Science Brazil  BRASIL 30/01/2015

Research indicates link between persistent dizziness and anxiety

Research carried out at the University of São Paulo’s Medical School (FMUSP)

Balance, which enables humans to walk on dry land or skim the waves on a surfboard, depends on tiny structures in the inner ear known as the vestibular system. The cochlea, which is dedicated to hearing, and the vestibular system together comprise the labyrinth.

Exámenes de resonancia magnética funcional de personas que padecen mareos y que son refractarias al tratamiento sugieren una actividad exacerbada en las vías cerebrales relacionadas con la ansiedad y el miedo (imagen: divulgación)
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Science Argentina  CORRIENTES 28/01/2015

There will be fauna bridges to protect monkey populations

Together with high school students, CONICET scientists designed a project to preserve arboreal animals

A research group at the Estación Biológica Corrientes –EBCo- [Biological Station of Corrientes] of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET) worked with two high school students to design fauna bridges to be placed in the Ruta Provincial Nº 8, in the province of Corrientes. The project aims to conserve monkey populations in the area and other arboreal species that are affected by traffic.

Diseño de puente pasafauna. Imagen: gentileza Club de Ciencias Arquímedes (Instituto Pio XI).
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Science Chile  CHILE 27/01/2015

Giant atmospheric rivers add mass to Antarctica’s ice sheet

Extreme weather phenomena called atmospheric rivers were behind intense snowstorms recorded in 2009 and 2011 in East Antarctica. The resulting snow accumulation partly offset recent ice loss from the Antarctic ice sheet, report researchers from KU Leuven

Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow water vapour plumes stretching thousands of kilometres across the sky over vast ocean areas. They are capable of rapidly transporting large amounts of moisture around the globe and can cause devastating precipitation when they hit coastal areas.

Antártida oriental. Photo courtesy: Irina Gorodetskaya
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Science Spain  MADRID 26/01/2015

Unemployment benefits do not discourage job seekers from returning to work

According to a study carried out by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) that analyzes the Spanish system of unemployment protection from a legal and economic perspective

The situation that Spain is experiencing in terms of unemployment is problematic: together with Greece, it has the highest level of unemployment among European countries (23.7% according to the latest EPA (Encuesta de Población Activa – Labor Force Survey); one out of two young adults under the age of 25 cannot find work (52.4%); and nearly half of the unemployed receive no benefits whatsoever. “Faced with this dramatic situation, many look to the system of unemployment protection to try to determine the reasons why the percentage of the unemployed receiving no economic assistance, those who have fallen out of the system, has reached such alarming levels and to what extent receiving unemployment payments might have a negative effect on the possibility of rejoining the workforce,” comments Professor Daniel Pérez del Prado, of the Work and Social Security Law area that is part of the Social and International Private Law Department of the UC3M.

Estadísticas. Imagen: UC3M.
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Science Colombia  CALDAS 26/01/2015

Flash distillation extracts essential oils from eucalyptus

Agroindustrial Engineering students Daisy Agudelo, Lexy Díaz, Mayra Gómez and Gina Melo participated in the research project

By means of a instant distillation process UNal-Palmira researchers efficiently and economically extracted essential oils from eucalyptus. Flash distillation, also known as instant vaporization is an agro-industrial process that allows separating mixtures through only one balancing stage. Therefore the liquid mixture partially vaporizes, establishing a relation between vapor and liquid.

Encuentran condiciones óptimas para extraer aceites esenciales de eucalipto. Foto: www.vida-saludable.net Encuentran condiciones óptimas para extraer aceites esenciales de eucalipto. Foto: www.vida-saludable.net
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 23/01/2015

New compound reduces inflammatory pain by as much as 80%

Molecule DF2593A is being developed by the Center for Research on Inflammatory Diseases in partnership with the Italian pharmaceutical company Dompé

A new molecule known as DF2593A has been shown in animal testing to relieve up to 80% of the pain resulting from acute and chronic inflammatory conditions. In models of neuropathic pain caused by injury to nerves, pain reduction reached 60%.

Los resultados de las pruebas con animales se dieron a conocer en un artículo (ilustración: Centro de Investigaciones en Enfermedades Inflamatorias)
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 22/01/2015

Scientists discover the third lineage associated with present-day European genome

A study of ancient DNA revealed that European people have genes of three ancestral human populations and not two, as it used to be thought. CONICET professionals contributed to the examination

The research aimed to improve the knowledge on the ancestry of current Europeans. For this reason, scientists sequenced complete genomes of a ~7,000-year-old farmer from Germany and eight ~8,000-year-old hunter-gatherers from Luxembourg and Sweden (Loschbour-Motala). These data were analysed together with other early and contemporary genomes of 2.345 people from 203 current populations and indicated that migrations played a leading role in the introduction of agriculture.

Claudio Bravi y Graciela Bailliet aportaron sus conocimientos a la investigación. Foto: Gentileza investigadores.
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Science Spain  MADRID 21/01/2015

Optic fiber for recording the temperature in extreme industrial environments

The system they have developed is able to measure the temperature of mechanical or cutting processes in areas where conventional techniques do not have access

Optic fiber is normally used in the field of telecommunications to transmit information using light, but a group of researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has developed a technique that makes it possible to use optic fiber as a thermometer in extreme industrial environments.

Fibra óptica. Imagen: UC3M.
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 20/01/2015

Method identifies brain areas linked to attention deficit

Researchers at the University of São Paulo are developing statistical and computational techniques to analyze large biological datasets, such as MRI brain scans

A group of researchers at the University of São Paulo’s Mathematics & Statistics Institute (IME-USP) are developing statistical and computational techniques to analyze large volumes of data, such as magnetic resonance images of the brain, for use in identifying biological markers of neurological dysfunctions, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Imagen: Human Connectome Project
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 19/01/2015

Smithsonian Research supports Panama’s new marine protected areas proposal

Two extensive, unexplored submarine mountain chains are proposed as new open-water marine protected areas by the Republic of Panama based on scientific expertise from the STRI

Two extensive, unexplored submarine mountain chains are proposed as new open-water marine protected areas by the Republic of Panama based on scientific expertise from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI). Submarine mountain chains are recognized by the United Nations as conservation priorities. The MPA’s would dramatically increase Panama’s total marine protected area from 3.54 percent to almost 12 percent and would safeguard a number of highly migratory species including whales and whale sharks, dolphins and turtles, and also species of commercial value like tuna and billfishes.

Proponen nuevas áreas marinas protegidas en Panamá. FOTO: STRI.
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Science Brazil  BRASIL 15/01/2015

Study helps to understand how the protein ‘on/off switch’ works

A research study featured on the cover of the journal Science Signaling explains the interplay of a chemical reaction known as phosphorylation, which is catalyzed by kinases

Kinases are enzymes that act as a type of protein ‘on/off switch’ and, in this way, regulate important processes in the body such as cell division, proliferation and differentiation. Any problems in this signaling event may result in pathologies such as cancer, inflammation or cardiovascular disease. For this reason, nearly 25% of efforts by the pharmaceutical industry target the development of compounds that are capable of modulating the activity of these enzymes.

Study helps to understand how the protein �on/off switch� works. (image: Deborah Schechtman)
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 13/01/2015

Dead zones likely to expand as coastal waters warm

Altieri and Gedan looked at a database of more than 400 dead zones around the world and then overlaid them on a map of the annual temperature anomalies expected to occur in each region

A full 94 percent of the world’s dead zones lie in regions expected to warm at least two degrees Celsius by the century’s end, according to a new report from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center published in Global Change Biology.

Zona muerta marina. FOTO: STRI.
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 09/01/2015

Cinnamon and pepper have biological pest control activity

Cinnamon, for instance has essential oils useful for pest control, such as weevils that attack stored grain and can impact up to 30% of the global grain production

Different photoprotection, antibacterial and cytotoxic functions, essential for pest control have been discovered in several Colombian flora families by a UNal group which works in natural plant products. This team is focused on researching particular families of the Colombian flora, important for their representativeness and traditional uses in the medical field as well as for their ethnobotanical applications.

Las lauráceas son apreciadas por la calidad de sus maderas. Las lauráceas son apreciadas por la calidad de sus maderas.
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Science Mexico  NUEVO LEÓN 08/01/2015

Tec de Monterrey researcher proposes pure proteins for better drugs

osé González-Valdez is tapping new technologies to develop a process for a more efficient molecular structure of the proteins contained in drugs

Enhancing drugs' effects in the body by decreasing their quick exit from the bloodstream is the research topic addressed by José González-Valdez, a Tecnológico de Monterrey Ph.D. graduate in Engineering Sciences with an emphasis in Biotechnology, in his thesis "Analysis, Recovery, and Potential New Uses of PEGylated Proteins", aimed at jump-starting the development of new technologies for a more efficient molecular structure of the proteins contained in drugs.

José González-Valdez, a Tecnológico de Monterrey Ph.D. graduate in Engineering Sciences. FOTO: TEC
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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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