Pressures force “Superfood” from Atlantic Forest

Although Açaí palm, the Amazon region’s “Surfer Superfood,” is well known to food faddists around the world for the nutritious purple-black rind on its tiny coconut used to make a yoghurt-like drink, its equally edible first cousin the Jussara palm is hardly known outside the Atlantic Coastal forest that forms its habitat. Rather than stepping   …Continue Reading

Carwars: São Paulo seniors forced off street crossings.

You can always measure the metaphorical speed at which a city lives by measuring the time it takes for the impatient driver behind you to start hooting when the lights turn green. In São Paulo. Latin America’s largest, most car-congested and frenetic metropolis, the horns start honking when the traffic lights are still – just   …Continue Reading

“G Force” Transforms the Drugs Industry

Visitors to Brazil’s ubiquitous pharmacies – there seems to be one on each street corner of even the smallest town – will know that whatever the drug cited on their prescription, the sales assistant is likely to suggest a rival medication that “works much better.” Often, packaging on the proposed substitute drug bears a yellow   …Continue Reading

Scientists warn of ‘Brazilian brain drain.’

Dramatic cuts in Brazil’s state funding for scientific research threaten to simulate an exodus of scientists, leading to a significant “brain drain” as native talent heads elsewhere. This year’s 44% budget cut for the Ministry of Communications, Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTIC) is already leading to an “expulsion” of researchers whose future is threatened, according   …Continue Reading

“Vitamin D each day keeps the cardio OK”

Vitamin D is the “guardian of the organism” and may help reduce the risk of heart disease by stimulating healthier probiotic gut bacteria in humans, a Brazilian study has found. Research involving 150 volunteers at the University of São Paulo’s Public Health School (FSP-USP) showed that those with higher levels of vitamin D circulating in   …Continue Reading

Science to make mega-cities smarter, on a shoestring

Not so long ago, the recipe for transforming any emerging market metropolis was to commission huge, often technically-backward infrastructure projects designed to improve collective urban wellbeing – that generally came at huge cost. No longer: inspiration for today’s Smart City is almost the opposite, allowing innovators-turned-entrepreneurs to help rebrand of the metropolis with a scattering   …Continue Reading

Sensory chip targets dengue fever outbreak

New technology is coming to the aid of Brazil’s once-vaunted reputation for mastery of tropical public health challenges, which took a serious tumble in 2016 when the nation proved incapable of controlling a trio of mosquito-borne human diseases. On the eve of the Rio Olympics, a massive outbreak of three diseases transmitted by the Aedes   …Continue Reading

Race for Horizon 2020 Research Funding

Brazil’s cash-strapped scientists will need to move fast not to waste a golden opportunity to access some of the EUR 80 billion in funding on offer from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 multi-year innovation funding programme. Despite – or perhaps because of – the recent collapse in domestic funding from Brazilian government sources for science   …Continue Reading

Filtering unwanted video pornography benefits billions of  mobile phone users.

Filtering the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

An IT innovation  from Brazil that reliably filters out unsolicited pornography  videos from web and social-media. An artificial intelligence application developed by Brazilian computer scientists has begun to combat the plague of pornographic junk mail and obscene videos besieging billions of mobile phone users around the world. Samsung, one of the world’s top mobile   …Continue Reading

Frugal Science in the Age of Constraint.

“When the centre falters, look to the regions.” That’s good advice for international research funding agency managers looking for partnerships in Brazil, where federal budgets have been slashed. São Paulo state’s  funding body is a rare welcome light amid the gloom. After an interval of almost 18 months, Science for Brazil is resuming regular   …Continue Reading

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Researching in Brazil

Brazil’s best-known scientist, the veteran nuclear physicist  José Goldemberg,  in September 2015 took office as the president of  the São…

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