Comments Off on Goat cloned in Brazil, tracking cougars with cellular networks, and Chile is home to the world’s oldest mummies.

24 April 2014

Goat cloned in Brazil, tracking cougars with cellular networks, and Chile is home to the world’s oldest mummies.

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 Brazil

The combined effects of climate change and fires could accelerate tree mortality in the Amazon, says a field study started in 2004 that evaluated plots burned annually, plots burned every three years and unburned plots. The researchers noted that one of the most important effects was the invasion of grasses in places where there was a high mortality of trees.

“Gluca” is the first cloned goat in South America. The goal was to have the goat produce the enzyme glucocerebrosidase which is needed to combat Gaucher’s disease.

An international team of scientists found insects in a cave in Brazil that have genitals of the opposite sex.

Chile

Chile is monitoring the activities of foxes and pumas with Swiss technology that uses cellular networks.

Chile has the oldest mummies in the world (7000 years old). These are from the “Chinchorro Culture” discovered almost a century ago and which is still finding individuals. These fishermen and hunter-gatherers inhabited the coast from Peru to northern Chile and developed complex funeral rites.

In two weeks, construction will begin in Chile’s Atacama desert on the largest telescope in the world to observe planets outside the solar system.

Latin America

The Panama disease afflicting the banana, caused by the fungus Fusarium oxysporum, has ravaged plantations in Asia and Africa and is expected to appear soon in the plantations of the Caribbean. Experts say there is no treatment for it and are already thinking of breeding programs involving genetic manipulation.

Colombia 

A project funded by the World Bank for the Colombian Federation of Ranchers is hoping to prove that production of meat and milk can be doubled in small farms when trees are planted with pastures.

The book “Canyons of Colombia” describes and photographs 630 canyons and explains how they have varied during different geological eras.

Mexico

A new firefly has been found in Nuevo Leon, Mexico of the new genre called Paracratomporphus. This is in addition to the 22 known to exist nationwide.

Peru

Illegal logging, especially for mahogany and cedar, is causing serious damage to the Peruvian Amazon. The current law allows the granting of concessions for logging on public lands but a recent study found that most of the logging occurs outside of those authorized areas.

Argentina 

Argentine researchers identified a highly aggressive variant of human papillomavirus called the HPV16. Using molecular techniques, they were able to identify a patient with papillary lesions in the esophagus.

Two new species of mollusks were discovered in water bodies of the provinces of Mendoza and San Juan. These were described by their anatomy, morphology and DNA analysis. The two small snails were baptized “Chilina Cuyo” and “sanjuanina Chilina”.