National Autonomous University of Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico

The Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México is a public research university in Mexico City, Mexico that is the largest university in Latin America. UNAM was founded, in its modern form, on 22 September 1910 by Justo Sierra as a liberal alternative to its preceding institution the Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico . To this date, the National Autonomous University of Mexico owns and uses for academic activities the old buildings located in downtown Mexico City that once belonged to the old Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico UNAM's autonomy, granted in 1929, has given it the freedom to define its own curriculum and manage its own budget without interference from the government. This has had a profound effect on academic life at the university, which some claim boosts academic freedom and independence.The UNAM generates a number of different publications in diverse areas, such as mathematics, physics and history. It is also the only university in Mexico with Nobel Prize laureates among its alumni: Alfonso García Robles , Octavio Paz , and Mario Molina .Besides being the most recognized university in Latin America, its campus is one of the largest and most artistically detailed. It is a World Heritage site that was designed by some of Mexico's best-known architects of the 20th century. Murals in the main campus were painted by some of the most recognized artists in Mexican history such as Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros. The UNAM is widely regarded by many university world rankings as the leading university of the Spanish-speaking world. Wikipedia.

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National Autonomous University of Mexico | Date: 2015-09-25

The present invention provides osteogenic peptides derived from the Cementum-derived attachment protein (HACD1/CAP) and another derived from the Cementum Protein 1 (CEMP1) and pharmaceutical compositions of these peptides for the prevention and treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis. These peptides increase bone mineral density in an osteoporotic model and without in vivo side effects, demonstrating clinical effectiveness in the prevention and treatment of osteopenia and osteoporosis in vivo as well as bone repair and/or regeneration.

The International Association of HealthCare Professionals is pleased to welcome Miguel A. Casillas, MD, to their prestigious organization with his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. He is a highly trained and qualified Psychiatrist and Addiction Medicine Specialist with an extensive expertise in all facets of his profession. Dr. Casillas has been practicing for more than four decades and is currently serving patients within the Stockton Medical Group Clinics throughout Arkansas, with the Corporate Headquarters in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Dr. Miguel A. Casillas graduated with his Medical Degree in 1973 from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City. Since graduating, he has completed a number of advanced training courses. To keep up to date with the latest advances in his field, Dr. Casillas maintains a professional membership with the American Psychiatric Association and the American Society of Addiction Medicine. He is renowned across Arkansas and beyond as a specialist in the treatment of people with opioid dependencies, and attributes his success to his commitment to patient care and continuing his education. In his free time, Dr. Casillas enjoys listening to music, as well as volunteering with the Deputy Sheriff and Medical Examiner. Learn more about Dr. Miguel A. Casillas here: and be sure to read his upcoming publication in The Leading Physicians of the World. is a hub for all things medicine, featuring detailed descriptions of medical professionals across all areas of expertise, and information on thousands of healthcare topics.  Each month, millions of patients use FindaTopDoc to find a doctor nearby and instantly book an appointment online or create a review. features each doctor’s full professional biography highlighting their achievements, experience, patient reviews and areas of expertise.  A leading provider of valuable health information that helps empower patient and doctor alike, FindaTopDoc enables readers to live a happier and healthier life.  For more information about FindaTopDoc, visit

News Article | April 17, 2017

The newly discovered planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system could be a playground for rock-riding microbes. Three of the small, dim star’s seven planets orbit firmly within its habitable zone – the region with the right temperature to retain liquid water, thought to be a requisite for life. They keep close to each other, only a few times the distance between Earth and the moon, looming large in one another’s sky. At such short distances, when a meteorite hits the surface of one of the planets, the resulting debris could make its way between them. If bacteria or other forms of life stowed away on a piece of debris, they could hitch-hike between worlds in a process called panspermia. Some scientists believe life on Earth may have started this way, as microbial stowaways from Mars. Now, Manasvi Lingam and Avi Loeb at Harvard University have determined that this sort of transfer is 1000 times more likely to occur between the TRAPPIST-1 planets than between Earth and Mars. Bringing life to another planet is more complicated than just flinging rocks. Any stowaways would have to survive the vacuum and harsh radiation in space, which few known organisms can do. But the quick commute between TRAPPIST-1’s habitable planets – about 100 times quicker than between Earth and Mars – should help. “Because these distances are so close, a lot more different kinds of species, microbial or otherwise, could migrate from one planet to another,” says Lingam. This means that if there is life on one of the TRAPPIST-1 planets, there is probably life on all three in the habitable zone. The team compared the TRAPPIST system to a series of islands, using mathematical methods from island ecology to describe migration and extinction between them. “It would not be surprising to find the same forms of life on all three habitable planets near TRAPPIST-1,” Loeb says. But some biologists reject this metaphor. “This work is interesting, but no, planets are not islands, even if they are close,” says Valeria Souza at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Even on Earth, she says, it is difficult for species to migrate between islands, and evolution would take them all down a different route once they arrived. The idea of panspermia itself is also uncertain. If it doesn’t happen in our solar system, the fact that it is 1000 times more likely at TRAPPIST-1 may not mean much. “To quantify panspermia is an interesting idea – but whether it happens in the first place is something that we haven’t determined yet,” says Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. But panspermia might not have to transfer living organisms to help life grow. If molecular building blocks, like water or simple proteins, can travel between the planets, that could also improve life’s chances on the three neighboring worlds. If there is life on any of TRAPPIST-1’s habitable planets, especially if it is on more than one, it would be an extraordinary laboratory to study how life begins and evolves. “The fascinating story in science really would be that life evolved on all of these planets individually and you could see the diversity of what nature could come up with,” says Kaltenegger. “We can roll the dice three times in the TRAPPIST-1 system and have a higher chance of success,” says Loeb.

News Article | April 19, 2017

A silver nanoparticle-based drug developed by Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) scientists and their Mexican partners has recently been tested in Mexico for the treatment of a lethal and contagious disease in shrimp — a white spot syndrome virus (WSSV). The study revealed that after administration of the drug, the survival rate of infected shrimp was 80 percent. Further, the drug might significantly help marine farmers in Mexico to fight the virus. “Shrimp form a substantial part of export in Mexico. They are supplied across the world and most of them are sent to the U.S.A. and Europe. White spot syndrome virus is a scourge for Mexican marine farmers. Its epidemic has already lasted for some years, killing millions of individuals. A visible manifestation of the virus is emerging white spots on a shrimp’s shell. An infected individual is [weakened] and dies. Humans are immune to this virus but it causes great losses in the aquaculture industry,” says Professor Alexey Pestryakov, head of the Department of Physical and Analytical Chemistry. Previously, several attempts were made to treat this disease. However, there was no effective cure. Then, one marine farm offered to test the TPU development. Argovit made of silver nanoparticles features a versatile destroying effect against viruses, bacteria, and fungi. A university partner, the Vektor-Vita company in Novosibirsk, uses the pharmaceutical to produce veterinary medications for animals and biologically active additives for humans. Scientists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology (INIA, Spain) are involved in the development of Argovit-based preparations as well. “Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are the most widely used nanomaterials in commercial products due to their beneficial antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties. In the aquaculture industry, nanotechnology has been poorly applied,” says Alexey Petryakov. At first, the drug was administrated to a few juvenile shrimp infected with WSSV. The results revealed that the survival rate of WSSV-infected shrimp after silver nanoparticle-based drug administration was over 90 percent. Then, the scientists tested a larger group of infected shrimp. They were divided into subgroups, some of which received the drug and others which did not. The results revealed that the survival rate of WSSV-infected shrimps after AgNP administration was 80 percent, whereas the survival rate of untreated organisms was only 10 percent after 96 hours of infection. The scientists published their outcomes in the Chemosphere. At present, Argovit has been tested for 25 diseases. According to the authors, it has already proven its effectiveness in veterinary applications and passed clinical tests in Russia and abroad. “Our medications have all the necessary certificates and are applied in veterinary. Veterinarians use it for the treatment of viral and bacterial diseases in cattle, fur animals and pets,” says Pestryakov. “Existing antiviral drugs affect viruses indirectly, mainly increasing the patient’s immunity, not killing them directly. Argovit is aimed at killing viruses. The immunity increases too. A competitive edge of the drug is its hypoallergenicity and low toxicity in therapeutic doses. In contrast to antibiotics, it does not cause allergic reactions, stomach disorders, and other unpleasant side effects, while it kills bacteria and fungi. Argovit is an aqueous solution, 20 percent of which is a complex of silver nanoparticles with polymer stabilizer in sizes varying from 1 to 70 nanometers. Such medications are much cheaper than antibiotics and have a longer shelf life (up to two years in the refrigerator) in comparison with their counterparts.

News Article | April 17, 2017

Some concerns have been voiced over the way in which a clinic last year created the first three-parent baby born using a new technique. The baby’s birth was exclusively revealed by New Scientist in 2016. John Zhang of the New Hope Fertility Center in New York and his team used a form of mitochondrial replacement therapy to help a woman have a baby without passing on a serious genetic disease carried in the DNA of her mitochondria, the compartments that generate energy in our cells. The method involves placing the DNA from one woman into a donated egg from another, and then fertilising it with sperm. Because the egg contains some mitochondrial DNA from the donor, babies made this way carry genetic material from three different people. The team has now published an account of this procedure and the resulting baby’s health in a peer-reviewed journal, Reproductive BioMedicine Online. It reveals that, seven months after birth, the boy remains healthy, showing no signs of Leigh syndrome – a condition that killed two of his older siblings. But some researchers are raising concerns over the procedural paperwork associated with the treatment. An accompanying editorial written by five researchers on the Reproductive BioMedicine Online editorial board describes Zhang’s work as “an achievement and stepping stone”, but points out that the consent form signed by the woman having the baby did not list the specific risks of mitochondrial replacement. “The authors explain that the patient received extensive counselling over the course of several years, but the final consent form does not record this,” says the editorial. And the woman who donated an egg for the therapy, enabling the mother to have a child that carries someone else’s mitochondria, signed a standard egg donor consent form. “A copy of this form received by Reproductive BioMedicine Online shows that the use of the donated eggs specifically for spindle transfer (for MRT) is not mentioned,” the editorial says. The embryo was created in New York, but Zhang’s team implanted it in the woman’s uterus in Mexico. The editorial states that the team had approval from the Mexican clinic’s Internal Review Board to do this, but had not applied for Internal Review Board approval for the work at the New York clinic. “The editorial is detailed in its criticism,” Darren Griffin, at the University of Kent, UK, said in a statement to the UK Science Media Centre. Criticism of the procedure followed has also come from a paper published in the Journal of Law and the Biosciences on 23 March, before Zhang’s study was released. The paper’s authors, César Palacios-González at King’s College London and María de Jesús Medina-Arellano at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, wrote that under their interpretation of the law, and with the information available at the time of publication of their paper, federal regulations may have been breached in Mexico that govern research into assisted fertilisation. New Scientist was not able to reach Zhang for comment. The study from Zhang and his colleagues reveals that some of the mother’s mitochondrial DNA has been passed on to her baby. This is likely to occur to some degree during the procedure that removes the nucleus from her egg, ready for inserting into a donor egg. It seems that about 5 per cent of the mitochondrial DNA in the embryo came from the mother in this way. It is anticipated that this will not be enough for the boy to develop Leigh syndrome. Some studies suggest faulty DNA needs to exceed at least 60 per cent for this to occur. In his mother’s own cells, 34 per cent of her mitochondria carry the faulty DNA, and she has never shown any symptoms of the disease. “They only had one normal-looking embryo that could be transferred to the patient,” Robin Lovell-Badge of the Francis Crick Institute in London told the Science Media Centre. “They were lucky this was indeed normal, giving rise to a pregnancy, and they were lucky that the proportion of abnormal mitochondrial DNA remained relatively low in most tissues.” But Zhang’s team warns of the potential risk that the mother’s faulty DNA will “bounce back” in the boy, saying it’s crucial for him to be monitored for many years. Some researchers are concerned that the percentage of faulty DNA after mitochondrial replacement might increase over time. Symptoms of Leigh syndrome are normally spotted in the first year of life and death usually results after just a couple of years, and at present the boy is just seven months old. Since the birth of the boy described in the team’s paper, other three-parent babies have been made and born elsewhere. A clinic in Ukraine has told New Scientist that the second of two three-parent-babies created using a different technique in order to overcome infertility has been born. The boy was born on 19 February, following the birth of a girl in January. The clinic says both are healthy, but few further details are available yet. Journal of Law and the Biosciences, DOI: 10.1093/jlb/lsw065 (legal study)

National Autonomous University of Mexico | Date: 2015-03-25

The present invention specifically refers to a pharmaceutical system for preparation of solid pharmaceutical forms for administering therapeutic substances improving their bioavailability; said system is particularly suitable for administering sensitive active principles by their proteinaceous nature or by being nucleic acids since polymeric excipients with good matrix and bioadhesion properties are used which together with the impermeability conferred by the applied coating make the prepared system a delivery form with excellent performance.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-11-2015 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2016

The business model currently under development for second generation ethanol is a replication of the model used for first generation which is plants with massive annual production capacities. Such high production rates require high capital investment and huge amounts of biomasses (250-350,000 tons per year) concentrated in small radius catchment areas to afford transportation costs (50 km). Under such conditions, opportunities for installing plants in most rural areas in Europe and worldwide are scarce. The objective of the project is to develop an alternative solution for the production of 2G ethanol, competitive at smaller industrial scale and therefore applicable to a large amount of countries, rural areas and feedstocks. The target is to reach technical, environmental and economical viabilities in production units processing at least 30,000 tons equivalent dry biomass per year. This approach will definitely enlarge the scope of biomass feedstocks exploitable for the production of biofuel and create better conditions for the deployment of production sites, to the benefit of rural areas in Europe and worldwide. The main concept underpinning the project relies on a new biomass conversion process able to run all the steps from the pretreatment of the raw material to the enzymatic pre-hydrolysis in one-stage-reactor under mild operating conditions. This new process recently developed to TRL 4, offers the most integrated and compact solution for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomass for the production of ethanol developed so far, and it will lead to reduced capital and operation expenditures. The new process will be developed to TRL 5 in the project with the goal of achieving satisfactory technical, environmental and economical performances in relevant operation environment. The project will investigate and select business cases for installations of demonstration/first-of-a-kind small-scale industrial plants in different European and Latino American countries.

Manzanilla L.R.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

In this paper, I address the case of a corporate society in Central Mexico. After volcanic eruptions triggered population displacements in the southern Basin of Mexico during the first and fourth centuries A.D., Teotihuacan became a multiethnic settlement. Groups from different backgrounds settled primarily on the periphery of the metropolis; nevertheless, around the core, intermediate elites actively fostered the movement of sumptuary goods and the arrival of workers from diverse homelands for a range of specialized tasks. Some of these skilled craftsmen acquired status and perhaps economic power as a result of the dynamic competition among neighborhoods to display the most lavish sumptuary goods, as well as to manufacture specific symbols of identity that distinguished one neighborhood from another, such as elaborate garments and headdresses. Cotton attire worn by the Teotihuacan elite may have been one of the goods that granted economic importance to neighborhood centers such as Teopancazco, a compound that displayed strong ties to the Gulf Coast where cotton cloth was made. The ruling elite controlled raw materials that came from afar whereas the intermediate elite may have been more active in providing other sumptuary goods: pigments, cosmetics, slate, greenstone, travertine, and foreign pottery. The contrast between the corporate organization at the base and top of Teotihuacan society and the exclusionary organization of the neighborhoods headed by the highly competitive intermediate elite introduced tensions that set the stage for Teotihuacan's collapse.

Magallon S.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Systematic Biology | Year: 2010

Long branches are potentially problematic in molecular dating because they can encompass a vast number of combinations of substitution rate and time. A long branch is suspected to have biased molecular clock estimates of the age of flowering plants (angiosperms) to be much older than their earliest fossils. This study explores the effect of the long branch subtending angiosperms in molecular dating and how different relaxed clocks react to it. Fossil angiosperm relatives, identified through a combined morphological and molecular phylogenetic analysis for living and fossil seed plants, were used to break the long angiosperm stem branch. Nucleotide sequences of angiosperm fossil relatives were simulated using a phylogeny and model parameters from living taxa and incorporated in molecular dating. Three relaxed clocks, which implement among-lineage rate heterogeneity differently, were used: penalized likelihood (using 2 different rate smoothing optimization criteria), a Bayesian rate-autocorrelated method, and a Bayesian uncorrelated method. Different clocks provided highly correlated ages across the tree. Breaking the angiosperm stem branch did not result in major age differences, except for a few sensitive nodes. Breaking the angiosperm stem branch resulted in a substantially younger age for crown angiosperms only with 1 of the 4 methods, but, nevertheless, the obtained age is considerably older than the oldest angiosperm fossils. The origin of crown angiosperms is estimated between the Upper Triassic and the early Permian. The difficulty in estimating crown angiosperm age probably lies in a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic complicating factors, including substantial molecular rate heterogeneity among lineages and through time. A more adequate molecular dating approach might combine moderate background rate heterogeneity with large changes in rate at particular points in the tree. © The Author(s) 2010.

Olson M.E.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Trends in Ecology and Evolution | Year: 2012

From an adaptation perspective, unoccupied patches of morphological space are inferred to be empty because they are of low fitness and selected against. These inferences hinge on venturesome assumptions, because emptiness is explained by low fitness and low fitness is inferred from emptiness. Moreover, non-adaptive factors, such as developmental constraint, could also plausibly account for empty morphospace. In response, biologists increasingly study ontogeny to test the assumption that unobserved phenotypes could be produced if selection were to favor them; finding that empty space morphologies can be readily produced in development helps reject constraint and lends support to adaptive hypotheses. This developmental approach to adaptation calls on manifold techniques, including embryology, artificial selection and comparative methods. Belying their diversity, all of these methods examine the causes of empty morphospace and mark a return of development, long excluded from traditional evolutionary biology, to adaptationist practice. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

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