MEXICO CITY, Jun 2 (Tierramérica).- Researchers in Mexico are working on an invention that connects the brain of a disabled person to a computer, which it can give orders just by thinking.
People with severe handicaps will be able to move themselves and speak, like moving a wheelchair or translating certain thoughts into text, Oscar Yánez, a researcher in digital processing of biomedical signals and images at the Metropolitan Autonomous University, told Tierramérica.
All mental processes generate electrical impulses, which makes it possible through an interface to interpret them on a computer, explained Yánez.
The connection between the brain and the computer is made with electrodes attached to the scalp. The researches believe it will be useful especially for people with severe mobility problems, but whose mental faculties remain intact.
Danger for Hake Fish
BUENOS AIRES, Jun 2 (Tierramérica).- The Wildlife Foundation of Argentina warns that the common hake fish (Merluccius hubssi), the country's main fishing resource, is on the verge of collapse due to over-fishing.
"We need to do something now," Guillermo Cańete, coordinator of the Foundation's marine program, told Tierramérica.
According to the National Institute of Fishing Research and Development, in the past 20years the adult hake population fell by 70 percent. The authorities adopted measures to preserve the fish population but they were insufficient, said Cańete.
"Catches are under-declared and there is discard," he added, recommending "planning with a long-term vision."
The National Auditor General's office denounced that the lack of oversight of the fishing sector led to an "alarming depredation" of this fish, known in Spanish as "merluza".
Families Paid to Take Care of Jungles
RIO DE JANEIRO, Jun 2 (Tierramérica).- The Family Forestry Grant, an innovative program of the northwestern Brazilian state of Amazonas, will benefit 2,000 more families by December, paying 50 reais (29 dollars) per month to those who help preserve the forest.
Currently 2,102 families in six sustainable development reserves (SDR) receive the incentive. "Our minimum goal is to reach 4,000 families this year," Joăo Pezza, director of the Sustainable Amazonas Foundation, which runs the program, told Tierramérica.
An assessment of the SDRs, under state jurisdiction, will determine the efficiency of this form of paying for environmental services, which reaches its one-year mark in June.
In addition to the families, three other modalities of collective grants will benefit citizen groups and local communities, supporting sustainable extractive practices and improving education and health.
A Bid to Curb Contaminants
TEGUCIGALPA, Jun 2 (Tierramérica).- Citizen groups and public and private organizations in Honduras have agreed to search for ways to regulate the trans-border movement of toxic pesticides.
Such was the report to Tierramérica from Sara Ávila, of the National Committee for Chemical Management, who said that actions are being defined for eradicating the use of banned pesticides, like aldrin, chlordane, DDT (dichloro-dyphenyl-trichloroethane) and HBC (hexachlorobenzene), among others.
The areas with highest distribution of these substances are being identified in order to begin campaigns to raise public awareness and make changes to public policies governing the use of these persistent organic pollutants, she explained.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is working with the National Committee on strategies to curb the use of these products -- which are expected to be ready by the end of the year. *Source: Inter Press Service.
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