27.11.2013

Barañao participated in the Second Conference on Research at the Hospital Italiano

The head of the Ministry of Science led the opening ceremony and set out his vision on technology trends and its impact upon medicine.

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Barañao participated in the Second Conference on Research at the Hospital Italiano

Barañao during his presentation.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao, attended the opening ceremony of the Second Comprehensive Conference on Research at the Hospital Italiano in Buenos Aires, organized by the Teaching and Research Department of the institution. The meeting is comprehensive and transdisciplinary and seeks to reflect the quantity and quality of the actions taken by all institutional areas committed to research.

After hearing the presentations of the Hospital Italiano authorities, Barañao set out to the auditorium the technology trends that, from his perspective, may have an influence on medicine: "I should like to address three disciplines: the personalized medicine, the regenerative medicine and Biotronics". The first of them arises from genomics, "born from the elucidation of the first human genome, a development extremely costly to establish the complete DNA sequence of a person". He also stressed the importance of genomics considering the epidemiological study funded by the Ministry together with the Sanofi Aventis company in the city of La Plata, about lifestyle and propensity to develop diabetes, with the idea that "if a local demonstration is held, that information will have more impact for the purpose of inducing improvement in lifestyle than just a report based on other people”.

In the field of personalized medicine, from the Ministry "we have established a genomics platform, ie a cluster of institutions and researchers which are provided with equipment to make complete DNA sequences. The first case is already known, from the team led by Kauffman and Turjanski, that established three complete sequences of three brothers who have a neurological disease without a established diagnosis. The concept is that on the basis of their genomes, the mutation can be determined and eventually it will lead not only to a diagnosis but also a treatment", Barañao said. He also referred to the bioinformatics platform, the regional project to establish the Mercosur genome to "better define our population and therefore adjust some treatments or drug effects to this genetic background”.

The second discipline, according to Barañao, has more impact on public opinion: “This line has more impact on public opinion: the regenerative medicine". On this subject he referred to the work performed on stem cells and warned about "unscrupulous organizations that sadly exist worldwide, promising cures that in most cases have no medical justification for these treatments". On the other hand, he stated that "there will be a future for this discipline, there is no doubt that regenerative medicine will change the treatment of many diseases now deemed incurable or with treatments that are not usually effective, but this will require a very important effort of research at international level".

Thirdly, he spoke about Biotronics, the brain-machine interface or "prosthesis with certain level of electronic intelligence" and the possibilities arising from replacing components based on non-biological developments, but resulting from electronics.

At closing, Barañao spoke about the challenges faced by the Ministry on promoting the link between basic research and hospital research. The minister said that "in this case we have two instruments: Research Projects and Clinical Development (PID Clinical), intended to link research groups with hospitals and creating Translational Research units, ie within a hospital allowing direct contact with the problem". Barañao closed his speech saying that "I think this requirement we have laid down during our ten years in office should become a state policy and remain beyond governments to come".

The conference will be held during November 27th, 28th and 29th, free and open to all the medical and scientific community of the country.

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Barañao participated in the Second Conference on Research at the Hospital Italiano

Barañao during his presentation.

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