Three Families Lose Everything in Fire (El Mexicano, 11/10/12 by Lucía Gomez Sanchez)

TIJUANA, BC - All was lost in a fire Friday morning for three families in colony Nueva Esperanza, while they saw their belongings diminished to soot and coal. They don't know what caused the fire just that it consumed everything that had taken years to build and buy.

They are now on the street because the flames left only flimsy timber and sheets that outlined their homes and furniture, clothing and even documents they had. Ignorant of the extent of the tragedy, the children of the homeowners played at noon on Friday on the charred slabs, with their faces painted by soot and remains of carbonized timber on their hands.

One of the families affected by the fire was headed by Eustolia Hildega Zurún Roblero and Diego Santis Pérez. They and their four children managed to get out of the fire safely that began around 5: 00 a.m. Friday. The mother and children were sleeping when Diego told them to leave the house because the fire had advanced.

"The first thing are the children", says Diego while he regrets how they are left without anything that took 12 years to build since they arrived from Chiapas, but appreciates their loved ones came out unscathed. "We are going to start again because we have nothing, we will go forward, it is sad, everything is so sad", he said.

The Santis Zurún family requested the State Government, who offered support to those affected, for their relocation to El Aguilón in Alamar Arroyo where other families are settled. Meanwhile, the rest of those affected will stay with neighbors and relatives until they are able to obtain new residences.

The fire occurred on avenida Cañón del Padre in colonia Nueva Esperanza. Alamar Arroyo is located on the banks of the Creek of the same name. Irregular settlements there have become a place of shelter for hundreds of poor families that migrated from different parts of the country. http://www.el-mexicano.com.mx/informacion/noticias/1/3/estatal/2012/11/10/628311/tres-familias-lo-perdieron-todo.aspx

CICESE Biomedical Unit Announced (El Mexicano, 11/10/12 by Marco A. Flores Mancilla)

ENSENADA, BC - Starting in 2013, CICESE will operate a structure that facilitates the development of applied research projects in the area of human health, the center announced through a press release. A unit of Biomedical Development (UDB) will focus its efforts on creating new drugs and diagnostic strategies which are likely to generate patents and the transfer of technology. The unit will have an aim to develop maximum capabilities of applied biomedical research for CICESE, with the consequent transfer of technology to the national and international pharmaceutical industry.

Alexei Licea, researcher and director of the Division of Experimental and Applied Biology (DBEA) of CICESE, explained that the creation of the UDB was derived from investigations that long have been developing in the DBEA, all of them aimed at solving a variety of practical problems in basic research. Within the area of health, in recent years they have isolated several molecules with biological activity that attack diseases such as tuberculosis, diabetes and colon, breast, cervical, lung, prostate and skin cancers. They are also looking for treatments for chronic pain.

Many projects in this division have had positive results and are in the process of transferring technology, while others are in the process of obtaining patents. However, the account requires further studies to analyze real potentials to become drugs. He noted that they are currently working in collaboration with national pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies, hoping that their support will serve to provide more of a foundation in the consolidation of these molecules as new drugs.

Each year on average, Dr. Licea and his working group have submitted two applications for patents before IMPI and considered that with the creation of the UDB more will arise. CICESE’s commitment, once they start the unit’s activities in 2013, will have at least six patents in five years and at least two products on the market. In addition, the idea is make it a self-sufficient unit, which does not depend on any budget, but creates economic resources and is self-financing.

The staff of the UDB is formed by two researchers: Marco de Leon, Immunologist, and Claudia Sánchez, Virologist. He is responsible for the study of the regulation of the immune system in favor of avoiding infections or once they are already present, to be able to remove them more quickly. She will work with antiviral molecules or mechanisms of virus infection then try to block those mechanisms.

In addition there will be three highly specialized technicians at masters or doctorate levels, who handle the team laboratories and support the development of projects. Finally, a person in the legal area will focus on everything related to intellectual property and a PhD in Science who is responsible for the transfer of technology developed in the unit.

In terms of the construction itself, Dr. Licea explained they have invested 32 million pesos ($2.4 million US) in the first stage, of which 15 million pesos ($1.1 million US) was used for the construction of the building and 17 million pesos ($1.3 million US) for purchasing equipment. It was reported the building construction began on June 28, 2012 and will culminate on December 23 of this year. They are currently managing an additional 27 million pesos ($2 million US) for the acquisition of equipment and total completion of the building.

The UDB will belong to the DBEA and will house laboratories aimed at the isolation of new drugs. The building will consist of two plants which together total 1,318 square meters. Pathogens, cell culture, fermentation and mass spectrometry laboratories will be located on the first level. The team will operate a system that includes mass spectrometry, flow cytometry with an acoustic approach (ATTUNE), a spectrophotometric analyses printer, microplate spectrophotometer, bioreactors for several volumes of fermentation, an inverted microscope, a thermal surface for analgesia, laminar vertical class II type A2 flow hoods, ultrafreezers, amplifiers of genes in real time and DNA sequencers among other specialized scientific equipment. On the second floor there will be cubicles for researchers and support staff, an office for intellectual property, and classrooms used by the DBE. http://www.el-mexicano.com.mx/informacion/noticias/1/3/estatal/2012/11/10/628205/anuncia-cicese-unidad-biomedica.aspx

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