Universidad de Panamá
  • Chitré, Panamá, Panama
Recent publications
The following study presents the first record of an atypical sound never reported before produced by the larvae of two species of dung beetles from Argentina, Dichotomius (Luederwaldtinia) carbonarius (Mannerheim 1829) and Dichotomius (Luederwaldtinia) nisus (Olivier 1789). This new sound is produced by the larvae in their three instars by shaking the third pair of legs inside the pupation chamber, which does not involve a stridulatory mechanism. Recorded sounds and video images of the larval behaviour are provided. The oscillograms, spectrograms and possible functions are analysed, and a new sound production mechanism is postulated.
ARTICLE Ongoing harlequin toad declines suggest the amphibian extinction crisis is still an emergency Biodiversity loss is extreme in amphibians. Despite ongoing conservation action, it is difficult to determine where we stand in overcoming their extinction crisis. Among the most threatened amphibians are the 131 Neotropical harlequin toads. Many of them declined since the 1980s with several considered possibly extinct. Recently, more than 30 species have been rediscovered, raising hope for a reversing trend in the amphibian extinction crisis. We use past and present data available for harlequin toads (Atelopus), to examine whether the amphibian extinction crisis is still in an emergency state. Since 2004 no species has improved its population status, suggesting that recovery efforts have not been successful. Threats include habitat change, pathogen spread and climate change. More mitigation strategies need implementation, especially habitat protection and disease management, combined with captive conservation breeding. With harlequin toads serving as a model, it is clear that the amphibian extinction crisis is still underway.
Background: Organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB), they have contributed to the exposure of women to persistent organic pollutants (POPs). These compounds can cross the placental barrier and interfere with the hormonal system of newborns. Aim: To determine concentrations of OCPs and PCBs and their xenoestrogenic activity in placentas of women from the PA-MAMI cohort of Panama. Methods: Thirty-nine placenta samples from women in the Azuero peninsula (Panama) were analyzed. Five OCPs [p-p’-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p-p’-DDE), beta-hexachlorohexane (β-HCH), γ-hexachlorohexane (lindane), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and mirex] and three PCB congeners (PCB-138, PCB-153 and PCB-180) were quantified in placenta extracts. The xenoestrogenic activity of extracts was assessed with the E-Screen bioassay to estimate the total effective xenoestrogen burden (TEXB). Results: All placental samples were positive for at least three POP residues and >70% for at least six. The frequencies of quantified OCPs ranged from 100% for p,p’-DDE and HCB to 30.8% for β-HCH. The highest median concentration was for lindane (380.0 pg/g placenta), followed by p,p’-DDE (280.0 pg/g placenta), and HCB (90.0 pg/g placenta). Exposure to p,p’-DDE was associated with greater meat consumption, suggesting that animal fat is a major source of exposure to DDT metabolites. The frequency of detected PCBs ranged between 70 and 90%; the highest median concentration was for PCB 138 (17.0 pg/g placenta), followed by PCB 153 (16.0 pg/g placenta). All placentas were positive in the estrogenicity bioassay with a median TEXB-α of 0.91 pM Eeq/g of placenta. Exposure to lindane was positively associated with the xenoestrogenicity of TEXB- α, whereas this association was negative in the case of exposure to PCB 153. Conclusions: To our best knowledge, this study contributes the first evidence on the presence of POPs and xenoestrogenic burden in placentas from Latin-American women. Given concerns about the consequences of prenatal exposure to these compounds on children’s health, preventive measures are highly recommended to eliminate or minimize the risk of OCP exposure during pregnancy
A clinical nutritionist (CN) is a university-educated professional trained to perform preventive and recovery functions in the health of patients. The actions of these professionals, both worldwide and in Latin America, may face barriers and opportunities that require careful identification and examination. The main objective of this study is to identify the most important barriers and opportunities for the clinical nutritionist in 13 Latin American countries. A qualitative study was carried out; the initial phase involved conducting in-depth individual interviews with 89 informants, experienced CNs from 13 Latin American countries. After calculating the mean and standard deviation, we ranked the top 10 most frequently reported barriers by assigning a score ranging from 1 to 10. Additionally, 3 opportunities were identified with a lower score from 1 to 3. Means and standard deviation were calculated to sort the responses. Results: the most important barrier was the absence of public policies that regulate and/or monitor compliance with the staffing of CNs according to the number of hospital beds, while the most important opportunity was the advances in technology such as software, body analysis equipment and other tools used in Nutritional Care. The identified barriers can interfere with the professional performance of CNs and, moreover, make it difficult to monitor the good nutritional status of patients. It is recommended to consider the barriers identified in this study, as well as the opportunities, with a view to improving the quality of hospital services with an adequate supply of nutritionists.
Soil microbes impact plant community structure and diversity through plant–soil feedbacks. However, linking the relative abundance of plant pathogens and mutualists to differential plant recruitment remains challenging. Here, we tested for microbial mediation of pairwise feedback using a reciprocal transplant experiment in a lowland tropical forest in Panama paired with amplicon sequencing of soil and roots. We found evidence that plant species identity alters the microbial community, and these changes in microbial composition alter subsequent growth and survival of conspecific plants. We also found that greater community dissimilarity between species in their arbuscular mycorrhizal and non‐pathogenic fungi predicted an increased positive feedback. Finally, we identified specific microbial taxa across our target functional groups that differentially accumulate under conspecific settings. Collectively, these findings clarify how soil pathogens and mutualists mediate net feedback effects on plant recruitment, with implications for management and restoration.
Two new genera of pygmy grasshoppers belonging to the subfamily Batrachideinae (Orthoptera: Tetrigidae) are described from Central America, each including a single new flight- less species. Naskreckiana kosemeni Kasalo, Buzzetti & Skejo gen. & sp. nov. is described from Costa Rica, Procellator kai Kasalo, Skejo & Cambra gen. & sp. nov. is described from Panama. Facts suggesting that †Eotetrix Gorochov, 2012, stat. restit., is not a synonym of Tettigidea Scudder, 1862 are discussed. The dichotomous key to Batrachideini by Silva et al. (2021) is updated with the inclusion of these two new genera. Currently, the tribe Batrachideini includes 14 extant genera and 61 extant species.
Astragalus onobrychis L., Fabaceae, is a perennial herbaceous plant with a strong taproot and reaches a height of 10–60 cm. The stems have a woody base and grow first spreading and then ascending. The chemical composition of has not been fully studied. So far, the detected metabolites primarily include flavonoids and saponins. Species of the genus Astragalus have been studied and shown a range of pharmacological effects, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antitumor, cardioprotective, and antidiabetic. In traditional medicine, A. onobrychis is used as a diuretic and diaphoretic agent and as a remedy for rheumatic diseases. The aim of the present study was to obtain valuable information on the secondary metabolites related to flavonoids from in vitro callus and shoot cultures of A. onobrychis. Five fractions were obtained from the methanolic extracts (70% MeOH) of callus and shoot cultures of A. onobrychis after column chromatography, each of which was subjected to ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-high-resolution mass spectrometry analysis (UHPLC-HR-MS). The antiproliferative capacity of each fraction was also evaluated. Based on the mass spectral fragmentation data, use of standards, and comparison with literature sources, 15 flavonoid derivatives were dereplicated.
Objective: To associate breakfast consumption frequency with self-reported nutritional status and dietary patterns of Latin American university students by human development. Material and methods: This was a cross-sectional, multicenter observational study. University students from 11 Latin American countries (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Panama and Uruguay) were invited to participate by answering an online self-administered questionnaire on food consumption and sociodemographic indicators, associations were investigated using logistic regression. Results: The logistic regression analysis showed significant associations between breakfast consumption and the crude model, models 2 and 3 in countries with very high and upper-middle/high human development. However, after adjustment in the most comprehensive model, the association is no longer statistically significant. In the fully adjusted model of the variables, a significant relationship was observed between breakfast consumption and both healthy and unhealthy dietary patterns. Specifically, students who typically consume breakfast exhibit greater consumption of oatmeal and fruits, as well as healthier dinner choices. Conversely, they exhibit lower consumption of fast food, sugary drinks, and juices. In particular, in highly developed countries, along with the mentioned foods, consumption of dairy was linked to breakfast consumption in a positive way, while alcohol consumption was negatively associated. Conclusion: University students who eat breakfast on a regular basis maintain a healthier diet in comparison to those who do not, irrespective of their country's level of human development.
Systematic assessments of species extinction risk at regular intervals are necessary for informing conservation action1,2. Ongoing developments in taxonomy, threatening processes and research further underscore the need for reassessment3,4. Here we report the findings of the second Global Amphibian Assessment, evaluating 8,011 species for the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. We find that amphibians are the most threatened vertebrate class (40.7% of species are globally threatened). The updated Red List Index shows that the status of amphibians is deteriorating globally, particularly for salamanders and in the Neotropics. Disease and habitat loss drove 91% of status deteriorations between 1980 and 2004. Ongoing and projected climate change effects are now of increasing concern, driving 39% of status deteriorations since 2004, followed by habitat loss (37%). Although signs of species recoveries incentivize immediate conservation action, scaled-up investment is urgently needed to reverse the current trends.
he parameters for assessing the quality of honey produced by Apis mellifera are standardized worldwide. The physicochemical properties of honey might vary extensively due to factors such as the geographical area where it was produced and the season in which it was harvested. Little information is available on variations in honey quality among different harvest periods in tropical areas, and particularly in neotropical dry forests. This study describes variations in seventeen physicochemical parameters and the pollen diversity of honey harvested from beehives during the dry season in February, March, and April 2021, in the dry arc of Panama. Potassium is the most abundant mineral in honey samples, and its concentration increases during the harvest period from February to April. A PCA analysis showed significant differences among the samples collected during different harvest periods. The pollen diversity also differs among honey samples from February compared with March and April. The results indicate that climatic conditions may play an important role in the quality of honey produced in the dry arc of Panama. Furthermore, these results might be useful for establishing quality-control parameters of bee honey produced in Panama in support of beekeeping activities in seasonal wet-dry areas of the tropics.
Introduction: Baseline frailty status has been utilized to predict a wide range of outcomes and guide preoperative decision making in neurosurgery. This systematic review aims to analyze existing literature on the utilization of frailty as a predictor of neurosurgical outcomes. Evidence acquisition: We conducted a systematic review following PRISMA guidelines. Studies that utilized baseline frailty status to predict outcomes after a neurosurgical intervention were included in this systematic review. Studies that utilized sarcopenia as the sole measure of frailty were excluded. PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane library was searched from inception to March 1st, 2023, to identify relevant articles. Evidence synthesis: Overall, 244 studies met the inclusion criteria. The 11-factor modified frailty index (mFI-11) was the most utilized frailty measure (N.=91, 37.2%) followed by the five-factor modified Frailty Index (mFI-5) (N.=80, 32.7%). Spine surgery was the most common subspecialty (N.=131, 53.7%), followed by intracranial tumor resection (N.=57, 23.3%), and post-operative complications were the most reported outcome (N.=130, 53.2%) in neurosurgical frailty studies. The USA and the Bowers author group published the greatest number of articles within the study period (N.=176, 72.1% and N.=37, 15.2%, respectively). Conclusions: Frailty literature has grown exponentially over the years and has been incorporated into neurosurgical decision making. Although a wide range of frailty indices exist, their utility may vary according to their ability to be incorporated in the outpatient clinical setting.
The number of databases of natural products (NPs) has increased substantially. Latin America is extraordinarily rich in biodiversity, enabling the identification of novel NPs, which has encouraged both the development of databases and the implementation of those that are being created or are under development. In a collective effort from several Latin American countries, herein we introduce the first version of the Latin American Natural Products Database (LANaPDB), a public compound collection that gathers the chemical information of NPs contained in diverse databases from this geographical region. The current version of LANaPDB unifies the information from six countries and contains 12,959 chemical structures. The structural classification showed that the most abundant compounds are the terpenoids (63.2%), phenylpropanoids (18%) and alkaloids (11.8%). From the analysis of the distribution of properties of pharmaceutical interest, it was observed that many LANaPDB compounds satisfy some drug-like rules of thumb for physicochemical properties. The concept of the chemical multiverse was employed to generate multiple chemical spaces from two different fingerprints and two dimensionality reduction techniques. Comparing LANaPDB with FDA-approved drugs and the major open-access repository of NPs, COCONUT, it was concluded that the chemical space covered by LANaPDB completely overlaps with COCONUT and, in some Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16, 1388. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph16101388 https://www.mdpi.com/journal/pharmaceuticals Pharmaceuticals 2023, 16, 1388 2 of 21 regions, with FDA-approved drugs. LANaPDB will be updated, adding more compounds from each database, plus the addition of databases from other Latin American countries.
Osteoarthritis (OA) of the glenohumeral joint is a common and disabling condition characterized by symptoms of weakness, pain, sleep disturbance, and decreased range of motion [1]. Currently, nonoperative modalities including activity and/or occupation modifications, physical therapy, pharmacotherapy with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, steroid injections, and viscosupplementation are the first-line treatment of choice as they are capable of reducing symptoms improving quality of life [2–4]. When standard nonsurgical methods are unsuccessful, total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA) provides predictable clinical outcomes with low revision rates and high patient satisfaction in elderly or low-demand population. However, although glenohumeral OA typically manifest after sixth decade of life [5], younger patients may also suffer from this affection. In those patients who are symptomatic but radiographically show less advanced disease, or those who maintain demanding lifestyles, TSA may not be the best option because it has shown undesirable outcomes with decreased component survival [6–8].
This chapter explores how health affected and conditioned the development of the urban model and the building regulations of the Canal Zone, which also played an essential role in the environmental impact of permanent villages. The relationship between sanitary measures and urban regulations is studied to understand their interplay. The analysis focuses mainly on determining how the ecology and behavior of mosquitoes that cause malaria and yellow fever broadly defined the development of such building regulations. The chapter also highlights how sanitary measures shaped the urban landscape and the environment of the Canal Zone villages, using Fort Clayton as a case study.
The forests of the old Canal Zone formed a landscape that, at first glance, gives the impression of being the result of a plan to create green rings around urban areas. However, the reality was quite different. The management of the Canal Zone territory, having been subordinated to the Canal management needs, was under military control. This chapter deals with the forests of the Canal Zone and the environmental assessment of the Canal Zone urban model through the case study of Fort Clayton. It describes the environmental impact that the territorial model of the Fort generates on the forests, highlighting its behavior in the ecological connectivity of the forests. This chapter ends with a study on the bioclimatic behavior of the urban model applied in Fort Clayton in tropical weather and inferring how successful the American urban model was in the humid tropical climate.
The aim of this chapter is to understand the urban landscaping by analyzing the intent behind the Canal Zone landscaping. In the first place, reference is made to the landscape footprint left by the French at the beginning of the construction of the Canal, to the cultural influences of landscaping developed in the United States, and the role played by the City Beautiful Movement, picturesque, and pastoral landscaping. The analysis of the landscaping in the Canal Zone covers the beginnings of arborization in Ancon and Balboa. The chapter also focuses on the urban tree strategies developed in the military fortifications of the Canal Zone, the food security strategy, and the use of royal palm and mango trees. It also analyzes the impact of World War II and the policies of community transformation used by the military reserves on the landscaping of Fort Clayton. Finally, the chapter studies the approach to urban arborization of Fort Clayton and the use patterns of tree species according to the historical context and land use.
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1,902 members
Luisa Morales-Maure
  • Departamento de Matemática (sede central)
Azael Saldaña
  • Microbiología Humana
Angel Sosa-Bartuano
  • Museo de Vertebrados de la Universidad de Panamá
José Antonio Suarez
  • Facultad de Ciencias Naturales Exacta y Tecnologia
Enrique Medianero
  • Environmental Science Department & Entomology Graduate Program
Cuidad Universitaria, Panamá, 3366, Chitré, Panamá, Panama
Head of institution
Eduardo Flores Castro
(507) 523-4948