Our PhD Student Pablo Cabezas gave a talk in I3S research center in Oporto

Jose Bessa and Pablo Cabezas at the beginning of the talk in i3s auditorium
Jose Bessa and Pablo Cabezas at the beginning of the talk in i3s auditorium

Our PhD Student Pablo Cabezas gave a talk in the i3s research center in Oporto by the invitation of Jose Bessa.

The title of the talk was "Zebrafish avatars: a new ‘tiny’ weapon against cancer?" being a summary of his PhD thesis in the last 4 years, presenting results related to the improve of the xenotransplantation technique, image analysis and proof of concept of the methodology developed in the previous stages.

We would like to thank Jose Bessa for the invitation at the i3s, the possibility of giving this talk and all the explanations and information about his group and warm welcome!

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Our advanced technician Ana Quelle Regaldie have done a one month stay at i3s in Porto

Ciudad de Oporto
Ciudad de Oporto

Ana Quelle Regaldie did a one month stay in June in the group of Isabel Silveira: “Genetics of Cognitive dysfunction” of the “Instituto de Investigação e Inovação” (i3S) of the University of Porto.  There, she learned molecular techniques of genetic edition to apply in her studies developing new zebrafish models of human diseases.

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Our PhD Students Álvaro Arana and Carlos Coppel have done a brief stay at i3S in Porto

Instituto de Investigação e Inovação of the University of Porto (i3S)
Instituto de Investigação e Inovação of the University of Porto (i3S)

A month ago, PhD students Álvaro Arana and Carlos Coppel made a brief two-week stay in the José Bessa group, Vertebrate Development and Regeneration, of the Instituto de Investigação e Inovação of the University of Porto (i3S). There, they learned new molecular techniques to carry out their investigations and returned full of new ideas.

Many thanks to Jose Bessa and his team, we hope to meet again soon!

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Zebrabiores group attended at the 2nd International FishMed Conference on Zebrafish Research

Poster presented in the congress
Poster presented in the congress

Zebrabiores group attended at the 10th Annual NGS & Clinical Diagnostics Congress in Warsaw, Poland. In this congress, PhD student Carlos Coppel, PhD student Alvaro Arana, PhD student Alba Pensado, PhD student Ana Quelle, PhD student Andrés Blanco presented a poster titled "Metaanalysis of different technical approaches in zebrafish models”.


ABSTRACT


Traditionally, mutant organisms have been widely used in various areas of research in order to test the function of genes involved in different biological processes. Random mutagenesis, based on mutagens such as ENU, has been the most used method to generate mutations in zebrafish. With the emergence of directed genome editing techniques: TALEN, Zinc Finger (ZFN) and especially CRISPR-Cas9, the generation of mutants has undergone an unprecedented revolution. On the other hand, reverse genetics techniques, being morpholinos the most used in zebrafish, have been questioned by the scientific community for its off-target effects and its low phenotypic correlation with mutants. Thus, in the present study a bibliographic review has been carried out, compiling a series of data from the different mutagenesis techniques. The aim is to cross these data and to learn about the efficacy of each technique and compare it with the efficacy derived from morpholinos.

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Laura Sanchez interview in Gciencia: 'Zebrafish against the Costa da Morte ataxia'

Zebrafish adults exposed during the symposium of SCA36.
Zebrafish adults exposed during the symposium of SCA36.

NOP56 is the key. We know where is the mutation that share all the people affected by this disease, SCA36, or Dead Cost Ataxia. The symptoms of this disease are known (lose of balance and audition, problems to talk or walk) but we still do not know which is the mechanism for this mutation to cause all these symptoms.

In Lugo, Zebrabiores team, lead by Professor Laura Sanchez Piñón of the Genetics department, are studying the effect of the NOP56 mutation in zebrafish, a model organism that offers a lot of advantages for the experimentation.

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Fishing for cures: The alLURE of using zebrafish to develop precision oncology therapies

Fishing for cures: The alLURE of using zebrafish to develop precision oncology therapies

REVIEW ARTICLE

By Matteo Astone, Erin N. Dankert, Sk. Kayum Alam and Luke H. Hoeppner

Zebrafish have proven to be a valuable model to study human cancer biology with the ultimate aim of developing new therapies. Danio rerio are amenable to in vivo imaging, high-throughput drug screening, mutagenesis, and transgenesis, and they share histological and genetic similarities with Homo sapiens. The significance of zebrafish in the field of precision oncology is rapidly emerging. Indeed, modeling cancer in zebrafish has already been used to identify tumor biomarkers, define therapeutic targets and provide an in vivo platform for drug discovery. New zebrafish studies are starting to pave the way to direct individualized clinical applications. Patient-derived cancer cell xenograft models have demonstrated the feasibility of using zebrafish as a real-time avatar of prognosis and drug response to identify the most ideal therapy for an individual patient. Genetic cancer modeling in zebrafish, now facilitated by rapidly evolving genome editing techniques, represents another innovative approach to recapitulate human oncogenesis and develop individualized treatments. Utilizing zebrafish to design customizable precision therapies will improve the clinical outcome of patients afflicted with cancer. 

npj Precision Oncology (2017)1:39 ; doi:10.1038/s41698-017-0043-9 

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41698-017-0043-9.pdf

 

 

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Our Review "The Potential of Zebrafish as a Model Organism for Improving the Translation of Genetic Anticancer Nanomedicines" is now available online

Our Review "The Potential of Zebrafish as a Model Organism for Improving the Translation of Genetic Anticancer Nanomedicines" is now available online

This Review has been published in the special Issue Zebrafish: The Key for Cancer Treatment of the journal GENES. Titled The Potential of Zebrafish as a Model Organism for Improving the Translation of Genetic Anticancer Nanomedicines this publication is completely free online.

Authors: Carlha Gutiérrez-Lovera, Abi Vázquez-Ríos, Jorge Guerra-Varela, Laura Sánchez and María de la Fuente.

Abstract: In the last few decades, the field of nanomedicine applied to cancer has revolutionized cancer treatment: several nanoformulations have already reached the market and are routinely being used in the clinical practice. In the case of genetic nanomedicines, i.e., designed to deliver gene therapies to cancer cells for therapeutic purposes, advances have been less impressive. This is because of the many barriers that limit the access of the therapeutic nucleic acids to their target site, and the lack of models that would allow for an improvement in the understanding of how nanocarriers can be tailored to overcome them. Zebrafish has important advantages as a model species for the study of anticancer therapies, and have a lot to offer regarding the rational development of efficient delivery of genetic nanomedicines, and hence increasing the chances of their successful translation. This review aims to provide an overview of the recent advances in the development of genetic anticancer nanomedicines, and of the zebrafish models that stand as promising tools to shed light on their mechanisms of action and overall potential in oncology.

Available in http://www.mdpi.com/2073-4425/8/12/349

 

 

 

 

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Laura Sánchez attended at the 10th Annual NGS & Clinical Diagnostics Congress

Laura Sánchez attended at the 10th Annual NGS & Clinical Diagnostics Congress

Laura Sánchez attended at the 10th Annual NGS & Clinical Diagnostics Congress in London, UK. In this congress our PhD student Alvaro Arana Díaz presented a poster titled "Generation of a zebrafish model of CHARGE syndrome by CRISPR-Cas9".

Abstract

CHARGE syndrome is a genetic disease that causes morphological abnormalities during development and is caused by haploinsufficiency due to mutations in the CHD7 gene. The zebrafish shares most of the genes with humans, including the chd7 gene. Thus we used CRISPR- Cas9 technology to provoke the appearance of mutations in this gene, and to generate a mutant line for the study of the disease. Recently, a relationship between this syndrome and the appearance of typical characteristics of senescence, such as a high expression of mediators of senescence p15 and p21, and a low cellular proliferation have been observed. Embryonic senescence is a process involved in the development of organisms, whereas CHARGE syndrome is a disease that causes morphological abnormalities during development. Given this relationship, we generated a mutant zebrafish CRISPR line for the chd7 gene, to perform a phenotypic characterization of the mutants, and to study the process of embryonic senescence in the mutants, evaluating the expression of genes related to senescence: p15 and p21 ; in addition to the chd7 gene, and perform SA-β-Gal staining to observe senescence in embryonic tissues. Our mutant embryos have different patterns in the SA-β-Gal activity and different levels of expression of the mediators of embryonic senescence, with respect to the WT embryos, which become noticeable from 120 hpf.

 

https://www.nextgenerationsequencing-congress.com/

 

 

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3rd prize in a science photography contest

"A luz do saber", the 3rd prize winning photo.
"A luz do saber", the 3rd prize winning photo.

María Jesús Varela Pulpeiro (worker in the University Information Office) won the 3rd prize in the science photography contest, A Ciencia en Imaxe, organized by the University of Santiago de Compostela. 

Chus came to visit our lab and our zebrafish facility and she took several photos around. One of them was awared with the 3rd prize of the USC science photography contest.

http://www.usc.es/gl/centros/fisica/cimiv.html

http://www.usc.es/export9/sites/webinstitucional/gl/centros/fisica/imaxes/premios_cimiv/4_3premio.jpg

https://chusvarela.wordpress.com/

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The ZebraNanoTox project won Yuzz Lugo and got through to the national final.

The ZebraNanoTox project won Yuzz Lugo and got through to the national final.
The ZebraNanoTox project won Yuzz Lugo and got through to the national final.

The project for the creation of a spin-off carried out by Carlha Gutiérrez, Vanessa Pérez, Mónica Otero and Laura Sánchez has been winner of a travel to USA. Vanessa and Carlha will travel to Silicon Valley and will know from within how innovation and talent are managed in leading companies such as Google, HP, Linkedin and Facebook. They will have the opportunity to attend a workshop on entrepreneurship at the prestigious Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. In addition, they will visit the Spain Tech Center (STC) - promoted by Banco Santander, ICEX and Red.es -, a support platform for Spanish companies that want to develop their business in one of the most dynamic and competitive environments in the world, Internationalization process.

Congratulations and much success!!!

http://xornal.usc.es/xornal/acontece/2017_07/noticia_0015.html

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Dr. Jenny Chandar Padua came to our laboratory as a visiting researcher thanks to the Erasmus Mundus Euphrates Research Fellowship by the European Union

Dr. Jenny Chandar Padua came to our laboratory as a visiting researcher thanks to the Erasmus Mundus Euphrates Research Fellowship by the European Union
Dr. Jenny Chandar Padua came to our laboratory as a visiting researcher thanks to the Erasmus Mundus Euphrates Research Fellowship by the European Union
Dr. Jenny Chandar Padua came to our laboratory as a visiting researcher thanks to the Erasmus Mundus Euphrates Research Fellowship by the European Union

Dr. Jenny Padua is an Indian Zebrafish Researcher, currently working on the effects of Ionising radiation on Gene expression in Zebrafishes. She is also involved in Cancer drug discovery and toxicity analysis of various traditional Indian herbal drugs causing mutations and embryonic developmental disabilities, using zebrafish models.

Dr. Jenny Padua is a recognized research guide of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University. She did her Postgraduate studies in Zoology from Holy Cross College affiliated to Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli after which she did her Pre-doctoral research in Zoology from Annamalai University, Chidambaram. She did her Doctoral Research on Radiation Biology and Cancer, under the guidance of Dr. M.R.Basil Rose at the Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli. She also did a Bachelors degree in Special Education from MPBOU & Rehabilitation Council of India and a Masters in French Literature from Bangalore University, Karnataka.

Dr. Jenny Padua is working as Asst. Professor in the Department of Zoology, Holy Cross College, Nagercoil. She is also the member of the International Society for Zoological Sciences (ISZS), Beijing, International  Women's Peace Group (IWPG), Korea,  International Society for Environment and Information Sciences (ISEIS), Canada, Team Member of ENO International, India, Member of Rotary International District 3212, and has also served as International Service Organiser (ISO) and Editor of Inner Wheel District 321.

She is constantly involved in Environmental Awareness Programmes and engages herself in educating women on Cancer prevention. She believes that research should not be confined to research centres or done for the sake of research publications, but rather taken forth from lab to land, to the public, for the betterment of the lives of the Women and Children of the Society.

http://holycrosscoe.in/

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