Genetic Alternations Detected in Amazon River Dolphin
RIO DE JANEIRO, Mar 5 (Tierramérica).- A study undertaken in Brazil has detected genetic alterations in the Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis), an endangered aquatic mammal found only in the Amazon and Orinoco river basins of South America.
Scientists from the National Institute for Amazonian Research and the Foundation to Support Research in the State of Amazonas have still not determined if the modifications in the dolphin genome are the result of pollution.
But they did detect mercury and the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) in the blood and tissue samples from the 27 specimens tested.
The Amazon river dolphin "is at the top of the food chain, which causes toxic substances to accumulate in its organism. Now we are going to study the impacts this could cause," biologist Eliana Feldberg, a participant in the research, told Tierramérica.
"In addition, it is an animal that shares genetic information with its ancestors, and understanding how its genome functions helps us understand its evolution," she said.
New Environmental Journalism Manual
CARACAS, Mar 5 (Tierramérica).- A new digital publication, “Environmental Communications and Best Practices”, has just been published in Venezuela, aimed at journalists, students and environmentalists.
The author, Gilberto Carreño, condensed his many years of experience in environmental journalism, teaching and management in 114 letter-sized pages.
"It was initially aimed at providing communications students at Santa María University with a tool for the practical handling of the subject, focusing on a human perspective on the environment, but at the same time it serves as a guide to facilitate the work of environmental management specialists, other professionals and environmentalists," Carreño told Tierramérica.
The book’s various chapters simplify the process of writing about environmental problems and environmental management and legislation in Venezuela. It also includes definitions or descriptions of dozens of specialized terms.
Flood Prevention Works Begin
TEGUCIGALPA, Mar 5 (Tierramérica).- Japanese technicians have initiated works aimed at reducing the risk of flooding in four areas of the Honduran capital which are home to 8,000 people.
Ricardo Álvarez, the mayor of Tegucigalpa, told Tierramérica that the goal of the works is to prevent water from saturating the soil in the neighborhoods of El Reparto, El Berrinche, San Pablo and La Reforma, where a geological fault has been detected. If activated, it could cause severe flooding during the rainy season.
The plan is to build channels to carry underground water to specially constructed wells, in order to prevent the saturation of the ground and subsequent landslides.
The works will be carried out over the course of 23 months are part of a 13-million-dollar agreement signed between the Municipality of Tegucigalpa and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). *Source: Inter Press Service.
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