Cancer: Explaining RT cell survivors

Brazilian scientists are making progress with solving a problem that has long frustrated oncologists: after cancerous tumours in patients are subjected to radiotherapy, not all the mutated cells die. In fact some surviving cells exhibit accelerated growth despite the absence of visible irritation, so negating the beneficial effects of radiotherapy. Now, a group of immunologists   …Continue Reading

Decoding Motor Neurone Disease

British physicist Stephen Hawking and the 1930’s US baseball player Lou Gehrig had something in common: both were diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Motor Neurone Disease, also named after the US sportsman. The disease, which causes the death of neurons controlling the voluntary muscles and results in stiffness and twitching, is accompanied by   …Continue Reading

Measuring Innovation

Innovation transforms pure science into relative economic and societal advantage around the world. Not just in countries, but in regions too. It defines today’s and tomorrow’s cities of success. So how do you measure innovation? Is it by the number of patents for new ideas a country or region registers with international gatekeepers? Is it   …Continue Reading

Brasília's Ministries: erratic funding and uncertain future for science.

The Appliance of Science for “Industry 4.0”

Brazil’s industrial heartland is making a determined push to escape from the “rich commodity producers’ poverty trap” by expanding its engineering and high technology capacity, creating new opportunities for researchers. Playing catch-up in order to climb aboard the “fourth industrial revolution” (known as Industry 4.0) now sweeping the world with the help of advanced manufacturing   …Continue Reading

Zika: From Godzilla to “Science can fix it.”

It has been called “the Godzilla of infections,” a virus that attacks only the most vulnerable of humankind – unborn children in the womb. Once born, these same children face a limited life of neurological challenges caused by microcephaly or diminished skull size. No wonder the Zika virus, which burst upon the world stage one   …Continue Reading

Norway to Axe Forest Funds.

Brazilian conservationists are reeling with the disclosure that Norway is considering axing US$1 billion in funding for the Amazon rainforest, because of the Latin American giant’s record of rising deforestation. Norway is the biggest foreign donor helping tropical forest conservation and the Amazon Fund, into which it has paid more than a US$1.1 billion dollars   …Continue Reading

Towering observations: Amazon towers like this one are basis for  studying how the forest  affects weather.

Amazonia’s answer to the ‘Ozone Hole’

Over three decades ago, the existence of an “Ozone Hole” above the Antarctic caused scientists to start fretting about the effects of man-made gases, eventually resulting in the Montreal Protocol that banned the use of CFCs responsible for ozone depletion. Today there’s a whole new focus of concern about ozone and the volatile gases responsible   …Continue Reading

New Energy for Oil and Gas Futures

Now it has become a major oil and gas producer, Brazil is hosting a new generation of research activities to optimize carbon-based energy use, with an eye to both sustainability and economic efficiency. A number of research bases sponsored by the oil majors have sprung up in recent years, of which the latest is the   …Continue Reading

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

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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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