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CESAM work on TiO2 nanomaterials in the journal Nanoscale

Mónica Amorim, researcher of the Department of Biology and the Centre for Environmental and Marine Studies (CESAM), from the research group of Ecology and applied Ecotoxicology - applEE, coordinated by Prof. Amadeu Soares, co-authored a paper published in Nanoscale journal: “Mechanisms of (photo)toxicity of TiO2 nanomaterials (NM103, NM104, NM105): using high-throughput gene expression in Enchytraeus crypticus”. Titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanomaterials (NMs) are among the most highly produced worldwide, estimates are around 60.000 tonnes per year. The applications go from the common use as sunscreens (UV protectors) to photocatalytic properties for soil remediation.  The effects of NMs in the environment are assessed using methods available in the legislation for the evaluation of substances (REACH: Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals), via the effect assessment of physiological endpoints in organisms, e.g. survival and reproduction in invertebrates. However, the assessment of the mechanisms of action of NMs and (sub-)cellular effects that precede the effects observed in the organisms is very important, since it may allow to earlier assess, as well as to potentiate the production of safer NMs for the environment (safety-by-design).  Hence, the development of techniques and methods that allow to explore the mechanistic effects, is a priority. This is precisely what was shown in the recently published article in Nanoscale, where a 44000 genes microarray was explored, a tool developed by UA team for a model species in ecotoxicology. "High-throughput gene expression was used to assess the molecular mechanisms, while also anchoring it to known effects at the organism level (i.e., reproduction). Results showed that the photoactivity of TiO2 (UV exposed) played a major role in enhancing TiO2 toxicity, activating transcription of oxidative stress, lysosome damage and apoptosis mechanisms. For non-UV activated TiO2, where toxicity at organism level (reproduction) was lower, results showed the potential for long-term effects (i.e., mutagenic and epigenetic)." The response to stress is usually activated, after a short period of time, in cells and with genetic precursors, hence representing the signalling of potential adverse effects that are apparent in the organism only later. The possibility to predict effects in an earlier stage is an aspect that deserves attention and has an enormous potential, this is one of the foccus of this research group. For further reading.

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  • Are you going to have a researcher contract?

    If yes, please pay attention!When you start your contract of researcher you are no longer an integrated member of CESAM!"Oh no! What should I do?"When you confirm the starting date of your contract with the UA human resources department you should send an email to, directed to the Scientific Coordinator of CESAM, requesting that you want to be an integrated member of CESAM and indicating the starting date of the contract."And it is done?"No! If you have your CV updated in CESAM webpage, please indicate that in the e-mail. If not, briefly state how your research contributes to the strategy of CESAM and send a summarized CV."But why?"Because, according to the regulation of CESAM, if you are not a post-doc fellow you need to have a minimum scientific production to be an integrated member (Annex I of the regulation). Please note that all the researchers in CESAM go through this process!"And then?"Your request will be analysed and voted in one of the meetings of the Scientific Council Coordinating Commission of CESAM and you will be notified on the decision.

  • Workshop "Alien species in a changing world”

    CESAM is organizing a workshop on Alien Species | New date: 7th December; UA. The workshop scientific committee is calling for flash presentations (5’) under the topics:I. Introduction of alien species in the context of global changesII. Invasive alien species: a growing problem for environment and human wellbeingIII. Prevention and mitigating of invasive alien speciesFour to five flash presentations under each topic will be selected and all CESAM community is invited to submit proposals.Proposals should be sent by e-mail to until 22 October and should include: Title of the presentation Presenter name and co-authors (if applicable) Abstract (up to 200 words) NOTE: The slides of the presentation will be in english but the presentation will be in Portuguese.  The proposals will be selected upon relevance for the session by the Scientific Committee and results will be communicated within a week from the deadline for applications.There are already some confirmed entities that will atend the round table. You can count with the presence of: Associação BioLiving EDIA, SA Município de Águeda Porto de Aveiro


  • Coffee with Science

    The event Coffee with Science that happened in Fábrica Centro de Ciência Viva on the 12 December 2018 counted with the presence of the researcher Bruno Nunes and was moderated by the professor Fernando Morgado. The former CESAM members Doctors Milene Matos and João Pedrosa were also present. This activity intended to show to the students the different professional paths highlighting factors identified as deciding aspects that took these researchers of Biology and similar areas to selected their present. Moreover it was also a goal to show to the students that there are many different paths but it is necessary to plan as soon as possible a carreer, otherwise they can loose unique opportunities. This event was organized by CESAM (Bruno Nunes from the Functional Biodiversity Research Group) in collaboration with the Biology Students Association and Department of Biology. 

  • CESAM member was elected Convenor of a working group of the International Organization for Biological Control

    Olga Ameixa, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow of the Department of Biology & CESAM was elected last September 13th, the Convenor of the working group “Benefits and Risks of Exotic Biological Control Agents” of the International Organization for Biological Control - West Palaearctic Regional Section (IOBC/WPRS) at the last group meeting in Ponta Delgada, Azores.IOBC-WPRS is a non-profit organisation founded in 1955 which encourages and promotes networking among scientists and other stakeholders in promoting feasible and environmentally safe methods of pest and pathogen control, fostering research and practical application, organisation of meetings, symposia as well as offering training and information. The working group “Benefits and Risks of Exotic Biological Control Agents” deals with hot issues which range from scanning new biological control agents, risk assessment or looking at the ecological problems posed by these. Olga Ameixa will engage this roll for the next 5 years until new elections.

  • Visit to CESAM and ECOMARE of the selected teams for the program Blue Bio Value

    On the scope of the activities of the initiative Blue Bio Value, the first accelerator program that allows to escalate the marine solutions of a biological basis for applications in the global market in different sectors, using biotechnological innovation based in science and helping to face important social challenges, the scientific coordinator of CESAM Ana Lillebø, received, on the 26th of October in the University of Aveiro, some of the entrepeneur teams selected to participate on the first edition of this program. The visit intended to show some of the infrastructures, equipments and services that CESAM make available to the participant teams of the program Blue Bio Value. The use of these and other UA resources occurs in the scope of the protocol Blue Demonstrators Network to be soon celebrated between UA and Blue Bio Alliance - BBA. The final balance of this visit was clearly positive. In fact, all the participants were quite impressed with the available infrastructures of CESAM and with the existent diversity and analitical capacity, the technical support that may be done and the multidisciplinarity of the services that may be offered by this Associated Laboratory. During the visit it was highlighted that the infrastructures, equipments and services from UA are beyond CESAM and ECOMARE. Indeed, UA has unique treasures in the country that may be fundamental to accelerate business ideas. As an associate of BBA, CESAM (presently represented in the Executive Board by the researcher Ricardo Calado) will affirm its mission of promotion and revitalisation of a new national blue bioeconomy.

  • CESAM Magusto

      CESAM is organizing a Magusto! It will be on the 9th November, 16h30 on CESAM's meeting room (Building III, 5th floor). You need to bring 500 g of already sliced chestnuts that must be delivered until the day before.Confirm your participation until the 5th of November here.

CESAM Funding: