Bolivia  BOLIVIA 09/04/2020

Amazonian crops domesticated 10,000 years ago

Earliest humans in the Amazon created thousands of 'forest islands' as they tamed wild plants

The earliest human inhabitants of the Amazon created thousands of artificial forest islands as they tamed wild plants to grow food, a new study shows. The discovery of the mounds is the latest evidence to show the extensive impact people had on the area. From their arrival 10,000 years ago they transformed the landscape when they began cultivating manioc and squash.

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Spain  BARCELONA 01/10/2019

Redefining honey: a new process for the pretreatment of raw honey that does not affect quality or nutrients

Sonicat-Systems, a company located near Barcelona, has been selected from a pool of thousands of technology start-ups to receive 1.4 million euros of funding from the European Commission

The Catalan company has been working for over 8 years to develop breakthrough technology that let’s honey producers offer a higher quality product to consumers.

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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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Spain  MADRID 19/02/2019

Renewable Energy Generation with Kites and Drones

Researchers present a new software for the analysis of airborne wind energy systems

A group of researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has recently developed a new software aimed at the analysis of energy generation systems based on kites and drones. In a recently published scientific article, they used the software to study the behaviour of these systems while transforming the kinetic energy of the wind into useful electrical energy.

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Perú  CUSCO 14/02/2019

Biocolonizer species are putting the conservation of the granite at Machu Picchu at risk

A study by the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has evaluated the role of micro-organisms colonizing the Sacred Rock at Machu Picchu in its state of conservation

The UPV/EHU’s IBeA research group has used a non-destructive methodology to determine the role of specific algae, lichens, mosses, cyanobacteria, etc. that may be causing exfoliation and delamination, which are degrading the Sacred Rock of Machu Picchu, one of the most important symbols in the Peruvian archaeological city.

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Panama  PANAMÁ 05/02/2019

Testosterone results in male-like behavior of female golden-collared manakins

How flexible are bird brains in response to hormones?

You know you have detected a golden-collared manakin in the forest when you see a yellow-breasted bird performing acrobatics from sapling to sapling. The adult male does this kind of aerial dance to attract the females and mate, but it also seduces them with a peculiar call: the 'chee-poo'. In nature, this song is almost exclusive to adult males, the same as the courtship dance. They are a secret weapon to make the females fall in love.

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Perú  PERú 28/01/2019

Scientists reconstruct ancient lost plates under Andes mountains

Reconstruction offers glimpse of how the Earth looked millions of years ago

The Andes Mountains are the longest continuous mountain range in the world, stretching about 7,000 kilometers, or 4,300 miles, along the western coast of South America.

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Spain  ALICANTE 18/01/2019

The uncontrolled expansion of blue crabs as an invasive species in the Mediterranean

Spread of this species is faster than research activity and efforts of management agencies

The American blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is an invasive voracious alien species, with no known predators and with high fecundity and survival rates, that has spread throughout the Mediterranean. Since it appeared in the Ebro Delta in 2012, this crab native to the American Atlantic has expanded by sea, rivers and wetlands all over the region of Valencia. Its recurrence and continuous presence is a fact in our coasts.

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Ecuador  ECUADOR 08/01/2019

Extraordinary treefrog discovered in the Andes of Ecuador

Despite being newly described, Hyloscirtus hillisi is already at risk of extinction

A new treefrog species was discovered during a two-week expedition to a remote tabletop mountain at Cordillera del Cóndor, a largely unexplored range in the eastern Andes.

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Portugal  PORTUGAL 21/12/2018

Warming warning over turtle feminization

Up to 93% of green turtle hatchlings could be female by 2100, as climate change causes "feminisation" of the species, new research suggests

The sex of turtle hatchlings is determined by temperature, and at present about 52% of hatching green turtles - one of seven species of sea turtle - are female. But a study by the University of Exeter and the Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre (Portugal) shows that in warmer temperatures predicted by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios, 76-93% of hatchlings would be female.

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Panama  PANAMÁ 11/12/2018

Urban tungara frogs are sexier than forest frogs

How do animals adapt to urban environments? In the case of the Tungara frog, city males put on a more elaborate display than males in forested areas


By 2050, almost 70 percent of the world’s population will live in urban environments, according to the United Nations. But as cities spread, wild animals will also have to adapt. In Nature Ecology and Evolution, researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) report that male tungara frogs in Panama City put on sexier mating displays than frogs living in nearby tropical forests.

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Panama  PANAMÁ 30/11/2018

The shedding of a body part reveals the hidden cost of conflict

Not only does it take energy to make weapons, it may take even more energy to maintain them

Animal weapons such as antlers, tusks and limbs specialized for fighting require a large energy expenditure to produce and may cost even more to maintain. Because the leaf-footed bug sheds its large hind limbs, used as weapons in male-male battles, scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama could measure energy use of live bugs with and without hind legs to calculate the hidden energetic cost of weapons’ maintenance.

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Panama  PANAMÁ 21/11/2018

First study of humpback whale survivors of killer whale attacks in the Southeastern Pacific

Attacks on humpback whales may be on the rise, according to an analysis of scars on humpback whales published in 'Endangered Species Research'

Humpback whales bear stark battle scars from violent encounters with orcas, also known as killer whales. Analysis of rake marks on more than 3000 humpback whale tails or flukes suggest that attacks on these undersea giants may be on the rise, according to a new study in 'Endangered Species Research'.

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Nicaragua  NICARAGUA 19/11/2018

Clams and cockles, sentinels of the environmental status of Nicaraguan coasts

Researchers from the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country are seeking the best bivalves in the Nicaraguan mangroves for the purpose of monitoring pollution


In collaboration with the National Autonomous University of Nicaragua, a research group from the UPV/EHU’s Plentzia Marine Station has studied the bivalves in the mangroves on both coasts of Nicaragua in order to analyse how they are affected by the pollution brought down by the rivers. That way, it will be possible to use them as sentinels or indicators of environmental changes. The research has been published by the journal Science of the Total Environment.

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Ecuador  ECUADOR 16/11/2018

Tropical trees in the Andes are moving up -- toward extinction

An international study led by University of Miami tropical biologists reveals that tropical trees are migrating upslope to escape climate change, but not fast enough

An international study led by University of Miami tropical biologists reveals that tropical trees are migrating upslope to escape climate change, but not fast enough.

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Brazil  AMAZONAS 14/11/2018

Amazon turtle populations recovering well thanks to local action

And not only have turtle populations benefited from conservation efforts, other co-occurring species have begun to thrive once again on the protected beaches and in surrounding areas

The historically over-exploited Giant South American Turtle is making a significant comeback on river beaches in the Brazilian Amazon thanks to local protection efforts, say researchers at the University of East Anglia.

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Chile  CHILE 14/11/2018

South American marsupials discovered to reach new heights

For the first time, scientists catch on camera a tiny marsupial climbing higher than previously thought in the forest canopy

In the Andean forests along the border of Chile and Argentina, there have long been speculations that the mouse-sized marsupial monito del monte (Dromiciops gliroides) climbs to lofty heights in the trees. Yet, due to the lack of knowledge about the region's biodiversity in the forest canopies, no previous records exist documenting such arboreal habits for this creature.

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Panama  PANAMÁ 12/11/2018

Mother bats may nudge pups to grow up

Bat researchers observed a new behavior. Mothers push pups away with their forearms, perhaps encouraging them to go explore the world on their own

Baby birds learn to fly. Baby mammals switch from milk to solid food. Baby bats, as winged mammals, do both at the same time during their transition from infants to flying juveniles. According to a new report from researchers STRI who studied Peters’ tent-making bats ('Uroderma bilobatum'), mothers prod their young with their forearms, perhaps encouraging them to fledge and wean.

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Brazil  BRASIL 06/11/2018

Pioneering biologists create a new crop through genome editing

From wild plant to crop: CRISPR-Cas9 revolutionizes breeding, New tomato contains more valuable antioxidants

Crops such as wheat and maize have undergone a breeding process lasting thousands of years, in the course of which mankind has gradually modified the properties of the wild plants in order to adapt them to his needs. One motive was, and still is, higher yields. One "side effect" of this breeding has been a reduction in genetic diversity and the loss of useful properties. This is shown, among others, by an increased susceptibility to diseases, a lack of taste or a reduced vitamin and nutrient content in modern varieties. Now, for the first time, researchers from Brazil, the USA and Germany have created a new crop from a wild plant within a single generation using CRISPR-Cas9, a modern genome editing process. Starting with a "wild tomato" they have, at the same time, introduced a variety of crop features without losing the valuable genetic properties of the wild plant. The results have been published in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology.

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Panama  PANAMÁ 29/10/2018

Mysteries of a golden beetle

Human sisters may look extremely different from one another. What does that have to do with gold, black and red beetles?

As the sun set over the cloud forest in western Panama, Lynette Strickland still hadn’t found what she was looking for. Strickland spent all day exploring Fortuna, a mountainous area spanning the Continental Divide near the border of Panama and Costa Rica, in search of a glimmering golden beetle. But each time she flipped over a leaf or asked Smithsonian beetle expert Don Windsor ‘Is that it?’ the answer was ‘No'.

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