ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0276.v1
Subject: Biology And Life Sciences, Biology And Biotechnology Keywords: Leishmania amazonensis; CADD; ODC; docking; deguelin; protein modeling.
Online: 16 December 2021 (14:59:30 CET)
Yearly, 1,500,000 cases of leishmaniasis are diagnosed, causing thousands of deaths. To advance in its therapy, we present an interdisciplinary protocol that unifies ethnobotanical knowledge of natural compounds and the latest bioinformatics advances to respond to an orphan disease such as leishmaniasis and specifically the one caused by Leishmania amazonensis. The use of ethnobotanical information serves as a basis for the development of new drugs, a field in which computer-aided drug design (CADD) has been a revolution. Taking this information from Amazonian communities, located in the area with the highest prevalence of this disease, a protocol has been designed to verify new leads. Moreover, a method has been developed that allows the evaluation of lead molecules, and the improvement of their affinity and specificity against therapeutic targets. Through this approach, deguelin has been identified as a good lead to treat the infection due to its potential as an ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) inhibitor, a key enzyme in Leishmania development. Using an in silico-generated combinatorial library followed by docking approaches, we have found deguelin derivatives with better affinity and specificity against ODC than the original compound, suggesting that this approach could be adapted for developing new drugs against leishmaniasis.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0268.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: active methodologies; Sustainable Development Goals; non-formal education; Ethnobotany; learning assessment; STEM
Online: 21 June 2020 (11:55:34 CEST)
In the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), education plays a fundamental role. However, traditional methodologies do not favor the enrichment and personal development essential to promote global awareness. The use of active methodologies based on experiences improve the quality of learning. This work describes the design, implementation, and evaluation of the acquired knowledge of a didactic proposal for non-formal education as a support for regulated education based on botany content. Firstly, a workshop was held, where young people participated directly in developing field work with a real scientific methodology. Subsequently, a group of students was chosen to be interviewed to obtain a global vision of the learning they obtained. The motivation of the students was quite positive, which allowed us to obtain voluntary participation in the field work and gave the students a participative attitude throughout the development of the workshops. Four months later, this positive attitude remained during their direct involvement in various activities, and the students still remembered the fundamental content discussed. Relating the didactic proposal to its immediate environment was shown to increase interest in learning and value in its own context. The results of this educational experience have been very positive, as knowledge was acquired, and interest in the preservation of the environment and the profession of a researcher was promoted.
Subject: Social Sciences, Education Keywords: service-learning methodology; environmental sciences; higher education; sustainable development goals; rubric
Online: 14 November 2019 (11:07:55 CET)
The Bologna Process and the European Higher Education area require the application of new active methodologies in the classroom that place the student at the center of his or her learning process. In the present work we analyze the application of a Service-Learning methodology in the context of a Final Degree Dissertation (FDD) in the degree in Environmental Sciences at the University of Extremadura (Spain). The project deals with an isolated Kichwa community in Ecuador and involves the development of alternative science education materials for the capacitation of in-service science teachers. This paper evaluates how an FDD carried out according to self-learning (SL) principles can help in the acquisition of so-called soft skills and how these can be focused in the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) knowledge and achievement. To this end, a qualitative study of the experience and a deep evaluation, followed by a final reflection, were carried out. According to the preliminary results, we can conclude that Higher Education should include SDGs in its teaching praxis and could do this successfully using the SL methodology.