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  • La Cartuja Island, nestled between two arms of the Guadalquivir River in central Seville’s Triana district, is home to some of Spain’s leading research institutes. Denizens like the Doñana Biological Station, the National Center for Accelerators, the Institute for Microelectronics and the Andalusian Molecular Biology and Regenerative Medicine Center all call the Cartuja93 Technological Park home.

  • In October 2011, an international consortium of scientists launched the project BLUEPRINT, an initiative backed by thirty million euros in funding from the European Commission. The goal was to determine how genes are activated or repressed; in other words, trace the epigenetic blueprint of blood cells. The secrets of the mechanisms that activate and repress gene expression are fundamental to understanding the appearance of certain pathologies related with blood cells, such as different types of cancer, diabetes or autoimmune diseases.

  • The Center for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) is a forerunning institute in the research of the molecular bases of genetic characters of interest in plants and farm animals. This independent organization was founded as a consortium made up by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB), the Council of Scientific Research (CSIC), the University of Barcelona (UB) and the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA).

  • Nanoscience and nanotechnology are no longer unknown disciplines in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. The usage of structures and nanoparticles under 100 nm is becoming more commonplace. One example are liposomes, inside which active substances can be stored, or that can be used to transport and free any substance of interest in the body or on the skin.

  • Every day thousands of scientists around the world sequence and analyze millions of genetic data. In clinical practice, the information they compile is used to determine possible somatic mutations that could play a role in the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of diseases. The DNA sequencing of a tumor can be done in three different ways: analyzing the entire genome, reading only the genome’s coding portion (exome) or through panels.

  • Cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality around the world. According to data from the World Health Organization, 14 million new cases were detected in 2012 and more than eight million individuals died from a malignant tumor. Today, the main challenge faced by oncology is the therapeutic approach to metastasis, a problem known for decades, which is still the top cause of mortality within this wide range of diseases.

  • Wilhelm Kühne, known for coining the term “enzyme”, was the biochemist who extracted something he called “visual purple” from a bovine retina. In the midst of the 19th century, the scientist proposed that this molecule was a key part of the vision process. He wasn’t wrong. This light-capturing “antenna” is the main protein component of the membrane surrounding the outer segment disc of the retina’s rod cells.

  • In 2010, Sonia Vallabh was working as an attorney in a US law firm when her mother died due to a rare disease known as fatal familial insomnia. The pathology is a prion disease that has been observed in some 100 patients around the world. Forty of them live in Spain, almost half of them in the Basque Country.

  • Cell sorting is fast becoming an essential step on the path to deeper understanding and new discoveries in the life sciences. This technology is expanding to a wide range of applications such as immunology, stem cell research, genomics, bioprocessing and cancer biology. A readily available on-site sorter that provides consistent, reliable results could benefit researchers in many fields of investigation.

  • Nanoimprint lithography (NIL), or simply imprint lithography, is one of the pioneering techniques in nanotechnology, used to fabricate nanometer-scale structures. One of the leading experts in this discipline is Dr. Nikolaos Kechagias. He directs the Nanoimprint Lithography platform of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2).

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