Science Brazil  SãO PAULO 28/04/2016

Study reveals communication between neurons and defense cells in intestine

Study published recently by the journal 'Cell'

A study published recently by the journal Cell shows how communication between the neurons that innervate the intestine and macrophage defense cells can assist in the local modulation of the immune response to potentially pathogenic antigens, thus avoiding tissue damage.

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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 26/04/2016

First North American Monkey Fossils Are Found in Panama Canal Excavation

Seven fossil teeth exposed by the Panama Canal expansion project are the first evidence of a monkey on the North American continent

Seven fossil teeth exposed by the Panama Canal expansion project are the first evidence of a monkey on the North American continent before the Isthmus of Panama connected it to South America 3.5 million years ago. A team including Carlos Jaramillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), published this discovery online in the journal, Nature today. They named the new monkey species Panamacebus transitus in honor of Panama and the monkey’s movement across the ancient seaway that divided North and South America.

Mono. Foto: STRI.
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Science Spain  MADRID 25/04/2016

Internet video portals do not control views well

UC3M Research

The majority of video reproduction portals on internet, with the exception of YouTube, have quite unsophisticated systems for controlling fraud in the number of views, and some of them even seem to completely lack such systems, according to research carried out at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) in conjunction with Imdea Networks, NEC Labs Europe and Polito.

Vídeo en internet. Imagen: UC3M.
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 22/04/2016

Test detects antibodies against Zika virus

A diagnostic test capable of detecting the presence of specific antibodies

A diagnostic test capable of detecting the presence of specific antibodies against Zika virus in blood samples has been developed by researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Biomedical Science Institute (ICB-USP) in Brazil.

Investigador brasileño. Foto: FAPESP.
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Science Colombia  COLOMBIA 21/04/2016

Damaged bones may regenerate from stem cells

A cellular therapy technique helps in treating bone defects produced by accidents, shootings or bone infections, among others

A cellular therapy technique helps in treating bone defects produced by accidents, shootings or bone infections, among others. Its application would avoid, among other alternatives, use of synthetic bone grafts. This is a bone regeneration alternative using mesenchymal stem cells which are capable of producing several types of cells from human support cells such as cartilage, bone and fat.

Huesos. Foto: UN.
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Science Brazil  SãO PAULO 20/04/2016

Crater holds memory of the impact of a celestial body in a suburb of São Paulo

Research has proven that the 10.2 square-kilometer Colônia Crater on the outskirts of São Paulo City in Brazil was produced by the impact of a celestial object millions of years ago

Research has proven that the 10.2 square-kilometer Colônia Crater on the outskirts of São Paulo City in Brazil was produced by the impact of a celestial object millions of years ago. This geological formation is located on the southwestern edge of the Billings hydrographic basin less than 40 kilometers from Praça da Sé, which marks the city center.

Schematic representation showing a cross-section of the crater�s geological composition (image: archive of Victor Velázquez Fernandez).
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 18/04/2016

Dwarf Dark Galaxy Hidden in ALMA Gravitational Lens Image

Subtle distortions hidden in ALMA’s stunning image of the gravitational lens SDP.81 are telltale signs that a dwarf dark galaxy is lurking in the halo of a much larger galaxy nearly 4 billion light-years away

Subtle distortions hidden in ALMA’s stunning image of the gravitational lens SDP.81 are telltale signs that a dwarf dark galaxy is lurking in the halo of a much larger galaxy nearly 4 billion light-years away. This discovery paves the way for ALMA to find many more such objects and could help astronomers address important questions on the nature of dark matter.

Imagen distorsionada de la galaxia más distante (arcos rojos) y más cercana (azul). Imagen: ALMA.
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Science Dominican Rep.  REPúBLICA DOMINICANA 15/04/2016

Dominican Republic Expedition What were Caribbean coral reefs like before humans?

Some 7,000 years ago, the Dominican Republic's Lake Enriquillo basin was a sheltered bay lined by 100km of fringing coral reef

Some 7,000 years ago, the Dominican Republic's Lake Enriquillo basin was a sheltered bay lined by 100km of fringing coral reef. After a river delta blocked the entrance to the bay, the sea evaporated leaving a salty lake 42 meters below sea level. Eventually, storm channels carved through the exposed fossil reefs. Exploring the towering walls of solid fossil coral reef is as close as scientists can get to going back in time.

El mar se evaporó dejando un lago salado de 42 metros bajo el nivel del mar. Foto: STRI.
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Science Colombia  COLOMBIA 08/04/2016

New Golden Frog Species Discovered in Colombia Named for Legendary City of Gold

Its name, 'Pristimantis dorado', commemorates both its colorand El Dorado, a mythical city of gold eagerly sought for centuries by Spanish conquistadores in South America

A team of scientists including a Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) research associate announced the discovery of a new species of pale-gold colored frog from the cloud forests of the high Andes in Colombia. Its name, Pristimantis dorado, commemorates both its color (dorado means “golden” in Spanish) and El Dorado, a mythical city of gold eagerly sought for centuries by Spanish conquistadores in South America.

Rana dorada descubierta en Colombia. Foto: STRI.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 05/04/2016

ALMA's Best Image of a Protoplanetary Disk

New images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveal never-before-seen details in the planet-forming disk around a nearby Sun-like star

The disks of dust and gas that surround young stars are the formation sites of planets. New images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveal never-before-seen details in the planet-forming disk around a nearby Sun-like star, including a tantalizing gap at the same distance from the star as the Earth is from the Sun. This structure may mean that an infant version of our home planet, or possibly a more massive super-Earth, is beginning to form there.

Imagen obtenida con ALMA del disco alrededor de la joven estrella TW Hydrae. Imagen:  S. Andrews (CfA); B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO).
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 04/04/2016

Mysterious Infrared Light from Space Resolved Perfectly

A research team using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has detected the faintest millimeter-wave source ever observed

A research team using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has detected the faintest millimeter-wave source ever observed. By accumulating millimeter-waves from faint objects like this throughout the Universe, the team finally determined that such objects are 100% responsible for the enigmatic infrared background light filling the Universe. By comparing these to optical and infrared images, the team found that 60% of them are faint galaxies, whereas the rest have no corresponding objects in optical/infrared wavelengths and their nature is still unknown.

Representación artística del fondo cósmico infrarrojo resuelto con ALMA. Imagen: ALMA.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 31/03/2016

ALMA spots baby star’s growing blanket

This finding fills an important missing piece in our understanding of the early phases of stellar evolution

Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have made the first direct observations delineating the gas disk around a baby star from the infalling gas envelope. This finding fills an important missing piece in our understanding of the early phases of stellar evolution.

Representación artística de la joven estrella TMC-1A. Créditos: NAOJ
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 30/03/2016

INDEFAR: a pilot plant for the production of national drugs

CONICET and INTI scientists explore the enhancement of fundamental drugs for public health

The Research and Development Platform for the Development of Pharmochemical and Pharmaceutical Processes (INDEFAR in Spanish) – constituted by the CONICET, the National Institute for Industrial Technology (INTI) and the Universidad de Quilmes– was designed to promote the national production of medicine, develop new drugs and train human resources. It also provides Research and Development (R+D) services to meet the requirements of different private and public companies.

Lucía Gandolfi Donadío, Julieta Comin and Eleonora Elhalem. Photos: CONICET Photography.
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 29/03/2016

Biolarvicide helps combat elephantiasis vector

Using the cape gooseberry calyx Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) chemists produced a larvicide to help control the pest which causes elephantiasis, otherwise known as lymphatic filariasis

This is a Chemistry master’s project of Jenny Paola Ortega, which results is a biological component which attacks and kills Culex quinquefasciatus larvae, the causing agent of elephantiasis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are more than 1,100 million people in 55 countries threatened by lymphatic filariasis and although it is not very common in Colombia, there is still evidence of this insect in some areas of the Province of Cundinamarca.

Uchuva. FOTO: UN
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 28/03/2016

Study deepens understanding of molecular genetics in diabetes mellitus

Researchers find that microRNAs undermine the control of gene expression in T-lymphocytes, leading these defense cells to attack insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas

The human immune system can fail to recognize organs and tissues as belonging to the individual concerned and instead attack them, causing autoimmune diseases. A study performed by researchers at the University of São Paulo's Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine (FMRP-USP) in Brazil shows how this happens at the molecular level.

Ataque autoimune das células beta pancreáticas causado por linfócitos T auto reativos/Divulgação.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 18/03/2016

ALMA unveils details of planet formation around binary star

Researchers discovered a striking crescent-shape region of dust that is conspicuously devoid of gas

Using ALMA, astronomers have taken a new, detailed look at the very early stages of planet formation around a binary star. Embedded in the outer reaches of a double star's protoplanetary disk, the researchers discovered a striking crescent-shape region of dust that is conspicuously devoid of gas. This result, presented at the AAAS meeting in Washington, D.C., provides fresh insights into the planet-forming potential of a binary system.

Imagen compuesta del sistema binario HD 142527 a partir de datos obtenidos por el Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, donde se aprecia un arco de polvo (en rojo) y un anillo de monóxido de carbono (azul y verde).
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 17/03/2016

Tiny island deer in Panama was hunted to extinction thousands of years ago

Adult deer living on Pedro González island 6,000 years ago weighed less than 22 pounds, about as much as a beagle

As polar ice caps melted at the end of the last Ice Age about 8,500 years ago, the global sea level rose and Panama’s Pearl Islands were isolated from the mainland. A new archaeological study by a team including a Smithsonian scientist shows that several thousand years later pre-Columbian colonists hunted a dwarf deer to extinction on an island called Pedro González.

Los investigadores han analizado alrededor de 2.500 fragmentos de huesos de venado correspondientes a 22 individuos. FOTO: STRI
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 16/03/2016

Human hair and its evolution

CONICET researchers collaborate in the identification of genetic markers that determine characteristics of human hair

Curly hair, bushy beard, baldness, straight or blonde hair, etc; there are many options, shapes and quantities but, what is it that determines and makes our hair grow in one way and not in another? A group of scientists who are part of the Consortium for the Analysis of the Diversity and Evolution of Latin America (CANDELA) detected eighteen genetic variants statistically associated to pilosity craniofacial features. Of those new characteristics, ten were reported for the first time. The study was published in Nature Communications magazine.

La investigación aporta conocimiento sobre los genes asociados a los rasgos de pilosidad. Ilustración: María Wright | CONICET.
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 15/03/2016

Felling is terminating the yolombó tree

This millenary tree, a great pollinating agent and characterized for creating soils rich in organic matter is threatened due to human and genetic aspects

Little was known about this tree of the Proteaceae family (Panopsis suaveolens), identified commonly as the yolombó tree until the 90’s when a Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) research project showed the lack of botanical records in the herbariums of the country.

Yolombó. FOTO: UN
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Science Brazil  SãO PAULO 11/03/2016

Researchers create method to detect zika virus in transfusion blood

The São Paulo blood bank will use a test developed with support from FAPESP to screen blood for use in pregnant women and intrauterine transfusions

A method of detecting the presence of zika virus in blood used for transfusions has been developed as part of a project supported by FAPESP and coordinated by José Eduardo Levi, head of the Department of Molecular Biology at São Paulo’s blood bank, Fundação Pró-Sangue, linked to the São Paulo State Department of Health and the University of São Paulo’s Medical School (FM-USP) in Brazil.

Muestras de sangre.
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