Students of Mexico’s National Polytechnic Institute are hoping to facilitate the rescue of kidnapped or missing persons using a satellite navigation system. The system won first prize for Latin America in the European Satellite Navigation Competition 2013.
UNAM, the Juárez Hospital and the National Institute of Genomic Medicine are collecting indigenous genetic data for studies on diabetes. The library will be comprised of a DNA bank of 13 indigenous groups.
The National Institute of Psychiatry, with support from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the United States, is testing a vaccine in mice to treat heroin addiction. The project has 32 patents worldwide though testing has yet to be performed in humans. In animal models antibodies have been generated and the researchers are studying the possibility of elimination of the drug from the body.
Scientists at Costa Rica’s National University with the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are studying the isotopic composition of water in different regions to predict effects of climate change.
Argentina has beaten out China as the third largest producer of oilseeds in the 2012/13 crop year with almost 53 million tons, mainly soy but also sunflower. Estimates expected for this season exceed 58 million tons.
Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution in Panama have evaluated the recovery of four coral reefs in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago and have found that only one showed clear signs of improvement. The researchers conclude that it is not possible to generalize the response of reefs to damage on a small scale.
Studies of the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Galapagos National Park and University of Missouri Saint Louis argue that the introduction of foreign parasites in tandem with climate change could result in the extinction of numerous birds in the Galapagos Archipelago.
Ecuadorian scientists have discovered 35 new species from 2008 to 2012 as part of a project called “Noah’s Ark” that aims to inventory and characterize the biological diversity of Ecuador.
Brazil reduced its rate of deforestation by half in the first twelve years of the 21st century, but in other countries deforestation has increased. In Indonesia it doubled, says a study based on Landsat 7 satellite images from NASA and the U.S. Geological Service. The study was published in the journal Science.