Technology Spain  MADRID 28/07/2015

“Organic semi-conductors are inexpensive, flexible, transparent, lightweight, allowing for new electronic devices”

Interview with Lucas Viani, UC3M CONEX researcher

Lucas Viani (Ribeirão Preto, Brazil; 1983) carries out research on organic semi-conductors in the Instituto Universitario sobre Modelización y Simulación en Fluidodinámica, Nanociencia y Matemática Industrial "Gregorio Millán Barbany" within the framework of the CONEX program (CONnecting EXcellence) at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M). This talent attraction program is supported by the European Union (Marie Curie actions of the 7th Framework Program), the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness and the Banco Santander.

Lucas Viani. Foto: UC3M.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 27/07/2015

Novel Brazilian HIV vaccine strategy will be tested in monkeys

Vaccine antigen will be inserted into the genomes of attenuated smallpox virus and chimpanzee adenovirus to boost immune response

Having obtained encouraging results last year in initial trials of a Brazilian HIV vaccine in monkeys, researchers at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine (FMUSP) and Heart Institute (INCOR-USP), as well as the Butantan Institute, will submit the vaccine to a new set of immunization experiments, also in monkeys.

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Nutrition Chile  ATACAMA 23/07/2015

ALMA witnesses assembly of galaxies in the early universe for the first time

By combining the new ALMA observations with computer simulations, it has been possible to understand in detail key processes occurring within the first galaxies

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has been used to detect the most distant clouds of star-forming gas yet found in normal galaxies in the early Universe. The new observations allow astronomers to start to see how the first galaxies were built up and how they cleared the cosmic fog during the era of reionization. This is the first time that such galaxies are seen as more than just faint blobs.

ALMA observa cómo se forman las galaxias en el Universo temprano.
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Nutrition Colombia  CUNDINAMARCA 17/07/2015

The Captain fish will repopulate the Cundinamarca-Boyacá Provinces high plateau water bodies

UNal researchers are currently working on a repopulation plan on the water sources of the Cundinamarca-Boyacá Provinces high plateau from a sample of 90 species gathered in the high basin of the Bogotá River

The captain fish (Eremophilus mutisii) is a solitary, calm and endemic fish which was lost from the memory of Colombians, especially the inhabitants of the Savannah of Bogotá. The tributaries of the Negro, Frío, Chicú, Balsillas, Juan Amarillo, Fucha, Tunjuelo and Soacha Rivers were formerly the natural habitat of the cold water guardian and was one of the main food sources of the region. 

Pez capitán. FOTO: UN
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Health Brazil  SãO PAULO 15/07/2015

Glass ceramic material is effective for treatment of dentin hypersensitivity

The material is also being tested in ocular implants and artificial middle ear bones, among other applications

Researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Dentistry School in Ribeirão Preto, São Paulo State, Brazil, are testing a glass-ceramic material for use in the treatment of dentin hypersensitivity. This condition, which manifests as acute pain in response to hot or cold drinks and food, arises from exposed dentin surfaces due to receding gums. Dentin is the tissue that forms the bulk of a tooth.

Hilos de biovidrio: el material se adhiere a huesos, dientes y cartílagos. FOTO: PHELIPE JANNING/ FAPESP
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Social Sciences Spain  MADRID 10/07/2015

Spanish university scientific production has doubled in the last decade

The publication of scientific articles by Spanish university researchers has grown by 104.24% in the last decade

The publication of scientific articles by Spanish university researchers has grown by 104.24% in the last decade, despite there being no significant increase in the number of professors during the same period. This data comes from the University Research, Development and Innovation annual report, recently published by the Observatorio IUNE, part of Alianza 4U, from the Universitat Autónoma and Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and Universidad Autónoma and Universidad Carlos III in Madrid, and which is coordinated by Elías Sanz Casado, a professor at UC3M.

Una investigadora del laboratorio de Xosé Bustelo.
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Health Colombia  VALLE DEL CAUCA 06/07/2015

Growing guppy fish to fight chikungunya vector

Use of fish for biological control has been also implemented in Brazil and Peru as well as other cities in Colombia

Guppy fish reared at UNal-Palmira fish tanks between three to five centimetres long are now an economic and effective alternative for attacking the chikungunya causing mosquito in the city of Cali, Province of Valle del Cauca. This technique was used seven years ago by UNal Zootechnician and Animal Science PhD José Ader Gómez to biologically control Aedes Aegypti mosquitos, the dengue fever transmitting vector.

Se sembraron cuatro peces por metro cuadrado, tres hembras y un macho. FOTO: UN
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Health Brazil  SãO PAULO 30/06/2015

Nanometric sensor designed to detect herbicides can help diagnose multiple sclerosis

The nanobiosensor consists of a silicon nitride or silicon nanoprobe with a molecular-scale elastic constant and a nanotip coupled to an enzyme, protein or other molecule

The early diagnosis of certain types of cancer, as well as nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica, may soon be facilitated by the use of a new detection device: a nanometric sensor capable of identifying biomarkers of these pathological conditions. The nanobiosensor was developed at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), Sorocaba, in partnership with the São Paulo Federal Institute of Education, Science & Technology (IFSP), Itapetininga, São Paulo State, Brazil. It was originally designed to detect herbicides, heavy metals and other pollutants. An article about the nanobiosensor has just been published as a cover feature by IEEE Sensors Journal.

Representación de una enzima, sujeta en la punta del microscopio de fuerza atómica y capturando moléculas de herbicida en una superficie. FOTO: GNN/ UFSCAR
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Health Colombia  COLOMBIA 26/06/2015

Collagen mesh helps close diabetic wounds and pressure sores

The medical patch has been tested in 15 patients where it has proved to be effective in skin scarring and regeneration

This is a biodegradable patch made from type I collagen obtained from cow fascia. The mesh was conceived by the UNal Tissue Engineering Group and also tested in rabbits, where it has shown to improve scarring. Its 90 per cent effectiveness has been verified in people with venous or diabetic ulcers and pressure sores, in other words areas damaged by prolonged pressure on the skin.

Las mallas de colágeno son estructuras tridimensionales que sirven como andamio para que las células se adhieran y se multipliquen. FOTO: UN
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Nutrition Chile  ATACAMA 25/06/2015

ALMA detects first traces of carbon ‘smog’ permeating interstellar atmospheres of early galaxies

ALMA, with its unprecedented sensitivity, was able to detect the faint but ubiquitous millimeter 'glow' of ionized carbon in the interstellar atmospheres of nine very distant

Astronomers study the elements scattered between the stars to learn about the internal workings of galaxies, their motion and chemistry. To date, however, attempts to detect the telltale radio signature of carbon in the very early Universe have been thwarted, perhaps – as some have speculated – by the need to allow a few billion years more for stars to manufacture sufficient quantities to be observed across such vast cosmic distances.

Aquí se comparan los datos de cuatro galaxias recabados por ALMA con otros objetos del estudio Cosmos. FOTO: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), P. CAPAK; B. SAXTON (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
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Technology Portugal  AVEIRO 23/06/2015

A new method transforms industrial waste into cement

Researchers from the University of Aveiro are developing a system to reduce the ecological footprint of one of the industries with most CO2 emissions in the world

A group of the Research Centre for Ceramic Materials and Compounds (Centro de Investigação em Materiais Cerâmicos e Compósitos, CICECO) of the University of Aveiro has produced a new type of cement based on industrial waste. This new system, which has only so far been tested experimentally, needs less energy and uses only waste, which means that its implementation would reduce the environmental impact of the cement industry.

Equipo de investigación del CICECO.
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Nutrition Portugal  AVEIRO 22/06/2015

The University of Aveiro is studying how to improve air quality

The research is part of a European project that is analysing the practices followed in various countries regarding the assessment and management of air quality so as to propose new methodologies

The Centre of Environmental and Marine Studies (Centro do Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, CESAM) of the University of Aveiro is part of the European project APPRAISAL (Air Pollution Policies for Assessment of Integrated Strategies At regional and Local scales), which from 2012 to date has been studying different practices in European Union countries when assessing and managing air quality.

Nubes. Foto: Juan Martínez Guerrero.
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Health Colombia  COLOMBIA 22/06/2015

Shiitake antipasto has anti-carcinogenic and nutritional properties

In replacing fish, chicken or meat protein for the ones in this Japanese fungus, UNal researchers discovered not only its nutritional qualities but that it also helps diminish cholesterol and glycaemia levels

The shiitake fungus (Lentinula edodes) has a fruit body known as the cap and comparatively larger than the edible mushroom cap. It is brown and has great nutritional and medicinal potential and very sought for its texture and flavor. However its stem is not consumed and disposed due to its fibrous composition, which is often rejected by consumers. 

Los componentes de su cuerpo fructífero son los mismos que se encuentran en el pie del hongo shiitake. FOTO: UN
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Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 19/06/2015

ALMA weighs supermassive black hole at center of distant spiral galaxy

Currently, astronomers use several methods to derive the mass of a supermassive black hole; the technique used typically depends on the type of galaxy being observed

Supermassive black holes lurk at the center of virtually every large galaxy. These cosmic behemoths can be millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun. Determining just how massive, however, has been daunting, especially for spiral galaxies and their closely related cousins barred spirals. In a new proof-of-concept observation, astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have measured the mass of the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 1097 -- a barred spiral galaxy located approximately 45 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Fornax.

Imagen compuesta de la galaxia espiral barrada NGC 1097. El agujero negro supermasivo en el centro de la galaxia posee una masa 140 veces mayor que nuestro Sol. FOTO: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), K. ONISHI; TELESCOPIO ESPACIAL HUBBLE DE NASA/ESA; NRAO/AUI/NSF
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Environment Portugal  AVEIRO 19/06/2015

A European project studies the adaptation of coastal areas to climatic change

The Universidade de Aveiro is analysing the perceptions of key players of the effects of climate alterations in the Baixo Vouga Lagunar of the Ría de Aveiro

The ADAPT-MED European project is analysing the adaptation of coastal areas to climatic change by concentrating on three study areas: the Baixo Vouga Lagunar of the Ría de Aveiro in Portugal; the Provence-Alps-Côte d'Azur region in France; and the island of Crete in Greece. The initiative concentrates on studying the perceptions of key players for the development of policies and strategies to allow the incorporation of measures and to help coastal areas to be better prepared for the consequences of climatic change.

Baixo Vouga Lagunar da Ria de Aveiro. Foto:  Ana Lillebø.
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Environment Portugal  AVEIRO 18/06/2015

The effects of climatic change alter the regeneration of marine worms

The Universidad de Aveiro confirms that changes in acidity, salinity, and temperature modify the regeneration of a polychaete that is frequently used as bait

Researchers of the Centre of Environmental and Marine Studies (Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, CESAM) of the University of Aveiro have found by experiments that the acidification of the sea, the drop in salinity, or the temperature alter the regeneration capacity of the species Diopatra neapolitana, a worm that may grow to over 30 centimetres in length.

Diopatra neapolitana. Foto: Adília Pires.
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Health Brazil  SãO PAULO 18/06/2015

Stem cell therapy for type 2 diabetes shows promise in mice

After inducing the development of type 2 diabetes in mice that were fed a high-fat diet, researchers at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) in São Paulo State, Brazil, treated the animals with injections of mesenchymal stem cells

This therapy led to a decrease in insulin-producing pancreatic cell death, an increase in insulin sensitivity, and a lasting reduction in blood sugar levels. The experiment was conducted during Patricia de Godoy Bueno’s PhD research as part of a project supported by Fapesp and coordinated by Ângela Merice de Oliveira Leal, a professor in UFSCar’s Department of Medicine. The results were published in the journal PLoS One in late April 2015.

El tratamiento disminuyó la apoptosis en los islotes pancreáticos, donde se alojan las células productoras de insulina. FOTO: FAPESP
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Nutrition Portugal  AVEIRO 17/06/2015

The evolution of the contaminating emissions of cars is analysed

A study of the University of Aveiro confirms that new cars pollute less, but warns that they still give off very harmful elements that are not appropriately measured

A study of the University of Aveiro has revealed that the contaminating emissions of new cars have been reduced in recent years thanks to legal restrictions and technological improvements. However, the authors of the study (which has been called Projeto URBE) warn that many other elements that are harmful both to health and to the environment cannot be detected by using current methods.

Tubo de escape. Foto: UNL.
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Nutrition Portugal  AVEIRO 16/06/2015

Fire and subsequent rain mobilise the mercury in soils

The University of Aveiro is studying the impact of fire on the dispersal of contaminating metals in eucalypt and pine forests

Research by the Centre of Environmental and Marine Studies (Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, CESAM) of the University of Aveiro, with the collaboration of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere, has shown that forest fires and subsequent precipitations play an important role in the redistribution of mercury, a highly contaminating metal that after these episodes accumulates in adjacent soils and water. The scientists have discovered that eucalypt forests contain more mercury than pine forests, the two cases included in the study.

Zona afectada por un incendio. Foto: Universidade de Aveiro.
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Health Argentina  BUENOS AIRES 16/06/2015

Andrea Gamarik explains molecular mechanisms in dengue

The dengue virus develops different properties in human and in mosquito’s cells to be more effective in each of them

Andrea Gamarnik is a principal researcher at the Conicet. She completed her doctorate in Pharmacy and Biochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in 1993 and the following year she began to study poliomyelitis in the US. In 2001, she decided to come back to Argentina and became part of the Leloir Institute Foundation, where she founded the Molecular Virology Laboratory in which scientists have been studying molecular mechanisms involved in dengue virus for the past 14 years. In the following interview, the researcher explains how this virus multiplies and infects human and mosquito’s cells.

Andrea Gamarnik, investigadora principal del Conicet. FOTO: CONICET
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