My first blog

Hi everyone I’m ESR 17, better known as Julian Guercetti and I’m the new incorporation to the FoodSmartphone project in the group of Nanobiotechnolgoy for Diagnostic, IQAC-CSIC located in Barcelona, Spain.  Just for you to know, I was born in Argentina, more precisely in Neuquén (part of the Patagonia).  Some years later i moved to Rosario (famous for being the city where Leonel Messi was born, trust me that in Barcelona is important to say) to obtain my master degree in Biotechnology and suddenly i bump into this amazing city, enrolled in a PhD and with a lot of new things to learn. Fortunately i got the chance to met all my partners involved in the FoodSmartphone project in the midterm review meeting at Wageningen by the end of February and after that I was warmly received by my colleagues here in Spain. 

To be honest I’m not very familiarized with the idea of how to write a blog but I guess that a good start could be mentioning why I’m here. The project that I’m working on is titled “DNA-addressable arrays for multiplex ligand binding assays with optical smartphone readout”. I know it may sound scary or as if it were written in another language, but first impressions about science tend to be like that. Due to this, my intention will be focused on using this space to explain some general concepts in an easy and friendly way, hoping to encourage curiosity and doubts in anyone who is reading this and has nothing to do with science.

Basically the objective of this project consists on develop a portable Smartphone device, of friendly use, to detect the presence or absence of small amounts of specific molecules called antibiotics in milk. Why this is important? Milk have antibiotics? How we can measure that?

First, we must point out that antibiotics shouldn’t be present in milk. This are chemical compounds that can suppress or kill the growth of bacteria. They are not only used in human medicine, but also in veterinary medicine, for example in cows to treat and control infectious diseases such as mastitis, enteritis, peritonitis and pneumonia [1]. The problem here is that the lack of effective controls could lead to the presence of these residues in the food produced by animals such as milk.

Trying to make a first approach to understand the idea of the project, we can’t avoid mentioning the base under study, which is milk. Have you ever thought about what milk is made of?  Why is milk white?  Does someone control what should or shouldn’t be in the milk we drink every day?  Someone before us had the same question and now we can find some answers in this graph.  

I also attach the link to this website that explains ordinary things with a chemical point of view

To summarize, the idea during the next blogs will be to continue presenting topics related to the project with the aim of informing and communicating what we try to do as PhD students.

Hope you like it,



1.            Kümmerer, K., Antibiotics in the aquatic environment–a review–part I. Chemosphere, 2009. 75(4): p. 417-434.

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