Spain qualifies for the water polo European semifinal after defeating Serbia in the penatlis | sports

Serbia: G. Pijetlovic (p), B. Mitrovic (p); Mandic (3), Dedovic, Randjelovic (1), Cuk (1), D. Pijetlovic, Vico, Aleksic, Jaksic (1), Filipovic, Prlainovic and S. Mitrovic.

Spain: López Pinedo (p), Lorrio (p); Munárriz, Granados (1), Sanahuja (2), De Toro, Larumbe, Delgado, Fernández (1), Tahull, Perrone (2), Mallarach and Bustos.

Partial: 2-1, 1-4, 2-1, 1-0 and 3-4.

Referees: Adrian Alexandrescu (Romania) and Raffaele Colombo (Italy).

Dune Arena in Budapest.


Found a material older than Earth within a meteorite | Science

On September 28, 1969, a large fireball in the sky could be seen in Victoria, southeast of Australia, which was divided into three fragments before disappearing. Shortly after an impact was felt. It was the Murchison meteorite, from which up to 100 kilos of material were recovered. Since then, organic compounds and sugars have been found in these rocks that have reaffirmed the theory that the essential compounds for life on Earth came from space aboard meteorites. Now, a new study reveals that these rocks contain even more amazing things.

The largest fragment of the Murchison meteorite is in the Field Museum of Chicago. There, the team of Philipp Heck He has analyzed a portion of this celestial body concentrating on 40 grains of silicon carbide, a material with a hardness similar to that of diamond. Each piece measures just a few microns, that is, it is a thousand times smaller than a millimeter, but it contains information that dates back to before the Earth, the Sun and the rest of the solar system existed.

One of the analyzed silicon carbide grains seen with a scanning electron microscope.

One of the analyzed silicon carbide grains seen with a scanning electron microscope.

Researchers have analyzed the changes in silicon carbide produced by the impact of cosmic rays whose particles are capable of changing the atomic composition of the original material and which, due to their frequency, can be used as a clock that estimates the age of the sample .

The results show that the majority of the grains analyzed are 300 million years older than the solar system, which was formed about 4.6 billion years ago, and that some of them are 1 billion years older, the authors of the paper highlight, published today in the magazine Proceedings from the US National Academy of Sciences.

“This is the oldest material ever found,” explains Heck in a press release. The expert defines the analyzed matter as “real star dust” and highlights that his analysis allows clarifying how the stars formed in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

According to his team, the tiny “star fragments” analyzed come from a star that was born about 7,000 million years ago during a period of intense star formation. That material was spit out by its star. First he wandered alone through interstellar space and then was buried inside a body of rock, where it was preserved intact for billions of years. That rock or part of it was attracted by the force of gravity of the Earth, penetrated the atmosphere and decomposed into all the fragments of the Murchison meteorite that fell on Australia in 1969. Having found these compounds is a milestone, since most of the Star dust that is deposited in meteorites is shattered by pressure. Only about 5% of known meteorites contain material of this type and their abundance does not usually exceed a few parts per million.

This material points to the origin of the solar system even before it existed. “Silicon carbide grains are among the most refractory and resistant materials that form meteorites called carbonaceous chondrites, such as Murchison,” explains Josep M. Trigo, meteorite expert at the Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC) , in Barcelona. “The interest of this work is that the authors demonstrate that the majority of this type of presolar grains formed in a type of stars known as asymptotic branch of the giants. This reaffirms a previous study by our group that suggests that our Sun could have formed in the vicinity of stars of this type, ”he points out.


Tomato: The journey of a tiny fruit born in the Andes that conquered the world | Science

Gazpacho is a lifelong Spanish drink and Italians could not imagine their cooking without tomato dressings. However, its arrival in Europe is relatively recent and its use as food is even more so. Hernán Cortés conquered Tenochtitlan in 1521 and it is likely that it was some member of that expedition who introduced the yellow tomatoes that the Aztecs consumed in Spain. The first description of the plant that is known is by Pietro Mattioli, an Italian naturalist, who wrote it in 1544, but the use in the kitchen of his country did not come until a century and a half later. The resemblance of the tomato with other poisonous plants with which it shares a family, such as the mandrake or the belladonna, meant that for a long time it was only used as an ornament. In 2020, it is the second vegetable most important in the world after the potato.

This history of conquering the world tables began many tens of thousands of years ago on the west coast of South America, in that terrain where the high peaks of the Andes are separated by a few kilometers from the Pacific beaches. This week, a team from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst (USA) publishes in the magazine Molecular Biology and Evolution an article in which they reconstruct the evolutionary history of tomato.

For a century and a half, in Italy, tomato was used only as a decorative plant because of its resemblance to poisonous plants

It all started with some small wild fruits (Solanum pimpinellifolium L.) the size of a blueberry, the type of vegetable that human ancestors would have fed hundreds of thousands of years ago. Except that in America, according to the latest data, our species did not reach, at most, 40,000 years. The next step in the long process of domestication was an increase in the size of the fruit, which about 80,000 years ago, in what is now Ecuador, reached the size of a cherry tomato. This variety (S. lycoperiscum L. var. cerasiform), says the lead author of the study, Ana Caicedo, was employed by the inhabitants of the region thousands of years ago, and “they have similar characteristics to those of a domesticated fruit, similar acids and sugars.”

That made think that those responsible for that transformation in ancestral tomatoes had been humans. However, Caicedo and his colleagues, using complete genomic sequences of 166 samples of wild, intermediate and domesticated tomatoes to reconstruct the history of that domestication, place the event at least 400 centuries before the arrival of the first humans to America. When immigrants arrived on the continent they found work done.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts found some other surprise on the way of wild tomatoes to what is now Mexico, where there are the first tests of domestication of tomatoes that are the basis of current (S. lycopersicum L. var. lycopersicum). “When migrating to the north, tomatoes that were the size of the cherry became smaller, possibly because when changing latitude and environment they had to evolve and acquire other characteristics to survive,” says Caicedo. These little fruits “still grow in the cornfields [lugares de cultivo] from Mexico, where people eat them even if they don’t grow them on purpose, ”explains Hamid Razifard, another of the authors of the work. These little tomatoes were later the base on which the ancient Americans worked to select varieties and create the tomatoes that would eventually reach Europe and conquer the world.

The first humans who arrived in America already found cherry-sized tomatoes that we know today

In addition to knowing the evolutionary history of such an important plant, the research of the team led by Caicedo can be useful to improve current tomato crops. The genetic study has allowed to identify variants that improve resistance to certain diseases or drought and that knowledge can be used to create tomatoes with these virtues. In other intermediate populations of the plant, which varied to adapt to a large number of environments between the Andean region, Central America and Mexico, populations that produce a greater amount of sugar or beta carotene have been identified, two interesting characteristics because they make them Tomatoes taste better or have a more attractive color.

Throughout the world there are efforts to make tomatoes again a tasty fruit as it was not so long ago. The selection of producers, who preferred to grow larger tomatoes or with a brighter skin, neglected their flavor and now there are projects to recover it. In 2017, a team in which I participated Antonio Granell, a researcher at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology of Plants, in Valencia, sequenced the complete genome of 398 tomato varieties, including modern, traditional or wild such as those that appeared in South America tens of thousands of years ago. Then, the genetic basis of the production of 13 chemical compounds associated with flavor that abound in ancestral varieties and are scarce in those found in the supermarket were identified. After such a long journey, from smallness in its cradle along the Pacific to global success, science wants to help the tomato recover some of its essence.


America claims its place among the greats of Colombian soccer | sports

Hand in hand with midfielder Rafael Carrascal and goalscorer Michael Rangel, América de Cali regained its place among the greats of Colombian soccer. The team of Brazilian coach Alexandre Guimaraes defeated the snubbed Junior de Barranquilla 2-0 on Saturday in the second leg of the grand final, wrapped by a swollen thirsty for titles that turned the Pascual Guerrero stadium into an impregnable boiler. The popular scarlet team thus achieves its fourteenth league record, the first since it returned to the top flight three years ago after a traumatic run through the second division.

In an intense and entertaining game, with Carrascal as the owner of the midfield strings, América imposed its rapid transitions before the sterile possession of the ball by Junior, forced to play away from Neto Volpi’s goal. The Red Devils stopped the hegemony of the great team of the Caribbean, which thanks to the saves of Sebastián Viera and the goals of Teófilo Gutiérrez had won the two most recent finals of Colombian soccer and was aiming for the triple championship.

After scoring a valuable goalless draw in the first leg played at the Barranquilla Metropolitano, América scored the first goal of the series before 20 minutes with a furious header from Rangel that hit the crossbar. The rebound of the picabarra hit Viera’s back before ending at the bottom of the arch. Although the images showed an own goal by the Uruguayan goalkeeper, referee Wílmar Roldán wrote it down for Rangel. The gunner, the great figure of the scarlet team, arrived as a reinforcement precisely from the Junior and thanks to that goal, he scored the tournament’s top scorer with 14 goals, one above the Argentine German Cano, from Medellín.

América extended the advantage to the half hour of game in another fast incursion, when the midfielder Carlos Sierra embedded in the small area a pass of the death of the lateral Edwin Velasco. When the first half was not yet exhausted, the ball ended up inside Volpi’s goal, after an appalling action in which the Brazilian goalkeeper crashed with his defense. However, the play was canceled after the revision of the VAR, which was released in the Colombian league. The marker no longer moved despite the insistence of Junior, who played the last ten minutes with ten men for the expulsion of Marlon Piedrahita, and the dangerous local counterattacks.

America, which suffered five long years in the second division, is also a history on the continent. His first local title in 11 years marks the return in 2020 to the Copa Libertadores, a tournament in which he had outstanding participation that could never crystallize with a championship, as he lost four finals between 1985 and 1996. América, Junior, Tolima and Medellín They will be the Colombian representatives in the Libertadores, while Nacional de Medellín, Cali, Millonarios and Deportivo Pasto will contest the South American.

Guimaraes, a former Costa Rican coach, is the first Brazilian strategist to obtain a title in Colombian soccer. Throughout the campaign he built a solid team, with the safety of his compatriot Volpi in goal, a midfield in which the trident made up of Carrascal, Sierra and Luis Paz stood out, and an attack in which Rangel shone.

You can follow Sports from EL PAÍS at Facebook, Twitter or subscribe here to the Newsletter.


Flamengo snatches the Copa Libertadores from River Plate in the last minutes | sports

If Mario Vargas Llosa started Conversation in the cathedral Wondering when Peru got screwed, Flamengo from Brazil had to come to Lima to know when his curse ended in the highest competition in South America: the answer was this Saturday, November 23, just 38 years after his so far only Copa Libertadores, when in the last three minutes he reversed a disadvantage against River Plate and took, with a format of feat, the second maximum continental title in its history.

The Rio de Janeiro giant beat River 2-1 and, after almost four decades of waiting, found its international claim at the Monumental de Lima, the magnificent venue for the first unique final in the tournament’s history. Flamengo was too big for that one in 1981, led by Zico, to be their only Copa Libertadores. From December 11 he will try to win the Club World Cup in Qatar encouraged by a good wink as a precedent: in the old format, the Intercontinental in 1981, just beat Liverpool, also current European representative.

For the Brazilian team it is time for new heroes, like Gabriel Gabigol Barbosa, top scorer of the Libertadores with 9 goals and author of the two goals in the 88th and 91st minutes to beat a River that was in advantage almost the entire game and delivered with pain, although also with pride, the throne that last year He had beaten Boca, his greatest rival, in Madrid.

Until 43 minutes into the second half, there was nothing to predict that Flamengo would come out alive from the ambush that Marcelo Gallardo’s River had set for him. Even the extension seemed like big business. Sustained in its soccer quality and economic power, as if it were a European team competing in South America, it was thought that the Brazilian team would show its presence from the beginning. There was a reason why he was the favorite: Jorge Jesús’ CV and charisma on the substitute bench, Gabigol and Bruno Henrique’s goals up front, and the experience in the big leagues of Felipe Luis, Diego Alves and Rafinha in defense seemed to confirm a combo enough that would take Flamengo to stomp on the Monumental de Lima.

However, the team that swept Gremio 5-0 in the Cup semifinals and is about to become champion of Brasileirao – this Sunday, if the results of their pursuers help him, they can win the title of their country – no there was news until two minutes before the end. River, a team used to playing decisive games, took the lead with a goal from the Colombian Rafael Santos Borré, a former Villarreal forward, 14 minutes into the first half and he controlled the rest of the game without major problems.

If Enzo Pérez and his 34 years and Exequel Palacios and his 21 had been the owners of the Peruvian afternoon, Gabigol -a 23-year-old talent who passed without noise for Inter Milan and Benfica between 2016 and 2018- entered Olympus Flamengo, the team with the largest number of genuine fans in the world: according to surveys, 40 million of the almost 200 million Brazilians are from Mengao, as it thundered in Lima this Saturday.

In three minutes, Flamengo finished with 38 years of being screwed in the Libertadores.

You can follow Sports from EL PAÍS at Facebook, Twitter or subscribe here to the Newsletter.