Tag Archives: brazil

IBM Intensifies Fight Against Zika 

Shares cloud and analytics technology and expertise with science and public health community

ARMONK, NY – 27 Jul 2016: IBM today announced that it is committing powerful resources, technology and pro bono expertise to help scientists, the public health community, and humanitarian agencies in the fight against the Zika virus. As part of its IBM Impact Grant programs, IBM is providing technology and talent to Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), a research institution affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Health and one the most prominent science and technology health institution in Latin America. Fiocruz plans to help track the spread of Zika by using technology developed by IBM to analyze clues ranging from anecdotal observations recorded by the general public on social media, to official data about human travel patterns. (more…)

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From Columbus to celebrity chefs: How food helped shape history

Food: It feeds the soul, fuels the body, affects the environment, inspires artists, influences politics, and impacts just about every part of our lives. It has been a subject of fascination and entertainment for centuries, reflected in the beauty of a Dutch still life, the pageantry of a royal banquet, or even the latest episode of “Top Chef.” (more…)

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Our own treacherous immune genes can cause cancer after viral infection

HPV (human papillomavirus) infection is widely known to induce cancer. Many of the mutations that cause this virally-induced cancer are caused by a family of genes that normally combats viral infections, finds new UCL research.

This raises the possibility of developing drugs to regulate the activity of these genes to prevent HPV-associated cancers from developing and reduce the ability of existing cancers to evolve resistance to treatments. (more…)

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Some birds come first — a new approach to species conservation

A Yale-led research team has developed a new approach to species conservation that prioritizes genetic and geographic rarity and applies it to all 9,993 known bird species.

“To date, conservation has emphasized the number of species, treating all species as equal,” said Walter Jetz, the Yale evolutionary biologist who is lead author of a paper published April 10 in Current Biology. “But not all species are equal in their genetic or geographic rarity. We provide a framework for how such species information could be used for prioritizing conservation.” (more…)

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With Fewer Hard Frosts, Tropical Mangroves Push North

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Cold-sensitive mangrove forests have expanded dramatically along Florida’s Atlantic Coast as the frequency of killing frosts has declined, according to a new study based on 28 years of satellite data from the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Md.

Between 1984 and 2011, the Florida Atlantic coast from the Miami area northward gained more than 3,000 acres (1,240 hectares) of mangroves. All the increase occurred north of Palm Beach County. Between Cape Canaveral National Seashore and Saint Augustine, mangroves doubled in area. Meanwhile between the study’s first five years and its last five years, nearby Daytona Beach recorded 1.4 fewer days per year when temperatures fell below 28.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-4 degrees Celsius). The number of killing frosts in southern Florida was unchanged. (more…)

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Culling vampire bats to stem rabies in Latin America can backfire

ANN ARBOR — Culling vampire bat colonies to stem the transmission of rabies in Latin America does little to slow the spread of the virus and could even have the reverse effect, according to University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues.

Vampire bats transmit rabies virus throughout Latin America, causing thousands of livestock deaths each year, as well as occasional human fatalities. Poison and even explosives have been used since the 1960s in attempts to control vampire bat populations, but those culling efforts have generally failed. (more…)

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If a tree falls in Brazil…? Amazon deforestation could mean droughts for western U.S.

In research meant to highlight how the destruction of the Amazon rainforest could affect climate elsewhere, Princeton University-led researchers report that the total deforestation of the Amazon may significantly reduce rain and snowfall in the western United States, resulting in water and food shortages, and a greater risk of forest fires.

The researchers report in the Journal of Climate that an Amazon stripped bare could mean 20 percent less rain for the coastal Northwest and a 50 percent reduction in the Sierra Nevada snowpack, a crucial source of water for cities and farms in California. Previous research has shown that deforestation will likely produce dry air over the Amazon. Using high-resolution climate simulations, the researchers are the first to find that the atmosphere’s normal weather-moving mechanics would create a ripple effect that would move that dry air directly over the western United States from December to February. (more…)

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Cool heads likely won’t prevail in a hotter, wetter world

Should climate change trigger the upsurge in heat and rainfall that scientists predict, people may face a threat just as perilous and volatile as extreme weather — each other.

Researchers from Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley report in the journal Science that even slight spikes in temperature and precipitation have greatly increased the risk of personal violence and social upheaval throughout human history. Projected onto an Earth that is expected to warm by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, the authors suggest that more human conflict is a likely outcome of climate change. (more…)

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