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Posts Taged covid-19

NANBIOSIS scientists in Aragón, explain on TV their research againts coronavirus

The special program on the coronavirus pandemic  by “En Ruta con la Ciencia” of Aragón Televisión, analyzes different aspects of the disease with special attention to the work of Aragonese scientists. Among them, two  research groups that coordinate NANBIOSIS units 9 and 27.

Starting at minute 44’45 ‘of the program, Doctor Jesús Lázaro, researcher of the BSICoS group of I3A-UZ and CIBER-BBN, led by Pablo Laguna, which coordinates NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing Unit, explains his research. For almost 3 years, Jesús Lázaro had been working on a European project to develop a respiratory and heart rate monitoring system for patients with EPOC to control and predict episodes of worsening disease, but the current situation has led him to redirect his goal to try to provide solutions in this crisis and have creates an application for the mobile phone to detect from our home, if we have a viral infection: – “The parameters measured by this application have to do with the nervous system Autonomous, – explains Jesús Lázaro – they are the heart rate, its variability and the respiratory rate, these three parameters would allow observing a response through SARS-COV-2. The application works based on a technology that uses the flash of the mobile phone camera as a receiver to obtain a signal that is proportional to the blood volume of the finger put on the flash light, what allows detecting both, the number of beats per minute and the morphology of the arterial pulse, to obtain the respiratory rate. At the moment this application has been tested by the research staff and the next phase is to assess it with the general public. As the application is based on detecting autonomic markers, a very high sensitivity is expected, as well as a very low specificity, which would allow detecting not only SARS-COV-2 but analyzing these parameters in other contexts and in other diseases, even detecting other eventual viruses of other eventual pandemics ”.

Further information on the research project here

Starting at 28’14 ’’ One of the problems of the coronavirus test is what is known as false negatives, people who have passed the disease, but are not detected and could continue to spread it. A research group is developing early diagnostic tests to try to reduce this error rate. Pilar Martín Duque, at the IACS Aragonese Institute of Health Sciences, is a researcher of the NFP group of the INA and the CIBER-BBN, led by Jesús Santamaría, which coordinates NANBIOSIS U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit : – “All techniques have a detection limit and a sensitivity, it is necessary to have a minimum amount of virus in the body for the virus being detected, if the viral load is low it may not be detected at that time, it is possible that some patients with a low viral load recover, but in other cases the virus begins to grow and after two weeks they can be positives”- explains Pilar Martín. Her project makes PCRs more effective by concentrating the viral load before testing. – “There is a curious case, – continues Pilar -, of an American navy ship, moored in China, in which five sailors were detected to be infected by coronavirus, so they were quarantined during fourteen days and, after new tests with negative results, they were allowed to return to the United States on the ship. However halfway through the journey, the same five sailors suffered an outbreak of the disease. Therefore, our study would be useful for detecting patients with the virus tested for the first time or for not discharging patients who had been already diagnosed if they really are not yet negative”.  It is estimated that 10% of the population has infected 80%, these 10% are the so-called “superspreaders”, they are infected with a high viral load, but they feel well and do not know about it. For example, there have been several cases in choirs, such as the Choir of Zarzuela in Madrid, where 53 members were contagious out of the 80 members form the choir, this is because when singing or speaking very loudly, more drops are produced that carry the virus”. But why do some people become infected before others? Pilar explains that this is related to some, already known, receptors for entry of viruses, the AC2 receptors, and there are people who has more of these receptors than others.

Further information on the research here:

If we have learned anything from this pandemic it is the importance of health and research, a robust research system has the knowledge, tools, and human talent to respond to any situation. If we want to be prepared for the next pandemic, it is important and essential to continue betting on research.

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The European Commission releases a video showing the European project against coronavirus led by prof Laura Lechuga

The European Commission Representation in Barcelona has published the five-minute video “The EU fights the Covid-19 from Catalonia” in which four researchers explain the projects they are working on.

The researchers appearing in the video are  Laura Lechuga Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 4 from CIBER-BBN and ICN2-CSIC and Group Leader of CIBER-BBN at the ICN2 Nanobiosensors and Bioanalytical Applications Group), who works on a sensor to detect the coronavirus in a faster, easier and cheaper way than with current PCRs, Núria Montserrat (IBEC), who works on micro-kidneys made from stem cells to test a drug able to block the virus, Alfonso Valencia (BSC), who explains the huge computation power that the BSC can bring into play to find already existent drugs that may be suitable to treat Covid-19,  and Gabriel Anzaladi (Eurecat), who studies the presence of the virus in wastewater to estimate the people infected in a given zone or the probability of a new outbreak.

The European Commission is present in all Member States through a network of offices, called “representations”, which aim to report on the Commission’s activity and to bring the policies of the European Union closer to citizens. They are also in charge of capturing the social reality and the climate of opinion at street level and transferring this information to the European institutions in Brussels so that their policies better respond to the needs of citizens. In Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, this work is carried out by the “Representation of the European Commission in Barcelona”.

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New methods to detect Coronavirus: interactive webinar on the diagnosis of COVID-19

CSIC has orgnized an interactive webinar on new COVID-19 detection systems that brings together biotechnologist Luis Blanco, nanotechnologists Laura Lechuga and Pilar Marco, and physicist Javier Tamayo .

Researchers from the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) will answer citizens’ questions about the diagnostic methods of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, in a webinar or interactive debate that will be broadcast on Wednesday, June 3, at 8:15 p.m., on the CSIC YouTube channel.

The meeting will feature the participation of biotechnologist Luis Blanco, the physicist Javier Tamayo and the nanotechnologists Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unti 4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit and Pilar Marco, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS). The debate will be moderated by geneticist, biotechnologist and popularizer Lluis Montoliu, from the National Center for Biotechnology (CNB-CSIC),

Questions can be sent in advance to the address webinar@csic.es, by twitter with the hashtag #CSICDiagnostico or during the broadcast via YouTube chat. After the broadcast, it will be hosted on the CSIC’s YouTube channel for consultation, such as previous discussions on prevention and de-escalation and treatments and vaccines.

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A project to develop rapid and early diagnostic tests of Covid-19 to reduce false negatives

The Journal Heraldo de Aragón has published an article highlighting the participation of Aragonese researchers in projects to fight Covid-19 Pandemic. Pilar Martín Duque, researcher from NANBIOSIS U9 Synthesis of Nanoparticles Unit, is leading a project financed by the Covid-19 Fund, launched by the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII). Thanks to this project, rapid and early diagnostic tests of Covid-19 are being developed to reduce false negatives.

To read the article: https://www.heraldo.es/branded/la-tecnologia-y-la-innovacion-claves-vitales-para-el-desarrollo-sostenible/

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NANBIOSIS U27 researchers working in an App for the early diagnosis of covid-19 through mobile phones

Bsicos group researchers, from the I3A (Engineering Research Institute) of the University of Zaragoza and CIBER-BBN), Dr. Jesús Lázaro, Dr. Eduardo Gil, Dr. Raquel Bailón and Dr. Pablo Laguna, are working on a line of work for the search of solutions for the early diagnosis of Covid-19 cases, through the development of an App for mobile phones.

For almost three years, Dr. Jesús Lázaro, under the supervision of Professor Pablo Laguna, from the resarch group Bsicos, which coordinate Nanbiosis U27 High Performance Computing , have been working on the European project WECARMON (Wearable Cardiorespiratory Monitor) for the development of an ambulatory system that would allow monitoring the cardiac and respiratory rhythm of patients with Clinical Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and thus control and predict episodes of worsening of the disease.

However, the current situation of pandemic due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has led the researchers, with the approval of the European Commission, to temporarily redirect their objective, foccusing their work in search of solutions for the early diagnosis of the covid-19.
 
The work carried out for patients with a respiratory disease such as COPD could now serve for the early detection of people with symptoms of covid-19, before even having fever, but also for asymptomatic people, since the rapid variation of these parameters is known. in the initial stages of other respiratory conditions. Our researchers will use these cardiac and respiratory parameters, indirect markers of the autonomic nervous system and, therefore, sensitive to the response of the immune system, potentially helping to identify possible cases of covid-19 earlier. A technological tool that could join the fight to control this pandemic.

Jesús Lázaro has recently made a two-year stay at Connecticut University in the United States, partner of the WECARMON project in which he was working with Pablo Laguna. Two other researchers from the Bsicos group, Dr. Raquel Bailón and Dr. Eduardo Gil, have also decided to redirect their lines of research and focus on the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Re-directing research lines with different objectives to join the fight against the coronavirus is a great challenge and shows the relenvance of cutting-edge research to provide answers to the arising challenges in our society.
 
Jesús Lázaro explains that the application they are working on would allow a pre-selection of people at risk by analysing markers of the autonomic nervous system that would be measured on a mobile phone. ” At this moment, the above-mentioned four researchers have already developed the algorithms for other platforms and they are working now on an App using the technology of the cameras and the flashlight of the mobiles. A sudden change in heart rate variability or an increase in respiratory rate could give a sensitive and early warning, to resort to other more specific diagnostic tests for covid-19, decreasing the latency time, which has been sadly shown key in this pandemic. The developments and validation, those already made and those planned, are being carried out using NANBIOSIS U27 High Performance Computing (I3A-Unizar/ CIBER-BBN)

The WECARMON project is funded by the H2020 Research and Innovation Program of the European Commission. It is part of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Actions, whose objective is to promote the professional career of young and brilliant researchers, expanding their knowledge through training, stays abroad and internships, in order to help them develop all their potential as researchers.

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Nanbiosis among the European Research Infrastructures working for COVID-19 Pandemics

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several research infrastructures (RIs) NANBIOSIS among them, have set up specific services, such as rapid or fast track access, to allow researchers to obtain results as soon as possible.

The Association of European-Level Research Infrastructures Facilities (ERF-AISBL), collects the relevant information about the initiatives on a dedicated website.

NANBIOSIS provides rapid access for COVID-19 research. The ICTS offers preclinical stages services of biomedical product development, specifically, synthesis and preparation of biomolecules like antibodies, peptides, recombinant proteins, oligonucleotides for diagnostic therapeutic and prophylactic purposes.

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COVIDー 19: diagnosis advantages and limitations of different techniques

Prof. Laura Lechuga, Scientific Director of NANBIOSIS U4 Biodeposition and Biodetection Unit of CIBER-BBN and ICN2-CSIC, who is coordinating the European proyect CONVAT for rapid diagnosis and monitoring of COVID ー 19, will be one of the speakers at the webinar organized next tuesday, 16 by the Young Academy of Spain, (JAE) about How Spanish science is contributing to the fight against COVID-19.

The talk by Prof Lechuga is titled “COVIDー 19 diagnosis: advantages and limitations of different techniques

Global Young Academy (GYA) was created in 2010 at the initiative of young scientists and researchers from around the world who met in 2008 and 2009 during the “Annual Meeting of the New Champions”, known as “Summer Davos”. One of the objectives of the GYA is to promote the creation of National Young Academies around the world. JAE was created in march 2019 with the aim of representing and giving visibility to young scientists, preferably from the field of experimental sciences. The profile of the members of this Academy will coincide with the average of 40 years of age and 12 years from the attainment of the title of doctor, since a young scientist is understood as one who has reached maturity and is in the phases initials of his independent research career. Jesús Martínez de la Fuente, Principal Investigator of a CIBER-BBN group is Member of the Governing Board of the Young Academy of Spain.

Event Program

Link to the event

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NANBIOSIS U2, U3 & U29 participate in the POC4CoV project to develop diagnostic technologies for SARS-COV-2

The Spanish Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) will finance the project Point-of-care tests for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 (POC4CoV), whose objective is to have effective diagnostic technologies for Covid-19. The Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona (IMB-CNM-CSIC), the Institute of Advanced Chemistry of Catalonia (IQAC-CSIC) and the Institute of Materials Science of Aragon (ICMA) participate in it.

The POC4CoV project aims to develop Point-of-Care (POC) devices for the in vitro diagnosis of SARS-COV-2 infection quickly and reliably, thanks to the use of multiplexed systems and the use of particular biomolecular probes. To do this, POC technological platforms will be used in combination with specific capture biomolecules and nanobiotechnological probes (enzyme bioconjugates and biofunctional plasmonic and magnetic nanoparticles), which will allow the simultaneous detection of different biomarkers (viral RNA and antigens, IgM and IgG) related to Covid-19 disease. The biomolecular complexes will be collected at specific points on the devices where the electrochemical or optical signals will be recorded.

The developed POC platforms will undergo analytical and clinical validation in a clinical setting.

Three units of NANBIOSIS (form CIBER-BBN and IQAC-CSIC) will will take an active participation in the project.

NANBIOSIS Unit 2 Custom Antibody Service (CAbS), will produce antibodies against the Spike protein and other virus proteins, trying to maximize the recognition of those epitopes that differentiate SARS-CoV-2 from other Coronaviruses

NANBIOSIS Unit 3 Synthesis of Peptides Unit will synthesize peptidic sequences that will allow to identify towards which epitopes the immune response is directed, which will allow to develop more specific diagnostic methods.

NANBIOSIS Unit 29 Oligonucleotide Synthesis Platform (OSP) has designed probes with oligonucleotide sequences that will allow the capture of viral RNA through the formation of high affinity triplex complexes

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Stem cells and COVID-19 research.

The Malaga Academy of Sciences has published an interesting review by Dr. José Becerra Ratia on Spanish biomedical research in relation to COVID-19 virus and, in particular, with two therapeutic novelties that have stem cells as protagonists, in one case the mesenchymal cells and in the other case the embryonic ones.

Professor Becerra is Professor of Cellular Biology at the University of Malaga and Vice President of the Malaga Academy of Sciences, as well as Researcher in charge of the Bioengineering and Tissue Regeneration Laboratory that belongs to BIONAND, IBIMA CIBER-BBN and TerCel (unit 28 of NANBIOSIS U28 Nanoimaging Unit)

Dr Becerra, enfasizes how the development of Biology in recent decades as well as the powerful tools provided by molecular biology and artificial intelligence, will be very useful now to combat Covid-19 Pandemia.

Here you can read the article in Spanish, Science, a well-founded hope against COVID19

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COVID-19 research: preferent access to NANBIOSIS

Due to the current pandemic outbreak of COVID-19, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, knowledge about the virus characteristics and the development of its possible diagnostic, treatment and prophylactic devices and systems are high priority in all research institutions worldwide.

NANBIOSIS assigns high priority to the projects related to the SARS-CoV-2 virus offering preferential access. Some of the NANBIOSIS’s services have been suspended or postponed. However the call is open and the proposals will be processed and services required will be provided as soon as possible.

For that purpose, A “COVID-19 Rapid Access” call has been established, valid through the year 2020. Urgent procedure will be applied to review and admission of the proposals. 

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