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|Trabajo de redacción de una nota de prensa basada en un artículo científico de biología de la conservación|
El objetivo de este ejercicio es adquirir experiencia en el análisis y la redacción de notas de prensa.
Al final de este trabajo habrás
Tendrás que escribir una nota de prensa sobre un artículo científico como parte de la evaluación del grupo para este curso. Una vez que se ha decidido el artículo de referencia, tendrás que investigar sobre la ciencia correspondiente. Durante este proceso identificarás la información relevante sobre el tema en la literatura científica.
Los medios de comunicación (televisión, radio, periódicos, etc.) constituyen elementos fundamentales para la comunicación de la ciencia. Una nota de prensa es una forma estandarizada de comunicarse con los periodistas. Si la nota de prensa está bien escrita sabrán de un vistazo de que trata la historia, haciendo su trabajo más fácil y siendo más probable que lo publiquen en la prensa. Los periodistas reciben cientos de notas de prensa cada día por lo que debes asegurarte de que la tuya destaca de la multitud. Una nota de prensa es el producto que se paga a las empresas de relaciones públicas o los equipos de comunicación para producir noticias a los medios de comunicación (no directamente al público). En este ejercicio no eres un periodista, sino que los periodistas constituyen tu público.
No es normal enviar una nota de prensa a todos los tipos de medios de comunicación, más bien las notas de prensa están hechas a medida para cada tipo de medio (por ejemplo, televisión, radio, página web, periódico, revista técnica, etc.). En este ejercicio imagina que formas parte de un equipo de comunicación de una universidad que escribe una nota de prensa para un periódico. Ser capaz de difundir ideas complejas en el dominio público es importante por una serie de razones. Por ejemplo, puede que tengas que transmitir un mensaje importante sobre conservación de la biodiversidad que afecta directamente al público. El impacto que tengas en los medios puede mejorar tus oportunidades de conseguir tus objetivos de conservación directa o indirectamente. Si trabajas en investigación financiada con fondos públicos debes ser consciente de que existe un sector de la sociedad que está interesado por la ciencia y que tienes el deber de comunicar tus resultados a los contribuyentes que han pagado por ello.
Antes de escribir una nota de prensa pregúntate:
Redacción de una nota de prensa
Resumen de los criterios a seguir para preparar una buena nota de prensa
1. Buen título
2. Interés periodístico y relevante
3. Resumen de puntos clave
5. Proporcionar citas
6. Antecedentes adicionales
7. Datos de contacto
Ejercicio 1: Análisis de una nota de prensa (individual)
1. Cada miembro del grupo deberá examinar de forma individual una nota de prensa diferente de las mostradas a continuación.
2. Comenta la nota de prensa para identificar hasta qué punto cumple cada uno de los siete criterios mencionados anteriormente.
4. En tu grupo discute sobre las notas de prensa que habéis mirado y decidid cuál pensáis que es la mejor.
5. Decidir una característica que consideréis que diferencia a esa nota de prensa de las otras que habéis revisado.
6. Incluir toda esta información en el espacio wiki de tu grupo (fecha límite 4 de marzo)
Ejercicio 2: Práctica reflexiva (en grupo)
1. Cada grupo cuenta con un artículo de investigación científica asignado.
2. Tras la lectura detallada del artículo científico identifica en pocas palabras a) la naturaleza del problema de fondo y b) por qué ello es un problema.
3. ¿Cuáles son los factores que contribuyen al problema? (causas, contexto y condiciones que permiten que el problema exista)
4. ¿Cuáles son las consecuencias, el impacto del problema?
5. Determina las asunciones que se toman como ciertas y las hipótesis que formulan.
6. Identifica los valores que se utilizan para decidir si una situación es deseable o indeseable, o si una idea es buena o mala.
7. Incluye todas estas preguntas y respuestas en la página correspondiente del espacio wiki de tu grupo (fecha límite 11 de marzo)
Ejercicio 3: Redacción de una nota de prensa (en grupo)
1. Leed el artículo y tomad pequeñas notas, teniendo en cuenta las siete directrices anteriores.
2. Haced un borrador de la nota de prensa de este artículo y publicadlo en el lugar asignado del espacio wiki Medicon (fecha límite 18 de marzo de 2012).
3. Revisad la nota de prensa de otro grupo de trabajo de acuerdo con el siguiente arreglo:
4. Comentad su nota de prensa siguiendo el mismo análisis del ejercicio 1 utilizando el botón de discusión situado junto al de editar de la página del espacio wiki donde se encuentra publicada y escribiendo bajo “Asunto” “Evaluación del grupo x” (fecha límite 23 de marzo de 2012).
5. Leed los comentarios realizados por vuestro grupo complementario sobre vuestra nota de prensa comentada y, en su caso, realizad los cambios que consideréis oportunos en vuestra nota de prensa para depositar vuestra versión final (fecha límite 30 de marzo de 2012).
Ejercicio 4: Difusión de la nota de prensa y uso de aplicaciones Web 2.0 (en grupo)
1. Entendiendo por aplicaciones Web 2.0 (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_2.0) todas aquellas que contribuyen a compartir la información y facilitan la colaboración entre los usuarios (blogs, wikis, redes sociales, etc…) cada grupo utilizará al menos una herramienta (y tantas como quiera) para difundir el mensaje de la nota de prensa. El link hacia esta herramienta se presentará en la página de este trabajo del espacio wiki no más tarde del 18 de marzo de 2012 junto a una breve descripción de las actividades realizadas para difundir la nota de prensa.
2. Para el 30 de marzo de 2012 se añadirá en la página del trabajo del espacio wiki algunas estadísticas sobre el número de visitas o participantes en el medio utilizado.
Ejemplos de notas de prensa
Ejemplo 1: Lung cancer patients who quit smoking double their chances of survival
Patients who are diagnosed with early stage lung cancer can double their chances of survival over five years if they stop smoking compared with those who continue to smoke, according to researchers at the University of Birmingham.
In findings published today on bmj.com, scientists suggest that offering smoking cessation treatment as part of early stage lung cancer patients’ therapy could be valuable.
Researchers undertook the first ever review of studies that measure the effects of
continued smoking after diagnosis of lung cancer. There is an established link between
smoking and lung cancer; indeed lifelong smokers have a 20-fold increased risk compared with non-smokers. However, until now scientists have not known if cessation on diagnosis can improve prognosis.
Ms Amanda Parsons, Research fellow at the University of Birmingham, explains, “We found that people who continued to smoke after a diagnosis of early stage lung cancer had a substantially higher risk of death and a greater risk of the tumour returning compared with those who stopped smoking at that time. The data suggests that most of the increased risk of death was due to cancer progression.”
The team found that about twice as many quitters would survive for five years compared with continuing smokers, with a five year survival rate of 63-70% among quitters compared with 29-33% among those who continued to smoke.
Ms Parsons says: “The key message here is that it is never too late to give up smoking,
benefits can be seen even when you have been diagnosed with lung cancer. Our review suggests that continued smoking may affect the behaviour of a lung tumour and that smoking cessation for those with early stage lung cancer can make a real impact on survival rates. The next goal for our research is to test the effect of a smoking cessation intervention in this population in a large scale clinical trial. ”
Notes to Editors
Influence of smoking cessation after diagnosis of early stage lung cancer on prognosis:
systematic review of observational studies with meta-analysis A Parsons, research fellow, A Daley, senior lecturer, NIHR career scientist, R Begh, research associate, P Aveyard, clinical reader, NIHR career scientist is published on bmj.com on Friday 22nd January 2010
Further Media Information Amanda Parsons is available for interview, please contact Anna Mitchell on 0121 414 6029 / 07920 593946
Ejemplo 2: Is organic farming good for wildlife? - It depends on the alternative...
06 September 2010 York, University of
Even though organic methods may increase farm biodiversity, a combination of
conventional farming and protected areas could sometimes be a better way to maintain food production and protect wildlife.
The findings come from a study of butterfly populations in UK landscapes by scientists at the Universities of Leeds and York. They found that organic farms have more butterflies than conventional farms, but that a conventional farm plus an area specifically managed for wildlife could support more butterflies, and produce the same amount of food, from the same area of land. However, the wildlife area would have to be similar in quality to a nature reserve, rather than similar to an uncultivated field margin.
The study is the first to seek to establish the trade-off between the most efficient use of farmland and the most effective way to conserve wildlife in our countryside and has
important implications for how agricultural land in the UK should be managed
The research, which involved scientists from the Institute of Integrative and Comparative Biology, at the University of Leeds, and the Department of Biology at the University of York, is published in the online edition of Ecology Letters.
Author Prof. Bill Kunin of the University of Leeds says: “It’s not enough to know how much biodiversity an agricultural field supports, we also need to know how much food it produces. If ‘sharing’ our farmland with wildlife means that more total land will be taken into production to produce our food, then there may be a hidden cost of hurting wildlife somewhere else.”
The scientists measured the density and numbers of species of butterflies in organic farms, conventional farms and grassland nature reserves in 16 locations in the South of England, the Midlands and Yorkshire. They used butterflies as a wildlife example because of their sensitivity to small-scale habitat change, and focused on winter cereal and pasture fields because they are among the commonest crops.
The team project that a combination of conventional farming and nature reserves would be better for butterflies if the organic yield per hectare falls below 87 per cent of conventional yield. But if the uncultivated land is not specifically managed for wildlife - being more like unmanaged field margins - organic farming would be better whenever organic yields rise above 35 per cent of conventional yields. The relative yield of organic farming is often somewhere between 35 per cent and 87 per cent of conventional yield, depending on the type of crop and landscape. The trade-off might also be different for other types of wildlife: for example wildflowers benefit more from organic farming than butterflies, and many birds do not benefit at all. The results suggest that organic farming will be better when organic yields are high and when spared land has low value to wildlife. Conventional farming will be better when organic yields are low and spared land is of high wildlife value.
Lead author, Dr Jenny Hodgson, of the Department of Biology at York, said: “This research raises questions about how agri-environment schemes and incentives could be improved. There could be much more scope for restoring and maintaining permanent, high-quality wildlife habitat. This might involve neighbouring farmers clubbing together to achieve a larger area of restored habitat, or setting up a partnership with a conservation organisation.”
Author Prof Tim Benton highlights the fact that "More effective agri-environment methods will strengthen the case for conventional farming. The real challenge is to develop better ways to manage AES areas on conventional farms, so they can come closer to nature reserve standards. The spared land could be in nature reserves, but if properly managed, the spared land could also be in strips at the margins of fields.”
One premise of this study was that we aim to maintain food yield and wildlife in the UK
countryside, and that these cannot be traded off with food or wildlife further afield.
However, in reality the situation is much more complicated.
Author Prof Chris Thomas, of the University of York says: “It is hard to work out the best strategies to minimise the environmental impact of producing food in a global context. For example, if we adopt a low-intensity farming strategy in Europe, European citizens won’t starve; we will simply import more food from other countries. This will potentially increase the area of land under cultivation, or the intensity of cultivation, in other countries, and hence accelerate biodiversity losses elsewhere in the world”
The research was supported by UKPopNet, the British Ecological Society and the University of Leeds. The fieldwork was conducted on a sample of farms selected from a study supported by the Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU).
Full bibliographic information. The paper Comparing organic farming and land
sparing: optimising yield and butterfly populations at a landscape scale is published
in Ecology Letters at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1461-
Jenny A. Hodgson, William E. Kunin, Chris D. Thomas, Tim G. Benton, Doreen Gabriel
Article first published online: 6 SEP 2010
Ejemplo 3: DNA fingerprinting pioneer discovers role of key genetic catalyst for human diversity
03 September 2010 Leicester, University of
Under embargo until 05 September 2010 18:00 GMT
Research by DNA fingerprinting pioneer and his team at University of Leicester defines
engine for change in genetic hotspots
One of the key drivers of human evolution and diversity, accounting for changes that occur between different generations of people, is explained by new research published today (Sept 5) by world-renowned scientist Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys, who discovered DNA fingerprinting at the University of Leicester.
Professor Jeffreys has spent over two decades since his landmark discovery in 1984
investigating what he describes as “pretty bizarre bits of DNA” - highly variable repeated parts of DNA called ‘minisatellites’ - found in the human genome. Sir Alec observed that these seemed to be changing and “picking up mutations at an extraordinary rate” when compared to other DNA.
Now, in a paper published online in Nature Genetics (Sept 5), Sir Alec and his team in the Department of Genetics at the University of Leicester have demonstrated the remarkable influence of a particular gene on the development of diversity in humans.
The work was funded by the Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, the Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds, the Royal Society and the Louis-Jeantet Foundation. Professor Jeffreys is Royal Society Wolfson Research Professor of Genetics at Leicester.
Sir Alec said: “In each generation our genetic make-up gets ‘reshuffled’, like a genetic pack of cards, by a process called recombination - a fundamental engine driving diversity. The work we have done over the past 10 years at Leicester has been key to understanding recombination in humans, and has allowed the molecular definition of recombination ‘hotspots’ - small regions in which the reshuffling process is focused.
“Our new study has focused on a gene called PRDM9 that makes a protein which binds to DNA and triggers hotspot activity. The exciting finding is that people with different versions of PRDM9 show profoundly different recombination behaviours, not only in hotspots but also in chromosomal rearrangements that cause some genetic disorders.”
Ironically, the variation in PRDM9 is due to a minisatellite within the gene itself. Sir Alec said: ‘I’ve come full circle – starting out with minisatellites to develop DNA fingerprinting, and arriving at a gene containing a minisatellite that plays a key role in driving all kinds of human DNA diversity, including variation at minisatellites. An intriguing possibility is that it is even driving its own evolution!’
Sir Alec believes the research, along with that of others working in the field, will inevitably further scientists’ ability to understand the basic processes that make us all genetically unique, as well as defining an entirely new class of genetic risk factor for numerous diseasecausing DNA rearrangements that can arise when recombination goes wrong.
These findings also provide a neat solution to one great puzzle of recombination hotspots –namely that they appear and disappear rapidly during evolution. Sir Alec said ‘We’ve shown that hotspots have a strange propensity for self-destruction, so how can they possibly exist?
The PRDM9 minisatellite gives the answer – it evolves rapidly, like any other unstable
minisatellite, and keeps churning out variants that can trigger new hotspots, replenishing those that have committed suicide. A totally crazy mechanism to ensure that recombination keeps going, but typical of the weird solutions that evolution can throw up’.
Professor Sir Alec Jeffreys. Credit: University of Leicester
Full bibliographic information“PRDM9 variation strongly influences recombination
hot-spot activity and meiotic instability in humans” by Jeffreys has been scheduled
for Advance Online Publication (AOP) on Nature Genetics's website on 05 Sept at
1800 London time / 1300 US Eastern time, which is when the embargo will lift.
Ejemplo 4: Climate Change’s Impact on Invasive Plants in Western U.S. May Create
Restoration Opportunities, Future Perils
27 January 2009 Wiley - Blackwell
A new study by researchers at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs has found that global climate change may lead to the retreat of some invasive plant species in the western United States, which could create unprecedented ecological restoration opportunities across millions of acres throughout America. At the same time, global warming may enable other invasive plants to spread more widely.
The study, “Climate change and plant invasions: restoration opportunities ahead?”, was coauthored by Bethany Bradley, a biogeographer, Michael Oppenheimer, a geoscientist, and David Wilcove, a conservation biologist, at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School, and will soon be published in the journal Global Change Biology.
The researchers assessed the relationship between climate change and the distribution of five prominent invasive plants in the western United States – known colloquially as the “kudzus of the West” – cheatgrass; spotted knapweed; yellow starthistle; tamarisk; and leafy spurge. Such plants are defined as invasive because they were brought into this country from other lands and now dominate and alter ecosystems in ways that threaten native wildlife, agriculture, and ranching. All have greatly expanded their ranges in recent decades in the western U.S., causing millions of dollars in damage to farmlands and rangelands. Invasive plants are increasingly expensive to control, and it is widely believed that global warming will make the problem worse.
But Bradley and her co-authors find that global warming may also reduce the
competitiveness of some invasive plants if conditions become climatically unsuitable to the weeds, “creating opportunities for restoration in areas currently dominated by intractable invasive species,” according to the study.
The five species were selected in part because they represent the most problematic plants in the western U.S. The study authors created “bioclimatic envelope models,” wherein the authors identified where the invasive plant species occurred, and identified critical climate variables such as precipitation patterns and temperature patterns that are associated with the presence of the invasive plants under investigation. The authors then determined what combined set of climate variables best described the distribution of these weeds, and mapped all of the places in the U.S. where these climate conditions occur.
Developing such models is important because scientists can use them to assess how
changing climate conditions might affect the distributions of invasive plants. Maps of how invasion risk is likely to change with global warming are also important for land managers designing long-term protocols for fighting invasive plants.
The researchers employed 10 atmosphere-ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs) that predict what climatic conditions in the West are likely to be in 2100 if emissions are not limited, and matched those predicted conditions to the climate conditions associated with each of the invasive plant species. The projected invasive species distributions for each of the models were added together to create a map of invasion risk under future climate conditions.
“Just as native species are expected to shift in range and relative competiveness with
climate change,” the authors wrote, “the same should be expected of invasive species.”
Specifically, the researchers concluded that climate change is likely to expand invasion risk from yellow starthistle in California and Nevada – and lands currently occupied by invasive populations of the weed in California, Oregon and Washington are unlikely to become unsuitable for the species; hence, they have low potential for restoration. Tamarisk distribution, they found, is unlikely to be affected by climate change.
Cheatgrass, however, is likely to be affected by climate change, potentially moving
northwards into parts of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, but retreating in southern Nevada and Utah. And, according to Bradley and her co-authors, the impacts of climate change will likely shift spotted knapweed, currently distributed throughout the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the Colorado Plateau, to higher elevations, leading to both expanded risk and restoration opportunities in part of Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.
Leafy spurge, abundant in northern states west of the Mississippi River and some rangeland west of the Rockies, will likely retreat from some places in the face of climate change, creating restoration possibilities in Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota – but potentially expanding into parts of Canada not included in the researchers’ study. In addition, the researchers found that leafy spurge is likely to retreat from Nebraska and parts of Oregon and Iowa, creating strong potential for restoration in these areas.
To better address the impacts of invasive species, the authors note, further modeling and experimental work is needed to determine which species will be able to occupy these sites if the invasive species are reduced or eliminated by climate change. Local native plants (the ones that were there prior to the arrival of the invasive species) may be unable to reoccupy these areas as a result of global warming. If local native plants cannot reoccupy the areas, then native plants from elsewhere in the West will need to be considered for restoration to prevent new invasive species from quickly invading these sites.
“The restoration opportunities associated with the retreat of currently intractable invasive species are vast in the western United States,” the authors wrote. “The uncertainties associated with these changes, as well as the unknown makeup of viable future vegetation… highlight a pressing need for integrated modeling, monitoring, and experimental work to better address the ecological consequences of climate change.”
“The question for policy makers and land managers is, ‘What do we want these lands to be?’” said Wilcove. “These lands will change, and we must decide now – before the window of opportunity closes - whether we do nothing or whether we intervene.”
“Governments need to reduce emissions quickly to avoid a variety of dangerous climate changes, Oppenheimer warned. “At the same time, it will be necessary to adapt to the inevitability of some warming. Proper management of ecosystems to minimize the damages is a key part of any effective adaptation strategy.”
Climate change and leafy spurge. Colored areas are currently infested with leafy
spurge. Green areas are predicted to become climatically unsuitable for leafy spurge
by 2100, creating widespread restoration opportunities. Red areas are predicted to
remain climatically suitable for leafy spurge.
Full bibliographic informationBradley B.A., Oppenheimer M., Wilcove D.S.,
Climate change and plant invasions: restoration opportunities ahead?
Global Change Biology, 2009, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2008.01824.x
The article is accessible online at http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121521769/abstract.
Ejemplo 5: Gene-engineered flies are pest solution
23 January 2009 BioMed Central Limited
Under embargo until 27 January 2009 00:01 GMTAfter the embargo, article
available at journal website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcbiol/
For the first time, male flies of a serious agricultural pest, the medfly, have been bred to generate offspring that die whilst they are still embryos. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Biology describe the creation of the flies that, when released into a wild population, could out-compete the normal male flies and cause a generation of pests to be stillborn – protecting important crops.
Ernst A. Wimmer from the Georg-August-University in Göttingen, Germany, led an
international team of researchers who developed the lethal Mediterranean fruit flies
(Ceratitis capitata), also known as medfly. He said, “Here, we present the first alternative, radiation-free, reproductive sterility system for medfly based on transgenic embryonic lethality”.
The medfly is a devastating and economically important pest. The currently used method of controlling it is the sterile insect technique (SIT), whereby male flies are irradiated to induce reproductive sterility and then released into the wild, where competition with fertile males reduces the overall insect population. This radioactive version of the SIT has the drawback
that the irradiated males are often less competitive than their wild brethren and so an
awkward balance must be stuck between competitiveness and degree of sterility. According to Wimmer, “When transgenic males carrying our transgenic system mate with wild females, all progeny die during embryogenesis without the need for radiation. Due to the complete lethality, no fruit damage from developing larvae will occur and no transgenes can pass into the wild population. Moreover, males carrying this system are highly competitive”.
In order to suppress the lethality system during rearing of the flies, supplements are added to their food that switch off the genetic self-destruct. The authors write that, “Use of our embryonic lethality system, without the need for radiation, can increase the safety of SIT programs, since accidental releases would not lead to infestations of the environment and possible risks coming from isotopic sources can be eliminated for workers and the environment”.
Full bibliographic informationConditional embryonic lethality to improve the Sterile
Insect Technique in Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Tephritidae)
Marc F Schetelig, Carlos Caceres, Antigone Zacharopoulou, Gerald Franz and Ernst A.
BMC Biology (in press)