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Benzyl Alcohol Production in Stirred and Packed Bed Reactors

Benzyl Alcohol Production in Stirred and Packed Bed Reactors | iBB | Scoop.it

The ocean is an excellent source for new biocatalysts due to the tremendous genetic diversity of marine microorganisms, and it may contribute to the development of sustainable industrial processes. In a recent paper published in Microorganisms, Carlos J.C. Rodrigues and Carla C.C.R. de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) used a marine bacterium for the conversion of benzaldehyde to benzyl alcohol, which is an important chemical employed as a precursor for producing esters for cosmetics and other industries. A stirred reactor, using a fed-batch approach, enabled a 1.5-fold increase in benzyl alcohol productivity when compared with batch mode. However, product accumulation in the reactor hindered the conversion. The use of a continuous flow reactor packed with immobilized cells enabled a 9.5-fold increase in productivity when compared with the fed-batch stirred reactor system.

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ChiCoBionts: Chitinases from the Octocoral Microbiome

ChiCoBionts: Chitinases from the Octocoral Microbiome | iBB | Scoop.it

ChiCoBionts, a new FCT-funded research project, exploits the octocoral microbiome in the search for novel chitinases of relevance to global biogeochemical cycling, food waste management, and the smart production of added-value molecules. The project starts in January 2022, is funded with 50,000 euros, and aims to discover, express, and characterise novel chitinases and chitinolytic microbes with the potential to outperform current commercial enzymes and to foster the development of blue biotechnology for chitin waste. The ChiCoBionts team joins iBB scientists from BSRG and BERG, including Tina Keller-Costa (PI), Ângela Taipa (Co-PI), Carla de Carvalho and Rodrigo Costa, in addition to ITQB researcher Nuno Borges and collaborators from the University of Brussels, Belgium.

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Project YumAlgae

Project YumAlgae | iBB | Scoop.it

Consumer acceptance of microalgae products is often hampered by their colour, “fishy” smell and flavor. An international project with research teams from ISA (PI Prof. Anabela Raymundo), IST (Carla de Carvalho, iBB-BERG), Norce (Norway) and the company Pagarete Microalgae solutions (Portugal) is aimed at the use of enzymes to improve the overall sensory quality of microalgal ingredients. The project, entitled “YUM ALGAE - enzYmes for improved sensory qUality of MicroALGAE ingredients in foods”, is funded in ca. 1 million euros by the Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway grants (EEA grants, Blue Growth programme).

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Lipid Changes in Daptomycin-resistant MRSA During Antibiotic Exposure

Lipid Changes in Daptomycin-resistant MRSA During Antibiotic Exposure | iBB | Scoop.it

The cyclic anionic lipopeptide daptomycin (DAP) is used in the treatment of severe infections caused by Gram-positive pathogens, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). DAP resistance, though rare, often results in treatment failure. Paradoxically, in MRSA, DAP resistance is usually accompanied by a concomitant decrease in b-lactam resistance in what is known as the ‘see-saw effect’. In a recent publication in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Carla CCR de Carvalho (iBB-BERG), Agustina Taglialegna and Adriana E. Rosato (currently at Riverside University Health System, USA), showed that the post-translocational protein PrsA has a major role in orchestrating the cell membrane lipid adaptation associated with the see-saw effect, in addition to its function required for the posttranscriptional maturation of PBP 2a. This study contributes greatly to the understanding of MRSA biology and of the impact of DAP/b-lactam on the cell membrane/cell wall machinery.

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Participation in the EU Project FuturEnzyme

Participation in the EU Project FuturEnzyme | iBB | Scoop.it

A team of researchers from iBB-BERG, including Carlos Rodrigues, Ricardo Pereira, Pedro Fernandes, Prof. Joaquim Sampaio Cabral and led by Carla de Carvalho, will contribute to the development of enzymes for a new generation of environmentally friendly consumer products in the EU project FuturEnzyme. The consortium of 16 leading academic and industrial partners, led by Dr. Manuel Ferrer from CSIC (Spain), will develop innovative solutions that will combine big biodata mining and bio-prospecting, disruptive machine learning and protein engineering, nano-biotechnology, fermentation and downstream-processing systems, and pre-industrial testing. Innovative solutions will be proposed to discover, design, optimize and formulate new enzymes to develop detergents, textiles and cosmetics that combine a high level of functionality with improved sustainability, thus responding to the demands from consumers and industries.

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Asymmetric Synthesis with a Marine Transaminase

Asymmetric Synthesis with a Marine Transaminase | iBB | Scoop.it

w-Transaminases (w-TA) have a pivotal role in the synthesis of chiral amines used as building blocks for drugs and pharmaceuticals. In a recently published paper, Carlos JC Rodrigues (iBB-BERG), Manuel Ferrer (CSIC, Spain) and Carla CCR de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) used a w-TA from a marine bacterium to synthesize the fluorine chiral amine (S)-1-(4-trifluoromethylphenyl)ethylamine from a bulky ketone. An in situ product removal (ISPR) approach using an aqueous organic two-phase system was used to mitigate product inhibition, and engineering tools were used to increase substrate mass transfer without affecting the ability of the organic phase to prevent inhibition of the enzyme activity. The insights gained during process development may be valuable for future process applications of TA reactions.

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Six iBB Researchers are Among the Most Cited Top Scientists in the World

Six iBB Researchers are Among the Most Cited Top Scientists in the World | iBB | Scoop.it

Six iBB researchers are among the most cited top scientists at the top 2% of their areas. Portugal is represented in this list compiled by Stanford University with 385 scientists affiliated to national institutions. The rankings are based upon a researcher’s citations for both a single year (2019) and cumulative across their careers. Titled “Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators,” the list uses algorithms that quantify and systematically rank individuals into consistent scientific fields. The scores are provided  with and without self-citations to lessen the impact of self-citations or the use of citation farms (small clusters of researchers massively citing each other’s work). Ranked within the careerlong citation impact list are these iBB researchers: Joaquim Cabral, Isabel Sá-Correia, Mário Berberan Santos, Miguel Prazeres, Carla Carvalho, also along with Carina Crucho in the
2017 single-year citations list.

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Carla Carvalho Awarded Scientific Prize by ULisboa/CGD

Carla Carvalho Awarded Scientific Prize by ULisboa/CGD | iBB | Scoop.it

The research performed by Carla Carvalho from BERG-iBB was recognized in this year's edition of the ULisboa/CGD Scientific prizes. Carla won the first prize for her work in the category "Biology, Biological Engineering, Biochemistry and Biotechnology". Her research is focused on understanding the role of lipids in bacterial adaptation and biofilm formation, and on the development of bioprocesses using marine bacteria and their enzymes.

iBB's insight:

Congratulations Carla!

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Fast Detection of SARS-CoV-2

Fast Detection of SARS-CoV-2 | iBB | Scoop.it

The project “Rapid, low-cost, low-complexity test for SARS-Cov-2 RNA detection” was approved for funding in the FCT call aimed at finding solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic. The project, involving researchers from FFUL (João Gonçalves, PI of the project), IRS/DBE/IST (João Sanches), and iBB(BERG)/DBE/IST (Carla de Carvalho), will use a colourimetric assay, and image acquisition and analysis techniques, to rapidly evaluate the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in human samples.

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Transaminase Activity by Time-lapse Imaging

Transaminase Activity by Time-lapse Imaging | iBB | Scoop.it

The development of bioprocesses for industrial applications is often hampered by the use of time-consuming systems needed to find and characterize new biocatalysts. In particular, transaminases for the synthesis of optically pure chiral amines usually require multi-enzymatic and/or expensive high throughput equipment. In a recent published paper, Carlos JC Rodrigues (BERG-iBB), João M Sanches (LARSyS, ISR), and Carla CCR de Carvalho (BERG-iBB), developed an automatic time-lapse imaging system allowing both the identification of the most promising transaminases, and the determination of their kinetic parameters. The developed method reduces the time required for detection and quantification of specific transaminase activity, thus contributing to the success of biocatalyst application in industrial processes.

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The INMARE Legacy

The INMARE Legacy | iBB | Scoop.it

A video overview of the output of INMARE (‘Industrial Applications of Marine Enzymes’), a four-year European research project that set out to transform the enzyme biodiscovery process and to isolate new enzymes from the ocean, has been made available by the consortium. The goal of INMARE was to shorten & streamline the industrial enzyme pipeline by increasing the value of enzyme collections and to identify new lead products and prototypes during the projects lifetime. INMARE brought together several industrial and academic partners, including iBB-IST. The project received funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 634486.

 

Photo details; sea shore by Cascais, Copyright Carla de Carvalho, 2017. 

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Adaptation of Rhodococcus to Organic Solvents

Adaptation of Rhodococcus to Organic Solvents | iBB | Scoop.it

Following the success of the 2010 edition of the book entitled “Biology of Rhodococcus”, edited by Dr. Héctor Alvarez, a second edition was published in April 2019. The book, which belongs to the famous “Microbiology Monographs” series, presents a thorough review of the biochemistry, physiology and genetics of Rhodococcus. In the chapter entitled “Adaptation of Rhodococcus to organic solvents”, Dr. Carla CCR de Carvalho (BERG-iBB) reviews the adaptability and versatility of Rhodococcus cells that allow their used in established industrial and bioremediation processes.

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Ana Azevedo and Carla Carvalho Awarded Scientific Prizes by ULisboa/CGD

Ana Azevedo and Carla Carvalho Awarded Scientific Prizes by ULisboa/CGD | iBB | Scoop.it

The research performed by Ana Azevedo and Carla Carvalho from BERG-iBB was recognized in this year's edition of the ULisboa/CGD Scientific prizes. Ana won the first prize Ex Aequo and Carla received and honorable mention for their work in the category "Biology, Biological Engineering, Biochemistry and Biotechnology". The award ceremony took place on the 8th April.

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Detection of mcr-1 gene in Vibrio Species Isolated From Clams

Detection of mcr-1 gene in Vibrio Species Isolated From Clams | iBB | Scoop.it

Pathogenic Vibrio species are responsible for human and animal illness and one of the main causes of human infection is related to the ingestion of undercooked seafood. Due to their filter-feeding habit, marine invertebrates, such as clams, are known to be a natural reservoir of specific microbial communities. In a recently published study carried out by researchers of ESTM, Polytechnic of Leiria, and Carla C.C.R. de Carvalho (BERG-iBB), the profile of antimicrobial resistance and the presence of virulence genes in the bacterial isolates from clams were evaluated. The presence of the mobilisable colistin resistance gene mcr-1 in three Vibrio spp. isolates highlights a potential threat to public health.

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Integral Analysis of Liquid-Hot-Water Pretreatment of Wheat Straw

Integral Analysis of Liquid-Hot-Water Pretreatment of Wheat Straw | iBB | Scoop.it

Developing viable biorefineries is urgent to support the transition to a sustainable society. Lignocellulosic biomass is a crucial renewable feedstock, but usually a combination of pretreatments is necessary to extract both sugars and lignin. In a recent paper published in the journal Sustainability, the M.Sc. student Manuel Dias and Carla C.C.R. de Carvalho (BERG-iBB) collaborated with researchers from Technische Universität Wien (Vienna, Austria) under supervision of Prof Anton Friedl, to study liquid-hot-water (LHW) as pretreatment for hemicellulose hydrolysis. Assessment of different LHW conditions allowed the determination of those leading to high sugar concentration and low concentration of degradation products. The lignin remaining in the solid phase could be extracted and hydrolysed. By including the analysis of lignin hydrolysis into the standard sugar and degradation products in LHW, it was possible to make an integrated decision to valorize the different lignocellulosic components of wheat straw.

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Special Issue "Bioprocess Engineering: Sustainable Manufacturing for a Green Society"

Special Issue "Bioprocess Engineering: Sustainable Manufacturing for a Green Society" | iBB | Scoop.it

The mild operational conditions typically required by biobased production processes, together with the selective nature of biocatalysts, microbial diversity and tunability, and the century-long record of fermentation, clearly place bioprocesses as the primary contenders, by far, in achieving the generalized implementation of efficient, green manufacturing strategies. Moreover, by overlapping with the biorefinery approach, the foundations needed for bioprocesses to embrace the circular economy concept are set. In this Special Issue on “Bioprocess Engineering: Sustainable Manufacturing for a Green Society", guest edited by Pedro Fernandes and Carla de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) in Processes, the papers will discuss new bioproducts and concomitant bioengineering approaches to achieve a sustainable and environmentally friendly economy.

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Increasing Yields of Cytochrome B5 in Bioreactors

Increasing Yields of Cytochrome B5 in Bioreactors | iBB | Scoop.it

The production of recombinant proteins is gaining increasing importance as several applications request high quality proteins. However, several process parameters affect both the growth of cells and product yields. In a paper recently published in the journal Molecules, Ricardo FS Pereira and Carla CCR de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) used high throughput systems and statistical methods to assess the influence of fermentation conditions in lab-scale bioreactors. Using partial least squares, it was found that the height-to-diameter ratio of the bioreactor, aeration rate, and PID controller parameters contributed significantly to the final biomass and cytochrome concentrations. This information was used to fine-tune the process parameters, which increased cytochrome production and yield several-fold.

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Participation in the EFB2021

Participation in the EFB2021 | iBB | Scoop.it

Carlos JC Rodrigues and Carla CCR de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) presented their work in EFB2021, the major scientific conference organised by the European Federation of Biotechnology. The two studies presented focused on the marine environment as a source of biocatalysts for suitable bioprocesses, and on using microbial heterogeneity to improve bioprocesses. The virtual conference took place during May 10th-14th.

EarpieceHub's comment, June 7, 2021 8:11 AM
nicew
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Special Issue "Biocatalysis, Enzyme and Process Engineering"

Special Issue "Biocatalysis, Enzyme and Process Engineering" | iBB | Scoop.it

Enzymes are acknowledged as effective catalysts, namely, on account of their selectivity, high turnover, and ability to operate under mild conditions. Despite these advantageous features, the industrial application of enzymes still lags behind their use on a laboratory scale. This pattern may be partly assigned to the intrinsic nature of enzymes: these biocatalysts have been optimized throughout the ages to be mostly active in aqueous media and to operate in environments where substrate and product concentrations are much lower than those required for industrial processes to be commercially feasible. In this Special Issue on “Biocatalysis, Enzyme, and Process Engineering”, guest edited by Pedro Fernandes and Carla de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) in Processes, several papers discuss the latest applications of enzymes.

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Multi-Enzyme Systems in Flow Chemistry

Multi-Enzyme Systems in Flow Chemistry | iBB | Scoop.it

Recent years have witnessed a growing interest in the use of biocatalysts in flow reactors. This merging combines the high selectivity and mild operation conditions typical of biocatalysis with enhanced mass transfer and resource efficiency associated to flow chemistry. Additionally, it provides a sound environment to emulate Nature by mimicking metabolic pathways in living cells and to produce goods through the systematic organization of enzymes towards efficient cascade reactions. Moreover, by enabling the combination of enzymes from different hosts, this approach paves the way for novel pathways. In a recent paper published in the journal Processes, Pedro Fernandes and Carla de Carvalho (iBB-BERG) review the recent developments within the scope of flow chemistry involving multi-enzymatic cascade reactions. The paper was published in the Special Issue  "Biocatalysis, Enzyme and Process Engineering" edited by both authors.

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Mycobacterium vaccae adaptation to disinfectants and hand sanitisers

Mycobacterium vaccae adaptation to disinfectants and hand sanitisers | iBB | Scoop.it

In a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of disinfectants and hand rubbing solutions became widespread. However, the use of such mixtures may influence bacteria that live/survive in human skin and surfaces, and increase their tolerance/resistance to e.g. antibiotics. In a study recently published in Antibiotics, Carla CCR de Carvalho, Raquel Teixeira and Pedro Fernandes (BERG-iBB), showed that Mycobacterium vaccae, which is being considered as an adjuvant to antituberculosis therapy, is being tested for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, and as an anti-depressive agent, adapted to disinfectants and hand rubbing solutions, and increased tolerance towards levofloxacin, thioridazine, and omeprazole. The use of disinfectants, especially those aimed at healthcare facilities, by the general public on a daily basis should probably be prevented.

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Carlos Rodrigues Presents his Work at Amine Biocatalysis 4.0

Carlos Rodrigues Presents his Work at Amine Biocatalysis 4.0 | iBB | Scoop.it

The Ph.D. student Carlos Rodrigues, of the Ph.D. program in Biotechnology and Biosciences (BIOTecnico), presented a poster at the Amine Biocatalysis 4.0 conference in Stuttgart, Germany. The poster was about the production of a trifluoromethylamine using a transaminase from a marine bacteria. Mono and biphasic systems, containing organic solvents as substrate reservoirs, were used and the performance of the biocatalyst was evaluated by proper kinetic parameters. The work was carried out under the supervision of Prof. Carla CCR de Carvalho (iBB-BERG), with the collaboration of Dr. Manuel Ferrer (CSIC, Spain).

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Microbial Degradation of Paraffin Wax

Microbial Degradation of Paraffin Wax | iBB | Scoop.it

During crude oil extraction, the reduction in temperature and pressure results in the precipitation of paraffin wax, which may accumulate inside production tubes, pipelines, and also in tankers during petroleum transportation. Few bacterial strains are able to degrade this type of solid substrates. In a paper, published  in Biotechnology Journal, Carlos Rodrigues and Carla CCR de Carvalho (BERG-iBB) evaluate the biodegradation of paraffin by Rhodococcus erythropolis cells. The cells could grow as a thick biofilm over the solid substrate and rapidly degrade paraffin when it was supplied in the form of microparticles. The phenotypic adaptations allowing the cells to degrade the 20-40 chain hydrocarbons are discussed in the paper.

Aptech Visa's comment, July 9, 2019 8:35 AM
Saskatchewan Express Entry - https://www.aptechvisa.com/sinp-saskatchewan-express-entry
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Marine Exopolysaccharides Provide Protection in Extreme Environments

Marine Exopolysaccharides Provide Protection in Extreme Environments | iBB | Scoop.it

Marine polysaccharides, which may be found in seaweed, microalgae, bacteria and other marine organisms, are an extraordinary source of chemical compounds with multiple applications including in the food and cosmetic industries. In the book “Enzymatic Technologies for Marine Polysaccharides”, edited by Dr. Antonio Trincone, the research developments and potential applications of marine polysaccharides are reviewed. In the chapter entitled “Marine exopolysaccharides provide protection in extreme environments” Dr. Carla CCR de Carvalho (BERG-iBB) reviews the production of polysaccharides and their role in protecting microbial organisms in marine environments and discusses their possible application in biotechnological processes.

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Special Issue "Biocatalysis, Enzyme, and Process Engineering"

Special Issue "Biocatalysis, Enzyme, and Process Engineering" | iBB | Scoop.it

Pedro Fernandes and Carla Carvalho from BERG-iBB are acting as guest editors of a special issue of the open-access journal "Processes" on “Biocatalysis, Enzyme, and Process Engineering”. The aim is to address novel advances in the development and application of enzymes in the production of goods of interest for large-scale production. Topics include but are not limited to the following: i) Enzyme engineering towards improved biocatalysts; ii) The development of novel process designs for biocatalysis; and iii) Multienzyme cascade reactions. Manuscripts can be submitted via the journal web page until November 30, 2019.

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