Health Portugal  PORTUGAL 06/03/2019

What controls the tips of our chromosomes?

A research team from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC; Portugal) discovered a key aspect of the regulation of telomeres

The tips of our chromosomes have structures called telomeres. These structures can be compared to the plastic cover at the end of shoelaces. They work as a protective cap that prevents our genetic material from unfolding and corroding away. When they do not work properly, it can lead to the total erosion of our genetic material and can trigger cancer and age-related diseases. In a study now published in EMBO Journal*, a research team from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC; Portugal), led by Jose Escandell and Miguel Godinho Ferreira, discovered a key aspect of the regulation of telomeres.

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Technology Spain  MADRID 05/03/2019

A study by the UC3M researches the limits of topological insulators using sound waves

This line of research could improve acoustic non-destructive testing and medical diagnostics based on ultrasound scans

Research in which the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is taking part analyses the future of topological insulators using sound waves, meaning materials that behave like acoustic insulators in their interior, but at the same time allow the movement of sound waves at their surface. This line of research could improve acoustic non-destructive testing and medical diagnostics based on ultrasound scans.

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Health Brazil  SãO PAULO 05/03/2019

Melatonin may help boost the success of bone marrow transplants

The hormone that tells an organism when it is dark and prepares us for sleep also regulates the supply of stem cells in the bone marrow, according to a study involving Brazilian researchers

Already used to treat sleep disorders and targeted in clinical trials to combat cancer and other diseases, melatonin can also help boost the success of bone marrow transplants. The hormone is produced at night by the pineal gland in the brain and performs the function of telling the organism that it is dark and preparing us for nocturnal rest. Now researchers have discovered that melatonin also regulates the availability of stem cells in the bone marrow.

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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 04/03/2019

Amphibian skin bacteria is more diverse in cold and variable environments according to global survey

Frog researchers swabbed 205 amphibian species to better understand the ecology of their skin bacteria. Which environmental factors influence the makeup of their microbiomes?

Amphibians are victims of lethal skin-disease epidemics. In the first global-scale study, researchers from 31 universities and research centers, including the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), collected skin bacteria from more than 2,300 healthy frogs and salamanders from 12 countries to describe microbes on a wide range of host animals to improve knowledge of the distribution of frog-skin bacteria, known to be important in maintaining amphibian health.

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Environment Brazil  SãO PAULO 27/02/2019

Climate change may affect ecological interactions among species

Predator-prey equilibria are being disrupted by climate change, according to a study led by Brazilian researchers and published in 'Nature Climate Change'

With herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, insectivores, frugivores, scavengers and decomposers, Earth’s ecosystems function within a vast web of interactions among plants, animals, insects, fungi and microorganisms. A fundamental part of this web resides in the equilibrium of the food chain that links predators to herbivores and regulates plant production on our planet.

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Space Chile  ATACAMA 27/02/2019

ALMA differentiates two birth cries from a single star

The origins of these two flows have been a mystery, but these observations provide telltale signs that these two streams were launched from different parts of the disk around the protostar

Astronomers have unveiled the enigmatic origins of two different gas streams from a baby star. Using ALMA, they found that the slow outflow and the high speed jet from a protostar have misaligned axes and that the former started to be ejected earlier than the latter. The origins of these two flows have been a mystery, but these observations provide telltale signs that these two streams were launched from different parts of the disk around the protostar.

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Nutrition Spain  MADRID 19/02/2019

Renewable Energy Generation with Kites and Drones

Researchers present a new software for the analysis of airborne wind energy systems

A group of researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has recently developed a new software aimed at the analysis of energy generation systems based on kites and drones. In a recently published scientific article, they used the software to study the behaviour of these systems while transforming the kinetic energy of the wind into useful electrical energy.

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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 19/02/2019

Can evolution rescue lizards from climate change?

Some organisms adapt more quickly than others and may have a better chance to survive climate change. 2018 Tupper Fellow, Mike Logan, follows lizards as they adapt to islands

If you asked Mike Logan’s high school teachers whether they thought he would ever lead an international team of scientists in the first major experiment to show the genetic basis for animal adaptation to climate change in the wild, they probably would have laughed in your face. Mike, chosen to receive STRI’s coveted three-year Tupper post-doctoral fellowship in 2018, managed to graduate from high school, but he thinks his teachers just wanted to get rid of a disruptive student who made their lives miserable.

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Technology Spain  MADRID 14/02/2019

Companies with more financial analysts produce more and better-quality patents

Research from the UC3M and the UAB

Long-term growth in profits depends significantly on firms’ investment in innovation activities. However, firms may not invest in innovation in an optimal way. Some distortions arise because the decisions as to whether and how to invest in innovation are not only affected by their long-term expected benefits but also by other considerations. A recent study conducted by researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), in collaboration with the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (UAB), explores the role of financial analysts on firms’ innovation strategy and outcome. This study concludes that financial analysts can help companies to invest more efficiently in innovation and therefore produce a higher number of patents and of better-quality.

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Nutrition Perú  CUSCO 14/02/2019

Biocolonizer species are putting the conservation of the granite at Machu Picchu at risk

A study by the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has evaluated the role of micro-organisms colonizing the Sacred Rock at Machu Picchu in its state of conservation

The UPV/EHU’s IBeA research group has used a non-destructive methodology to determine the role of specific algae, lichens, mosses, cyanobacteria, etc. that may be causing exfoliation and delamination, which are degrading the Sacred Rock of Machu Picchu, one of the most important symbols in the Peruvian archaeological city.

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Science Chile  CHILE 12/02/2019

Liberal sprinkling of salt discovered around a young star

To detect molecules in space, astronomers use radio telescopes to search for their chemical signatures – telltale spikes in the spread-out spectra of radio and millimeter-wavelength light

A team of astronomers and chemists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has detected the chemical fingerprints of sodium chloride (NaCl) and other similar salty compounds emanating from the dusty disk surrounding Orion Source I, a massive, young star in a dusty cloud behind the Orion Nebula.

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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 05/02/2019

Testosterone results in male-like behavior of female golden-collared manakins

How flexible are bird brains in response to hormones?

You know you have detected a golden-collared manakin in the forest when you see a yellow-breasted bird performing acrobatics from sapling to sapling. The adult male does this kind of aerial dance to attract the females and mate, but it also seduces them with a peculiar call: the 'chee-poo'. In nature, this song is almost exclusive to adult males, the same as the courtship dance. They are a secret weapon to make the females fall in love.

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Health Brazil  SãO PAULO 04/02/2019

Oversized meals have been shown to be a factor in obesity

A study conducted in Brazil, China, Finland, Ghana, India and the United States found 94% of meals served in restaurants contain more than the recommended number of calories according to the UK’s National Health Service

Restaurants frequently serve oversized meals, not only in the United States but also in many other countries, according to a study conducted by an international team of researchers and supported by FAPESP.

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Nutrition Perú  PERú 28/01/2019

Scientists reconstruct ancient lost plates under Andes mountains

Reconstruction offers glimpse of how the Earth looked millions of years ago

The Andes Mountains are the longest continuous mountain range in the world, stretching about 7,000 kilometers, or 4,300 miles, along the western coast of South America.

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Health Mexico  MÉXICO 25/01/2019

Superpowered salamander may hold the key to human regeneration

Scientists at the University of Kentucky have assembled the genome of the axolotl -- the first step towards unlocking the secrets of regeneration with enormous clinical implications down the road

Regeneration is one of the most enticing areas of biological research. How are some animals able to regrow body parts? Is it possible that humans could do the same? If scientists could unlock the secrets that confer those animals with this remarkable ability, the knowledge could have profound significance in clinical practice down the road.

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Health Mexico  MÉXICO 25/01/2019

Increasing murder rate is erasing gains in life expectancy among Mexican men

The researchers found that the homicide rate for men in 2015 was 31.2 per 100,000 people, up from 20.4 per 100,000 in 2005 -- an increase of 53 percent

The murder rate in Mexico increased so dramatically between 2005 and 2015 that it partially offset expected gains in life expectancy among men there, according to a new study by a UCLA public health researcher.

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Science Spain  MADRID 22/01/2019

What atoms do when liquids and gases meet

Research from UC3M and Imperial College London

From the crest of a wave in the sea to the surface of a glass of water, there are always small fluctuations in density at the point where the air comes in contact with a liquid. Until now, it was thought that the atoms in these regions behaved as if they were in a "drum skin", based on the assumption that the surface tension between the two elements caused the water to be drawn taut like a drum and to act as such when disturbed. Although this is correct on larger scales, the assumption fails on smaller scales, according to various experiments and computer simulations carried out in recent decades. In an article recently published in Nature Physics, a group of mathematicians from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and Imperial College London have come up with a new approach that solves this problem.

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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 21/01/2019

Surfer’s ear points to ancient pearl divers in Panama

A small bump in the ear canal of skulls from burials near the Gulf of Panama, may indicate that ancient coastal residents dove in icy waters to recover pearls and valuable orange Spondylus shells

While examining a skull from an ancient burial ground in a pre-Columbian village in Panama, Nicole Smith-Guzmán, bioarchaeologist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), was surprised to discover an example of surfers’ ear: a small, bony bump in the ear canal common among surfers, kayakers and free divers in cold climates. After inspecting more skulls, she concluded that a select group of male divers—perhaps looking for pearls and oyster shells coveted for jewelry making, may have lived along Panama’s Pacific coast long ago.

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Nutrition Spain  ALICANTE 18/01/2019

The uncontrolled expansion of blue crabs as an invasive species in the Mediterranean

Spread of this species is faster than research activity and efforts of management agencies

The American blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is an invasive voracious alien species, with no known predators and with high fecundity and survival rates, that has spread throughout the Mediterranean. Since it appeared in the Ebro Delta in 2012, this crab native to the American Atlantic has expanded by sea, rivers and wetlands all over the region of Valencia. Its recurrence and continuous presence is a fact in our coasts.

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Science Chile  ATACAMA 14/01/2019

What 100,000 Star Factories in 74 Galaxies Tell Us about Star Formation across the Universe

PHANGS-ALMA given astronomers a much clearer understanding of how the cycle of star formation changes, depending on the size, age, and internal dynamics of each individual galaxy

Galaxies come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some of the most significant differences among galaxies, however, relate to where and how they form new stars. Compelling research to explain these differences has been elusive, but that is about to change. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) is conducting an unprecedented survey of nearby disk galaxies to study their stellar nurseries. With it, astronomers are beginning to unravel the complex and as-yet poorly understood relationship between star-forming clouds and their host galaxies.

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