Caracas, Venezuela

Central University of Venezuela
Caracas, Venezuela

The Central University of Venezuela is a premier public University of Venezuela located in Caracas. Founded in 1721, it is the oldest university in Venezuela and one of the oldest in the Western Hemisphere .The main university campus, Ciudad Universitaria de Caracas, was designed by architect Carlos Raúl Villanueva and it is considered a masterpiece of urban planning and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. Wikipedia.

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News Article | May 6, 2017

Students run from tear gas fired by National Police outside the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, Thursday, May 4, 2017. Students held demonstrations across Caracas Thursday as a two-month-old protest movement that shows no signs of letting up claimed more lives. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano) CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The number killed in Venezuela amid mounting political unrest rose to 38 on Friday, as opposition leaders reported that dozens of officers had been detained for refusing to repress protesters. Former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said 85 officers, a majority from the military, had been detained for "expressing discontent" with the actions of the nation's national guard. Capriles said he received information about the detained officers through some of their relatives, who indicated they wanted their position shared with the public. There has been no independent confirmation of the detentions. National guardsmen have repeatedly launched tear gas and rubber bullets in more than a month of anti-government protests. Demonstrators are calling for President Nicolas Maduro to hold elections, but the embattled leader shows no sign of ceding to their demands. Authorities announced Friday that Hecder Lugo, 20, had died a day after being shot in the industrial city of Valencia, which has been the scene of ongoing protests and massive looting. His death brought to at least 38 the number of people reported dead by various sources, though the public prosecutor puts the tally at 37. More than 700 others have been injured. Opposition leaders have repeatedly called on officers to think with their conscience before launching attacks, noting that among the protesters could be their own relatives and friends. The opposition is calling for women to march throughout the nation Saturday, while pro-government women's groups are planning a counter-demonstration.

News Article | May 5, 2017

Students run from tear gas fired by National Police outside the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas, Thursday, May 4, 2017. Students held demonstrations across Caracas Thursday as a two-month-old protest movement that shows no signs of letting up claimed more lives. (AP Photo/Fernando Llano) CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Students battled tear gas-throwing police officers in demonstrations across Venezuela's capital Thursday as a two-month-old protest movement that shows no signs of letting up claimed more lives. "We are students, not terrorists!" a mass of students chanted as they marched in Caracas. Soldiers bathed hundreds of protesters in tear gas at the Central University of Venezuela, with medics in gas masks attending to students with bloodied faces and limbs. "Do you know how many dead there are?" Rafaela Requesens, a student leader, shouted at a wall of National Guard officers standing shoulder-to-shoulder and stopping protesters from advancing. "They are your victims." Gunfire erupted at a student gathering in El Tigre, a city southeast of Caracas, leaving Juan Lopez, 33, dead and three others injured, according to the chief prosecutor's office. Preliminary reports indicate an assailant fired at Lopez toward the end of the meeting and then fled on a motorcycle. Lopez was the president of a university federation. The student leader's death brought to at least 37 the number killed in Venezuela's ongoing political turmoil. Earlier Thursday, authorities announced a 38-year-old police officer in the central state of Carabobo had died of his injuries after being shot during a Wednesday protest that had hundreds of thousands of people on the street nationwide. Wednesday's protest also left a 17-year-old student and musician dead. More than 700 others have been wounded, no small matter in a country with crippling medical shortages. Opposition leaders said 30 were injured in Thursday's student demonstrations. Overall, more than 1,000 have been arrested. West of Caracas in Valencia, there were reports of looting at several businesses and at least one factory, the thieves taking off with plastic crates filled with bottles and even a forklift. Protesters are demanding immediate presidential elections. President Nicolas Maduro accuses the opposition of attempting a coup, and has responded with an initiative to rewrite the constitution. Walking through an agricultural expo where he pet goats and sampled cheese Thursday, Maduro repeatedly reiterated his call for a special assembly tasked with defining Venezuela's future. He added that the yet-to-be-created constituent body would decide the South American nation's destiny "for the next 50 years." International pressure on Maduro to hold elections is continuing to escalate amid his call for a constitution rewrite. A group of bipartisan U.S. legislators sent a letter to President Donald Trump Thursday urging him to apply new sanctions against individuals responsible for human rights violations and to push for the delivery of humanitarian relief. Eight Latin American nations issued a statement decrying the excessive use of force by Venezuelan authorities against protesters, saying such actions only, "polarize Venezuelan society even more." And Venezuelan classical music maestro Gustavo Dudamel spoke out against events in his country, calling on Maduro to listen to the protesters. In an online essay titled "I Raise My Voice," he urged Maduro to reduce political tensions. "We must stop ignoring the just cry of the people suffocated by an intolerable crisis," said Dudamel, who is serving as the Los Angeles Philharmonic's musical director. Venezuelans and fellow classical music performers have blasted Dudamel in the past for being cozy with Maduro.

News Article | May 5, 2017

Students from the Central University of Venezuela march during a protest against the government in Caracas on May 4, 2017 (AFP Photo/RONALDO SCHEMIDT) Caracas (AFP) - A student leader was shot dead as protests raged on in the streets of Venezuela Thursday in the latest spasm of anger aimed at removing President Nicolas Maduro from power. Crowds of students clashed with riot police firing tear gas in the mounting crisis in this oil-rich country saddled with shortages of food, medicine and other basics. The leftist Maduro's opponents accuse him of trying to strengthen his grip on power and delay elections by launching legal proceedings to overhaul the constitution. The latest toll provided by prosecutors on Thursday said 35 people have been killed in just over a month of protests against Maduro, whose opponents blame him for Venezuela's dire economic mess. News of the latest deaths -- up from a toll of 33 earlier Thursday -- came as organizers announced a women's march for Saturday. Protesters at the women's rally, to take place in downtown Caracas, were urged to wear white, a traditional show of defiance against what organizers have branded a repressive government. The student leader killed Thursday was at a meeting in the northern state of Anzoategui when "one of those present approached him and shot him several times before fleeing on a motorbike," the prosecutor's office said in a statement. It did not say whether the killing was directly linked to the protests. But it came amid high tension as students pushed on with a wave of street rallies. Crowds of them marched in Caracas, some clashing with riot police who blocked their way and fired tear gas. The prosecutors said a policeman died from a gunshot wound during a protest Wednesday in the western city of Carabobo. In the northern industrial city of Valencia, protesters looted stores, set fire to cars and clashed with police Thursday night. At least five people were injured, one of them seriously, news reports said. The reports said people in Valencia had begun hoarding basic foodstuffs and barricading housing developments to keep looters out. The local chamber of commerce said at least 70 stores have been raided since Tuesday. The opposition wants a vote on removing Maduro from office. His term ends in early 2019. The president, elected in 2013, says the crisis is a US-backed capitalist conspiracy. The opposition and government have accused each other of fomenting violence. "I don't know how long the protests are going to last," senior opposition leader Henrique Capriles told AFP in an interview. "If we were being violent, if we were not being democratic, we would already have toppled the government." In his latest crisis maneuver, Maduro on Wednesday launched procedures at the electoral council to elect a "constituent assembly" to draft a new constitution. "This is the path of peace and reconciliation for Venezuela," he said on television on Thursday. "It is a complex battle, but no one will take our homeland from us." Private polls indicate that more than 70 percent of those interviewed do not support Maduro. He said the constitutional reform body would not include political parties with seats in the opposition-controlled National Assembly, but representatives of social groups traditionally loyal to him. Maduro's center-right opponents and some international powers said the move is an attempt to dodge local elections this year and a presidential poll set for late 2018. "Since the government cannot win elections, it wants to dismantle the system for holding them," Capriles told AFP. Attorney General Luisa Ortega broke ranks with the government over the political crisis. She told the Wall Street Journal that the government should ensure people's right to demonstrate freely, without arbitrary arrests. "We can't demand peaceful and legal behavior from citizens if the state takes decisions not in accordance with the law," the Journal quoted her as saying on Wednesday. Venezuela has seen three attempted military coups since 1992. The current unrest has come close to matching that of 2014, when clashes killed 43 people. Despite the country's chaos, Maduro retains the military's public backing -- one thing that analysts say could yet tip the balance against him. "What happens if the National Guard (military police) says they are not going to continue the repression?" Capriles said.

News Article | May 5, 2017

A student at the Central University of Venezuela throws back tear gas to riot police during a protest against the Venezuelan government in Caracas on May 4, 2017 (AFP Photo/FEDERICO PARRA) Venezuela may be short of food, medicine and toiletries, but in the chaos of its violent political crisis it has plenty of fake -- or questionable -- news. Hoarse from shouting or breathing tear gas in weeks of anti- and pro-government protests, Venezuelans are also dizzy from the buzz of rumors and counter-claims. In the streets, looting and clashes between protesters and police have left 36 people dead since last month. Online, the first casualty has been the truth. "The debate about fake news is worldwide, but at least in other countries there are credible news sources of reference," says Andres Canizales, a media specialist at Andres Bello University in Caracas. "In Venezuela we don't have those anymore. Misinformation is fertile ground for fake news to proliferate." With international pressure rising on President Nicolas Maduro as he resists opposition calls for elections, tension was heightened this week by online claims about jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. On Twitter, US Senator Marco Rubio claimed he had "confirmed @leopoldolopez has been taken to a military hospital in #Venezuela in very serious condition." Maduro's hardline number two, Diosdado Cabello, responded by releasing a "proof of life" video in which Lopez appeared saying that he was alive. The online rumor apparently started with a tweet by Miami-based Venezuelan journalist Leopoldo Castillo. His claim that Lopez was taken from jail to hospital "without signs of life" was retweeted tens of thousands of times. Lopez's condition has still not been fully clarified. His wife Lilian Tintori said the video was false and that she has not been allowed to see Lopez for over a month. In a country where the government controls a broad network of newspapers and broadcasters, social media and new-wave journalism sites are key to following the political struggle between the socialist Maduro and his center-right opponents. The sides in the conflict accuse each other of manipulating news online. Madur4o himself has created a "digital militia" to sign up citizens in the street for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts and encourage them to circulate pro-government messages. "It is a new front in the battle," says sociologist Maryclen Stelling. "We have had the electoral one, the street one, the power conflict, the media front, and now we have the cross-media front." When some of the fiercest clashes erupted on April 20, rumors spread online that Maduro had fled the country. Videos spread purporting to show anti-aircraft searchlights being activated at the presidential palace. It was later affirmed that the lights came from a theater show on a nearby square. "There is a deliberate saturation of information so that you suspend your critical judgment," says Stelling. "You do not know what is true and what is false. You decide depending on which political side you belong to." Regular television channels have refrained from broadcasting images of the unrest in the streets even at the height of recent protests, screening light entertainment shows instead. The Press Workers' Union denounced that as evidence of "a regime of censorship and self-censorship." Reports of violence by security forces against protesters circulate unhindered online but have to compete with counter-claims by what Stelling calls "laboratories of war and cyber terrorism." Social media are a gauge of the vitriol of the crisis. Maduro's supporters have been using the hashtag #DerechaTerrorista -- "TerroristRightwing" -- against their opponents. Supporters of the opposition overseas have been using #PrayforVenezuela. In other messages, the tone is sharper, with leaders of the sides exchanging threats and insults. Maduro retweeted a post likening the opposition to sewage, with a video showing protesters jumping into a river to escape tear gas. His top opponent Henrique Capriles posted a video of Maduro dancing while protests raged. "He who laughs last, lasts longest," Capriles wrote. "Soon we who have been repressed will be laughing at you @nicolasmaduro and your corrupt allies."

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 3.75M | Year: 2009

The focus of this multidisciplinary proposal is to elucidate the epidemiology of the genetic lineages of T. cruzi, for improved understanding and prevention of Chagas disease. The project will unite skills in genotyping, genomics, genetics and pathogenesis in Europe with considerable compatible skills in South America, and with key research in endemic areas that have distinct characteristics. The proposal is intended to be high impact in terms of both research progress and fostering of collaborative networks. Aim: Elucidate the epidemiology of the genetic lineages of T. cruzi, for improved understanding and prevention of Chagas disease. Technology development: 1. Develop further and apply MLST; PCR-RFLP and MLMT to the analysis of genetic populations of T. cruzi, 2. Sequence the unresolved genome of T. cruzi I, 3. Develop lineage specific diagnosis, 4. Develop an oligochromatography PCR-dipstick procedure for detection of T. cruzi. Molecular epidemiology: 5. Pilot studies of association between genetic lineage, clinical outcome, and prevalence of congenital infection, 6. Map the silvatic vector, silvatic mammal, human and ecological associations of the T. cruzi genotypes IId,e,b,a. 7. Compare lineage specific pathogenesis and transmissibility of congenital infection in a mouse model, and compare lineage susceptibility to drugs in vitro. Population genetics and phylogenetics: 8. Re-evaluate the population genetics and evolution of T. cruzi lineages. International cryobank and database: 9. Establish in South America an accessible, expanded, international cryobank for T. cruzi, 10. Establish a website and database for outputs of the project. The project encompasses the desirable characteristics prescribed by the call, in that they include: genomics/proteomics; effective, innovative relevance to disease, pathogenesis, drugs, interventions; an integrated multidisciplinarity, and capacity building, networking and training in endemic regions.

Herrera A.,Central University of Venezuela
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2013

This review summarizes the research on physiological responses to flooding of trees in the seasonal black-water wetland of the Mapire River in Venezuela. Inter-annual variability was found during 8 years of sampling, in spite of which a general picture emerged of increased stomatal conductance (gs and photosynthetic rate (PN during the flooded period to values as high as or higher than in plants in drained wet soil. Models explaining the initial inhibitory responses and the acclimation to flooding are proposed. In the inhibitory phase of flooding, hypoxia generated by flooding causes a decrease in root water absorption and stomatal closure. An increase with flooding in xylem water potential (ψ) suggests that flooding does not cause water deficit. The PN decreases due to changes in relative stomatal and non-stomatal limitations to photosynthesis; an increase in the latter is due to reduced chlorophyll and total soluble protein content. Total non-structural carbohydrates (TNC accumulate in leaves but their content begins to decrease during the acclimatized phase at full flooding, coinciding with the resumption of high gs and PN. The reversal of the diminution in gs is associated, in some but not all species, to the growth of adventitious roots. The occurrence of morpho-anatomical and biochemical adaptations which improve oxygen supply would cause the acclimation, including increased water absorption by the roots, increased rubisco and chlorophyll contents and ultimately increased PN. Therefore, trees would perform as if flooding did not signify a stress to their physiology. © 2013 Herrera.

This work presents a study of the molecular composition of the saturated and aromatic hydrocarbon fractions of crude oils from the Orinoco Oil Belt (Junín area) in the Eastern Venezuelan Basin, with the purpose of classifying these samples following two distinct biodegradation assessment schemes: the PM scale [Peters, K.E., Moldowan, J.M., 1993. The Biomarker Guide: Interpreting Molecular Fossils in Petroleum and Ancient Sediments. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, p. 363] and the Manco scale [Larter, S., Huang, H., Adams, J., Bennett, B., Snowdon, L.R., 2012. A practical biodegradation scale for use in reservoir geochemical studies of biodegraded oils. Organic Geochemistry 45, 66-76]. Both scales agree on the presence of different levels of biodegradation for the analyzed oils, although they are based on different groups of compounds. The PM scale uses mainly compounds from the saturated hydrocarbon fractions (e.g., n-alkanes, acyclic isoprenoids, terpanes and steranes) as well as aromatic steroids. On the other hand, the Manco scale considers other compounds (e.g., alkyltoluenes, naphthalene, methylnaphthalene, phenanthrene, alkylphenanthrenes and methyldibenzothiophenes) not included in the PM biodegradation scale. Thus, the combined use of these two scales allows the determination of the level of biodegradation of both saturated and aromatic compound classes. Dibenzothiophene (DBT), which was not included for the Manco score determination, also shows variations in peak intensity when compared to C4-alkylnaphthalenes, presumably associated with the process of biological alteration. The differences in the biodegradation levels observed in the present study may be attributed to variations in parameters that control biodegradation rates laterally across the study area or the existence of varying communities of microorganisms, among other possible factors. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Rocco S C.M.,Central University of Venezuela
Reliability Engineering and System Safety | Year: 2013

Singular spectrum analysis (SSA) is a relatively recent approach used to model time series with no assumptions of the underlying process. SSA is able to make a decomposition of the original time series into the sum of independent components, which represent the trend, oscillatory behavior (periodic or quasi-periodic components) and noise. In this paper SSA is used to decompose and forecast failure behaviors using time series related to time-to-failure data. Results are compared with previous approaches and show that SSA is a promising approach for data analysis and for forecasting failure time series. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Chaves L.F.,Central University of Venezuela
Journal of Medical Entomology | Year: 2010

Lack of independence, or pseudoreplication, in samples from ecological studies of insects reflects the complexity of working with living organisms: the finite and limited input of individuals, their relatedness (ecological and/or genetic), and the need to group organisms into functional experimental units to estimate population parameters (e.g., cohort replicates). Several decades ago, when the issue of pseudoreplication was first recognized, it was highlighted that mainstream statistical tools were unable to account for the lack of independence. For example, the variability as a result of differences across individuals would be confounded with that of the experimental units where they were observed (e.g., pans for mosquito larvae), whereas both sources of variability now can be separated using modern statistical techniques, such as the linear mixed effects model, that explicitly consider the different scales of variability in a dataset (e.g., mosquitoes and pans). However, the perception of pseudoreplication as a problem without solution remains. This study presents concepts to critically appraise pseudoreplication and the linear mixed effects model as a statistical solution for analyzing data with pseudoreplication, by separating the different sources of variability and thereby generating correct inferences from data gathered in studies with constraints in randomization. © 2010 Entomological Society of America.

Milgram A.,Central University of Venezuela
Journal of Theoretical Biology | Year: 2011

This comment addresses critics on the claimed stability of solution to the accelerated-predator-satiety Lotka-Volterra predator-prey problem, proposed by Dubey al. (2010. A solution to the accelerated-predator-satiety Lotka-Volterra predator-prey problem using Boubaker polynomial expansion scheme. Journal of Theoretical Biology 264, 154-160). Critics are based on incompatibilities between the claimed asymptotic behavior and the presumed Malthusian growth of prey population in absence of predator. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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