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EL ESPECTADOR

Meet The Tardigrade, Maxi Resistant Mini Species With Medical Potential

Scientists from the University of Magdalena in Colombia discovered six new species of tardigrades, microscopic 'water bears' that are remarkably resistant to extreme conditions and may help medical researchers.

A tardigrade,  or 'water bear'
A tardigrade, or 'water bear'
Edgar Salas Ballesteros

BOGOTÁ — Researchers in Colombia have discovered six new species of tardigrades — also known as "water bears' — a phylum of microorganisms considered the planet's most resilient for their physical and anatomical qualities.

The team, headed by Sigmer Quiroga Cárdenas of the University of Magdalena, believes the mechanisms tardigrades use to keep their cellular structure and DNA intact, in a dry state, are key to creating new conservation methods — for human organs, for example.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Inside Russia’s Revival Of Stalinist “Filtration Camps”

Though different than concentration camps constructed by Nazis, the “filtration” facilities nevertheless are a return to another brutal history, reopened under Putin, and ramped up since the invasion of Ukraine.

Civilians leaving Mariupol on foot

Anna Akage

"It was like a true concentration camp."

This is how Oleksandr, a 49-year-old man from Mariupol, described where he and his wife Olena were taken in by Russian security officers. Speaking to a reporter for the BBC, the couple was fingerprinted, photographed and interrogated for hours, and their phones searched for material that could somehow identify them as “Nazis.”

But there is another name given to that these locations, and the process, that have been set up to handle Ukrainians taken into custody in areas occupied by pro-Russian separatists: They’re called: “filtration camps.”

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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