Finalists of the 500k Pandemic Challenge Response XPRIZE!!!!

Our team VALENCIA IA4COVID has progressed to the 2nd phase of the Pandemic Response Challenge, organized by XPRIZE Foundation and supported by Cognizant. This is a $500K, a four-month challenge that focuses on the development of data-driven AI systems to predict COVID-19 infection rates and prescribe Intervention Plans (IPs) that regional governments, communities, and organizations can implement to minimize harm when reopening their economies. Our group is made up of fourteen experts from the Universities and research centers of the Valencian Community and it is leaded by Nuria Oliver and me. We have all been working intensively since the beginning of the pandemic, altruistically and using the resources available to us in our respective institutions and with the occasional philanthropic collaboration of some companies.

Our model is among the three best models in the competition in MAE Mean Rank, leading in ASIA and in the top 5 of EUROPE in MAE per 100k habitants.

You can see our predictions here. The model has not been updated since its release on December 22nd.

Success at the ANDI-Challenge

During the last months, I have been participating in the ANDI Challenge, together with my Ph.D. student Óscar Garibo. Since Albert Einstein provided a theoretical foundation for Robert Brown’s observation of the movement of particles within pollen grains suspended in water, significant deviations from the laws of Brownian motion have been uncovered in a variety of animate and inanimate systems, from biology to the stock market. Anomalous diffusion, as it has come to be called, is connected to non-equilibrium phenomena, flows of energy and information, and transport in living systems.

The challenge consists of three main tasks, each of them on 3 Dimensions:

  • Task 1 – Inference of the anomalous diffusion exponent α.
  • Task 2 – Classification of the diffusion model.
  • Task 3 – Segmentation of trajectories.

We got the first position in Task 1 (1D) and the second position in Task 2 (1D). We also get the 3rd position in Task 2 (3d) and the 4th position in Task 2 (2D).

CyanoFactory Consortium paper appeared on-line

I have been collaborating in the CyanoFactory project R&D project developed in response to the European Commission FP7-ENERGY-2012-1 call “Future Emerging Technologies” and the need for significant advances in both new science and technologies to convert solar energy into a fuel. The project has been coordinated by P. Linbald from Uppsala. The UPV node has been integrated by J.F. Urchueguía, D. Fuente, M. Siurana, L. Lemus, and myself.

Prototype of a cyanobacteria based fuel factory.

CyanoFactory, Design, construction and demonstration of solar biofuel production using novel (photo)synthetic cell factories, was an example of “purpose-driven” research and development with identified scientific goals and creation of new technologies. The present paper overview highlights significant outcomes of the project. It has appeared in Algal Research.

Valencia UPV team succeeds in iGEM competition

Since 2014, I have been participating as instructor of the Valencia UPV iGEM team jointly with Diego Orzaez and Jesús Picó. After five years and some special prizes, the team has achieved the best one, the Grand Prize, that recognizes as the best project in the competition. Valencia UPV undergraduate team has achieved a great success in the iGEM competition. The project was named  Printeria, and it consisted of a fully-equipped bioengineering device able to automate the process of printing genetic circuits in bacteria but made as simple and easy to operate as a domestic desktop printer.

The project was also recognized with the best project in the track «New Application Project» and the special prizes of «Best Hardware», «Best Software Tool», «Best Wiki», «Best Model», and nominated for «Best Parts Collection, Best Poster, and Best Education and Public Engagement».

You can find the documentation of the project here: http://2018.igem.org/Team:Valencia_UPV