This initiative intends to make science closer to young people through smartphone apps related to several scientific areas.
By means of this multi game app, user becomes comfortable with science in four different topics:
- Cell Spotting: Real images from a cell culture obtained from an inverse fluorescence microscope at BIFI facilities are analyzed. Namely, cell death is analyzed through two parameters.
- Mind Paths: The goal in this game is to determine the distance between words according to conceptual analysis carried out by the people. Given a couple of words (beginning and target) and a network linked to them, user must choose among one of the words linked to the first one keeping in mind which one of them will lead him/her to reach the target word.
- Sun4All: Users must analyze sun spot obtained by Astronomical Observatory of the University of Coimbra (Portugal) aiming to help to understand solar activity and cycle..
-Mobilab: An app to get measurements from the sensors that your smartphone owns to be used in different situations.
This project is framed within the European project Socientize, taking advantage of the development team at the Institute for Biocomputation and Physics of Complex Systems (BIFI) of the University of Zaragoza in collaboration with the Ibercivis Foundation.
This is a Citizen Science project funded by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT).
This project will establish an indicative map of the concentration of chlorine in drinking water in cities across Spain , initially in the city deZaragoza . To do this there will be public participation in science , under 2 prisms, either experimental use of technology. Both aim to decant high school and high school, the recognition of the use of experimentation and technology in scientific advances.
This project aims to bring chemistry to society and promote active participation from homes and schools.
It has various phases for the experiment citizen science water control :
A preparatory phase of the student participant in the study and distribution of material and necessary reagents and protocols .
A second where the secondary or high school student takes the tests and measures at home or school and where their results sent HOLDER analysis through a mobile application . It will be creating a map with water droplets by the cities with each contribution .
The third consists of the analysis of the results together with additional data from the water sample : sample location mainly of water in the city of Zaragoza. After this analysis results in a map Ibercivis in which the distribution of the concentration of chlorine ( also related to pH and temp ) affected will be developed. As a control, they may include the information in the Control Program quality drinking water IMSP of Zaragoza, which will serve as an internal control for the analysis of the results sent
Since one of the control parameters, the level keeps "in line" to microbial contaminants is chlorine, the experiment consists of taking measurements chlorine through the kits distributed from IBERCIVIS.
Moreover, the water PH medidición be performed.
All information and measurement process is in the web http://aqua.ibercivis.es/
This proyect is supported by Fundación Española para la Ciencia y la Tecnología
For this project, Ibercivis benefits from the experience of this group of professionals:
Fermín Serrano Sanz, professional European citizen science projects , leads the line at the Institute of Biocomputing and Physics of Complex Systems , Socientize FP7 project coordinator . Speaker at various European forums citizen science and collective intelligence .
Natividad Miguel Salcedo, collaborates in this citizen science project, teaching and research staff of the University of Zaragoza. It belongs to the Applied Research Group " Quality and Water Treatment " which is part of I institute of Environmental Sciences University of Aragon
Yolanda Vergara Larrayad , in charge of technical project in the BIFI with extensive research and teaching experience in water-related sectors among others.
Francisco Sanz, is directly related to the scientific community to provide a platform that allows Ibercivis contact with citizens and citizen science. Developer tools for this new kind of science . Discloser in different forums about computing and citizen science .
Carlos Val infrastructure developer in citizen science . Responsible for relations with external entities to develop citizen science projects .
Lostal Eduardo Lanza is web developer and mobile applications for citizen science projects . Present in other related field of citizen science conferences. Director final projects related to citizen science .
M.Carmen Ibanez Hernandez is responsible for disclosure and dissemination section within the foundation and event organizer citizen science , has 5 years of experience developing citizenship activities .
Happy Up is a new app for mobile device. At the moment it is only available in Spanish.
A mobile application that allows you to know your level of happiness and how to improve it.
Based on the responses of a simple questionnaire with 21 questions, this tool calculates your level of happiness on a scale from 1 to 100. The user is invited to reflect on how much it values her/himself, the meaning granted to public recognition, and how material conditions (among others) influence he/she happiness. Once these information is provided, the tool gives the user a list of tips that serve as a starting point to train/improve the user happiness, and in which areas the user feels less happy.
These tips are offered to those users receiving an assessment of happiness below 80%. In this case, the tips provided are associated with the areas that the user reveals lower levels of happiness.
Other scientific tools have already been developed to measure the level of ones happiness or to evaluate other aspects closely associated to it, such as life satisfaction aspects .
In this tool, the novelty is that along with measuring psychological well-being, the tool also takes into account, to some extent, the development of our personal virtue and assesses the impact of labour on our happiness.
You just have to access Apple Store or Play Store and download the application. HappyUp is freely available for iOS and android.
Citizen science will build the map of happiness, distinguishing different geographic regions, gender and age groups.
The research group of the Universidad San Jorge (USJ), Felicicom Lab, is the author of the idea of the tool. The technological developments of this application was done in a collaboration between USJ and Ibercivis Foundation.
GRIPENET: end of the first season
The cell imaging application pretends to involve citizens to participate in cancer research, by analyzing images which are taken from real cells undergoing treatment for drug delivery. This image survey participation allows to made progresses in the study of cell-death, that is known as apoptosis, present in diseases like cancer.
You can contribute to the analysis of tumor cells from your home.
It's easy: the application displays different images of cell cultures taken by a microscope. After that, the involving citizens can determine the state of cells by answering some simple questions like “Is circular or elongated cell?” or “Is the nucleus fragmented?”. So that, the researchers can learn what is happening in each crop and whether medication applied to each one of them are proving effective.
Each image is sent to multiple participants to validate the results.
All living beings are made out of cells. Plants and animals contain many different cells. There are also unicellular organisms, made out of a single cell, as protozoa, yeast or bacteria. All cells are originated by division of other cells, except the first cell that appeared millions of years ago, at the origin of life.
Pluricellular organisms usually reproduce by the sexual way. After fecundation of an oocyte by a sperm cell, the new cell, known as zygote, begins to divide itself, forming an aggregate of many cells identical between them. During embryo development these cells differentiate into several cell types, giving shape to the embryo through morphogenetic movements. A human being contains around 200 cell types.
Each cell type occupies a defined place within the organism, specializing in specific tasks. Cells within a living being coordinate precisely between them in order to allow the survival of the organism, forming tissues and organs. Some cells, as neurons, are not usually replaced by others when they dye. Nevertheless, inside most tissues and organs cells age, die and are replaced by others through the cell division process. Our organs function correctly due to the precise coordination of their cells. Each cell is a complex living being that contains small organs, known as organelles, as mitochondria or the endoplasmic reticulum.
Proteins are essential molecules for life. Many or them are real microscopic machines specialized in certain tasks. Some proteins function by copying fragments of DNA that contain genetic information, the genes, synthesizing another informative molecule, RNA.
Ribosomes, made out of proteins and RNA, translate the information from RNA into protein molecules, assembling amino acids, which then perform specific functions. Genetic information, organized as a sequence of certain letters, the nucleotides, can change when those letters change, producing a mutation. The change in DNA nucleotides can produce a change in the amino acids of proteins, modifying their activities and eventually giving rise to pathologies of genetic origin, like cancer.
Cancer originates by the uncontrolled division of a certain cell type, which produces a tumor. In malign tumors some of those cells can leave the original tumor and travel through the blood to other body regions. Although many of these cells die, some are able to establish themselves in other tissues, forming new tumors. This is known and metastasis.
One of the current approaches to fight cancer consists on the identification of chemicals, possible drugs that selectively eliminate tumor cells, assaying thousands or even millions of candidates using robotic systems.
The effect of such chemicals on cells can be studied using multidimensional light microscopy. To carry out these type of studies are commonly used automated microscopy systems [are used], which allow us to observe the response of tumor cells cultured in vitro to different treatments over time, by acquiring images at defined intervals. The observation of different cell organelles labeled with fluorescent molecules of several colors allows us to determine the type of cell response to a chemical.
The different images acquired can be combined in composite images that allow observation of several organelles at the same time. For instance, blue nuclei and green mitochondria combined with bright field microscopy (grey tones) to observe the cell as a whole.
This way we can observe the process of cell division, which begins with cell rounding. The nucleus, initially rounded, gets compacted into a band that later divides into two, before getting rounded again. We can also observe changes in mitochondria or in the whole cell during this process.
There are two major types of cell death, apoptosis and necrosis. Apoptosis is a type of physiological death during which the cell shrinks, its surface blebs and its nucleus gets condensed and/or fragmented. Mitochondria, which are usually worm-shaped, brake into little balls, what can be observed in this multinucleated cell. During necrosis, a type or cell death that usually takes place due to intense physical or chemical damage, the nucleus does not shrink or fragment, but cell content is released, what can be observed as bubbles growing around the cell. In these last cells, mitochondria have been stained red. Cell content release during necrosis produces an inflammatory response.
An antitumor compound should ideally induce selective apoptotic cell death, since apoptotic cells are eliminated by the immune system without inflammation of the surrounding tissue.
José Alberto Carrodeguas Villar
Patricia Martínez Alonso
María Alejandra Nelo Bazán
Alan Eduardo Vigueras Ceballos
Radio Intereconomía, Zaragoza December 2013