ARGENTINA Scientists in Argentina are studying the crab Chasmagnathus granulathus to study how memories are formed and altered in the brain. The researchers are studying the protein NF-kB which is implicated in forgetting–a process that is arguably just as important as remembering. Revista Anfibia’s photos are here. Argentine researchers are developing robots for incorporation into … Continue reading Argentine scientists study memory and forgetting in crabs, drug-trafficking in Bolivia’s Gran Chaco, and the state of science in Colombia.
Scientists, patients and government entities in Argentina have reached an agreement to legislate stem cell therapies. The law “should address the scientific and therapeutic aspects of these cellular tools, always from a bioethical perspective, while guaranteeing the health protection of citizens,” stated Lino Brarañao, Argentina’s Minister of Science and Technology.
Recently, Argentina’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries passed a resolution for the evaluation of genetically modified crops like sugarcane and potatoes. This measure will allow two national institutions to progress in obtaining glyphosate tolerant sugarcase.
Argentine companies are working on breeding programs to increase protein levels in the soybean.
An international group of scientists led by Italian geographer Umberto Lombardo and Bolivian archaeologist José Capriles found in the Bolivian Amazon evidence of humans dating back 10,400 years. Their analysis concludes that hunter-gatherers settled there in the early Holocene. The work was published in the journal Plos One.
The West Antarctic began to form approximately 22,000 years ago according to a study recently published in the journal Nature. They found, while analyzing a block of ice two miles deep, that a part of the white continent was formed long before the rest of the continent.
The South Atlantic, specifically the Gulf of San Jorge, will be studied jointly by Argentine and Canadian scientists, says the Ministry of Science and Technology of Argentina. The project will start in January 2014, will be done aboard the ship Coriolis II and require an investment of one million dollars.
For 10 years the Faculty of Agronomy at the UBA has been working with farmers in the municipality Daireaux, located 400 km from Buenos Aires. Through tax benefits, producers are encouraged to conserve soil and rotate crops in addition to adopting traditional farming practices in the area. The producers involved in the project have seen significant improvements in organic matter content and soil stability.
A group of scientists in Cordoba has created an innovative technology that allows people with physical disabilities to switch on the lights or lower the blinds in their homes through a system that decodes their brainwaves and transforms them into intelligible orders.
A new census of Andean condors taken near Chile’s capital of Santiago has tallied 300 birds. Started in 2011, researchers and volunteers have counted the soaring birds three times a year from six different observation stations on the mountains surrounding the city. They want to learn more about their country’s national bird—the Andean condor’s seven-foot wingspan and taste for carrion are some of the few things researchers know about these scavengers.
“Our numbers are preliminary but clearly valuable because 300 is higher than condor populations counted in other countries,” says Victor Escobar, an independent biologist working with the Chilean ornithology group R.O.C. which led the census. According to Escobar, Bolivia has counted 80 Andean condors (Vultur gryphus) in the Apolobamba range while 200 have been counted near Rio Negro in Argentine Patagonia. “Unfortunately, we don’t have numbers for the entire Andean range,” he says. “But that’s why we started this project.”
Researchers estimate there are around 10,000 Andean condors living throughout the Andes mountains — from northern Colombia to the tip of Patagonia. Though poaching has driven down numbers in Venezuela and Colombia, populations are generally thought to be stronger further south. Condor censuses are sporadic and generally local in nature.
ARGENTINA Argentine astronomers are trying to explain the lack of dwarf galaxies in the universe. Though astronomical theory predicts the existence of thousands of dwarf galaxies–galaxies with a few billion stars compared with the Milky Way which has 200 to 400 billion–only a few dozen have been discovered. Astronomers in Cordoba have proposed the following … Continue reading Argentine astronomers and dwarf galaxies, surprising research into arsenic in soybeans, and Mexico develops new food packaging.
ARGENTINA The Pan American Health Organization has approved a drug manufactured in Argentina against the parasitic disease Chagas. Benznidazol will be produced by two private laboratories with additional government funding. It’s the first line of treatment for Chagas disease and cures 80-90% of cases, according to the WHO. Argentina’s Leloir Institute recently discovered an enzyme, … Continue reading An alpaca biotechnology center in Peru, combating Chagas disease in Latin America, and the effects of intensive agriculture in Brazil.
BOLIVIA Cultivated in the Andean highlands since 3000 B.C., quinoa is making waves in the global marketplace. With global demand for quinoa rising, countries like Bolivia are stressed to meet the rush. Bolivia is now producing 40 times as much quinoa as it did in 2000. But there are physical limits to quinoa’s growth. Last … Continue reading Indigenous rights upheld in Colombia’s Tayrona Park, Bolivian farmland stressed by rising global quinoa demand, and obesity in Sao Paolo.
BOLIVIA Heavy rains have affected more than 9,600 families in Bolivia, says the country’s minister of defense. Flooding, landslides and lightning storms have caused the deaths of 18 people in Bolivia. CHILE A Chilean town in the Atacama desert has uncovered several mummies from both its graveyards, some 2,000 years old. The municipal museum of … Continue reading Mining sparks deadly battles over water supplies in Peru, 2,000 year old mummies discovered in Chile, and heavy rains take a toll in Bolivia.
ARGENTINA Argentine scientists have identified hotspots of mosquito breeding in the country’s northern provinces. The research is part of an effort to eliminate populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, famous in Latin America for carrying the dengue virus. Writing in the journal PLoS ONE, the researchers created a predictive map that outlined where mosquitoes were … Continue reading Mexico City taps into one of the world’s deepest aquifers, Peru’s hemorrhaging anchovy fishery and growing diverse crops in Bolivia.
ARGENTINA Argentine researchers are part of an international consortium that is developing new drugs to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria like MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). The scientists identified a gene, FapR, which inhibits the synthesis of lipids—fats required by bacteria to build new cells. The research was published in the journal PLoS Pathogens. BOLIVIA UPDATE: The story … Continue reading Burial chamber discovered in the middle of Machu Picchu, recording sounds for posterity in Mexico, and coffee rust continues to devastate plantations.
Global demand for quinoa triples its price in Bolivia, Paraguay struggles to contain spread of dengue, and the superears of a Colombian grasshopper. BOLIVIA Global demand for quinoa has tripled the price of the Andean grain, forcing Bolivian and Peruvian farmers to rely on other staples for food. “It’s worth more to [the producers] to … Continue reading Thursday January 17
A new bee species found in horse dung in Patagonia, making ceviche to save coral reefs, and training locals in conservation in Bolivia. ARGENTINA A newly discovered bee in Patagonia is the first bee known to nest in dung. Found in horse dung on the Patagonian steppe, the Trichothurgus bolithophilus bees are a primitive species … Continue reading Thursday November 1
Argentine scientists discover four new yeast species in Patagonian glaciers, stray dogs a health hazard in Mexico, and Chile opens up concessions for its lithium reserves. ARGENTINA Argentine scientists have identified four new strains of yeast in Patagonian glaciers and reported their findings in the journal Microbiology Ecology. The yeasts have adapted to living at … Continue reading Thursday October 4
Bolivia passes law to save pink freshwater dolphins, scientists want an ecological corridor to protect jaguars in Mexico, and more evidence that Patagonia was a landmass adrift 500 million years ago. ARGENTINA Argentine scientists have found more evidence that Patagonia was once a separate landmass from South America. The discovery of 500 million-year-old Archaeocyatha, small reef-building animals … Continue reading Thursday September 20
Chile’s ALMA telescope finds rare molecules surrounding a star, climate change has trees migrating in Peru, and Argentina’s guanacos are llama-non-grata. ARGENTINA Guanacos are now species-non-grata in Argentina following the announcement that the llama-like animal is a “harmful species” due to its population size, its biological characteristics, and the economic and social damage they bring … Continue reading Thursday September 13