In a regional spread in the Atacama region that includes science initiatives in Copiapo, Caldera and Valinar, the Minister of Science, Andres Cove, Visited the Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Atacama University this morningWith Presidential Delegate Patricio Urquita and the Greater Northern District’s Department of Science, Daniela Barria.
On a guided tour by Dr. Cesar Echeverria, the authorities learned about the work of the scientific teams that Contribute since the start of the pandemic To the University Diagnostic Network promoted by the Ministry of Science, which is preparing today to contribute to the investigation of coronavirus variants through Sars-CoV-2 sequencing.
Researchers from Atacama University have made a significant contribution to the diagnosis of CRP in the region since the beginning of the epidemic, With more than 360 thousand samples analyzed. This team is working today to join the University Network for Genetic Sequencing, A key ability for this phase of a health emergency.
“Thanks to Fondequip from ANID and contributions from the regional government last year that add up to 100 million dollars, this university already has a high-tech sequencing team that will be able to work through reagents and supplies and hire technical support for $150 million managed by Seremi de CienciaMinister Cove said.
Similarly, the authority announced that, thanks to the coordination of MinCiencia and in cooperation with the ISP and the US Embassy, I contacted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to cooperate with the strengthening of laboratories in the Great Northern Region with sequencing capacity.
For his part, Presidential Delegate Patricio Urquita highlighted “the work done by the scientists responsible for this laboratory, which has made it possible to bring together resources and wills, both from the public sector and from the private sector, with mining. Companies that have made very important contributions. It is important to strengthen capabilities management within this laboratory.”
Seremi de Ciencia, Daniela Barria, highlighted UDA’s efforts to use the knowledge generated in the region in diagnosis, sequencing and “in other initiatives against the epidemic such as the work carried out since January 2021 in conjunction with the city of Copiapó Nueva Atacama to detect Sars-Cov-2 variants.” wastewater and its control.
Cesar Echeverria, Research Director and Technical Director of the Molecular Biology Laboratory at UDA, noted that “The genomics lab has the potential to perform between 30 and 120 samples per week to be able to be sequenced for variants known as delta, as well as variables that are traded in our region. The lab capabilities are there, the people are there, the equipment is there, and very soon we will start implementing as many sequences as the health authority deems appropriate.”
After visiting the university, the minister will visit the Las Campanas Observatory (LCO) of the Carnegie Institution for Science with Seremi de Ciencia and learn about the progress made in the construction of the Giant Magellan Telescope, an instrument It would be three times the size of any ground-based optical telescope built to date And it will have five to ten times the light-gathering power of other telescopes in the world.
Tomorrow the Minister of Science is heading to the Caldera Paleontological Museum, where, along with the Chairman of the Board of Directors and Regional Governor of Atacama, Miguel Vargas; Caldera Mayor, Brunelda Gonzalez; and Executive Director of CIAHN-ATACAMA, Pablo Quilodran.
At the venue, authorities will know the fossil group and visit preparations for its upcoming exhibition.
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