Comments Off on This is your brain on tango, combating coffee rust in Central America, and developing vaccines in Cuba.

29 May 2014

This is your brain on tango, combating coffee rust in Central America, and developing vaccines in Cuba.

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Argentina

Argentine researchers studied the brains of 80 tango dancers and determined that some could predict–or better anticipate–actions. Using sample videos of tango steps executed with different correction levels and correlating these with high density EEG, they determined that the anticipatory activity depends on the degree of experience of the subject.

Rosario scientists designed a web tool called comTAR to identify molecular biological strategies to improve crops. The software consists of a database of plant microRNA targets (that can be used for gene silencing, for example) and is free to use for the scientific community.

The National University of La Plata is the first in Argentina to use sustainable energy by installing solar panels.

An international study of 535 patients with HIV from Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Spain, the USA and Peru showed that it is possible to control the viral load with two drugs instead of three, the current practice. The investigation named “GARDEL” found that using two drugs, more than 88% of patients had undetectable viral load and fewer side effects.

Central

The disease known as “coffee rust” is raging on Central American coffee farms so much that the U.S. government agency USAID hase teamed up with the University of Texas A&Mto provide US$5 million to study the plague.

Cuba

Heber-ProVac is the name of a vaccine developed in Cuba for the treatment of prostate adenocarcinoma which has shown encouraging results in its second stage of clinical trials. The vaccine decreases testosterone levels which impact prostate size.

Colombia

The Max Planck Society of Germany has signed an agreement with the University of Antioquia to develop joint studies on the use of active ingredients from plants for treating tropical and infectious diseases. Six working groups have formed to start work in 2015 at the Colombian university.

Brazil

Scientists at the University of San Pablo have revealed that the lack of vitamin D causes kidney damage , probably due to alterations in proteins that concentrate urine.