Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: SSH.2012.2.1-2 | Award Amount: 1.33M | Year: 2013
DESAFIO means challenge in both Portuguese and Spanish. The guiding concept of our proposal is to make a contribution towards tackling what is arguably one of the major challenges facing Brazil and Latin American countries in the 21st century: eradicating structural social inequality in the access to essential water and sanitation services. The overarching objective of our proposal is assessing existing experiences and developing new strategies that bring about sustainable, appropriate, and innovative socio-technical solutions to foster economic and social development through social transformation in vulnerable communities, particularly with reference to access to safe water supply and sanitation in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas of South America, with a particular emphasis on Brazil. These strategies will be developed through research and networking that actively engages beneficiary communities, practitioners, local authorities, and other relevant actors in their planning, design, assessment, implementation, monitoring, validation, and diffusion. Our transdisciplinary approach is predicated on a close interaction with non-academic actors in the production and validation of knowledge, among other things to underpin policy and behavioural transformations. We have selected a number of case studies that will cover a range of situations and characteristics, from informal settlements in the urban periphery of world megacities (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and in peri-urban areas of provincial capitals (Cali, Colombia), favelas located in the heart of booming mid-range urban centres (Recife, Brazil), to small rural villages (Mondomo, Colombia) and communities in semi-arid areas (Cear and Minas Gerais, Brazil and Santa Fe, Argentina). We will endeavour to draw lessons and develop recommendations that are applicable to other socio-cultural and economic contexts across the developing world.
Abriata L.A.,National University of Rosario |
Abriata L.A.,Institute of Bioengineering
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2012
An updated picture of the ligand sets and copper-ligand atom bond lengths in proteins is presented which takes advantage of (i) the approximately twofold increase in the number of entries for copper-containing proteins in the PDB since the last study of this kind, especially benefiting from the recent incorporation of the structures of proteins involved in copper homeostasis, and (ii) a preliminary classification of copper sites based on their structural, electronic and functional features. This classification allowed the calculation of reliable target copper-ligand distances for several bonds that were not available in previous work and that are in good agreement with EXAFS data and the known chemistry of these sites. The analysis presented here further disclosed an artifactual dependence of the average of the reported Cu - NHis bond lengths on structure resolution, highlighting the importance of taking this into account when computing target distances even from high-resolution structures. Finally, a relationship between the two Cu - O distances in bidentate carboxylates is disclosed, similar to that reported previously for other metal ions. © 2012 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore - all rights reserved.
Chialvo D.R.,University of California at Los Angeles |
Chialvo D.R.,National University of Rosario
Nature Physics | Year: 2010
A large repertoire of spatiotemporal activity patterns in the brain is the basis for adaptive behaviour. Understanding the mechanism by which the brain's hundred billion neurons and hundred trillion synapses manage to produce such a range of cortical configurations in a flexible manner remains a fundamental problem in neuroscience. One plausible solution is the involvement of universal mechanisms of emergent complex phenomena evident in dynamical systems poised near a critical point of a second-order phase transition. We review recent theoretical and empirical results supporting the notion that the brain is naturally poised near criticality, as well as its implications for better understanding of the brain. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2012.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 7.41M | Year: 2013
Health services fragmentation is one of the main obstacles to effective health care in Latin-America, particularly for chronic diseases. This research builds upon results from Equity-LA (FP7-B-223123) and focuses on one of the most promoted policies to respond to fragmentation in LA, the development of Integrated Health Care Networks (IHN). The general objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of different care integration strategies in improving coordination and quality of care of IHN in different health care systems in Latin America, with particular reference to chronic diseases. Methods: The study adopts a quasi-experimental design, with a participatory action-research approach. In each country, two comparable IHN will be selected -one acting as the intervention and the other as the control area. It is structured in four phases: 1) a base-line study using qualitative and quantitative methods to carry out an initial evaluation of IHN performance; 2) design and implementation of an intervention focused on care coordination and quality of care; and based on health professionals training; 3) evaluation of effectiveness and limitations of interventions and associated contextual factors; and; 4) cross-country comparative analysis and elaboration of tools for getting research into policy. In each country, a research steering committee will be set up to lead the project, composed by health care professionals, managers, users and researchers. Results and relevance: The project will contribute to FP7 Cooperation Work Programme Health (SICA)s objectives by: 1) generating evidence-based policies to improve integration of care in Latin American countries; 2) strengthening research capacity of all involved institutions in order to enhance knowledge development on care integration in their countries; and by 3) contributing to skills improvement and motivation of health workforce, through training programs aimed at improving care coordination and quality.
Olivieri A.C.,National University of Rosario
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2014
The search for new ways to improve analytical figures of merit is an important driving force in modern analytical chemistry research, with the sensitivity occupying one of the prominent places among these figures. Whether the purpose is the comparison of the performance of different experimental procedures or the optimization of a given methodology under various experimental conditions, a consistent numerical sensitivity parameter is required in order to judge about the real improvement obtained from various experimental strategies. Analytical figures of merit are an integral part of official protocols of analysis, as documented in international standards. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) has set sensitivity definitions for various calibration scenarios. What is even more worrying, the plainly extrapolated expressions to data arrays with higher number of modes appeared to lead to a serious underestimation of true sensitivities.
Sarotti A.M.,National University of Rosario
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry | Year: 2014
The reaction energetics of 280 polar Diels-Alder (DA) reactions between 70 dienophiles and 4 dienes have been studied in detail using the B3LYP/6-31G* level of theory, combining conceptual density functional theory (DFT) analysis and the distortion/interaction model. The barrier heights are governed by a fine balance between the energy required to distort the reactants from their initial to their transition state geometries (ΔE‡d) and the binding energy between the deformed reactants in the TS (ΔE‡i). The ΔE‡i values strongly correlate with the electrophilicity index, ω, which measures the stabilization energy when the system acquires an additional electronic charge from the environment, whereas the ΔE‡d was found to depend mainly on the nature of the diene, structural parameters of the dienophile (degree of substitution and ring size) and the asynchronicity of the TS. A detailed analysis to account for the geometrical parameters of the strained diene and dienophile moieties that influence the energy strain of the distorted fragments is also reported. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.
Menzella H.G.,National University of Rosario
Microbial Cell Factories | Year: 2011
Background: Variations in codon usage between species are one of the major causes affecting recombinant protein expression levels, with a significant impact on the economy of industrial enzyme production processes. The use of codon-optimized genes may overcome this problem. However, designing a gene for optimal expression requires choosing from a vast number of possible DNA sequences and different codon optimization methods have been used in the past decade. Here, a comparative study of the two most common methods is presented using calf prochymosin as a model.Results: Seven sequences encoding calf prochymosin have been designed, two using the "one amino acid-one codon" method and five using a "codon randomization" strategy. When expressed in Escherichia coli, the variants optimized by the codon randomization approach produced significantly more proteins than the native sequence including one gene that produced an increase of 70% in the amount of prochymosin accumulated. On the other hand, no significant improvement in protein expression was observed for the variants designed with the one amino acid-one codon method. The use of codon-optimized sequences did not affect the quality of the recovered inclusion bodies.Conclusions: The results obtained in this study indicate that the codon randomization method is a superior strategy for codon optimization. A significant improvement in protein expression was obtained for the largely established process of chymosin production, showing the power of this strategy to reduce production costs of industrial enzymes in microbial hosts. © 2011 Menzella; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
Mendoza D.D.,National University of Rosario
Annual Review of Microbiology | Year: 2014
Bacteria remodel the fluidity of their membrane bilayer precisely via the incorporation of proportionally more unsaturated fatty acids (or fatty acids with analogous properties) as growth temperature decreases. This process, termed homoviscous adaptation, is suited to disrupt the order of the lipid bilayer and optimizes the performance of a large array of cellular physiological processes at the new temperature. As such, microbes have developed molecular strategies to sense changes in membrane fluidity, provoked by a decrease in environmental temperature, and initiate cellular responses that upregulate the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids. This review focuses on the architecture of a membrane fluidity communication network; how thermal information is integrated, processed, and transduced to control gene expression; how membrane-mediated structural changes of a cold sensor are accomplished; and the intriguing possibility that temperature-induced deformations of the cell membrane act as allosteric regulators of protein function. Copyright © 2014 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.
Sarotti A.M.,National University of Rosario
Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry | Year: 2013
GIAO NMR chemical shift calculations coupled with trained artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been shown to provide a powerful strategy for simple, rapid and reliable identification of structural misassignments of organic compounds using only one set of both computational and experimental data. The geometry optimization, usually the most time-consuming step in the overall procedure, was carried out using computationally inexpensive methods (MM+, AM1 or HF/3-21G) and the NMR shielding constants at the affordable mPW1PW91/6-31G(d) level of theory. As low quality NMR prediction is typically obtained with such protocols, the decision making was foreseen as a problem of pattern recognition. Thus, given a set of statistical parameters computed after correlation between experimental and calculated chemical shifts the classification was done using the knowledge derived from trained ANNs. The training process was carried out with a set of 200 molecules chosen to provide a wide array of chemical functionalities and molecular complexity, and the results were validated with a set of 26 natural products that had been incorrectly assigned along with their 26 revised structures. The high prediction effectiveness observed makes this method a suitable test for rapid identification of structural misassignments, preventing not only the publication of wrong structures but also avoiding the consequences of such a mistake. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.
National University of Rosario | Date: 2013-01-04
The present disclosure provides a novel modified gene, rGRF3, or an orthologue thereof, which is shown to be decoupled from control by miR396, particularly in the presence of over-expression of at least one GIF gene, such as GIF1, AtGIF 2, AtGIF 3, Os11g40100, Os12g31350, Os03g52320 or combinations thereof. When present in a plant, the rGRF3 results in a phenotype of increased productivity (e.g. increased yield, increased biomass, increased stress resistance, increased seed production, increased seed yield, increased root growth, increased root elongation speed, delayed leaf senescence or increased drought tolerance and combinations thereof).