Social Sciences Argentina  LA PAMPA 01/03/2016

Feline predators can act like seeds dispersers

So far it was only known that they could influence plant communities by controlling the populations of herbivores

José Hernán Sarasola, CONICET associate researcher at the Instituto de las Ciencias de la Tierra y Ambientales de la Pampa (INCITAP, CONICET-UNLPam) [Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences of La Pampa], and his research team recently revealed that large felid predators with an exclusively carnivorous diet can contribute to their ecosystems as secondary seeds dispersers. The study was published in Scientific Reports.

El puma, un felino presente en casi todo el territorio americano. Fotos: gentileza investigadores.
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Technology Spain  SALAMANCA 29/02/2016

University of Salamanca hosts the first edition of 'BIO.IBEROAMÉRICA 2016. Integrating Continents'

Between the 5th and 8th of June, of 2016, the meeting will serve as a starting point for the implementation of the Latin American Federation of biotech society

Researchers in Biotechnology from the Latin American community will meet for the first time at the congress 'Biotechnology BIO.IBEROAMÉRICA 2016. Integrating Continents', to be held in Salamanca (Spain) between the 5th and 8th of June, this 2016. Experts in biotechnology from all over Latin America, Portugal and Spain will attend this first edition of an event, which will be subsequently held every two years in different countries.

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Health Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 29/02/2016

Using an encephalogram UNal researchers will measure how a human being perceives audio

By using a portable encephalogram researchers may assess the thoughts of people while hearing any type of sound with the purpose of analyzing which areas of the brain are triggered

By using a portable encephalogram researchers may assess the thoughts of people while hearing any type of sound with the purpose of analyzing which areas of the brain are triggered.

Encefalograma. FOTO: UN
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 25/02/2016

Study describes new glioma subtypes

Findings of research conducted at University of São Paulo's Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine and published in 'Cell' can help evaluate the prognosis of patients with central nervous system tumors and improve treatment protocols

In an international study conducted in Brazil and published on January 28 in the journal Cell, researchers have identified new glioma subtypes on the basis of epigenetic profiles, i.e., how gene expression is modulated.

Tratamiento personalizado de gliomas.
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Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 24/02/2016

Chaotic turbulence roiling 'most luminous galaxy' in the Universe

Evidence strongly suggests that this galaxy is actually an obscured quasar, a very distant galaxy withcontains a voraciously feeding supermassive black hole at its center that is completely obscured behind a thick blanket of dust

The most luminous galaxy in the Universe –a so-called obscured quasar 12.4 billion light-years away – is so violently turbulent that it may eventually jettison its entire supply of star-forming gas, according to new observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Representación artística de W2246-0526, una galaxia cuyo brillo infrarrojo es equivalente al de unos 350 billones de soles. Crédito: NRAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 23/02/2016

Cause for hope: secondary tropical forests quickly put on weight

How fast tropical forests recover after deforestation has major consequences for climate change mitigation

A team including Smithsonian scientists discovered that some secondary tropical forests recover biomass quickly: half of the forests in the study attained 90 percent of old-growth forest levels in 66 years or less. Conservation planners can use their resulting biomass-recovery map for Latin America to prioritize conservation efforts.

Científicos del Smithsonian en un bosque tropical secundario. FOTO: STRI
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Science Spain  MADRID 22/02/2016

Children with mental disability and access to justice

European project with the participation of the UC3M

Children with mental disability (intellectual or psychosocial) still face obstacles in accessing the justice system under the same conditions as other citizens. That is one of the main conclusions of a study carried out in ten European countries including Spain. Taking part in the study were researchers from the UC3M “Bartolomé de las Casas” Human Rights Institute.

Justicia en la infancia. Imagen: UC3M.
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Nutrition Argentina  ARGENTINA 22/02/2016

Sandra Díaz, a brilliant mind recognized in the world

For the second time, Sandra Díaz was selected as one of the World's Most Influential Scientific Minds

Sandra Díaz, CONICET senior researcher at the Instituto Multidisciplinario de Biología Vegetal (IMBIV, CONICET-UNC), is the only Argentine who works in the country and is part of the list of researchers of the “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds 2015” made by the Thomson Reuters’ Science and Intellectual Property Unit. The second Argentine on the list is Juan Martín Maldacena but he conducts his studies in the USA.

Sandra Díaz. FOTO: CONICET
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Health Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 18/02/2016

Molecules that influence depression identified

With this discovery it will be possible to use the correct treatment and predict the outcome of a psychiatric disease

This was one of the discoveries of McGill University Psychologist and Biologist Juan Pablo López, a special invitee to the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) and PhD candidate of the abovementioned University in Montreal on psychiatric disorders.

Cerebro y depresión. (Foto: UN)
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Nutrition Brazil  BRASIL 16/02/2016

Scientists identify bacterial protein that inhibits inflammatory response

'Coxiella burnetii', the bacterium that causes Q fever, secretes a protein to trick the immune system. This discovery may pave the way for new treatments against sepsi

An international group of scientists led by Dario Zamboni, a professor at the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine (FMRP-USP) in Brazil, have discovered the strategy used by Coxiella burnetii, a potentially dangerous bacterium, to trick the immune system and inhibit the inflammatory process triggered by defense cells when they come into contact with pathogens of this kind.

Coxiella burnetii.
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Space Chile  ATACAMA 15/02/2016

ALMA reveals planetary construction sites

Planets are found around nearly every star, but astronomers still do not fully understand how — and under what conditions — they form

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have found telltale differences between the gaps in the gas and the dust in discs around four young stars. These new observations are the clearest indications yet that planets with masses several times that of Jupiter have recently formed in these discs. Measurements of the gas around the stars also provide additional clues about the properties of those planets.

Representación esquemática de un disco de transición al rededor de una joven estrella. Créditos: ESO/M. Kornmesser
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 12/02/2016

Smithsonian botanist discovers new ground-flowering plant in Panama

'C. galdamesiana' belongs to the Marantaceae family, known for the large, oval leaves of 'C. lutea' known as bijao, natural wrappers for food like tamales and juanes

Rattlesnake- zebra- and peacock plants have a new wild relative, discovered by Rodolfo Flores, Panamanian botanist and intern at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). Helen Kennedy, University of California at Riverside, herbarium research associate, and Flores named the species Calathea galdamesiana in honor of STRI’s herbarium assistant, Carmen Galdames.

Calathea toroi.
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Nutrition Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 10/02/2016

Forest fires increase greenhouse effect gases

Additionally pollution impacts the surrounding fauna such as small mammals, rodents and bird life, modifying the urban landscape

According to Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Department of Biology Professor Dolors Armenteras, frequent forest fires now occurring around the city increase carbon emissions, heighten greenhouse effect gases and disturb the air quality.

Por medio de helicópteros se transporta el agua para detener el incendio. (Foto: Catalina Torres)
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Health Argentina  ARGENTINA 08/02/2016

Close to understanding Parkinson’s disease

CONICET scientist participated in the studies that show for the first time how a key protein behaves in the development of the disease in live cells

Parkinson’s disease is a neurological disorder characterized by the presence of protein deposits mainly made up of α-synuclein (α-Syn) located in the inner part of neurons in the region of the brain called substantia nigra. These deposits, known as Lewy bodies or amyloid plaques, are abnormal accumulations that do not degrade and eventually eliminate the dopaminergic neurons, the ones in charge of producing the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Andrés Binolfi en el IIDEFA- Foto: Gentileza investigador.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 04/02/2016

Study shows how herpes virus escapes from cell nucleus

Protein complex helps virus exit cell after reproducing so infection can progress. Results published in 'Cell' pave way to search for inhibitors

The mechanism used by the oral herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) to escape from the nucleus of its host cell after replicating has been described in two articles published by the journal Cell. The strategy consists of secreting two proteins, pUL31 and pUL34, which interact to form a vesicle. This protein complex wraps itself around the virus and transports it out of the nucleus, enabling it to infect another cell – and so the disease progresses.

Virus del herpes. Wikimedia Commons.
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Nutrition Chile  ATACAMA 03/02/2016

ALMA spots monstrous baby galaxies cradled in dark matter

There aren’t any monstrous galaxies left in the modern Universe, but astronomers believe that these young galaxies matured into giant elliptical galaxies that are seen in the modern Universe

Astronomers discovered a nest of monstrous baby galaxies 11.5 billion light-years away using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). The young galaxies seem to reside at the junction of gigantic filaments in a web of dark matter. These findings are important for understanding how monstrous galaxies like these are formed and how they evolve into huge elliptical galaxies.

Imagen de las galaxias monstruosas y de la proto-Gran Muralla. Crédito: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 01/02/2016

Were panamanian islanders dolphin hunters?

According to the results of recent excavations, published in Journal of Archaeological Science Reports, 8 percent of the mammal specimens—bones and teeth—recovered from a prehistoric scrap heap, or midden, belonged to dolphins

Precolombian seafarers left what is now mainland Panama to settle on Pedro González Island in the Perlas archipelago about 6,000 years ago, crossing 50-70 kilometers (31-44 miles) of choppy seas—probably in dugout canoes. Dolphins were an important part of the diet of island residents according to Smithsonian archeologist Richard Cooke and colleagues from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and Colombia’s Universidad del Norte.

Delfín. FOTO: STRI
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Technology Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 28/01/2016

Prototype activates pink noise to improve memorization

Two Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) Electric Engineering students in Manizales produced a learning biosensor to improve concentration and memory capacity

The electronic device has a microphone which records respiration sounds which are then turned into pink noise using an internal transistor. Hearing this sound helps modify brain waves for good concentration and memorization. The prototype also has an audio input to record unknown words.

Un joven utiliza el ordenador. FOTO: UN
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 27/01/2016

New method can improve diagnosis of thyroid cancer

Researchers have identified a group of genes that serve as biomarkers for papillary thyroid carcinoma and high risk of lymph node involvement

Researchers at A.C. Camargo Cancer Center’s National Institute of Science and Technology in Oncogenomics (INCITO) in Brazil have identified a group of genes that serve as biomarkers for diagnosing the most prevalent form of thyroid cancer. The discovery has made possible the creation of a quick, accurate and inexpensive method to identify papillary thyroid carcinoma. An application has been filed for a patent.

Glándula tiroides.
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Health Argentina  BUENOS AIRES 26/01/2016

Pain: a psychological and cultural perspective

Researcher explains the role of those aspects regarding an issue as subjective as those things that hurt

Marcelo Villar, principal CONICET researcher at the Universidad Austral of Buenos Aires, comments that when he was PhD student and began his study, he would talk to a colleague, an old psychiatrist called Guillermo Vidal. He told him that when he got his degree, he used to work at the Braulio Moyano Hospital – Neuropsychiatric Hospital for women – and administered haloperidol (Antipsychotic medication) right and left to his patients and they improved.

Marcelo Villar, CONICET principal researcher. Photo: courtesy researcher.
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