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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Technology Spain  MADRID 29/07/2016

A Research Project Coordinated by UC3M Helps Reduce the Cost of Parallel Computing

The European research project REPARA

The European research project REPARA, which is nearing completion under the coordination of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M), has worked toward improving parallel computing applications for reducing costs, increasing performance, and improving energy efficiency, in addition to facilitating the maintenance of the source code.

Programación. Imagen: UC3M.
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 29/07/2016

After the Age of Dinosaurs Came the Age of Ant Farmers

A group of South American ants has farmed fungi since shortly after the dinosaurs died out, according to an international research team including Smithsonian scientists

A group of South American ants has farmed fungi since shortly after the dinosaurs died out, according to an international research team including Smithsonian scientists. The genes of the ant farmers and their fungal crops reveal a surprisingly ancient history of mutual adaptations. This evolutionary give-and-take has led to some species—the leafcutter ants—developing industrial-scale farming that surpasses human agriculture in its efficiency.

Colonia de hormigas cultivadoras de hongos. Foto: Karolyn Darrow.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 28/07/2016

Growing evidence that a peridomestic mosquito also transmits Zika virus

Scientists find viral load in saliva of 'Culex quinquefasciatus' to be similar to that in 'Aedes aegypti'

The mosquito Aedes aegypti has been considered the main vector of Zika virus, estimated to have infected 49,000 people by June 2016, although 139,000 cases were notified in this period. Zika is also widely considered as the cause of microcephaly in 1,600 babies born in 582 Brazilian cities.

Mosquito. Foto: FAPESP.
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Science Chile  ATACAMA 21/07/2016

ALMA Achieved Highest Polarimetric Sensitivity

Polarimetry is an important method to investigate magnetic fields in the Universe

Researchers have confirmed ALMA’s unprecedented capability for polarimetry in millimeter/submillimeter wavebands. Polarimetry is an important method to investigate magnetic fields in the Universe and astronomers are eager to use ALMA for unveiling magnetic mysteries, such as the launching mechanism of high energy jets from supermassive black holes.

Los telescopios de ALMA. Foto: ALMA.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 19/07/2016

Male hormone reverses cell aging in clinical trial

Telomerase, an enzyme naturally found in the human organism, is the closest of all known substances to a “cellular elixir of youth”

Telomerase, an enzyme naturally found in the human organism, is the closest of all known substances to a “cellular elixir of youth.” In a recent study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, Brazilian and US researchers show that sex hormones can stimulate production of this enzyme.

Cromosomas (en gris) y telómeros (blanco). Imagen: Fapesp.
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Technology Spain  MADRID 19/07/2016

New Guidance System with 3D sounds for the visually impaired

The application is designed to be installed in a mobile phone and uses satellite navigation and augmented acoustic reality to indicate to the user the correct path that is clear of obstacles

The visually impaired will be able to use a new system of sensorial guidance that uses 3D sounds. The system was developed by Geko NAVSAT, a company that receives assistance from the Business Incubator at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) Science Park. The application is designed to be installed in a mobile phone and uses satellite navigation and augmented acoustic reality to indicate to the user the correct path that is clear of obstacles.

Sistema de guiado con sonidos 3D para personas con discapacidad visual. Imagen: UC3M.
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Science Panama  PANAMÁ 14/07/2016

A Bioarchaeologist Reads History from Bones

Nicole Smith-Guzmán holds up a small lower jawbone and says it belonged to a seven-year old child who grew up on a sugary, corn-based diet

Nicole Smith-Guzmán holds up a small lower jawbone and says it belonged to a seven-year old child who grew up on a sugary, corn-based diet. Although the child died over 1,500 years ago, she can determine its age to within six months based on the number and size of milk versus permanent teeth. She points out several signs of dental disease—a tooth cavity, an abscess in the jawbone, a gap from a fallen milk tooth with the bone healed over before the permanent tooth could grow out. On another person’s jaw, impacted teeth suggest that the jawbone never grew to its full potential because it only chewed on soft, mushy food. On yet another set of teeth, she points out ancient tartar, which may hold plant remains and even traces of mouth bacteria.

Mandíbula. Foto: STRI.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 30/06/2016

Vaccine against Zika virus tested successfully in mice

The results suggest a vaccine can be produced for humans in the near future

An experimental vaccine against Zika virus developed by Brazilian and US researchers has been tested successfully in trials with mice. The results were published on June 28 in Nature and according to the authors suggest a vaccine can be produced for humans in the near future.

Virus del Zika. Imagen: FAPESP.
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Science Chile  CHILE 29/06/2016

ALMA Discovers a Rotating Ring of Complex Organic Molecules

This observation definitively shows that organic materials formed in interstellar space are brought into the planet-forming region

Researchers using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) have discovered a rotating ring containing large organic molecules around a protostar. This observation definitively shows that organic materials formed in interstellar space are brought into the planet-forming region. Researchers also found that the molecular species brought into the planet-forming region vary from one protostar to another. Chemical composition is a new way to answer the long-standing question of whether or not the Solar System is a typical example of a planetary system.

Anillo giratorio de moléculas orgánicas complejas. Créditos: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Oya et al.
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