Tag Archives: ecuador

An Innovative Blockchain Technology Arrives in Ecuador to Monitor the TRU Milk Journey with Your Mobile Phone

El Ordeño joins IBM Food Trust to help increase transparency and reduce food waste; a QR code affixed to labels will allow consumers to access provenance information from their mobile phone (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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Protecting 17 Percent of Earth’s Land May Preserve 67 Percent of Its Plant Species

Protecting key regions that comprise just 17 percent of Earth’s land may help preserve more than two-thirds of its plant species, according to a new study by an international team of scientists, including a biologist from North Carolina State University.

The researchers from Duke University, NC State and Microsoft Research used computer algorithms to identify the smallest set of regions worldwide that could contain the largest numbers of plant species. They published their findings in the journal Science. (more…)

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Saving Lives Worldwide by Training International Volcano Scientists

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Scientists and technicians who work at volcano observatories in nine countries are visiting Mount St. Helens and the U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Science Center’s Cascades Volcano Observatory this week to learn techniques for monitoring active volcanoes. Organized by the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes at the University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo, with support from the VSC-managed joint USGS-USAID Volcano Disaster Assistance Program, the annual program has been training foreign scientists for 22 years. This year’s class includes volcano scientists from Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, and Papua New Guinea.

The International Training Program in Volcano Hazards Monitoring is designed to assist other nations in attaining self-sufficiency in monitoring volcanoes and reducing the risks from eruptions. Through in-class instruction at two USGS volcano observatories, and field exercises in Hawaiʻi and at Mount St. Helens, U.S. scientists are providing training on monitoring methods, data analysis and interpretation, and volcanic hazard assessment, and participants are taught about the use and maintenance of volcano monitoring instruments. Additionally, participants learn about focusing on forecasting and rapid response during volcanic crises, and how to work with governing officials and the news media to save lives and property. (more…)

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Unraveling the Napo’s mystery

In the United States, rivers and their floodplains are well-documented and monitored. Ecuador’s largest river, however, remains largely mysterious.

Research led by Michigan State University is helping the South American country unravel the Napo River’s mystique to better balance its economic and environmental treasures. (more…)

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Sowing a more sustainable future

One of the keys to better nutrition and health for the people of Rwanda fits in the palm of a hand: legumes. But despite their nutritional punch, legumes—including common beans, cowpeas, and lima beans—are highly susceptible to drought and disease. That’s what brought MSU scientists to Rwanda, which has the world’s highest bean consumption per capita, to work on breeding heartier varieties that can sustain the people and economy of the country.

To increase yields, MSU’s Jim Kelly, a professor of crop and soil sciences who has been developing bean varieties for more than 30 years, is introducing new varieties as well as educational materials to help farmers grow them successfully. Using traditional methods that don’t require genetic manipulation, Kelly has bred climbing beans, as opposed to bush-like beans, that already have improved yields from a quarter ton per acre to four tons per acre in the country’s high-altitude, steep, hilly terrain. (more…)

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Blind Cavefish Use Teeth to Find Their Way, New UMD Research Shows

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — In a single cave in Ecuador, a species of cavefish has evolved to do something perhaps unique to them, navigate with their teeth.

The sensory use of these teeth, which are not in their mouths, but protrude from their skin, appears to be a previously unknown evolutionary phenomenon, one that may not exist anywhere outside this one cave, say researchers at the University of Maryland, National Institutes of Health and Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador who brought to light this fascinating new adaptation to life in dark, swiftly flowing waters. (more…)

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