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.

Also, the news archive can be used as a resource for students and educators

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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Abbott planning more expansions

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

Multinational pharmaceutical Abbott inaugurated the new facilities of Abbott Biotechnology Limited in Barceloneta, at a cost f $450 millions, and they are amking new investments in this northern municipality of Puerto Rico. In its original plant, the company is developing Meltrex, an advanced technology that will be used from 2009 to make the tablet for Kaletra, a drug to treat HIV patients. Abbott executives assured that Puerto Rico is among their first options to produce controlled drugs, since the Federal Government only allows their production in American soil. The also said that Abbot is considering Puerto Rico for other investments, unrelated to the manufacture process.

The Elfin Woods Warbler

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

The Elfin Woods Warbler is a small endemic bird of Puerto Rico with a striped white and black pattern, very similar to the Black-and-White Warbler, but with black spots on its cheeks, a longer than usual beak and rounded wings. The Elfin Warbler distribution is circumscribed to 300 to 1,000 meters above the sea level. At beginning it was thought that it only lived in the Luquillo Mountain Range, but it has been observed in the Maricao and Toro Negro forests and in other areas of the Central Mountain Range.

Coral Reefs symposium

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

Coral reefs, their main threats and their state will be some of the main issues to be discussed tomorrow at the First Coral Reef Symposium, organized by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. The busy schedule of the Symposium, to be held at the Convention Center, will start at 8:30 a.m. and will go until 6:00 p.m. The keynote invited speaker will be David E. Guggenheim, president of the One Planet, One Ocean organization. He is a renowned scientists known for his research on coral reefs.

Uncertain the manatee's future

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

The Southeast office of the Fishing and Wildlife Services announced yesterday that it has recommended removing the West Indies manatee, closely related to the manatee that lives in Puerto Rico, from the list of endangered species. The recommendation, that has to be confirmed by the central office of the agency in Washington after a process that will include the public’s input, is based on a study done between 2001 and 2006, which detected an increase from 3,200 to 3,500 individuals in the manatee population that lives of the coast of Florida. However, the recognition flights, the only method to count manatees in Puerto Rico, reveal that, up to 2005, the population of those mammals in Puerto Rican waters is decreasing. That year, 121 manatees were identified, when three years before that 137 where identified, according to Carlos Diaz, subdirector of the field FWS office in Puerto Rico. Although the recommendation of removing the manatee from the endangered species list, to which it belongs since 1967, it was recommended that it should be kept a threatened species. Moreover, manatees in Puerto Rico can still be protected as an endangered species by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources of Puerto Rico.

The Government has to act now on global warming

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

José Molinelli, geomorphologist of the University of Puerto Rico, and Ariel Lugo, forestry specialist and director of the United States Tropical Forestry Institute –two prominent scientists- agree that the Puerto Rican government is not developing plans or taking action towards minimizing global warming effects in Puerto Rico and that they have to start doing so now. Both scientists reminded that global warming can have a big impact in the Island, like accelerated coastal erosion, and shoreline recession; an increase in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes; extreme climate events with mayor droughts and rainy seasons when they occur; and a threat to diverse species of coquies, among others.

Coastal zones under constant threat

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

Estuaries are coastal areas where fresh water and sea water come together. They are aquatic ecosystems with high biodiversity, because they house ocean creatures, species that live in estuaries as well as species that migrate from rivers. In Puerto Rico, there are two main estuaries: the San Juan Bay Estuary and the Estuary Reserve of Jobos Bay, in the southern coast of the Island. What effect could global warming have in this important ecosystem? First of all, the sea-fresh water balance will be affected. Estuaries in Puerto Rico have associated ecosystems, like mangrove swamps, wetlands and seaweed prairies, and temperature and salinity changes due to global warming could make these disappear. Marine organisms associated to estuaries will suffer a direct impact because they are very sensitive to rising temperatures.

Supporting an enterprising ecosystem

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

The Puerto Rican MIT-Harvard Caucus is organizing a conference about how to Re-establish Economic Growth in Puerto Rico. In this conference they will talk about Puerto Rico’s problems and possibilities looking forward to propose and develop some real alternatives. One of the alternatives they already foresee is that education supports the creation of an enterprising ecosystem, where social, cultural and economic alternatives will flourish. Achieving this requires changes in our educational system both at the college and K-12 level.


UPR chemistry students recognized at ACS

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

Six student chapters of the American Chemical Society of the University of Puerto Rico where recognized at the 233rd American Chemical Society National Meeting celebrated on March 25 in Chicago, Illinois. The six chapters, of different units of the UPR system, where awarded for their performance during 2005-06. The student chapters of Rio Piedras, Humacao and Aguadilla were awarded in the outstanding category –the maximum recognition granted by ACS-, while Cayey, Arecibo and Mayaguez were recognized in the commendable category.

Science Trust representatives go to New Jersey to get ideas for the Knowledge Corridor

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

Recently, the Board of Trustees of the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust traveled to New Jersey to keep picking up ideas to help them establish the Knowledge Corridor. Some of the key points that representatives of the Technological Center of New Jersey emphasized were the importance of establishing tax incentives to attract investments in Research & Development and political transparence.

Restoring Economic Growth in Puerto Rico Conference

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

A group of Puerto Rican students from Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will celebrate the conference “Restoring Economic Growth in Puerto Rico: Proposing Solutions” on April 20-21, 2007. The Harvard-MIT Puerto Rican caucus hopes that the conference will be a starting point for a constructive discussion among Puerto Rican leaders, so together they can help Puerto Rico recover its economic vitality in the shortest time possible and attract talent back to the Island.


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