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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Studying the origin of tsunamis

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

The Nancy Foster, a ship that belongs to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration research fleet, arrived with eight scientists form the United States Geological Society and 21 crew members that where performing bathymetry studies –measures of the seabed’s depth- in the passage of Mona Island. These measurements will help in the detection of potentially active faults that could generate earthquakes and tsunamis. The collected data will help scientists create more precise tsunami flooding maps, especially for western Puerto Rico, and could even affect the construction codes in coastal zones.

Techniques for writing a good essay

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

For school, work or to apply for a fellowship or a program, we have all had to write an essay. If you have been through this, you know that it is not always easy to know where to start or what steps to follow to write a good essay. El Nuevo Dia Educador offers a few good advices: -Identify the subject, look for the information you need and select what you are going to write about. -Write an outline to organize your ideas. -Think about questions related to the subject that can give you an idea about what information to search for. -After you are done with the first draft, let a few days pass by and go back and read it to make a critical analysis of the draft. If possible, ask a colleague to read it and evaluate it. -The following questions can help you to make a critical analysis: Does the essay discuss the essential points about the subject clearly? Is the content accurate and significant? Do you have good examples? Are your own ideas easily distinguishable from the ideas of other authors? Is it grammatically correct?

Controversy over the coqui llanero's habitat

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

The 2,252 acre land where the smallest of the Puerto Rican coquies lives –the recently discovered coqui llanero- is still owned by the United Status Navy, but it’s manager by te company Forest City and its subsidiary Sabana Seca Land Management, which have a contract to maintain and sell the property. Last September, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico (DRNA) released a document that preliminarily designated the essential critical natural habitat and the critical natural habitat of the coqui llanero, as part of the process to make this amphibian a species in a critical endangerment state and protect it. Both of the areas would be banned from urban development and if the DRNA prevails, only the part where that housed the soldiers in the base, which represents 15% of the southern part of the base, could be developed. The essential critical natural habitat by the DRNA, which refers to the area where the coqui lives, occupies as substantial part of the southern area of the base. The key of the controversy lies in the critical natural habitat (non-essential), which according to the DRNA occupies the rest of the southern part of the base, except where the soldiers used to live. The critical natural habitat is the area where the species doesn’t live, but that has to be protected so its conditions don’t affect the essential critical natural habitat.

Wetland valuable for its ecodiversity

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

Neftalí Ríos, biologist that discovered the coqui llanero, defends the designation of most of the land in the southern portion of the naval base of Sabana Seca as a critical natural habitat for the coqui llanero because he understands that in order to preserve the coqui’s home it is necessary to ban any urban development in the surrounding areas. The wetland where this coqui, endemic to Puerto Rico, lives is a habitat not only important for this amphibian, but to plants and insects and “it tells the history of what wetlands in Puerto Rico used to be; it represents an almost extinct habitat due to agricultural and other human activities,” according to Ríos.

Old and diverse crab

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

A study, published last year in the Annals of the Carnegie Museum, investigated Puerto Rico’s crabs. Currently, there are 35 living crab species and 7 fossils in the Island. This study described new material about known species, new species and it extended the crab fossil registry to the Oligocene period (33.7-23.8 million years ago). In total, 5 new endemic species were described.

Lobbying for green buildings

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

An initiative by the Civil Engineers Institute of the Collage of Engineers and Surveyors of Puerto Rico wants to build “green” buildings in Puerto Rico and to insert the Island in the global movement that wants to achieve energetic efficiency and sustainable design in construction and break the stigma that civil engineers only spread concrete. The leader of the Institute insists that a good step to start these objectives would be to introduce the Island to the LEED program (Leadership in Energetic Efficiency and Design) which is the international norm, accepted and developed by the United States Green Building Council. This certification can be applied to projects to put emphasis on sustainability strategies like the land occupation degree; reducing fragmentation, preventing toxic emissions, doing geobiological studies and conservation of natural areas and biodiversity. Other requisites are the proper selection of materials, avoiding those that are hazardous; the preferred use of renewable resources; efficient use of non-renewable materials; potentiation of reuse and recycle; the use of materials with low toxic emissions, transformability, and flexibility; encouragement of the appropriate management of water and energy; planning on residue and waste management; development of a healthy internal environment and efficiency in the cost and quality of the project.

Revolution at Pfizer

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

Pfizer of Puerto Rico it’s transforming its vision and wants to implement a competitivity plan, designed locally, that pretends to reduce their operational costs by 40%, reduce the inventory to five months and bring advanced technology to better compete globally. The five main components of this plan are: technology and innovation, cost reduction, excellence in operations, projection and cultural revolution.

Important to be an informed patient

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

CienciaPR Contribution: 

The Professional is a member of CienciaPR
It is important to follow the instructions of any medications we are taking, but we don’t always understand the medical jargon associated to them. According to studies, old people and those who don’t know how to read or write are more at risk to make mistakes with their medications. Another group at risk is the people who take a lot of medicines or consult several doctors for different health conditions. It is important to: Talk to your doctor about all the drugs you are taking, including supplements and over-the-counter medications. Confirm what your doctor said with your pharmacist of choice. Read the labels carefully. *This article is part of our collaboration with El Nuevo Dia

Project Climate finds allies in two Puerto Rican women

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

Two Puerto Ricans living in distant parts of the World, one in Texas and the other in England, have taken the issue of the environment and made it their own, especially the effects of global warming. Susan Pacheco and Georgie Benardete were accepted into “Project Climate”, program organized by Al Gore’s office that give 1,000 people the opportunity of giving talks about global warming. Both of them will be offering 10 talks about the effects of global warming and possible solutions. Some of the talks have already taken place in some schools, like Tasis School in Dorado and the Wesleyan Academy in Guaynabo.

Various models for the Puerto Rican aquarium

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

Today’s aquariums are more than collections of fishes and other marine organisms. They now recreate the marine environment with exhibitions where you can see sea creatures interacting with their habitats. Also, they are educational centers, research institutions; they support conservation and restoration programs and they are even treatment and rehabilitation centers for endangered marine species. An aquarium has been proposed for Puerto Rico and the island has certain advantages. Puerto Rico is surrounded by good quality ocean waters. This aquarium, which is said could attract between 840,000 to 1 million visitors a year, could be an educational center and help revitalize the port area. The propagation of marine species can also be an activity for the aquarium in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican aquarium should incorporate a little bit of all these aspects, but adjusted to our reality.


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