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The advance in horse reproduction, the delivery of licenses for a beer 100 percent Argentina, the discovery of the remains of a dinosaur over 200 million years, the leap in engineering matters genetics and local contribution in the global report on Climate Change are the milestones that the country's science reached in 2018, as highlighted researchers.
The five advances became “milestones” because they generated changes of magnitude that will impact people's quality of life, in various activities and in the same research, agreed the scientists consulted by Telam.
“ Gene editing, which came to stay, revolutionized genetic engineering and will impact basic research fundamentally and experimental medicine,” Marcelo Rubinstein, senior researcher at Conicet and director of the Institute of Research in Genetic Engineering and Molecular Biology “Dr. Héctor N. Torres”. It is a tool (CRISPR-cas) of experimental work in mice that allows you to edit, correct and alter the genome of any cell in an easy, fast, cheap and highly accurate way.
“ This revolution opened a door for basic research and for new therapeutic treatments,” said Rubinstein, who nevertheless warned that the use of this technology to modify genes from human embryos “awakened the alert, and scientists from everyone reacted with great concern.”
It is expected that in 2019 “precise regulations will be established about the scope and limitations of its use, which should have international compliance,” he added.
In this sense, the Secretary of Science, Technology and Productive Innovation, Lino Barañao, said about genetic editing that, although it promises to “revolutionize” the genetic improvement of species of agricultural interest, “in terms of their applications to humans, there are different approaches, some do not offer greater amounts, such as the application in tissues in adults, while all those that have to do with modification in germline life are subject to serious ethical debate and will take several years to see some relevant application. rdquo;. But progress exists, it is concrete, it is real, say local scientists.
Another milestone this year was the discovery in San Juan of the remains of a dinosaur over 200 million years , which was published in the prestigious Nature Ecology & Evolution magazine.
The discovery of the new species, baptized Ingentia prima, revealed that the first giants appeared, in fact, about 30 million years earlier than was thought.
“ The name of the species' Ingentia 'means immense and refers to its colossal size for the time in which it lived, while' cousin 'indicates that it is the first giant known until today,” said Télam Cecilia Apaldetti, lead author of the study and assistant researcher at Oh , Conicet .
The study of the gigantism of these species was modified as a result of this finding, said the researcher, who warned that this paradigm shift will impact the rest of the world.
A third milestone in Argentine science in 2018 was the use, for the first time, of a technique that allows the reproduction of horses, even in mares with fertility difficulties.
“ Our contribution was to achieve assisted fertilization in horses through the technique that was first used in humans 25 years ago,” Télam Daniel Salamone, professor at the Faculty of Agronomy of the UBA, told Télam Daniel Salamone, professor at the Faculty of Agronomy of the UBA, and principal researcher at Conicet.
Withcida under the name Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) “the technique we have managed to apply in horses will revolutionize the reproduction of high value horses in the country,” explained the researcher.
“ This time, the (experimental) mice were humans because it was first applied to these, 25 years ago. Now we can say that we have had a real achievement since horse reproduction was refractory to all kinds of assisted fertilization technique,” he concluded.
A fourth milestone was the contribution of scientists called to participate in the preparation of the Sixth Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which allowed Conicet to become the second South American institution that contributes most scientists to the working groups of that international organization, surpassed only by the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
Finally, the fifth milestone was the delivery of licenses for the manufacture of a brewer with yeast from Río Negro, a conquest in the way of transferring scientific-technological knowledge to the productive sectors, since it will allow the development of the first 100 beers per year hundred Argentines with regional identity.
The responsible for this finding was Diego Libkind, researcher at Conicet and the Universidad Nacional del Comahue along with experts from Argentina, Portugal and the United States.
Publication Date: 07/01/2019
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