Science Brazil  SãO PAULO 30/06/2015

Nanometric sensor designed to detect herbicides can help diagnose multiple sclerosis

The nanobiosensor consists of a silicon nitride or silicon nanoprobe with a molecular-scale elastic constant and a nanotip coupled to an enzyme, protein or other molecule

The early diagnosis of certain types of cancer, as well as nervous system diseases such as multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica, may soon be facilitated by the use of a new detection device: a nanometric sensor capable of identifying biomarkers of these pathological conditions. The nanobiosensor was developed at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar), Sorocaba, in partnership with the São Paulo Federal Institute of Education, Science & Technology (IFSP), Itapetininga, São Paulo State, Brazil. It was originally designed to detect herbicides, heavy metals and other pollutants. An article about the nanobiosensor has just been published as a cover feature by IEEE Sensors Journal.

Representación de una enzima, sujeta en la punta del microscopio de fuerza atómica y capturando moléculas de herbicida en una superficie. FOTO: GNN/ UFSCAR
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Science Colombia  COLOMBIA 26/06/2015

Collagen mesh helps close diabetic wounds and pressure sores

The medical patch has been tested in 15 patients where it has proved to be effective in skin scarring and regeneration

This is a biodegradable patch made from type I collagen obtained from cow fascia. The mesh was conceived by the UNal Tissue Engineering Group and also tested in rabbits, where it has shown to improve scarring. Its 90 per cent effectiveness has been verified in people with venous or diabetic ulcers and pressure sores, in other words areas damaged by prolonged pressure on the skin.
 

Las mallas de colágeno son estructuras tridimensionales que sirven como andamio para que las células se adhieran y se multipliquen. FOTO: UN
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 25/06/2015

ALMA detects first traces of carbon ‘smog’ permeating interstellar atmospheres of early galaxies

ALMA, with its unprecedented sensitivity, was able to detect the faint but ubiquitous millimeter 'glow' of ionized carbon in the interstellar atmospheres of nine very distant

Astronomers study the elements scattered between the stars to learn about the internal workings of galaxies, their motion and chemistry. To date, however, attempts to detect the telltale radio signature of carbon in the very early Universe have been thwarted, perhaps – as some have speculated – by the need to allow a few billion years more for stars to manufacture sufficient quantities to be observed across such vast cosmic distances.

Aquí se comparan los datos de cuatro galaxias recabados por ALMA con otros objetos del estudio Cosmos. FOTO: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), P. CAPAK; B. SAXTON (NRAO/AUI/NSF)
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 23/06/2015
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A new method transforms industrial waste into cement

Researchers from the University of Aveiro are developing a system to reduce the ecological footprint of one of the industries with most CO2 emissions in the world

A group of the Research Centre for Ceramic Materials and Compounds (Centro de Investigação em Materiais Cerâmicos e Compósitos, CICECO) of the University of Aveiro has produced a new type of cement based on industrial waste. This new system, which has only so far been tested experimentally, needs less energy and uses only waste, which means that its implementation would reduce the environmental impact of the cement industry.

Equipo de investigación del CICECO.
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 22/06/2015
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The University of Aveiro is studying how to improve air quality

The research is part of a European project that is analysing the practices followed in various countries regarding the assessment and management of air quality so as to propose new methodologies

The Centre of Environmental and Marine Studies (Centro do Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, CESAM) of the University of Aveiro is part of the European project APPRAISAL (Air Pollution Policies for Assessment of Integrated Strategies At regional and Local scales), which from 2012 to date has been studying different practices in European Union countries when assessing and managing air quality.

Nubes. Foto: Juan Martínez Guerrero.
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Science Colombia  COLOMBIA 22/06/2015

Shiitake antipasto has anti-carcinogenic and nutritional properties

In replacing fish, chicken or meat protein for the ones in this Japanese fungus, UNal researchers discovered not only its nutritional qualities but that it also helps diminish cholesterol and glycaemia levels

The shiitake fungus (Lentinula edodes) has a fruit body known as the cap and comparatively larger than the edible mushroom cap. It is brown and has great nutritional and medicinal potential and very sought for its texture and flavor. However its stem is not consumed and disposed due to its fibrous composition, which is often rejected by consumers. 

Los componentes de su cuerpo fructífero son los mismos que se encuentran en el pie del hongo shiitake. FOTO: UN
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 19/06/2015

ALMA weighs supermassive black hole at center of distant spiral galaxy

Currently, astronomers use several methods to derive the mass of a supermassive black hole; the technique used typically depends on the type of galaxy being observed

Supermassive black holes lurk at the center of virtually every large galaxy. These cosmic behemoths can be millions to billions of times more massive than the Sun. Determining just how massive, however, has been daunting, especially for spiral galaxies and their closely related cousins barred spirals. In a new proof-of-concept observation, astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have measured the mass of the supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 1097 -- a barred spiral galaxy located approximately 45 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Fornax.

Imagen compuesta de la galaxia espiral barrada NGC 1097. El agujero negro supermasivo en el centro de la galaxia posee una masa 140 veces mayor que nuestro Sol. FOTO: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ), K. ONISHI; TELESCOPIO ESPACIAL HUBBLE DE NASA/ESA; NRAO/AUI/NSF
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 19/06/2015
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A European project studies the adaptation of coastal areas to climatic change

The Universidade de Aveiro is analysing the perceptions of key players of the effects of climate alterations in the Baixo Vouga Lagunar of the Ría de Aveiro

The ADAPT-MED European project is analysing the adaptation of coastal areas to climatic change by concentrating on three study areas: the Baixo Vouga Lagunar of the Ría de Aveiro in Portugal; the Provence-Alps-Côte d'Azur region in France; and the island of Crete in Greece. The initiative concentrates on studying the perceptions of key players for the development of policies and strategies to allow the incorporation of measures and to help coastal areas to be better prepared for the consequences of climatic change.

Baixo Vouga Lagunar da Ria de Aveiro. Foto:  Ana Lillebø.
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 18/06/2015
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The effects of climatic change alter the regeneration of marine worms

The Universidad de Aveiro confirms that changes in acidity, salinity, and temperature modify the regeneration of a polychaete that is frequently used as bait

Researchers of the Centre of Environmental and Marine Studies (Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, CESAM) of the University of Aveiro have found by experiments that the acidification of the sea, the drop in salinity, or the temperature alter the regeneration capacity of the species Diopatra neapolitana, a worm that may grow to over 30 centimetres in length.

Diopatra neapolitana. Foto: Adília Pires.
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Science Brazil  SãO PAULO 18/06/2015

Stem cell therapy for type 2 diabetes shows promise in mice

After inducing the development of type 2 diabetes in mice that were fed a high-fat diet, researchers at the Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar) in São Paulo State, Brazil, treated the animals with injections of mesenchymal stem cells

This therapy led to a decrease in insulin-producing pancreatic cell death, an increase in insulin sensitivity, and a lasting reduction in blood sugar levels. The experiment was conducted during Patricia de Godoy Bueno’s PhD research as part of a project supported by Fapesp and coordinated by Ângela Merice de Oliveira Leal, a professor in UFSCar’s Department of Medicine. The results were published in the journal PLoS One in late April 2015.

El tratamiento disminuyó la apoptosis en los islotes pancreáticos, donde se alojan las células productoras de insulina. FOTO: FAPESP
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 17/06/2015
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The evolution of the contaminating emissions of cars is analysed

A study of the University of Aveiro confirms that new cars pollute less, but warns that they still give off very harmful elements that are not appropriately measured

A study of the University of Aveiro has revealed that the contaminating emissions of new cars have been reduced in recent years thanks to legal restrictions and technological improvements. However, the authors of the study (which has been called Projeto URBE) warn that many other elements that are harmful both to health and to the environment cannot be detected by using current methods.

Tubo de escape. Foto: UNL.
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 16/06/2015
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Fire and subsequent rain mobilise the mercury in soils

The University of Aveiro is studying the impact of fire on the dispersal of contaminating metals in eucalypt and pine forests

Research by the Centre of Environmental and Marine Studies (Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, CESAM) of the University of Aveiro, with the collaboration of the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and the Atmosphere, has shown that forest fires and subsequent precipitations play an important role in the redistribution of mercury, a highly contaminating metal that after these episodes accumulates in adjacent soils and water. The scientists have discovered that eucalypt forests contain more mercury than pine forests, the two cases included in the study.

Zona afectada por un incendio. Foto: Universidade de Aveiro.
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Science Argentina  BUENOS AIRES 16/06/2015

Andrea Gamarik explains molecular mechanisms in dengue

The dengue virus develops different properties in human and in mosquito’s cells to be more effective in each of them

Andrea Gamarnik is a principal researcher at the Conicet. She completed her doctorate in Pharmacy and Biochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA) in 1993 and the following year she began to study poliomyelitis in the US. In 2001, she decided to come back to Argentina and became part of the Leloir Institute Foundation, where she founded the Molecular Virology Laboratory in which scientists have been studying molecular mechanisms involved in dengue virus for the past 14 years. In the following interview, the researcher explains how this virus multiplies and infects human and mosquito’s cells.
 

Andrea Gamarnik, investigadora principal del Conicet. FOTO: CONICET
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 15/06/2015
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A project to conserve the National Forest of Buçaco

Researchers from the University of Aveiro are implementing the Life+ BRIGHT project to conserve the national richness of a unique enclave in which the mock privet stands out

The University of Aveiro is working on the Life+ BRIGHT project promoted by the Fundação Mata do Buçaco, which aims to conserve the natural richness of the National Forest of Buçaco, an outstanding landscape located on the foothills of the sierra of the same name in Central Portugal. The researchers are particularly anxious to control invasive plant species which are threatening a unique enclave dominated by the mock privet, a shrub that here acquires unique characteristics.

Mata Nacional do Buçaco. Foto: Lísia Lopes.
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Science Colombia  VALLE DEL CAUCA 15/06/2015

Exercise machine helps physical rehab

In the project they included springs of different sizes and strengths such as stretching straps so users may perform movements that will help them achieve resistance and strength in their upper limbs and mid body

With a single exercise machine designed by UNal-Palmira students, disabled people may carry out several physical rehab exercises. The machine, named Shot-Bam is a multiple-purpose exercise apparatus devised for disabled people by Industrial Design students Eleonora Millán and María Camila Gómez.

Multiequipo para la rehabilitación física. FOTO: UN.
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 12/06/2015
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The secrets of porous materials

Researchers from the University of Aveiro are studying the properties of porosity, which allows the manufacturing of smaller and lighter devices

Scientists from the University of Aveiro are studying the properties of porous materials. The progress being achieved by researchers in this field takes the form of increasingly lighter and smaller materials with more properties. This work can be a starting point for the development of new devices that are applied in the field of electronics, for example.

Porosidad.
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Science Portugal  AVEIRO 11/06/2015
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The University of Aveiro assesses the environmental risks of heavy metals in Cape Verde

Researchers are taking part in a project promoted by the UNESCO and the International Union of Geological Sciences to create a world geochemical atlas

The Geoscience Department of the University of Aveiro has carried out a study on heavy metals in the Cape Verde Islands with the objective of drawing up geochemical maps of the islands and assessing possible environmental risks. This information is part of an international project and will allow improved decision-making on soil use, environmental protection, and the health of the inhabitants, as well as serving as a reference for other countries.

Paisaje de Cabo Verde.
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 11/06/2015

Gel system will optimize tumor detection

A plate in form of a tray covered with gel and placed near the body will allow discovering injured tissue or organs through radiation

This technique will circumvent using two types of diagnostic images, MRI and nuclear medicine imagery; using only the former will be needed to obtain all the necessary information. Traditionally hybrid diagnostic imagery is based on mixing two different techniques: an MRI which provides an anatomical image and shows the location of every organ in the body and nuclear medicine images which are used to detect organ and tissue activity using radiopharmaceuticals which are used as radioactive tracers to monitor organ or system functions. 

Se trata de una placa que puede ser de plástico, cubierta con un gel simple, (gelatina) que se pone sobre el cuerpo de la persona. FOTO: UN
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Science Argentina  BUENOS AIRES 10/06/2015

CIAA: a gateway to electronic technology in Argentina

Researchers at the Conicet developed the first open source hardware industrial computer of Argentina

In general, when people imagine a computer, they tend to relate it to notebooks, PCs or other similar structures. But actually there are many more computers that are hidden and are used everyday, such as the lift or the washing machine. Unfortunately, most of them are neither designed, nor produced or programmed in Argentina. In order to deal with this difficulty a group of engineers, designers, businessmen, programmers and even students, all from different parts of the country, work on the development of a computer useful for national companies. Thus, the Computadora Industrial Abierta Argentina –CIAA- [Argentine Open Industrial Computer] was born.

Ariel Lutenberg, investigador asistente del Conicet. FOTO: CONICET
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Science Spain  MADRID 10/06/2015

New electric propulsion system improves safety of light aircraft

This new hybrid system could prevent 600 accidents a year

Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) and the AXTER Aerospace firm have developed an electric propulsion system to install in small gasoline-powered planes for extra power and range in emergency situations. This new hybrid system could prevent 600 accidents a year.

Avioneta. Foto: UC3M.
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