Science Chile  CHILE 19/12/2014

'Perfect Storm' Suffocating Star Formation around a Supermassive Black Hole

Astronomers using ALMA have discovered that black holes don’t have to be nearly so powerful to shut down star formation

High-energy jets powered by supermassive black holes can blast away a galaxy’s star-forming fuel -- resulting in so-called "red and dead" galaxies: those brimming with ancient red stars yet little or no hydrogen gas available to create new ones.

Representación artística de la zona central de NGC 1266. Créditos: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
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Science Colombia  CALDAS 18/12/2014

Pharmacological activity of Caribbean sponges assessed

These studies are based on the assumption that one of the most common drugs against cancer come from marine sponges

Science has discovered different compounds in sponges that help battle against diseases such as cancer and other types of tumors. This was the goal of a research project carried out by UNal Biotechnology master’s Lina Marcela Blandón, who analyzed the antiproliferative, cytotoxic and genotoxic activity of a fraction obtained from Topsentia ophiraphidites sponge from the Colombian Caribbean.

Esta esponja es más común en zonas de arrecifes profundos, de 3 a 55 metros, en el occidente del Atlántico. Foto: www.spongeguide.org Esta esponja es más común en zonas de arrecifes profundos, de 3 a 55 metros. Photo: www.spongeguide.org
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 17/12/2014

Study identifies clinical-immunological profiles of visceral leishmaniasis infection

Classification of different stages of infection promotes advances in knowledge about infection dynamics and evolution

After more than 20 years of caring for and monitoring individuals infected by the protozoan Leishmania (L.) infantum chagasi –the agent that causes American Visceral leishmaniasis (AVL)– in areas of the Amazon region that are endemic to the disease, researchers at the Laboratory of Infectious Diseases Pathology of the School of Medicine at the University of São Paulo (FMUSP) and the “Prof. Dr. Ralph Lainson” Leishmaniasis Laboratory of the Evandro Chagas Institute of Belém, Pará State, contemplated some intriguing data.

Leishmaniose visceral. (imagem: divulgação/FMUSP)
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 16/12/2014

Environmental bleaching impairs long-term coral reproduction

Florida State University’s Don Leviton (L) STRI’s Nancy Knowlton recently authored a study on the long-term effects of coral bleaching in Marine Ecology Progress Series. Photo by Christian Ziegler

A new study by a Florida State University biologist shows that bleaching events brought on by rising sea temperatures are having a detrimental long-term impact on coral.

Investigación sobre el blanqueamiento del coral.
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Science Spain  MADRID 15/12/2014

A new simulator that provides training in cybersecurity

A system that teaches users how to carry out computer forensics, prevent cyber attacks and learn techniques of cyber defense

Researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the Universidad de Málaga (UMA) have collaborated with the consulting and technology company Indra on the development of a new advanced simulator of training in cybersecurity, a system that teaches users how to carry out computer forensics, prevent cyber attacks and learn techniques of cyber defense.

Ciberseguridad. Imagen: UC3M.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 15/12/2014

ALMA detects pluto-size objects kicking-up dust around sun-like star

By making detailed observations of the protoplanetary disk surrounding the star known as HD 107146, the astronomers detected an unexpected increase in the concentration of millimeter-size dust grains in the disk's outer reaches

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) may have detected the dusty hallmarks of an entire family of Pluto-size objects swarming around an adolescent version of our own Sun.

Representación artística del disco de desechos que rodea HD 107146. Este sistema estelar adolescente presenta indicios de que en sus bordes externos hay enjambres de objetos del tamaño de Plutón.  (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
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Science Colombia  ANTIOQUIA 12/12/2014

UdeA-led study will test Alzheimer’s prevention drug

Researchers from Grupo de Neurociencias de Antioquia (GNA) at the University of Antioquia will lead a clinical trial to test the effectiveness of a drug to treat preclinical stages of Alzheimer’s

GNA director Dr. Francisco Lopera said that 3,500 volunteers have been recruited but another 2,400 participants are still needed. 300 participants will be selected and monitored over the 6-year duration of the study. The study will take place in Medellin, Colombia, that is home to the world’s largest population with early-onset familial Alzheimer’s disease with about 5,000 people who share a rare genetic mutation (E280A) also known as the "paisa mutation", which causes the formation of abnormal presenilin 1 on chromosome 14 therefore leading to early-onset Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Francisco Lopera (third from left) and BAI officials. FOTO: UDEA.
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 10/12/2014

A contribution to the sustainability of the southern king crab fishing

CONICET researchers found that including a ramp to return females to the sea can reduce embryo mortality

How can the fishing methodology of the southern king crab (Lithodes santolla) and the stone crab (Paralomis granulosa) be improved to increase sustainability from an economic and biological point of view? How does fishing and release of non-marketable specimens affect the reproductive cycle of the species?

Lithodes santolla.- Foto: gentileza investigadora.-
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 09/12/2014

Science is moving forward in unexplored parts of the oceans

Research studies carried out on the east coast of the United States and in the South Atlantic are presented during FAPESP Week California

Despite covering 70% of its surface, oceans are the least explored ecosystem on Earth. Efforts to advance knowledge of marine life, ocean currents and their relationships to life on dry land were shared by researchers from the University of California in Davis (UCD) and from institutions in São Paulo on November 21, 2014, the final day of FAPESP Week California.

Vida marina. FOTO: Alvaro E. Migotto/Cifonauta
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 04/12/2014

The key lies in hesperidin

Researchers of CONICET developed a method to control the quality of fruit juice

In 1864 Melville Sewell Bagley created Hesperidina, a beverage made from bitter orange peel that became an icon of Argentine liquor stores. This liquor was named after its main component, a flavonoid present in citrus that is used as a freshness indicator in fruit juices. It also has antioxidant effects, in addition to anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral activity. And for these reasons is frequently used in different pharmaceutical formulations.

Javier Breccia, investigador independiente del CONICET. Foto: gentileza investigador.
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 03/12/2014

Superheated tropical ants at risk to climate change

The highest maximum temperature tolerated by any of the 88 ant species tested was 56 C. This Ectatomma ant may encounter exceptionally high temperatures on sun-exposed branches

The next time you’re traipsing through a tropical forest and feel tempted to complain about the heat, think of the ants. Since they’re so small they’re easily superheated on sunexposed surfaces from the ground to the canopy. The forest they experience can be 10-15 degrees Celsius warmer than ambient temperature, which puts them at risk of passing out from ant heat stroke.

Hormigas tropicales. FOTO: STRI.
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 02/12/2014

Mercury causes malformations to crabs of the Bay of Cispatá

Most organic pollutants have mutagenic effects that produce morphologic alternations during embryo development as well as having carcinogenic effects

A UNal research project identified malformations in 70% of the analyzed crustaceans of the Bay of Cispatá (Province of Sucre), caused by increased levels of mercury in the water of the Sinú River. The research project developed jointly with the Universidad de Córdoba, discovered that this issue has produced crustacean malformations due to the pollutants in the Bay, particularly from mercury used in gold mining of the region. The Bay of Cispatá is located south of the Gulf of Morrosquillo, in the Province of Córdoba.

Estos cangrejos pertenecen a las familias Goneplacidae y Xanthidea. - www.pifsc.noaa.gov Estos cangrejos pertenecen a las familias Goneplacidae y Xanthidea. - www.pifsc.noaa.gov
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 27/11/2014

Scientists create viral vector to boost immunity to cancer

A modified virus neutralizes the protein responsible for the immunosuppressive activity of lymphocytes, facilitating attacks on tumor cells

Researchers from Campinas are working to develop a viral vector capable of modifying the functions of certain defense cells, thereby stimulating the immune system to more effectively fight cancer.

Imagen de un linfocito rodeado de glóbulos rojos: Wikipedia
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 26/11/2014

Titanium dioxide nanotubes, key for ultraviolet sensors

This research project is part of a project which included the Physics and Chemical Engineering Departments under guidance of Professors Anderson Dussán and Hugo Zea

The importance of using tubular titanium dioxide nanostructures lies in that they are cheap, non-toxic and easy to obtain. As demonstrated by tests performed at UNal. For her Sciences-Physics master’s thesis, Heiddy Paola Quiroz analyzed the usefulness of these sensors as UV ray filters for use in creams, eyeglasses and other solar protection products.

Así son los nanotubos trabajados desde la Maestría en Ciencias�Física. Así son los nanotubos trabajados desde la Maestría en Ciencias�Física.
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 25/11/2014

Science to reconstruct urban memory

CONICET researchers develop a method that enables the preservation of monuments in Cuyo

The metropolitan area of the city of Mendoza has 1.200 historical buildings of great heritage value. One third of them are partially or wholly made up of adobe, rammed earth or quincha (a cane or bamboo weave covered with clay). A survey conducted by CONICET researchers detected that 96% of these buildings are affected by rising damp from the substructure. In order to preserve and improve their restoration, researchers developed a device and a method to measure capillary absorption in materials commonly used in traditional, historical and ecological buildings.

Molino Orfila, uno de los monumentos históricos afectados por humedad ascendente desde la subestructura. Foto: gentileza investigadores.
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 24/11/2014

Balloons hunt for air particles to study cloud formation

Brazilian and U.S. researchers are investigating aerosols and regions with and without pollution in the Amazon to understand their influence on cloud formation

An international research project investigating the aerosols that result from hydrocarbon emissions and their influence on the formation of clouds and rain in the Amazon was presented by its coordinators at the symposium FAPESP-U.S. Collaborative Research on the Amazon, held October 28-29, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Glono. Photo: Marcelo Chamecki
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 21/11/2014

Scientists discover new Poison dart frog species in Donoso, Panama

In the species description published in 'Zootaxa', it was named Andinobates geminisae for Geminis Vargas

A bright orange poison dart frog with a unique call was discovered in Donoso, Panama, by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí, both in Panama, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. In the species description published in Zootaxa, it was named Andinobates geminisae for Geminis Vargas “the beloved wife of [coauthor] Marcos Ponce, for her unconditional support of his studies of Panamanian herpetology.”

Rana hallada en Panamá. Foto: STRI.
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Science Chile  CHILE 20/11/2014

Chilean astronomers discover new clues about massive star formation

This discovery refutes existing theories, indicating that ultraviolet radiation from the star would destroy molecular gas and dust, and bringing the first direct detection of ionized gas wind along with a supersonic jet and an accretion disk

Astronomers using the ALMA radio telescope detected that the supersonic jet and the accretion disk survives the ultraviolet radiation generated by the birth of a massive star. This discovery refutes existing theories, indicating that ultraviolet radiation from the star would destroy molecular gas and dust, and bringing the first direct detection of ionized gas wind along with a supersonic jet and an accretion disk. The research results were published in The Astrophysical Journal.

Imagen en el infrarrojo cercano de G345.4938+01.4677 obtenida por el proyecto VVV con el telescopio VISTA en el observatorio de Cerro Paranal. FOTO: OBSERVATORIO ALMA.
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Science Colombia  VALLE DEL CAUCA 19/11/2014

Silver nanoparticles are extracted with arrowroot starch

Achira starch as reductor-stabilizer is effective for synthesizing silver nanoparticles

Arrowroot starch or achira as it is traditionally known in the south of Colombia, helps extract silver microparticles which when included in industrial products extend food useful life. One of the main challenges of agroindustrial engineers around the world is to preserve foods for longer periods of time without altering their flavor and odor (organoleptic qualities) and also preserving the healthfulness for the final consumer.

Extraen nanopartículas de plata con almidón de achira. Extraen nanopartículas de plata con almidón de achira. FOTO: UN.
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Science Argentina  CHUBUT 18/11/2014

Microscopic aquatic world: techniques to eat without dying in the attempt

Researcher describes the crossings and dilemmas tiny organisms face when trying to feast

For Darwin, the species that survive are neither the strongest nor the fastest, but the most adaptable to changes. In line with this idea, in lakes and oceans there are various microscopic organisms that managed to restructure their dietary habits to survive and the zooplankton is not an exception.

Copépodo alimentándose de partículas en suspensión mediante la generación de micro-flujos de agua. Foto: gentileza investigador.
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