-
come blurred in the eye of the observer.
Hell and the American researchers found
ways to get around this limit and earned
the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the
development of super resolution fluores-
cence microscopy and the corresponding
“Dr. Hell is one of the world’s leading
microscopy experts. He is ambitious, full
of humor and has wide-ranging interests. He’s really easy to work with,” said
Fischer. Also participating in the joint
project GSDIM Widefield Nanoscopy
are the microscope manufacturer, Leica
Microsystems GmbH from Mannheim
and the producer of fast scientific cameras, PCO from Kelheim.
In the GSDIM joint project, Beiersdorf
researcher Sonja Pagel-Wolff and Dr.
Fischer, together with students Meike
Halm and Robin Sieg, are investigating
the smallest age-related structural
changes within living skin cells and how
these structures change when active in-
gredients are introduced into living cells.
Birchbox Moves into Canada
Birchboxes are now available in Canada.
•CANADA: Birchbox has begun opera-
tions in Canada, marking the sixth coun-
try the company has expanded into since
launching in the US in September 2010.
With data and insights gleaned from
the success of the other four international
markets it has penetrated since the acqui-
sition of JolieBox in September 2012 (UK,
Spain, France and Belgium), the brand
says it is poised to enter the Canadian
market and apply its tried-and-true busi-
ness model to a new customer base.
“Since our launch in 2010, we’ve had
tens of thousands of customer inquiries
regarding shipping to Canada,” said
Birchbox co-founder and co-CEO Katia
Beauchamp. “So we’re thrilled to finally
bring Birchbox north of the border.”
Canadian customers will have more
50 brands to choose from in the full-size
e-commerce shop, including Cynthia
Rowley Beauty and Harvey Prince, accord-
ing to the firm.
Health Concerns Driving
•UNITED KINGDOM: A new consumer insights report by Organic Monitor
reveals the major trigger for consumers to
switch to natural and organic products is
A whopping 90% of UK buyers of natural and organic personal care products
said “avoidance of synthetic chemicals”
was important or very important to them.
When asked to name specific chemicals
they look to avoid, almost two-thirds of
buyers stated parabens.
Compared to the previous study in
2007, awareness of synthetic chemicals
has increased significantly. For instance,
the survey showed 19% of buyers wished
to avoid phthalates and lanolin, compared to just 3% in 2007.
Certification is becoming more important to consumers, according to
Organic Monitor. Forty-three percent of
buyers said they look for symbols and
logo is the most associated with certified products, with almost 30% of buyers
looking for the SA logo.
Highlighting the confusion about nat-
ural/organic terms and certification, 21%
of buyers said they look for the Fairtrade
symbol. The Fairtrade symbol represents
the presence of certified Fairtrade ingre-
dients, but it does not represent certified
finished products. All consumers surveyed
said they are willing to pay extra for cer-
tified products. The majority, 72%, stated
they would pay up to 20% more for certi-
fied products. Just 12% of buyers would be
willing to pay a premium above 30%.
Organic Monitor was expected to
release additional details from this lat-
est research at its Sustainable Cosmetics
Summit in Paris last month.
P&G, Argentine Authorities
Clash Over Taxes
•ARGENTINA: The country continues
to be a battleground for Procter & Gamble.
The company temporarily suspended operations there after the country’s tax authority, which has accused the company
of tax fraud, said it started meetings with
P&G. Argentina accused the company of
hiding income and over-billing $138 million in imports to get money out of the
country, which three years ago introduced
stringent capital controls in order to protect its fast-dwindling foreign reserves.
Argentine authorities accused the household products giant of tax fraud and suspended its operations in the country.•