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Advanced Scientific Research Center


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The Microbiology Research Group discovers the pathogenicity mechanism of the superbacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae

09/Jul/2020 In the Press GIM

The team coordinated by Astrid Pérez Gómez and Germán Bou, researchers of the Microbiology Research Group of CHUAC belonging to the AE CICA-INIBIC, has observed for the first time the pathogenicity mechanism (or Kpi system) of K. pneumoniae, bacteria that kill 2000 people every year in Europe.

This mechanism, based on the pili of the bacteria, gives them an unusually effective capacity to adhere to the mucous membranes. This facilitates their subsequent entry into organs and the bloodstream, where they cause serious, sometimes fatal, infections. This discovery may facilitate the diagnosis and prognosis of patients, who through PCRs can determine the extent of the infection. In addition, the team is already working on a possible vaccine to target this adhesion system.

The complete news in La Voz de Galicia, 07/07/2020, R. Romar.

Image of La Voz de Galicia

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José Luis Barriada is elected guest editor of the journal "Nanomaterials"

08/Jul/2020 Research METMED

The researcher José Luis Barriada from the METMED group has been invited as editor for the next issue "Green Synthesis of Nanomaterials and its Applications" of the open access journal "Nanomaterials".

Nanotechnology has experienced a strong expansion in recent years and with it has increased concern about the effect it has on the environment. If we want the synthesis of nanoparticles and nanomaterials to be in line with the principles of the circular economy: this synthesis must be cost-effective, use renewable sources and employ by-products.

"Nanomaterials", with a 4.32 impact index, invites all researchers studying green approaches for the preparation of metallic nanoparticles and their applications to submit their manuscripts until 20 March 2021. 

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

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The RAGC awards the "Francisco Guitián Ojea" prize to the CellCOM group

03/Jul/2020 Events CellCOM

The CellCOM group, led by María Mayán and belonging to AE CICA-INIBIC, has received the "Francisco Guitián Ojea" Technology Transfer Award for the development of a drug that would improve the life of cancer patients.

Radiotherapy and chemotherapy alter the skin's ability to regenerate and heal, adding to cancer patients the risk of suffering from skin fibrosis or serious infections.

The drug is actually two well-known senotherapeutic compounds, which in combination have been shown to have a protective effect on the skin of treated patients. The first is an active compound with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties present in the olive tree; the second is a p38 inhibitor (a protein involved in carcinogenic processes) that would delay skin aging.

Although the combination has not yet been commercialised, it is already protected under two patents. In addition, there is a preliminary agreement with a Spanish pharmaceutical company with which it could soon be on the market.

The other two winners of the competition were a spin-off from Vigo for their artificial vision system capable of detecting irresponsible behaviour in the control of the COVID-19 and a group from the USC for the development of an anti-fungal nail polish.

The complete news in RAGC, 02/07/2020.

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2 new articles from the REACT! group are on the cover of 2 reference journals in inorganic chemistry

26/Jun/2020 Research REACT!

The month of June has brought good news to the group REACT! which has seen two of its latest articles make the cover of the scientific magazines: "Inorganic Chemistry" and "Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers", both D1 according to JCR 2019.

The titles of the papers: "Unexpected Trends in the Stability and Dissociation Kinetics of Lanthanide(III) Complexes with Cyclen-Based Ligands across the Lanthanide Series" and "Inert macrocyclic Eu3+ complex with affirmative paraCEST features". The group develops contrast agents (gadolinium or europium based) for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a technique used in the diagnosis and monitoring of some diseases. 

The publication in "Inorganic Chemistry" demonstrates how the structure of the contrast agent is fundamental for the fixation of gadolinium, which if released would be toxic to the organism. The image illustrates the behaviour of two different structures when gadolinium is released into an aqueous medium. “One of them easily releases the metal into the medium, while the other is capable of retaining it inside, minimising the possible toxicity of the compound", the authors point out.

The publication in "Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers" presents a new contrast agent based on europium whose behaviour depends on the pH of the medium, which is especially interesting for diseases sensitive to this, such as cancer. "The image illustrates how the magnetic properties of europium are able to modify the properties of water molecules in its environment, determining the contrast of MRI", explain the authors.

The full articles in  Inorganic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry Frontiers.

The covers can be downloaded: Inorg. Chem. and Inorg. Chem. Front.

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A review by the QUIMOLMAT group makes the cover of the journal "Chemical Society Reviews"

24/Jun/2020 Research QUIMOLMAT

The QUIMOLMAT group review "Controlled binding of organic guests by stimuli-responsive macrocycles" has made it to the front cover of issue 12 of the Chemical Society Reviews (JCR2019 = 42.846).

Molecular receptors are essential for living beings, "they recognize and interact with small molecules (or substrates), regulating biological processes or mediating signal transduction" explain the authors of the paper. The so-called Supramolecular Chemistry is responsible for "designing artificial receptors adapted to a specific function and with the capacity to respond to environmental stimuli, transforming the response into a supramolecular event such as the binding or release of the substrate", they add. 

Achieving receptors that are sensitive to light, changes in pH or redox potential is one of the most innovative objectives in this field, as it allows for interesting "applications such as the controlled release of drugs, the sequestration of contaminants or the development of new materials capable of self-repair", the researchers reveal.

This review covers the most recent advances in the development of these artificial intelligent receptors, including those designed by the authors themselves, who work with a new class of dynamic receptors that are sensitive to pH.

The cover image illustrates a remote control that reads "Supramolecular Switch" and some buttons that regulate environmental stimuli. It remotely controls a "Host-Guest" complex, representing the control that Supramolecular Chemistry confers on the assembly of the substrate to artificial receptors.

The full article in Chem Soc Rev 

The cover can be found HERE

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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 makes visible the commitment of our research to environmental protection.

The winners were announced on June 5th, coinciding with the celebration of World Environment Day (see Resolution). Among them, our 3 students:

  • Luis Antonio Ruíz Sánchez (2nd MT prize): "Feasibility study of the hydraulic exploitation for energy generation in the reservoir of Pontillón de Castro”. The work was headed by Acacia Naves García-Rendueles (AQUATERRA).
  • Blanca Astray Uceda (secondary MT award): "Advanced oxidation processes for the degradation of β-blocking agents in natural fresh water". The work was headed by Moisés Canle López (REACT!).
  • Paula Gómez Meijide (secondary BT award): "Oral bioavailability of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in atmospheric particulate matter". The work was co-directed by Jorge Moreda Piñeiro and Purificación López Mahía (QANAP).

In addition, the first BT prize with a work on the Asian wasp Vespa velutina was awarded to Yaiza Rodríguez Lueje, who until May 2020 was part of the BIOCOST group.

They will elaborate a book with all the awarded works and will make it available to everyone. The 2019 copy can be found HERE.

The complete news in Novas UDC, 05/06/2020.

Image of UDC Environment Office

Related articles: La Voz de Galicia

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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