Science News

Collaborations with various media allow us to create a bank of science news of relevance to the Puerto Rican and Hispanic communities and give a venue that our scientific members can use to keep their communities informed and engaged with science.

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In this section you can find: news written by members of the CienciaPR team and written by other news media and which are reproduced with permission from the original source.

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Formula to create professionals

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

Profesor José Colucci Ríos, Dean of engineering of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez (RUM), is not only recognized for his achievement in chemical engineering, but for his passion serving as mentor for students that are prospects to pursue doctoral negrees in that subject. According to him, his “passion is to get students to go and study their PhD’s.” For this, professor Colucci has been recommended as a candidate for the Dupont award.

Jose Cordero: back to Puerto Rico as Dean of the Graduate School of Public Health

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

Doctor Jose Cordero, the new dean of the Graduate School of Public Health and the Biosocial Sciences Faculty of the University of Puerto Rico, was finally able to fulfill his dream of returning to Puerto Rico, after 33 years living and working in the United States (something many of us, Puerto Rican scientists, dream to do also). A graduate of the University of Puerto Rico and the Medical Sciences Campus in 1973, he continued his studies in Pediatrics at the Boston City Hospital and a master’s degree in Public Health at Harvard University in Massachusetts. From there he joined the Epidemic Intelligence Service in 1979, where he did research in congenital birth defects. For his excellent work in this area, in 2000, he was designated by then CDC director Josh Koplan, to found and direct the National Center for Birth Defects.

International Gaia and Climate Change Congress extends deadline for abstracts

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

The Physical Sciences Department, of the General Studies Faculty at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, extended the deadline to submit proposals to participate in the International Gaia and Climate Change Congress, to take place at this Institution during April 19-20, 2007. Member of the country’s scientific community (without academic distinction) will have until January 31, 2007, to submit their abstracts. They should be in one or more of the following themes: ecosystems and biodiversity, society, land systems and/or climate change.

Puerto Ricans know how to take care of their health but don't do it

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

The majority of Puerto Ricans recognizes that a good nutrition and physical activity will help them stay healthy. However, they don’t practice this or assume the attitudes necessary to improve their quality of life. A study done by The Marketing Center to obtain a profile about Puerto Rican’s habits and perceptions related to concepts of “health and well-being” revealed that: - 79% of the population agrees or totally agrees with that a good nutrition is primordial to live healthy; - 61% said that a healthy diet is important for future health; - 47% recognized that their eating habits are based on foods they know are not good for them. - Close to 27% skips a meal a day. - 44% admitted that they exercise, not even once a week, and - 35% said they knew what trans-fat is.

Vegetable fuel to the rescue

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

Esterhol, a vegetable product based of the soy bean plant has been in Puerto Rico for eigth months, under the Caribbean Renewable Energy franchise, with headquarters in the United Status. This new vegetable fuel could be used by heavy machinery, trucks and some companies, and it’s been brought to Puerto Rico with the idea of becoming an innovative “green” product that doesn’t contaminate and saves money to the consumer. Esterhol is comparable to biodiesel, with the difference that is processed in cold, which helps minimize contaminating emissions to the air.

Registration costs could increase at UPR

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

Each freshmen class of the University of Puerto Rico during the next ten years could face a 4% increase in registration costs, if UPR’s president Antonio Garcia Padilla accepts the recommendation made by the Assessing Committee for Institutional Financing. This group, integrated by professors and students also suggested that every freshmen class is guaranteed that registration charges will not increase for them for the next five years.

Fighting against garbage

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

The celebration of Junte Ambiental 2007 starts a new phase for the public service campaign “A clean Island is a healthy Island”, that wants to motivate changes in the solid waste management in the Island. Junte Ambiental will be held on February 17, 2007 at the Julio Enrique Monagas Park in Bayamon, and will gather more than 500 youngsters of environmental clubs in an activity that will include workshops on waste management and disposal. The program will also offer workshops to 320 teachers. In 2004 Puerto Rico generated an average of 3.9 pounds of garbage per person a day, according to a study by the Solid Waste Authority. This number exceeds what is generated by most industrialized countries in the world, which is around 2.2 pounds per person a day for that same year. Between 90-95% of that waste goes to one of the 28 garbage dumps in the Islands and the remaining 5-10% is recycled or turned into compost.

Red alert for women and their cardiovascular health

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

Most females don’t know that cardiovascular diseases take more lives than the next five death causes. Cardiovascular diseases are responsible for almost the double of deaths caused by all types of cancer, including breast cancer. According to statistics, 87% of women don’t know these facts. That’s why the American Heart Society has launched the campaign “Red for women”, to educate the female population about the importance of preventing cardiovascular disease.

Distant visitors at the Caguitas river

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

Every year thousands of millions of migratory birds belonging to thousands of species from North America and distant places like the Artic and the boreal forests of Canada and Alaska fly south from their reproduction territories in search of food sources that are unavailable during the winter. Many of them come to Puerto Rico, and some of them have made the Cagüitas river their refuge. Although short, this river –born in Aguas Buenas and flowing through Caguas- is an important food source to very interesting species like the fishing eagle, the lesser yellowlegs, the greater yellowlegs and the solitary sandpiper, among others.

Possible to avoid environmental disasters

This article is reproduced by CienciaPR with permission from the original source.

A gallon of used oil can contaminate up to one million gallons of water (a one-year supply for 50 people). Marine ecology could take up to 20 years to recuperate from an oil spill. In fact, the huge amount of additives used in the production of lubricating oil for high performance engines make this king of spill a greater environmental threat than a crude oil spill. Given the recent event of unknown citizens spilling 25 gallons of used oil in Toa Alta, its worth revisiting the Law for the Appropriate Management of Used Oil in Puerto Rico. This law prohibits the disposition of used oil in the soil, sewage, septic tanks, mangrove, swamps, wetlands, drainage systems, among others. It also prohibits the usage of used oil to cover pavement, as a herbicide or insecticide. From the oil’s purchase date, the consumer has up to 30 days to take the used oil to one of the Used Oil Recollection Centers created by this law and 90 days to recover the deposit paid at the establishment where the oil was purchased ($1 for every quarter of motor or transmission oil purchased).


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