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  • Differential Transcriptome and Lipidome Analysis of the Microalga Desmodesmus abundans Under a Continuous Flow of Model Cement Flue Gas in a Photobioreactor

    Mora Godínez, Shirley María
    Microalgae represent a potential strategy for flue gas mitigation as they capture CO2 at high rates. Flue gases can also supply certain nutrients and, as a result, it can be valorized through biomass conversion into value-added compounds. The objective of this study was to characterize growth and analyze transcriptome, lipidome and cellular structure and composition of Desmodesmus abundans under continuous flow of cement model flue gas (MFG) in a 1 L photobioreactor using two strains adapted for nine years to atmospheres of 50% CO2 and air, referred to as HCA (high CO2 acclimated) and LCA (low CO2 acclimated), respectively. Controls with the LCA strain were also evaluated in air, CO2 and CO2+cement kiln dust (CKD). Higher initial growth rates were observed with strain HCA; however, at the end of the run (5 days) similar biomass productivity was reached by the two strains (0.30-0.34 g d.w. L-1 d-1). As expected, the CO2 control presented the highest growth rate (1.7-fold higher than under MFG), and when CKD was incorporated a slightly decreased (14 %) in growth was observed. Transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq, performed at day 4, resulted in a de novo assembly of 70 458 contigs with a N50 of 1 677 bp. Strain comparison under MFG resulted in 16 435 up-regulated and 4 219 down-regulated genes for strain HCA. Most of these genes were related with nucleotide, amino acid and carbon metabolisms; specifically, C3 and C4 cycle, glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, and TCA cycle, where almost all the contigs were up-regulated. In accordance, cell component GO terms up-regulated were in cell wall, chloroplast and photosystems. Likewise, starch and TAG metabolism were up-regulated. Cell structure analysis by SEM and TEM showed that most cells of both strains under MFG were unicellular contrary to typical Desmodesmus morphology; under air, some cells still preserved a grouping morphology. Strains cell size under MFG was similar (17-37 μm2), while under air cells were significant smaller (7-13 μm2). Both strains under MFG possessed high content of starch granules, a disorganized chloroplast and several lipid bodies, while a thicker cell wall was only observed in strain HCA. Biomass composition at the end of the run (day 5) showed no differences in proximate analysis between strains under MFG. A 1.8 to 2-fold higher protein content in strain LCA was found in complete medium (BG-11) than under MFG (BG-11-N-S). Under MFG, LCA presented the highest starch content (47.2 ± 22.3 % d.w) followed by HCA (23.1 ± 4.5 % d.w). On the contrary, HCA showed a higher content of pigments compared to LCA but the highest values were found in the control with only CO2. Lipidome analysis resulted in 663 detected features. Under MFG no many differences were found between strains by day 5; however, clear differences were observed at day 4 when both strains were in exponential growth. Particularly, 12 glycerolipids (GL) and 18 glycerophospholipids (GP) increased, and 27 GL and 3 GP decreased in HCA compared LCA. Still, most differences were found when strain LCA under MFG was compared with CO2+CKD (incomplete vs complete culture medium) that showed changes in GL (42 increased and 27 decreased) and GP (58 increased and 42 decreased), possibly attributed to low N in MFG. The results presented in this study show significant differences between strains HCA and LCA under MFG. However, most differences were observed at the transcriptome level (day 4), while biomass production was comparable at the end of the experimental period (day 5). Morphological changes appeared to be induced by the high CO2 condition at the moment of growth, with no significant differences between acclimated strains, except for a thicker cell wall in the HCA strain. Overall, both strains presented a high content of starch that represents a high value compound under MFG. Further studies could contemplate continuous cultures under MFG with longer experimental periods (>5 days) to validate differences between strains. Also, explore differences between strains at the genome level such as synonymous mutation rates by sequencing and studies of epigenetic changes. Additionally, metabolome and proteome analysis to better understand differences under the different control conditions.
  • Visionless Interactions: Plataforma de aplicaciones para invidentes

    Rodriguez, Jafet
    En este documento se presenta el diseño, elaboración, resultados y trabajo futuro de la creación de Visionless Interactions. El programa tiene como finalidad el ayudar a personas con discapacidad visual a poder crear un mejor mapa mental de su ambiente a través del sentido del oído. La aplicación funciona a más de 30 cuadros por segundo utilizando la configuración original de la máquina virtual de Java por lo que no se requiere una gran cantidad de memoria RAM. Los dispositivos que se usaron fueron una Apple MacBook Pro 2009, Kinect de Microsoft, Sonido 5.1 de Logitech y una tarjeta de sonido USB 7.1 de Sabrent. Además, para poder confirmar que la plataforma cumple su propósito, se creó un juego sencillo en el cual el usuario tiene que interceptar abejas que van volando de adelante hacia atrás. El juego está dividido en 11 niveles y se realizaron pruebas de campo con un grupo de 13 voluntarios, los participantes tienen desde 4 hasta 63 años, 62% mujeres y 38% hombres, la mitad con discapacidad visual y la otra mitad utilizó un antifaz. En las pruebas que se llevaron a cabo se pudo observar que el usuario se divirtió y con el paso del tiempo fue logrando identificar de mejor manera los objetos 3D de su alrededor. Además, el juego funcionó de manera adecuada al permitir que el jugador mostrara cada vez una mayor familiaridad al navegar tanto entre menús, como al interactuar con los objetos 3D. En conclusión, fue posible desarrollar una aplicación en Java que ayude a las personas visualmente discapacitadas, parcial o totalmente, a navegar mejor en su entorno mientras se divierten. El mercado para este tipo de aplicaciones sigue siendo una gran oportunidad y Visionless Interactions permite acortar la brecha tecnológica existente, al proporcionar una plataforma que facilita la creación de videojuegos para múltiples sistemas operativos sin necesidad de una pantalla.
  • Development of PLGA nanoparticles for siRNA delivery in cardiac cells

    Lázaro-Alfaro, Anay Fernanda
    Nanomaterials have emerged as alternatives to solve problems found in diverse areas, from metallurgical industry to medicine. In medicine, nanomaterials are widely used as drug delivery systems due to their advantages over traditional delivery platforms. In gene therapy, viral vectors are commonly used. However, viral vectors are related to immune responses, presenting safety concerns and hindering therapy effectiveness. The use of nanomaterials in gene therapy may overcome these obstacles, enhancing gene therapeutic effects. Gene therapy can be divided in two main approaches: gene overexpression or gene silencing. In gene silencing, it is common to use RNA interference (RNAi) techniques. Due to pathophysiological pathways elution, RNAi is proposed as a potential therapy against diseases such as cancer, and cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). CVDs are the leading causes of death worldwide. Currently cardiovascular therapies are not always effective, and the progress of CVDs inevitably leads to death. Therefore, there is an increasing interest in the development of novel cardiovascular therapies. For instance, RNAi technology is widely studied as a potential therapy against CVDs. However, RNAi effectors are labile molecules and can be easily degraded; therefore, a suitable vehicle for their delivery is essential. In this work, we study the use of PLGA, a polymer approved by FDA and EMA in diverse nanomaterial formulations, in the development of siRNA delivery systems. Our results demonstrate that PLGA nanoparticles of <150 nm, negative surface charge and high siRNA encapsulation efficiency, can be formulated. Moreover, in cardiac cells siRNA-loaded PLGA nanoparticles decrease MCU expression by 35.1 ± 2.7 % compared to non-loaded PLGA nanoparticles.
  • Relationship between physical and acoustical parameters for road surface characterization

    Leos Suárez, Jesús Rodrigo
    An acoustic system for automated road surface conditions detection from acoustic signals of surface interaction is introduced. The aim of this work is to obtain different characteristics of the roadway surface by which the vehicle is circulating, to analyze its texture, friction and other characteristics related to the road surface with anticipation so that this information could be used in future automotive safety applications. The advantages of using an acoustic device compared with other current technologies is the low cost of the equipment and its portability. The robustness of our approach is evaluated on audio that span an extensive range of vehicle speeds, noises from the environment, road surface types, and pavement conditions including international friction index (IFI) values from 0 km/hr to 100 km/hr. The training and evaluation of the model were performed on different roads to minimize the impact of environment and other external factors on the accuracy of the classification. The results showed that there is a correlation between what we measured with the mechanical systems and what we obtained as a reply from the acoustic system. The hypothesis is that with the application of an acoustic device that characterizes the pavement in real time, future automotive applications such as adjusting the ABS system automatically in an optimal range of braking, showing a warning indicator light on the dashboard, or improving the driving decision making of autonomous cars will be possible by having prior information of the slippery surface conditions in which the vehicle transits.
  • Métodos heurísticos para el problema de asignación de trabajadores y balanceo de líneas de ensamblaje

    Ramos Torres, Lucía Anabel
    Some types of distribution in assembly lines of manufacturing process begin as an assembly balancing problem of a certain type. In this work we propose two different algorithms based on two different methods to find a solution to the ALWABP (Assembly Line and Worker Assignment Balancing Problem) which is a generalization of the simple assembly line problem where workers assignment is introduced as a new problem for the balancing problem. Task times in this problem depends on each worker and in some cases one worker will not be capable of perform some task. The first method developed in this work is based on a GRASP metaheuristic combined with a VND metaheuristic as part of the first one. The second method is based on a Matheuristic combining a metaheuristic with an exact method. The experimental results shown in this paper are promising for the second model, due to the improvement obtained in the objective function value, in many of the instances evaluated of the different families. Therefore, the proposed model is competitive and efficient in comparison to previous methods found in the literature and exact approaches for this problem.

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