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Tom Coenye Addresses Impact of Interspecies Interactions on Antibiotic Susceptibility of Biofilms

Tom Coenye Addresses Impact of Interspecies Interactions on Antibiotic Susceptibility of Biofilms | iBB | Scoop.it
Tom Coenye, a full professor at Ghent University, addressed the influence of interspecies interactions on antibiotic susceptibility of polymicrobial biofilms during thhe 2nd joint BIOTECnico and AEM PhD Programs workshop that took place at Instituto Superior Técnico on the 15th and 16th February. Tom Coenye participated in the workshop in his quality as a member of the External Advisory Committee of BIOTECnico.
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The Various Roles of Fatty Acids

The Various Roles of Fatty Acids | iBB | Scoop.it

Lipids comprise a large group of chemically heterogeneous compounds that, in general, have in their structure fatty acids (FA). In a review paper published this week in the Special Issue of Molecules edited by both authors and entitled “The Multiple Roles of Fatty Acids”, Dr. Carla CCR de Carvalho (BERG-iBB) and Dr. Maria José Caramujo (CE3C, FCUL) discuss the various roles of FA in prokaryotes and eukaryotes and highlight the application of FA analysis to elucidate ecological mechanisms. The authors briefly describe FA synthesis; analyse the role of FA as modulators of cell membrane properties and FA ability to store and supply energy to cells; and inspect the role of polyunsaturated FA (PUFA) and the suitability of using FA as biomarkers of organisms.

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Diogo Silva Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine)

Diogo Silva Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine) | iBB | Scoop.it

Diogo Silva will be defending his PhD thesis in Bioengineering (Cell Therapies and Regenerative Medicine) at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 17th October 2018 (9:00 H, room 4.41). During the last years, and under the supervision of Joaquim Cabral from SCERG-iBB and Manuel Abecasis from IPO, Diogo developed new Chimeric Antigen Receptors (CARs) for various types of hematologic cancers and optimized existing CARs that are already in the clinic. The title of his thesis is "Engineering of T-Cells with Chimeric Antigen Receptors as a Therapy for Hematologic Cancers”.

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Fátima Pinto Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering

Fátima Pinto Defends PhD Thesis in Bioengineering | iBB | Scoop.it

Fátima Pinto will be defending her PhD thesis in Bioengineering at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 10th October 2018 (15:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Luís Fonseca and Dragana Barros from BERG-iBB, Fátima focused her attention on the development and characterization of biodegradable nanocarriers to be incorporated in pharmaceutical, nutraceutical or cosmeceutical formulations for the targeted release of bioactive substances. The title of her thesis is "Design and Characterization of Lipid Nanoparticles for an Effective Topical Administration of Active Compounds”.

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Regulation of Zygosaccharomyces bailii Early Response to Acetic Acid and Copper Stress

Regulation of Zygosaccharomyces bailii Early Response to Acetic Acid and Copper Stress | iBB | Scoop.it

The non-conventional food spoiling yeast species Zygosaccharomyces bailii is remarkably tolerant to acetic acid, a highly important microbial inhibitory compound in Food Industry and Biotechnology. The study recently published in Scientific Reports, coordinated by Isabel Sá-Correia and Margarida Palma and first authored by the BIOTECnico PhD student Miguel Antunes, investigates the genomic transcription changes occurring during the early response of Z. bailii to acetic acid or copper stresses and uncovers the regulatory network activated under the bifunctional transcriptional factor ZbHaa1 control. This study provides valuable insights regarding Z. bailii adaptation mechanisms to acetic acid or copper stresses, ZbHaa1-dependent regulatory network, and the evolution of transcription factors and regulatory networks in pre- whole genome duplication (WGD) and post-WGD yeast species.

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International Microorganism Day: Interactive Exhibition, Quiz, Short talks and Craft Beer at IST

International Microorganism Day: Interactive Exhibition, Quiz, Short talks and Craft Beer at IST | iBB | Scoop.it

The Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM) in collaboration with researchers from BSRG-iBB, celebrated the 2nd edition of the International Microorganism Day (IMD 2018) at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST). An interactive exhibition in the IST main building featured several national institutions  (Faculty of Sciences/cE3c, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, IST-iBB of Universidade de Lisboa, The Institute for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, University of Évora/Hercules, University of Coimbra, and University of Minho/CBMA. In an entertaining and dynamic quiz organized by young researchers from iBB and graduate students from “Núcleos de Engenharia Biológica (NEB) e Engenharia Biomédica (NEBM) do IST”, the visitors could then test what they had learnt about microorganisms. At the end of an enriching day full of presentations and hands-on experiences, a tasty and refreshing craft beer locally produced by “Clube de Cervejeiros do IST” and the commercial "Cerveja D'Ourique" was waiting for thirsty (adult) visitors.

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"The Admirable World of Microbes": A Training Course for Secondary School Teachers

"The Admirable World of Microbes": A Training Course for Secondary School Teachers | iBB | Scoop.it

A training course for secondary school teachers entiled "The admirable world of Microbes: small in size, great in action" was carried out at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST) on the 17 and 22 september within the frame of the commemorations of the International Microorganism Day 2018. The course was accredited by the Training Center of the Ordem dos Biólogos (OB) and aimed at updating and reinforcing theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the area of Microbiology and Biotechnology. The 12-hour training included theoretical (4 hours), computational (2 hours) and laboratory (4 hours) modules as well as a roundtable discussion (2 hours). The course was organized and taught by Arsénio Fialho, Cristina Viegas and Leonilde Moreira from the Bioengineering Department of IST and BSRG-iBB. It was attended by 22 teachers from schools all over the country. The initiative was supported by the Portuguese Society of Microbiology (SPM), OB and IST.

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ESBES 2018: Lisbon at the Forefront of Biochemical Engineering

ESBES 2018: Lisbon at the Forefront of Biochemical Engineering | iBB | Scoop.it

The 12th European Symposium on Biochemical Engineering Sciences was held in Lisbon from 9 to 12 of September of 2018 at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. This year, the European Society of Biochemical Engineering Sciences (ESBES) organized the event with the collaboration of iBB/IST, SPBT and Dechema. Raquel Aires-Barros, the event chair, and Ana Azevedo, co-chair, mobilized a team of 15 PhD and MSc students from IST to receive 324 participants (75% non-portuguese). As a complement to scientific lectures, the event featured workshops on Modelling, Monitoring, Measurement and Control (M3C), Scientific Writing and Bioengineering Education. The last topic was extensively discussed during the Symposium as a possible emergent section of ESBES to address and promote an active cooperation between European academia and industry. Click on the title for more information on ESBES 2018.

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Inês Pinto Wins ESBES 2018 Award

Inês Pinto Wins ESBES 2018 Award | iBB | Scoop.it

Inês Pinto from BERG-iBB just won the ESBES Award at the ESBES 2018 conference held in Lisbon (8-12 September 2018) for her work “Optimizing the performance of chromatographic separations using integrated microfluidic devices: adsorption/elution kinetic studies and multiplexed analysis”. The work is part of Inês' PhD project on Biotechnology and is co-authored by Raquel Aires Barros, Viginia Chu, João Pedro Conde and Ana Azevedo. Diogo Pinto from SCERG was one of the runnerups of the competition. The ESBES Award is granted biannually by the European Society of Biochemical Engineering Sciences and aims at recognizing outstanding PhD thesis or scientific publications by students or early carrier researchers in the field of biochemical engineering.

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Engineering Human MSC with VEGF-encoding Minicircles for Angiogenic Gene Therapy

Engineering Human MSC with VEGF-encoding Minicircles for Angiogenic Gene Therapy | iBB | Scoop.it

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a debilitating condition characterized by the blockage of arteries, which leads to limb amputation in more severe cases. Researchers from SCERG- and BERG-iBB propose the use of human bone marrow (BM) MSC transiently transfected with minicircles encoding for VEGF as an ex vivo gene therapy strategy to enhance angiogenesis in PAD patients. The data shows that VEGF overexpression improved the angiogenic potential of MSC in vitro, as confirmed by endothelial cell tube formation and cell migration assays.These results suggest that minicircle-mediated VEGF gene delivery, combined with the unique properties of human MSC, could represent a promising ex vivo gene therapy approach to improve angiogenesis in the context of PAD. The work was published in Human Gene Therapy.

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The OmpR Regulator of Burkholderia multivorans Controls Properties Associated with Persistence in the Cystic Fibrosis Lung

The OmpR Regulator of Burkholderia multivorans Controls Properties Associated with Persistence in the Cystic Fibrosis Lung | iBB | Scoop.it

Within the cystic fibrosis (CF) lung, bacteria experience high-osmolarity conditions due to an ion unbalance resulting from defects in CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) protein activity in epithelial cells. Understanding how bacterial CF pathogens thrive in this environment might help the development of new therapeutic interventions to prevent chronic respiratory infections. In a recent publication in Journal of Bacteriology, researchers from BSRG-iBB led by Leonilde M. Moreira, in collaboration with Dr. Vaughn Cooper from University of Pittsburgh, USA, and Dr. Jörg Becker from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, provide evidence that mutations in OmpR experience positive selection during the adaptation of Burkholderia to chronic infections of the CF airway, and these selective forces can be recapitulated in the laboratory. Characterization of OmpR shows that it is a major regulator of many traits related to cell envelope composition and central metabolism, in which loss-of-function mutants enable greater tolerance and growth under stress conditions but are costly for fitness under other conditions.

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Antimicrobial Properties of Camphor-Derived Silver Complexes

Antimicrobial Properties of Camphor-Derived Silver Complexes | iBB | Scoop.it

The emergence of bacterial resistance to available antimicrobials has prompted the search for novel antibacterial compounds to overcome this public health problem. Metal-based complexes have been much less explored than organic compounds as antimicrobials, leading to investigations of the antimicrobial properties of selected complexes in which silver may occupy the frontline due to its use as medicine since ancient times. Like silver, camphor has also long been used for medicinal purposes. However, in both cases, limited information exists concerning the mechanisms of their antimicrobial action. In a recent collaborative work by the research group headed by Jorge H. Leitão from BSRG/iBB and M. Fernanda Carvalho from CQE, the present knowledge of the antimicrobial properties of camphor-derived silver complexes is reviewed, focusing on recent research on the synthesis and antimicrobial properties of complexes based on silver and camphor imines. Selected examples of the structure and antimicrobial activity relationships of ligands studied so far are presented, showing the potential of silver camphorimine complexes as novel antimicrobials. The review was published in the journal Antibiotics.

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Assessment of Ecotoxicological Potential of Cement-based Construction Materials

Assessment of Ecotoxicological  Potential of Cement-based Construction Materials | iBB | Scoop.it

Innovation in construction materials (CM) implies changing their composition by incorporating raw materials (RM), usually non-traditional ones (e.g., processed or recycled RM), to confer particular characteristics. However, potential environmental risks associated with changing the conventional composition of CM are not completely known and need to be evaluated. Researchers from iBB-BSRG and CERIS - Civil Engineering Research and Innovation for Sustainability, at IST, proposed and applied a methodology for the assessment of the potential ecotoxicity associated with RM and cement-based CM considering a conservative scenario representative of the end of the materials life cycle. The work was published in the journal Materials.

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Flow Microcalorimetry Analysis of the Adsorption of mAbs in Phenylboronate Chromatography

Flow Microcalorimetry Analysis of the Adsorption of mAbs in Phenylboronate Chromatography | iBB | Scoop.it

The feasibility of applying Flow Microcalorimetry to evaluate the complex phenomena involved in the adsorption of monoclonal antibodies to phenylboronate ligands has been demonstrated by BERG-iBB researchers led by Ana Azevedo, in collaboration with Ana Cristina Dias-Cabral from CICS-UBI. The thermodynamic studies evidence the role of affinity and non-specific effects that contribute to the complex, phenylboronate-mediated multimodal adsorption process. This deeper understanding, combined with the economic advantages associated with the employment of the PBA ligand, may lead industry to adopt such a chromatographic process as a reliable alternative to protein A-based capture steps in the current downstream processing of mAbs. The work is part of Sara Rosa’s PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences. The paper was published on J. Chromatography A.

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Rúben Soares Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Rúben Soares Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Rúben Soares will be defending his PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, monday the 15th October 2018 (10:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Profs. João Pedro Conde from INESC-MN and Raquel Barros from BERG-iBB, Rúben worked on the development of several miniaturized modules (analyte preparation, immunodetection, optical transduction and portable eçlectronics) of a portable point-of-need mycotoxin screening chip. The title of his thesis is "Development of integrated microfluidic mycotoxin screening chip for point-of-need food safety applications”.

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Miriam Sousa Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Miriam Sousa Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Miriam Sousa will be defending her PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, wednesday the 19th October 2018 (14:00 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Frederico Ferreira from SCERG-iBB, Miriam developed nanofiber scaffolds for the cultivation of neural stem cells. The title of her thesis is "Ex-Vivo Culture of Neural Stem Cells in Nanofiber Scaffolds: Cellular Organization and Dynamic Systems”.

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Bioreactors for Stem Cell Expansion and Differentiation

Bioreactors for Stem Cell Expansion and Differentiation | iBB | Scoop.it

The book "Bioreactors for Stem Cell Expansion and Differentiation", edited by Joaquim Cabral and Cláudia Lobato Silva from SCERG-iBB has just been released by CRC Press. In the book, an international team of investigators presents thought-provoking reviews of bioreactors for stem cell expansion and differentiation and provides cutting-edge information on different bioreactor systems. The authors offer novel insights into bioreactor-based culture systems specific for tissue engineering, including sophisticated and cost-effective manufacturing strategies geared to overcome technological shortcomings that currently preclude advances towards product commercialization.

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Rapid Formation of Mineralized Bone Tissue Based on Stem Cell-mediated Osteogenesis

Rapid Formation of Mineralized Bone Tissue Based on Stem Cell-mediated Osteogenesis | iBB | Scoop.it

Bone regeneration, following fracture, relies on autologous and allogenic bone grafts. However, majority of fracture population consists of older individuals with poor quality bone associated with loss and/or modification of matrix proteins critical for bone formation and mineralization. Allografts sufer from same limitations and carry the risk of delayed healing, infection, immune rejection and eventual fracture. Researchers from SCERG-iBB, working in collaboration with colleagues from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the US, have applied a synergistic biomimetic strategy to develop matrices that rapidly form bone tissue. Collagen matrices, enhanced with osteocalcin and/or osteopontin, increased the rate and quantity of synthesized bone matrix by increasing mesenchymal stem/stromal (MSC) cell proliferation, accelerating osteogenic diferentiation and enhancing angiogenesis The work was published in Scientific Reports.

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Inês Pinto Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Inês Pinto Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Inês Pinto will be defending her PhD thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, monday the 24th September 2018 (9:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Profs. Ana Azevedo and Raquel Barros from BERG-iBB, and João Pedro Conde from INESC-MN, Inês developed a microfluidic platform for the rapid screening of the chromatographic purification of monoclonal antibodies. The title of her thesis is "Screening of multimodal ligands for the capture and polishing of antibody streams: A microfluidic approach for rapid optimization of chromatographic operating conditions”.

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Microbial Infections and Cancer Therapy

Microbial Infections and Cancer Therapy | iBB | Scoop.it

The book "Microbial Infections and Cancer Therapy", co-edited by Arsénio Fialho from BSRG-iBB in collaboration with Ananda Chakrabarty (University of Illinois) has just been released by Pan Stanford Publishing. The book deals with the emerging concept that certain pathogenic bacteria and viruses, when infecting people with cancer, actively fight tumors, allowing their regression. It features 12 chapters written by pioneers in microbial, biotech, and cancer research and covers the emerging roles of various microorganisms and their products in cancer therapy. The book highlights the benefits of using conventional cancer treatments (such as chemo- and radiotherapies) with microbial-based therapies.

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Networking Meeting "From Protein Dynamics to Membrane Biophysics"

Networking Meeting "From Protein Dynamics to Membrane Biophysics" | iBB | Scoop.it

The Lisbon Biophysics Networking Meeting "From Protein Dynamics to Membrane Biophysics", which brings together the Portuguese Biophysical community working in the field of Protein Structural Biology and Membrane Biophysics, will be held at Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, October 12th 2018. The event is designed to promote scientific networking among distinct groups in the two research areas and to encourage future productive collaborations in the lipid-protein interaction field. The registration and abstract submission are free of charge for all attendees. Click on title to learn more.

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Eduardo Brás Presents Research on Point-of-care Devices for Plant Health at Eurosensors 2018

Eduardo Brás Presents Research on Point-of-care Devices for Plant Health at Eurosensors 2018 | iBB | Scoop.it

Eduardo Brás from BERG-iBB delivered an oral presentation at the 32nd edition of Eurosensors in Graz, Austria, concerning his work on the development of a Point-of-Care device for early plant health assessment. The system developed consists of a microfluidic chip containing sample preparation and detection modules, coupled with integrated photodetectors for real time optical transduction. The work is part of Eduardo´s PhD project on Biotechnology, which is supervised by João Pedro Conde from INESC-MN and Pedro Fernandes from BERG-iBB in collaboration with Margarida Fortes from (BioISI). 

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"Tissue by Design" by Ioannis Papantoniou

"Tissue by Design" by Ioannis Papantoniou | iBB | Scoop.it

Ioannis Papantoniou will be giving a talk entitled "Tissue by Design: Bioprocess-pipelines for the production of clinically relevant skeletal living implants", Wednesday the 12th september at 11:00 h in room 1.38 of the IST Tagus Park campus. In his talk, Ioannis will provide an overview of the strategy that his group is developing in order to tackle major challenges in Tissue Engineering, including the ability to control complexity within 3D engineered constructs, diffusion limitations and the lack of control of the environment. Ioannis is a Chemical Engineer by training (U Patras, Greece) and holds a PhD from University College London. He is currently ATMP Research coordinator, within Prometheus - the KU Leuven division of skeletal tissue Engineering.

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Production and Purification of Supercoiled Minicircles

Production and Purification of Supercoiled Minicircles | iBB | Scoop.it

A wider application of minicircle (MC) vectors in gene therapy research depends critically on the ability to purify supercoiled MC from related miniplasmid (MP) and parental plasmid (PP) impurities. BERG-iBB researchers published a protocol that describes a purification strategy that combines the in vitro enzymatic relaxation of supercoiled MP and PP impurities by a nicking endonuclease, and topoisomer separation and RNA clearance by hydrophobic interaction chromatography. The time required to follow the full protocol, from production to isolation of sc MC is, approximately, 50 hr. The process delivers supercoiled MCs that are virtually free from MP, PP, RNA and protein impurities. The work was published in Human Gene Therapy Methods.

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Cláudia Godinho Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences

Cláudia Godinho Defends PhD Thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences | iBB | Scoop.it

Cláudia Sofia Pires Godinho will be defending her Ph D thesis in Biotechnology and Biosciences at Instituto Superior Técnico, thursday the 26th July 2018 (10:30 H, room PA3). During the last years, and under the supervision of Profs. Isabel Sá-Correia and Miguel Teixeira from BSRG-iBB, Cláudia has investigated the role of transporters in yeast multistress defense mechanisms. The title of her thesis is "ABC and MFS transporters involved in multistress defense mechanisms in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae: roles of Pdr18 and Tpol”.

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Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Pesticide Action in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Pesticide Action in Saccharomyces cerevisiae | iBB | Scoop.it

Accidental spills or careless storage and disposal of pesticides may lead to environmental contamination posing possible risks for non-target microbes and higher eukaryotes in ecosystems. In a recent publication in the journal Ecotoxicology, iBB-BSRG researchers led by Cristina A. Viegas, in collaboration with Jörg D. Becker from IGC, reported a comparative transcriptomic analysis of the responses to sub-lethal levels of six environmentally relevant pesticides in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae model species. A number of predictions of biological pathways and mechanisms emerged from this study in yeast, which are relevant to better understand the potential mode of action and adverse side-effects of these pesticides in biological systems.

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