Social Sciences 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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Environment Portugal  AVEIRO 19/06/2015

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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Environment Portugal  AVEIRO 18/06/2015

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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Health 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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Nutrition Portugal  AVEIRO 17/06/2015

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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Nutrition Portugal  AVEIRO 16/06/2015

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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Health 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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Nutrition Portugal  AVEIRO 15/06/2015

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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Health 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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Technology Portugal  AVEIRO 12/06/2015

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.

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Nutrition Portugal  AVEIRO 11/06/2015

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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Health 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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Technology 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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Technology 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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Social Sciences Brazil  SãO PAULO 10/06/2015

Study explores mitochondrial-nuclear communication pathway

Considered highly important organelles in eukaryotic cells because they act as cell ‘powerhouses’, mitochondria must be in constant communication with cell nuclei, where the proteins that they require are encoded

Communication follows several different pathways. In the most studied of these pathways, the signal leaves the nucleus and travels to the mitochondrion. In other, less well-known pathways, the signal moves in the opposite direction. For this reason, these pathways are known as retrograde signaling pathways. In experiments with yeast of the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is the type used to make bread, beer, wine and cheese, Brazilian researchers have investigated for the first time what happens to mitochondria when one of these retrograde pathways, mediated by Rtg proteins, does not work properly.

En un artículo de la revista Free Radical Biology, científicos demuestran qué sucede con la célula de levadura cuando no funciona uno de los caminos que transportan señales desde la mitocondria hasta el núcleo. FOTO: FAPESP
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Social Sciences Chile  ATACAMA 09/06/2015

Gravity-aided ALMA maps dstant monstrous galaxy

As a result, ALMA was able to observe clumps of star formation in the galaxy down to a size of approximately 200 light-years across. This is the first time this phenomenon has been seen at such an enormous distance

In 2014, ALMA's Long Baseline Campaign, separated it's antennas for up to 15 kilometers and produced a spectacularly detailed image of the distant, gravitationally lensed galaxy SDP.81. New analyses of this image reveal details never before seen in a galaxy so remote, including phenomenally massive yet concentrated clumps of star-forming material. The ALMA observations of SDP.81 were enabled by a cosmic effect known as gravitational lensing. A large galaxy nestled between SDP.81 and ALMA is acting as a lens, magnifying the more distant galaxy's light and warping it into a near-perfect example of a phenomenon known as an Einstein Ring.

La imagen de la izquierda muestra a la galaxia en primer plano que hace de lente. La imagen central muestra la imagen nítida observada con ALMA del anillo de Einstein. La imagen resultante de la galaxia lejana (derecha). FOTO: OBSERVATORIO ALMA
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Health Portugal  CASTELO BRANCO 05/06/2015

A new laboratory of reference for physiopathology

The Universidada da Beira Interior is implementing a new unit in the UBIMedical complex that will undertake research into fields such as hepatology or the respiratory system

The Universidade da Beira Interior has recently implemented a General Physiopathology Laboratory, a unit providing services and carrying out research that is part of UBIMedical, the health centre that also aims to boost the creation and development of companies. One of the main occupations of this new laboratory will be the study of human respiration and its pathologies.

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Education Spain  LEÓN 04/06/2015

School failure could be reduced by 80% if maths and English were concentrated on

The Didactic Excellence, innovation, and Quality Research Group of the Universidad de León (ULE) is researching school failure and success in primary and secondary education

It is estimated that some 23 per cent of non university students fail in their studies. This is particularly relevant in Spain, which has the highest rate of school failure in the European Union according to recent data from EuroStat (the European Statistics Office).

Escolares trabajando en el ordenador.
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Technology Portugal  CASTELO BRANCO 04/06/2015

A new propulsion system for airships

The Universidad de Beira Interior has led a European project with the participation of Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Austria to develop a revolutionary cycloidal rotor that improves the manoeuvrability of appliances in the air

The Centre for Mechanical and Aerospace Science and Technology of the Universidad de Beira Interior, located in Covilhã, has led the Cycloidal Rotors Optimized for Propulsion (CROP) European project with the aim of developing an innovative system for aeronautical propulsion that can be applied to different types of airship such as aeroplanes, helicopters, dirigibles, and other new-generation appliances.

Nuevo sistema de propulsión./CROP.


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Technology Portugal  CASTELO BRANCO 03/06/2015

The websites of political parties do not encourage communication with citizens

A study of the Universidad de Beira Interior analyses the websites of Portuguese political parties, which are more orientated towards the dissemination of messages than participation

A research project of the Universidad de Beira Interior has carried out a three-year analysis of the websites of Portuguese political parties to study their method of communication with citizens by this medium. The conclusions show that there is little interaction; political parties do not want to lose control of their message and use the Internet as an instrument of dissemination but not for listening to their potential voters.

Os sites dos partidos políticos.
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