Science Panama  PANAMÁ 31/05/2016

Mangrove decline through the ages in Central and South America

a new study looks to the past to provide conservation lessons for this essential ecosystem

As deforestation erases the thin, green line of mangrove forests along tropical shores, a new study looks to the past to provide conservation lessons for this essential ecosystem. Scientists from Colombia’s Talking Oceans Foundation, the University of York, U.K., and the Smithsonian in Panama document mangrove use and decline through the ages along the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia and Ecuador.

Manglar. Foto: STRI.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 25/05/2016

ALMA Reveals Footprints of Baby Planets in a Gas Disk

New analysis of ALMA data for HL Tauri provides yet more firm evidence of baby planets around the star

New analysis of ALMA data for HL Tauri provides yet more firm evidence of baby planets around the star. Researchers uncovered two gaps in the gas disk around the star. The locations of these gaps in the gas match the locations of gaps in the dust found in the ALMA high resolution image taken in 2014. This discovery supports the idea that planets form in much shorter timescales than previously thought and prompts a reconsideration of alternative planet formation scenarios.

Distribuciones del gas de HCO+ (azul) y el polvo (rojo) en el disco alrededor de HL Tauri. ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Yen et al.
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Science Spain  MADRID 23/05/2016

UC3M is investigating aerospace engines of the future

A Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) research study is analyzing how to improve rocket engines for use in future spacecrafts

This scientific project, underway at the UC3M Department of Bioengineering and Aerospace Engineering, focuses on the development of plasma propulsion systems. These systems use electromagnetic energy to accelerate the previously ionized propellant, in contrast to a conventional chemical rocket based on heat generated by fuel combustion.

Cámara de vacío. Foto: UC3M.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 18/05/2016

Cometary Belt around Distant Multi-Planet System Hints at Hidden or Wandering Planets

ALMA have made the first high-resolution image of the cometary belt around HR 8799

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have made the first high-resolution image of the cometary belt (a region analogous to our own Kuiper belt) around HR 8799, the only star where multiple planets have been imaged directly. The shape of this dusty disk, particularly its inner edge, is surprisingly inconsistent with the orbits of the planets, suggesting that either they changed position over time or there is at least one more planet in the system yet to be discovered.

Imagen obtenida por ALMA del anillo de cometas./Booth et al., ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); A. Zurlo, et al.
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 16/05/2016

New species of fly parasitizes fungus-growing ant

The researchers note that this species is the first known of its family, 'Chloropidae', to parasitize ants

Larvae of the newly identified fly species Pseudogaurax paratolmos Wheeler grow up on a gory diet—the larvae of the fungus-growing ant Apterostigma dentigerum. The species is formally described by Cely González and co-authors working with Hermógenez Fernández-Marín, Smithsonian research associate and scientist at the Institute for Scientific Investigations and High-End Technology Services (INDICASAT-AIP). PhD student González discovered the new species in a larger survey of Apterostigma ant parasites.

Nueva mosca. Foto: STRI.
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 13/05/2016

Novel survival tactic discovered in butterflies

A new survival tactic has been discovered in butterflies, according to a paper published in the journal 'Neotropical Entomology'

A new survival tactic has been discovered in butterflies, according to a paper published in the journal Neotropical Entomology. The lead authors are Carlos Eduardo Guimarães Pinheiro, a researcher at the University of Brasília (UnB), and André Lucci Freitas, affiliated with the University of Campinas (UNICAMP) in São Paulo State, Brazil.

Mariposas estudiadas. Imagen: FAPESP.
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 11/05/2016

Study seeks to enhance diagnosis of schizophrenia through imaging

Researchers are working on a more detailed scrutiny of the main brain regions involved and are also attempting to detect possible reorganizations of cortical networks triggered by treatment with drugs

Schizophrenia can already be diagnosed in the scientific sphere by mapping the brain with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and data mining software. Now, researchers are working on a more detailed scrutiny of the main brain regions involved and are also attempting to detect possible reorganizations of cortical networks triggered by treatment with drugs.

fMRI brain images./FAPESP.
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Science Spain  MADRID 09/05/2016

CloudLab, a new system for making online video presentations

A technology improves the learning experience of instructors and users who employ video as a teaching and learning tool

LabHipermedia, a spin-off with participation by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), has designed a technology that improves the learning experience of instructors and users who employ video as a teaching and learning tool.

Tecnología en la nube. Imagen: UC3M.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 05/05/2016

ALMA Measures Mass of Black Hole with Extreme Precision

To determine the actual mass of a supermassive black hole, astronomers must measure the strength of its gravitational pull on the stars and clouds of gas that swarm around it

Supermassive black holes, some weighing millions to billions of times the mass of the Sun, dominate the centers of their host galaxies. To determine the actual mass of a supermassive black hole, astronomers must measure the strength of its gravitational pull on the stars and clouds of gas that swarm around it.

Disco de gas que rodea el agujero negro supermasivo en el centro de la galaxia. Imagen:  A. Barth (UC Irvine), ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); NASA/ESA Hubble; Carnegie-Irvine Galaxy Survey.
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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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