Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical

Lisbon, Portugal

Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical

Lisbon, Portugal
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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.1.13. | Award Amount: 9.12M | Year: 2011

TREES4FUTURE will make a significant contribution to helping the European forestry sector respond, in a sustainable manner, to increasing demands for wood products and services (among which preservation of forest biodiversity) in a context of changing climatic conditions. To do so TREES4FUTURE will integrate for the first time major, yet rarely interacting forestry communities (and their resources) from geneticists to environmentalists and from communities working at the tree/population scale to those working at forestry landscape/wood basin levels as well as industry concerns. These scientific communities will combine their complementary infrastructures, tools and knowledge and thus fill in the current gaps 1) physical environment vs genetics, 2) basic wood properties vs end-products quality and 3) individuals to forests scales of study. This collaboration will result in a holistic approach integrating abiotic and biotic environmental aspects through biological responses (eco-physiological and pest/disease risk studies), biomass production (breeding and silviculture) and industrial technology (wood quality and technology). The long-term objective of TREES4FUTURE is to provide not only the partners but the whole European forestry community, with an easy and comprehensive access to complementary but currently scattered sources of information and expertise to optimise the short and long-term exploitation of the forest resources by both the research community and the socio-economic players. Providing access to the wider research community to a wide variety of forestry research infrastructures (from state-of-the-art analytical tools to predictive models) via the project will enable TREES4FUTURE to improve, coordinate and validate its offer to the European and International researchers from both public and private sectors and thus ensure the future sustainability of the consortium as well as that of the wider European Forestry community at large.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SPA.2011.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 1.12M | Year: 2012

The GMES and Africa initiative establishes a long term partnership between European and African stakeholders, accordingly to the Lisbon Declaration, to work together on the development and implementation of Earth Observation (EO) applications based on African requirements. The process is implemented in the wide context of the Africa-EU partnership aiming for sustainable development and increment of scientific cooperation. GMES and Africa strengthens Africas capacity and ownership of EO activities and acknowledges the importance of past and present programmes, recognising the need to coordinate actions to avoid duplication, increase synergies and enhance complementarities. Bridging Actions for GMES & Africa (BRAGMA) will support and facilitate the necessary dialogue to implement the process, through improved coordination and adequate information flow and dissemination strengthening the partnership via the following actions: Keep building momentum for GMES and Africa Action Plan (GAAP) through validation and reviewing processes; Reinforcing the coordination group of stakeholders and entities responsible for leading the initiative and contributing to in-loco support aligned with the implementation mechanisms agreed in the GAAP; Supporting the role of the Expert Team (defined by the GMES and Africa Strategic Document at Hammamet, November 2010) on a sustainable basis; Promoting and creating wider international awareness of results and likely impact of relevant FP7 projects and current and planned GMES and Africa related activities; Facilitate the capacity for selected African experts to attend key coordination events and conferences; Organise GMES and Africa major awareness events in Africa; Provide reviews of how GMES services could contribute to needs identified in the GAAP.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-NIGHT | Award Amount: 84.69K | Year: 2010

Continuing the SettingTheStage project organized in 2009, scientists will be called again on stage to celebrate the Researchers Night 2010 not only through performing arts (incl. theatre) but also through sports. These media will allow scientists to express themselves, their visions and their work. SettingTheStage II brings back together entities from four major cities across Portugal (North, Centre, South) with the aim of creating multiple spaces where scientists and the public can actively engage in the reality of being a scientist. At the core of the project is a series of arts performances to be specifically produced for RN2010, designed to stimulate reflection, discussion and debate on topics related to researchers and their everyday lives: the power and limits of their research, the impact of their research in society. Researchers and arts performers will work together to produce several performances, aimed at different age groups. In the same way, researchers and the public will share and discuss scientific concepts linked to the sports activities that will be organized during the event. Themes for the activities will be, among others, linked to the celebration of the International Year of Biodiversity and the World Day of the Heart, which will be celebrated at the end of September. Artistic performances and sport activities will be complemented with interactive hands-on activities, from small experiments and demos for youngsters, to speed-dating sessions with scientists, science cafe/bar and visits to museums. Awareness will be achieved through a concerted marketing campaign, bringing together the expertise and resources of all partners involved, including the maintenance/updating of the 2009 project design/image, website and blog. SettingTheStage II brings back together a large number of partners involved in the 2009 edition committed to guarantee a successful action.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-NIGHT | Award Amount: 160.46K | Year: 2012

This proposal aims to raise awareness of the prominent role researchers and their work play in our everyday life. The extensive and nationwide range of activities already planned and being prepared have one major aim: to show that researchers are ordinary people with extraordinary jobs! This will be done through direct engagement of both the general public and researchers in science awareness activities, across the streets of 22 main cities and villages. Coordinated by Cincia Viva (Lisbon), there is a regional coordinator in each NUTS II region in Portugal. The role of each regional coordinator is to mobilize the research community, local companies and associations, as well as regional/local press. This is an inclusive proposal welcoming all interested research-related entities. The key message agreed between partners and all associated/participating entities is that we all should take up this opportunity to bring research close to the people and not only expect that people come to a specific venue. Outdoor activities will be organized in partnership with municipalities/regional authorities as an added value of their service and a way to show the richness existing in each territory. In parallel, a very diverse range of edutainment indoor activities is planned (see Annex I) and more are on the making.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: SFS-06-2014 | Award Amount: 1.78M | Year: 2015

PROIntensAfrica intends to develop a proposal for a long term research and innovation partnership between Europe and Africa, focusing on the improvement of the food and nutrition security and the livelihoods of African farmers by exploring and exploiting the diversity of pathways to sustainable intensification of African agro-food systems. The exploration will include environmental, economic and social externalities along the whole value chains. PROIntensAfrica has the ambition to formulate a research and innovation agenda, identifying the domains in need for further research to realize the potential of African food systems. In addition, PROIntensAfrica will suggest governance mechanisms that are effective in supporting the partnership. Key is the perception that pooling resources is the best way to align existing and initiate new research. This perception follows the policy of the EC, where instruments of joint programming like ERA-NET, JPI and article 185 aim to accomplish synergy and increase the effectiveness of resources. Pooling resources goes beyond the scientific domain and reaches into the policy domain. Consequently, besides being rooted in sound and challenging research, a partnership proposal needs to meet national and international policies to fly. Therefore PROIntensAfrica pay specific attention to engage with the policy domain, as exemplified by the intended creation of a policy support group. The rationale of the project is that a variety of pathways leads to sustainable intensification of African food systems. Different pathways are advocated in literature. High-input farming systems, for example, contrast with organic farming systems, each with their own supporters and criticasters. It is the conviction of the PROIntensAfrica consortium that moving beyond that debate will open exciting new pathways, and that combining elements of different systems will yield innovative systems that are optimally adapted to specific contexts.

Baptista J.M.,New University of Lisbon | Justino M.C.,New University of Lisbon | Melo A.M.P.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical | Teixeira M.,New University of Lisbon | Saraiva L.M.,New University of Lisbon
Journal of Bacteriology | Year: 2012

Mammalian cells of innate immunity respond to pathogen invasion by activating proteins that generate a burst of oxidative and nitrosative stress. Pathogens defend themselves from the toxic compounds by triggering a variety of detoxifying enzymes. Escherichia coli flavorubredoxin is a nitric oxide reductase that is expressed under nitrosative stress conditions. We report that in contrast to nitrosative stress alone, exposure to both nitrosative and oxidative stresses abolishes the expression of flavorubredoxin. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) experiments showed that under these conditions, the iron center of the flavorubredoxin transcription activator NorR loses the ability to bind nitric oxide. Accordingly, triggering of the NorR ATPase activity, a requisite for flavorubredoxin activation, was impaired by treatment of the protein with the double stress. Studies of macrophages revealed that the contribution of flavorubredoxin to the survival of E. coli depends on the stage of macrophage infection and that the lack of protection observed at the early phase is related to inhibition of NorR activity by the oxidative burst. We propose that the time-dependent activation of flavorubredoxin contributes to the adaptation of E. coli to the different fluxes of hydrogen peroxide and nitric oxide to which the bacterium is subjected during the course of macrophage infection. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.

Lidon F.J.C.,New University of Lisbon | Teixeira M.,New University of Lisbon | Ramalho J.C.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical
Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science | Year: 2012

A parallel was drawn between UV-B irradiation and the oxidative burst in the chloroplast lamellae of rice plants (Oryza sativa L. cv. Safari). After irradiation with a total biological effective UV-B of 20.825kJm -2 between the 15th and 21stdays following germination, it was found that superoxide, hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide increased significantly in stressed leaves. The levels of ascorbate and the kinetics of superoxide dismutase, glutathione reductase, dehydroascorbate reductase, ascorbate peroxidase and catalase became increasingly inhibited. The developing oxidative burst also diminished photosynthetic pigments and galactolipids accumulation, while the de-epoxidation state of xanthophylls and lipids peroxidation increased. Following grana disorganisation, the accumulation of chloroplast polypeptides having 72/69, 33/32, 28/26, 22/20 and 18/16kDa decreased, but the relative proportion of the 49/46kDa polypeptides increased. The 69/65kDa polypeptides also diminished on the 15thday. These alterations implicated the failure of both photosystems functioning, but the inhibition of the Hill reactions coupled to the water splitting complex was uppermost. In the 28thday, the chloroplast lamellae of leaves grown after UV-B exposure revealed a general recovery from oxidative burst and a subsequent higher stacking of thylakoids. It is concluded that UV-B irradiation becomes lethal when ascorbate oxidation in the xanthophyll cycle limits the antioxidant enzymes kinetics, triggering chloroplast proteolysis and acyl lipid peroxidation because of reactive oxygen species propagation. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

The male is described by the first time for Lasiotheus Paclt, 1963 (Nicoletiidae: Atelurinae) upon a sample of L. nanus (Escherich, 1903) obtained in Gabon, from where the genus was previously unknown. The real independence of Lasiotheus relatively to Gastrotheus Casey, 1890 s.s. and to Pseudogastrotheus Mendes, 2003 (all previously considered under Gastrotheus Casey, 1890) is reinforced. Five tribes are recognized in Nicoletiidae (Atelurinae), characterized on morphological characteristics shared by groups of genera: Atelurini Remington, 1954, Atopatelurini n. tribe, Dinatelurini n. tribe, Dionychellini n. tribe and Grassiellini n. tribe. Identification keys are proposed to the ca. 70 genera today known in the subfamily. Copyright © 2012 · Magnolia Press.

Sousa P.M.F.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical | Sousa P.M.F.,New University of Lisbon | Videira M.A.M.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical | Melo A.M.P.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical
FEBS Letters | Year: 2013

The Escherichia coli formate:oxygen oxidoreductase supercomplex (FdOx) was investigated with respect to function and composition. Formate oxidoreductase activity was detected in blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN-PAGE) resolved membranes of E. coli, which were also capable of cyanide sensitive formate:oxygen oxidoreductase activity. The latter was compromised in strains devoid of specific oxygen reductases, particularly, in those devoid of cytochrome bo3 or bdI. A principal component analysis (PCA) integrating E. coli aerobic respiratory chain gene transcription, enzyme activity and growth dynamics was performed, correlating formate:oxygen oxidoreductase activity and the transcription of the genes encoding cytochromes bo3 and bdI, and corroborating previous evidence that associated these complexes in FdOx. © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Hernandez-Castellano L.E.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Almeida A.M.,New University of Lisbon | Almeida A.M.,Institute Investigacao Cientifica Tropical | Castro N.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria | Arguello A.,University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Current Protein and Peptide Science | Year: 2014

In this review authors address colostrum proteins implications in different domestic ruminant species. The colostrogenesis process and how different factors, such as litter size or nutrition during gestation can alter the different components concentrations in colostrum are also reviewed. The different colostrum fractions will be described, focusing on high and low abundant proteins. This review describes the major function of such proteins and their role on the passive immune transfer and nutrition in the newborn animal. It will be also performed a comprehensive review on different techniques and commercial kits available for high abundant protein depletion in colostrum. We will finally focus on how proteomics has been used to address this issue and how it can contribute to the major questions about colostrum associated immunology.© 2014 Bentham Science Publishers.

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