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Advanced Scientific Research Center

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Coronavirus crisis

11/May/2020 Gestión

Ante la situación de crisis causada por el coronavirus Covid-19, se informa:

  • Todo el personal de la oficina de gestión del CICA estará disponible vía telemática. Tenéis sus direcciones de correo y sus teléfonos en https://cica.udc.gal/es/personal.
  • En cuanto a las actividades de investigación, deben sustituirse por trabajo que se pueda hacer desde casa.
  • Conserjería estará pendiente de la recepción de material de laboratorio.
  • Si hay alguna actividad de investigación que requiera ser acabada durante los próximos días y para la que necesitéis acceder al CICA, por favor, mandad un correo a cica@udc.gal con copia a direccion.cica@udc.gal.
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The pioneering Microbiology Laboratory 4.0 of CHUAC receives the visit of Alberto Núñez Feijóo

07/May/2020 In the Press GIM

The president of Xunta de Galicia, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, visited yesterday the facilities of the Microbiology Laboratory 4.0 led by Germán Bou, Head of the Microbiology Service of CHUAC and researcher belonging to the CICA-INIBIC SG. This project received 6 million euros from the EU just a few weeks before the activity in Spain was frozen due to the alarm caused by SARS-CoV-2. 

With this project, the research team wants to offer an accurate diagnosis of any infection on the same day they receive the sample, reducing the number of tests and avoiding unspecific treatments. At the same time, its commitment to creating a microbiome bank of the patients will enable parallel studies that will answer many questions about infectious pathologies.

The global emergency to develop better and faster diagnoses of infectious diseases has increased in recent months, and that is why now, in the midst of the pandemic politicians and citizens are looking more closely than ever at the objectives that this Laboratory 4.0 aims to achieve.

The complete news in Xunta de Galicia, 06/05/2020.

Image of Xunta de Galicia

Related articles: El Ideal Gallego / La Voz de Galicia

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Vanessa Valdiglesias is elected guest editor of the "Nanomaterials" journal

07/May/2020 CICA-Science DICOMOSA

The researcher Vanessa Valdiglesias from the DICOMOSA group has been invited as editor for the next issue "Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Nanomaterials" of the open access journal "Nanomaterials".

The particularity of the physicochemical properties of the nanomaterials makes their application in fields such as biomedicine, environmental remediation or the construction industry increasingly widespread. For this reason, studies on the possible toxic effects on humans and the environment due to exposure to these new materials are urgently needed.

"Nanomaterials", with an impact factor of 4.034, invites all researchers working on the toxicity of nanomaterials at the cellular and molecular level to submit their manuscripts by January 10, 2021. 

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

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The presence of SARS-CoV-2, as well as its elimination before going out to the sea, are confirmed in waste water of A Coruña

04/May/2020 Research ScINIBIC Coordinación

The collaborative project between Edar Bens SA, CHUAC and two research centres of the UDC (CICA and CITIC), gives the first results: it is possible to detect SARS-CoV-2 in the waste water of A Coruña and neighbouring municipalities. The advantage of analysing its presence in this type of water and biological remains is that it is possible to "know the real evolution of the epidemic, since it collects data from the entire population, including people who have passed the COVID-19 without knowing it", explain the project's promoters.

Margarita Poza, researcher of the Microbiology Group belonging to the AE CICA-INIBIC, warns: "the integrity of the virus and its infectious capacity in this waste water remains to be determined. In any case, we can be confident, since the "treatment plant retains the viral material detected and the waters return free of virus to the sea" according to the researcher.

Other interesting data can be extracted from the same analysis, such as the increase in the use of wipes and cleaning agents, both of which are closely related to the alarm situation we are experiencing and the hygiene measures being taken. We should not forget, even in quarantine, "the good practices of not throwing the wipes down the toilet," stresses the general director of Edar Bens.

The complete news in Edar Bens, 04/05/2020.

Image of Edar Bens

Related articles: La Voz de Galicia / La Opinión a Coruña / Galicia Europa Press / eldiario.es

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"Chemistry - A European Journal" selects a publication from REACT! group as a hot paper and includes its cover in the issue

29/Apr/2020 CICA-Science REACT!

The article of REACT! group, "pH-Dependent Hydration Change in a Gd-Based MRI Contrast Agent with a Phosphonated Ligand" published in Chemistry - A European Journal, gets double recognition in the 24/2020 issue. The journal has classified it as a hot paper and its cover has been included in the final version.

We have spoken to the researchers of REACT! group involved in the work, who have explained to us that the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a scanning technique “routinely used by radiologists in hospitals for the diagnosis of different diseases”. Currently, “approximately one third of MRIs are acquired after injecting the patient with a contrast agent based on a gadolinium-derived compound”, say the researchers.

In their contribution, the authors present "a new system that shows different behaviour depending on the pH of the medium". Because "the variation in pH is associated with different pathologies, including cancer, the use of this type of compound may allow an earlier diagnosis of the disease", add the authors.

The image on the cover represents the variation, in the form of a wave, of the response of the compound as a function of the pH. "You can see how it is able to generate a high contrast in slightly acidic media, the crest of the wave, which decreases progressively above the physiological pH until it reaches a substantially lower value as the pH increases", conclude the scientists.

The authors wanted to dedicate this publication to the Nobel Prize winner Jean-Pierre Sauvage on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

The full article and cover image can be found HERE.

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The project led by Cristina Ruiz Romero aims for ISCIII funding for her research in COVID-19

27/Apr/2020 In the Press GIR

Cristina Ruiz Romero’s project, researcher of the GIR group belonging to the CICA-INIBIC Strategic Group, is one of the 6 candidates of Inibic that are eligible for funding from the ISCIII extraordinary fund for COVID-19.

According to the researcher, when we are infected with a virus we produce two types of antibodies or immunoglobulins against the viral proteins: IgM, which is a rapid-responder, appearing in the early stages of the infection but also disappearing soon; and IgG, which appears later and is the one that ensures a long-term immunization.

SARS-CoV-2 is known to contain 29 proteins, but the type of immune response it produces in infected individuals is not known. The characterization of this, from the plasma of infected patients, will be of great help to improve the diagnosis and to personalize the treatment adapting it to each case.

The complete news in La Opinión a Coruña, 24/04/2020, María de la Huerta

Image by GIR (Inibic)

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CHUAC, CICA and CITIC allied with a common objective: to stop SARS-CoV-2

22/Apr/2020 In the Press Coordinación

CHUAC will participate in 4 of the 42 clinical trials authorized by the Ministry of Health, being this one the only Galician center that will test hydroxychloroquine as a preventive measure for health personnel, a drug used in cases of Malaria. 

Two other trials will study the effectiveness of remdesivir, an antiviral originally developed against Ebola and already proven effective against the first known strain of coronavirus, SARS of 2002. Preliminary studies in phase III against SARS-CoV-2 raise hopeful expectations. A fourth trial will assess the effects of combining an immunosuppressant called cyclosporine A with the standard treatment that Covid-19 patients receive in hospitals.

Francisco Blanco, scientific director of INIBIC, assures that there are up to 6 more proposals waiting to be approved to start the trials and 12 ongoing lines of research. "This is something very alive, every day new ideas and proposals arise within the hospital", said the researcher. Blanco considers "fundamental" the role of research "to get out of the pandemic" and he does not doubt that "the research projects have to be, in this case, multidisciplinary, multicentric and with different visions". That is why research centers of the University of A Coruña (UDC) such as CICA and CITIC are working in coordination with INIBIC in some of these investigations.

The complete news in La Opinión A Coruña, 19/04/2020, María de la Huerta.

Image of EFE

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The collaboration between Edar Bens, the UDC and CHUAC will investigate SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater

15/Apr/2020 Research ScINIBIC Coordinación

Margarita Poza, associate professor at UDC and researcher at the Microbiology Group (GIM) belonging to the CICA-INIBIC SG, will lead a project together with Edar Bens SA, the company that manages the water treatment plant in La Coruña and the neighbouring municipalities, to analyse the concentration of SARS-CoV-2 in the population's faeces and urine.

The presence of the virus in these biological remains will provide data on the epidemiological reality in the region, in addition to providing data that will help generate models to predict possible future outbreaks.

The study will start with an intensive sampling of water and sludge at multiple points in the treatment plant and the wastewater circuit. A wide network of collaborators including CICA, CITIC, and the microbiology groups of CHUAC and the University of Vienna will subsequently carry out the laboratory work and the analysis of the samples.

The complete news in Edar Bens, 14/04/2020.

Image of Edar Bens

Related articles: La Voz de Galicia / La Opinión A Coruña

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María Esperanza Cerdán is elected guest editor at "Biomolecules" journal

06/Apr/2020 CICA-Science EXPRELA

The researcher María Esperanza Cerdán, from EXPRELA group at CICA, has been chosen as editor for the next special issue "HMG Proteins from Molecules to Disease" of the open access journal "Biomolecules".

HMG proteins, involved in DNA repair processes and epigenetic regulation, among other known functions, could increase their role in the current SARS-CoV-2 research because of their role in controlling the virulence of some viruses.

"Biomolecules", with an impact index of 4.694, invites all researchers with work on the relationship between HMG proteins and some diseases to send their manuscripts until 30 November. 

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

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"Achieving a vaccine in one year would be an unprecedented milestone in medicine"

02/Apr/2020 In the Press GIM

Germán Bou, head of the Microbiology Service of Chuac and researcher belonging to the CICA-INIBIC Strategic Group (CICA-INIBIC SG), talks to La Opinión A Coruña about the – still – future vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and the use of "plasma from patients who have overcome the infection [...] as a very realistic therapeutic option".

The researcher assures that the confinement "is the only weapon we have, right now, to cut the chain of transmission of the virus, to stop the appearance of new cases and to control the ones we have".

The complete interview in La Opinión A Coruña, 02/04/2020, María de la Huerta.

Image by NIUS