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lunes, 29 de junio de 2015

Biocontainment of genetically modified organisms by synthetic protein design

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are increasingly deployed at large scales and in open environments. Genetic biocontainment strategies are needed to prevent unintended proliferation of GMOs in natural ecosystems. Existing biocontainment methods are insufficient either because they impose evolutionary pressure on the organism to eject the safeguard, because they can be circumvented by environmentally available compounds, or because they can be overcome by horizontal gene transfer (HGT). Here we computationally redesign essential enzymes in the first organism possessing an altered genetic code to confer metabolic dependence on nonstandard amino acids for survival. The resulting GMOs cannot metabolically circumvent their biocontainment mechanisms using environmentally available compounds, and they exhibit unprecedented resistance to evolutionary escape via mutagenesis and HGT. This work provides a foundation for safer GMOs that are isolated from natural ecosystems by reliance on synthetic metabolites.

Mandell, Daniel J. et al. “Biocontainment of Genetically Modified Organisms by Synthetic Protein Design.” Nature 518.7537 (2015): 55–60. PMC. Web. 24 June 2015.
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viernes, 26 de junio de 2015

Online Resources for Understanding Outbreaks and Infectious Diseases

Disease outbreaks are hot topics that often receive extensive national and international news coverage, although this coverage may not always be accurate. Engaging students with these current events can be a powerful way to teach about science and health. Accurate disease information is also an important public health issue, as misinformation can lead to fear and poor policy decisions. In this review, we highlight online resources for teaching about outbreaks and infectious diseases that will be useful for scientists and educators working with middle school, high school, and undergraduate students. We particularly focus on current news about infectious diseases, epidemiology, pathogen biology, and vaccines.
Infectious diseases are caused by pathogenic microbes, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Some diseases, such as the flu, spread from human to human, while others rely on a vector intermediate—for example, malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes. Outbreaks, or epidemics, are characterized by the rapid spread of disease in a population. An outbreak that becomes global is referred to as a pandemic. In 2009, the global spread of H1N1 “swine” flu was a pandemic, whereas the outbreak of Ebola that began in 2014 is an epidemic in West Africa, not a pandemic.
Barber, Nicola C., and Louisa A. Stark. “Online Resources for Understanding Outbreaks 
and Infectious Diseases.” CBE Life Sciences Education 14.1 (2015): fe1. PMC. Web. 24 June 2015.
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jueves, 25 de junio de 2015

Convocatoria para el conformar el Consejo Consultivo Científico de Sanidad Vegetal, Biología Molecular de Animales y Biotecnología en Alimentos

Por considerar que pudiera ser de su interés, les informo que se encuentra abierta la Convocatoria 2015 para formar parte del Consejo Consultivo Científico en las disciplinas de Sanidad Vegetal, Biología Molecular de Animales y Biotecnología en Alimentos hasta el  31 de julio de 2015.  Para mayor información, los invito a consultar las bases en nuestra página electrónica: CONACYT
Asimismo, agradeceremos su valioso apoyo para distribuir esta información entre aquellas personas que consideren pudieran estar interesadas y estimen pertinente.
Saludos cordiales,
Dra. Natalhie Campos 
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miércoles, 24 de junio de 2015

Survival of Enveloped and Non-Enveloped Viruses on Inanimate Surfaces

In the present study, we evaluated the viability of non-enveloped viruses, minute virus of mice (MVM) and coxsackievirus B4 (CVB4), and enveloped-viruses, influenza A virus (H1N1) and herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), on surfaces. We also investigated the impact of the initial concentration of proteins and sodium chloride on the persistence of infectious CVB4 on surfaces. Viral suspensions (>104.5 TCID50) were applied to petri dish lids and dried under the air flow of a biosafety cabinet. The recovered viral preparations were titered on appropriate cell lines. Enveloped viruses persisted for less than 5 days while CVB4 and MVM persisted for weeks. However, repetitive cycles of drying and resuspension had a stronger virucidal effect on CVB4 than on H1N1 and HSV-1. These repetitive cycles had no effect on the infectious titer of MVM. When exposed to drying, the initial concentrations of bovine serum albumin (from 0 to 90 mg mL−1), fetal calf serum (from 0 to 100%), and sodium chloride (from 0 to 300 mg mL−1) affected the viability of CVB4. CVB4 was more likely to be inactivated by drying in a protein-rich medium, whereas the impact of drying was reduced in the presence of sodium chloride. The results of the present study demonstrated that the resistance of viruses to drying, as suggested by iterative drying, was not due to the heterogeneity of viral subpopulations, but was influenced by media compositions and component concentrations, as illustrated in the model of CVB4.
Keywords: coxsackievirus B4, influenza A virus, minute virus of mice, herpes simplex type 1, persistence
Firquet, Swan et al. “Survival of Enveloped and Non-Enveloped Viruses on Inanimate Surfaces.” Microbes and Environments 30.2 (2015): 140–144. PMC. Web. 24 June 2015.

martes, 23 de junio de 2015

Fotos del 7º SIBB 2015 #AMexBio

En el siguiente link podrán ver las fotos del 7º Simposio de Bioseguridad y Biocustodia.

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sábado, 20 de junio de 2015

Cold Air Plasma To Decontaminate Inanimate Surfaces of the Hospital Environment

The hospital environment harbors bacteria that may cause health care-associated infections. Microorganisms, such as multiresistant bacteria, can spread around the patient's inanimate environment. Some recently introduced biodecontamination approaches in hospitals have significant limitations due to the toxic nature of the gases and the length of time required for aeration. This study evaluated the in vitrouse of cold air plasma as an efficient alternative to traditional methods of biodecontamination of hospital surfaces. Cultures of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), extended-spectrum-β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing Escherichia coli, and Acinetobacter baumannii were applied to different materials similar to those found in the hospital environment. Artificially contaminated sections of marmoleum, mattress, polypropylene, powder-coated mild steel, and stainless steel were then exposed to a cold air pressure plasma single jet for 30 s, 60 s, and 90 s, operating at approximately 25 W and 12 liters/min flow rate. Direct plasma exposure successfully reduced the bacterial load by log 3 for MRSA, log 2.7 for VRE, log 2 for ESBL-producing E. coli, and log 1.7 for A. baumannii. The present report confirms the efficient antibacterial activity of a cold air plasma single-jet plume on nosocomial bacterially contaminated surfaces over a short period of time and highlights its potential for routine biodecontamination in the clinical environment.
Cahill, Orla J. et al. “Cold Air Plasma To Decontaminate Inanimate Surfaces of the Hospital Environment.” Ed. C. A. Elkins. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 80.6 (2014): 2004–2010. PMC. Web. 20 June 2015.
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