Social Sciences Panama  PANAMÁ 17/03/2016

Tiny island deer in Panama was hunted to extinction thousands of years ago

Adult deer living on Pedro González island 6,000 years ago weighed less than 22 pounds, about as much as a beagle

As polar ice caps melted at the end of the last Ice Age about 8,500 years ago, the global sea level rose and Panama’s Pearl Islands were isolated from the mainland. A new archaeological study by a team including a Smithsonian scientist shows that several thousand years later pre-Columbian colonists hunted a dwarf deer to extinction on an island called Pedro González.

Los investigadores han analizado alrededor de 2.500 fragmentos de huesos de venado correspondientes a 22 individuos. FOTO: STRI
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Nutrition Argentina  ARGENTINA 16/03/2016

Human hair and its evolution

CONICET researchers collaborate in the identification of genetic markers that determine characteristics of human hair

Curly hair, bushy beard, baldness, straight or blonde hair, etc; there are many options, shapes and quantities but, what is it that determines and makes our hair grow in one way and not in another? A group of scientists who are part of the Consortium for the Analysis of the Diversity and Evolution of Latin America (CANDELA) detected eighteen genetic variants statistically associated to pilosity craniofacial features. Of those new characteristics, ten were reported for the first time. The study was published in Nature Communications magazine.

La investigación aporta conocimiento sobre los genes asociados a los rasgos de pilosidad. Ilustración: María Wright | CONICET.
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Nutrition Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 15/03/2016

Felling is terminating the yolombó tree

This millenary tree, a great pollinating agent and characterized for creating soils rich in organic matter is threatened due to human and genetic aspects

Little was known about this tree of the Proteaceae family (Panopsis suaveolens), identified commonly as the yolombó tree until the 90’s when a Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) research project showed the lack of botanical records in the herbariums of the country.

Yolombó. FOTO: UN
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Health Brazil  SãO PAULO 11/03/2016

Researchers create method to detect zika virus in transfusion blood

The São Paulo blood bank will use a test developed with support from FAPESP to screen blood for use in pregnant women and intrauterine transfusions

A method of detecting the presence of zika virus in blood used for transfusions has been developed as part of a project supported by FAPESP and coordinated by José Eduardo Levi, head of the Department of Molecular Biology at São Paulo’s blood bank, Fundação Pró-Sangue, linked to the São Paulo State Department of Health and the University of São Paulo’s Medical School (FM-USP) in Brazil.

Muestras de sangre.
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Health Spain  MADRID 10/03/2016

University students who do sports achieve better academic results

UC3M Study

University students who take part in sports activities during their academic careers earn grade point averages that are approximately 9 percent higher than those students who finish their degrees without having participated in such activities, according to a study carried out by the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).

Partido de fútbol aficionado. Foto: Intef.
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Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 10/03/2016

The frigid flying saucer

By applying a novel technique to observations of an object nicknamed the Flying Saucer, astronomers that the dust grains in the outer parts of a planet-forming disc are much colder than expected: –266 degrees Celsius

Astronomers have used the ALMA and IRAM telescopes to make the first direct measurement of the temperature of the large dust grains in the outer parts of a planet-forming disc around a young star. By applying a novel technique to observations of an object nicknamed the Flying Saucer they find that the grains are much colder than expected: –266 degrees Celsius. This surprising result suggests that models of these discs may need to be revised.

El disco protoplanetario �Platillo Volador� alrededor de 2MASS J16281370-2431391. Crédito: Digitized Sky Survey 2/NASA/ESA

 

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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 09/03/2016

El Niño update: Central Panama's driest three-year span

Since May, 2015, Panama has been strongly influenced by one of the greatest El Niño events ever recorded, contributing to one of the country's most severe recorded droughts

Few weather phenomena dominate Panama’s weather for more than a few days or weeks. The exception is the El Niño/La Niña cycle, also known as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Since May, 2015, Panama has been strongly influenced by one of the greatest El Niño events ever recorded, contributing to one of the country's most severe recorded droughts.

Sequía en Panamá Central. FOTO: STRI.
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Nutrition Argentina  TUCUMÁN 08/03/2016

Protecting water against salinization: a need for life

CONICET researchers at the Instituto de Biodiverdad Neotropical in Tucumán participated in an international study that analysed salt concentration in water and its impact on biodiversity

It is a well known fact that for most human activities water is a vital resource. The problem arises when these activities, such as agriculture or mining increase the total amount of dissolved inorganic salts (that is to say, secondary salinity) in fresh waters, the ones that are not marine. The salts acquisition process in one aquatic ecosystem is called “salinization.”

Salinas Grandes, en la provincia de Jujuy. Foto: gentileza investigador.
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Technology Spain  MADRID 07/03/2016

Technology to analyze customer behavior in stores

A start-up has developed technology for creating a map of how we shop in the supermarket thanks to a chip that is built into shopping carts and baskets

Proximus, a start-up in the Vivero de Empresas del Parque Científico de la Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M Science Park Business Incubator), has developed technology for creating a map of how we shop in the supermarket thanks to a chip that is built into shopping carts and baskets.

Sensor. Foto: UC3M.
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Nutrition Colombia  CALDAS 07/03/2016

Environmental changes impact plankton diversity

Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNal) researchers in Palmira discovered there is a high correlation between environmental variables (salinity, turbidity, depth, etc.) and the amount, presence or absence of plankton (diversity)

For Andrés Molina Marine Biology doctorate candidate and Codirector of the Ecology and Acoustic Pollution Research Group (Econacua, for its Spanish acronym) in Buenaventura, plankton is more abundant in the seasons with greater salinity. This suggests a marked seasonal dynamic.

Diatomea (Coscinodiscus radiatus), aumento 10X. FOTO: UN
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Technology Spain  ESPAÑA 04/03/2016

Winners of the Privacy via IT Security App Competition

Three winning applications have been selected by a jury of recognised European experts

The evaluation procedure of the proposals submitted by innovators across Europe for the Privacy via IT Security App Competition of the MAPPING Project has just finished. Three winning applications have been selected by a jury of recognised European experts.

First event Mapping project.
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 03/03/2016

Anti-inflammatory drug may prevent death by scorpion

Experiments with mice show that prostaglandin inhibitors such as indomethacin and celecoxib minimize the occurrence of pulmonary complications caused by yellow scorpion's venom

The yellow scorpion (Tityus serrulatus) is a mere 7 cm long and does not look especially threatening, but actually it is the deadliest species of scorpion in South America. Every year, more than 1.2 million people worldwide are victims of its toxic venom. Some 3,000 of them eventually die.

Escorpión amarillo. FOTO: Eliane Candiani A. Braga
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Space Chile  ATACAMA 02/03/2016

ALMA confirms predictions on the interaction between protoplanetary disks and planets

A team of astronomers led by Héctor Cánovas from Universidad de Valparaíso and the Millennium ALMA Disk Nucleus (MAD) observed the dust ring possibly sculpted by planets in formation around the star Sz 91

New observations made with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) of the disk that surrounds a young star, less massive than the Sun, confirm theories about the interaction between recently formed planets and disks. A team of astronomers led by Héctor Cánovas from Universidad de Valparaíso and the Millennium ALMA Disk Nucleus (MAD) observed the dust ring possibly sculpted by planets in formation around the star Sz 91, at a distance roughly 650 light years from Earth.

Ilustración artística del sistema Sz 91. Crédito: ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO), Mark Garlick
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Social Sciences Argentina  LA PAMPA 01/03/2016

Feline predators can act like seeds dispersers

So far it was only known that they could influence plant communities by controlling the populations of herbivores

José Hernán Sarasola, CONICET associate researcher at the Instituto de las Ciencias de la Tierra y Ambientales de la Pampa (INCITAP, CONICET-UNLPam) [Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences of La Pampa], and his research team recently revealed that large felid predators with an exclusively carnivorous diet can contribute to their ecosystems as secondary seeds dispersers. The study was published in Scientific Reports.

El puma, un felino presente en casi todo el territorio americano. Fotos: gentileza investigadores.
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Technology Spain  SALAMANCA 29/02/2016

University of Salamanca hosts the first edition of 'BIO.IBEROAMÉRICA 2016. Integrating Continents'

Between the 5th and 8th of June, of 2016, the meeting will serve as a starting point for the implementation of the Latin American Federation of biotech society

Researchers in Biotechnology from the Latin American community will meet for the first time at the congress 'Biotechnology BIO.IBEROAMÉRICA 2016. Integrating Continents', to be held in Salamanca (Spain) between the 5th and 8th of June, this 2016. Experts in biotechnology from all over Latin America, Portugal and Spain will attend this first edition of an event, which will be subsequently held every two years in different countries.

BIO.IBEROAM�RICA 2016.
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Health Colombia  BOGOTÁ D.C. 29/02/2016

Using an encephalogram UNal researchers will measure how a human being perceives audio

By using a portable encephalogram researchers may assess the thoughts of people while hearing any type of sound with the purpose of analyzing which areas of the brain are triggered

By using a portable encephalogram researchers may assess the thoughts of people while hearing any type of sound with the purpose of analyzing which areas of the brain are triggered.

Encefalograma. FOTO: UN
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Health Brazil  BRASIL 25/02/2016

Study describes new glioma subtypes

Findings of research conducted at University of São Paulo's Ribeirão Preto School of Medicine and published in 'Cell' can help evaluate the prognosis of patients with central nervous system tumors and improve treatment protocols

In an international study conducted in Brazil and published on January 28 in the journal Cell, researchers have identified new glioma subtypes on the basis of epigenetic profiles, i.e., how gene expression is modulated.

Tratamiento personalizado de gliomas.
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Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 24/02/2016

Chaotic turbulence roiling 'most luminous galaxy' in the Universe

Evidence strongly suggests that this galaxy is actually an obscured quasar, a very distant galaxy withcontains a voraciously feeding supermassive black hole at its center that is completely obscured behind a thick blanket of dust

The most luminous galaxy in the Universe –a so-called obscured quasar 12.4 billion light-years away – is so violently turbulent that it may eventually jettison its entire supply of star-forming gas, according to new observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).

Representación artística de W2246-0526, una galaxia cuyo brillo infrarrojo es equivalente al de unos 350 billones de soles. Crédito: NRAO/AUI/NSF; Dana Berry / SkyWorks; ALMA (ESO/NAOJ/NRAO)
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Nutrition Panama  PANAMÁ 23/02/2016

Cause for hope: secondary tropical forests quickly put on weight

How fast tropical forests recover after deforestation has major consequences for climate change mitigation

A team including Smithsonian scientists discovered that some secondary tropical forests recover biomass quickly: half of the forests in the study attained 90 percent of old-growth forest levels in 66 years or less. Conservation planners can use their resulting biomass-recovery map for Latin America to prioritize conservation efforts.

Científicos del Smithsonian en un bosque tropical secundario. FOTO: STRI
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Science Spain  MADRID 22/02/2016

Children with mental disability and access to justice

European project with the participation of the UC3M

Children with mental disability (intellectual or psychosocial) still face obstacles in accessing the justice system under the same conditions as other citizens. That is one of the main conclusions of a study carried out in ten European countries including Spain. Taking part in the study were researchers from the UC3M “Bartolomé de las Casas” Human Rights Institute.

Justicia en la infancia. Imagen: UC3M.
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