Zombie Ants Controlled by Four New Species of Fungi

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A stalk of the newfound fungus species Ophiocordyceps camponoti-balzani, grows out of a “zombie” ant’s head in a Brazilian rain forest.

 Originally thought to be a single species, called Ophiocordyceps unilateralis, the fungus is actually four distinct species—all of which can “mind control” ants—scientists announced last week. (pics)

 

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U.S. Cancels Portion of Brazil’s Debt in Exchange For Forest Protection

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If only Visa treated my debt the way the U.S. is treating debt from developing countries. On Friday, the Obama Administration announced that it will cancel debt from Brazil in exchange for forest protection. The U.S. has done the same for Bangladesh, Belize, Botswana, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Indonesia, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and the Philippines. Deforestation accounts for about 20 percent of global warming emissions, making zero deforestation a priority in places like Brazil and Indonesia, which rank third and fourth for GHG emissions, respectively…
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World Cup Referees Study English Swears Words for England-United States Match

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Brazilian referees are studying English obscenities for the Englad-U.S. World Cup Match.

Brazilian referees for this weekend’s England-United States match at the World Cup in South Africa are studying English-language obscenities so that players can’t get away with abuse, the Associated Press reports.

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Stray Dogs Get Their Own Favela In Brazil

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Kindness or Cruelty?
Hundreds of tightly packed zinc-roofed shacks dot a hillside slum, one of thousands of “favelas” that are home to samba stars, drug lords and millions of poor Brazilians. But this slum in the southern city of Caxias do Sul is a home for dogs, not humans.

Without enough money to build a proper shelter for 1,600 abandoned pooches, the humane organization So Ama, or “Just Love,” keeps the animals chained to an array of about 1,000 small dog houses that look like the Brazilian slums.

Favelas, which are a common sight throughout Brazil’s major cities, are home to millions of urban poor and rural migrants who leave the countryside seeking jobs…
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Sao Paulo Fire Destroys One Of The Largest Collections Of Dead Snakes

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A HUGE collection of snakes were destroyed.
Police in Sao Paulo were yesterday investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed one of the world’s largest collection of dead snakes. The 85,000-strong snake collection, used by scientists to develop vaccines and medicines, was destroyed with an estimated 450,000 spider and scorpion specimens when fire swept through the Butantan Institute’s archive.
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Brazilians Told to Have More Sex to Avoid High Blood Pressure

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Brazilians can fight off chronic illness by engaging regularly in physical exercise, and particularly in sexual intercourse, the country’s health minister said.

“People need to be active. A weekend football game must not be the only physical activity for a Brazilian. Adults need to do exercise: walk, dance and have safe sex,” said Jose Gomes Temporao.

 

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Scientists Fear Lightning Deaths Will Increase Due to Global Warming

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In the last ten years, Brazil has been the target of an estimated 57 million lightning strikes–the most in the world. This astonishing natural record is not without a human toll, however. During that same period, 1,321 people have been fallen victim to lightning in Brazil alone, and scientists fear that incidents will only increase in the coming years. As if the long term threats of climate change were not enough to arouse concern, new research reveals that rising temperatures may increase the frequency of the sometimes fatal lightning strikes.

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Black Brazilian Mother Baffles Scientists After Giving Birth To Three Albino Children

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Albino siblings Esthefany Caroline, Ruth Caroline, Kauan pose with their mother Rosemere Fernandes and their brothers

A black mother has baffled scientists after giving birth to three albino children.  Parents Rosemere Fernandes de Andrade and her partner Joao are dark-skinned Afro-Brazilians, yet three of their five children are albinos.

 

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Horrific Amount of Deforestation in the Amazon from 2000-2008

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Only Remnants of the Rainforest Remain

NASA’s Earth Observatory has some amazing satellite photos of the deforestation of the Amazonian rainforest over the past 8 years. At the link, click on the years posted below the picture to see the progression.

The state of Rondônia in western Brazil is one of the most deforested parts of the Amazon. In the past three decades, clearing and degradation of the state’s original 208,000 square kilometers of forest (about 51.4 million acres, an area slightly smaller than the state of Kansas) has been rapid: 4,200 square kilometers cleared by 1978; 30,000 by 1988; and 53,300 by 1998. By 2003, an estimated 67,764 square kilometers of rainforest-an area larger than the state of West Virginia-had been cleared…

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Do Women In Brazil Who Watch Soap Operas Have Fewer Babies (But More Men)?

Do Women In Brazil Who Watch Soap Operas Have Fewer Babies (But More Men)?

About 40M people watch Globo, the leading network in Brazil. 

THE glamorised world portrayed on the nightly telenovelas (soap operas) on Brazilian television is, superficially at least, about as representative of the country as a whole as Marie Antoinette and her shepherdesses were of 1780s’ France. But they are all about aspiration. About 40m people watch the mid-evening novela from Globo, the leading network. The action often takes place in Rio de Janeiro, where Globo is based, among families which are smaller, whiter and richer than average. New research suggests that by selling this version of the country to itself, Globo has boosted two important social trends.

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