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Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 33
"Ramón Vicente Power y Girart, político y marino, representante de Puerto Rico en las Cortes de Cádiz, falleció en 1813 durante su estancia en la ciudad a causa de una epidemia de fiebre amarilla que asolaba Europa. Sus restos, que se encontraban en el Oratorio de San Felipe Neri, fueron embarcados el sábado día 2 en el puerto de Cádiz a bordo del buque escuela de la Armada Española Juan Sebastián Elcano y viajan actualmente hacia Puerto Rico, donde se espera que lleguen el 6 de abril."

"La aventura postrera del diputado Power: Los restos del representante de Puerto Rico en las Cortes de Cádiz regresan a la isla en el 'Elcano'"—El País (España), 17 de marzo de 2013
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 34
Jon Lee Anderson, "Letter from Caracas: Slumloard, What Has Hugo Chávez Wrought in Venezuela?"—The New Yorker, January 28, 2013. (This is only a preview. Full article accessible only with subscription.)

Elissa Curtis, "Photo Booth: The Tower of David: A Look at Venezuela Under Chávez"—The New Yorker, January 28, 2013.
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 35
In the lead-up to the Venezuelan presidential election, NPR has been airing this interesting series on the country. I particularly found interesting the report on "How Hugo Chavez's Policies Affected Ordinary Venezuelans" in how it reveals the often surreal confluence of socialist government "programs" and capitalist "opportunity" that is Chavismo. The story on the kidnapped humorist also manages to find humanity in a horrible situation.

Special Series: Venezuela After Chavez, NPR, April 10-13, 2013
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 37
"América de punta a punta". El País, 23 de abril de 2013 (foto-galería)
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 41
Nice to see news about Venezuela besides Chávez and revolution. (The article jumps all over the place when discussing geologic time, so just be aware of that.)

Out of the oil emerges Venezuela's "Jurassic Park"
Maria Isabel Sánchez, AFP, September 5, 2013

Under the rich Venezuelan soil, paleontologists have found treasures rivaling the bountiful oil: a giant armadillo the size of a Volkswagen, a crocodile bigger than a bus and a saber-toothed tiger.

Oil companies' surveys of the soil have uncovered a trove of fossils dating from 14,000 to 370 million years ago.

Many of the 12,000 recorded specimens from different eras are now kept in a tiny office of the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research.

A strong smell of oil fills the room as Ascania Rincon opens the drawer of a filing cabinet to reveal the tar-stained femur of a giant, six-ton mastodon from 25,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age.

Unfazed by the significance of the finds already made, the head of the institute's Laboratory of Paleontology is intent on realizing his next goal: locating human fossils for proof of prehistoric human life in the area.

"We are close. You have to keep exploring the area. We have already found spearheads," he told AFP. "What's lacking is reliable indication that man hunted the megafauna that we are finding. And lacking are human fossils."

Located in northern South America, Venezuela has a complex geological structure that leaves it swimming in oil deposits teeming with life preserved from so very long ago.

Most of the fossils are concentrated in a large area north of the Orinoco River where the Atlantic Ocean originated 200 million years ago, the paleontologist explained.

Much later, about eight million years ago, the Orinoco was formed, followed by the Isthmus of Panama (or Isthmus of Darien, which links North and South America) about three to five million years ago.

The fossils found during the surveys include a featherless chicken that looked like an iguana, a three-meter (10-foot) pelican and giant sloths that lived on land 12 million year ago, unlike their modern relatives living in the trees.

But it can take years to prepare a fossil for classification. Experts needed four years after its discovery to identify a saber-toothed tiger, a darling of the collection dubbed Homotherium venezuelensis.

Once a fossil is found, experts must remove the sediment, transport it, wash it and carefully compare it to existing specimens.

In September, the institute plans to announce the discovery in a remote area of the country of a new species, Rincon said proudly, without revealing the whole surprise.

"Imagine a puzzle of 5,000 pieces and you have 200 pieces you are trying to interpret and draw a conclusion that might contribute something to science," he said.

Rincon's laboratory, staffed with only five researchers, has state and private support but lacks the logistical and technological resources of similar operations in other countries.

His team finds in paleontology a mission to raise awareness of what was on the planet millions of years ago and encourage people to care for the Earth today.

"We are destroying what little is left of the forests, oceans, deserts; we are destroying our ecosystems and accelerating extinction," said Rincon.

The researcher, who knew he wanted to be a paleontologist since he was eight years old, urged the younger generations to take up the torch.

"Paleontology is fun. It seems that it has no use, but it has economic implications. With a fossil record, we can determine the age of an oil field," he said.
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 46
"El Gobierno pide profesores y médicos. El número de emigrantes se dispara en el país, con un 'boom' de la construcción."
Soraya Constante, "Ecuador o el visado de larga duración para españoles"—El País, 27 septiembre 2013
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 47
¡Que raro es nuestro cerebro! Este artículo demuestra como diferentes partes del cerebro trabajan juntos para hacer el uso del idioma posible… y porque es más fácil leer que oír o hablar.

Laura Poppick, "Strange Condition Lets Woman Hear Sounds But Not Words." LiveScience. October 1, 2013.

A 29-year-old woman developed an extremely rare condition in which she temporarily lost the ability to hear words, though she could hear other sounds, according to a report of her case.

The woman, who was HIV-positive, developed headaches and began having difficulty hearing about two months after starting her first round of antiretroviral therapy, a drug regimen aimed at keeping levels of HIV low.

A month later, conversations around her had dwindled to complete gibberish, the woman, who worked as a bank teller, told doctors. But she had no problem speaking or reading words, and was able to identify nonword sounds, such as a ringing doorbell or the melody of music.

In his 22 years of clinical practice, Dr. Ashok Verma, a neurologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine who was involved in the woman's treatment, said he has never seen a case like this.

"The most interesting part here is having someone tell you, 'I want to hear; I want to respond; I am very interested — but I don't know what you are talking about,'" Verma said. "A young person telling me that — that we don't see very often in our clinical practice."

The condition, called pure word deafness, has also been observed in stroke patients who experience damage in the portion of the brain that recognizes language, called Wernicke's area, according to the report, published today (Sept. 30) in the journal JAMA Neurology.

The woman's doctors conducted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, and collected biopsies from her brain. They found that she had developed cerebral lesions on both the right and left sides of her brain.

The researchers said the lesions were likely caused by two factors: HIV encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain common in people living with HIV, and immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, a condition that results from the immune system's overcompensating for being knocked down during antiretroviral therapy.

The MRI scan indicated that one lesion in particular, on the left side of the woman's brain, had indeed affected her Wernicke's area. The regions in the front of her brain responsible for speaking had not been affected.

After a five-day intravenous treatment of steroids, the woman's hearing began to improve. She further recovered during four weeks of steroid therapy and, 10 weeks later, could hear completely normally again. Brain MRI scans showed the lesions had almost completely healed by this time.

Though the patient's lesions arose as a side effect of antiretroviral therapy, Verma noted that the HIV itself did not cause the condition, and that this rare form of deafness is not unique to HIV patients.

Pass it on: Pure word deafness is extremely rare but can result when brain lesions infect the area of the brain that recognizes language, called Wernicke's area.
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 60
Para los médicos y los interesados en la medicina en nuestro grupo:

"Genética: Un gen protege a las latinas del cáncer de mama", Nuño Domínguez, El Pais, 20 de octubre de 2014.

"Descubierta una mutación en mujeres descendientes de indígenas americanos que reduce el riesgo de tumores entre un 40% y un 80%."
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 62
Farewell, you odd eccentric! (My sister jokingly called Alba her "hero" because of her antics.)

"Duchess of Alba, Spain's Richest Woman, Dies at 88"
Carl A.
Carl_A
Rochester, NY
Post #: 64
¡Al fin!

"US to Restore Relations with Cuba"—New York Times
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