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Letter from the editor | 88

“Beating once again…”

In a lively discussion to choose the main title for the cover of this edition, there gushed out from our memories the uncountable phrases of Brazilian popular music that speak of the heart. In the end, we opted for a solution away from music, but one of these beautiful phrases insistently remained with us in the days that followed. They are the opening lines of a touching samba song, As Rosas Não Falam (Roses Don’t Speak) It says: “Beating once again with hope within my heart…” It matters little that from the song comes some shreds of the pangs of love without hope of becoming a real relationship, because what remains from the emotional atmosphere of the song are its positive palpitations.

I believe that it was the word hope, or its combination with the heart, which weighed more for this good and prolonged intrusion of the samba in the difficulties involved with the finishing of this issue. Because, if above all, it is scientific competency that the story shows when it demonstrates the experiments by the groups from Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Bahia using stem cells for the recovery of the cardiac muscle affected by cardiac insufficiency coming from different cardiac illnesses – with promising results -, it is also about hope that the text speaks. The hope, for example, of prolonging life, with quality, for patients who up until this point had in a heart transplant the only alternative for survival. As yet in the experimental phase, the little invasive transplant of stem cells, related by Ricardo Zorzetto, assistant science editor, is a beautiful promise against chronic cardiac insufficiency brought on by hypertension, obstruction of the coronary artery and Chagas’s disease. It is in the vast and not always fully understood field of genomic research that the Brazilian researchers are waging this fine war in favor of the heart.

And when speaking about genomic research, the report about the conclusion of the genome project of the bacterium Leptospirosis interrogans by São Paulo researchers with collaboration from their colleagues in the state of Bahia, also merits highlighting. In this text our special reporter Marcos Pivetta, after recalling that a team from the Chinese Human Genome Center had concluded a little beforehand the sequencing of another variety of the bacterium, the Lai, relates that the Brazilian group, as well as unmasking the molecular structure of the variety Copenhageni, that responsible for the majority of cases of human leptospirosis in Brazil, have requested in the United States, the patents for twenty four genes and their respective proteins, which could be useful for the development of both a vaccine and more efficient diagnostic tests.

In Technology, we highlight the report by the editor Marcos de Oliveira about the Genius Institute of Technology in the city of Manaus, which is pursuing innovations in the areas of electronic equipment, telecommunications and multimedia. Founded by Gradiente, bringing together ninety researchers from fourteen Brazilian States, in a short period of time the institute has accumulated conquests and is preparing itself to widen its base, beginning with a branch in Campinas.

And finally, a demonstration of Brazilian contradictions on the pages of the magazine, illuminated by the activity of research: on the one side, starting on page 20, the editor Claudia Izique relates the results of the work of the Studies Center on Violence among which: of the more than 600,000 violent crimes registered in sixteen police precincts in the city of São Paulo over the last five years, only something around 5% have resulted in punishment. On the exact opposite, we have the editorial news and reporting of the edition of the 22nd of May of the magazine Nature in which, among words of explicit recognition of the dynamism exhibited by sectors of Brazilian science, the magazine suggests to President Lula da Silva that he grasps the opportunity of transforming the force of Brazilian research in the physical and biological sciences into economic advantage.

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