Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 06/11/2015

Astronomers discover growth spurts in a young protostar

A paper describing these results is published in the journal 'Nature'

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered an adolescent protostar that is undergoing a rapid-fire succession of growth spurts. Evidence for this fitful youth is seen in a pair of intermittent jets streaming away from the star’s poles. A paper describing these results is published in the journal Nature.

Astrónomos obtuvieron con ALMA la imagen del crecimiento intermitente de una joven protoestrella conocida como CARMA-7. Crédito: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); A. Plunkett et al.; ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ)
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 05/11/2015

Melatonin reduces metastasis in animals with breast cancer

The results of the studies, which were supported by FAPESP, have recently been described in a paper published in the 'Journal of Pineal Research'

When researchers at the São José do Rio Preto School of Medicine (FAMERP) in São Paulo State, Brazil, treated in vitro cultured metastatic breast cancer cells with melatonin, they observed a 55% reduction in cell migration and invasion. Experiments with mice showed that the treatment was also capable of slowing the progression of the disease in vivo.

Célula de cáncer de mama fotografiada con un microscopio electrónico de barrido.
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Nutrition Argentina  ARGENTINA 04/11/2015

Bacteriophages, the invisible enemies of the dairy industry

A research team at the CONICET develops technological strategies to minimize its effects

The word bacteria tends to be put on the same level as infections or diseases, but not all bacteria are bad. Within the beneficial ones to the human being, it is possible to find the lactic acid bacterium (LAB). These are a group of benign microorganisms that produce lactic acid from sugar fermentation. For this reason, they have been used for more than four thousands years in the production of fermented milk products, like yogurt and cheese, among others.

Células de Lactobacillus paracasei infectadas por un hongo. FOTO: CONICET
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 03/11/2015

Flatworms flout global biodiversity patterns

Generations of scientists have tried to explain why biodiversity decreases from the tropics to the poles—a pattern known as the latitudinal diversity gradient

The odds of being attacked and castrated by a variety of parasitic flatworms increases for marine horn snails the further they’re found from the tropics. A Smithsonian-led research team discovered this exception to an otherwise globally-observed pattern—usually biodiversity is greatest in the tropics and decreases toward the poles. The study, published in Ecology, makes a case for using host-parasite relationships as a tool to understand why there are typically more species—and more interactions between species—in the tropics than anywhere else in the world.

Variedad de platelmintos parásitos. FOTO: STRI
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Nutrition Colombia  CALDAS 30/10/2015

With fungi, vanilla sprouts faster

In a first successful report seed sprouting times of two species of vanilla orchids were reduced from several months to less than 60 days

Ceratobasidium and Tulasnella fungi helped quicken symbiotic sprouting of Colombian vanilla species Vanilla rivasii and V. calyculata, in comparison to in vitro traditional methods which use asymbiotic culture media (without fungi) and which are also more expensive.

Fotografía de microscopía electrónica del barrido de semilla de Vanilla rivasii. FOTO: UN
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Technology Argentina  ARGENTINA 28/10/2015

Scientists at the CONICET developed the first programmable digital hearing-aid of Argentina

It is made in Argentina and can be reprogrammed according to user’s needs

A group of CONICET researchers at the Laboratorio de Comunicaciones de la Facultad de Ingeniería de Mar del Plata [Communications Laboratory of the Faculty of Engineering of Mar del Plata] developed the first programmable digital hearing-aid that allows people with hearing disabilities to improve their quality of life.

Prototype of the hearing-aid. Photo: CCT Mar del Plata
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Technology Spain  MADRID 27/10/2015

UC3M researches simulator of human behavior

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid is investigating how to build a system that recreates human behavior

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid is investigating how to build a system that recreates human behavior. This technology could be applied to anticipate behavior in socioeconomic crises, create more human-like robots or develop avatars of artificial intelligence which are almost indistinguishable from those that represent people.

Red de personas. Imagen: UC3M.
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Technology Brazil  BRASIL 27/10/2015

Nanoparticles could be a basis for more sensitive radiation detectors

Structures produced by researchers at University of São Paulo and Harvard show potential to enhance efficiency of systems that require highly sensitive detection of light or radiation

Images captured from an electron microscope apparently show a huge number of tiny stars each with a diameter of only a few micrometers (millionths of a meter). The structures, produced by Eder Guidelli and Oswaldo Baffa at the Ribeirão Preto campus of the University of São Paulo (USP) in Brazil, in partnership with David R. Clarke of Harvard University in the United States, have a core of gold and silver particles surrounded by a “shell” of zinc oxide (ZnO). Their properties have the potential to improve the efficiencies of various systems in which it is necessary to detect light or radiation with a high degree of sensitivity.

Nanopartículas. FOTO: FAPESP
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Social Sciences Brazil  BRASIL 21/10/2015

Study of exotic stars helps understand formation of solar system

Massive stars usually end catastrophically, exploding as supernovae, ejecting vast amounts of matter into outer space, and eventually collapsing as black holes

Be stars are such strange objects that even professional astrophysicists are surprised by their description. Nevertheless, these stars are common in our galaxy, and there are several very near the solar system, at distances in the range of 100 light years, which is approximately nothing on the astronomical scale.

En la imagen se observa a la estrella desde un ángulo de 20 grados al sur de su plano ecuatorial (imagen: Daniel Moser Faes)
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Health Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 20/10/2015

Approach to a tuberculosis vaccine

Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) researchers are working on protein structures with bactericide properties which are fundamental for survival of tuberculosis causing microorganisms

Tuberculosis treatment consists of a combination of drugs which if used correctly successfully controls the disease. However when patients do not follow the treatment correctly or use low quality antibiotics for long periods of time, the consequence is emergence of antibiotic resistant mycobacteria (Mycobacterium tuberculosis).

El grupo de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular de las Micobacterias trabaja con compuestos naturales que el organismo utiliza para combatir las bacterias. FOTO: UN
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 16/10/2015

Star gazing from the sea floor

Brittle stars, along with starfish and sand dollars, are radially symmetrical, “spiny-skinned” animals known as echinoderms

The kiddie pool Lauren Sumner-Rooney unfolds on the dock at the Bocas Del Toro Research Station isn’t for relaxing at sundown after a long day of fieldwork. Under the midday sun, she places brittle stars on the pool’s blue plastic bottom and floats a shadow-casting disc on the water’s surface. Her experiment tests the nocturnal creatures’ poorly understood vision system. Can they “see” the disc and move into its protective shadow?

El ofiuro Ophiocoma wendtii. FOTO: STRI
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Nutrition Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 15/10/2015

Mechanisms to remineralize teeth naturally

Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) researchers have identified mechanisms in which chemical substances could be added into teeth enamel for remineralization processes

The results obtained by UNal Faculty of Sciences and School of Dentistry experts will help solve incipient cavity and erosion issues due to chemical effects and dental sensitivity problems. Carolina Torres Rodríguez, UNal School of Dentistry Professor and member of the Dentistry Materials Application Group (GRAMO, for its Spanish acronym says that this project focused on determining the remineralization processes through diffusion of chemical elements in teeth.

Dentista. FOTO: UN.
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Health Brazil  SãO PAULO 13/10/2015

Research identifies drug capable of preventing complications from hemolysis

The research was conducted with support from FAPESP during Camila Bononi de Almeida’s postdoctoral work

Patients with sickle cell anemia frequently suffer from hemolysis, the destruction of red blood cells leading to the release of hemoglobin into the blood stream.

 El grado de inflamación en los ratones se midió mediante el empleo del IVIS (In vivo imaging system) (imagen: FAPESP)
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Technology Spain  ESPAÑA 13/10/2015

From Privacy to Freedom of Expression: the Continuum in 2015 – 2020.

Hannover hosts the annual meeting of the Mapping project from 22 to 23 September

MAPPING Annual General Assembly, Hannover, September 22-23, 2015. The annual event of the MAPPING project,, has become a recognised European platform for the exchange of views of a multi-stakeholder community. The very wide-ranging discussions this year focused on inter-related issues such as privacy, security and freedom of expression, as well as intellectual property rights.

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Nutrition Argentina  ARGENTINA 08/10/2015

Scientists develop innovative virtual simulation technology in Tandil

A research team created the first computer assisted virtual environment of Argentina, a system to promote professional training in different priority areas of the country

Coordinated by CONICET post-doctoral fellow Cristian García Bauza, a group of researchers, fellows and Media.Lab teachers at the PLADEMA Institute of the Universidad Nacional del Centro of the province of Buenos Aires designed, programmed and built the first Argentine CAVE (Computer Assisted Virtual Environment), called Rubika for the several possibilities of the Rubik’s cube.

CAVE es una instalación que combina software y hardware que permite al usuario sentirse inmerso en un mundo que parece real pero que es virtual. Foto: CCT Tandil.
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 07/10/2015

Frog's irrational choices could reform understanding of animal mating

The results of this study highlight the influence of context when choosing a mate, and have significant implications for scientists' understanding of sexual selection

In the attempt to choose a mate, it's no surprise that females will select the more "attractive" of two males, but now a new study reveals that female túngara frogs are susceptible to the "decoy" effect, where the introduction of a third, inferior mate results in the female choosing the less attractive of the first two options.

Rana túngara. FOTO: STRI.
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Technology Spain  MADRID 02/10/2015

New infrared camera detects gas leaks in industry

This company’s invention, supported by the Business Incubator at the UC3M Science Park, is based on technology patented by researchers from the UC3M Infrared Laboratory

A spin-off of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), Sensia Solutions, has developed a new low-cost infrared camera that makes it possible to quickly and efficiently detect gas leaks that can occur in different industrial facilities.

Cámara infrarroja. Foto: UC3M.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 02/10/2015

Researchers investigate genes that endow tumor cells with stem cell-like properties

In vitro experiments were performed on cell lines derived from medulloblastoma tumors, the most common type of brain cancer in children

Researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Bioscience Institute (IB-USP) in Brazil are studying a group of human genes that, when expressed in malignant tumors, endow tumor cells with properties similar to those of stem cells, making them more aggressive and resistant to treatment.

Linajes de meduloblastoma, el tipo de cáncer cerebral más común en niños (imagen: Wikimedia Commons)
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Social Sciences Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 01/10/2015

Seisms in Venus?

David Tovar a UNal Geologist and University of Minnesota Geological Sciences masters candidate is using planetary geology for researching a very small region in Venus to study global heat diffusion average in heavily fractured areas

“Despite not being able to observe the surface directly due to its dense atmosphere, there is a region called Alpha with high fracturing with faults and folds (an area of approximately 700,000 square km and similar to the size of Texas) that evidence some type of seismic activity,” said Tovar, Cofounder and Codirector of the UNal Planetary Geology and Astrobiology Research Group (TITAN, for its Spanish acronym).

Venus. FOTO: UN
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Technology Argentina  ARGENTINA 29/09/2015

Research network to optimize the development of telecommunications’ technology

Scientists at the CONICET explain how they designed the network that aims to connect studies conducted in the country

The objective of the “Research Network for the development of technology in telecommunications” is promote the joint work of scientists and technicians throughout the country in order to optimize the technological and human resources on the subject.

The objective of the Network is the constant interaction of scientists and technicians of all the country to optimize technological and human resources. Illustration: CONICET Design
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