María del Mar Tomás, researcher at Chuac's Microbiology Group and member of the Strategic Group CICA-INIBIC, has talked about the support that researchers of Chuac express regarding a revision of the protocols of isolation of patients with Covid-19. According to her, there is evidence that after 10 days the viral load drops to levels that are considered non-contagious.
In her opinion, to apply this measure it would be necessary to distinguish between asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, since they are two different profiles and the evolution of the virus in the second group still needs to be further studied.
The researcher recalls that what "is very important is to be isolated the first week, to comply strictly with that period is very important.
The complete article in La Voz de Galicia, 15/09/2020, R. Domínguez
Image of César Quián
On Tuesday, September 8, the Open Science Cambre team virtually interviewed Jaime Rodríguez, Director of CICA. During 36 minutes, Jaime answered the curious and interesting questions that the students of the Science Club of the IES David Buján asked him such as why did he decide to be a researcher, what was the most exciting thing about starting the CICA, or what activities of scientific outreach are carried out for high school students? The complete interview can be seen in this link (from minute 12).
This interview is part of the promotional campaign for the fair that will take place on September 19 and 20 and this year, for security reasons in front of the Covid-19, it will be a semi-presential event. The CICA will participate for the third consecutive year in a fixed stand where the BIOCOST group will show the experiment "Seaweed: rainbow of colors, flavor sand textures". This and many other scientific experiences can be visited between 7pm and 10pm on Saturday 19th at the Sofia Toro de Cambre sports centre. If you prefer to follow it from home, the Open Science team will broadcast the event through their twitch channel.
Related article in La Opinión A Coruña
A project presented by Juan Manuel Bermúdez García, from CICA's QUIMOLMAT group, has been selected as a finalist in the Emerging Technologies 2020 competition, organized by the Royal Society of Chemistry of the United Kingdom.
The Emerging Technologies call is aimed to provide financial support and mentoring to companies in their early stages of existence and entrepreneurs from academia who wish to commercialize their technologies to achieve a global impact. The final verdict will be announced on September 30th.
The project from A Coruña, the only Spanish among 24 finalists, will compete in the Energy and Environment category, offering an ecological alternative to the gaseous refrigerants used today, the vast majority of which have a greenhouse effect. Specifically, it presents a technological improvement in the compression of materials at less pressure with respect to previous proposals of a similar nature. "When a material passes from a gaseous state to a liquid state, the phase transformation generates heat. We apply pressure to solid materials. With other materials that have been previously developed, it was necessary to apply a pressure of 1000 bar. The advantage of our technology is that it provides for the development of a very flexible family of materials that can be easily compressed at pressures below 70 bar," explains Juan Manuel Bermúdez himself.
It is based on a technology developed and patented by the UDC in which the researchers María Antonia Señarís Rodríguez, Manuel Sánchez Andújar, Socorro Castro García and Alberto García Fernández, from the QUIMOLMAT group of the CICA, and Ramón Artiaga and Jorge López Beceiro, researchers from the Proterm group of the Centro de Investigacións Tecnolóxicas (CIT), from the Ferrol campus, also participated. The engineering part of the project is carried out in collaboration with the INGEN group of the UDC, formed by Álvaro Baaliña Insua, Manuel Romero Gómez, Javier Romero Gómez and José Carbia Carril.
Image by Juan Manuel Bermúdez
Vanessa Valdiglesias and Blanca Laffon published last June a letter to the editor in the journal Nanotoxicology, “”. In this, the researchers of DICOMOSA group make a brief review of the state of the research that is being carried out worldwide since the beginning of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, with the purpose of improving its prevention, detection and treatment.
In particular, the authors review the role of nanotechnology in the fight against COVID-19, pointing out the increasing expansion that this research area is experiencing.
Nanomaterials are the same size as the viruses, allowing them to get closely in touch with them, and have interesting properties that scientists are using in the current health crisis to tackle the pandemic. For example, one of the most promising applications is the use of nanoparticles as carriers that deliver antiviral candidates or drugs directly next to the virus. Furthermore, some nanomaterials are already being used on a regular basis in different areas, such as the use of nanofibres in masks that facilitate breathing and improve filtration, or cleaning products that incorporate silver nanoparticles to intensify their disinfecting power, among others.
We must not forget the strong reactivity (and sometimes toxicity) that nanomaterials present due to their particular properties. In this sense, it is not always possible to predict with certainty what effects they may cause in the body and in the environment. The rapid development of nanotechnology due to the urgency caused by COVID-19 makes it necessary to intensify the research in nanotoxicology and nanosafety, since nanomaterials should not be used without the pertinent regulation and evaluations.
The perspective offered by nanotechnology is fabulous but requires parallel research on the behavior and effect of nanoparticles at all levels. In this way we can avoid possible adversities in the coming years.
The original letter in Nanotoxicology
Images by EFE and AIPEMA
The latest issueof Chemical Communications journal has placed as front cover the image that accompanies the review "Self-assembled peptide-inorganic nanoparticle superstructures: from component design to applications" by the QUIMOLMAT group.
Metallic nanoparticles (gold, silver, copper...) have very interesting applications, with them sensors can be manufactured or medical therapies developed. "However, the final properties of nanoparticles that determine their applications, depend on their size, shape and spatial organization," explain the authors of the review. To control this organisation or even promote the synthesis of nanoparticles, various materials are used, such as carbon nanotubes or DNA molecules. Recently, small proteins (peptides) have started to be used as nanoparticle anchorage platforms, giving rise to hybrid "peptide-nanoparticle" systems. The advantage of these is that we have the technology to synthesize peptides with the desired final structure, thus determining the properties and applications of the hybrid system they form with the nanoparticles.
In this review, the authors summarize "the different methodologies that have been developed to obtain peptide-nanoparticle hybrid systems and analyze how peptides can be modified to adapt the structure and properties of the final systems. Finally, they describe their applications in different fields".
The image shows a vending machine of "peptide-nanoparticle" hybrid systems, emphasizing the idea that we can choose one or another final structure according to the application we are looking for (therapy, imaging, sensing or catalysis). One signal warns that the parts of the hybrid system should not be disassembled if we want to preserve its functionality.
The full article at Chemical Communications
The cover can be found HERE
The Ministry of Science and Innovation's State Programme for R&D and Innovation Geared to the Challenges of Society has decided to fund 8 projects presented in the 2019 call by research groups from the Advanced Scientific Research Center (CICA) of the University of A Coruña (UDC). The total amount of the grants is 1,172,490 euros.
The projects that will receive this funding are classified into two thematic categories (Generation of Knowledge and Research Challenges), further subdivided according to the profile of the principal researcher (see resolution):
1. Knowledge Generation Projects (PGC), whose objective is to support the advancement of knowledge regardless of the time horizon and scope of the same.
2. “Research Challenges" projects (RTI), which are aimed at resolving the major social challenges set out in the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation 2017-2020.
The European project Circle-Lab, "innovative learning approach for circular chemistry in secondary education", in which the Centro de Investigacións Científicas Avanzadas (CICA) of the Universidade da Coruña (UDC) participates, will be financed with 400 thousand Euros from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission.
The project, conceived for the learning of the circular economy in secondary school students, is coordinated by the Swedish university Mälardalens Högskola and has, initially, universities, research centers, NGOs and educational centers from Sweden, Italy, Macedonia, Lithuania and Spain.
It is estimated that the circular economy will generate around 1 million jobs by 2030 and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, thus mitigating the effects of climate change, among other benefits for the environment and society. In this context, the chemical industry is already one of the driving forces behind these new economic models, the importance of which is manifested across the board in the different areas of research of the CICA.
In this way, the Circle-Lab Project will promote different training and dissemination actions related to the adoption of new models of circular economy, and will contribute to the development of new teaching profiles through the application of innovative virtual tools in secondary education centres, the so-called Circle-Lab Toolkit.
This virtual format makes more sense than ever in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, since the new normality requires reinventing a new digital model as an alternative to face-to-face teaching, thus facing the challenge of ensuring that educational quality is not lost in this transition.
Circle-Lab will be launched in September 2020 and will run for the next 3 years. During this time it is also expected to carry out an intense dissemination of the project's results through communication actions in the media, social networks and through workshops at European level. Likewise, Circle-Lab will be supported by the CICA's Proyecto Incrúst@te, dedicated to the promotion of scientific vocations in the field of secondary education.
For more information, please contact Rubén Reif López, Circle-Lab Project Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The international jury of the 4th Pitch Contest of the Compostela Group of Universities (GCU) has awarded the second prize to the doctoral student Jorge Salgado Beceiro from the Advanced Scientific Research Center (CICA) of the University of A Coruña.
The award-winning chemist, originally from Cedeira, is performing his doctoral thesis in the QUIMOLMAT group (Molecular and Materials Chemistry) of the CICA (A Coruña), where he is investigating how to replace current refrigeration systems with others that are more ecological and equally efficient.
In this short video (or pitch) Jorge points out that "refrigeration and air conditioning systems represent more than 20% of the world's energy consumption" and that this number is tending to increase "in part because of global warming". In his presentation, he explains that the aim of his research is "to replace the greenhouse gases used in current systems with new, more ecological solid materials" that are manufactured in the laboratory. This would avoid the fatal effects of the accumulation of gases in the atmosphere with the consequent damage to the ozone layer (necessary to protect us from solar radiation) and acceleration of climate change.
The jury, which recognised that the decision was very complicated, awarded first and third prize to two students from the University of Pécs (Hungary), both projects framed within the field of biomedicine. The resolution of the contest can be consulted in this link.
The three awarded researchers are expected to present their pitches during the General Assembly of the Compostela Group of Universities in September.
About the Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (CICA) - The CICA is a research centre promoted by the UDC that brings together multidisciplinary groups in biotechnology, biomedicine, new materials and the environment. Its facilities are equipped with the latest technology and it has highly qualified research staff (contact: email@example.com).
About the Compostela Group of Universities - The GCU is a network of universities founded in 1994 that already has more than 70 members worldwide, including three Galician universities: UDC, USC and UVigo. This network is committed to diversity and multiculturalism in order to create collaborations and encourage dialogue with the aim of promoting excellence in Higher Education. With this contest they intend to make known the research work of the universities and centres that are members of the network through short pitches that are characterised by the use of a language adapted to all audiences.
Image by Jorge Salgado
The project led by Edar Bens and in which research teams from CICA-INIBIC Strategic Group (Group of Research in Microbiology, MICROALGAE, BIOENGIN and experts in wastewater analysis) and CITIC participate, has received an award from the RAGC for its fight against SARS-CoV-2.
The afternoon of Tuesday 22nd July, an event was held at the Salon Nobre do Colexio in Fonseca (Santiago de Compostela), where 20 Galician projects related to Covid19 were awarded. During the event, the researcher Margarita Poza from the Microbiology group was in charge of introducing the block of projects working on the detection and monitoring of the virus in wastewater.
The awards were delivered by the President of the RAGC, the Education Minister and representatives of the UDC, USC and UVigo.
Image taken during the virtual transmission of the event.
The Institute of Biomedical Research of A Coruña (INIBIC), with whom we form the Strategic Group CICA-INIBIC since 2015, has just been accredited as a health research centre by the Carlos III Health Institute, which depends on the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology, for the second time in a row.
This recognizes the "scientific, structural and organizational" excellence of the entity and of the 452 professionals who work in this institute composed of groups from CHUAC, the University and the primary care area of A Coruña.
According to Francisco Blanco, INIBIC's scientific director, this seal not only brings prestige to the institute, but will also give it access to funding to ensure the continuity of its research. In addition, its future location, fully integrated into the hospital, will facilitate communication between health professionals and researchers, accelerating the clinical application of scientific results.
The complete news in La Voz de Galicia, 10/07/2020
Image by Eduardo Pérez
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