News

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TecnATox co-Founder and former co-Director, Prof. Marta Schuhmacher, has been selected by the Catalan Government as one of the 19 people to receive the 2023 President Macià Work Medal.
 
These awards recognize people who, within the world of work, have stood out for their qualities, personal merits or for the services provided for the benefit of general interests.

 

Prof. Schuhmacher is Emeritus Professor of Environmental Engineering at the School of Chemical Engineering at the URV, Former Director of the AGA Group,  former co-Director of TecnATox and Distinguished Professor by the URV. She was an active member of The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry and The Society for Risk Analysis (SRA), being involved in a high number of national and international projects. As a result of that, she has published several chapter books and a >300 scientific publications in peer-review journals.

 

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ICREA Acadèmia 2023 call has selected 40 researchers from Catalan universities, one of them researcher of TecnATox. This is Prof. Eduard Llobet, head of the Microsystems Nanotechnologies for Chemical Analysis (MINOS) research group and professor of the Department of Computer Engineering and Mathematics at “Rovira i Virgili” University (URV), who has already received this recognition in previous calls (2013 and 2018). With this distinction, the Catalan Institute of Research and Advanced Studies recognizes the research work among the staff of Catalan public universities, with the aim of contributing to retaining the research talent of the territory.

 

Eduard Llobet is founder of the spin-offs NanoChronia and Green Smart Data and president of the Spanish Network of Microsystems and Nanotechnology (IBERNAM). From 2010 to 2014, he was director of the Materials Engineering and Micro/Nano Systems Research Center and, in 2019, URV recognized him as a distinguished professor. Since 2006, he has been head of the MINOS research group, recognized by Generalitat de Catalunya and focused on developing gas detection technologies. Prof. Llobet is co-author of more than 250 scientific articles, 40 invited lectures at international congresses and leader of >40 projects at regional, national and international level.

 

One year ago, Prof. Mònica Bulló, current director of the Nutrition and Metabolic Health Research Group (NuMeH) and director of TecnATox, received the ICREA Acadèmia 2022 award. Therefore, TecnATox holds 2 top researchers with this prestigious award.

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iii-nutraceutica

We invite you to participate in the III Nutraceutical Days organized by the Nutrigenomics Research Group, as part of the activities of the Uriach Chair of Nutraceuticals at the Rovira i Virgili University.

The conference will take place at the Tarraconense Center El Seminari in Tarragona.

During these two days, we will explore the latest advances in the field of nutraceuticals, with informative sessions and presentations by experts. It is a unique opportunity to first hand learn about the latest research in nutraceuticals.

REGISTER FOR FREE until the next March 4, 2024.

ACCESS TO THE PROGRAM

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cell_and_bioscience
Researchers from the Nutrition and Metabolic Health (NuMeH) group and TecnATox have identified a group of molecules with the potential to improve the Alzheimer's diagnosis process. Published by the journal Cell & Bioscience, the results of this research represent an important step towards having tools that allow diagnosing this neurodegenerative disease when the symptoms are still mild.

 

The research team has analyzed blood samples from 192 people with mild cognitive impairment, that is, individuals with cognitive and memory problems at risk of developing Alzheimer's, users of the ACE Alzheimer Center Barcelona. The results have identified 15 small non-coding RNA molecules, present in 85% of the participants with a higher risk of developing the disease and would allow the most vulnerable patients to be diagnosed years in advance. These molecules are short chains of nucleotides that, although they contain genetic information, do not have the ability to code for a protein. Instead, they activate or deactivate other RNA molecules that do have the ability to do so.

 

“Small non-coding RNA molecules, together with traditional methods, have the potential to improve the prediction of Alzheimer's and its early diagnosis,” explains Laia Gutérrez-Tordera, pre-doctoral researcher and lead author of the research. Currently, Alzheimer's disease is diagnosed by clinical symptoms, which can be complemented by neurological imaging tests - such as MRI - and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid through a lumbar puncture, an invasive and uncomfortable procedure. Implementing RNA analysis into diagnostic techniques would improve the patient experience by reducing the use of invasive procedures. Better understanding the function of these molecules in the stages prior to the disease can also help design new preventive and therapeutic strategies that slow the progression of the disease and improve the quality of life of patients.

 

This study is part of a project funded by the Carlos III Health Institute and led by Dr. Mònica Bulló, Professor of the URV Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology and current director of TecnATox.

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The journal Sostenible have just published a report on the threat of microplastics for the environment, as seas and oceans are increasingly polluted by these polymers. Joaquim Rovira was interviewed, together with other Catalan researchers, to give a broader  view of the problem and indicate some potential solutions to mitigate medium- and long-term effects of microplastics pollution.

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Dr. Margarita Torrente, leader of the Area of Neuropsychology and Emotions of TecnATox, has been invited by Eurecat and Acelera Pymeas a speaker of the round table entitled Debat sobre innovació en estudis sobre microbiota i salut humana, which will be focused on new advances on microbiota and human health, one of the research areas of the technological center.

 

It has been organized as a hybrid (on-site and streaming) event scheduled for Wednesday, February 14 (9:30h - 11 h). More information about the round table and the registration link can be found at:


 

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In January 30, TecnATox organized, in collaboration with REDESSA and the Foodtech & Nutrition Hub, a new TecnATox Annual Workshop. This was special event to welcome TecnATox investigators from SUSCAPE, MINOS, ITAKA and Nutrigenomics research groups.

The Annual Workshop was the core activity of the 1st Forum on Nutrition and Technology of Healthy and Sustainable Food, with the special objetive to create an ideal environment for the collaboration between FoodTech and Nutrition companies and TecnATox researchers.

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editor
Emeritus Professor José L. Domingo is the author of a recent commentary published at the journal Qeios, entitled To Publish Scientific Journals: For Some, the Big Business of the Century. In this publication, Prof. Domingo highlights the proliferation of predatory journals and the adoption of similar profit-driven models by established publishers. The commentary underscores the resulting strain on the peer-review process, with a decline in the availability and quality of reviewers, while he advocates for compensating reviewers if authors are charged for publication. The full commentary can be read at https://www.qeios.com/read/YTFEF2
 
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Restoring marine biodiversity in the coastline of Tarragona is a pending task for a city with nearly 15 kilometers of coastline. Previous initiatives have focused on the Miracle beach, where experimental biotopes were submerged three years ago, yielding better-than-expected results with the discovery of over 280 species, including octopuses and squid eggs. Building on this success, TecnATox proposes creating three "boxes" of approximately 200 to 250 meters in length, encompassing the coastal area beyond buoy zones. The goal is to establish regulations preventing recreational fishing and boat mooring in this space, accompanied by a plan to recover a marine ecosystem showing signs of degradation.

The complete article can be read at: https://www.diaridetarragona.com/tarragona/la-urv-propone-generar-tres-reservas-marinas-en-la-costa-de-tarragona-MD18289342

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nora-radio
The problem of pellets is not new in Tarragona. However, it has become a large environmental problem, taking into account the recent episode occurred at the beaches of Galicia, where there was recently a massive arrival of microplastics.

 

Dr. Nora Expósito, an eminent expert of this topic, has attended Tarragona Ràdio, where she participated in a round table together with Jordi Oliva, founder of Good Karma Project, and Maria Ballesteros, member of Surfrider, to talk about this problem.

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