The dead whale

A 2,800 kilo whale, measuring six metres in length, died on the Asturian beach of Vega this week, after becoming stranded on the sands. The coordinator for marine studies in the area said that the death occurred within minutes of the creature becoming beached, but an autopsy will be carried out to determine the exact cause of death. The male specimen had a variety of marks and scars, including those caused by lampreys and giant squid, some of the suckers of which were still attached. This is the third incident on the Asturian coast in recent years.

The Catalan Institute of Palaeontology Miquel Crusafont, located in Sabadell in Barcelona, has a new scanner, the only one of its kind in Spain, which can be used to analyze samples up to 500 kilos in weight and up to a metre in size. The first specimen analyzed was the Banyoles Jaw of a human fossil, which is between 45,000 and 66,000 years of age and attributed to a Neanderthal, although there is no unanimity among the scientific community about the species.

According to the latest report of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), published on Thursday in Geneva, 2012 is among the ten warmest years since 1850, when records begin. The cold spell which occurred during the first months of the year, failed to reverse this trend. “Climate change is worsening steadily and becomes a source of uncertainty for climate sensitive economic sectors such as agriculture and energy so it is vital to continue the observations to improve our understanding of climate variability and change”, according to the director of WMO, Michel Jarraud.

Despite the problems surrounding access and prices of prescriptions in Spain, as well the considerable difficulties faced by pharmacy stores in receiving payment from the government, Spain is still looking like a favourable destination for pharmaceutical manufacturers. German company Bayer already announced that they intend to invest 6 million euro in a plant based in Asturias, where acetylsalicylic acid, the major component of aspirin would be manufactured. Now, Lilly, the 10th largest pharmaceutical company in the world, has announced that they are closing their German plant employing 225 workers, which produced 16 million containers for the Spanish market last year alone, relocating the operation to Alcobendas, around 13 kilometres north of Madrid. The American company employs some 38,000 people in 146 countries around the world, with the intention of employing 550 people in this new site in Spain.

Magnetic separation of sperm can eliminate damaged sperm, preventing their use in assisted reproduction techniques, according to a study by the Ginemed clinic of Seville. According to Dr Mónica Dorado, who presented the study at the 16th National Congress of Andrology held in Pamplona, on the premise that if you use non-apoptotic spermatozoa, those who do not suffer from the so-called programmed death cell, the treatment can increase the pregnancy rate of evolution in a population of patients undergoing IVF cycles. In all test cases, the pregnancy rate increased from 43.1% to 53.6%, having used the magnetic method.

According to experts at the Clínica Curull dental centre of Tarragona, the economic crisis has led to a 30% increase of bruxism, an oral parafunctional activity characterized by the grinding of the teeth and typically includes the clenching of the jaw, as a result of “nervous tension and anxiety”. Around 70% of the adult population of Spain now display symptoms of the condition, which manifests itself by a pain in the jaw, ear and neck, resulting in mobility difficulties. The condition can be treated however, by use of a dental splint, which reduces wear and allows the jaw to relax.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/38824/

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