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i3S invites Cláudia Florindo to “9th Course on Optical Microscopy Imaging for Biosciences”

Cláudia Florindo, CBMR researcher, will be one of the teachers of the 9th Course on Optical Microscopy Imaging for Biosciences”. The miscroscopy couse will be held from 27th to 31th march, at i3S – Instituto de Investigação e Inovação (Porto).

The 9th Course on Optical Microscopy Imaging for Biosciences is a comprehensive and intensive course focus on the basis of modern light microscopy and designed to post-graduate students, early career researchers and all people interested in to acquire skills in optical microscopy.

The course explores the principles of optical microscopy including fundamentals of light microscopy and optical contrast techniques; principles of widefield and confocal fluorescence microscopy; live cell imaging and advanced microscopy applications; “super-resolution” microscopy; and digital image analysis.

This course includes lectures taught by specialists in microscopy and digital imaging and practical sessions supported by the major microscopy companies.

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Clévio Nóbrega published three review articles in the field of polyglutamine diseases

Clévio Nóbrega, CBMR researcher and DCBM teacher, published, in the last months, three review articles associated with polyglutamine diseases:

  1. Motor Dysfunctions and Neuropathology in Mouse Models of Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2: A Comprehensive Reviewa review about all transgenic models that are used for the study of spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2).
  2. Proteolytic cleavage of polyglutamine disease-causing proteins: revisiting the toxic fragment hypothesis – a review about a pathological mechanism involved in the different polyglutamine ataxias.
  3. Unraveling the Role of Ataxin-2 in Metabolism – a review that provides, for the first time, clues to understand the role of ataxin-2 (which causes SCA2).

Know more about the research of Clévio Nóbrega here.

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Clévio Nóbrega invited to the editorial board of two well-known journals in the area of Neuroscience

Clévio Nobrega, CBMR researcher and DCBM teacher, was recently invited to integrate the editorial board of two well-known journals in the area of Neuroscience: Medicine, as academic editor in the subject area of Clinical Genetics and Neurology, and, on Frontiers in Neuroscience, as guest associate editor, in the subject area of Neurodegeneration.

Know more about the publications:  MedicineFrontiers in Neuroscience

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New electronic technology allows observation of electrical signals generated by cancer cells

CBMR and Instituto de Telecomunicações developed recently a partnership in order to create new electronic components that measure the electrical activity of cells of the nervous system. The new technology has been tested in the laboratory with cells derived from mouse’s brain tumors (astroglioma). These cells are tumor cells whose origin resides in the astrocytes, cells that exist in the nervous system and whose normal function is to give functional, metabolic and structural support to the neurons. Unlike the neurons, the astrocytes are “electrically silent”. The new electronic components allowed to measure discrete electrical signals (smaller than a micro-volt) produced by cultures of cells derived from brain tumors.

Until now the available technology has only allowed to measure signals larger than 10 microvolts in cell cultures. This new system allows the cells to be examined throughout the culture process directly on the electronic chips that detect the electrical signals. Cancer cells have a very intense metabolic activity, and as a result of this metabolism, acidify the environment that surrounds them (Warburg effect). The team of University of Algarve observed that when the cells are in an acid environment they generate electrical signal patterns in a cooperative way. When the cellular sensors of this acidification (acid-sensing ion channels) are blocked, the electrical activity of the tumor cells is eliminated.
These observations were only possible due to the innovation of this electronic system that evaluates the electrical activity of the cells.

With this research, new questions arise about the possible electrical signaling produced by brain tumors and their impact on brain physiology. If cells from a brain tumor can also generate electrical activity, these signals may interfere with the normal functioning of the brain and may eventually contribute to epileptic seizures, which often arise associated with brain tumors.
If possible, the development of targeted therapies may be very useful in reducing the impact of epileptic seizures on cancer patients, with a considerable improvement of their quality of life.
The research involved researchers of University of Coimbra (Profª Carmo Medeiros – Departamento de Engenharia Eletrotécnica e Computadores) and from Max-Planck Institute (Germany).
At the University of Algarve the team was led by Inês Araújo, CBMR researcher, and Henrique Gomes, researcher of Instituto de Telecomunicações

The study was funded by Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia through the project: Implantable Organic Devices for Advanced Therapies (INNOVATE) (PTDC/EEI-AUT/5442/2014).

See more here.

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Stem Cell Reports publish results of José Bragança investigation on cardiac development

In a study published in the latest issue of Stem Cell Reports José Bragança and his team demonstrated that the transcriptional regulator CITED2 – essential for mammalian heart development – plays an important role in the early steps of cardiac lineage commitment of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC). Of particular interest, the researchers showed for the first time that Cited2 and Isl1, a key transcription factor in the development of secondary heart field-derived structures and a marker of secondary heart field cardiac progenitors, have a privileged interaction at the genetic and protein levels. Indeed, they showed that Cited2 is directly recruited to the promoter of the Isl1 gene, and promotes Isl1 expression when overexpressed, while Cited2-depletion impairs Isl1 expression. Furthermore, the investigation revealed that Cited2 expression is enriched in cardiac progenitor cells originated from ESC differentiation, or isolated from mouse embryonic hearts. This team also demonstrated that the proteins ISL1 and CITED2 interact physically in vitro and ex vivo. Moreover, they showed that the ISL1-CITED2 interaction is synergistically functional, and promotes cardiomyocyte differentiation from ESC.

To achieve these results, that significantly increase the knowledge about ESC commitment towards cardiac cell lineage and highlights the importance of Cited2 in this process,  Bragança and his team used embryonic stem cells to better understand the function of this transcriptional regulator  in the cardiogenic processes.

Since there is a great interest in deriving cardiac progenitors and cardiomyocytes from pluripotent stem cells for therapeutic purposes, the results presented in this paper may be instrumental for the development of novel strategies heading in this direction.

Read the paper here.

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CBMR researchers discovered a small chemical compound that could potentially be used as anti-cancer and anti-aging drug

A research team led by Wolfgang Link and composed by other CBMR researchers, namely Bibiana Ferreira and Susana Machado, recently published a research article in PLOS ONE, the world’s first multidisciplinary open access journal in the field of science and medicine. The article results from the development of an innovative research in the field of cancer and suggests that LOM612 – a small chemical compound – can be used as a potent FOXO relocator.

The family of FOXO transcription factors is commonly inactivated in human tumours by posttranslational modifications and genetic variation within the FOXO3a gene is consistently associated with human longevity. This scenario represents an attractive therapeutic approach to treat cancer and age-related diseases by pharmacologically activation of FOXO proteins.

In order to identify agents capable of activating FOXOs, Wolfgang Link and his team tested a collection of small chemical compounds using image-based high content screening technology.   The authors were able to show that LOM612 induces nuclear translocation of a FOXO3a reporter protein as well as endogenous FOXO3a and FOXO1 in U2OS cells in a dose-dependent manner. According to the team, this activity does not affect the subcellular localization of other cellular proteins including NFkB or inhibit CRM1-mediated nuclear export. More importantly, LOM612 shows a potent antiproliferative effect in human cancer cell lines.

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Seminar “Uma oportunidade para projetos inovadores na área da saúde e bem-estar”

CBMR is organizing the Seminar “Uma oportunidade para projetos inovadores na área da saúde e bem-estar”, a talk given by José Pereira Leal, scientific director of Healthcare City, an incubator working in the field of health sciences.

The Healthcare City, by Nova Medical School, is the right place for any entrepreneur with an innovative idea and ambition to push forward and grow globally. The goal of Healthcare City is help to form startups and help young entrepreneurs and grow in a global context and expand it worldwide.

Join us, know Healthcare City, present your idea and we could help you to grow!

See more here.

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CBMR represented at the Neptune Evo Devo Symposium 2016

Álvaro Tavares, CBMR researcher, will be one of the invited speakers at the Neptune Evo Devo Symposium 2016. 

The Neptune Evo Devo Symposium is organised by the Neptune Network students, a Marie Curie-funded European project with focus on evo-devo and neurobiology of marine animal models. During four years, the network has gathered students and PIs from nine laboratories across Europe, as well as external partners, in a variety of successful meetings and courses.
This symposium will focus on two important aspects of animal evolution: evolution of the nervous system and evolution of body plans. In line with Neptune’s core interest, emphasis will be put on marine organisms, though not exclusively, and on recent technologies which are becoming increasingly suitable for use in non-model organisms enabling broader comparative studies.
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Hands ON Microscopy Workshop

CBMR Microscopy Unit in collaboration with CCMAR and Izasa Scientific kindly invites you to the next hands on Workshop & demonstrations events.

ON 15Th and 16TH of November

You can bring your own samples
1-    Hands on – Nikon-Vico2

ViCo.2 adopts a novel imaging method to obtain optical sections of microscopic specimens.

Using a conventional fluorescence microscope, structured illumination via an V, W scanning mechanism and processing procedures, equivalent or better results are achieved compared to
those of current, laser based confocal microscopes. Smooth transition between conventional, confocal imaging capabilities permits to optimize resolution versus speed and specimen photo-invasivity.

Spectral and contrast flexibilities are guaranteed by automated multi-band and multi-mode acquisition capabilities. (Up to 6 channels – 2D, 3D, Z and T stack). The system is assemble on a motorized Nikon inverted microscope Ti-E.

Please register on The doodle
(We have limited spots)

http://doodle.com/poll/tu8vccdttx762gu5

 
2-    Hands on  – Andor dsd-2

The Andor Revolution DSD2 is a simple confocal device delivering extra-ordinary imaging performance. Its simplicity lies in a compact patented optical design and laser-free operation, which provide ease of retrofit, flexible fluorophore selection, low maintenance and inherent safety for users. Combining structured illumination and spinning disk technologies with high sensitivity high dynamic range Andor sCMOS cameras, the Revolution DSD2 produces image quality that typically exceeds confocal images captured with laser point scanning systems.

The DSD2 captures images at high frame rates increasing productivity when imaging both fixed and live samples. With three confocal sectioning options, the DSD2 allows the user to trade optical sectioning with signal level and handles a broad magnification range, and sample types from single cell to very thick specimens such as Drosophila embryos and Zebrafish.

The DSD2 can even be used with Macroscopes for larger specimens. This new design can image conventional transmitted light contrast techniques (e.g. phase contrast and DIC) to be combined with the confocal image. The system is assemble on a Nikon stereomicroscopeSMZ25.

Please register on
(We have limited spots)

Please register on The doodle
(We have limited spots)

http://doodle.com/poll/ipr2etnni98774yr

 
You are most welcome to came and join us.
We would like you to bring your own samples.

Please came and enjoy this microscopes and learn how can they help you to solve your scientific questions.
The demos will be on:
Universidade do Algarve – Campus de Gambelas, Ed7 sala 3.37

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CBMR will participate on “1as Jornadas do ABC”

Academic Center will organize on November 24th the “1as Jornadas do ABC”, a meeting to foster collaboration between the Centro Hospitalar do Algarve and CBMR. The meeting, that will be held on Hospital de Faro, aims to promote a set of talks in order to present the research developed on CBMR and the interconnection with Centro Hospitalar do Algarve.

See the program here.