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New Kind of Cosmic Flash May Reveal Birth of a Black Hole


Science in Italy.

The project : A new approach to evolution.
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Supplementation with α-lipoic acid, CoQ10, and vitamin E augments running performance and mitochondrial function in female mice.

Abadi A, Crane JD, Ogborn D, Hettinga B, Akhtar M, Stokl A, Macneil L, Safdar A, Tarnopolsky M.

Department of Pediatrics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.


Antioxidant supplements are widely consumed by the general public; however, their effects of on exercise performance are controversial. The aim of this study was to examine the effects of an antioxidant cocktail (α-lipoic acid, vitamin E and coenzyme Q10) on exercise performance, muscle function and training adaptations in mice. C57Bl/J6 mice were placed on antioxidant supplement or placebo-control diets (n = 36/group) and divided into trained (8 wks treadmill running) (n = 12/group) and untrained groups (n = 24/group). Antioxidant supplementation had no effect on the running performance of trained mice nor did it affect training adaptations; however, untrained female mice that received antioxidants performed significantly better than placebo-control mice (p ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, antioxidant-supplemented females (untrained) showed elevated respiratory capacity in freshly excised muscle fibers (quadriceps femoris) (p ≤ 0.05), reduced oxidative damage to muscle proteins (p ≤ 0.05), and increased expression of mitochondrial proteins (p ≤ 0.05) compared to placebo-controls. These changes were attributed to increased expression of proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1α (PGC-1α) (p ≤ 0.05) via activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) (p ≤ 0.05) by antioxidant supplementation. Overall, these results indicate that this antioxidant supplement exerts gender specific effects; augmenting performance and mitochondrial function in untrained females, but does not attenuate training adaptations.

PMCID: PMC3614986 Free PMC Article

Augmentation therapy with alpha-lipoic acid and desvenlafaxine: A future target for treatment of depression?

Silva MC, de Sousa CN, Sampaio LR, Ximenes NC, Araújo PV, da Silva JC, de Oliveira SL, Sousa FC, Macêdo DS, Vasconcelos SM.

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Federal University of Ceará, Rua Cel Nunes de Melo 1127, 60431-270, Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil.


This study was designed to investigate the possible antidepressant effects of the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) as a stand-alone treatment or in association with desvenlafaxine (DVS) in the chronic corticosterone (CORT)-induced depression model. The depression model was induced by repeated administrations of CORT (20 mg/kg, subcutaneous) in mice over a period of 14 days. Between days 15 and 21, a randomized group of mice received DVS (10 or 20 mg/kg, per os [PO]), ALA (100 or 200 mg/kg, PO), or a combination of DVS (10 or 20 mg/kg, PO) and ALA (100 or 200 mg/kg, PO) along with the CORT injections for the remaining 7 days. Other groups of mice received DVS (10 or 20 mg/kg, PO) or ALA (100 or 200 mg/kg, PO) alone. Open field test, elevated plus maze (EPM) test, tail suspension test (TST), and forced swimming test (FST) were carried out 1 h after the last injection of CORT. Repeated CORT injections induced anxiety-like and depressive-like behaviors as observed by decreased open arms entries in the EPM test and increased immobility time in the TST and FST. The administration of DVS and ALA alone was able to reverse the increases in the immobility time. The combination of ALA and DVS potentiated the observed effects of DVS. These results suggest that augmentation therapy with the addition of antioxidant drugs may be an important pharmacological approach for the treatment of depression.PMID: 23584634 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Effects of ascorbic acid and α-lipoic acid on performance and meat quality of broilers subjected to heat stress.

Imik H, Ozlu H, Gumus R, Atasever MA, Urcar S, Atasever M.

Department of Animal Nutrition and Nutritional Disorders, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, Ataturk University, 25240 Erzurum, Turkey. halitimik60@hotmail.com


1. The present study was aimed to investigate the effect of adding ascorbic acid or α-lipoic acid to to the diet of broilers exposed to heat stress on performance and meat quality. 2. Heat stress caused a decrease in final body weight and feed consumption, whilst ascorbic acid (AA) and α-lipoic acid (ALA) partly prevented the decrease in final body weight of males. 3. While heat stress increased the pH values of broiler drumsticks and breast meat, AA and ALA partly reduced this increase. For meat quality, AA and ALA reduced the adverse effects on the relative yellowness value, particularly on d 14 of storage. 4. It was determined that heat stress affected the microbiological quality of meat adversely, and that AA and ALA alleviated this effect to a certain extent. 5. In conclusion, while heat stress affected body weight gain and meat quality adversely, the supplementation of the ration with AA and ALA partly alleviated these adverse effects.PMID: 23398425 [PubMed - in process]


PMID: 23565271 [PubMed - in process]


Applied Genomics Institute (IGA)

The Istituto di Genomica Applicata (IGA) is a international centre of research in genetics and genomics of living organisms of the Scientific and Technological Park 'Luigi Danieli' of Udine. Born as spin-off of the University of Udine, it is a non-profit association established in 2006 by a team of researchers of the Udine University with different abilities in genomics, bioinformatics and molecular breeding.
IGA is indebted for the support received in setting up the operating structure and the first research projects with:

  • Friuli Innovazione Consortium
  • University of Udine
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia Government 
  • Federazione delle Banche di Credito Cooperativo
  • the CRUP Bank Foundation of Udine
  • the Carigo Bank Foundation of Gorizia
  • the CRT Bank Foundation of Trieste
  • the Vivai Cooperativi Rauscedo (PN), the world leading grapevine nursery
  • Eurotech Ltd of Amaro (UD), a leader in the field of Embedded Computer Technology
  • local grapevine Industries and Wineries

Field of activity
The research activity of IGA is strongly oriented to:

  • analyse structural and functional features of genomes
  • study evolutionary dynamics of genomes and population genetics
  • link genetic diversity with phenotypic variation 
  • discover the molecular basis of complex traits
  • describe, simulate and predict biological processes through algorithms and bioinformatics tools
  • characterise, protect and exploit natural resources relevant to agriculture, food and non-food industry
  • promote innovation by transferring the results of research to the industry
  • disseminate the scientific culture

Lab facilities
The IGA boasts a new 400 square meters labs and have two core facilities:

  • a DNA sequencing core, with 4 high-through ABI 3730XL automatic sequencers and a capability of about 5 million bases per day
  • a centre of computational biology, with parallel computing facilities and 4 terabytes data storage devices. The centre has expertise in developing proprietary LIMS (Laboratory Information Management Systems), DBMS (DataBase Management Systems), tools for the structural analysis of DNA sequences and the functional annotation of genes and other relevant DNA motifs.

Grape genome sequencing initiative
VIGNE/VIGNA is French/Italian project aiming to sequence the grape genome (approx. 480 Million bases) and to exploit the information derived from the DNA decoding in the fields of grape physiology, biochemistry, genetics, and breeding.
In the frame of VIGNA, IGA was one of the three partners which sequenced, starting from April 2006 to July 2007, grape genome jointly to the CRIBI at the University of Padua and Genoscope in Paris. The first draft of the sequence has been published on Nature in August 2007.

Grapevine genotyping platform
IGA is involved in a project aims to set up a genotyping platform to enabling the unequivocal identification of most clones of any grape variety with an analysis acceptable as a forensic proof.

Breeding grapevine for disease resistance
IGA is cooperating with the University of Udine in a long term breeding program aiming to study the genetic determinants of resistance to mildew diseases in grape and to produce new grapevine cultivars resistant to downy and powdery mildew.

Other research projects
In the first 2 years since its formal creation IGA has been quite successful in attracting additional external funding through its participation in different calls for proposals. Beside research projects regarding grape, IGA will be then involved in the next years in projects on genomics of other plants (i.e. poplar, coffee, wheat).
External services
While IGA is not a service laboratory but a research institute, it does accept to carry out sequencing and genotyping services for the local research community, for collaborators and for large projects that we may be requested to carry out.


B.LAB è nata nel 2010 dall'idea di due imprenditori friulani che hanno sperimentato la produzione di un innovativo prodotto anti inquinamento per il settore auto-motive. Il prodotto concepito da B.LAB consiste in un additivo per circuiti di raffreddamento al 100% Biologico (a base di acqua demineralizzata) che permette di ridurre il potere inquinante di tutti i motori a combustione interna.
Attività e servizi

Attività e servizi

B.LAB propone due linee di prodotto: AQQA AntipollutuionWater, prodotto a basso costo per il mondo dell’automotive, e AQQA OverboosterRacing particolarmente indicato per il mondo del Racing. Test effettuati sui prodotti hanno dimostrato l'effettiva efficacia in termini di riduzione della produzione di CO2 causata dalla cattiva combustione dei motori, in particolar modo quelli più obsoleti.

AQQA AntipollutionWater, in particolare, è un prodotto a base di acqua demineralizzata trattata fisicamente e senza alcun agente chimico, da utilizzare quale additivo per circuiti di raffreddamento, nato per ridurre l'emissione di polveri sottili dell'aria, ridurre i consumi e aumentare le prestazioni dei motori a combustione. Arriva sul mercato dopo 5 anni di studio sul prodotto che lo hanno portato a diventare fornitore tecnico ufficiale nel MotoMondiale 2011 con il Team Gresini Racing Moto2.

Nel 2011 il prodotto è stato testato anche su mezzi da trasporto su gomma e i risultati sono stati monitorati da Oracar, unica azienda in Italia con certificazione TUV, che ha certificato il risparmio in termini percentuali sui consumi di carburante (fin media il 7% su circuiti extracittadini e autostradali).