terça-feira, 23 de Setembro de 2014

Researchers discover gene that may slow aging

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A team of biologists has discovered a gene that may slow aging. The discovery was made during a study on fruit flies and everything indicates that there is a mechanism that stimulates the body's ability of flies in clean the Junk cell phone â€" what causes aging disorders â€" and to regenerate. Such mechanism may not only correspond to an increased longevity but also a healthier old age.

The discovery was made by a team of scientists at the University of California Los Angeles and the gene, known as AMPK, is being studied in order to understand how helps slow aging.

Scientists have known for some time that caloric restriction prolongs life and this is due to a gene called Sirtuin 1, which is activated when calories are restricted. Apparently the AMPK has a similar operation, entering into operation when the energy provided by the food is limited, referred to Inhabitat.

If it is possible to identify a way to delay human aging using this gene of flies, the AMPK would be quite useful to treat various types of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and cancer, which increase as the cells are aging and lose their ability to regenerate.

Foto: mattamatikk / Creative Commons

Access to safe drinking water is essential to get out of poverty, says Swedish investigator

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Access to drinking water is an important ally of the citizens living in extreme poverty â€" mainly women and children â€" and allows them to climb a rung on the ladder of social class. This rise can be done directly â€" easy access to clean drinking water could mean a child attending school â€" and not pick up buckets of water several miles away; and indirect: go to school is the only chance a child has to change their own social situation through education.

These two ideas were developed today in Lisbon by Hans Rosling, the doctor, researcher and statistician Swede who was co-founder and President of Gapminder Foundation and who were given honors to inaugurate the world water Congress.

This time, Rosling didn't swallow a sword, as in this celebrated TED Conference, but the good mood and the vein of entertainer were present, especially when your statistics entered into play â€" and there were many.

Hans Rosling follow Twitter.

Second Rosling, the drinking water â€" and the easy access to it â€" is one of the most important issues of the countries affected by extreme poverty. And gave the example of the family who, for not having direct access to drinking water, must "oblige" two of her sons to pick her up to several miles away. If this situation happens, they won't be able to attend school and lose some of the few chances they have to improve their social situation.

Rosling even gave an example: with a single innovative solution â€" a wheelbarrow financed by World Bank's microcredit, for example-, any family can put an adult, alone, to fetch water, allowing their children to attend classes.

The solution may seem as simple as basic, but the truth is that this is the African reality â€" and Rosling knows her well, once lived many years in Africa, including, between 1979 and 1981, in Nacala, Mozambique.

In school, these children can learn to defend their rights, learn more about their own health and well-being, development of basic infrastructures and agricultural technologies, and discover ways to get credit or microfinance.

Second Rosling, the revolution of water in countries affected by extreme poverty will also benefit women. When we are talking about this social reality, the most important is to reduce child labour and women â€" men will go on to have pride in the fact that their children study, and not on the amount of children they have.

On the other hand, there are issues indirectly related to this phenomenon and that are holding back the economic and social development of these people. The spinal injury are very frequent in women who carry water every day; others, who do not have the bathroom at home, are sexually attacked in public restrooms.

Asian and African Boom

At the beginning of the Conference, Rosling split the planet in four locations: America, Africa, Asia and Europe. If each billion people represent a single, America has today a person â€" as well as Africa and Europe-, against four in Asia. These figures will evolve in the near future: in 2050, Africa and Asia will gain a second inhabitant; and in 2010, Africa will feature four inhabitants â€" the equivalent of four billion inhabitants. "About 80% of the global population will live in Asia or Africa in 2100", warned the Swedish investigator.

Second Rosling, a since has passed unnoticed to the public is the stagnation in the number of children worldwide. "The number of children stopped growing in the world â€" is the biggest event that ever go unnoticed to the media: Asia and Africa are decreasing in the number of children per woman," continued.

Today, more and more families from developing countries decide how many children they want to have through the well-being that they may provide. This is where the importance of water in economic and social development. Six out of every seven billion people in the world today has access to good water. "Less than one billion people still have no access to good water, but the problem today is related to the quality of water â€" contamination, toxic problems," explained Rosling.

For that education allows new parents have a new vision of family planning, the water is fundamental. "We have to get good water to these billion people â€" and improve the quality of the water. But congratulations to your sector, you're doing an extraordinary job, "praised.

However, there is a question that leaves Rosling intrigued: there are more people with access to cell phones than with access to drinking water and sanitation â€" a reality especially visible in India, home to 1.3 billion people. And what is the solution of Rosling? "We have to invent the digital bathroom â€" the engineers managed to take the cellphone to various points on the planet, why not do the same with sanitation?".

At the end of the Conference, and after other speakers have already answered several questions, Rosling ended with a question that was hovering at the head of the lecturers at the end of the morning: "you know what nobody talked about here today? Of climate change. We need to act quickly on the issues of water and sanitation, due to climate change. Don't forget this: the climate will change ". But there was no time for more.

Foto: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade / Creative Commons

Green Savers will have a news crew at the world water Congress. Follow us daily at www.greensavers.sapo.pt, on Facebook or Twitter.

segunda-feira, 22 de Setembro de 2014

New fossil hippopotamus with large lips is named in honor of Mick Jagger

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In addition to "Sir" one of the most important figures of the musical panorama, Mick Jagger will also be immortalized in the natural sciences, since a team of scientists named a new species of fossil in honor of the lead singer of the Rolling Stones and their prominent lips.

The fossil of a new species of an animal similar to a small Hippo with labia majora was discovered in the desert of Egypt, area that in prehistory was a delta with abundant vegetation surrounded by swamps â€" among other fossils found at the site are catfish, turtles and seabirds.

Naida Jaggermeryx was the name given to the new species, which live in Africa about 19 million years ago. The animal would probably be the size of a deer the modern equivalent to cross between a hippopotamus and a slim-legged pig.

According to the data released by the paleontology team Wake Forest University, who discovered the fossil, the jaw of the animal presents eight holes on each side. These structures probably albergariam nerves, giving the creature lips extremely sensitive that would be used to find food. The animal will have belonged to the extinct family antracoterídeos.

Naida Jaggermeryx translates to "aquatic nymph Jagger", indicates Miller, Elle Paleoanthropologist who was involved in the discovery and study of the fossil, referred to the Daily Mail. "Some of my colleagues wanted to christen the new species with the name of Angelina Jolie, also because of your lips. But to me it had to be in honor of Mick Jagger, "says the researcher.

Photo: vermelho_cereja/Creative Commons

The angriest of the frog world

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Although it seems to be permanently angry, this is the natural aspect of Breviceps fuscus, or common name, black rain frog. This is a frog in the screwy-looking, mostly terrestrial and endemic to the South coast of Africa.

One of the features of this frog is the ability to dig Burrows that can reach 150 mm deep.  During the breeding season, on the other hand, are males who are guarding the eggs in the holes previously built.

This frog has a special mechanism of defence. When you get scared or is grabbed, the black rain frog inflates its body and propels itself through the air, in order to escape the danger. Normally, this defense mechanism is more used for digging burrows and animals are less alert to potential dangers, referred to the Dodo.

The main threats to this mad frog are mostly loss of habitat as a result of deforestation and the introduction of invasive vegetation in its habitat, as well as the fires.

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domingo, 21 de Setembro de 2014

Afonso Lobato Faria: "wastewater reuse is one of priority investments of Águas de Portugal"

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In 2009, Lisbon secured the organisation of world water Congress, an event which kicks off today and was "won", five years ago, at the expense of the proposals of Istanbul (Turkey), Brussels (Belgium), Dublin (Ireland) and Geneva (Switzerland).

Considered to be the most important Congress on water in the world, the event is organized by the International Water Association (IWA) and will have as its theme "Shaping the future of water". The waters of Portugal is one of the companies that actively works in the Organization of the event â€" or not perform it in Portugal â€" reason Green Savers interviewed the President of the company, Afonso Lobato Faria.

What are the main themes that expects to see discussed and clarified in Congress? The water sector is of great importance in the context of public health, the quality of the environment, climate change, innovation. These are cross-cutting themes to more technical topics of the agenda of Congress, relating to security and quality of supply, cutting-edge technologies, innovative treatment processes, contributions of science â€" and also with issues of governance, management models, economic and financial sustainability or energy efficiency.

This is the first time that this Congress takes place in Portugal, what distinguishes us but also brings a greater responsibility. I hope that participants of more than 100 countries present enjoy fully the breadth of knowledge and experience shared by the best specialists of the sector that also come from different latitudes.

That keynote speakers will not lose and why? The greatest difficulty will be choosing, because the range of possibilities is very rich and diverse. If you could highlight just one, I'd say I have special curiosity by the intervention of Sue Murphy, CEO of Water Corporation of Western Australia, which will address the issues of efficiency and sustainability of water services â€" which is one of the main challenges of our sector in Portugal.

The waters of Portugal will have a very broad set of sessions and workshops. That highlights topics on this list? We can really be proud of the participation of the waters of Portugal, since early in the active participation of EPAL in the Organization of the Congress. In all other group companies, we are involved in promotion of round tables and workshops, we have participated in more than 20 panels, we have 32 posters, we promote business forums and various other activities in an excellent shows the capabilities of our employees.

In this context, we must highlight the workshops "Management models for water utilities" and "Investments for 2020 in Portuguese speaking Countries", both powered by group companies and taking place on the first day of the Congress, day 22.

Wednesday, March 24, is a day of great prominence for the group a session dedicated to the issue of water Safety plans, in the Conference program, fully supported by employees. Also on this day, I would like to highlight the presentation of the "Handbook for the development of water Safety plans" in the booth of Águas de Portugal, in the scope of the Congress. This is a manual developed by a working group of the Águas de Portugal specialized in water Safety plans (PSA), being an adaptation of the publicaçãoWater Safety Plan Manual: step-by-step risk management for drinking-water suppliers, World Health Organization and the International Association of water, complemented with the experience of the AdP group companies, who already have implemented Water safety plans.

I can't help but also refer to the technical visits on Friday, day 26, the various water treatment infrastructures in the group, as the wastewater treatment stations de Alcântara, Lisbon, da Guia, in Cascais, and Serzedo, in Guimarães, and the water treatment plant of Asseiceira, in Tomar.

One of the reasons cited for winning Congressional organization Lisbon water world had as a backdrop to our privileged relationship with the Ibero-American and African countries. What role can have the waters of Portugal in developing good practices and innovations in these countries? It is a fact that the historical affinities and common language are conveyed in a natural way international projects conducted by Águas de Portugal, namely in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Timor-Leste. This relationship has been consolidated over almost two decades of cooperative projects, technical assistance and concessions management of water services and waste.

Is for us a great satisfaction to have all these our partners here in Lisbon at the world water Congress, especially because it is an opportunity to consolidate the projects that we have in common and share the challenges of the future that are discussed in the various conferences and technical sessions.

One of the themes that most enthusiasm is building in Congress is the reuse of residual water. What is your opinion on this subject and how this innovation can be a global reality? Águas de Portugal group also shares this enthusiasm, especially as the wastewater reuse is one of the priority areas of investment in innovation and Research Group Development and & was also listed as one of the areas to deepen under a partnership of cooperation with institutions of higher learning Polytechnic who recently concluded.

This means that, being the Waters of Portugal group responsible for treating wastewater of about 80% of the Portuguese population, have naturally a great responsibility in deepening the viability and environmental added value, economic-financial and technical of wastewater reuse in their systems. Even in one of the sessions will be devoted to this theme, on Tuesday, a contributor to our with a speech on "Wastewater Reuse: Strategic Planning as a Viability Factor".

Currently the reuse of waste water in the washing of floors of facilities and equipment, irrigation of green spaces and in the preparation of reagents is already common to the majority of our systems at the same time they're being developed other pilot projects, such as the delivery of waste water treated to municipal uses in large urban centers, such as washing of streets and containers, watering of golf courses and even the cooling of cooling systems of commercial spaces.

The discreet charm of the suburban night clubs

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For many, the weekend brings nocturnal adventures unthinkable a week, many of them passed in clubs and eccentric buildings, they change their appearance overnight â€" in our minds, at least.

The French photographer François Prost realized in 2009, during a holiday in Burgundy, French seaside resort, that these centres of nocturnal activity change figure within hours: of postmodern entertainment palaces, at night, to architectural monsters, by day.

"It reminded me of my youthful years", explained the graphic designer of 34 years.

Prost, who has photography as a hobby, quickly undertook a project to rediscover his youth and, at the same time, expose the specific architecture of the suburban night clubs. Yes, because those are mundane urban. "They are places with too many people and there are interesting photographic point of view. There is not enough space and many are in garages, "he continued.

The suburban night clubs, for their part, have a "face". "Just looking for nightclubs that have a guy who can be the height of the cliché of nightclub," he concluded.

In recent years, Prost has photographed night clubs in France and Belgium, but the project has fallen in love so much that we're thinking of inviting him to pass through Portugal. And the reader, want to help us by sending some pictures of your favorite Portuguese nightclubs?

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sábado, 20 de Setembro de 2014

The rarest amphibians in the world

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"Looking for the Lost Amphibians" is the story of the conservationist and photographer Robin Moore and their journey in search of amphibian species lost. From Colombia to Costa Rica and from Israel to India this photographer sought the rarest species of amphibians from around the world and immortalized them through his photographic lens.

The journey started in 2010 and ran across 21 countries. If at first it was only shortly after Moore joined him 126 researchers, referred to in the Guardian. The end result is "In Search of Lost Frogs", a book dedicated to these species illustrated with photographs taken by conservationist.

Robin Moore is the founder of the Amphibian Survival Alliance and a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. The expedition and its findings are a step forward in the fight against the extinction of species and for its preservation.

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