Comments Off on A new dinosaur found in Argentina, researchers find Brazil’s ‘Atlantis,’ and the future of hybrid rice in Latin America.

8 May 2013

A new dinosaur found in Argentina, researchers find Brazil’s ‘Atlantis,’ and the future of hybrid rice in Latin America.

ARGENTINA

A new dinosaur has been discovered in southern Argentina. Comahuesaurus windhauseni, found in Neuquen, Argentina, is a sauropod, a large herbivore known for its long neck. The specimen, thought to be 15 meters long, was discovered by paleontologist Jose Luis Carballido. The findings were published in the journal Historical Biology.

      Researchers are developing hybrid rice to increase rice yields in Latin America. Credit: RS via Flickr.

A group of scientists in Cordoba and the Argentine government have launched a campaign to microbiologically test the food served in school cafeterias. The team will focus on the production and transport of meals and the hygiene of the dining areas.

Asthma is not adequately diagnosed, says Andres Echazarreta, president of the Argentine association of respiratory medicine, and in Argentina, 32% of asthmatics have not been diagnosed with spirometry, a test that measures how fast air moves through a person’s lungs.

BRAZIL

Brazilian and Japanese scientists have discovered traces of a continent in the Atlantic Ocean 1,500 km off the coast of Brazil. The researchers suggest that a land mass sank during the separation of Pangaea. The studies were conducted by a manned submersible at depths of 6,500 meters.

Scientists in Brazil have identified a genetic mutation in women that decreases their risk of having a child with Down Syndrome. The mutation BHMT 742G is a single nucleotide polymorphism they found associated with a decreased risk of having a child with Down Syndrome.

LATIN AMERICA

A partnership between researchers at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), producers and rice producers from 13 countries aims to develop rice hybrids adapted to Latin America. Hybrid rice yield up to 3 times more rice than traditional rice. The first crosses will be made at the Philippine Rice Research Institute and commercial varieties wiill then be distributed between the participating institutions for field testing in different countries. Hybrid rice is made by crossing distinct rice lines and does not typically involve laboratory genetic engineering. Over half of China’s rice comes from hybrids while less than 2% of Latin America’s rice is hybrid.

MEXICO

Mexican scientists have developed an alternative to chemotherapy for bone cancer patients. In in vitro lab studies, researchers managed to eliminate over 90% of bone tumor cells using a new technology that consists of injecting nanoparticles covered in a bioactive polymer. The polymer can chemically attach itself to the bone tissue.