Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 31/10/2014

Agave: not just for tequila

Agave angustifolia, a species native to Panama, performs well even in the extreme conditions that may become more prevalent under climate change scenarios

Our world contains roughly 400 million hectares of abandoned agricultural land, much of it in the tropics and subtropics. Both Agave tequilana, the source of tequila and Agave fourcroydes, a common source of fiber, grow well on seasonally arid lands and have been proposed as biofuel crops.

�gave. FOTO: STRI.
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Science Spain  CANARIAS 31/10/2014

“Ghost light” from dead galaxies

Researchers from the IAC and the ULL, using the Hubble Space Telescope, have observed the remains of the destruction of galaxies on a large scale, and make a significant contribution to our understanding of how the large scale structure of the universe ha

The intra-cluster light, the “ghost light” in galaxy clusters, comes from stars in clusters which are not bound by gravity to any particular galaxy. According to theoretical predictions, huge tidal forces should destroy galaxies and cause stars to wander freely in the galaxy clusters. For this reason knowing more about the properties of this intra-cluster light gives us clues about the formation and evolution of clusters of galaxies. However the big problem facing astronomers who study this light is that it is very faint, and therefore difficult to observe. It must also be studied in zones well away from the galaxies in the cluster, which are not contaminated by the outer parts of any of these galaxies.

El cúmulo de galaxias masivo Abell 2744, apodado cúmulo de Pandora. Imagen: NASA, ESA, Mireia Montes (IAC), J. Lotz, M. Mountain, A. Koekemoer, Z. Levay y el equipo HFF (STScI).
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Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 30/10/2014

Planet-forming lifeline discovered in a binary star system

The results are published today in the journal 'Nature'

For the first time, researchers using ALMA have detected a streamer of gas flowing from a massive outer disc toward the inner reaches of a binary star system. This never-before-seen feature may be responsible for sustaining a second, smaller disc of planet-forming material that otherwise would have disappeared long ago. Half of Sun-like stars are born in binary systems, meaning that these findings will have major consequences for the hunt for exoplanets. The results are published today in the journal Nature.

Esta ilustración muestra el polvo y el gas alrededor del sistema estelar doble GG Tauri-A. Utilizando ALMA, los investigadores han detectado gas en la región entre los dos discos de este sistema binario. Crédito: ESO/L. Calçada


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Science Argentina  CHUBUT 30/10/2014

Forensic Science: an interdisciplinary contribution to justice

CENPAT professionals provide scientific services for forensic examinations requested by the Ministerio Público Fiscal del Chubut [Public Prosecutor’s Office of the province of Chubut]

Every crime scene has evidence that can lead to the identification of the perpetrator. Although most of it is imperceptible at a simple glance, it can be recovered by specialists working in genetics, anthropology, entomology and archaeology, for instance. And most frequently these disciplines complement one another to interpret evidence.

Néstor Basso, investigador independiente del CENPAT. Foto: CONICET Fotografía.
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Nutrition Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 29/10/2014

Cactus extract reduces glucose levels

When the glucose levels fell by 30% they found that in some way these results were related to what was reported by popular belief

How can cactus juice help reduce blood sugar levels? This was the topic of a research project headed by the UNal Laboratory of Natural Products. Although the cactus Opuntia cochenillifera was collected in the city of Ibagué, capital of the Province of Tolima, it is distributed in several areas through the Colombian territory, specifically in the Andean region.

Cactus - Fotos: Catalina Torres / Unimedios Cactus Opuntia cochenillifera. - Fotos: Catalina Torres / Unimedios
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Nutrition Brazil  BRASIL 28/10/2014

Enzymes from Antarctica have industrial use

The South Pole fungi were stored in the Brazilian Collection of Environmental and Industrial Microorganisms, which belongs to the Multidisciplinary Center for Chemical, Biological and Agricultural Research at the University of Campinas

The manufacture of detergents, cosmetics, food, medicines and many other chemical products depends on processes carried out by enzymes, which are organic catalysts that enable many chemical reactions. Among the enzymes of interest to industry, the most readily employed are the proteases, which account for 60% of the world’s enzyme market.

Colonies of the yeast Rhodotorula mucilaginosa on a culture plate of Sabouraud agar-milk medium (10%) (photo: EEL-USP)
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Technology Spain  MADRID 27/10/2014

Intelligent materials that work in space

ARQUIMEA, a company that began in the Business Incubator in the Science Park of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), will be testing technology it has developed in the International Space Station

ARQUIMEA, a company that began in the Business Incubator in the Science Park of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), will be testing technology it has developed in the International Space Station. The technology is based on intelligent materials that allow objects to be sent into orbit without the use of explosives.

Tecnología de la empresa ARQUIMEA. Foto: U3CM.
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 27/10/2014

Smithsonian scientists discover tropical tree microbiome in Panama

Bacteria in tropical forests may also play a vital role, protecting leaves against pathogens and even affecting the ability of forests to respond to climate change

Human skin and gut microbes influence processes from digestion to disease resistance. Despite the fact that tropical forests are the most biodiverse terrestrial ecosystems on the planet, more is known about belly-button bacteria than bacteria on trees in the tropics. Smithsonian scientists and colleagues working on Panama’s Barro Colorado Island discovered that small leaf samples from a single tree were home to more than 400 different kinds of bacteria. The combined sample from 57 tree species contained more than 7,000 different kinds.

Bosque tropical.
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Nutrition Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 24/10/2014

Ergonomic tools reduce arm and back injuries

What seems like a simple process such as packing lotion boxes is actually comprised of rapid hand, finger, elbow and shoulder movements as well as strong and constant back rotations

A box folding machine, a labeler and a dispenser are some of the tools proposed by the Laboratory of Ergonomics to improve the position of employees of a perfume manufacturing plant. What seems like a simple process such as packing lotion boxes is actually comprised of rapid hand, finger, elbow and shoulder movements as well as strong and constant back rotations.

El trabajo fue desarrollado en la línea de productos cosméticos de una reconocida multinacional. (Foto: Cortesía Ricardo Ruiz). El trabajo fue desarrollado en la línea de productos cosméticos de una reconocida multinacional. (Foto: Cortesía Ricardo
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Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 23/10/2014

Organic Molecules in Titan's Atmosphere Are Intriguingly Skewed

This discovery may help astronomers better understand the processes that shape this world's complex chemistry

While studying the atmosphere on Saturn’s moon Titan, scientists discovered intriguing zones of organic molecules unexpectedly shifted away from its north and south poles. These misaligned features seem to defy conventional thinking about Titan’s windy atmosphere, which should quickly smear out such off-axis concentrations.

Imagen de ALMA que muestra la distribución de la molécula orgánica HNC en la parte más alta de la atmósfera de Titán, la luna de Saturno. Crédito: NRAO/AUI/NSF; M. Cordiner (NASA) et at.


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Health Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 22/10/2014

Iodine excess discovered in children of the Bogotá savannah

The research project included a total of 125 children, 47 from the municipality of Chia and 78 from the southern district of Bogotá known as Bosa. All children underwent an anthropometry, an echography and urine testing

A research project carried out in the municipalities Chía and Bosa, on 6 and 15 year old students demonstrated excess iodine levels in children. According to UNal Medicine Professor Roberto Franco the only confirmed role of iodine in the human body is related to thyroid hormone synthesis. Nevertheless, iodine excess produces goiter, hypothyroidism (low thyroid production) or hyperthyroidism (high thyroid production).

Colombia implementó la política de yodación universal de la sal. - Colombia implementó la política de yodación universal de la sal. -
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 21/10/2014

Study reveals involvement of nitric oxide in the allergic process

According to the authors, nitric oxide promotes the differentiation of a specific type of defense cell – lymphocyte T helper 9 (Th9) – responsible for secreting a substance known as interleukin-9 (IL-9)

A study published in the journal Nature Communications has described the mechanisms through which nitric oxide – a gas naturally synthesized by endothelial cells, defense cells such as macrophages, and certain types of neurons – contributes to the exacerbation of allergic responses.

El gas que produce el organismo favorece la diferenciación de linfocitos del subtipo Th9, que generan una citocina capaz de agravar la respuesta inflamatoria (imagen linfocito: Wikimedia)
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Health Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 07/10/2014

Blood plasma could help regenerate wounds and burns

The idea is for the biomaterial to not simply cover the wound to conceal the area

A blood plasma gel produced by UNal researchers could help the scarring process of deep wounds and sores produced from too much time lying down or sitting on a wheel chair. UNal Engineering Department Professor Rubén Darío Godoy says the purpose of their work is to produce a soft scarring process (from the esthetic standpoint) and to hasten the healing process.

Plasma sanguíneo. FOTO: UN.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 03/10/2014

Ambiente celular é fator decisivo para desenvolvimento do câncer, diz pesquisadora

Alguns dos principais resultados foram apresentados ao público brasileiro durante a palestra na USP

Durante muito tempo o câncer foi visto como uma doença de origem fundamentalmente genética, ou seja, causada por mutações no DNA – herdadas ou adquiridas – que alteram a expressão dos genes e fazem as células se proliferarem descontroladamente.

 Mina Bissell of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory gathers evidence to show that tissue architecture is as important as changes in DNA for tumor growth (image: Unicamp)
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Nutrition Chile  ATACAMA 02/10/2014

ALMA, a natural laboratory for high-altitude medicine

Members of communities that have historically lived at high geographic altitude have succeeded in adapting to lower oxygen levels by changing habits such as diet in order to enjoy a better quality of life

Health experts took part in an important multidisciplinary meeting at the ALMA Observatory facilities, where they shared experiences and research on medicine at high geographic altitude, with a particular focus on a condition known as intermittent hypoxia –lack of oxygen– which has only been studied among mountain climbers.

Trabajadores realizando test de Figura Compleja Rey-Osterrieth a 5.000 metros de altitud en una sala presurizada. Crédito: ALMA(ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Carlos Padilla
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Science Spain  ZAMORA 01/10/2014

New findings in the Archaeological site of El Castillon (North-western Spain) contribute to the understanding of the settlement’s inhabitation

Last fieldwork campaign at El Castillon revealed how dwelling was between the 5th and the 6th centuries.

The seventh campaign of excavation at the site located in the nearby of Santa Eulalia de Tabara (a small hamlet in the province of Zamora, Castilla y Leon) has been carried out this summer 2014. The results have helped to understand the urban development experimented in the settlement about the 5th and 6th centuries. Archaeologists have unearthed several dwelling structures which evolved along the time from one use to another, allowing scholars to reinterpret their functions.

En primer plano, con forma redondeada, restos del gran horno excavado en El Castillón.
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Nutrition Mexico  NUEVO LEÓN 29/09/2014

TecSalud treats cardiac failure with spinal cord stimulation

Millions of people with heart problems could potentially enjoy better quality of life thanks to collaborative research by the Tecnológico de Monterrey's Cardiology Chair and Houston's Methodist Hospital

"One of our research's most important contributions was having identified a new technology to treat patients with terminal heart failure, exploiting the connections existing between the brain and the heart. This yields a new window for tapping this relationship in aid of cardiac function," stated TecSalud Dean Guillermo Torre-Amione, M.D., regarding the research conducted by the Tecnológico de Monterrey's Cardiology Chair in collaboration with Houston's Methodist Hospital.

Entre los beneficios que se empiezan a reflejar una vez aplicado el tratamiento médico son una mejor función del corazón, al disminuir las arritmias, los dolores de pecho, la fatiga y la falta de aire.
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Nutrition Brazil  BRASIL 26/09/2014

Blowflies carry a high percentage of bacteria that cause diseases in humans

A study has found that 30% of the microorganisms found in these insects cause diseases such as bubonic plague, gastritis, ulcers and stomach cancer

Nearly 30% of the microorganisms found in blowflies are capable of causing diseases in humans says a study carried out by researchers at the University of Campinas (Unicamp), Pennsylvania State University in the United States and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

Un ejemplar de Sarcophagidae, eliminando líquido, para aumentar la concentración de alimento sólido ingerido. FOTO: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos.
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 24/09/2014

The protective fungus inside

A group of 11 researchers, five of them from STRI, recently discovered how a single fungus living inside cacao plants radically alters processes from photosynthesis to the expression of disease resistance genes

The bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms living in and on human bodies — our microbiome — is getting a lot of attention as its importance to human health becomes better understood.

Un solo hongo que vive dentro de las plantas de cacao altera procesos radicalmente. FOTO: STRI.
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Social Sciences Chile  CHILE 23/09/2014

ALMA studies infant sun-like solar system to try and catch the wind

These winds could have important implications for planet formation

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have studied a special kind of young star, a T Tauri star, to understand why some have disks that glow weirdly in infrared light while others shine in a more predictable fashion. The answer, researchers speculate, may be due to differences in the wind around these stars.

Impresión artística de AS 205 N, una estrella T Tauri que es parte de un sistema multiestelar. | Crédito: AP. Marenfeld & NOAO/AURA/NSF
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