Technology, Science and Culture - A Global Vision, Volume II
Technology, Science and Culture - A Global Vision, Volume II
From the success of the first volume of this series, we are enthusiastic to continue our discussions on research topics related to the fields of Food Science, Intelligent Systems, Molecular Biomedicine, Water Science, and Creation and Theories of Culture. Our aims are to discuss the newest topics, theories, and research methods in each of the mentioned fields, to promote debates among top researchers and graduate students and to generate collaborative works among them. To reach these
... ch these objectives, we organized a 1-day forum where recognized specialists in each field interacted with doctorate students generating very fruitful discussions. Thus, Dr. Rafael Vazquez-Duhalt, from the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Center of Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, brought to the discussion one of his research streams and talked about viral structures in nanomedicine. Dr. Stella Maris Alzamora, from the Exact and Natural Sciences Faculty of Universidad de Buenos Aires, exposed the opportunities and challenges on mild intervention technologies tending to increase shelf life and/or safety of fresh fruits. Dr. Damian Helbling, from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering of Cornell University, discussed about water quality, commenting on the importance of characterizing emerging chemical contaminants and explaining why it is mandatory to remediate the water from these compounds, pointing out some tools to achieve it. For his part, Dr. Hemant Tagare, from Yale University, introduced Cryo-EM single-particle reconstruction algorithms, which is a method for reconstructing 3D structures of biological macromolecules. Dr. Gary Hall, from Coventry University, discussed about anti-bourgeois theory, showing how to speak differently about technology, science, culture, and everything. Other activities in this forum included the participation of graduate students from different doctorates. Graduate students exposed their research works generating a very positive synergy among all attendants. This book is the result of all these discussions, where we hope to give the initial kick to continue deepening on each research topic covered in this forum. The number and impact of water-related natural disasters have increased since the middle of last century. As result of increased climate variability and the effects of global warming, the hydrometeorological risk has increased and spread, while the resilience of societies, in many cases, is not adequate. Consequently, the risk has increased. Floods and droughts, particularly in a changing climate, require greater understanding to generate better forecasts and proper management of these phenomena. Mexico, like other countries in the world, and of course in Latin America and the Caribbean region, suffers from both weather extremes. Abstract Nanotechnology has made progress in the creation of new materials with potential applications in the biomedical field. The potential uses of viral particles in nanomedicine include applications, in areas such as drug delivery, medical imaging, biosensors, and enzyme replacement therapies. Virus capsids are used as protein cages, scaffolds, and templates for the production of bionanostructured materials, where organic and inorganic molecules could be incorporated in a precise and a controlled fashion. Potential applications of virus particles include the following: (i) gene therapy, in which the virus particle is used as a carrier to deliver the therapeutic gene to target cells; (ii) drug delivery to ensure that pharmaceuticals get into the body and reach the tissue where they are really needed; (iii) imaging, where virus-like particles are coupled with an imaging agent, and then using ultrasound, magnetic resonance, or even traditional X-ray, to visualize the inside of the targeted organ; (iv) biosensors for the detection of diverse analytes or to measure some physicochemical conditions of the target tissue; and (v) VLPs, which have been recently proposed as carriers to deliver enzymatic activity for enzyme replacement therapies. In this work, these potential biomedical applications of virus-like particles are reviewed and discussed.  Mateu M. Virus engineering: Functionalization and stabilization. Protein Engineering Design and Selection. 2011;24:53-63  Li K, Nguyen H, Lu X, Wang Q. Viruses and their potential in bioimaging and biosensing applications. Analyst. 2010;135:21-27  Hooker J, Datta A, Botta M, Raymond K, Francis M. Magnetic resonance contrast agents from viral capsid shells: A comparison of exterior and interior cargo strategies. Nano Letters. 2007;7:2207-2210  Gilbert L, Toivola J, White D, et al. Molecular and structural characterization of fluorescent human parvovirus B19 virus-like particles. Abstract Postharvest diseases and senescence changes represent the most severe sources of loss of fruit production. Fruits are perishable products with active metabolism during postharvest period, which plays a major role in the senescence and affects commercial life. Many different species of fungi and bacteria are associated with fruits and contamination may occur during growing, harvesting, handling, and distribution, and while waiting to be processed. Fruits are also vehicles for transmission of infectious microorganisms. Foodborne illness outbreaks and cases associated with fresh and minimally processed fruits have been rising in the last two decades, both in developing countries as well as in the developed world. These issues lead to major economic losses and the industry is constantly seeking postharvest treatments to extend fruit shelf life while retaining its quality. This presentation is aimed to explore the application of some mild and environmental-friendly techniques (ozone, pulsed light, and ultraviolet light, among others), applied alone or in a hurdle approach, for improving the shelf life and safety of fruits and fruit products. Examples about the application of some tools to hurdle technology design for berries and other fruits are also given, evidencing opportunities and future challenges. Abstract There are hundreds of thousands of chemicals used around the world to meet the global demands for food, energy, and a higher standard of living. Decades of environmental monitoring studies have demonstrated that many of these chemicals accumulate in the aquatic environment. The incredible number of chemicals that may be present in any given water system poses challenges for water quality monitoring and associated engineered solutions. In the first part of this contribution, new techniques for water quality monitoring afforded by high-resolution mass spectrometry will be introduced. Case studies will be used to highlight the advantages and challenges associated with target screening and nontarget screening techniques. In the second part of this contribution, a new polymer will be introduced that outperforms many conventional adsorbents for the removal of organic chemicals from water at environmentally relevant concentrations. The polymer is derived sustainably from cornstarch, and characterization studies demonstrate that it exhibits rapid adsorption kinetics, excludes interactions with natural organic matter (NOM), and can be regenerated with a mild washing solution at ambient temperatures without a loss in performance. These features all suggest that the polymer may be a promising alternative adsorbent for the removal of trace organic chemicals during water and wastewater treatment. Abstract This chapter provides a simplified review of cryo-EM single particle reconstruction algorithms at a level that engineering and computer science students might find accessible.