Environment Argentina  SAN JUAN 17/04/2019

Argentinian researchers discover an extraordinary 220 million year old animal cemetery in San Juan

In this "bed of bones", there are skulls and dismembered parts of, at least, seven or eight individuals

Argentinian researchers discover an extraordinary 220 million year old animal cemetery in San Juan. It is a surprising accumulation of fossils that would belong to dinosaurs, giant crocodiles and mammalian ancestors. In this "bed of bones", there are skulls and dismembered parts of, at least, seven or eight individuals, although there could be many more.

 
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Health Portugal  PORTUGAL 16/04/2019

Mechanism to form influenza A virus discovered

The study of the team of Maria João Amorim reveals that the selection of the genetic material is made in viral-induced compartments called viral inclusions

The influenza A virus is known to form new strains every year. These strains are the result of small variations occurring at the level of the genome, which cause the virus to become different and no longer recognized by the immune system. A new study by Maria João Amorim's team, from the Gulbenkian Institute of Science, now reveals where the genomes of the influenza A virus are assembled inside infected cells. The results will be published this week in the journal Nature Communications* and may contribute to therapies that prevent or combate new strains of influenza viruses.

 
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Technology Brazil  SãO PAULO 12/04/2019

Clothing with nanotechnology controls heat and odor and repels insects

Brazilian firm has developed nanoparticles that eliminate body odor, reflect solar radiation, and release insect repellent and insecticide in fabric

Functional fabrics that are due to be marketed next summer retain less heat, control body odor, protect against sunlight, and repel mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti, which transmit pathogens that cause dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika.

 
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Space Chile  CHILE 10/04/2019

Astronomers capture first image of a black hole

The EHT is the result of years of international collaboration, and offers scientists a new way to study the most extreme objects in the Universe

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration, was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

 
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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 10/04/2019

Microbes may fight the epidemic driving some frog species to extinction

A compound produced by Panamanian frog skin bacteria could help resist fungal infections in amphibians and humans worldwide

In the past few decades, a lethal disease caused by the chytrid fungus has decimated amphibian populations worldwide, driving some species to extinction. This is in part due to the types of habitats amphibians often thrive in: humid places, favoring the growth of microorganisms. The chytrid fungus in particular also enjoys cool temperatures, so most amphibian species vulnerable to the epidemic inhabit cloud forests.

 
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Social Sciences Perú  PERú 05/04/2019

Ancient, four-legged whale with otter-like features found along the coast of Peru

The presence of small hooves at the tip of the whale's fingers and toes and its hip and limbs morphology all suggest that this whale could walk on land

Cetaceans, the group including whales and dolphins, originated in south Asia more than 50 million years ago from a small, four-legged, hoofed ancestor. Now, researchers reporting the discovery of an ancient four-legged whale--found in 42.6-million-year-old marine sediments along the coast of Peru--have new insight into whales' evolution and their dispersal to other parts of the world. The findings are reported in the journal Current Biology.

 
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Social Sciences Panama  PANAMÁ 05/04/2019

When in their evolutionary past did the whales begin to migrate?

Fossil whale barnacles may have the answers

Many whales take long journeys each year, spending summers feeding in cold waters and moving to warm tropical waters to breed. One theory suggests that these long-distance migrations originated around 5 million years ago, when ocean productivity became increasingly patchy. But patterns of ancient whale migrations have, until recently, been shrouded in mystery. Scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and the University of California, Berkeley approached this question with an ingenious technique: barnacles.

 
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Social Sciences Bolivia  BOLIVIA 03/04/2019

Rise of religion pre-dates Incas at Lake Titicaca

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An ancient group of people made ritual offerings to supernatural deities near the Island of the Sun in Lake Titicaca, Bolivia, about 500 years earlier than the Incas, according to an international team of researchers. The team's findings suggest that organized religion emerged much earlier in the region than previously thought.

 
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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 27/03/2019

Innovation by ice cream bean relatives explains biodiversity

The back and forth relationship between insects and their food plants may drive tropical biodiversity evolution according to work on Barro Colorado Island’s 50 hectare plot

Constant pressure from hungry insects forces plants to innovate: producing new chemicals to protect themselves. This is the newest and best explanation for tropical diversity according to results from a study at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute’s Barro Colorado Island Research Station in Panama published in Science magazine.

 
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Technology Spain  MADRID 27/03/2019

The UC3M is coordinating a European project for research and training in 5G mobile networks

18 organisations, research institutes and companies from seven countries are participating, with the aim of analysing the major challenges faced by 5G communications networks

The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is coordinating a European research project, called TeamUp5G, in which 18 organisations, research institutes and companies from seven countries are participating, with the aim of analysing the major challenges faced by 5G communications networks as well as training future European leaders in these technologies.

 
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Health Bolivia  BOLIVIA 21/03/2019

Shorter treatment for Chagas disease could be just as effective, and significantly safer

The results could help remove one of the barriers to treatment scale up and bring new hope for people with Chagas disease

A two-week treatment course for adult patients with chronic Chagas disease showed, when compared to placebo, similar efficacy and significantly fewer side effects than the standard treatment duration of eight weeks, according to the results of a clinical trial in Bolivia led by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi). .

 
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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 20/03/2019

How new species arise in the sea

Study sheds new light on fundamental question in evolutionary biology

How can a new species form if animals live together and can interbreed? A team from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, studied Caribbean reef fishes to find out. Their discovery that natural selection couples the evolution of genes for vision and color pattern is published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.

 
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Nutrition Chile  CHILE 15/03/2019

Dramatic rainfall changes for key crops expected even with reduced greenhouse gas emissions

Even if humans radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the short term, important crop-growing regions of the world can expect changes to rainfall patterns

By 2040, rainfall on wheat, soybean, rice and maize will have changed, even if Paris Agreement emissions targets are met. Projections show parts of Europe, Africa, the Americas and Australia will be drier, while the tropics and north will be wetter.

 
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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 12/03/2019

Rain sounds cue bats to stay at home

Bats have good reasons not to want to go out in the rain, as wet bats spend more energy when flying

Background noise is generally regarded as a nuisance that can mask important sounds. But noise can be beneficial too. It can convey information about important environmental conditions and allow animals to make informed decisions. When bat researchers recorded and played back rain sounds for two different species of bats, both species chose to delay emergence from their roosts.

 
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Social Sciences Venezuela  VENEZUELA 07/03/2019

In fiction young people choose traditional love and gender stereotypes

Reveals a study to identify real gender and love stereotypes compared to their favourite ones in TV series, conducted in three Iberian-American countries: Colombia, Spain and Venezuela

Fictional television series can have an influence on the construction of young people's identities and values. In relation to the depiction of love in television series, young people express a preference for traditional gender stereotypes, reveals a study conducted to identify gender and love stereotypes displayed by young people compared to those they prefer in fictional television series in three Iberian-American countries: Colombia, Spain and Venezuela.

 
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Health Portugal  PORTUGAL 06/03/2019

What controls the tips of our chromosomes?

A research team from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC; Portugal) discovered a key aspect of the regulation of telomeres

The tips of our chromosomes have structures called telomeres. These structures can be compared to the plastic cover at the end of shoelaces. They work as a protective cap that prevents our genetic material from unfolding and corroding away. When they do not work properly, it can lead to the total erosion of our genetic material and can trigger cancer and age-related diseases. In a study now published in EMBO Journal*, a research team from Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC; Portugal), led by Jose Escandell and Miguel Godinho Ferreira, discovered a key aspect of the regulation of telomeres.

 
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Technology Spain  MADRID 05/03/2019

A study by the UC3M researches the limits of topological insulators using sound waves

This line of research could improve acoustic non-destructive testing and medical diagnostics based on ultrasound scans

Research in which the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) is taking part analyses the future of topological insulators using sound waves, meaning materials that behave like acoustic insulators in their interior, but at the same time allow the movement of sound waves at their surface. This line of research could improve acoustic non-destructive testing and medical diagnostics based on ultrasound scans.

 
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Health Brazil  SãO PAULO 05/03/2019

Melatonin may help boost the success of bone marrow transplants

The hormone that tells an organism when it is dark and prepares us for sleep also regulates the supply of stem cells in the bone marrow, according to a study involving Brazilian researchers

Already used to treat sleep disorders and targeted in clinical trials to combat cancer and other diseases, melatonin can also help boost the success of bone marrow transplants. The hormone is produced at night by the pineal gland in the brain and performs the function of telling the organism that it is dark and preparing us for nocturnal rest. Now researchers have discovered that melatonin also regulates the availability of stem cells in the bone marrow.

 
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Environment Panama  PANAMÁ 04/03/2019

Amphibian skin bacteria is more diverse in cold and variable environments according to global survey

Frog researchers swabbed 205 amphibian species to better understand the ecology of their skin bacteria. Which environmental factors influence the makeup of their microbiomes?

Amphibians are victims of lethal skin-disease epidemics. In the first global-scale study, researchers from 31 universities and research centers, including the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), collected skin bacteria from more than 2,300 healthy frogs and salamanders from 12 countries to describe microbes on a wide range of host animals to improve knowledge of the distribution of frog-skin bacteria, known to be important in maintaining amphibian health.

 
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Environment Brazil  SãO PAULO 27/02/2019

Climate change may affect ecological interactions among species

Predator-prey equilibria are being disrupted by climate change, according to a study led by Brazilian researchers and published in 'Nature Climate Change'

With herbivores, omnivores, carnivores, insectivores, frugivores, scavengers and decomposers, Earth’s ecosystems function within a vast web of interactions among plants, animals, insects, fungi and microorganisms. A fundamental part of this web resides in the equilibrium of the food chain that links predators to herbivores and regulates plant production on our planet.

 
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