SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
15 December 2016
Volume 17 Issue 12

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Biodiagnostics-2016: International Symposium and Young School in Lomonosov Moscow State University

Kamila Kydralieva, President of the Russian Language Branch; Vera Terekhova, Past-President of the Russian Language Branch; and Kirit Wadhia, SETAC Europe Council Member

Biodiagnostics-2016From 25–28 October, Lomonosov Moscow State University hosted an international scientific symposium called Biodiagnostics and evaluation of environmental quality: Approaches, methods, criteria and standards of comparison in ecotoxicology. Staff at Moscow State University, the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian National Research Medical University prepared and conducted the symposium. Additionally, representatives from international and Russian professional associations, including SETAC, the European Society of Toxicology (EUROTOX), the Russian Hydrobiological Society, the International Humic Substances Society and the Russian Society of Soil Scientists, also contributed. The event was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and sponsored by Evropolitest and Biochimmak, which provided the researchers and manufacturing sector with laboratory equipment for the environmental studies.

Professor Mazei, Moscow State University
Yuri Mazei welcoming attendees to the symposium.

The provost of Moscow State University, Yuri Mazei, welcomed the participants to the symposium and emphasized that the international composition of the participants and the high level of the presentations marked a significant event in the scientific life of the Moscow State University. He also noted that the activities carried out for young researchers within the framework of the symposium (such as master classes, lectures and platform sessions rewarding the best presentations) give students an additional creative impetus for scientific research.

Researchers and scientists from more than 40 cities across Russia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, India, China, USA, Turkey, Nigeria and the United Kingdom gave 170 presentations. Renowned Russian and foreign scientists were invited to present their research, and the subject matter brought together environmental specialists in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Platform presentations covered topics such as the methodology of biodiagnostics, biotesting in rationing and toxicological monitoring, bioindication and chemical analysis in environmental monitoring.

Recent concerns have been raised for discourse during the round table discussions on “Phytotesting: Problems and solutions” and “Environmental assessment on the reactions of bacteria: Bioluminescence and substrate specificity,” which are devoted to the exchange of information and coordination of positions on these widely used methodologies in the ecological monitoring of the environment.

The symposium featured workshops on the use of certain types of test cultures in the toxicometry as well as methods of statistical analysis to evaluate results. Much attention was paid to the problems of practical application of biotesting for the assessment of environmental safety. In addition, there was a discussion on the need for a certified collection of live cultures of test organisms, which are used by researchers and regulatory inspectors to assess the toxicity of environments, products and modern technologies of waste. A presentation by P. A. Kamensky, the Moscow University research project leader, on the nature and direction of the work under the Russian Scientific Foundation “Scientific basis for the creation of the national bank-depository of living systems,” also known as the “Noah's Ark" grant, was met with great interest.

The participant, based on discussions and debates during the symposium, agreed to a resolution containing several specific action-oriented provisions. It stresses the urgency of creating a bank of test cultures recommended for the evaluation of the quality of the natural environments and man-made objects based on Russian and international standards.

Professor Mazei, Moscow State UniversityParticipants recognized a need to create a certified collection of test cultures to implement standardized methods of toxicity assessment and to extend the practical use of appropriate biotesting. The concept of the collection is under development, and its creation can be carried out within the framework of a comprehensive “scientific basis for establishing a national depository bank of living systems” program, where three types of collections are already defined: animals, plants, and microorganisms and fungi. A biotechnological collection of living organisms for the implementation of standardized toxicity evaluation procedures should include species representing all major ecosystem trophic levels: producers, decomposers and consumers.

According to the participants, in order to monitor long-term changes in the environment and the genetic status of populations of common species of animals and plants, it is advisable to create a bank of retrospective collections of biological materials (herbarium, entomological, ornithological and osteological collections, including Artemia, cysts, scales, bones, otoliths of fish). Such a bank can be arranged in the depositories of living systems at Moscow University.

The symposium coincided with a meeting of members of the SETAC Russian Language Branch (SETAC RLB). Kirid Wadhia, a member of the SETAC Europe Council from the United Kingdom, spoke about the SETAC principles and the benefits of membership.

The participants approved the work of the SETAC RLB presidium and the report of Vera Terekhova, SETAC RLB President. Terekhova will take the position of past-president, while Kamila Kydralieva was reelected president for the next three years, and Grigoriy Chuiko will serve as vice president. Together they will continue to develop the collaboration between scientists, managers and representatives of business and environmental industry, as well as the cooperation of ecologists in various spheres of the information space that is SETAC. Subregional offices will be taken into account in the formation of the new SETAC RLB Council.

The participants from different regions noted with great regard the warm, friendly atmosphere and the rewarding discussions of scientific problems.

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