Dos investigaciones del CSIC, entre las 100 más virales del mundo en 2017

Notas de prensa de los artículos publicados con más impacto del año (CSIC Comunicación)

Los trabajos científicos, uno sobre gusanos capaces de degradar el plástico y otro sobre la dieta de los neandertales, ocupan los puestos 24º y 69º de la lista

El ‘ranking’, elaborado por Altmetric, tiene en cuenta menciones y contenido compartido en los medios de comunicación y redes sociales como Twitter o Facebook.

Dos investigaciones con participación de científicos del Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) se sitúan entre las 100 con mayor difusión del mundo en 2017. Se trata de un trabajo sobre gusanos capaces de degradar el plástico publicado en la revista Current Biology, en el puesto 24° de la clasificación, y un artículo publicado en Nature sobre la dieta de los neandertales, que ocupa el número 69° de la lista. Sólo seis investigaciones españolas forman parte de este ranking.

La clasificación, elaborada anualmente por Altmetric, tiene en cuenta menciones y seguimiento en cerca de 2.000 medios de comunicación de todo el mundo, unos 9.000 blogs académicos y no académicos y redes sociales como Twitter, Facebook y  YouTube, entre otras. En definitiva, rastrea la huella o proyección digital de un artículo científico a través de multitud de plataformas y webs diferentes.

En abril de 2017, la investigadora del CSIC Federica Bertocchini hacía público su descubrimiento: los gusanos de la cera (Galleria mellonella) son capaces de degradar polietileno, uno de los plásticos más resistentes que existen, con el que se fabrican, por ejemplo, las bolsas de la compra y la mayoría de envases alimenticios.

El hallazgo, detallado en Current Biology y ya patentado, abre la vía a detectar la enzima que usa el gusano para eliminar el plástico y producirla a escala industrial.

“Desde que difundimos en el CSIC la nota de prensa sobre nuestro trabajo y se publicó en todos los medios, mi teléfono no ha dejado de sonar. La repercusión ha sido enorme y numerosas empresas e instituciones se han interesado por nuestro trabajo”, comenta Bertocchini, que desarrolla su trabajo en el Instituto de Biomedicina y Biotecnología de Cantabria (CSIC, Universidad de Cantabria, SODERCAN), en  Santander.

El trabajo de los gusanos que comen plástico es el segundo con más impacto de España, justo por detrás del primero con participación española más difundido: un trabajo sobre el embarazo y los cambios que provoca en la estructura del cerebro de la madre (23° en la clasificación de Altmetric).

El segundo trabajo con participación del CSIC con mayor impacto, publicado en la revista Nature en marzo, aporta información sobre la dieta de dos neandertales del yacimiento asturiano de El Sidrón. El análisis del material genético preservado en el cálculo dental o sarro (placa dental calcificada) de estos neandertales permitió saber que su alimentación incluía las setas, los piñones y el musgo, pero no se hallaron pruebas de que comiesen carne. Además, esta investigación aportaba pruebas de que los neandertales asturianos se automedicaban.

Para el investigador del CSIC Antonio Rosas, del Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales, “lo importante es que estas noticias lleguen a todo el mundo, a la sociedad, a los gestores y a los políticos, para que sepan que la ciencia española tiene repercusión internacional”. “Es también muy satisfactorio ver como los resultados de nuestro trabajo con los Neandertales de El Sidrón tienen un interés general, que esperemos siga vivo en los próximos años”, agrega Rosas.

Paolo Bombelli, Christopher J. Howe and Federica Bertocchini. Polyethylene bio-degradation by caterpillars of the wax moth Galleria mellonella. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.02.060.

Laura S Weyrich, Sebastian Duchene, Julien Soubrier, Luis Arriola, Bastien Llamas, James Breen, Alan G Morris, Kurt W Alt, David Caramelli, Veit Dresely, Milly Farrell, Andrew G Farrer, Michael Francken, Neville Gully, Wolfgang Haak, Karen Hardy, Katerina Harvati, Petra Held, Edward Holmes, John Kaidonis, Carles Lalueza- Fox, Marco de la Rasilla, Antonio Rosas, Patrick Semal, Arkadiusz Soltysiak, Grant Townsend, Donatella Usai, Joachim Wahl, Daniel H. Huson, Keith Dobney, and Alan Cooper. Reconstructing Neandertal behavior, diet, and disease using ancient DNA from dental calculus. Nature. DOI:10.1038/nature21674.

 

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