Monthly Archives: December 2019


Nuestros mejores deseos para la gran familia FIBA y todos los que compartieron nuestras actividades en 2019


Top essays by scientists in 2019 – # 1 – How I let go of my guilt as a mother in grad school

Presentaremos los 10 ensayos mas populares en 2019 publicados en Working life series, por Katie Langin in AAAS – Science Published by Science

1) Como dejó de lado la culpa mientras estaba haciendo el doctorado


How I let go of my guilt as a mother in grad school

The sun was rising as we drove across the Minnesota state line, marking the moment my family and I left the only home we had ever known. I wanted to feel excited about my new Ph.D. program, but all I could feel was guilt. We were moving to New York so that I could pursue my goal of becoming a professor. The move was good for me professionally, but I worried about uprooting my husband and daughters. I also feared that—with the demands placed on me in grad school—I wouldn’t be able to give my kids the childhood they deserved. The 3 years that have passed since then haven’t been easy. But I’ve realized that I’m not the only person who benefits from my education. My kids do, too.

I was 17 years old when I learned that I was going to be a mother. Our first daughter came into the world 4 days after my high school graduation. I didn’t know whether I was going to make it through college, let alone grad school. But my education was important to me because I’d witnessed my own mother attend college and advance her career when I was in high school. I wanted to follow in her footsteps.

I studied biology in college, taking a full course load and working night shifts at a local hospital to help provide for my new family. It was challenging to balance classes, work schedules, and being a mom. But I got through it, finding moments of joy along the way. On the nights when I was home, I’d read my class notes out loud with my daughter. She’d respond by asking questions, such as “Mom, what are bacteria?” It helped us both learn.

After I graduated, I knew that I would need a Ph.D. to land the kind of job I wanted. But I was nervous about whether the life of a grad student would be possible as a mother. I’d given birth to our second daughter during my last year of college, so we now had two young girls to raise.

When I interviewed for my Ph.D. position, I asked a senior grad student whether there were any resources to help student parents. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I don’t really know of anybody who would be able to help with that.” Her answer reinforced a fear I’d harbored: that I would be a lone student parent in my Ph.D. cohort, trying to forge a path on my own.

I arrived in New York feeling more than the usual new-grad-student angst. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to cut it academically, and it didn’t help that—as I’d feared—none of my peers were parents. I also suffered from a more personal fear that I was being selfish—that my decision to prioritize my career was going to have long-term negative repercussions for my kids. I imagined them looking back in 20 years and thinking that I didn’t spend enough time with them, or that I took away their happiness.

Navigating academia as a young mother is hard, but it’s also rewarding.

So, I made a rule to never be visibly upset about my work in front of my children. When I went home, they needed me to just be their mom. Grad school was stressful, but it felt unfair to complain about a life that I had asked my family to sacrifice for. One night after a tough day at work, I pulled into our driveway, sat in the car, and let a few tears fall down my cheeks. Then, I pulled myself together and put on a smile when I greeted my daughters at our front door.

Over the past year, though, I’ve started to let go of some of this worry. I’ve realized that we have not only adapted to our new situation, but we are thriving. My husband landed a job that he is happy with. My older daughter dreams of becoming a marine biologist. And my younger daughter loves exploring, something we do often now that we live in a new state. Both daughters also constantly remind me that they’re proud of the things I do. Recently, while driving past the cancer institute I work at, my older daughter said, “Thinking about people having cancer is so sad, but I feel better knowing that you are researching it to help.”

Navigating academia as a young mother is hard, but it’s also rewarding. My kids are learning to look at the world through the lens of science, and watching their mom succeed inspires them. I look forward to seeing them follow my footsteps, whatever path they choose.


What happened with the first gene surgery in human embryos

Un tribunal de Shenzhen declaró a He Jiankui culpable de editar de forma ilegal genes de embriones con fines reproductivos

“El 26 de noviembre del año pasado, He Jiankui sorprendió al mundo al anunciar que había manipulado dos embriones humanos por medio de una técnica de edición genética conocida como CRISPR con el propósito de lograr que fueran inmunes al virus del sida. El científico, conocido a raíz del suceso como “el Frankenstein chino”, hizo público su logro por medio de un vídeo colgado en YouTube en el que narraba cómo un par de bebés, dos gemelas que recibieron los nombres de Lulu y Nana, habían nacido “semanas atrás” y se encontraban “en perfecto estado de salud”.

“El científico chino He Jiankui, creador de los primeros bebés modificados genéticamente, ha sido sentenciado esta mañana a 3 años de cárcel y a pagar una multa de tres millones de yuanes (380.000 euros). En un juicio celebrado por sorpresa y a puerta cerrada, un tribunal de Shenzhen le ha declarado culpable de “llevar a cabo, de manera ilegal, la edición genética de varios embriones humanos con fines reproductivos”; según una información adelantada por la agencia de noticias oficial, Xinhua. He, además, estará vetado de por vida para el desempeño profesional de cualquier actividad relacionada con el mundo sanitario…….”


Research highligth in 2019: A ‘bilingual’ molecule speaks both DNA and protein

One massive molecule draws on two types of coding found throughout living organisms

Bilingual Peptide Nucleic Acids: Encoding the Languages of Nucleic Acids and Proteins in a Single Self-Assembling Biopolymer 

Colin S. Swenson, Arventh Velusamy, Hector S. Argueta-Gonzalez, Jennifer M. Heemstra

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 48, 19038-19047 (2019)

Suppl. material JACS 2019

Jennifer M. Heemstra and colleagues  at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, have melded nature’s two fundamental programming molecules — DNA and peptides — into one versatile structure that can store molecular blueprints and identify specific chemical structures. They built a protein scaffold and attached nucleotide fragments and amino acids to this backbone, resulting in a ‘bilingual’ molecule that includes a protein code and a sequence of either DNA or RNA, another code-carrying molecule. On the basis of those codes, the molecules can then assemble into desired structures.



Abstract Image

Nucleic acids and proteins are the fundamental biopolymers that support all life on Earth. Nucleic acids store large amounts of information in nucleobase sequences while peptides and proteins utilize diverse amino acid functional groups to adopt complex structures and perform wide-ranging activities. Although nature has evolved machinery to read the nucleic acid code and translate it into amino acid code, the extant biopolymers are restricted to encoding amino acid or nucleotide sequences separately, limiting their potential applications in medicine and biotechnology. Here we describe the design, synthesis, and stimuli-responsive assembly behavior of a bilingual biopolymer that integrates both amino acid and nucleobase sequences into a single peptide nucleic acid (PNA) scaffold to enable tunable storage and retrieval of tertiary structural behavior and programmable molecular recognition capabilities. Incorporation of a defined sequence of amino acid side-chains along the PNA backbone yields amphiphiles having a “protein code” that directs self-assembly into micellar architectures in aqueous conditions. However, these amphiphiles also carry a “nucleotide code” such that subsequent introduction of a complementary RNA strand induces a sequence-specific disruption of assemblies through hybridization. Together, these properties establish bilingual PNA as a powerful biopolymer that combines two information systems to harness structural responsiveness and sequence recognition. The PNA scaffold and our synthetic system are highly generalizable, enabling fabrication of a wide array of user-defined peptide and nucleotide sequence combinations for diverse future biomedical and nanotechnology applications.

Postdoctoral position available

Universite Toulouse III, Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France

Immunosenescence – Signaling

Post-doc position opening CPTP Toulouse

A postdoctoral position is open in the “Integrative mapping of lymphocyte signaling and function lab” headed by Renaud Lesourne and Loïc Dupré at the Center for Pathophysiology of Toulouse Purpan ( The research program aims at identifying molecular networks governing T cell senescence and exhaustion during ageing. This will be explored by applying systematic approaches, including phosphoproteomics, high-content cell imaging and metabolomics to genetically engineered human T cells and murine models. Data sets will be integrated via a collaborative computational biology support and training opportunities will be provided.

The position is fully funded (2 years with an extension option) and available immediately. Applicants should have (or be within a few months of obtaining) an MD, or a PhD in immunology, biochemistry, or a similar field, with no more than 5 years of post-doctoral experience. We are seeking a highly motivated candidate associating a solid publication record with experience in mass spectrometry, biochemistry and molecular biology.

Please send your application with CV, a statement of interest, a brief outline of previous research and contact info for 2 references to: and

2 Posdoctoral positions – Bioinformatics/Computational Biology/Data Science/Microbiology/Molecular Biology

Institut Pasteur de Montevideo, Uruguay

Laboratorio de Genómica Microbiana

Deadline for presentation:  February 15th, 2020  

El Laboratorio de Genómica Microbiana busca incorporar dos posdocs  tanto con perfil en bioinformática/biología computacional/ciencia de datos, como con perfil en microbiología/biología molecular (candidato/as con perfil mixto serán especialmente valorados).

Los candidatos seleccionados se incorporarán a los siguientes proyectos:

*   A city-scale molecular map of antimicrobial resistance among hospital settings, the urban environment and human population: towards the application of metagenomics for the assessment of stewardship programs.

Este proyecto busca caracterizar la dinámica de mecanismos determinantes de resistencia a antimicrobianos mediante un estudio longitudinal y transversal de la ciudad de Montevideo, incluyendo el análisis genómico, metagenómico y bacteriológico de hospitales (superficies y aislamientos clínicos), aguas residuales (red de saneamiento) y población saludable.

 *  Latinbiota: understanding the composition of the human gut microbiota, evolution and dissemination of microbiome-associated pathogens in Latin America.

El consorcio Latinbiota busca generar información acerca de la composición y variabilidad de la microbiota intestinal en poblacionesurbanas, rurales y nativas en más de 10 latinoamericanos; utilizando aproximaciones genómicas, metagenómicas y bacteriológicas. El proyecto tiene énfasis particular en comprender el rol del microbioma intestinal como reservorio de patógenos y de mecanismos de resistencia a antimicrobianos.

*   Role of human gut microbiota in response to cancer immunotherapy in Uruguay.

Este proyecto busca comprender el rol de la microbiota intestinal en la efectividad de las inmunoterapias contra melanoma y cáncer de pulmón en Uruguay, utilizando aproximaciones genómicas, metagenómicas, bacteriológicas, metabolómicas y modelos animales.

Lo/as candidato/as liderarán las actividades de los proyectos, involucrando  las siguientes tareas:
*        Muestreos: coordinación de muestreos y almacenamiento de muestras.
*        Bacteriología: cultivo de microorganismos en condiciones aeróbicas y anaeróbicas, caracterización molecular y fenotípica de aislamientos.
*        Secuenciación: preparación de DNA de distintas muestras (agua, materia fecal, hispados, etc.), preparación y secuenciado de librerías Illumina y Oxford Nanopore.
*        Bioinformática: scripting en Python, R, y bash, análisis comparativos de datos genómicos y metagenómicos (ensamblado, anotación, filogenética, etc.) Interacción con ingenieros de software para el diseño de pipelines y desarrollo de nuevos métodos de análisis.

Por más detalles escribir directamente a
<> .

Postulaciones hasta el 15 de febrero de 2020 escribiendo a <>  (adjuntando CV).

2da. Edición Charlas SAMIGE en youtube

La segunda edición de las charlas SAMIGE que tuvieron lugar el pasado viernes 29 de Noviembre de 2019 en la Universidad Nacional de Quilmes, con las disertaciones del Prof. Miguel Camara (U. of Nottingham y National Biofilm Innovation Centre, UK) y del . Dr. Stephan Heeb (U. of Nottingham, UK).

Las conferencias fueron :

Dr. Stephan Heeb.

“Crónica de la regulación global post-transcripcional en bacterias”.

Prof. Miguel Camara.

“Complejidad de los sistemas de señalización por
quorum sensing y su explotación como diana terapéutica”.