In the University of Granada (UGR) there are many research groups that in recent weeks have redirected their lines of work towards the study of COVID-19 disease and its consequences from practically all disciplines and fields of knowledge.

The Office of Communication Management has compiled some of the initiatives that have been launched in recent days at the institution, which are listed below.

Psychological impact of coronavirus

In the field of Psychology Several projects are being carried out at the UGR on the impact of COVID-19. Thus, from the Department of Social Psychology they are carrying out a study to analyze the psychological and social impact of the coronavirus crisis on citizens, whose managers are Miguel Moya, Josefa Ruiz and Laura Torres-Vega. The survey is available at this link: https://psicsocialugr.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_4HH3VnjZ0dYxl89

Another group from the Faculty of Psychology (HUM196 VALCREAC), together with researchers from the University of La Laguna, will analyze how society is living the quarantine according to the characteristics of their place of residence. The study is developed in this link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdfF1Vl8dm6vzV4VahjW6vt8JoH1FVK_qf2GIhMh-3zC8Mbeg/viewform

In addition, the CoVidAffect project, launched by scientists from the Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Center (CIMCYC) and the Center for Research in Information and Communication Technologies (CITIC) has developed a mobile application to record the state of mind of Spaniards during confinement (https://covidaffect.info).

Nutrition and biotechnology groups

In the field of Nutrition, the AGR 141 group “Food, Nutrition and Health” of the Faculty of Pharmacy is analyzing the Eating behavior of the Spanish population during quarantine, with a survey in which more than 6,000 people have already participated, coordinated by the Professor of Nutrition and Food Science María Dolores Ruiz.

In the field of Biotechnology, the spin-off of the University of Granada VitaNtech Biotechnology works in the development of a tool that would help the delimitation of diseases (such as COVID-19) and decision-making such as confinement or other specific treatments. The professor of the Microbiology department of the Faculty of Pharmacy, Maximino Manzanera, explains that among the lines of work of VitaNtech is to analyze the water biosecurity that arrive at the purification stations and collectors.

Newspaper archive on the pandemic

In the field of Humanities, the Iberian Unit of Excellence-Lab. Criticism, Languages ​​and Cultures in Iberoamerica of the UGR has created a “Humanities Hemeroteca on the coronavirus pandemic”, which compiles articles and essays by intellectuals (writers, philosophers, linguists, critics, sociologists, etc.) published in the Spanish and Latin American media about the consequences of the world crisis caused by the coronavirus (http: // iberlab. ugr.es/hemeroteca-covid19/)

From the perspective Economic and BusinessProfessors Leopoldo Gutiérrez and Ana Castillo, from the Department of Business Organization-1 of the UGR Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences, together with Ivan Montiel, professor at Baruch College (City University of New York), will analyze the business response to this crisis in terms of responsible innovation: what measures are being developed urgently in collaboration with other agents of society to mitigate the damage of the covid-19: changes in ordinary production to manufacture medical equipment, assignment of services such as logistics or accommodation, staff adjustments to avoid ERTEs, etc.

Situation of the student body in the crisis

In the field of Education, the ProfesioLab group SEJ-059 has launched the project “Evaluation of the Cognitive Emotional Regulation of Spanish university students in a situation of home confinement due to the COVID-19 pandemic”, which will allow to know the student situation in the following dimensions: self-blame; acceptance; rumination; positive targeting; focus on plans; positive reevaluation; perspective taking; catastrophism; and blaming others.

In addition, Professor Félix Zurita (Department of Didactics of Body Expression) along with researchers from the Department of Computer Languages ​​and Systems and Research Methods works at the design of a computer application to empower personnel at risk for COVID-19 disease from physical activity, diet and psychosocial aspects«. The objective is to create a computer or mobile application where people at risk can have instant data on what diet is appropriate, what program or exercises of physical activity are recommended and what psychosocial exercises should be performed.

Mathematics and computing against the virus

From the perspective Mathematical-Statistics, the professor of Atomic, Molecular and Nuclear Physics at the UGR José Enrique Amaro has designed a mathematical model that predicts the evolution and number of deaths from COVID-19 in China, Italy and Spain, and publishes daily forecasts of the evolution of the pandemic on its website https://www.ugr.es/~amaro/coronavirus/

The group of researcher Carlos Javier Mantas, from the Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, aims to find hidden relationships in the database about patients affected by COVID-19, giving an opportunity for action to areas of the search space hidden by the most frequent characteristics and variables in the shadow of others initially considered more important. Its final objective is to obtain a set of rules that are understandable to humans, with a minimum of reliability, which will be offered to expert healthcare personnel to validate their usefulness.

Professor Juan Julián Merelo is analyzing the evolution of the data and proposing monitoring and prediction models of the COVID-19 pandemic from a science and open data policy. Thus, a series of documents updated dynamically (and periodically) have been created that analyze the time series of the Ministry of Health, as published by the Datadista in a public repository. It is about looking for patterns in these time series so that you can see what influences them and predict in the short term what the evolution of the epidemic will be like. Analyzing these series, correlations have been found that have allowed us to deduce how many days are spent in the ICU, or how hospitalizations positively influence the number of cases in the future. All reports are published openly at https://rpubs.com/jjmerelo and Figshare, as well as in the repository on GitHub (https://github.com/JJ/covid-reports).

The research group of Professor of Artificial Intelligence Francisco Herrera will use tecnología dependent learning ’technology to analyze RX from different perspectives, precision and interpretability of images.

Bioinformaticians to predict mortality risk

The IBS Granada Bioinformatics group, in collaboration with the Andalusian Health Service, aims to develop the iCOVID application that will allow predicting the risk of admission and mortality in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for patients diagnosed with COVID-19. iCOVID will support medical decision-making based on the patient’s complete medical history from the Andalusian population health base immediately after the COVID-19 test is positive. This personalized medicine application will allow providing alternative treatments to at-risk patients and, at the same time, avoid the collapse of the intensive care system due to the effects of the pandemic, explains UGR professor Igor Zwir.

Also in the field Biosanitary, Professor Rafael Caparrós-González, from the Nursing department, will analyze the environmental, social and psychological factors of the state of social confinement by COVID-19 in pregnant women and their newborns. This is a longitudinal study with pregnant women during the 3 trimesters, which will evaluate variables of labor and birth and postpartum, analyzing cortisol in hair in pregnant women and newborns as a biomarker, evaluation of social environment and psychological aspects.

From the UGR Institute of Biotechnology, Professor Antonio Osuna leads the project “Expression and production of recombinant proteins S1, S2 and N and evaluation of antigenicity for use in diagnosis in the acute phase of SARS infection- VOC-2 ”to obtain these proteins through genetic engineering in yeasts and use them in different platforms for diagnosis.

A group of UGR researchers, engineers, biologists and doctors, coordinated by Professors Guillermo Rus and Juan Antonio Marchal, is in charge of design the valves that control the pressure and oxygen flow of the last resort artificial respirator initiative REESpirator23, born at the University of Oviedo. It is a respirator that has already been successfully tested on animals and is under study by the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS).

From the Laboratory of Nanoelectronics, Graphene and Two-Dimensional Materials at the UGR, directed by Professor Francisco Gámiz, he works to develop a device for early diagnosis and monitoring of disease COVID-19, based on a graphene biosensor that detects either antibodies or genetic material of the virus, depending on the targets used to modify the sensor surface.

The researcher Francisco J. Abarca and his group from the UGR’s Higher Technical School of Architecture are working to implement methodologies already applied in predicting the risk of social vulnerability, for predicting the risk or probability of the severity of a COVID-19 infection. To develop this implementation, they hope to have data related to age, sex, weight, physical complexion, previous illnesses, symptoms, time of symptoms, exposure, confirmed infection, cure or death, etc. and any indicator that the health professionals consider to be relevant and for which data is available for most of the cases affected by the infection.

From the scope Legal, the researchers of the Faculty of Law Javier Valls, Francisco Lara, Olga Campos and Ana Belén Valverde carry out the SIENNA project, of the H2020 program funded by the EU, focused on the study of good practices and the legal use of new technologies in the field of genetics and artificial intelligence. Researchers will create codes of ethics and good practice in the use of these technologies to ensure legitimate use and that they have the least negative impact on citizens also during the coronavirus crisis.

In the Political Science and Administration department, Professor Giselle García Hípola has launched an initiative for the students of the subject “Design and Analysis of electoral campaigns” within ‘UGR at Home’ (Medialab) to create indicators for detect hoaxes and fake-news related to COVID-19. (https://ugrencasa.labingranada.org/idea/fakes-news-en-tiempos-de-covid-19/).

Social responsibility of the UGR

The Vice-rector for Research and Transfer of the UGR, Enrique Herrera, points out that as befits his social responsibility, the UGR is making a great effort to open new lines of research from all areas of knowledge to help society combat this pandemic. “In a short time, our research groups are turning their lines of work towards research related to COVID-19 that can help alleviate the consequences of the health emergency situation we are experiencing, for example, researching new rapid forms of diagnosis of Covid -19 or in the development of respirators that can support the imminent treatment of the sick, and that can help us better understand what is happening and assist the authorities in decision-making and the people in the confinement we are experiencing, “he explains. the vice-rector of the UGR.

Many of these investigations, which are also being carried out with other universities, have been proposed to the Ministry of Science and the Andalusian Government in the extraordinary calls for research that have been opened. “Much remains to be done, and I am sure that our research groups will contribute with their effort to resolve this situation, and I want to thank all of these initiatives that they are developing,” concludes Enrique Herrera.

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