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November 7, VHIR Seminar- Dr. Carlos Briones "In vitro evolution of nucleic acids: from origins of life research to its application in biomedicine"

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14:30 h

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Aula 114 del Mòdul Sud, Unitat Docent HUVH

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Unitat de Comunicació i Imatge

The development of in vitro evolution of nucleic acids in 1990 allowed the discovery of new and improved functional capabilities of RNA. Such experimental evidence increased the plausibility of the 'RNA World' hypothesis as an intermediate step that could have bridged the gap between prebiotic chemistry and the first cellular entities. In parallel, different versions of this powerful in vitro methodology have made it possible to evolve RNA and DNA molecules (termed 'aptamers') whose 3D structure allows them to bind to any desired target with high affinity and specificity. As a result, aptamers currently show a growing number of applications in biotechnology and biomedicine.

Staff Scientist of the Spanish National Research Council (Científico Titular del CSIC) in the Department of Molecular Evolution at the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB, CSIC-INTA, Associated to the NASA Astrobiology Institute). Dr. Briones graduated in Chemistry (Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) in 1992, and received his PhD in Sciences at the same University after completing his thesis at the Centro de Biología Molecular ‘Severo Ochoa’ (CSIC-UAM). Since 2000 he leads his own research group at CAB, focused on the origin and early evolution of life (including experimental and theoretical approaches to the RNA world hypothesis), genetics of RNA viruses (dynamics of viral quasispecies and sequence-structure-function relationships in viral genomic RNA), atomic force microscopy of nucleic acids (including viral and viroidal RNAs), in vitro evolution of nucleic acids (RNA and DNA aptamers) and biosensor development (DNA microarray technology, PNA- and aptamer-based sensors, as well as other bionanotechnology-inspired biosensors).

Host: Dr. Josep Quer, Liver Diseases josep.quer@vhir.org

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