Natural Sciences

Biodiversity is key for the fertility and productivity of arid ecosystems

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A Spanish and French team of researchers including Universidad de Alicante (UA) researcher Santiago Soliveres, members of the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, the National Agronomy Research Institute of France (INRA) and the Spanish National Research Council, has studied the multiple facets of vegetable biodiversity in 123 arid and semi-arid ecosystems across the planet. The results, which are compiled in an article published in journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA (PNAS) show the importance of species with scarce presence and their evolutive history to maintain land fertility and productivity in arid areas around the world. Read More

Researchers discover the connection that enables bilateral visual coordination in mammals

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The laboratory of researcher Eloísa Herrera, of the Institute of Neurosciences, mixed centre of University Miguel Hernández (UMH) of Elche and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), has discovered that, during the development of the brain’s visual areas, the two retinas communicate with each other temporarily through nervous projections. This connection is important for the representation in the visual cortex of the two images from the eyes to be done in a synchronised way and perfectly aligned, which ensures they can merge coherently. Read More

Artificial intelligence and big data provide the first global maps on key vegetation traits

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Researchers of Valencia University (UV) have developed the first global maps of the phosphorus and nitrogen contents in vegetation, as well as the efficiency in water use, by way of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data techniques. It is believed that the application of these maps will have a great impact in fields such as biodiversity, agriculture or the adaptation of species to climate change. Read More

Researchers design the first free access Geographic Information System for the Tiñoso Cape area and Mazarrón Scarp submarine valleys

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One of the keys to improving knowledge about the system and the species in the Tiñoso Cape area and the underwater valleys of the Mazarrón Scarp (CTEM) has been the creation of the first freely accessible Geographic Information System (GIS). This has been explained by University of Alicante (UA) researcher Francisca Giménez at the presentation of the project CAMONMAR2 results held at the University of Murcia (UMU). Read More

University of Alicante CIMAR scientists investigate the uncontrolled expansion of blue crabs as an invasive species in the Mediterranean

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The American blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) is an invasive voracious alien species, with no known predators and with high reproductive and survival rates, that has spread throughout the Mediterranean. Since it appeared in the Ebro Delta in 2012, this crab native to the American Atlantic has expanded by sea, rivers and wetlands all over the region of Valencia. Its recurrence and continuous presence is a fact in our coasts. Read More

Tomato plant aroma to protect crops

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Tomato plants emit an aroma in order to resist bacterial attacks. This aroma– volatile compound –is named hexenyl butyrate (HB) and, according to the test done by researchers at the Institute for Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, a joint center of the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC, in Spanish), has great potential for protecting crops from infections, drought, etc. The finding has been published in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.

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Researchers validate the viability of pigments that decrease building temperature and clean air pollution

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The Environmental Inorganic Chemistry and Ceramic Materials Group of the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) in Castellón, Spain, has developed a research project to assess, transfer and exploit refreshing and photo-catalytic pigments (cool pigments) with a base of Scheelite that are used to decrease the temperature of buildings and also to absorb part of the environmental pollution. Read More