Spotlights

¿Podrían los mosquitos genéticamente modificados evitar enfermedades transmitidas por ellos?
June 17, 2015 07:57 AM - Yale Environment 360.

Cuando la gente piensa en los organismos genéticamente modificados, por lo general vienen a la mente cultivos de alimentos como el maíz y la soja. Pero la ingeniería de los seres vivos más complejos ahora es posible, y la controversia en torno a la modificación genética se ha extendido ahora al humilde mosquito, que está siendo manipulado genéticamente para controlar las enfermedades transmitidas por ellos.

Una empresa con sede en el Reino Unido, Oxitec, ha alterado dos genes en el mosquito Aedes Aegypti, para que cuando los machos se reproduzcan con hembras salvajes, los hijos hereden un gen letal y mueran en la etapa larval. La agencia estatal que controla los mosquitos en los Cayos de la Florida, está esperando una aprobación, por parte del gobierno federal, para realizar una prueba de mosquitos modificados genéticamente por Oxitec, y evitar la recurrencia de un brote de fiebre del dengue. Pero algunas personas en los Cayos y en otros lugares están en pie de guerra, con una petición, apoyada con más de 155,000 firmas, para oponerse a la prueba de los mosquitos genéticamente modificados en una pequeña área de 400 viviendas junto a Key West.

Could genetically modified mosquitos prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?
June 4, 2015 02:18 PM - Lisa Palmer, Yale Environment 360

When people think of genetically modified organisms, food crops like GM corn and soybeans usually come to mind. But engineering more complex living things is now possible, and the controversy surrounding genetic modification has now spread to the lowly mosquito, which is being genetically engineered to control mosquito-borne illnesses.

A U.K.-based company, Oxitec, has altered two genes in the Aedes aegypti mosquito so that when modified males breed with wild females, the offspring inherit a lethal gene and die in the larval stage. The state agency that controls mosquitos in the Florida Keys is awaiting approval from the federal government of a trial release of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitos to prevent a recurrence of a dengue fever outbreak. But some people in the Keys and elsewhere are up in arms, with more than 155,000 signing a petition opposing the trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes in a small area of 400 households next to Key West. 

Could genetically modified mosquitos prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?
June 4, 2015 02:18 PM - Lisa Palmer, Yale Environment 360

When people think of genetically modified organisms, food crops like GM corn and soybeans usually come to mind. But engineering more complex living things is now possible, and the controversy surrounding genetic modification has now spread to the lowly mosquito, which is being genetically engineered to control mosquito-borne illnesses.

A U.K.-based company, Oxitec, has altered two genes in the Aedes aegypti mosquito so that when modified males breed with wild females, the offspring inherit a lethal gene and die in the larval stage. The state agency that controls mosquitos in the Florida Keys is awaiting approval from the federal government of a trial release of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitos to prevent a recurrence of a dengue fever outbreak. But some people in the Keys and elsewhere are up in arms, with more than 155,000 signing a petition opposing the trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes in a small area of 400 households next to Key West. 

Could genetically modified mosquitos prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?
June 4, 2015 02:18 PM - Lisa Palmer, Yale Environment 360

When people think of genetically modified organisms, food crops like GM corn and soybeans usually come to mind. But engineering more complex living things is now possible, and the controversy surrounding genetic modification has now spread to the lowly mosquito, which is being genetically engineered to control mosquito-borne illnesses.

A U.K.-based company, Oxitec, has altered two genes in the Aedes aegypti mosquito so that when modified males breed with wild females, the offspring inherit a lethal gene and die in the larval stage. The state agency that controls mosquitos in the Florida Keys is awaiting approval from the federal government of a trial release of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitos to prevent a recurrence of a dengue fever outbreak. But some people in the Keys and elsewhere are up in arms, with more than 155,000 signing a petition opposing the trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes in a small area of 400 households next to Key West. 

Could genetically modified mosquitos prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?
June 4, 2015 02:18 PM - Lisa Palmer, Yale Environment 360

When people think of genetically modified organisms, food crops like GM corn and soybeans usually come to mind. But engineering more complex living things is now possible, and the controversy surrounding genetic modification has now spread to the lowly mosquito, which is being genetically engineered to control mosquito-borne illnesses.

A U.K.-based company, Oxitec, has altered two genes in the Aedes aegypti mosquito so that when modified males breed with wild females, the offspring inherit a lethal gene and die in the larval stage. The state agency that controls mosquitos in the Florida Keys is awaiting approval from the federal government of a trial release of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitos to prevent a recurrence of a dengue fever outbreak. But some people in the Keys and elsewhere are up in arms, with more than 155,000 signing a petition opposing the trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes in a small area of 400 households next to Key West. 

Could genetically modified mosquitos prevent mosquito-borne illnesses?
June 4, 2015 02:18 PM - Lisa Palmer, Yale Environment 360

When people think of genetically modified organisms, food crops like GM corn and soybeans usually come to mind. But engineering more complex living things is now possible, and the controversy surrounding genetic modification has now spread to the lowly mosquito, which is being genetically engineered to control mosquito-borne illnesses.

A U.K.-based company, Oxitec, has altered two genes in the Aedes aegypti mosquito so that when modified males breed with wild females, the offspring inherit a lethal gene and die in the larval stage. The state agency that controls mosquitos in the Florida Keys is awaiting approval from the federal government of a trial release of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitos to prevent a recurrence of a dengue fever outbreak. But some people in the Keys and elsewhere are up in arms, with more than 155,000 signing a petition opposing the trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes in a small area of 400 households next to Key West. 

Cambios climáticos prehistóricos detectables bajo tierra
May 28, 2015 07:49 PM - Vanderbilt University

Resulta que el goteo constante de agua a profundidad puede revelar una sorprendente cantidad de información sobre los cambiantes ciclos de calor y frío, precipitación y sequía en la atmósfera turbulenta de la tierra.

Conforme el agua se filtra a través del suelo recoge minerales, más comúnmente carbonato de calcio. Cuando esta agua rica en minerales gotea en las cuevas, va dejando depósitos minerales que forman capas que crecen durante los períodos húmedos y dejan capas de tierra cuando el agua se seca.

Hoy en día los científicos pueden fechar estas capas con extrema precisión sobre la base de la desintegración radiactiva del uranio en torio. Las variaciones en el espesor de las capas está determinada por una combinación de la cantidad de agua que se filtra en la cueva y la concentración de dióxido de carbono en la atmósfera de la cueva, de modo que cuando las condiciones son adecuadas, pueden proporcionar una medida de la forma en que la cantidad de precipitación afuera de la cueva varía con el tiempo. Mediante el análisis de las relaciones entre isótopos pesados y ligeros de oxígeno presente en las capas, los investigadores pueden rastrear los cambios en la temperatura a la cual el agua originalmente condensó en forma de gotas en la atmósfera, y...

Prehistoric climate changes still detectable deep underground
May 26, 2015 09:36 AM - Vanderbilt University

It turns out that the steady dripping of water deep underground can reveal a surprising amount of information about the constantly changing cycles of heat and cold, precipitation and drought in the turbulent atmosphere above. As water seeps down through the ground it picks up minerals, most commonly calcium carbonate. When this mineral-rich water drips into caves, it leaves mineral deposits behind that form layers which grow during wet periods and form dusty skins when the water dries up. Today, scientists can date these layers with extreme precision based on the radioactive decay of uranium into its daughter product thorium. Variations in the thickness of the layers is determined by a combination of the amount of water seeping into the cave and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the cave’s atmosphere so, when conditions are right, they can provide a measure of how the amount of precipitation above the cave varies over time. By analyzing the ratios of heavy to light isotopes of oxygen present in the layers, the researchers can track changes in the temperature at which the water originally condensed into droplets in the atmosphere changes and whether the rainfall’s point of origin was local or if traveled a long way before falling to the ground.

Prehistoric climate changes still detectable deep underground
May 26, 2015 09:36 AM - Vanderbilt University

It turns out that the steady dripping of water deep underground can reveal a surprising amount of information about the constantly changing cycles of heat and cold, precipitation and drought in the turbulent atmosphere above. As water seeps down through the ground it picks up minerals, most commonly calcium carbonate. When this mineral-rich water drips into caves, it leaves mineral deposits behind that form layers which grow during wet periods and form dusty skins when the water dries up. Today, scientists can date these layers with extreme precision based on the radioactive decay of uranium into its daughter product thorium. Variations in the thickness of the layers is determined by a combination of the amount of water seeping into the cave and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the cave’s atmosphere so, when conditions are right, they can provide a measure of how the amount of precipitation above the cave varies over time. By analyzing the ratios of heavy to light isotopes of oxygen present in the layers, the researchers can track changes in the temperature at which the water originally condensed into droplets in the atmosphere changes and whether the rainfall’s point of origin was local or if traveled a long way before falling to the ground.

Prehistoric climate changes still detectable deep underground
May 26, 2015 09:36 AM - Vanderbilt University

It turns out that the steady dripping of water deep underground can reveal a surprising amount of information about the constantly changing cycles of heat and cold, precipitation and drought in the turbulent atmosphere above. As water seeps down through the ground it picks up minerals, most commonly calcium carbonate. When this mineral-rich water drips into caves, it leaves mineral deposits behind that form layers which grow during wet periods and form dusty skins when the water dries up. Today, scientists can date these layers with extreme precision based on the radioactive decay of uranium into its daughter product thorium. Variations in the thickness of the layers is determined by a combination of the amount of water seeping into the cave and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the cave’s atmosphere so, when conditions are right, they can provide a measure of how the amount of precipitation above the cave varies over time. By analyzing the ratios of heavy to light isotopes of oxygen present in the layers, the researchers can track changes in the temperature at which the water originally condensed into droplets in the atmosphere changes and whether the rainfall’s point of origin was local or if traveled a long way before falling to the ground.

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