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Advanced Scientific Research Center


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Blanca Laffon is elected guest editor of the journal "Antioxidants"

16/Jun/2020 CICA-Science DICOMOSA

Researcher Blanca Laffon from the DICOMOSA group has been invited as editor for the next issue "Tryptophan Metabolism in Health and Disease" of the open access journal "Antioxidants".

The degradation of tryptophan through the kinurenine route is due to indoleamine 2,3-diosyxegenase (IDO), an enzyme that is activated by increased oxidative stress. This route plays various roles in the body, especially in the regulation of the immune response. However, it is not trivial to define whether its function is beneficial or harmful because of the diversity of effects it triggers. Its degradation to kinurenine depletes the available tryptophan, preventing the proliferation of pathogens and malignant cells. However, the resulting metabolites are neurotoxic because of their ability to stimulate glutamate NMDA receptors.

"Antioxidants", with a 4.52 impact index, invites all researchers studying the involvement of tryptophan metabolism in oxidative state-dependent pathways and/or in the development of diseases to submit their manuscripts until February 28, 2021

Complete information about the special issue of the magazine and the call for papers can be found HERE.

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Open call for the recruitment of a researcher in training for the BLUEBIOLAB project

12/Jun/2020 Jobs Coordinación

CICA, as a member of the Cross-Border Laboratory of Marine Biotechnology (BLUEBIOLAB), is seeking a person with a Bachelor degree or equivalent to conduct research in one of the following areas:

  •    Area 1: Aquaculture and biotechnology
  •    Area 2: Development of new bioactive compounds and biomaterials of marine origin
  •    Area 3: Use of omic technologies for the understanding of marine biodiversity

The duration of the contract is 16 months (01/09/2020 - 31/12/2021) and it is obligatory to be enrolled in one of the SUG's doctoral programs to be eligible. Furthermore, within the contract period, the researcher will carry out a stay of 3 months (minimum) with one of the Portuguese partners: Universidade do Minho or Universidade do Porto.

To find out about the merits and the required documents, consult the official call for applications HERE

If you meet the requirements and want to work with us, send your application to until 25/06/2020 at 23:59 (CEST).

The BLUEBIOLAB project is financed by the Interreg POCTEP Programme and co-financed with FEDER funds.

All the information about the BLUEBIOLAB Project:

Any questions about the call should be addressed to 

IMPORTANT: The admission list and the final resolution will be published in the same link as the official call (HERE).

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Three UDC Sustentabilidade awards go to CICA master's and undergraduate students


CICA students win the second Master Thesis (MT) prize and two secondary awards in each category, MT and Bachelor Thesis (BT), in the second edition of the UDC Sustentabilidade Awards. This success...

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The scientific challenge of micro-pollutants in drinking water

31/May/2020 In the Press REACT!

Moisés Canle, dean of the Faculty of Science at UDC and researcher with the REACT! group, warns that we do not have the water treatment technology needed to eliminate the growing accumulation of micro-pollutants.

The researcher is working with EMALCSA, the company that manages urban water in the metropolitan area of A Coruña, with whom he is investigating these contaminating substances. There are approximately 160 million registered micro-pollutants, of which less than 400,000 are regulated, and the health effects of many of them are totally unknown. Canle believes that if we want to have quality water in the future we urgently need to invest in research.

The full article in iAgua Magazine, May 2020

Image: cut out from the original article

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We are slowly returning to CICA

29/May/2020 Gestión

Since May 11th we are in Phase 1 of the de-escalation and that means we are back at CICA! However, we must do it in an orderly and prudent way to avoid exposing our colleagues and ourselves to risks of contagion.

That is why the CICA management office has prepared a manual of measures that you can find attached to this communication and that are complementary to those already established by the Rectorate (see HERE).

Remember that:

  • Non-attendance work is still recommended.
  • Those responsible for each laboratory must send a document with the work forecast adjusted to the established measures. Pay special attention to the maximum capacities of each laboratory indicated in the manual.
  • You can recover the donated material that has not been used. To pick it up we need you to send us a list of your donation. We cannot guarantee that you will recover 100% of what you donated, as this material has been available to people who have performed services at CICA during the closure of the building.
  • Last week we prepared the building with hydro-alcoholic solutions available to all laboratories and common rooms. In addition, we established rules for the movement of personnel to avoid crowding as much as possible. Please check this information in the measurement manual and follow the signs distributed throughout the building.

Although we are scheduled to enter Phase 2 on Monday 25 May, the measurements remain the same. We will announce any change by email. If you have questions, please contact us at with a copy to

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Disinfection with ozone and ultraviolet light: use by non-professional hands could lead to serious health risks

19/May/2020 In the Press REACT!

Moisés Canle, dean of the Faculty of Science at the UDC and researcher of the REACT! group, has reported on the dangers of using ozone as a domestic disinfection system. The researcher has pointed out that it is "a very powerful oxidant gas whose germicidal and bactericidal capacity has been known for a long time", but that its handling should be totally restricted to professionals, who need to study the space where it will be used beforehand. Moisés Canle warns that "it is a toxic gas and should not be inhaled under any circumstances".

Ultraviolet light, on the other hand, is a type of light "of a very short wavelength that our eye does not detect, and that makes it very dangerous", explains the researcher. Among other effects, Canle mentions that it can produce "damage to the skin and very serious burns to the retina, even permanent blindness".

The full interview on Antena3

Image by Nius

Related sources: NiusTelevisión de Galicia

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Researchers of the GRICA group present their work at a virtual congress of palaeontology

18/May/2020 CICA-Science GRICA

The researchers of the GRICA group, Blanca Moncunill and Alejandro Blanco, participated in the Virtual Congress of Palaeontology held from 1 to 15 May, whose organizing hub is located at the University of Valencia.

Organized in thematic sessions, the presentations of the speakers and keynotes have remained accessible to all those registered for the congress, who have also had virtual spaces for talks with the authors of the presentations and with the community.

Blanca Moncunill has contributed to the "Evolution and Paleobiodiversity in Neogene and Quaternary Island" session with a presentation entitled "Unravelling the biology of giant pikas: the case of Prolagus spp. from Gargano’s paleoarchipelago (late Miocene, Italy)". His colleague, Alejandro Blanco, has contributed to the "Mesozoic" session with his work "Niche partitioning among crocodyliforms in the Maastrichtian (late Cretaceous) of the Iberian Peninsula".

It might seem that the chosen format is an alternative solution because of the confinement by COVID-19, but the reality is different: the idea of making a Virtual Congress of Palaeontology was born in December 2018, and with this, they have successfully completed their second edition. 

More information at

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A card game to get to know the biodiversity of A Serra do Xistral

18/May/2020 Disclosure BIOCOST

The team of Life in Common Land’s project, including researchers Jaime Fagúndez, Laura Lagos and Carlos Muñoz of the BioCost group, has designed a card game to raise awareness of the importance of conserving spaces of great ecological value such as A Serra do Xistral (Lugo).

Through photographs of animal and plant species, and brief explanatory captions, players learn to identify the biodiversity that makes up each of the 5 habitats of the mountain chain.

The game, whose original idea belongs to César A. Blanco from the University of Santiago de Compostela, can be simultaneously followed in Spanish, English and Galician, and can be downloaded for free HERE

Life in Common Land is a collaborative project between the UDC, the USC and the Provincial Council of Lugo, financed by the European Union's LIFE programme within the Natura 2000 network, which defines itself as a "demonstration and collaborative project focused on the conservation of peatlands and Atlantic wet heaths in A Serra do Xistral". On its website you can find all the information you need to know more about its work. 

Image: own reconstruction from the card game

Video presentation of the project: HÁBITATS

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Analysis of thermal cameras for SARS-CoV-2 positives reveals limitations

14/May/2020 In the Press QUIMOLMAT

The researcher Juan Manuel Bermúdez of the QUIMOLMAT group has collaborated in the writing of two articles for the Business Insider magazine about thermal cameras that have already begun to be installed at large shopping malls and areas with a high number of people. 

Since these cameras "colour" regions of the captured image according to their temperature, and individuals with infectious processes present a fever, the analysis of the thermographies can reveal the potentially positive cases in SARS-CoV-2. However, the researcher says that "the use of masks, glasses, a cap or even that beard you grew during confinement can mask the temperature measurement. To illustrate this, Juan Manuel Bermúdez shows 6 photographs of the same individual after having carried out different actions, such as washing his face and then drying it, refreshing his skin with a wipe or applying facial cream. In all cases, the surface temperature of the face decreased significantly.

In addition to their technological limitations, these chambers will have to overcome other obstacles. One of them will be the invasion of individuals' privacy, for which the processing of the data obtained will necessarily have to be regulated.

The complete articles in Business Insider, 11/05/2020, and Business Insider, 12/05/2020, Alberto R. Aguiar.

Image by REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

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Dengue: the virus with the highest incidence in the world

13/May/2020 In the Press GIBE

SARS-CoV-2 has captured the attention of the whole world, but "the rest of the diseases are still present, and their research remains as important as ever" claims Antón Vila Sanjurjo, researcher of the GIBE group.

For years he has been working with the dengue virus, a tropical virus which, like SARS-CoV-2, contains genetic RNA material, and which due to climate change is beginning to be registered in Spain, "and not by contagion from people outside", assures the researcher. The new climatic conditions allow the mosquito that carries it to develop its life cycle in warm regions of Europe, and although this is a new threat a priori, it is also an opportunity to invest more in its research.

For Antón Vila, basic science is as important as applied science, and both need economic resources to be able to develop. The researcher hopes that with the SARS-CoV-2 health crisis, "the importance of science" has been understood for the well-being of all. 

The complete news in La Opinión A Coruña, 12/05/2020, Laura Rodríguez.

Image by Carlos Pardellas

Related articles: El Ideal Gallego