Culture Spain  ÁVILA 22/04/2014

“What kills scientific curiosity is education itself”

Juan Meléndez Sánchez, UC3M Department of Physics

Juan Meléndez Sánchez (Avila, 1964) earned a degree in Physics from the University of Salamanca and did his doctoral dissertation at the CSIC. He is currently a professor at Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M), where he combines his research in the Laboratorio de Sensores, Teledetección e Imagen en el Infrarrojo (Laboratory of Sensors, Remote Sensing and Image in Infrared) and teaching in the Physics Department with one of his greatest passions: science popularization. In fact, he has spent more than a decade teaching courses on the history and philosophy of science and has recently published a book whose objective is to help us understand the world we live in: “De Tales a Newton: ciencia para personas inteligentes” (Ellago Ediciones, 2013)(From Thales to Newton: science for intelligent people). The work is continuously evolving in the blog of the same name.

Juan Meléndez, profesor de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Foto: UC3M.
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Science Brazil  SãO PAULO 21/04/2014

Research associates post-menopausal breast density with mutation

Recently conducted study that involved 463 patients at the Hospital das Clínicas (HC) of the School of Medicine at the University of São Paulo

As women age, the firm glandular tissue of the breasts is slowly replaced by fat. In medical terms, the breast loses density and becomes “liposubstituted.” However, in certain cases, the breasts remain dense, even after menopause. What may seem to be an esthetic advantage is a factor that, according to the scientific literature, may increase the risk of breast cancer by nearly four to six times.

Mamografía.
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Science Brazil  SãO PAULO 10/04/2014

Frozen section biopsy helps diagnose bladder cancer

A University of São Paulo study examined 131 patients and showed that the method helps in the early identification of invasive lesions

A study conducted at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine (FMUSP) showed that the rapid result test known as a frozen section biopsy may become the most precise bladder cancer diagnostic test available and enable the early treatment of invasive lesions.

Vejiga.
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Science Spain  SALAMANCA 09/04/2014

An exemplary environmental study in the watershed of river Águeda

The watershed of river Águeda finds itself affected by arsenic from mining activity and by gamma radiation of natural origin

The Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology (IRNASA, a center that belongs to CSIC), The European University Miguel de Cervantes of Valladolid and The Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco have developed an environmental characterization project and analysis of natural risks in the watershed of river Águeda, which is located mostly in the Southwest of the province of Salamanca, except from a small part in Portugal. The results, which are collected in the publication ‘Cuenca del río Águeda: un territorio para dos países’ (‘The watershed of river Águeda: a territory for two countries’) show high levels of arsenic and gamma radiation in some parts, although it is not supposed to be a serious health and environmental problem.

Determinación in situ de parámetros del agua. Foto: IRNASA.
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Science Mexico  NUEVO LEÓN 09/04/2014

Multimedia technology for presentations patented

Tecnológico de Monterrey researchers have patented a technology that allows hearing or speech impaired people -or simply those wishing to give meetings greater impact- to make multimedia presentations in several languages

Thanks to software designed by Tecnológico de Monterrey researchers, speech or hearing-impaired individuals will be able to make effective presentations with a system that fuses three technologies: artificial voice generation, language translation, and software for presentations.

Investigadores del Tecnológico de Monterrey patentaron una tecnología que permite hacer presentaciones multimedia y en varios idiomas a personas con alguna discapacidad auditiva o del habla.
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Science Spain  MADRID 08/04/2014

Research to analyze price controls on medication

There are alternative tools that can be used instead of direct price controls on medicines

Many governments control medicine costs in order to protect consumers from these situations and so that public spending does not soar. It is sometimes a necessary evil, but in many occasions there are alternative tools that can be used instead of direct price controls on medicines; these instruments increase the efficiency of the pharmaceuticals market and lower the prices of the products. This is one of the main conclusions of research carried out by economists from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) that analyzes the intervention of the price of medications in Spain.

Administración de fármacos.
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Science Colombia  ANTIOQUIA 07/04/2014

Bacteria minimizes effects of coal contaminants

Microorganisms degrade the mineral and act as drivers of oxidation and pyrite leaching (substance extraction) processes. Pyrite is the main material of sulphur

Through a novel formula a group of researchers are working to boost the capability of certain microorganisms to naturally extract contaminants such as sulphur-associated coal. Although coal is the most abundant fossil fuel in the world, it is also a polluting source after its combustion as it produces adverse environmental factors due to emission of sulphur gases into the environment, especially in large-scale industrial processes.

Bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans.
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 04/04/2014

GMO Soybean Pollen Threatens Mexican Honey Sales

A Smithsonian researcher and colleagues helped rural farmers in Mexico to quantify the genetically modified organism (GMO) soybean pollen in honey samples rejected for sale in Germany

Mexico is the fourth largest honey producer and fifth largest honey exporter in the world. A Smithsonian researcher and colleagues helped rural farmers in Mexico to quantify the genetically modified organism (GMO) soybean pollen in honey samples rejected for sale in Germany. Their results appeared on Feb. 7 in the online journal, Scientific Reports.

Polen. FOTO: STRI.
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Science Spain  SALAMANCA 03/04/2014

Found a key process for methane gas formation

The Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Salamanca (IRNASA) is a part of an international discovery published at the prestigious magazine PNAS, which has contributed to a new vision of the evolutionary biology and has large economic implicati

An international group of scientists, with the participation of The Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Salamanca (IRNASA, CSIC center), has discovered a regulatory key process in certain microorganisms which produce methane, the main ingredient of natural gas. This process is similar to the one that activates photosynthesis in plants and finding it in anaerobic microorganisms is an important change for the evolutionary biology. That is the reason why this work has been published at the prestigious scientific magazine Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS).

Mónica Balsera, a la izquierda, junto a otros miembros de su equipo de investigación.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 01/04/2014

Protoplanetary Disks ‘Bulge’ in Complex and Asymmetrical Ways

By comparing these results with other early ALMA observations, the researchers speculate that asymmetrical disks may be the norm and an essential step along the path to planet formation.

Astronomers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have studied two massive protoplanetary disks and discovered large-scale asymmetries in the way their dust is distributed.

Crédito: L. Perez (NRAO/AUI/NSF); B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); T. Muto (Kogakuin University); NAOJ/Subaru
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 28/03/2014

ALMA Helps to Explain Massive Stars Mysterious Formation

The formation process of a massive star has been a long-standing problem

A research team led by Tomoya Hirota (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan: NAOJ) discovered a hot circumstellar disk around a massive protostar by using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) and the VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry (VERA). The formation process of a massive star has been a long-standing problem. The research results favor disk accretion for the formation of massive stars, similar to the formation of low to intermediate mass stars such as the Sun.

Ilustración de la Fuente I de Orión KL.Crédito: NAOJ.
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 27/03/2014

Besides from providing light, LED lights would also be used for data transmittal

As his UNal Telecommunications Engineering master’s thesis project, Germán Alfredo Chávarro proposed developing a basic Visible Light Communication (VLC) transmission system

Just as Wi-Fi routers replaced wires, LED light bulbs could replace wireless networks. UNal engineers are working on the possibility of transmitting data through visible light. As his UNal Telecommunications Engineering master’s thesis project, Germán Alfredo Chávarro proposed developing a basic Visible Light Communication (VLC) transmission system. This system would allow transmitting audio information using visible light communication.

Las bombillas LED podrían reemplazar a las redes inalámbricas. FOTO: UN.
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Science Spain  MADRID 25/03/2014

A mathematical equation that explains the behavior of nanofoams

Nanometric-size foam structures follow the same universal laws as does soap lather

A research study, participated in by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), has discovered that nanometric-size foam structures follow the same universal laws as does soap lather: small bubbles disappear in favor of the larger ones.

Nanoespumas. Imagen: UC3M.
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Science Spain  MADRID 25/03/2014

New magnetic materials for extracting energy from tides

A new type of tidal energy generator that will be cheaper and more efficient

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Science Colombia  CALDAS 24/03/2014

Fowl behavior varies according to stimuli

Research carried out at the UNal- Bogotá Animal Learning and Behavior laboratory

Analysis performed on sexual behavior of quails showed that eliminating the stimuli, contrary of what was expected, increased the behavior. The research analyzed conduct learning using exercises which link stimuli to responses (just as human beings understand that turning a key opens a door), and emphasizing of the effects produced when stimuli are suspended.

Codorniz. FOTO: UN.
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Science Mexico  MÉXICO 21/03/2014

Wastewater to be treated with bio additives

Researchers at the Tecnológico de Monterrey's Water Center for Latin America and the Caribbean have received a CONACYT grant to conduct research on optimizing wastewater treatment processes by using enzymes and fungi

In mainstream wastewater treatment, separating the sludge and the treated water is done by withdrawing less dense liquid from a solid or dense liquid, in a process known as decantation. However, very frequently the sludge does not have the necessary conditions to allow decanting, severely handicapping the effectiveness of a treatment plant's treatment process.

Investigadores del Centro del Agua para América Latina y el Caribe presentaron ante CONACYT la propuesta �Evaluación de la acción de bio-aditivos (hongos y enzimas) sobre la decantación y deshidratación de lodos�.
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 19/03/2014

Adhesive bands will now be biodegradable and more effective against pain

Water helps the biofilm stick to the skin and at the same time degrade until it slowly disappears and the patient doesn’t need to take it off

Each time someone has a small injury they appeal to adhesive bands to protect the wound. Now researchers are raising the possibility of making an adhesive film which will speed up scar formation, reduce pain and bleeding. Furthermore this film was also conceived for protecting the environment after being used as it degradation is complete after use given its biodegradable components. Each time someone has a small injury they appeal to adhesive bands to protect the wound. Now researchers are raising the possibility of making an adhesive film which will speed up scar formation, reduce pain and bleeding. Furthermore this film was also conceived for protecting the environment after being used as it degradation is complete after use given its biodegradable components.

Desarrollan tiritas biodegradables y efectivas contra el dolor. FOTO: UN.
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Science Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 18/03/2014

Enzymes seem to be essential in latent bacteria which produce tuberculosis

Tuberculosis sky-rocketed with HIV and currently is the most lethal infectious disease which produces more bacterial sourced deaths in the world.

The UNal Microbacteria Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Research Group (BBMM, for its Spanish acronym) was the first to research ATPase enzymes of the tuberculosis bacillus when nobody thought they were important. After the work of the BBMM group several United States and French research groups, such as the Pasteur Institute have become interested in these enzymes.

Mycobacterium colombiense. FOTO: UN.
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 14/03/2014

Tracing the steps of a giant

Argentine and British researchers digitally recreated the gait of the Argentinosaurus huinculensis, a forty metres long and eighty tonnes dinosaur

How could these animals move around in spite of their size? This is the question that a group of scientists of different countries tried to answer. Among them was Rodolfo Coria, Independent researcher of CONICET at theInstituteofPaleobiologyand Geology (IIPByG, UNRN).

Reconstrucción digital del movimiento del Argentinosaurus. Foto: Bill Sellers, The University of Manchester.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 13/03/2014

Experts from around the world review more than 1,300 observation proposals for ALMA

78 world-leading experts in their area of astronomical research are meeting near Toronto, Canada

This week, 78 world-leading experts in their area of astronomical research are meeting near Toronto, Canada, to scientifically evaluate the 1,381 proposals received for Cycle 2 Early Science observations with the radio telescope, which represent a demand of more than 7.000 hours of observation. In this cycle, about 1,700 hours of observation are to be distributed among the selected proposals.

Proyecto ALMA. Crédito fotografía: "a.l.m.a.", © Michael Najjar, 2014, 132 x 202 cm, courtesy by the artist.
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