Recent Posts

Abundance, distribution, diversity, resistance...: key words for vectors of infectious microorganisms Please, sign here! Leishmania braziliensis infection and its microbial signature

  • 20 May 2016
Many microorganisms have established million-year old associations with certain insect genera and one of the consequences to humans obliges us to invest precious resources in the study of this relationship: the transmission of infectious diseases. If left uncontrolled, insect vectors and their transported microorganisms can represent a deadly threat to human populations. When only the infectious agent is considered in this association, features like distribution, diversity and resistance, though still conveying technical and conceptual challenges, can be dealt with in simpler terms. But a scenario analysis that looks at the simultaneous presence of an infectious agent and its vector elevates…

Please, sign here! Leishmania braziliensis infection and its microbial signature

  • 18 April 2016
Lately, microbes that colonise the gut and skin in humans have attracted enormous attention. Diverse physiological roles are being attributed to the human microbiota; one of the most studied is the contribution to the immune response (Lopes et al. 2016). For obvious reason these studies are targeted at human beings, but we can infer that in other animals the importance of commensal microbes should be relevant as well. Changing or eliminating some members of microbial communities may lead to undesirable systemic effects in the host organism. One practical example of such imbalance occurs with the action of antibiotics (Raymond et…

Emerging infectious disease and fast-track publication: when public health gets priority over the formality of scholarly publishing.

  • 11 March 2016
It has long been acknowledged within the scientific community that in the mid- term future the Earth will undergo important changes beyond those deduced from the past behaviour of known physical phenomena. For example, climate change due to rising temperatures is expected to influence several systems, like ocean levels, wind current and rain regimes. Global travel, urbanization, biomedical manipulation and intensive agriculture are additional factors affecting natural systems which together in turn influence the diversity of plant, animals, and microorganisms in general. As a result, zoonoses represent 60,3% of emerging infectious diseases, more than 70% of which are caused by…

In-house methods: do they still have a place in the modern laboratory?

  • 23 February 2016
To answer the question above we first need to identify the kind of laboratory we are talking about. For the typical diagnostic laboratory, the answer is no! Rigorous quality control standards demand that the methods used in the routine procedures must be thoroughly tested and validated before being used in any diagnostic test. Considering that this kind of laboratory already has a heavy workload of daily diagnostic tests, it is not cost-effective to develop in-house diagnostic procedures. In addition to these technical issues, there are the extensive and complicated regulatory standards imposed by governmental agencies in order to protect the…

Directly from the host: the road map for Onchocerca mitochondrial DNA analysis in Amazonian samples.

  • 21 January 2016
The eukaryotic life story cannot be fully reported without reference to the mitochondrion. After a bacterial origin for the mitochondrion was proposed (Margulis 1970), this organelle became one of the tools for a better understanding of eukaryotic evolution. The impact of this symbiotic relationship was enormous for the evolution of life on earth, offering the organisms that have such a “chemical powerhouse” an evolutionary novelty to deal with the complex activities required for survival in an unstable and competitive environment. For some eukaryotic parasites, the mitochondrion is not always necessary. For instance, in the parasitic protozoa Trypanosoma brucei equiperdum and…

Noncanonical science reports: to whom and what for?

  • 15 December 2015
Scientific knowledge advances by a continuous cycle of hypothesis formulation and testing, whose ultimate goal is to provide society with facts, evidence, and rigorous statements on natural phenomena. Sometimes, serendipitous and discovery research findings can accelerate the scientific pace, which has also gained impulse by technological breakthroughs starting in the middle of XX century. The result of this process is a collective intellectual effort that both consolidates concepts (the canons) and refutes them when unexplained phenomena arise (revolutions, anti-canons). In a broad sense, especially in fields other than science, a canon may define a knowledge body that has been approved…

Protozoa parasites: mind the gap!

  • 18 November 2015
From a minimal and simplified viewpoint, life is a succession of events leading to transmission of genes from parents to offspring. For certain organisms, like protozoan parasites, these events must include a meeting with someone else: another eukaryote to act as an invertebrate or vertebrate host and occasionally a human host. To get a successful gene transmission, parasites must have a positive outcome of the infection event (or series of events, as the infection for some parasites means a complex cycle between two or more hosts). But infection does not represent a one way event: it is a disruptive phenomenon,…

Long Time No See: parasites finally under the spotlight of the Nobel Prize in Medicine!

  • 15 October 2015
The Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz has welcomed the news about the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine that has been awarded to three researchers for their work on the development of antiparasitic drugs (nobelprize.org). The 2015 Nobel laureates are Dr William C Campbell and Dr Satoshi Ōmura, for the discovery and development of avermectin/ivermectin (an antifilariasis drug), and the Chinese researcher Dr Youyou Tu, the first woman in China to be a Nobel laureate, for her discovery of artemisinin, the drug that nowadays is the last line of defense against the Plasmodium species that cause human malaria. Since the…

Memórias and the Journal Citation Reports

  • 31 August 2015
We, as many other journal editors, have been looking at the recent release of the 2014 Journal Citation Reports by Thompson-Reuters. The results for the Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz have again been gratifying; our two-year impact factor has increased to 1.592 while the Memórias is one of the few Latin American journals with a five-year impact factor above 2.0. The other indices released by Thomson-Reuters have provided even more impressive news for the Memórias. The journal continues not only to be the most highly cited scientific periodical (with 5,899 citations in 2014), but also has the highest Eigenfactor score (0.086) of any Latin American…

Emerging viruses and the “me too” of a ubiquitous trypanosome

  • 07 July 2015
One of the tasks most demanded of today's biologists (and sometimes also part of their technological dreams) is to quickly identify a new microorganism and give it a precise taxonomic status. In our current surfeit of molecular methods and sophisticated instruments this seems to be a simple task, such as one might assign to undergraduate students as home work for the next lab class. This is the perfect world advertised by manufacturers of the myriad of devices and kits that promise an unequivocal identification for any microorganism. However the scientific literature reveals a more complex picture which is not as…

Our Location

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Av. Brasil 4365, Castelo Mourisco 
sala 201, Manguinhos, 21040-900 
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Tel.: +55-21-2562-1222

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Support Program

logo fiocruz logo governo
logo faperj logo cnpq marca capes