Catalan scientists discover that saturated fat fuels the spread of cancer

December 8, 2016 06:52 PM | ACN

A group of scientists from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) at the Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology have identified a population of oral tumour cells which may feast on fats to spread throughout the body — a process called metastasis. According to the study, published this Wednesday in the prestigious scientific magazine ‘Nature’, some of these cells expressed high levels of a molecule called CD36, which helps cells to take up lipids from their environment. The research shows that applying antibodies that block CD36 and eliminate its interaction with fatty acids resulted in a reduced number of metastatic focus and also reduced their size by around 80% to 90%. “If we cut the lipids supply to those cells which generate metastasis they are practically unable to spread”, the leader of the IRB ‘Cancer and Stem cells’ team, Salvador Aznar Benitah, explained. 

200 silver denarius discovered in Empúries, largest treasure found so far in the Roman site

July 21, 2016 05:57 PM | ACN

The archaeological site of Empúries, on the Costa Brava, continues to provide new discoveries.After three weeks of excavations,  a ceramic-vase containing 200 silver denarius dating from the 1st century B.C was found. It is the largest treasure that has ever appeared on the Roman site. Archaeologists believe that the treasure would have been hidden by its owner in one of the rooms of the houses which are also being excavated and that he would have lost it forever due to a fire which hit the property. The discovery is in very good conditions and the experts will no analyse all the pieces to find out its origins. Besides this treasure, 24 amphorae of wine have been discovered in the cellar ??the house, a slab of bronze -'simpulum'- to extract wine and two bracelets. 

Tools that may be a million years old discovered near Tarragona

June 13, 2016 05:26 PM | ACN

50 extremely old flint tools have been unearthed at an archaeological campaign near Tarragona, a city 80 kilometres south of Barcelona. The tools are thought to be between 800,000 and a million years old, according to a report issued by the Catalan Institute of Human Paleo-Ecology and Social Evolution (IPHES), the organisation at the head of the excavation. The site near Tarragona “contains the oldest files on human evolution in Catalonia and on the Iberian Peninsula” of which the potential is still unknown, stated Co-director of the excavation and researcher at IPHES, Josep Vallverdú. The area in which the tools were found is known as La Mina – the area was also host to, along with the manmade artefacts, many animal remains. These include skeletal remains and coprolites, most notably those of deer, horses, cattle, rhinoceros, and even hyenas. A more extensive area is set to be excavated at La Mina, in order to introduce the area to the academic and EU university field. 

International study involving Catalan researchers concludes that two tsunamis destroyed coasts on Mars

May 31, 2016 10:47 AM | Maria Bélmez / Laerke Saura

An international study with Catalan participation from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) has revealed that the coasts on Mars were destroyed by tsunamis. The study has been published in “Scientific Reports-Nature” and explains that two tsunamis that were produced millions of years apart reduced the level of the ocean and made the climate significantly colder. The tsunamis appear to have been created by the impacts of 30-km-wide meteors. The discovery gives an answer to the question of why scientists couldn’t recognise its shorelines if there really had been an ocean on Mars about 3.4 billion years ago.

Metro tunnels of Barcelona host a 10k underground race at early morning

August 29, 2014 06:55 PM | Helena Lins

On Friday early morning the 10km metro tunnel of Barcelona that links Universitat and Gorg stations became the track of the second edition of Discovery Underground. This is the only urban underground race in the world going through the centre of big cities and it is an original idea of the Spanish television channel Discovery MAX. 300 men and women with background stories that assimilate the channel's premise "ordinary people living extraordinary experiences" ran for about 1.45h, with the first two people arriving at the minute 39. 2014 Discovery Underground Barcelona marks the beginning of the celebrations of the 90th anniversary of the Metro of Barcelona.