Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 20/02/2015

What do modern oceans reveal about the ancient fossil record?

Scientists sometimes aggressively test the theories of their peers. Recently, Seth Finnegan preferred to put his own hypotheses to a stress test

Scientists sometimes aggressively test the theories of their peers. Recently, Seth Finnegan preferred to put his own hypotheses to a stress test. Finnegan wants to examine how energy flows through Panama’s modern marine ecosystems to test ideas about the causes of diversification and extinction in marine ecosystems hundreds of millions of years ago.

Seth Finnegan  Photo by Sean Mattson - STRI.
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Technology Colombia  CALDAS 18/02/2015

Plantain fiber improves concrete properties

The project is currently being carried out by the UNal-Manizales Chemical, Catalytic and Biotechnological Processes Research Group at the Laboratory of Nanostructured and Functional Materials

Strength, flexion and durability are the properties provided to cement when adding plantain and banana fiber previously coated with manganese oxide. This type of coating improves the material’s compression resistance properties such as cellulosic cement, use for building and glues.

Plátano. FOTO: UN.
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Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 17/02/2015

ALMA sees super stellar nurseries at heart of Sculptor galaxy

An international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253

Starburst galaxies transmute gas into new stars at a dizzying pace – up to 1,000 times faster than typical spiral galaxies like the Milky Way. To help understand why some galaxies "burst" while others do not, an international team of astronomers used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to dissect a cluster of star-forming clouds at the heart of NGC 253, one of the nearest starburst galaxies to the Milky Way.

Estos nuevos datos de ALMA revelaron un envoltorio difuso de gas de monóxido de carbono (representado en rojo) que envuelve las incubadoras, o zonas donde se forman estrellas (en amarillo). Créditos: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); A. Le
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 13/02/2015

Researchers find link between cellular receptor and sepsis

Trials performed at the University of São Paulo's Ribeirão Preto Medical School win award at Paris symposium and may contribute to the diagnosis and treatment of the most fatal disease in Brazilian ICUs

Experiments performed at the University of São Paulo’s Ribeirão Preto Medical School (FMRP-USP) in Brazil suggest a possible correlation between severe sepsis and the expression of a cellular receptor called the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR).

Un estudio señala que existe una relación entre un receptor celular y la sepsis. FOTO: CDC.
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 11/02/2015

What can stomach a toxic frog?

Until recently, it was thought the tiny Oophaga pumilio had no regular predators. That may not be the case

Eating a Strawberry Dart Poison Frog is supposed to be a really bad idea. As a reminder to potential predators, the tiny amphibian advertises its toxicity with its loudly colored skin — bright red in mainland Central America and a rainbow of variations on the islands of Panama’s Bocas del Toro Archipelago. Until recently, it was thought the tiny Oophaga pumilio had no regular predators. That may not be the case.

La rana �Oophaga pumilio�. FOTO: STRI.
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Health Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 10/02/2015

Protein to block cancer producing gene tested

Some Ras oncogenes (cancer producing genes) are located on these rafts. Ras oncogenes are responsible for 20% of solid cancers, i.e. blood unrelated cancers

The strategy implemented consists of analyzing a transforming mechanism of the Tip protein into carrying sequences which can block Ras oncogenes, in charge of cancer development. As explained by UNal Medicine Professor Jean Paul Vernot, who added that many cancer mutations occur in oncogenes, which in biomedical lingo are known as “conductors”, due to their malignant development.

Las investigaciones no paran con tal de encontrar un método para reducir el cáncer. Las investigaciones no paran con tal de encontrar un método para reducir el cáncer. FOTO: UN.
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Technology Spain  MADRID 09/02/2015

New Method to Understand Steel Fracturing

This could help to improve these materials, which are used in the automobile industry

Researchers from the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) have visualized step-by-step and on a microscopic level how certain steels fracture when extreme loads are applied to them. This could help to improve these materials, which are used in the automobile industry.

Fractura de materiales. Foto: UC3M.
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Technology Brazil  SãO PAULO 06/02/2015

Software identifies expressions of pain in newborns

Computer program developed by Brazilian researchers monitors babies in neonatal ICUs and can assist caregivers

Researchers at the São Paulo School of Medicine (EPM), which is part of the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP), have developed a computer program that detects pain-related facial expressions in newborn babies and can therefore be of assistance in care management, enabling more agile and precise interventions.

El programa informático, desarrollado por científicos de Brasil, monitorea bebés en UTIs neonatales y puede ayudar a los cuidadores. FOTO: FAPESP.
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Technology Spain  SALAMANCA 05/02/2015

A group of experts advises researchers on intellectual property and transfer

The EURIPIDES research group is available to professors and scientists to answer questions about patents, copyrights and other related issues

The group 'Euripides: Intellectual Property, innovation and socio-economic development' researches the legal issues related to research results, their property and their transfer. This recognized research group (GIR) of the Law School of the University of Salamanca is currently developing two projects on these issues and is available to researchers who need advice.

La protección de nuevas variedades vegetales es uno de los asuntos de interés en el campo de la protección de las innovaciones científicas.
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 04/02/2015

Forest pathogens limit species’ distributions, boost biodiversity

Pathogens have come into the spotlight as a key driver of biodiversity in tropical forests

The forests on the Caribbean and Pacific sides of the Panamanian isthmus are separated by a mere 60 kilometers but are strikingly different in plant species composition. This has much to do with rainfall — precipitation on the Cari-bbean slope averages 4 meters per year, more than twice what falls on the Pacific side. Tree species have evolved or adapted accordingly. While it’s intuitively clear why wet-side species cannot survive punishing dry seasons, it’s a bit of a mystery why most drought-tolerant trees don’t appear in wetter forests. New research by Smithsonian scientists suggests that plant pathogens play a role.

Los patógenos en los bosques limitan la distribución de especies y aumentan la biodiversidad
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Technology Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 02/02/2015

Mechanical vibrations can help diagnose machine damage

The system is based on vibration signals that provide information on the performance of the machine, due to the kinematics principle

A device that enables diagnosing damages in rotary machines has been used with success in Navy patrol motor boats and companies that use equipment with rotors. The system designed by UNal-Manizales doctoral candidate Oscar Cardona, and under supervision of Professor Germán Castellanos, is comprised of a physical device that measures vibrations of a machine.

Lanchas patrulleras de la Armada Nacional de Colombia. FOTO: UN.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 30/01/2015

Research indicates link between persistent dizziness and anxiety

Research carried out at the University of São Paulo’s Medical School (FMUSP)

Balance, which enables humans to walk on dry land or skim the waves on a surfboard, depends on tiny structures in the inner ear known as the vestibular system. The cochlea, which is dedicated to hearing, and the vestibular system together comprise the labyrinth.

Exámenes de resonancia magnética funcional de personas que padecen mareos y que son refractarias al tratamiento sugieren una actividad exacerbada en las vías cerebrales relacionadas con la ansiedad y el miedo (imagen: divulgación)
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Nutrition Argentina  CORRIENTES 28/01/2015

There will be fauna bridges to protect monkey populations

Together with high school students, CONICET scientists designed a project to preserve arboreal animals

A research group at the Estación Biológica Corrientes –EBCo- [Biological Station of Corrientes] of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) worked with two high school students to design fauna bridges to be placed in the Ruta Provincial Nº 8, in the province of Corrientes. The project aims to conserve monkey populations in the area and other arboreal species that are affected by traffic.

Diseño de puente pasafauna. Imagen: gentileza Club de Ciencias Arquímedes (Instituto Pio XI).
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Nutrition Chile  CHILE 27/01/2015

Giant atmospheric rivers add mass to Antarctica’s ice sheet

Extreme weather phenomena called atmospheric rivers were behind intense snowstorms recorded in 2009 and 2011 in East Antarctica. The resulting snow accumulation partly offset recent ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet, report researchers from KU Leuven

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow water vapour plumes stretching thousands of kilometres across the sky over vast ocean areas. They are capable of rapidly transporting large amounts of moisture around the globe and can cause devastating precipitation when they hit coastal areas.

Antártida oriental. Photo courtesy: Irina Gorodetskaya
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Science Spain  MADRID 26/01/2015

Unemployment benefits do not discourage job seekers from returning to work

According to a study carried out by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) that analyzes the Spanish system of unemployment protection from a legal and economic perspective

The situation that Spain is experiencing in terms of unemployment is problematic: together with Greece, it has the highest level of unemployment among European countries (23.7% according to the latest EPA (Encuesta de Población Activa – Labor Force Survey); one out of two young adults under the age of 25 cannot find work (52.4%); and nearly half of the unemployed receive no benefits whatsoever. “Faced with this dramatic situation, many look to the system of unemployment protection to try to determine the reasons why the percentage of the unemployed receiving no economic assistance, those who have fallen out of the system, has reached such alarming levels and to what extent receiving unemployment payments might have a negative effect on the possibility of rejoining the workforce,” comments Professor Daniel Pérez del Prado, of the Work and Social Security Law area that is part of the Social and International Private Law Department of the UC3M.

Estadísticas. Imagen: UC3M.
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Nutrition Colombia  CALDAS 26/01/2015

Flash distillation extracts essential oils from eucalyptus

Agroindustrial Engineering students Daisy Agudelo, Lexy Díaz, Mayra Gómez and Gina Melo participated in the research project

By means of a instant distillation process UNal-Palmira researchers efficiently and economically extracted essential oils from eucalyptus. Flash distillation, also known as instant vaporization is an agro-industrial process that allows separating mixtures through only one balancing stage. Therefore the liquid mixture partially vaporizes, establishing a relation between vapor and liquid.

Encuentran condiciones óptimas para extraer aceites esenciales de eucalipto. Foto: Encuentran condiciones óptimas para extraer aceites esenciales de eucalipto. Foto:
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 23/01/2015

New compound reduces inflammatory pain by as much as 80%

Molecule DF2593A is being developed by the Center for Research on Inflammatory Diseases in partnership with the Italian pharmaceutical company Dompé

A new molecule known as DF2593A has been shown in animal testing to relieve up to 80% of the pain resulting from acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. In models of neuropathic pain caused by injury to nerves, pain reduction reached 60%.

Los resultados de las pruebas con animales se dieron a conocer en un artículo (ilustración: Centro de Investigaciones en Enfermedades Inflamatorias)
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Health Argentina  ARGENTINA 22/01/2015

Scientists discover the third lineage associated with present-day European genome

A study of ancient DNA revealed that European people have genes of three ancestral human populations and not two, as it used to be thought. CONICET professionals contributed to the examination

The research aimed to improve the knowledge on the ancestry of current Europeans. For this reason, scientists sequenced complete genomes of a ~7,000-year-old farmer from Germany and eight ~8,000-year-old hunter-gatherers from Luxembourg and Sweden (Loschbour-Motala). These data were analysed together with other early and contemporary genomes of 2.345 people from 203 current populations and indicated that migrations played a leading role in the introduction of agriculture.

Claudio Bravi y Graciela Bailliet aportaron sus conocimientos a la investigación. Foto: Gentileza investigadores.
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Technology Spain  MADRID 21/01/2015

Optic fiber for recording the temperature in extreme industrial environments

The system they have developed is able to measure the temperature of mechanical or cutting processes in areas where conventional techniques do not have access

Optic fiber is normally used in the field of telecommunications to transmit information using light, but a group of researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has developed a technique that makes it possible to use optic fiber as a thermometer in extreme industrial environments.

Fibra óptica. Imagen: UC3M.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 20/01/2015

Method identifies brain areas linked to attention deficit

Researchers at the University of São Paulo are developing statistical and computational techniques to analyze large biological datasets, such as MRI brain scans

A group of researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Mathematics & Statistics Institute (IME-USP) are developing statistical and computational techniques to analyze large volumes of data, such as magnetic resonance images of the brain, for use in identifying biological markers of neurological dysfunctions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Imagen: Human Connectome Project
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