Celebrating the World Science Day while dealing with the global pandemic

November 10, 2020


Celebrated every 10 November, World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues. It also underlines the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives.

By linking science more closely with society, World Science Day for Peace and Development aims to ensure that citizens are kept informed of developments in science. It also underscores the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.

This year, at a time when the world is struggling with the global COVID-19 pandemic, the focus of World Science Day is on “Science for and with Society in dealing with the global pandemic.” And today, to celebrate the 2020 World Science Day, we will show you some of the projects that are being developed at INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory and that is fully dedicated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

LAMP-Light in the diagnosis of COVID-19

The SARS‐CoV‐2 virus is rapidly spreading. The standard to detect it is RT‐qPCR, but the method is lengthy and needs expensive equipment. In this project, we will develop a SARS‐CoV‐2 detection methodology based on RT‐LAMP. The technique has a fast turnaround time, does not need specialized equipment, and detection can be performed by the naked‐eye. Thus the proposed method has great potential to enhance diagnostics throughput, reduce the time of analysis, and improve implementation of appropriate measures.

Boosting Innovation for COVID-19 Diagnostic, Prevention, and Surveillance | INNO4COV-19

The INNO4COV19 (Boosting Innovation for COVID-19 Diagnostic, Prevention, and Surveillance) project led by INL was chosen to develop and build an Innovation Hub with the latest technologies: an innovative open-access platform to offer companies and reference laboratories the capabilities, expertise, networks, and services required for the assessment, development, prototyping, testing, scaling-up, pilot production and market exploitation of innovative technologies to tackle COVID-19 pandemic.

Our approach will include leading applied research and innovation centers in Europe, together with entities specialized in building OITBs, and reference clinical sites.

Antiviral edible coating for fresh food | COVICOAT

COVICOAT will impact food safety, consumer trust, and the environment. The antiviral coating proposed will provide an extra layer of safety for raw products such as fruits and vegetables that will contribute to enhancing the EFSA hygiene guidelines regarding COVID-19. Due to other recent food-borne outbreaks, consumers are sensitive to the consumption of fresh food. Consumers need additional guarantees of food safety now more than ever: origin, traceability, and certifications will need to be highlighted. That will affect countries such as Spain and Portugal where COVID-19 incidence was high, that are traditional exporters of fresh vegetables to the north of Europe. The commercialization of coated fruits and vegetables with an anti-COVID solution will bring trust, having a positive impact on the exports of these countries. Regarding EIT Food objectives COVICOAT will contribute to overcome low consumer trust and to create consumer valued food for healthier nutrition.

It is imperative now than ever to strengthen and build international and national scientific cooperation between organizations, researchers, policy-makers, industries, and health professionals for an interdisciplinary approach to tackling COVID-19.

No one can say how or when the pandemic will end, all we know is that we learn more every day about this virus and that we, as a frontline laboratory, have a responsibility to stay on top of emerging research that can help flatten the curve and ultimately stop the spread of COVID-19. Happy World Science Day!