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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Science Brazil  BRASIL 17/11/2014

European researchers develop luminescent nanothermometer

Device may be used to map temperatures at the molecular level and help in the treatment of cancer

Conventional thermometers in use today to measure body temperature may soon be replaced by nanometric-scale (one billionth of a meter) devices capable of measuring temperature variations at a molecular level.

Device may be used to map temperatures at the molecular level and help in the treatment of cancer (images: release)
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Science Colombia  ANTIOQUIA 13/11/2014

Aspirin shows promise in preventing miscarriages

Researchers at the University of Antioquia are currently conducting a study to determine whether aspirin can help prevent pregnancy complications such as miscarriages

All parents want to have an uncomplicated pregnancy resulting in completely healthy babies, however some pregnancies may end in a miscarriage, which sometimes can occur repetitively (recurrent miscarriages). Also pregnancies may be affected by complications occurring at certain stages of pregnancy. These complications include unintentional expulsion of the fetus, stillbirth and preeclampsia.

Embarazo. FOTO: pixabay.com
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Science Mexico  MÉXICO 12/11/2014

Latin America and the Caribbean lose their vertebrates

Researchers call attention to factors such as habitat destruction or climate change and the implications for one of the richest areas in biodiversity of the planet

Biodiversity recedes rapidly across the planet. The Living Planet Report 2014 of WWF indicates a decrease of 52% of vertebrate species between 1970 and 2010, that is, in four decades; the number of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish on Earth has remained less than a half. When analyzing the data by geographical areas, the worst trend is the Neotropic, an area that basically corresponds to Latin America and the Caribbean, where the decrease reaches 83%.

El mono aullador (Alouatta palliata mexicana), está en peligro de extinción en México. Foto: Eric Ameca y Juárez.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 12/11/2014

ALMA Finds Best Evidence Yet for Galactic Merger in Distant Protocluster

An international team of astronomers observed these remarkable objects with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array

Nestled among a triplet of young galaxies more than 12.5 billion light-years away is a cosmic powerhouse: a galaxy that is producing stars nearly 1,000 times faster than our own Milky Way. This energetic starburst galaxy, known as AzTEC-3, together with its gang of calmer galaxies may represent the best evidence yet that large galaxies grow from the merger of smaller ones in the early Universe, a process known as hierarchical merging.

Representación artística del protocúmulo observado con ALMA. La imagen muestra la galaxia central con brotes de formación estelar AzTEC-3 junto con su cohorte de pequeñas galaxias menos activas. Créditos: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
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Science Argentina  BUENOS AIRES 11/11/2014

Scientists find how the brain processes negative events

CONICET researcher participated in a study focused on the understanding of the brain’s disappointment pathway

Together with scientists of the University of California in San Diego (UCSD), Joaquín Piriz, assistant researcher at the Instituto de Fisiología y Biofísica Bernado Houssay [Houssay Physiology and Biophysics Institute of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Buenos Aires, IFIBIO Houssay, UBA-CONICET] made an important discovery concerning the “disappointment pathway”. They proved how the lateral habenula activity is regulated and its role in depression.

Joaquín Piriz, Investigador adjunto del IFIBIO Bernardo Houssay (CONICET-UBA), junto a sus compañeros Alejo Mosqueira y Tomas Sachella. Foto: Gentileza Investigador.
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Education Spain  MADRID 10/11/2014

Only 6% of people work in the occupations they aspired to in childhood

A study analyzes the processes that influence the formation of occupational aspirations in preadolescent boys and girls

A Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) study analyzes the processes that influence the formation of occupational aspirations in preadolescent boys and girls, with special attention focused on factors that influence in the choice of typical occupations for each gender. According to the research, among other factors that influence in the choice are the studies of the child’s parents and the child’s own self esteem.

Niños en el MoviLab.
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 10/11/2014

Dunes reveal biodiversity secrets

Turner and colleagues examined plant communities and soil development across a sequence of dunes ranging in age from a few decades to more than 2 million years

Ancient, acidic and nutrient-depleted dunes in Western Australia are not an obvious place to answer a question that has vexed tropical biologists for decades. But the Jurien Bay dunes proved to be the perfect site to unravel why plant diversity varies from place to place. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute scientist Benjamin Turner and colleagues from the University of Western Australia published findings in the Sept. 26 edition of Science showing that environmental filtering—not a host of other theories—determines local plant diversity in one of Earth’s biodiversity hotspots.

Las antiguas dunas de Australia Occidental, ácidas y agotadas de nutrientes, no son el lugar obvio para responder a una interrogante que ha desconcertado a biólogos tropicales durante décadas. FOTO: STRI.
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Science Chile  CHILE 07/11/2014

Revolutionary image reveals planetary genesis

A new image from ALMA reveals extraordinarily fine detail that has never been seen before in the planet-forming disc around a young star

A new image from ALMA, the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, reveals extraordinarily fine detail that has never been seen before in the planet-forming disc around a young star. ALMA’s new high-resolution capabilities were achieved by spacing the antennas up to 15 kilometers apart. This new result represents an enormous step forward in the understanding of how protoplanetary discs develop and how planets form.

En esta ilustración vemos una estrella joven rodeada por un disco protoplanetario en el cual se forman planetas. Crédito: ESO/L. Calçada
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Science Colombia  COLOMBIA 06/11/2014

Lack of cytokines increases risk of breast tumors

Patients diagnosed with cancer have a defect in cell breakage due to nonproduction of certain cytokines. Healthy people produce cytokines normally

Close monitoring to chemotherapy treatments in patients with breast cancer identified an immunosuppression process (a deficiency in the immune system) in people that are just beginning treatment. David Bernal’ UNal Biomedical Sciences doctoral research project hopes to measure the effect of said treatment on the immune system. The project is also directed to discover lack of cytokine production in cancer patients.

Investigación. FOTO: UN.
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 05/11/2014

Adverse condition transforms normal skins cells into melanoma

Researchers from the Federal University of São Paulo are investigating stress-induced epigenetic alterations and their role in the development of cancer. The findings were presented during FAPESP Week Munich

Experiments conducted at the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) have indicated that when normal skin cells are subjected to chronic stress, they undergo changes in the pattern of gene expression and ultimately transform into melanoma cells.

Melanoma en biopsia de la piel: Wikipedia.
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Science Mexico  NUEVO LEÓN 04/11/2014

Corn's anticancer therapy potential probed

Tecnológico de Monterrey Biotechnology PhD candidate Margarita Ortiz has published a paper on the subject in the Journal of Proteomics, the world's foremost magazine on the large-scale study of proteins

It is a proven fact that corn and other grains hold huge health care potential because their proteins and peptides (components of smaller size, but same composition as proteins) contain antioxidant and anticancer properties. In addition, their compounds have a role in preventing and treating chronic degenerative diseases.

Margarita Ortiz Martínez es alumna del Doctorado en Biotecnología del Tecnológico de Monterrey y co autora del paper "Preventive and therapeutic potential of peptides from cereals against cancer.
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Science Spain  MADRID 03/11/2014

Talent without borders

CONEX program is to offer training and professional development opportunities to world class researchers of any nationality, who are not residents of Spain

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) CONEX program is launching its second talent recruitment call for the selection of twelve researchers with experience in the three broad knowledge areas: engineering, physics and mathematics; law and social sciences; and lastly, humanities, library science and communication.

Investigación en Ciencia de Materiales. Foto: UC3M.
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Science 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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Science 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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