Technology Spain  MADRID 01/12/2017

New system uses drones to monitor railroads

This innovation makes it possible to reduce costs and increase the train safety

SigmaRail, a company supported by the Universidad Carlos III Science Park, has created a system that uses drones and a new computer program to make automatic inspections of railroads. This innovation, which geolocates possible incidents on rail corridors, makes it possible to reduce costs and increase the train safety.

 
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Technology Spain  SALAMANCA 30/11/2017

New perforated plate for chemical industries

A research project from the University of Salamanca improves the efficiency of processes such as distillation and absorption in chemical industries

Researchers at the University of Salamanca have developed a new design for perforated plates. Metal plates with holes that are usually integrated in the facilities of various chemical industries specialised in compounds separation processes, such as distillation and absorption. Through a proof of concept, scientists have demonstrated experimentally that the model they propose is more efficient than conventional dishes.

 

 

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Technology Spain  SALAMANCA 23/11/2017

A tool to classify political opinions on Twitter

The University of Salamanca has developed a real-time tuit classifier that works in the cloud through an automatic learning process

Social networks have become a prime space for public debate and among them Twitter especially stands out in the field of politics. Some computer tools already analyze trends and opinions. The University of Salamanca has developed a messages classifier that allows to know in real time the positive and negative evaluations of the users.

 
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 21/11/2017

Tropical tree roots represent an underappreciated carbon pool

The authors hope that future estimates of carbon storage and water-use by tropical forests will include information on root biomass and architecture

Ask someone to draw a tree and they will invariably draw a trunk and branches—leaving the roots out of the picture. In a unique study of tropical tree roots at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute published in PLOS ONE, roots accounted for almost 30 percent of the total biomass of young trees. The authors hope that future estimates of carbon storage and water-use by tropical forests will include information on root biomass and architecture.

 
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Nutrition Spain  MADRID 14/11/2017

¿Why can hot water freeze faster than cold water?

Spanish researchers have discovered this effect in granular media, opening the door to the theoretical understanding of the Mpemba effect

A team of researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, the Universidad de Extremadura and the Universidad de Sevilla have defined a theoretical framework that could explain the Mpemba effect, a counterintuitive physical phenomenon revealed when hot water freezes faster than cold water.

 
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 14/11/2017

Duo of titanic galaxies captured in extreme starbursting merger

The ADFS-27 galaxy pair is located approximately 12.7 billion light-years from Earth in the direction of the Dorado constellation

New observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have uncovered the never-before-seen close encounter between two astoundingly bright and spectacularly massive galaxies in the early Universe. These so-called hyper-luminous starburst galaxies are exceedingly rare at this epoch of cosmic history — near the time when galaxies first formed — and may represent one of the most-extreme examples of violent star formation ever observed.

 
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Health Venezuela  VENEZUELA 13/11/2017

Stop using antibiotics in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance

A systematic review published today in 'The Lancet Planetary Health' found that interventions that restrict antibiotic use in food-producing animals reduced antibiotic-resistant bacteria in these animals by up to 39%

WHO is recommending that farmers and the food industry stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals. The new WHO recommendations aim to help preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics that are important for human medicine by reducing their unnecessary use in animals. In some countries, approximately 80% of total consumption of medically important antibiotics is in the animal sector, largely for growth promotion in healthy animals.

 

 
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Nutrition Argentina  ARGENTINA 08/11/2017

Untangling the family tree of the main groups of dinosaurs

The result was published in Nature in response to the March publication in which the English researchers had proposed a radical change in the family tree of the lineage of those prehistorical animals

In March 2017, a research team led by Matthew Baron of the University of Cambridge published a study in Nature. The scientists had proposed a radical revision on the understanding of the early evolution of dinosaurs and the family tree relationship among them. They suggested that the traditional classification between Ornithischia –bird hipped- and Saurischia – lizard hipped-, was modified.

 
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 07/11/2017

ALMA discovers cold dust around nearest star

These structures are similar to the much larger belts in the Solar System and are also expected to be made from particles of rock and ice that failed to form planets

The ALMA Observatory in Chile has detected dust around the closest star to the Solar System, Proxima Centauri. These new observations reveal the glow coming from cold dust in a region between one to four times as far from Proxima Centauri as the Earth is from the Sun. The data also hint at the presence of an even cooler outer dust belt and may indicate the presence of an elaborate planetary system. These structures are similar to the much larger belts in the Solar System and are also expected to be made from particles of rock and ice that failed to form planets.

 
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 03/11/2017

The Neanderthals’ last breath

Argentine researchers managed to digitally reconstruct the nasal airflow in Neanderthals and simulate the respiratory cycle under different climatic scenarios

Heavy frosts and severe climates are extreme conditions. How did humans manage to survive the last glaciation? Breathing is the answer. Although this seems to be obvious, a study published in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences) claims that the internal nasal cavity of humans and Neanderthals –species that occupied extreme cold and dry landscapes– allowed them to warm and moisten the inhaled air. These results are vital to understand how our human lineage managed to resist severe climate conditions during their dispersion through Eurasia at the end of the Pleistocene epoch.

 
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Science Argentina  ARGENTINA 27/10/2017

For the first time, scientists describe a modern bird family that lived with dinosaurs

Researchers at the CONICET led the study about a group of marine diving birds that inhabited the southern hemisphere

A recent study, published in The Science of Nature and conducted by several researchers of the Council and a colleague of the University of Texas, described for the first time a group of modern birds that survived the Creaceous Palogene mass extinction that occurred 65 millions of years ago and led to the disappearance of the dinosaurs.

 
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 24/10/2017

Scientists edit butterfly wing spots and stripes

The WntA gene is part of a small family of genes influencing body plans and other patterns during insect development

An international research team working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama knocked out a single control gene in the DNA of seven different butterfly species. In the Sept. 18 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences early online edition, they reveal the surprising results of rewiring the WntA gene: a single gene influences the exuberant diversity of butterfly wing patterns in nature.

 
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 23/10/2017

Research identifies potential targets for treatment of leishmaniasis

Brazilian scientists show that parasite's penetration of host cells increases expression of certain microRNAs capable of inhibiting action of immune system.

Researchers at the Bioscience Institute of the University of São Paulo (IB-USP), in Brazil, are starting to unravel the molecular mechanisms by which the parasite that causes cutaneous leishmaniasis manages to circumvent the host organism’s defenses and infect new cells.

 
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Technology Europa  EUROPE 02/11/2016

Privacy policies and data protection regarding online business, security and human rights under debate

Key experts and policy makers meet in Prague during Mapping Second General Assembly

Over 80 experts, policy and decision makers from areas such as online business, security and fundamental human rights have met in Prague during Mapping Second General Assembly. The international debate includes a variety of topics, related with existing and emerging business models as impacted by the General Data Protection Regulation, law enforcement and Intelligence agency perspectives; the interplay between privacy and intellectual property, critical infrastructures and challenges to freedom of expression.

 

First event Mapping project.

 

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Health Argentina  ARGENTINA 09/09/2016

Whooping cough: scientists describe the bacteria’s mechanisms to survive

CONICET researchers found how this microorganism manages to evade the immune system and remain in the body

Whooping cough, caused by Bordetella pertussis, is one important cause of child morbidiy and mortality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that there are around 50 million cases annually and 300 deaths.

María Eugenia Rodríguez y su equipo de trabajo. Foto: gentileza investigadora.
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 07/09/2016

Recent connection between north and south america reaffirmed

Aaron O’Dea, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), and colleagues writing in 'Science Advances' firmly set the date at 2.8 million years ago

Long ago, one great ocean flowed between North and South America. When the narrow Isthmus of Panama joined the continents about 3 million years ago, it also separated the Atlantic from the Pacific Ocean. If this took place millions of years earlier, as recently asserted by some, the implications for both land and sea life would be revolutionary. Aaron O’Dea, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), and colleagues writing in Science Advances firmly set the date at 2.8 million years ago.

Se reafirma la reciente conexión entre Norte y Sur América. FOTO: STRI
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Technology Europa  EUROPE 06/09/2016
From 14th to 15th of November in Rome

The european project CITYCoP analyzes smart solutions for citizen safety

Its Mid-term Conference, will be an opportunity to learn and discuss about the community policing application

During this two day conference, the aims of the CITYCoP project will be presented and explored: the development of a community policing application for citizens and law enforcement of four European cities. Experts from various backgrounds will participate in the discussion and share their expertise in fields that include application development, municipality management, law enforcement in cities, building trust in community policing, citizen empowerment studies and a study on feelings of safety and security.

West Midlands Patrol

 

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Health Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 06/09/2016

Genetic discovery would explain aggravating of refractory epilepsy

Loss or duplication of chromosomes in patients with epilepsy was discovered by a group of a Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) researchers offers new clues to understand the disease

With these findings they consider that close to 15% of the patients with refractory epilepsy may have losses or gains of genetic material which will enable explaining its appearance or aggravating of the disease.

Estudios sobre epilepsia. FOTO: UN
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 05/09/2016

Vaccines protect monkeys against Zika

US trials prove efficacy of three formulations developed by team including São Paulo-based scientists affiliated with FAPESP-funded Zika Research Network

Trials recently completed in the United States have shown that three different vaccines provide effective and safe protection against Zika virus in rhesus monkeys.Two of the formulations, a vaccine based on an inactivated Zika virus and a DNA vaccine using two Zika genes, had already proved effective in mice, according to a report by Brazilian and US researchers published in Nature in late June (see Pesquisa FAPESP no. 245 for an account in Portuguese).

Virus zika. FOTO: Wikimedia Commons
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Social Sciences Spain  BURGOS 22/08/2016

Neanderthal child tooth and parietal fragment discovered at Teixoneres Cave (Barcelona, Spain)

Ruth Blasco, researcher at the CENIEH, is co-leader of the excavation project "Teixoneres Cave", one of the Middle Palaeolithic sites in the Iberian Peninsula with new Neanderthal fossils

It is not common to find human remains in a Pleistocene archaeological site; nevertheless, they are very significant and can be used in numerous research fields. The analysis of the characters of each fossil gives us valuable information in order to understand not only the variability of a species, but also its diet type or its development patterns.

Diente neandertal hallado en Teixoneres. FOTO: Xavier Crespiera
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