Ciencia Boricua Profiles

Every month we profile the work of an outstanding CienciaPR member or discuss a topic of relevance to our community

Corazón Hispano: protecting cardiovascular health in vulnerable Hispanic populations

Anonymous's picture
CT reconstruction of a human heart

Heart disease is the main cause of death in Puerto Rico and Latin America. According to the American Heart Association, every 35 seconds somebody dies due to complications regarding cardiovascular disorders.

The heart is responsible for pumping blood to all tissues. In spite of its strength, the heart is a delicate organ, susceptible to environmental risk factors.

Global health landmark: The genome of Aedes aegypti

Marcos Lopez's picture
Aedes aegypti
Aedes aegypti, dengue vector

Aedes aegypti is the mosquito that transmits the flavivirus that causes dengue, a disease that afflicts about 100 million people annually. Aedes aegypti is also the vector for yellow fever and chikungunya virus.

Last month Nene et al published the complete genome sequence of Aedes aegypti in Science. This work will now allows researchers to develop sound strategies that prevent vector competence. For instance, this study will allow the identification of new genes and proteins that control the transmission of the pathogen, the mosquito resistance to insecticides and the mosquito behaviors that give rise to the transmission of the disease. The identification of those genes will then allow scientists to develop targeted drugs.

Quinones: cancer cell destroyers

Marcos Lopez's picture
células cancerosas
Breast cancer cell

We have all been touched by this terrible illness. According to the American Cancer Society more than a half-million people die annually of cancer in the US. In Puerto Rico, the mortality rate is 5,000 patients per year, with a 2% increase each year.

Cancer results from uncontrollable cell proliferation, which leads to the formation of malignant tumors in different parts of the body. These tumors affect the physiological function of tissues and organs and are the target of cancer treatment.

Nanofibers: tomorrows high-tech bandages

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Nanofibers, new medical biotechnology that heals

The diabetic ulcers are the primary cause for amputations in the World. Diabetics are prone to circulatory problems. When circulation is poor, the tissue in the extremities is not well oxygenated, allowing these areas to become more susceptible to wounds development. If the wound is not treated promptly the extremities have to be amputated.

Aktiogavialis puertoricensis: fossilized history

Daniel Alfonso Colón-Ramos's picture

Gavialis gangeticus, from the Indian subcontinent, is the only living gharial species related to the Puerto Rican gharial

28 million years ago "pepinianos", as the residents from he Puerto Rican town of San Sebastián are known, could frolic in the shores of their hometown. This is because 28 million years ago the now landlocked town of San Sebastián was a seashore town. Pepinianos looked very different then, though. There were no plazas, or traffic jams, or town fairs... as a matter of fact, 28 million years ago there were no humans, not in Puerto Rico, not anywhere else.

What San Sebasti·n did have were gharial: very large crocodiles basking in its shores.

Unlocking the mysteries of the brain

Daniel Alfonso Colón-Ramos's picture
Portada de la revista Learning & Memory
Grand slam! Three lab groups with P. Rican researchers published in this issue of L&M

"Si por casualidad duermes, y sueñas que te acaricia la brisa..."

Those verses from Bobby Capó's song "SoÒando con Puerto Rico" transport us with their melody to the coasts of Puerto Rico. While taking this trip down memory lane, we relive the experience with the same intensity as if we were physically there. How is it that the brain allow us, just by thinking about it, to feel the tropical sun and dream of Puerto Rico?

In December's issue of the prestigious scientific journal Learning and Memory three articles by Puerto Rican authors were published, and those articles address these mysteries of the human brain.