Comments Off on State-of-the-art soccer ball for the 2014 World Cup, a new variety of stevia in Peru, and combating dengue in Argentina.

11 December 2013

State-of-the-art soccer ball for the 2014 World Cup, a new variety of stevia in Peru, and combating dengue in Argentina.

ARGENTINA

Researchers at the University of Buenos Aires are using applied mathematics to track mosquito populations and generate growth and development models in hopes of controlling the insects. The researchers hope to avoid the spread of the virus that causes dengue.

Peru has developed a new disease resistant variety of Stevia.

The science magazine Ciencia Hoy turned 25 with its 135th edition. This bimonthly publication is characterized by broad participation of scientists helped by the editors explain the progress of science to society.

Several institutions related to the Argentine agroindustry published a “Handbook for Journalists” with the aim of providing information on plant breeding, biotechnology and crop protection products as well as on the use and responsible management of technologies. The document was created with the objective of providing information to journalists and industry spokespeople about the topics in which each institution works daily.

The German company Bayer bought FN Argentina seeds to compete in the Latin American soybean market. Bayer executives announced they aim to develop seeds adapted to the Argentine ecological conditions.

BRAZIL

Scientists from the “Cats of Mato-Brazil” project have discovered another species among the “little tiger” cats of the genus Leopardus. The newly identified species, Leopardus guttulus was published in the journal Current Biology and is based on analysis of mitochondrial DNA sequences of the X and Y chromosomes and the use of microsatellite DNA.

Brazil will invest $350 million to produce a vaccine against meningitis B with drug company Novartis. The drug, called “Bexsero,” will be produced in Escherichia coli bacteria through innovative biotechnological methods.

The 2014 World Cup will see the unveiling of a suit for paraplegics that will allow them to can kick a ball using their brainwaves.

The state-of-the-art 2014 World Cup soccer ball was subjected to numerous tests by NASA and 600 soccer players to ensure its reliability. The geometry of its seams were also tested to ensure aerodynamic precision. The new soccer ball was unveiled for the 2014 World Cup because last Cup’s ball was found by NASA to ‘knuckle’ at 50-60mph.

Brazil failed to send a satellite into orbit from China.

ARGENTINA AND BRAZIL

Argentine and Brazilian scientists have warned in a paper published in the journal Science about how endangered jaguars (Panthera onca) are. The authors estimate that there are only 250 adult specimens throughout Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

CHILE

Chilean and German doctors performed a pioneering implant of an artificial heart. The apparatus is powered by two lithium batteries.

LATIN AMERICA

The World Bank has concluded in a report that innovation in Latin America is lower than in Europe and Asia.

Chile is the Latin American country with the best quality of education, according to a PISA 2012 report, beating out Mexico and Costa Rica. Meanwhile, Uruguay reduced educational quality and Argentina is stagnant.

PERU

The Agrarian University of La Molina has developed an enhanced pathogen-free variety of the sweetener Stevia by tissue culture. “Stevia Morita 2” was conceived of in Switzerland and includes glycoside which provides more sweetness.