Reinaldo Alvarez

“The usefulness of useless knowledge: on the vital role of basic research in realizing societies’ dreams and aspirations”

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ott 062017
 

seminario-100x100
lunedì 16 ottobre 2017, ore 11:00, edificio U12, Auditorium, via Vizzola 5, Milano.

Helmut Schwarz, president, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

«Parleremo dell’importanza della ricerca di base, non finalizzata ad applicazioni dirette, perché è da questo tipo di ricerca che in passato sono arrivate le rivoluzioni più profonde». Così Gianfranco Pacchioni, prorettore alla Ricerca dell’Università di Milano-Bicocca, introduce l’incontro con Helmut Schwarz, presidente dell’Alexander von Humboldt Foundation e tra i massimi esperti internazionali nel campo della chimica molecolare. Helmut Schwarz

L’incontro, organizzato dalla Scuola di dottorato dell’Ateneo, aprirà dunque il dibattito sull’importanza della ricerca di base partendo proprio dall’esperienza di Schwarz.

«Da sempre – aggiunge il professor Pacchioni – l’obiettivo della ricerca è di migliorare la vita di tutti e di risolvere le sfide aperte che l’umanità si trova ad affrontare: dal cibo all’ energia, dall’inquinamento al surriscaldamento del pianeta, dall’invecchiamento della popolazione alla tutela dell’acqua. Per affrontare alcuni di questi problemi occorrono dei “breakthroughs”, salti fondamentali, che solo la ricerca di base può fare».

«Il dottorato di ricerca – spiega Giovanna Iannantuoni, presidente della Scuola di dottorato – rappresenta un’occasione imperdibile per i giovani ricercatori, quella di investire sul proprio futuro sviluppando idee innovative ed ambiziose. In particolare la scelta di temi legati alla ricerca di base è una sfida fondamentale per lo sviluppo dell’economia del nostro Paese».

Intervengono

Gianfranco Pacchioni, prorettore alla Ricerca, Università di Milano-Bicocca

Helmut Schwarz, president, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

info: UNIMIB

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“Presentazione lavori di ricerca Dottorandi XXX ciclo”

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ott 052017
 

seminario-100x100

lunedì 9 e martedì 10 ottobre 2017

Dottorato di Ricerca in Biologia e Biotecnologie

Lunedì 9 ottobre 2017


ORE 14,30 AULA U1-09
Dr. Fiona Zucchetti
“Transposon based technology in DHFR knockout CHO cell line improves generation of AMH high producing clones for industrial applications”
Dr. Fabio Facchini
“Design and Development of new Lipid A mimetics to reduce Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4)-mediated inflammation in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)”
Dr. Lenny Zaffaroni
“Production of human MD-2 and development of ligand binding assays for the characterization of Toll-Like Receptor 4 modulator”
Dr. Davide Maggioni
“New insights into the diversity, ecology, and evolution of the Zancleida (Hydrozoa, Cnidaria)”
Dr. Jacopo Vertemara
“Computational modelling of macromolecules: prediction of the 3D structure, catalytic activity and dynamic features of proteins”

Martedì 10 ottobre 2017


ORE 14,00 AULA U1-06
Dr. Marco Brambilla
“Pab1, stress granules and stress tolerance: isolation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants with improved thermotolerance”
Dr. Giulia Tedeschi
“Looking for conformational rules in disordered proteins – The K project -”
Dr. Nicolò Morè
“Lipopolysaccharide transport and peptidoglycan remodelling: two related processes in Escherichia coli.”
Dr. Valerio Mezzasalma
“Grape microbiome as a reliable and persistent signature of field origin and environmental in wine production”
Dr. Matteo Villa
“Role of the S. cerevisiae Rad9 protein in protecting stalled replication forks from degradation”
Dr. Melissa Saibene
“Effects of gold nanoparticles with different shape on an in vitro 3D tetraculture alveolar model”

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Master BIOCIRCE – Bioeconomy in the Circular Economy

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ott 022017
 
logo_biocirce-orizzontale-web-50p

logo_biocirce-orizzontale-web
Biocirce is an interdisciplinary II Level Master jointly offered by 4 Universities and 4 non-academic partners.

Università di Bologna
Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II
Università degli studi di Torino
INTENSA SAN PAOLO
Novamont S.p.A.
GFBiochemicals Ltd
PTP – Science Park

The Master’s program offers an extensive training program for professionals interested in working within the bio-based goods and services industry using biological resources and bio-technological processes.

The program allows professionals to go in depth in all the aspects related to the R&D, production and marketing sides of bio-based products, whilst using the latest technology.

CALL IS NOW OPEN FOR THE SECOND EDITION OF THE MASTER!
APPLICATION DEADLINE: 31 OCTOBER 2017

CALL MASTER

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set 282017
 
occhi_logo-marhe1

Marhe-workshop-2017-ott
6-15 novembre 2017
Magoodhoo Island – Maldives

ISCRIZIONI ENTRO IL 1 SETTEMBRE 2017

MaRHE Center
Centro di Alta Formazione e Ricerca
Isola di Magoodhoo – Atollo di Faafu – Maldive
Coordinatore: Prof. Paolo Galli
Referenti: Davide Maggioni, Luca Fallati
Per informazioni e iscrizioni scrivere a: marhe@unimib.it

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“DNA Topology”

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set 262017
 

seminario-100x100
venerdì 6 ottobre 2017, ore 11:00, aula U4-8, edificio U4

De Witt Sumners, Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and member of the Institute of Molecular Biophysics, Department of Mathematics, Florida State University

Abstract: Cellular DNA is a long, thread-like molecule with remarkably complex topology. Enzymes that manipulate the geometry and topology of cellular DNA perform many vital cellular processes (including segregation of daughter chromosomes, gene regulation, DNA repair, and generation of antibody diversity). Some enzymes pass DNA through itself via enzyme-bridged transient breaks in the DNA; other enzymes break the DNA apart and reconnect it to different ends. In the topological approach to enzymology, circular DNA is incubated with an enzyme, producing an enzyme signature in the form of DNA knots and links. By observing the changes in DNA geometry (supercoiling) and topology (knotting and linking) due to enzyme action, the enzyme binding and mechanism can often be characterized. This talk will discuss topological models for DNA strand passage and exchange, including the analysis of site-specific recombination experiments on circular DNA and the analysis of packing geometry of DNA in viral capsids.

Statement of Research Interests

I am interested in the applications of topology to molecular biology and polymer configuration, both in theory development and computational simulation. Another interest is the mathematical analysis of human brain functional data.

Molecular Biology
The DNA of all organisms has a complex and fascinating topology. It can be viewed as two very long, closed curves that are intertwined millions of times, linked to other closed curves, tied into knots, and subjected to four or five successive orders of coiling to convert it into a compact form for information storage. For information retrieval and cell viability, some geometric and topological features must be introduced, and others quickly removed. Some enzymes maintain the proper geometry and topology by passing one strand of DNA through another via an enzyme-bridged transient break in the DNA; this enzyme action plays a crucial role in cell metabolism, including segregation of daughter chromosomes at the termination of replication and in maintaining proper in vivo (in the cell) DNA topology. Other enzymes break the DNA apart and recombine the ends by exchanging them. These enzymes regulate the expression of specific genes, mediate viral integration into and excision from the host genome, mediate transposition and repair of DNA, and generate antibody and genetic diversity. These enzymes perform incredible feats of topology at the molecular level; the description and quantization of such enzyme action absolutely requires the language and computational machinery of topology.

The long-range goal of this project is to develop a complete set of experimentally observable topological parameters with which to describe and compute enzyme mechanism and the structure of the active enzyme-DNA synaptic intermediate. One of the important unsolved problems in biology is the three-dimensional structure of proteins, DNA and active protein-DNA complexes in solution (in the cell), and the relationship between structure and function. It is the 3-dimensional shape in solution which is biologically important, but difficult to determine. The topological approach to enzymology is an indirect method in which the descriptive and analytical powers of topology and geometry are employed in an effort to infer the structure of active enzyme-DNA complexes in vitro (in a test tube) and in vivo. In the topological approach to enzymology experimental protocol, molecular biologists react circular DNA substrate with enzyme and capture enzyme signature in the form of changes in the geometry (supercoiling) and topology (knotting and linking) of the circular substrate. The mathematical problem is then to deduce enzyme mechanism and synaptic complex structure from these observations.

Polymer Conformations
Polymers in dilute solution can be modeled by means of self-avoiding walks on a lattice, the lattice spacing serving to simulate volume exclusion. Topological entanglement (knotting and linking) restricts the number of configurations available to a macromolecule, and is thus a measure of configurational entropy. A linear polymer can be modeled as a self-avoiding walk (SAW) on the simple cubic lattice; a ring polymer can be modeled as a self-avoiding polygon (SAP) on that same lattice. Microscopic topological entanglement of polymer strands is believed to effect macroscopic physical characteristics of polymer systems, such as the stress-strain curve, rubber elasticity, and various phase change phenomena. Physical properties of semicrystalline polymers are believed to strongly depend on entanglement of polymer strands in the amorphous region. Knots in linear polymers may be trapped as “tight knots” by the crystallization procedure. The dependence of knotting probability on chain thickness can be exploited in a cyclization reaction on linear DNA to determine the effect of salt concentration on chain diameter due to Coulomb shielding. Mathematical models include discrete models on regular lattices, and continuum models in 3-space. In the asymptotic regime (lengths going to infinity) on the simple cubic lattice and in the continuum,one can prove that almost all sufficiently long chains are knotted, almost all sufficiently long circles are chiral, and that the topological entanglement complexity (measure in many ways) goes to infinity at least linearly with the length. For short chains, the pivot algorithm is known to be ergodic on self-avoiding walks and polygons in the simple cubic lattice, and it provides a computationally efficient method for computing entanglement statistics for short chains. Energetic terms can be introduced into the in the Metropolis Monte Carlo computations for knot probability to simulate both solvent quality and Coulomb shielding, producing knot probability curves that qualitatively agree with laboratory random knotting results and other Monte Carlo models (the worm-like model) which include volume exclusion.

Human Brain Project
As a member of an interdisciplinary Human Brain Project research team, I am interested in the mathematical analysis and visualization of human brain functional data. We use cerebral blood flow as a marker for neural activity, obtaining data on blood flow using the modalities of positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). My student Ivo Dinov and I are investigating the use of fractal and wavelet encoding of brain architecture (high resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans) and 3-D images of activation foci produced by PET and fMRI scans. The signal-to-noise ratio is low in these human brain functional modalities, and there are serious difficulties inherent in comparing functional data across scans, subjects, groups and modalities. We intend to use these new encoding algorithms, plus other geometrical and topological ideas to aid the group effort in the study of human brain functional data.

Ospite: Renzo L. Ricca
Department of Mathematics & Applications
University of Milano-Bicocca

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“MEETmeTONIGHT 2017”

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set 182017
 
Faccia meet

MMT17

29-30 settembre 2017

2 Giornate faccia a faccia con la ricerca

Il nostro dipartimento partecipa al MEETmeTONIGHT 2017 con due iniziative, stand SA03 e AS03
scarica le iniziative BtBs nel MMT17


Pianeta zuccheri


Stand SA03
Resp. Barbara La Ferla
i docenti coinvolti sono Barbara La ferla, Michela Ceriani e Elena Sacco.

Lo sapevate? Ciò che distingue un gruppo sanguigno dall’altro sono gli zuccheri.
Oltre ad essere una fonte energetica, gli zuccheri sono anche alla base di molti fenomeni che avvengono nel nostro corpo.
Li vedremo all’opera su cellule di lievito e mammifero in coltura, visualizzate a microscopio, e scopriremo il loro comportamento a contatto con altre sostanze. Con l’aiuto di modellini molecolari, capiremo anche perché gli zuccheri sono dolci.

tutti zuccheri 1


Il circo del benessere


Stand AS03
Resp. Massimo Labra

Un vero circo con tre numeri: il “Clown delle risorse naturali” ci mostrerà come trasformare scarti vegetali in antiossidanti utili per cosmetici e alimenti; il “Domatore delle biotrasformazioni” sfrutterà lieviti, batteri e alghe per ottenere composti di valore dagli scarti agroindustriali e infine gli “equilibristi degli alimenti” ci dimostreranno come bilanciare correttamente gli alimenti in relazione agli stili di vita.


informazioni:
http://www.meetmetonight.it/
@meetme2night
https://www.facebook.com/meetme2night

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MMT17_MILANO

“Smetto quando voglio? Viaggio nella dipendenza”

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set 102017
 

smetto
mercoledì 27 settembre 2017, ore 14-18:30, Edificio U6 (Aula Magna) – Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo 1, Milano

Una giornata destinata alla formazione degli insegnanti, aperta anche a tutti gli studenti interessati.

L’evento si inserisce nelle iniziative del Piano Lauree Scientifiche (PLS) organizzate dal Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze dell’Università degli studi di Milano-Bicocca , in collaborazione con altri dipartimenti e partner esterni.
L’idea che anima gli incontri è quella di fornire chiavi di lettura interdisciplinari su tematiche di grande interesse e l’argomento di questo appuntamento riguarda le dipendenze, osservate dal punto di vista della ricerca e dell’intervento.

L’iniziativa prevede il rilascio di un certificato di partecipazione.

Per informazioni sul programma e iscrizioni: http://www.smettoquandovoglio.unimib.it/

Ingresso gratuito

Vi aspettiamo tutti a questo interessantissimo evento sulla dipendenza dalle droghe vista da un punto di vista scientifico!

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set 092017
 
Bio-Rad

Bio-Rad free
mercoledì 20 settembre 2017, ore 14:30, aula U3-09, edificio U3

Corsi gratuiti per gli utenti di strumentazione e software Bio-Rad

IMPROVE YOUR KNOWLEDGE IN YOUR BIO-RAD PRODUCTS

ImageLab Software per analisi di immagine consigliato per GelDoc e ChemiDoc users

Workshop di aggiornamento per scoprire nuove funzioni: ottimizzazione delle immagini, miglioramento delle acquisizioni, elaborazione di profili e bande a scopo quantitativo, normalizzazione di Western Blot attraverso HKP e TPN (Stain-Free).

Iscriviti GRATIS inviando una mail a: marcotronconi@gmail.com

BIO-RAD INSIDE? = BIO-RAD ON SITE!

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ago 292017
 
vino

vino

giovedì 7 settembre 2017, ore 15-19, aula U3-02a, edificio U3

PROGETTO ÀKINAS
VITIGNI UNICI DALLA BIODIVERSITÀ DELLA SARDEGNA

SIMBIOSI: LA VITA INSIEME DI ORGANISMI DIVERSI

15.00 Registrazione dei partecipanti.

15.30 Saluti e apertura lavori.

15.40 Il DNA della vite e del vino: un’impronta d’origine…e di qualità?
Massimo Labra, UNIMIB

16.00 Biodiversità, territorio e tradizioni: progetto AKINAS per recuperare i vitigni
antichi.
Gianni Lovicu, AGRIS

16.20 Viticoltura e cambiamenti climatici: come affrontare le sfide idriche.
Daniela Satta, AGRIS

16.40 Vite, vino e qualità: l’aroma delle uve dei vini autoctoni sardi.
Maurizio Petrozziello, CREA- Centro di Ricerca Viticoltura ed Enologia, Asti

17.00 Conclusione dei lavori.

info e registrazione: https://akinas.it/

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lug 202017
 

Scheda di adesione Centro Interdipartimentale BTBS-Medicina

  • (campi obbligatori*)

    Persona di riferimento per il Centro Interdipartimentale BTBS-Medicina
 

Verification

lug 152017
 

summer school
TOWARDS A BIO-BASED ECONOMY: SCIENCE, INNOVATION, ECONOMICS, EDUCATION

University of Milano-Bicocca —Department of Biotechnology and Biosciences
Chalmers University of technolgy —Göteborg (Sweden)

PROGRAM CODE: SS017-05

PROGRAM DURATION: 5 Days
DATES: 4-8 September 2017
CREDITS: 3 ECTS
TUITION: 300 € for academic participants, 600 € for industrial participants.
Rates include participation to lectures, study material, coffee break and field trip.
Rates do not include traveling and accommodation expenses

Application deadline May 31st, 2017
Requested documents to be uploaded in the application form: CV and Passport/ID card/ Motivation Letter
Language: English
Target Audience: Priority will be given to students participants holding a Master degree, but application by master students is encouraged and will be evaluated on the basis of the applicant motivation and background.
Scientific Commitee: Prof. Marina Lotti – Prof. Paola Branduardi – Prof. Danilo Porro – Prof. Maurizio Bettiga (Chalmers University of Technolgy)
For further information, Contact: bioeconomy@unimib.it
Location: Milan (University of Milano-Bicocca)

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lug 032017
 

seminario-100x100
giovedì 6 luglio 2017, ore 14:30, aula U3-07, edificio U3

Giuliana Giannuzzi, PhD, Center for Integrative Genomics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Segmental and gene duplications in the human genome are important for human genetic variation, disease and evolution. They represent human genome trade-offs between the potential adaptive function of duplicated genes mapping to these segments and their potential priming of pathogenic rearrangements.

One example is the 16p11.2 locus, where recurrent copy number variation (CNV) is mediated by a complex set of segmental duplications. The deletion and duplication are associated with autism, schizophrenia, and reciprocal defects in head size and body weight. We reconstructed the evolutionary history of the locus and discovered that it had been dramatically reorganized during hominid evolution. This series of genomic changes includes the Homo sapiens-specific duplication of a 95 kbp segment containing the BOLA2 (BolA family member 2) gene, a gene involved in iron homeostasis, approximately 282 thousand years ago. This duplication that predisposes our species to the recurrent pathogenic 16p11.2 CNV, is absent from the genomes of our extinct relatives Neanderthal and Denisovan. It is apparently under selection (P<0.0097) and nearly fixed in the human lineage.

This region exemplifies that in the future we should comprehensively study and understand the role of structurally composite and repetitive regions of the human genome in disease, complex traits and human-specific features. To this aim it will be crucial to extend the study to other relevant regions that predispose to pathogenic rearrangements while embedding human-specific genes, such as the 1q21, 2q13 and 10q11 cytobands. These complex loci are usually overlooked in genome-wide studies due to analytical issues, requiring dedicated efforts to their investigation.

Ospite: Prof. Luca De Gioia

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lug 012017
 

seminario-100x100
martedì 4 luglio 2017, ore 11:00, aula 2025, edificio U3

Nicola Segata , Lab. of Computational Metagenomics, Centre for Integrative Biology, University of Trento

info:
SegataLab web page: http://segatalab.cibio.unitn.it/
Nicola Segata Twitter: @nsegata
Segata Lab Twitter: @cibiocm

Se siete interessati ad assistere al seminario, per motivi organizzativi legati all’aula, mandate una mail di conferma a maurizio.casiraghi@unimib.it

Ospite: Scuola di Dottorato BTBS

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giu 212017
 
avatar1

logo_TOLLerant

mercoledì 12 luglio 2017, ore 9:00-13:00, aula U4-8, edificio U4

TOLLerant Workshop

Organizer: Prof. Francesco Peri – Coordinator of the MSCA-ETN project TOLLerant

12th July 2017
Room Sironi (Aula U408), Building U4,
University of Milano-Bicocca

      09.00-09.15 Welcome address: Prof. Francesco Peri
      09:15 – 10:00 “Cell-Surfaced Carbohydrate-Protein Interactions and Origami Art”
      Dr Shang-Cheng Hung, Ph.D. – Genomics Research Center Academia Sinica Taipei, Taiwan
      10:00 – 10:45 “Chemistry on Free Sugars and Stereoselective Glycosylation Reactions”
      Cheng-Chung Wang Ph.D. – Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica. Taipei, Taiwan
      10.45-11.15 Coffee break
      11:15 – 12:00 “Synthesis and Function of Bacterial Glycoconjugates for Regulation of Immune System”
      Atsushi Shimoyama, Ph. D., Assistant Professor – Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University
      12:00 – 12:45 “Challenges in Cancer Vaccine Development by Regulating Immune Responses”
      Koichi Fukase, Ph. D., Professor – Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Osaka University
      12.45-13.00 Closing remarks
      13.15 – Lunch (Speakers)

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 64

giu 192017
 

—————

seminario-100x100
mercoledì 21 giugno 2017, ore 10:30-13:00 // 14:30-17:00, P.zza della Scienza, edificio U4, aula U4-8

Giornata di studio dedicata alla ricerca scientifica di Milano-Bicocca negli oceani e negli spazi marini.

Interverranno esponenti dei gruppi di ricerca dell’ateneo attivi, in vari ambiti disciplinari, nel campo delle scienze marine.
In questa occasione verranno presentate le linee e le prospettive di lavoro sviluppate in due decenni di impegno scientifico.

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giu 082017
 
LogoAlternanza mini

LogoAlternanza
venerdì 7 luglio 2017, ore 14:00, aula U3-08, edificio U3

nel corso dell’ ultimo anno il nostro Dipartimento ha realizzato diverse iniziative in collaborazione con studenti e insegnanti che hanno coperto vari aspetti, tra cui l’ alternanza scuola lavoro, il Piano Lauree Scientifiche, le attività di orientamento per studenti e insegnanti.

Se siete curiosi e desiderate un aggiornamento, avete proposte e suggerimenti, siete disponibili a contribuire alle attività del prossimo anno, siete cordialmente invitati a partecipare.

BtBs: Scuola-Lavoro-Orientamento

Maurizio Casiraghi, Michela Clerici, Marina Lotti, Isabella Mauri, Paolo Tortora, Ivan Orlandi

altre informazioni: Progetto alternanza Scuola/Lavoro a BtBs

giu 082017
 
applikon

applikon

martedì 20 giugno 2017, ore 11:00 – 16:00, aula U1-05, edificio U1

La S.V. è invitata a partecipare al seminario ad ingresso libero previa registrazione tenuto da :
Alex Boscolo e Michel Kensler di Applikon Biotechnology, Philip Mathuis CEO di Ovizio
PROGRAMMA
11.00 – 11.15 Welcome
11.15 – 12.00 Challenges and opportunities for Down Scale in R & D (Alex Boscolo)
12.00 – 12.45 Lucullus Software: Turning Big Data into information (Michel Kensler)
12.45 – 13.00 Coffee break or Lunch
13.00 – 13.45 SMART cell culture monitoring, application of an inline 3D holographic
microscope in biotech processes (Philip Mathuis )
13.45 – 14.30 micro-Matrix: cultivating in 24 parallel microbioreactors; Applications
(Alex Boscolo)
14.30 – 15.30 Coffee/Tea/Drinks

info:
Gianluca Lotito 349 7483656, gianluca.lotito@steroglass.it
Lisa Falocci 075609091, lisa.falocci@steroglass.it

Come raggiungere il seminario:

Scarica la scheda di adesione seminario APPLIKON 2017

Ospite: Prof. Luca Brambilla

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mag 282017
 
Boncinelli UNIMIB BtBs

Boncinelli UNIMIB BtBs
mercoledì 31 maggio 2017, ore 10:30, aula U4-08, edificio U4

Edoardo Boncinelli

Il sogno di molti studenti, dottorandi e postDoc è di diventare un giorno dei ricercatori, il Prof. Boncinelli presenterà il percorso che lo ha portato a diventare un genetista di fama mondiale.

Con il Patrocinio del Rettorato dell’Università degli Studi di Milano Bicocca, del Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze e del Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Ambiente e del Territorio

Ospite: Paolo Galli, Direttore MaRHE Center

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mag 222017
 

seminario-100x100
lunedì 29 maggio 2017, ore 14:00, aula U4-8, edificio U4

Stefano Bertacchi , Dipartimento di Biotecnologie e Bioscienze – UNIMIB
Biotecnologo industriale presso Galatea Biotech, spin-off Unimib
Caporedattore di Italia Unita per la Scienza
Autore di “Geneticamente modificati” per Hoepli

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Geneticamente modificati-page-001 - Copia

mag 172017
 
seminario-100x100

seminario-100x100
venerdì 19 maggio 2017, ore 13:30, aula U7-06, edificio U7

Luciana Migliore, Dipartimento di Biologia, Università Tor Vergata, Roma

ABSTRACT

scarica l’abstract

The increasing rate of human-induced environmental changes on coastal ecosystems has created the demand for effective monitoring and management strategies. In particular, descriptors stating the conservation status of seagrass meadows are necessary due to their widespread regression. Beyond the standard methods (fenology, density, etc.), to this end in our laboratory several approaches were followed in the last years including proteomics and enzymatic analyses, synthesis of secondary metabolites and photosynthetic activity. Among the more affordable there are plant secondary metabolites. Furthermore, the plant-associated microbial communities can deserve interesting cues, being so tightly linked to the plants to be considered an integrated structure, the ‘holobiont’.
Total phenols and photosynthetic pigments were measured in 4 seagrass species (Posidonia oceanica, Mediterranean Sea; Cymodocea nodosa and Zostera noltii, Atlantic Ocean; Halophila stipulacea, Red Sea). These demonstrated their effectiveness at different time scales (from days to years), and under different growth conditions (in situ and mesocosm) and environmental pressures (eutrophication to acidification/global warming). The variation of total phenols is associated with environmental stress conditions and thus with a decreasing state of conservation of the meadows. The amount of chlorophyll and carotenoids is a quick response to water column conditions (turbidity). Overall, the results indicate the effectiveness and versatility of the two descriptors: they were able to represent the eco-physiological state of different species under different environmental conditions. Both descriptors should be included in seagrass monitoring to deepen this field, quite unexplored.

Microbial communities play an important role in seagrass meadow dynamics participating in nutrient cycling, nitrogen fixation and detoxification of sulfide in sediments. Plant’s epiphytic microbial communities are probably involved in the supply of nutrients to the plants and their alteration could affect plant growth and survival. The study of the microbial metagenome by different molecular techniques allows a good and quick taxonomic identification, improving the knowledge of these communities. Two different molecular techniques were applied to study the plant’s epiphytic microbial community of Cymodocea nodosa (SSCP fingerprinting) and Halophila stipulacea (pyrosequencing). The microbial community analyses (bacterial diversity, taxonomic composition and phylogenetic relationships) revealed significant differences between above- and below-ground plant compartment; as expected, the environmental conditions drive the composition of epiphytic bacterial assemblages. Different microbial community assemblages were found also on the plants exposed to different environmental conditions. The microbial community composition needs further investigation, to deepen our knowledge about their structure, functions and relationship with the plant. However, it represents a promising tool to be associated with the biochemical descriptors and included in seagrass monitoring.

Ospite: Davide Seveso

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