Health Spain  MADRID 25/03/2020

The effectiveness of social distancing strategies in the face of an epidemic has been analysed

An international study based on census and real-world mobility flow

The complete isolation of the population in the face of an epidemic such as COVID-19 is a strategy that requires subsequently adopting active measures in order to maximise its effectiveness, such as conducting large scale diagnostic tests, isolating people with symptoms and identifying those with whom they have had contact. This is one of the main conclusions from a study conducted by a team of researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), the University of Zaragoza, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the ISI Foundation in Italy.

 
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Environment Colombia  COLOMBIA 23/03/2020

Pablo Escobar's hippos may help counteract a legacy of extinctions

Study from international team of researchers including UMass Amherst biologist John Rowan shows introduced species can restore a lost world

When cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar was shot dead in 1993, the four hippos he brought to his private zoo in Colombia were left behind in a pond on his ranch. Since then, their numbers have grown to an estimated 80-100, and the giant herbivores have made their way into the country's rivers. Scientists and the public alike have viewed Escobar's hippos as invasive pests that by no rights should run wild on the South American continent.

 
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Technology Spain  MADRID 19/03/2020

Julien Gamba, awarded with the 2020 Norton LifeLock/Symantec Fellowship

This is one of the most selective world Fellowships in the area of cybersecurity

Julien Gamba, predoctoral researcher at IMDEA Networks Institute, has been awarded with one of the 2020 NortonLifeLock Research Group Graduate Fellowship. This is one of the most selective world Fellowships in the area of cybersecurity. As in previous editions (the first one was in 2007), there have been three winning candidates, including Gamba. Each of them will be bestowed with a prize which consists of 20,000 US dollars.

 
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Environment Argentina  ARGENTINA 11/03/2020

Remote South American kelp forests surveyed for first time since 1973

Kelp forest ecosystems at Tierra del Fuego remain relatively unchanged over 45 years

In the kelp forests of Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of South America, the relative abundance of kelp, sea urchins, and sea stars has not changed significantly since 1973. Alan Friedlander of the National Geographic Society's Pristine Seas project and colleagues present these findings in the open-access journal PLOS ONE on March 11, 2020.

 
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Environment Brazil  BRASIL 05/03/2020

Tropical forests' carbon sink is already rapidly weakening

The ability of the world's tropical forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere is decreasing

The ability of the world's tropical forests to remove carbon from the atmosphere is decreasing, according to a study tracking 300,000 trees over 30 years, published today in Nature. The global scientific collaboration, led by the University of Leeds, reveals that a feared switch of the world's undisturbed tropical forests from a carbon sink to a carbon source has begun.

 
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Technology Argentina  ARGENTINA 04/03/2020

New lithium batteries from used cell phones

A research project at the University of Cordoba (Spain) and San Luis University (Argentina) was able to manufacture new lithium batteries from used cell phones, devices with a low recycling rate

Lithium-ion batteries are used around the world and though over the last few years they have had some competition, such as sodium and magnesium, they continue to be indispensable due to their high density and capacity. The issue is this: this metal has major availability and concentration problems. Almost 85% of its reserves are located in what is known as the Lithium Triangle, a geographical area found on the borders of Argentina, Bolivia and Chile. In addition, it seems that demand will rocket over the next few decades because of the implementation of electric vehicles. Each car equals about 7.000 cell phone batteries, so reusing their different components has become an issue of utmost importance.

 
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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 25/02/2020

Microplastics are new homes for microbes in the Caribbean

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) looked at how marine microbial communities colonize microplastics in Panama

With 5 trillion pieces of plastic in the oceans, the dynamics of marine environments are shifting in ways that are yet to be discovered. Over time discarded plastics, such as sandwich bags and flip-flops, have degraded into small particles, called microplastics, which are less than 5 mm long. Kassandra Dudek, a former Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) fellow and doctoral student at Arizona State University, looked at how marine microbial communities colonize microplastics in Panama.

 
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Social Sciences Mexico  MÉXICO 25/02/2020

Modern technology reveals old secrets about the great, white Maya road

Using lidar technology to peer through thick vegetation, researchers are learning more about the longest road from ancient Maya civilization

Did a powerful queen of Cobá, one of the greatest cities of the ancient Maya world, build the longest Maya road to invade a smaller, isolated neighbor and gain a foothold against the emerging Chichén Itzá empire? The question has long intrigued Traci Ardren, archaeologist and University of Miami professor of anthropology. Now, she and fellow scholars may be a step closer to an answer, after conducting the first lidar study of the 100-kilometer stone highway that connected the ancient cities of Cobá and Yaxuná on the Yucatan Peninsula 13 centuries ago.

 
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Social Sciences Spain  MADRID 24/02/2020

A study of economic compensation for victims of sexual violence in Europe

FAIRCOM project lead by UC3M

A study carried out by researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) analyses the efficiency of the Spanish system of economically compensating the victims of sexual violence. This work has been undertaken within the framework of FAIRCOM, a European project coordinated by the UC3M.

 
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Environment Mexico  COAHUILA 19/02/2020

Rules of life: From a pond to the beyond

The Cuatro Cienagas Basin is an invaluable place for researchers to study and understand how life may have existed on other planets in our solar system

The Cuatro Cienegas Basin, located in Chihuahuan Desert in Mexico, was once a shallow sea that became isolated from the Gulf of Mexico around 43 million years ago. This basin has an unusual characteristic of being particularly nutrient-poor and harboring a 'lost world' of many below-ground and above-ground aquatic microbes of ancient marine ancestry.

 
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Technology Spain  MADRID 19/02/2020

A salary in exchange for our data is the new economic system proposed by a researcher from the IMDEA Networks Institute

The scientific journal IEEE Internet Computing, one of the most important in the sector, publishes Nikolaos Laoutaris’s latest research proposal around the economics of data

Data and the economy stemming from them are the engine for the fourth industrial revolution. However, and according to Nikolaos Laoutaris, there is a very important leading player who currently receives absolutely nothing of the huge profits generated by the activity: the people who provide these data. Only in a very few cases do the humans producing data receive a measly compensation in kind for it: free online services.

 
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Space Chile  CHILE 14/02/2020

ESO telescope sees surface of dim Betelgeuse

The stunning new images of the star's surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), astronomers have captured the unprecedented dimming of Betelgeuse, a red supergiant star in the constellation of Orion. The stunning new images of the star's surface show not only the fading red supergiant but also how its apparent shape is changing.

 
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Environment Argentina  ARGENTINA 14/02/2020

Researchers discovered a new species of carnivorous dinosaur that inhabited Patagonia 90 million years ago

The new species, named as Tralkasaurus cuyi, is much smaller than the carnivorous dinosaurs

The new species, named as Tralkasaurus cuyi, is much smaller than the carnivorous dinosaurs from the abelisaurus theropods group known until now. It measured about four meters and it was found at the northwest of Río Negro province.

 
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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 13/02/2020

Nitrogen-fixing trees help tropical forests grow faster and store more carbon

Planting fixers could benefit reforestation and climate mitigation plans

Tropical forests are allies in the fight against climate change. Growing trees absorb carbon emissions and store them as woody biomass. As a result, reforestation of land once cleared for logging, mining, and agriculture is seen as a powerful tool for locking up large amounts of carbon emissions throughout the South American tropics.

 
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Environment Venezuela  VENEZUELA 13/02/2020

Extinct giant turtle had horned shell of up to three meters

Exceptional specimens of the extinct turtle recently found in new locations across Venezuela and Colombia

The tropical region of South America is one of the world's hot spots when it comes to animal diversity. The region's extinct fauna is unique, as documented by fossils of giant rodents and crocodylians -including crocodiles, alligators, caimans and gavials - that inhabited what is today a desert area in Venezuela. Five to ten million years ago, this was a humid swampy region teeming with life. One of its inhabitants was Stupendemys geographicus, a turtle species first described in the mid-1970s.

 
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Environment Perú  PERú 10/02/2020

El Niño contributes to insect collapse in the Amazon

Hotter and drier El Niño events are having an alarming effect on biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest and further add to a disturbing global insect collapse

Hotter and drier El Niño events are having an alarming effect on biodiversity in the Amazon Rainforest and further add to a disturbing global insect collapse, scientists show. A new study focusing on the humble, but ecologically key, dung beetle has revealed for the first time that intense droughts and wildfires during the last El Niño climate phenomenon, combined with human disturbance, led to beetle numbers falling by more than half - with effects lasting for at least two years.

 
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Environment Argentina  ARGENTINA 06/02/2020

An invasive flatworm from Argentina found across Europe

Citizen science reveals the presence of the flatworms in gardens in three quarters of metropolitan France

One of the consequences of globalization is the inadvertent human-mediated spread of invasive species. The presence of a new invader, named Obama nungara, is reported in France by an international team led by Jean-Lou Justine of ISYEB (Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France). This is the first study of this invasion, reported in an article published in the open-access journal PeerJ.

 
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Environment Brazil  BRASIL 06/02/2020

Trees in the Amazon are time capsules of human history

Tropical trees reveal the impacts of native culture as well as the scars of colonial occupation

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Space Chile  ATACAMA 05/02/2020

ALMA catches beautiful outcome of stellar fight

One star grew so large it engulfed the other which, in turn, spiralled towards its partner provoking it into shedding its outer layers

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), in which ESO is a partner, have spotted a peculiar gas cloud that resulted from a confrontation between two stars. One star grew so large it engulfed the other which, in turn, spiralled towards its partner provoking it into shedding its outer layers.

 
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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 30/01/2020

Jaguars could prevent a not-so-great American Biotic Exchange

Urban and agricultural development and deforestation along the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor might be generating a new passageway for invasive species adapted to human disturbance

For the first time, coyotes (Canis latrans) and crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous) are occurring together. According to a recent study by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and collaborating institutions, deforestation along the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor may be the reason why canid species from North and South America ended up living side by side in eastern Panama, far from their original ranges.

 
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