Arco Internacional nº 1

Page 1

UFSM Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

ARCO INTERNATIONAL - N. 1 Special Edition Technology, Science, Innovation, Arts and Humanities in Southern Brazil

UFSM by the numbers 4 Campuses

Santa Maria


Frederico Westphalen

Palmeira das MissĂľes

Cachoeira do Sul


Academic Centers

Secondary and postsecondary schools



Total Students

Faculty and administrative staff





Technical Postsecondary

Degree programs




4,780 Published articles


5,892 Presentations at events

981 Books and book chapters

724 Research Groups

data from 2018 data from 10/11/2019


9th among Brazilian federal universities QS World University Ranking 2019


50th among Latin American universities Times Higher Education 2019


10th most entrepreneurial university in Brazil Exame Magazine 2019


PRESIDENT It is with great pleasure that we offer this English edition of Arco Magazine, a scientific and cultural magazine of the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria—UFSM. This special edition commemorates our 60th anniversary and was designed to provide a panorama of UFSM’s diverse teaching, research and extension activities. It includes articles published throughout the ten previous editions of Arco Magazine, as well as new texts. UFSM is a public institution of higher education, located in Santa Maria, in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul, the southernmost state of Brazil. Founded in 1960 as the first federal university in Brazil outside of a state capital, UFSM has expanded to establish three

additional campuses in the cities of Cachoeira do Sul, Frederico Westphalen and Palmeira das Missões, all of them in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. With a community of more than 30,000 students, faculty and administrative staff, UFSM offers programs in a wide range of knowledge areas, from the secondary to the postgraduate level. UFSM takes its role in social, economic and political development seriously, aware of the importance of providing public, tuition-free and high-quality education and research. We have been recognized, nationally and internationally, for excellence in teaching and research, for our unique student assistance program and for our continuous dialogue

and interaction with various social actors, actively contributing to local and regional development. We rank among the 15 best Brazilian universities and among the 50 best in Latin America. We are also ranked among the 10 most entrepreneurial universities in Brazil. Our Agency for Innovation and Technology Transfer and its incubators generate hundreds of jobs in new, high-tech companies. In the 60 years since our foundation, UFSM has educated almost 180,000 professionals who are now working to transform the local and regional community. We hope you enjoy reading our 60th anniversary commemorative edition. Paulo Afonso Burmann Photography: Nathalia Pitol



table of contents 06 curiosities Planetarium equipment, second electronic microscope in Brazil and pioneering use of television for teaching surgical techniques


Environment Innovative research on fuels in search of solutions to social and environmental problems

07 Social Music and arts for children and young people from the outskirts of Santa Maria

16 environment Team from the National Institute of Space Research travels annually to study the relationship between ocean and atmosphere and its impact on climate

26 tech Laboratory researches genetic improvement in cattle

08 TIMELINE The main paleontological discoveries in the South of Brazil


Biology Scientists develop experimental models with different organisms as alternatives to rodent models

ARCO Scientific and Cultural Journalism of the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria Co-edition UFSM International Affairs Office President Paulo Afonso Burmann Vice President Luciano Schuch

Arco International Editorial Council Aline Roes Dalmolin Carla Isa Costa Erico Marlon de Moraes Flores Eugênia Maria Mariano da Rocha Barichello Fábio Andrei Duarte Jaqueline Quincozes da Silva Kegler Paola de Avezedo Mello Sendi Chiapinotto Spiazzi

Editorial team


Editors João Ricardo Gazzaneo Schmitt (MTb/RS/BR 17804)


Luciane Treulieb (MTb/RS/BR 13260)

Project Aquarius stands out nationally and internationally for its work with precision agriculture

Maurício Dias (MTb/RS/BR 9681) Translation Amy Lee Daniela do Canto Verônica Vieira Art Editor Lidiane Castagna

28 tech

30 Health

Student project for energy efficiency wins Empreenda Santander Award

Laboratory researches ways to control diseases caused by fungi


34 Humanities

UFSM's student housing offers an exclusive residence hall for indigenous students

The concept of anthropophagy applied to education

Photography Joelison Freitas Pedro Porto Nathalia Pitol Rafael Happke Reporters Andressa Foggiato, Andressa Motter, Bernardo Zamperetti, Bibiana Pinheiro, Cibele Zardo, Cristina Haas, Diossana da Costa, Gabriele Wagner de Souza, Gustavo Martinez, Joelison Freitas, Luciane Volpatto Rodrigues, Natascha Carvalho and Taísa Medeiros Graphic Designers and Illustrators Douglas Mastella, Evandro Bertol, João Vitor Bitencourt, Kennior Dias, Lidiane Castagna, Pollyana Santoro, Taynane Paim Senna, Yasmin Faccin and Projetar Junior Industrial Design Company

36 Foreign Affairs

38 Our Inventions

Support UFSM Press

UFSM inaugurates the Unesco Chair on Humanities and Borders and Migrations

Partnership between Brazil and South Korea gives rise to the robot Dimitri

Provost Office for Planning

Provost Office for Postgraduate Studies and Research Integrated Communication Unit (Unicom)

Revista Arco Website: E-mail: Telephone number: +55 55 991067935 Adress: UFSM - Av. Roraima, 1000 Cidade Universitária - Bairro Camobi Prédio 47, room 345 - CEP 97105-900 Santa Maria - RS - Brasil International Affairs Office Website: E-mail: Telephone number: +55 55 3220 8774 Facebook: Adress: UFSM - Av. Roraima, 1000 Cidade Universitária - Bairro Camobi Prédio 47, room 748 - CEP 97105-900 Santa Maria - RS - Brasil

Free distribution Printing at: Gráfica e Editora Copiart Circulation: 1.000 copies


The UFSM Planetarium was inaugurated in 1971 thanks to the cunning and resourcefulness of UFSM’s founding President, Dr. Mariano da Rocha Filho. It all began when he discovered that the countries of Eastern Europe owed a large debt to Brazil, which he saw as an opportunity to equip the University, founded a few years earlier in 1960. According to Dr. Mariano da Rocha,* “The countries of Eastern Europe owed Brazil a fortune for coffee, but they had nothing to give us. So they made an offer: ‘Take equipment’. And I went to Tarso [Tarso Dutra, Minister of Education at the time, who was appointed to the position by Mariano] and said: ‘Can you appoint a commission to see if this is true?’ The commission went to Europe

and confirmed the information." As it turned out, previous agreements between Brazil and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) had culminated in a debt that predated a transition to a military government which took place in 1964 and all information regarding the agreements had been lost. With confirmation of the debt, the Brazilian Ministry of Education and the GDR agreed to ship ten planetariums to Brazil. Produced by the German company Carl Zeiss, six were Spacemaster models, including the one given to UFSM, two were ZKP-1 models and two were ZKP-2 models. Mariano celebrated saying "I not only equipped the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, I equipped all of Brazil." *Source: Documentary “Uma Vida Pela Educação”, produced by RBS TV



SECOND ELECTRONIC MICROSCOPE IN BRAZIL ACQUIRED BY UFSM The first electronic microscope acquired at the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria was installed and inaugurated in March of 1956 at the Biochemical Research Institute, associated with the Santa Maria Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy. Attained through the efforts of the University’s founding president, José Mariano da Rocha Filho, it was the second electronic microscope in Brazil. With a magnification of 150 thousand times (almost 50 times greater than conventional microscopes), it promoted



the advancement of microbiological research, enabling studies on viruses and bacteria and, thus, was of great importance for the area of human health. As it was an advanced technology at the time, its acquisition in 1955 was made possible through a fundraising campaign carried out by the Santa Maria Association for Higher Education (Associação Santa-Mariense Pró Ensino Superior - ASPES). The campaign was successful and received contributions from throughout Brazil and abroad. Today, the microscope is displayed at the Gama D'Eça Museum, located in downtown Santa Maria.

The Santa Maria Medical School was the first organization in Latin America to use a closed television circuit for surgical education, in the year 1958. Then director and head of the Department of Surgery, Professor José Mariano da Rocha Filho had requested state funding of the television system, but the request was denied. Dr. Mariano da Rocha then decided to appeal in a personal letter to Brazil’s President and his friend, Juscelino Kubitschek, requesting he intervene in the acquisition of the equipment. He argued that the televised transmission of surgeries would allow an exponential increase in the number of students who were able to observe the techniques, as well as offer fewer risks to the patient, since only the surgical team would be present in the operating room. The president, who was a physician by training, intervened and made Dr. Mariano da Rocha’s innovative idea possible.


THE OUTSKIRTS PLAY MOZART Extension project changes lives of underprivileged children and youth through music The term spalla emerged in Italy to refer to a ladder that supported the main actor in a play. In an orchestra, the spalla is the person who is responsible for the first tuning of instruments on the stage and for providing support for the maestro. The Orchestrarium Project, which promotes social inclusion by providing free music classes, could be considered the spalla in the lives of dozens of children and youth from low-income neighborhoods in Santa Maria. Envisaged by Marco Antônio Penna, professor at the UFSM Music Course, the project is linked to the Arts and Languages Center and was established in April 2013 in the Northern region of Santa Maria. Thanks to a social network campaign, the project received donations of instruments, making it possible to commence the classes in 2016 with 15 students. So far, the project has reached around 150 new musicians, providing children and youth from 6 to 29 years old with their first contact with violins, violas and cellos. The classes take place as a before-or-after-school program and contemplate different arts, including music, dance and theater, as well as mathematics and

Portuguese. On Saturdays, it also provi- fosters the desire to also go to a university des tutoring sessions for students who one day, especially to study music. need extra help with school work, since For 15-year-old violinist Luan Levi, the good school performance is a requisite for biggest change he experienced after partiplaying in the main orchestra. In addition, cipating in the project was in his family. the project coordinators are dedicated to “People start to see you differently becauworking together with the families, due to se you start to have knowledge they don’t the fragile reality of some of the children, have.” Hemelayne Lima, who plays cello, who may face abandonment, abuse and dreams of getting into the UFSM Music Course and wants to continue participaviolence. The general coordinator, Mirian de Agus- ting in the project when she reaches that tini Machado, says Orchestrarium is a social stage. She explains that she wants to help incoming students the same way she was inclusion and integration project. Regardless helped when she started. of social class, integration is important so Because of the difficulties involved in that people don’t realize, during rehearsals or recitals, which children are from families obtaining instruments and transporting the students to rehearsals and presenwith a somewhat better economic situation and which ones don’t even have enough to tations, the Orchestrarium Project seeks put food on the table. financial support through public funding Throughout the year, several UFSM and from parents and collaborators. The students share their knowledge with the main goal is to continue to intervene in children and youth. According to Mirian, the lives of children and youth and proviundergraduate students from the Music, de more and more opportunities for them Languages and Dance courses work as to step onto a stage or become university volunteers, forming the big Orchestra- students for the first time. rium family. She believes the contact with Reporter: Andressa Foggiato . Graphic Design: Kennior Dias and João Vitor Bitencourt . Photography: Rafael Happke university students creates new perspectives Published 2017 in the minds of the young musicians and




THE PATH OF DISCOVERY Santa Maria and region have been a part of scores of paleontological experiences for over a century

1901 The geographer Antero de Almeida discovers the first animal fossils in the creeks that run through the district of Alemoa, which becomes a site known as the Sanga da Alemoa. Almeida also discovered the Chiniquá site. Dr. Arthus S. Woodward

1902 The central region of Rio Grande do Sul is a key area in the national paleontological scene. It has been the stage of great discoveries, such as Staurikosaurus pricei, the oldest dinosaur in Brazil and among the oldest in the world. These internationally recognized discoveries were made within an area of around 250 kilometers, encompassing several cities in the Quarta Colônia Region, around 30 km NE of Santa Maria. Paleontology is the study of the history of life on Earth. By studying fossils, it aims to discover information about organisms existing in the various geological periods and to understand the processes responsible for the emergence of certain species and for the extinction of others. Currently, it is a multidisciplinary field with direct involvement of areas such as biology, geography, archeology and geology. Given the wealth of information contained in fossils, their sites of occurrence must be preserved. However, this natural heritage is often threatened by enterprises that damage or illegally exploit these sites. This worries paleontologists and puts at risk our knowledge and understanding of the rich biological history of the planet. Today, part of this history is told by researchers at the Center for Paleontological Research in the Quarta Colônia (CAPPA / UFSM), located in São João do Polêsine, and the Laboratory of Stratigraphy and Paleobiology, both linked to UFSM. The following timeline details the main discoveries made in Rio Grande do Sul. Rather than an unabridged chronology, it is intended to provide a brief overview of local paleontological history.

Dr. Jango Fischer, a Brazilian diplomat in Chile originally from Santa Maria, visits the Sanga da Alemoa on one of his trips home and collects several fossils, which are later studied by Dr. Arthur S. Woodward and classified as Scaphonyx fischeri, today known as Hyperodapedon, one of the first fossil reptiles discovered in Brazil.


Reporter: Bernardo Zamperetti e Gustavo Martinez · Graphic Design: Evandro Bertol and

1915 –1917

Taynane Senna · Illustration: Evandro Bertol

Dr. Guilherme Rau



The ophthalmologist Dr. Guilherme Rau assists German paleontologist Dr. H. Lotz in his excavations. Together, they dig up about 200 pieces in the two-year period. During this time, Dr. Lotz teaches Atílio Munari, a 14-year-old from Santa Maria, to search for, excavate and carefully prepare the fossil findings. Munari assisted more than 11 geologists and paleontologists who came to do research in Santa Maria until his death in 1941.

1928 Friedrich von Huene and his most esteemed student, Rudolf Stahlecker, come to Santa Maria after receiving fossil materials from the region over a period of several years. The Germans’ expedition lasted ten months and a total of 8,600 kilos of solid rock blocks containing skeletons and isolated bony elements was boxed and sent for analysis in Germany. Thanks to this expedition, the Tübingen museum now has the nearly complete skeletons of more than five different species, including Stahleckeria potens and Traversodon stahleckeri.

1925 The arrival of the German geologist and researcher Bruno von Freyberg influences Vicentino Prestes de Almeida, a young surveyor from the region, who decides to study paleontology. Vicentino found a jaw of a pseudosuchian at the Chiniquá Paleontological Site in São Pedro do Sul, which was sent to Germany and analyzed by the renowned paleontologist Friedrich von Huene. The discovery led to a visit from Huene to Rio Grande do Sul in 1928. Vicentino had such an active participation in paleontology at the time that Friedrich von Huene named the fossil Prestosuchus chiniquensis, discovered in 1938, in his honor.

Friedrich von Huene

Pseudosuchia Group of prehistoric reptiles from the Triassic period. The name means false crocodiles, precisely because the group is superficially similar to modern crocodiles.

Stahleckeria potens

Prestosuchus chiniquensis


1927 Guilherme Rau excavates the skull of a Gomphodontonsuchus brasiliensis, a cynodont studied by Friedrich von Huene, at Sanga da Alemoa.

Cinodon A group of amniotes of pre-Mammalian lineage that would eventually evolve into the first mammals. It is believed that they were warm-blooded and had fur. They were named cynodont (“dog tooth”) due to their heterodont dentition (incisors, canines, premolars and molars) giving them an appearance that is superficially similar to that of dogs.


The Brazilian Llewellyn Ivor Price accompanies an expedition in the region with researchers from Harvard University. Among other species, the expedition discovered Staurikosaurus pricei, which was only analyzed and named in 1970 by the American paleontologist Edwin Colbert. Staurikosaurus, one of the oldest dinosaurs found to date, is classified as a basal saurischian, which arose before the division of the order into its two main suborders, Theropoda and Sauropodomorpha. timeline


1956 –1976 The priest Daniel Cargnin collects around 50 skulls of cynodonts and dicynodonts in several cities throughout the region and perhaps an even greater number of skulls of rhynchosaurs, 36 of which are displayed today at the museum Vicente Pallotti, in Santa Maria. His list of discoveries also includes the cynodont Protuberum cabralensis. Sacisaurus agudoensis

Pe. Daniel Cargnin


Dicinodon A category of mammalian like tempsids, as well as the cynodonts, but predating them. Unlike the cynodonts, they had a horny beak, similar to a tortoise and two tusks, which were lost in the more advanced forms of the group.

Protuberum cabralensis



The paleontologist Max Cardoso Langer discovers Saturnalia tupiniquim at Sanga da Alemoa. One of the oldest dinosaurs ever found, it lived at the end of the Triassic period, like Staurikosaurus pricei, approximately 230 million years ago.

Researchers from UFSM and the National Museum of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro publish the discovery of yet another dinosaur in Brazil, Unaysaurus tolentinoi, which lived around 225 million years ago. The fossil was discovered in 1998, near the city of SĂŁo Martinho da Serra, by a retired resident of the region, Mr. Tolentino, who was commemorated in the naming of the new species. When finding the first fragment of the fossil, he contacted UFSM.

Saturnalia tupiniquim



The discovery of Sacisaurus agudoensis is announced. The first fossil of the species was found in 2000 near the city of Agudo. The excavation eventually revealed several bones, including 19 right femurs, prompting the researchers to name the species Sacisaurus, as a reference to Saci, a one-legged mythical character from Brazilian folklore. The fossil, of approximately 220 million years of age, was initially believed to be from a dinosaur, but research later concluded that it is not from the clade Dinosauria, although it is very closely related.

Unaysaurus tolentinoi

2009 A well-preserved skull of a cynodont of the genus Luangwa is found near the town of Dona Francisca. This species is generally found only in Africa.


2011 Researchers from the Universidade Luterana do Brasil (ULBRA) publish a description of fossils of the dinosaur Pampadromaeus barberenai. The bones formed an incomplete and disjointed but well-preserved skeleton of a single individual of the species. The “Pampas runner”, as the name suggests, was biped and relatively small, only 50 centimeters tall and 120 centimeters long. Macrocollum Itaquii

2013 The Center for Paleontological Research in the Quarta Colônia (CAPPA / UFSM) is inaugurated in São João do Polêsine. The Center is a unit of UFSM and aims to bring together and support professionals who explore the paleontological sites of the central region of Rio Grande do Sul.

Brazilian researchers publish a study on Macrocollum itaquii, a new species of dinosaur found in Brazil. About 3.5 meters long, the most striking thing about the animals of the group is their very long necks and the fact that they are much older than any other long-necked dinosaur yet described. The rocks from which the skeletons of the species were excavated are about 225 million years old. This makes the new Brazilian dinosaur the oldest “long neck” ever discovered. The skeletons, found in the city of Agudo and collected in early 2013, underwent careful preparation work to preserve their remains.

Pampadromaeus barberenai

2015 2014 2012

The Center for Paleontological Research in the Quarta Colônia (CAPPA / UFSM)

Fossils from three dinosaurs are found in the countryside of Agudo by researchers from the Universidade Federal do Pampa (UNIPAMPA). The bones include two almost complete skeletons, which is very rare and the only recorded occurrence of this type on Brazilian territory. Researchers estimate the age of the bones to be 225 million years old and believe that these fossils may belong to a new species. The material is now registered in the CAPPA/UFSM collection.

Researchers from UFSM, ULBRA and UNIPAMPA collect a block containing a carnivorous dinosaur in São João do Polêsine. To date, few fossils of carnivorous dinosaurs from the Triassic period have been found. The researchers explain that this finding may provide important information about the origin and evolution of dinosaurs. The only carnivorous dinosaur from the Triassic period found in Brazil is Staurikosaurus, discovered in the 1930s in the central region of Rio Grande do Sul.

Researchers from UFSM, Ulbra and USP find a fossil in the city of São João do Polêsine from one of the oldest dinosaurs so far discovered in the world. The fossil belongs to the Buriolestes schultzi species and is estimated to have lived 233 million years ago. With this new discovery, Brazil now possesses the skeleton of a primitive dinosaur as complete as those found in Argentina, reinforcing the importance of fossils from the state of Rio Grande do Sul to our understanding of the origin of dinosaurs.

Published 2019




for a

clean air UFSM partners with Petrobras to research ways to reduce sulfur in diesel using alternative energy

Diesel oil, a derivative of petroleum, is a fuel composed of hydrocarbons, which are chemical compounds made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Diesel is used in vehicles such as buses and trucks, since diesel-powered engines have a lifespan about 30% longer than their gas-powered counterparts and also consume less fuel. On the other hand, the diesel engine is more expensive and less responsive. Given the alarming state of the environment, a great deal of research has focused on ways to reduce pollution. One of the main issues involving diesel is the harmful nitrogen and sulfur emissions from its combustion. Diesel releases a larger amount of these molecules into the atmosphere than fuels such as gasoline and alcohol, which means it pollutes more. These molecules cause problems for the environment, such as acid rain.



Weighing the benefits and drawbacks, one thing is certain: if using diesel is necessary, reducing its damage in nature is just as important. Towards that end, Petrobras, the Brazilian oil and gas company, launched a project in 2006 in partnership with the Industrial and Environmental Chemical Analysis Laboratory at UFSM (LAQIA). The project between the public company and the University research group aims to create alternatives to improve diesel oil, focusing on reducing its sulfur and nitrogen compounds.

Diesel oil under the action of the ultrasound probe

REDUCE AND REMOVE When working with chemical reactions, temperature and pressure are very important factors. While raising pressure and temperature can speed up reactions, it can also make them more difficult to perform. In the industry, a hydrogenation process has traditionally been used to remove sulfur from diesel oil. This process requires a temperature of around 300 degrees centigrade and a pressure of 200 atmospheres. The result is diesel containing between 100 and 500 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur. According to Dr. Érico Marlon Moraes Flores, professor of the UFSM Department of Chemistry and coordinator of the project, hydrogenation does not remove the most resistant sulfur compounds, which remain in the diesel oil.

The LAQIA team proposed a change. Instead of removing the pollutants from the fuel through hydrogenation, they attempted an ultrasound-assisted oxidative process. Using this process allowed them to work with a temperature of 90 degrees at atmospheric pressure, that is, without needing to add hydrogen. The result was surprising: even working at a low temperature and pressure, they were able to reach a level of only five parts per million.

WHY ULTRASOUND? Ultrasound energy is used to accelerate chemical reactions. In this case, it facilitates the process by eliminating the need for high temperature and pressure. Because it increases the efficiency of the reaction, while decreasing the use of chemical agents, solvents and reagents, it is considered an alternative technology. It reduces both the energy used in the process and the severity of the working conditions. According to Dr. Flores, ultrasound has some singularities when compared to other types of energy, such as the formation of cavitation bubbles, which are small bubbles of gas that arise in liquid, speeding up the process. Under the action of ultrasound, these bubbles begin to pulsate and increase in size until they

implode. At that point, they create high-pressure and high-speed jets in the liquid medium, which reach up to 400 meters per second. As the temperature rises, there is intense agitation in the medium, facilitating contact between the reactants and phases, thus accelerating the reaction. Without ultrasound, the reaction to extract sulfur and nitrogen molecules from diesel takes about six hours. With the use of ultrasound, this time drops to about fifteen minutes, making the reaction twenty-four times faster.

Cavitation Bubbles: One of the factors that accelerate the process



Diesel S10: less sulfur in the atmosphere, less pollution in the environment

CLOSER THAN YOU MIGHT THINK Improving diesel quality has resulted in a number of benefits. The LAQIA team started on the project in 2006 with the objective of developing a method to effectively remove sulfur and nitrogen, in order to ensure the production of fuel that would meet a series of new specifications and recommendations of the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels. By the end of 2012, in addition to common diesel fuel, which contains 500 ppm of sulfur, Brazilian gas stations began offering a less polluting diesel, called S50. The letter ‘S’ stands for sulfur, and the number stands for 50 mg of sulfur per liter of diesel. In order to comply with the Brazilian Program for Motor Vehicle Air Pollution Control, the S50 diesel was later replaced by S10, with an even lower sulfur content. Walter Mendes Mucha, a lawyer who uses the new diesel to power his truck, says he can tell the difference between the fuels because S10 diesel has a much less pungent smell than regular diesel. Even if he wanted to fill up on common diesel, Walter



couldn’t because his truck was designed only to run on S10. Reflecting these changes in the fuel supply, small diesel trucks have begun to be manufactured to run only on this type of diesel and these engines can sustain damages if they are fueled with common diesel. The inverse situation, however, offers no risks. Engines manufactured prior to 2012 and designed to use regular diesel can be fueled using S10 without any drawbacks. Another advantage of using S10 diesel is that the engine oil doesn’t have to be changed as often, since S10 reduces contamination. It also improves the cold start system, which boosts the operation of vehicles on cold days and decreases the emission of white smoke, which is harmful to the environment. All of these advantages are a result of the decreased amount of sulfur in the formula. However, this depends on a complex fuel refinement process, which is expensive. The outcome is reflected in the final consumer price: S10 diesel is more expensive than common diesel.

WE HAVE TO PURIFY Many industrial processes rely on the use of fuels at some stage. Factories, power plants and vehicles need them to function. However, the burning of fossil fuels, which enabled industrial development, has also led to environmental pollution Sulfur is released into the atmosphere from the burning of diesel oil, its raw material, petroleum, and also coal. Once in the air, it comes in contact with oxygen, causing the smog that hangs over large urban areas. In the air, sulfur molecules cause numerous health problems. Continued exposure to this pollution can cause irritation to the nose and throat, coughs and shortness of breath, as well as aggravate cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, such as asthma and bronchitis. When sulfur reacts with the water present in the atmosphere, it forms sulfuric acid, resulting in acid rain. Rain naturally contains a small degree of acidity, but the emission of gases such as sulfur intensifies this effect to the point of causing harm to the environment. The main problems caused by

this phenomenon are destruction of vegetation cover, such as forests and crops, alteration of ecosystems present in lakes and rivers, contamination of drinking water and destruction of monuments and buildings. In addition, acid rain can fall far from the location where the pollution originated, because winds can carry it up to several miles away. The project to reduce sulfur in diesel oil by ultrasound is still underway. The research has already yielded a patent for the project with Petrobras, an honorable mention from the Capes Thesis Award and a Petrobras Inventor Award. In addition, the Center for Studies on Petroleum, CEPETRO, has been established at UFSM to carry out this research. Through alternative technologies, diesel is being improved so that the final product results in cleaner air for the environment and the population. Reporter: Natascha Carvalho . Photography: Pedro Porto . Graphic Design: Taynane Senna and Projetar Junior Industrial Design Company

Published 2013

Dr. Flores, student Clรกudio Herbst and Dr. Mello, part of the LAQIA team at CEPETRO




OCEAN SURFACE WATERS National Institute of Space Research sends researchers to Antarctica every year to study how the relationship between the ocean and the atmosphere impacts climate You may have heard that 75% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water. But did you know that many properties of ocean waters strongly impact the atmosphere? For example, El Niño is a phenomenon characterized by abnormal warming of surface waters in the Tropical Pacific Ocean that may affect the regional and global climate-and also your vacation. There are several factors that affect global climate change, including the process of heat exchange between the sea surface and the atmosphere and the effect of carbon dioxide on this process. With a coastline of more than 8,000 km² on the South Atlantic Ocean, Brazil had few resources until recently to study the impact that ocean waters have on the climate of the country and the South American continent. However, that changed in 2004 when the National Institute of Space Research (INPE) launched a project to study large scale ocean-atmosphere interactions in the South Atlantic Ocean. That was only possible after the Brazilian Antarctic Program (PROANTAR) acknowledged that the region in the South Atlantic Ocean bordering the Southern Ocean (the ocean that surrounds Antarctica) is a key region for modulating the weather and climate of South America because of its significant contrasts in sea surface temperature: in that region, warm waters coming from


the Equator mix with cold waters coming from the Southern Ocean. The 2004 project Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction in the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence Zone (INTERCONF) is part of the National Institute for Science and Technology of the Cryosphere. INTERCONF is coordinated by INPE researchers Ronald Buss de Souza and Luciano Ponzi Pezzi and is currently the only project in the Brazil-Malvinas region studying ocean-atmosphere coupling and its impact on the weather in South America. The initiative acts as an umbrella for a number of studies and engages undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students from several institutions, including INPE, the Universidade Federal de Santa Maria (UFSM), the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) and the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG). The INTERCONF project works in partnership with the Brazilian Navy. PROANTAR and the navy provide operational support for Brazilian Antarctic researchers and four navy ships with all the equipment needed to collect research data: the research vessels Cruzeiro do Sul (H38) and Vital de Oliveira (H39), the Oceanographic Support Ship Ary Rangel (H44) and the Polar Ship Almirante Maximiliano (H41). The vessels carry a crew of about 90 to 100 people, which includes around 20 researchers and navy personnel.

The Brazil Current affects the climate of practically the entire Brazilian eastern coast, transporting warm waters from the Equator to

Lagoa dos Patos

the region where it meets the Malvinas Current (Falkland Current). In the opposite direction, the Malvinas Current is formed by a branch of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which moves North along the entire Argentine coast. This current is considered rich in nutrients

South America

and fundamentally important to the fishing economies in Argentina and Southern Brazil.

South Atlantic Ocean

Falkland Islands The collected data are used for research carried out at INPE in the most diverse areas of Oceanography and Meteorology. That includes studies on the physical and biological processes of the carbon dioxide (CO2) and water cycles and on heat fluxes between the ocean and the atmosphere and their role in regional and global climates and in climate change. “These measurements provide important information for Southern Brazil, because the movement of cold fronts over the state of Rio Grande do Sul is directly affected by variations in sea surface temperature and vertical heat and humidity fluxes” explains Dr. Buss.

From an atmospheric perspective, the warm turbulent layer of air over the Brazil Current meets the cold stable layer of air over the Malvinas Current. This produces a temperature difference and intense heat transfer in the region.

ON BOARD Every year, the INTERCONF project utilizes Brazilian Navy ships passing through the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region to take oceanographic and meteorological measurements that had not been taken before, even by the Navy. Professor Ronald’s team goes to sea to measure variables such as sea water salinity and temperature, air temperature, relative humidity, wind direction and intensity and ocean current direction and intensity. These measurements enable calculations of heat, momentum and gas transfers between the ocean and the atmosphere, which are used to improve weather and climate models. The last INTERCONF research cruise was held in October and November of 2018, when INPE’s team participated in the 37th Antarctic Operation onboard the Polar Ship Almirante Maximiliano. After taking measurements in the Brazil-Malvinas Confluence region, the ship sailed to the Southern Ocean where the group took new measurements contributing to an international initiative of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) called the “Year of Polar Prediction (YOPP)”. According to Ronald, the INTERCONF operation begins long before boarding the ship, with the preparation of the data collection instruments, which must be assembled and undergo a period of testing. Once prepared, the equipment is loaded onto the ship and properly installed. Along the route between Brazil and Antarctica, several devices are used for taking measurements, including

atmospheric radiosondes, current meters and oceanographic equipment to measure water temperature and salinity, an automatic weather station and a micro-meteorological tower equipped with sensitive meteorological equipment to measure air-sea heat, momentum and gas fluxes.

To understand better The physical variables involved in the ocean-atmosphere interface are studied by observing the sea surface temperature variation between the Brazil Current, which comes from the Equator and is characterized by warm saline waters, and the Malvinas Current, which comes from the South and is characterized by cold waters with lower salinity. In the area where these two bodies of water meet, there can be a sea surface temperature variation of more than 10ºC within just a few miles. Reporter: Diossana da Costa . Graphic Design: João Vitor Bitencourt and Projetar Junior Industrial Design Company . Photography: Personal archive/Ronald Buss de Souza

Published 2016




ALTERNATIVES TO ANIMAL RESEARCH Researchers at UFSM work with different organisms to reduce the use of rodents in experiments For centuries, physicians and researchers have used animals to better understand the functioning of human organs and systems and improve their surgical skills. Animal research has been essential to the expansion of knowledge and to new discoveries in science. Rodents, such as rats and mice, have been the most traditional animal model used in research. These mammals have been considered good test subjects for a number of reasons, including similarities to the human genome, small size and high breeding rate. In accordance with animal welfare legislation, they must be kept in good health and hygiene to be used for scientific purposes. However, there has been growing criticism from various segments of society because of the animal suffering caused by experimentation. In 2014, the National Council for the Control of Animal Experimentation (CONCEA), linked to the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communication, recognized alternative methods with the objective of reducing the number of animals used in research. These include in vitro cellular and computer models, among others. UFSM has been working to reduce animal testing by employing alternative model organisms. A model organism is any living organism used to study different biological processes that mimic those which occur in humans. Alternative organisms, such as worms and zebrafish, can complement or replace traditional rodent models. In 2005, the UFSM Ethics Committee on Animal Use (CEUA) was created to approve, control and supervise animal breeding and use in teaching and research activities, ensuring compliance with the standards defined by CONCEA. According to the coordinator of CEUA / UFSM, Daniela Bitencourt Rosa Leal, one of the Committee’s roles is to encourage adoption of the principles of refinement, reduction and substitution within the scope of animal use for teaching and scientific research. Professors from the UFSM Postgraduate Program in Toxicological Biochemistry have been working with several different organisms in their research. Dr. Félix Antunes Soares has worked with worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) since 2010. Dr. Denis Rosemberg has developed research using Zebrafish since his undergraduate studies in 2005. Dr. Nilda Barbosa has used flies (Drosophila melanogaster) since 2011 and has also conducted research using yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae). Dr. João Batista da Rocha has worked with cockroaches (Nauphoeta cinerea) for about 5 years. These are just a few examples of research being



developed at UFSM with alternative model organisms, in some cases with more than one type of organism being used in parallel experiments. “The aim is reduce the number of large and expensive animals used in research and to find alternatives that can answer complex questions,” says CEUA researcher and vice-coordinator Denis Rosemberg. Since the first studies using alternative organisms at UFSM, the number of mammals used in research, such as mice and rats, has decreased considerably, as some professors have stopped using them altogether and others have reduced their use after adopting other model organisms. Dr. Félix Soares, professor from the Department of Biological Sciences, emphasizes that, despite replacing mammals in experiments, animals are still used. “In the future we may be able to work with cell lines, but this method is quite expensive. In addition, you need a specialized laboratory and trained researchers. For now, these alternative organisms are still our best option,” he says. Storage and care of alternative organisms is also more practical, considering the needs for temperature, light and space of mammals. Dr. Soares also believes that it is easier for students to work with these organisms, since they are easier to handle than mammals.

AROUCA LAW In 2008, the Arouca Law was implemented to regulate animal testing in Brazil. It establishes three basic criteria for animal research: first, it is prohibited to use more animals than necessary; second, a number of measures must be taken to ensure the welfare needs of the animals are met; and the third stipulates substitution of traditional models of animal testing for alternative methods with reliable responses in applications for human and animal health.

Reporters: Gabriele Wagner de Souza and Luciane Volpatto Rodrigues . Phography: Rafael Happke . Ilustration: Pollyana Santoro . Graphic Design: Pollyana Santoro, Douglas Mastella and João Vitor Bitencourt Published 2017

Nauthoeta cinerea (Cockroach)

Caenorhabditis elegans (worm)

Cockroaches are easy to handle and 64% of their genome is similar to the human genome. Breeding takes place in temperature-controlled containers kept at between 18 and 25 degrees in the winter and between 25 and 35 degrees in the summer. They have a relatively long life cycle, of around 2 years, and can be used in chemical, molecular and behavioral analyses.

These worms are smaller than 1mm and transparent, which facilitates maintenance and microscopic analysis, and 80% of their genome is similar to that of humans. In addition, genetic manipulation of the worm is relatively simple. Worms can be used to study ways to decrease or even eliminate expression of the beta-amyloid protein, one of the proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Danio rerio (Zebrafish) This fish has a high breeding rate since a single couple can produce more than 200 larvae under ideal conditions and 70% of its genome is similar to the human genome. Unlike mammals, the Zebrafish has a significant capacity for neuronal regeneration, which favors the study of mechanisms associated with cell regeneration after neuron damage. Due to its well-defined behaviors, the Zebrafish can be used for modeling alcohol intoxication, stress, anxiety and even depression. Moreover, the Zebrafish can be used in toxicology, biochemistry, and behavioral neuroscience.

Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit fly) These flies have well-developed reproductive parameters and are easy to handle, with 60% to 80% of their genome similar to that of humans. They are bred in glass containers and kept at a temperature between 20 and 24 degrees. They feed on maize meal and live for about 60 days, so they can be used in analyses of their full life cycle, from the larval to the adult stage of life. Research on neurological and metabolic diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and diabetes can be done using these organisms.

Saccharomyces cerevisiae (yeast) Yeasts are stored in 150ml plates and kept at a temperature of 30 degrees. Because they are eukaryotic single-celled microorganisms - present in plants, fungi and humans - they have several genes homologous to those present in the human body. One of the advantages of using yeasts is that analyses can be completed in 48 hours. They can be used in research on toxicology and aging.



Our Campus Universidade Federal de Santa Maria


2 1


7 9



3 5


1- University Hospital

8- Student Housing

2- Health Sciences Center

9- Arts and Language Center

3-Technology Center

10- Rural Sciences Center

4- Exact and Natural Sciences Center

11- Planetarium

5- Education Center

12- Human and social Sciences Center

6- Library

13- Physical Education and Sports Center

7- University Restaurant

14- The Agency for Innovation and Technology Transfer





Frederico Westphalen

Palmeira das MissĂľes

Brazil Santa Maria Cachoeira do sul

Rio grande do sul



A NEW AGE FOR agriculturE The Aquarius Project makes advances in the use of precision agriculture, increasing productivity and decreasing environmental damage

THE RENAISSANCE Did you know that the concentration of nutrients in crop soils can be corrected? Improved computer technologies, sensors and GPS applied to agricultural practices help farmers increase the probability of guaranteeing a productive harvest. Precision farming techniques work by attaching devices to farm machines, such as seeders and harvesters, so they are able to withdraw a sample of soil, verify the variability of nutrients present and make any necessary corrections using fertilizers. What stands out in precision farming is not only its benefits for the rural producer, but for the environment as well. By enabling the control of all interventions on an agricultural property, fertilizer and pesticide dosages can be accurately calculated and applied, reducing environmental contamination and increasing productivity. In the state of Rio Grande do Sul, about 30% of agribusinesses use precision agriculture. In some regions of the state, such as the North, this number is even more expressive, reaching around 50%. This is the case in the city Não-Me-Toque, known as the National Capital of precision agriculture, and also in Carazinho.



At the turn of the millennium, new perspectives emerged for Brazilian agriculture and agribusiness. The Aquarius Project, an initiative taken by the Massey Ferguson and Stara companies, marked the beginning of the development of precision agriculture in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and in Brazil. The project got under way in the city of Não-Me-Toque, in two locations: the Schmidt area, with 124 hectares, and the Lagoa area, with 132 hectares. Today, it occupies 16 areas, distributed along the Alto Jacuí region, with a total of 729 hectares. UFSM got in on the project in 2003, when the Agronomy course became a participant. Renowned throughout Brazil, the Aquarius Project has received international recognition in countries such as Paraguay, Argentina and Colombia. Utilized by the farm machinery, fertilizer and seed industries, as well as by agricultural cooperatives, precision farming requires technology and innovation. The Project currently articulates activities among diverse partners, including the private companies Fazenda Anna and Cotrijal, UFSM and several agricultural producers in the state. “Today, we define the project as a technological showcase, because we work together with companies and they often develop a product, which the University and the producers test and then suggest modifications and adaptations. In other words, we test all the innovations. The project counts on financing from private companies at the University”, affirms professor of Agronomy at UFSM, Telmo Amado Neto, the coordinator of the Aquarius Project. Currently, participants in the Project include agribusinesses Stara (agricultural machinery), Pioneer (seed manufacturer), Yara (world leader in fertilizers) and Cotrijal (agricultural cooperative in the northern region of Rio Grande do Sul).

Stages of the basic precision farming cycle Soil Preparation


In the first phase, soil is collected to determine nutrient variability in the field in order to generate a map of the area, showing the variability of soil fertility. Sampling is carried out at various points of the terrain, to show that the soil is not equally fertile throughout the agricultural production area.

Before sowing the seeds, soil intervention is carried out to correct for variability, using different rates of fertilizers and soil improvers. This is considered a more environmentally beneficial practice because it reduces impacts on nature, since the nutrients are allocated at the precise locations they are needed.

crop monitoring Harvesting Harvesting is carried out using combine harvesters with productivity sensors, making it possible to detect variations in productivity and determine whether the intervention corrected any preexisting problems and resulted in productivity gains.

The final step in the cycle is to track the development of the farm by mapping the soil to verify whether there are any pests or diseases that could adversely affect production. After analyzing crop maps, agricultural pesticides are applied, if necessary, to ensure a good crop.

The latest invention in the field of precision farming is the N-Sensor, a real-time sensor for applying nitrogen. The device detects nitrogen variability and can determine whether a plant needs more. The N-Sensor was developed in Germany and the Aquarius Project was a pioneer in the validation of its use in Brazil.



On-farm research The Aquarius Project uses a research strategy called On-Farm Research, in which farmers provide one hectare of their land for UFSM Agronomy students to test equipment and develop new technologies. “Normally, a work plan is first made for the project to be carried out by the students. They come up with ideas and let me check the feasibility of setting it up in the area. What is feasibility? Accuracy, time and space and machinery”, explains the agricultural producer Rogério Pacheco, landowner in Carazinho, who contributes to Aquarius Project tests on his property. “As soon as we determine that we have the physical conditions necessary for the studies, we carry it out. They bring the theory, and we come in with the practice, the staff, the equipment and the inputs,” says the producer.

“We try to put the right amount of nutrients in the right place, at the right time and from the most efficient source. This involves the concept of space-time” Thus, instead of the research being carried out on an experimental field on the campus, it is carried out on actual agricultural crops provided by farmers. After analyzing the results, farmers decide whether to adopt the tested equipment or not and the tools developed through a project carried out by students and farmers end up getting adopted by other producers as word gets out. “In this process, the farmer often proposes solutions and adaptations. And, while we are conducting the project, the farmer is already making observations about whether it is something that will be valuable for the farm or not,” says Dr. Amado.



Rogério Pacheco adopted a precision agriculture system over five years ago, motivated by the principle of productivity and the rationalization of inputs. The N-sensor was one of the devices acquired by Rogério, after it was tested by the Aquarius Project, and, according to him, it has been one of the most used devices recently. “We experimented with precision planters, comparing the latest models on the market with traditional mechanical planters. Nitrogen variation in areas of high and average fertility was also analyzed using the N-Sensor,” recalls the farmer.

Academic workforce The experiments carried out on the agricultural property and the laboratory analyses are tasks performed by undergraduate and graduate students from the course in Agronomy. After students conclude the work carried out on the farm, in contact with the earth, grains and leaves, it is time to return to the academic environment. There, at UFSM laboratories, the materials collected are observed by the students in order to generate data for master’s theses and doctoral dissertations.

NO PRE-REQUISITES The new technologies developed by computer and information researchers and applied to farming are used on a large scale within the agro-industry, due, on the one hand, to the demand of its consumer market and, on the other, to the fact that the sector is financially able to acquire the technologies. Precision agriculture can be adopted by both small and large producers. The agricultural engineer, Giordano Schiochet, who owns a small farm in the North of the state and uses machinery lent by the Cotrijal Cooperative, believes that precision farming is feasible for properties of all sizes, as long as it is adjusted to the investment capacity of each property. “I see precision farming as a tool that can contribute to the sustainability of small farms, making them competitive and strong,” says Schiochet.

According to Dr. Amado, the size of the property is not restrictive, as in the case of family farming. To demonstrate, he points out that precision farming is widely used on small farms in Europe. “The whole issue comes down to whether you’re open to adopting new technologies or not,” he says.

PARTNERSHIPS FOR SERVICES THAT GENERATE INCLUSION One of the ways to make precision farming reach family farmers is through cooperatives. Within Aquarius, there is a secondary project called Apecop (Precision Agriculture in Cooperatives), which involves 16 agricultural cooperatives in Rio Grande do Sul and adopts precision agriculture for its members. “In this case, the farmer doesn’t buy any machines, it is the cooperative that provides services and, in some cases, he pays for services provided only at the time of the harvest. Today, 50% of Cotrijal Cooperative members, for example, benefit from precision agriculture,” says Dr. Amado. Giordano Schiochet notes that the equipment used in precision agriculture is expensive and, therefore, partnerships with cooperatives make it feasible for members to have access to the tools. “I see being able to outsource the application of inputs as an advantage, because it would not be viable for small properties to acquire the machines needed to perform the service. In the case of our cooperative, the technical department, together with the precision agriculture sector, provides guidance on the best way to carry out the investment and work” says the agricultural engineer.

A WAY TO MANAGE THEIR OWN Many management principles are employed to establish a precision farming strategy on a property. One of its key features is its focus on management. The first step is to sort all the production processes on the farm. The next step is planning and organizing crop rotation, and, last of all, thinking about buying new machines and considering the need to purchase new seeders, or a more powerful harvester. “Precision agriculture should not only

be associated with the acquisition of new machines, it is much more than that” says Dr. Amado. In other words, there are cases where precision agriculture consists of managing the resources that are already available on the property. Embrapa defines precision agriculture as a new way of managing agricultural activities. In the opinion of Dr. Amado, precision agriculture is the management of agricultural properties, respecting the existing soil and plant variability and seeking to increase the efficiency of all processes.

“Precision agriculture should not only be associated with the acquisition of new machines, it is much more than that” EVOLUTION WITH BENEFITS Farm machines now come equipped with GPS signals that direct them in the crops when correcting variability of soil nutrients. The technological evolution of these mechanisms has minimized positioning errors in the application of fertilizers. As Dr. Amado reports: “When we started, we had a 6-meter positioning error and with the technology today, the error is only 2 centimeters.” The gains achieved for producers and the environment by using precision in agricultural practices are clear to the Aquarius project coordinator: “When you have such a small positioning error, you can reduce the volume of agrochemicals applied to the crop by up to 10%, simply by avoiding excess applications,”. Thus, reducing the positioning error and having electronic control of the machines also reduces the environmental impact. Reporter: Cibele Zardo . Illustration: Evandro Bertol . Graphic Design: João Vitor Bitencourt and Projetar Junior Industrial Design Company . Photography: Aquarius Project Collection Published 2015



Reproductive improvement

in the Laboratory UFSM laboratory studies Maternal Recognition of Pregnancy in cows, which is the biological system responsible for signaling the onset of a new pregnancy With about 220 million head of cattle, Brazil has the second largest cattle herd in the world. Cattle ranching accounts for about 15% of the national Gross Domestic Product and about 18% of agribusiness exports. In order to contribute to this extensive sector, the UFSM Laboratory of Biotechnology and Animal Reproduction (BioRep) has developed research on Reproductive Biology for over 20 years.

One of their specific lines of research investigates Interferon-tau, a protein produced and released by embryonic cells and delivered to the uterus and the blood system of cows to assure that levels of progesterone remain elevated during early pregnancy. A number of factors, including food poisoning, malnutrition, medication use, climate and genetic factors may cause females to produce the protein in small quantities or to stop producing it altogether.

BOVINE REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE Interferon-tau is released on the 10th day of the reproductive cycle, signaling the gestation of an embryo and the need to maintain progesterone levels. If fertilization does not occur, progesterone levels drop. Highest progesterone level


The cow is pregnant!

With embryo Without embryo

21 days



When this happens, progesterone is reduced and the reproductive cycle is restarted, leaving the uterine environment unsuitable for the embryo. BioRep, coordinated by Dr. Alfredo Antoniazzi from the Large Animal Clinic Department at the UFSM Center for Rural Sciences, studies ways to control and even avoid impairment of Interferontau production, establishing favorable conditions for conception and pregnancy, which is vital to herd productivity. One of the most recent studies conducted in the Laboratory under the supervision of Dr. Antoniazzi was Carolina Amaral’s master thesis for the Veterinary Medicine Postgraduate Program, which investigated the influence of heat stress on Interferon-tau production and oxidative stress in bovine embryos produced in vitro. It was concluded that factors such as hyperthermia – an increase in body temperatures capable of affecting metabolism - can reduce the conception rate by 20 to 30%. Other studies carried out at BioRep also take into consideration the regional characteristics of Southern Brazil, where UFSM is located. The region has a subtropical climate, with welldefined seasons that include cold winters and hot summers. It is also a leading region in agricultural production, with crop rotations adapted to each period of the year. For beef cattle breeders, the ideal scenario is for cows to be fertilized between November and February, so the calves are born between August and October, when there is plenty of food due to the harvest and climate. After giving birth, the cow will be healthy, strong, well-nourished and prepared for a subsequent pregnancy. For dairy cattle breeders, this is even more important, since milk production is dependent on having calves. In other words: without pregnancy, there is no milk production and, consequently, a decrease in profits. “Successful production depends on knowledge generated in laboratories for improving reproduction,” says Dr. Antoniazzi. Besides the study on Interferon-tau, BioRep works with additional research lines on ovarian physiology. The Laboratory, which has a staff of four professors, one laboratory technician and undergraduate and graduate students, collaborates with research centers in the United States and Canada. Reporter: Cristina Haas . Photography: Rafael Happke . Edition: Andressa Motter . Graphic Design and illustration: Taynane Senna

Published 2019



The heart of the idea is

to save electricity UFSM’s award-winning project targets energy intelligence from consumption control

Competing against more than two thousand projects, two UFSM students won the Empreenda Santander 2017 award in the Entrepreneurial University category. Fernando Ferreira and Jader Stefanello are students from the Automation and Control Engineering course who created the Startup Lunix, which aims to reduce energy consumption through a system that identifies the ideal lighting in an environment, based on the amount of natural light and pedestrian and vehicular circulation.

Their proposal competed with projects in the areas of health, management, energy and parking control. Jader believes that winning first place was related to a number of factors, saying that “Intelligent consumption was the difference. Energy prices are increasingly high and this is likely to worsen in coming years. We will have to consume less and less. Plus, the potential of our team and the size of the market were also important�.

Glossary of Entrepreneurship Startups: new companies that seek to explore market innovation. They aim to develop a business model that is scalable and repeatable, i.e., use a single economic model to reach a large number of customers and generate profits in a short time without a significant increase in costs. Incubation: a process in which entrepreneurs seeking to develop projects, products and services based on innovative technology are temporarily provided with a physical space and guidance to establish and structure themselves. Acceleration: accelerators follow each startup with a focus on goals and metrics in a collaborative model.



The light of the idea The business plan for Lunix was hatched in the UFSM class “Entrepreneurial Attitude,” taught by Dr. Hélio Leães Hey, director of UFSM’s Agency for Innovation and Technology Transfer (AGITTEC). The Agency helped to polish the original idea and has followed up on its progress since leaving the classroom. As a result of the partnership, Lunix was incubated at UFSM’s PULSAR incubator – which means the Startup was provided with temporary facilities and technical support to take its first steps as a company. Lunix’s proposal drew on the team’s different experiences. Jader had worked in a junior company for a year and a half and was focused on business administration and management, while Fernando was in charge of the automation technology side. Both saw the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge acquired throughout their academic careers. Felipe Wilke Neu and Jeann Carlo Raguzzoni are team members with academic and research experience in the area that are responsible for providing technical support. “Seeking diversity of perspectives and people who complement each other in a project is a good tip for entrepreneurship,” says Jader. Lunix won one hundred thousand reais and a scholarship to enroll in an immersion course in the area of entrepreneurship and management at Babson College, in the state of Massachusetts, United States. Babson College is ranked number one in the area of entrepreneurship by Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review (2018). The entrepreneurs spent 15 days at Babson in July 2019 and were awarded a six-month startup acceleration program at the ACE accelerator, which helped them to develop the project.

Change of plans After winning the award, the Startup changed directions to serve a different market segment. Lunix now offers people flow analyses for shopping malls, supermarkets, pharmacies and retail stores, which ultimately leads to reduced costs and improved sales results. The change of direction was prompted by discussions with

The controlled energy consumption system in public lighting works with a presence sensor so that the lights come on so they detect people and vehicles nearby.

The signal is transmitted to the lights via a wi-fi network connected to the server. Data showing system performance are made available to the customer.

potential clients when the team was in the phase of implementing a pilot of the earlier project. Jader explains that they spoke with many people, both from the public and private sectors, and in these conversations, they became aware of this emergent demand. The technology works by detecting the cell phone signal of people passing by or going into the store and then transmitting the data, such as peak times and recurrence, to a cloud platform. With this information, the Startup performs analyses that compare people flows and sales figures, which can provide insight into ways to improve sales strategies. “When you tell the business owner that they can make more money, they are ready to listen,” says Jader. Lunix began providing the service in April 2019 and by the end of the year they already had 13 points of operation, as well as some surprising results. In

one case, they detected a connection between low sales in the winter due to the cold weather. They suggested scheduling a clearance sale during this period and this worked to boost sales. In another case, they detected a drop in sales after a certain time in the early evening and the solution was to reduce the number of employees on the sales floor after that time. The employees were happy, because they got to go home earlier and the owner was happy because it reduced costs, increasing profits. Reporter: Bibiana Pinheiro . Illustration and infographic: Pollyana Santoro . Graphic Design: Taynane Senna

Published 2018




FUNGAL RESEARCH UFSM Laboratory obtains patent on vaccine for horses LAPEMI, the UFSM Laboratory for Mycological Research, is dedicated to developing research on fungal disease control in animals and humans. The Laboratory, coordinated by professors Sydney Hartz Alves and Jânio Morais Santurio, unites UFSM professors and undergraduate and graduate students from the courses of Medicine, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine and Biology. According to Dr. Alves, LAPEMI stands out internationally for its considerable number of scientific publications on the treatment of fungal diseases in animals. Since its establishment in 2001, the laboratory has published around 15 to 20 papers per year, on average, in leading journals of the area, such as the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy and Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. One of Dr. Alves’ research focuses is to detect combinations of chemical substances with pharmacological properties, for example, antifungal with antibacterial. This sort of combination results in increased effectiveness when compared to the isolated use of the substances, which is

known as a synergistic effect. “When a synergistic effect occurs, you can decrease the dose of the drug, which reduces toxicity and spares the patient’s liver or kidney,” explains Dr. Alves. The studies carried out at LAPEMI have allowed researchers to understand which types of combination can generate faster and more beneficial treatment effects and which combinations should be avoided. “We work with fungi of medical importance, which are difficult to treat and resistant to conventional antifungal agents. If we detect synergy in the in vitro tests, the second step is to perform tests in vivo, using animals, such as mice and rabbits,” explains doctoral student in Mycology, Laura Denardi.

“When a synergistic effect occurs, you can decrease the dose of the drug, which reduces toxicity and spares the patient’s liver or kidney”



Synergistic effect: An interaction between two or more drugs that causes the total effect of the drugs to be greater than the sum of the individual effects of each drug

Pitium-Vac Another important outcome from LAPEMI research is the invention of the vaccine denominated Pitium-Vac, developed by Dr. Santurio. The vaccine is used to control pythiosis in horses, a disease caused by the fungus Pythium insidiosum, which develops in marshy areas. “Since there is no drug treatment for this disease, such as antifungals, we ended up developing the vaccine, an immunotherapy of a curative nature, which means, it is given when the animal is already sick,” explains Dr. Santurio. Since 1998, studies have been conducted in order to develop the vaccine. In 2003, the effectiveness of PitiumVac was proven and a paper on the subject was published in the English magazine Vaccine. In 2012, Pitium-Vac was licensed by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, allowing its production and marketing. “We applied for a patent for this product and with the proceeds collected, Lapemi is able to pay for student grants and laboratory expenses, such as materials, equipment and repairs,” says Dr. Santurio.

Currently, about one thousand doses of the vaccine are sold monthly throughout Brazil. And studies on PitiumVac continue: the goal of the laboratory is to amplify its beneficial effect, making it preventive rather than just curative, as is the current formula. Reporters: Cibele Zardo and Joelison Freitas . Graphic Design: Taynane Senna and Projetar Junior Industrial Design Company . Photography: Joelison Freitas

Published 2016

Pitium-Vac can be purchased by telephone, at (+55 55) 3220 8906, or online, at the website

Laboratory underwent structural alterations to meet the specifications of the Ministry of Agriculture




The indigenous cause belongs to all of us Indigenous Residence Hall at UFSM is home to 78 students The outcome of a long battle—this is how Chief Kaingang Nathanael Claudino, from the village of Santa Maria, defines the Augusto Ópe da Silva Indigenous Student House, inaugurated at UFSM on December 14, 2018. With 96 student places available and 78 already occupied by students since March 2019, the residence hall is the result of affirmative public policies designed to ensure access and persistence of indigenous students, which have been in place at the University since 2008. Besides being a civil right, the House is a space for preservation of the native culture within the University. "Here we can show a little of the culture of our people, the Guaraní, the Kaingang, and feel free to speak our language," says pharmacy student William Gama, from the Xakriabá community in Minas Gerais. "Leaving the village and putting yourself in a totally different context and culture is a bit difficult, but I' m adapting," says the student who has lived in the Indigenous Student House since 2018. Bruno Júnior Ferreira, a Kaingang student from the Guarita Indigenous Reservation, located in northwest Rio Grande do Sul, has been studying medicine at UFSM since 2016 and also lives



in the House. "It's good to live here because there are people with the same culture as mine, with the same points of view, it’s easier to live together," he says. The Indigenous Student House was named after the Kaingang leader who envisioned its creation. Augusto Ópe da Silva was born in the community of Iraí, in the North of Rio Grande do Sul and died in 2014. He led the fight for indigenous causes throughout the state and the country, especially in Santa Maria - where the local indigenous community school is also named after him. "We have to honor our warriors while they are among us. When they leave, they leave happy. They leave with their duty fulfilled," says Chief Nathanael. Also present at the inauguration of the House was 98-year-old Jorge Canã Garcia, who passes down knowledge of the indigenous culture learned from his elders to the teachers at the Nonoai Reservation school, where he has lived since birth. He believes that the children of the village should learn to speak and write in both Kaingang and Portuguese. "If they don't learn to speak ‘Indian’, the culture is lost," says the leader. For those who are

William is wearing a headdress and protective necklace. He is holding a maraca, also called a rumba shaker

already studying at the University, Jorge highlights that support is needed to make sure they are able to continue and graduate. "Maybe in the future one of them will write a book in Kaingang, so that the culture is not lost", says Jorge. Chief Nathanael points out that UFSM students living in the Indigenous Student House spend free time between classes and school work at the House, using the opportunity to preserve the language, traditional medicines, typical foods, songs and rituals. "They have this freedom because the space is ours," says Nathanael. Another advantage is that the House accommodates students with children. Maria Inês de Freitas, a Kaingang woman and the representative of the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI), sees the inauguration of the house as an important moment of territorial demarcation and visibility for the cause of indigenous students. "The house is the result of a struggle, it is an important achievement," says Maria Inês, adding that "faced with a political context that is unfavorable for the indigenous agenda, we need to unite more and more with the university, with civil society and with indigenous leaders to establish a dialogue and build alternatives�. "The Kaingang are brave people. We will continue to fight for our space, not only at UFSM, but also at other universities," says Chief Nathanael. Reporter: Andressa Motter . Graphic Design: Lidiane Castagna . Photography: Rafael Happke

The House is a space for preservation of the native culture within the University

Published 2019




Cultural Anthropophagy for an Ideal Education Concept from the arts inspired UFSM professor to study ways to value Brazilian cultural matrices in the classroom In prehistoric times, anthropophagy was a ritual of different indigenous peoples who believed that by eating the flesh of another human, one received all the strength, power and characteristics of the conquered one. The essence of that idea, of absorbing from the other that which is positive, has served as a trope of otherness and inspiration for counter-colonial artistic and cultural movements in several Latin American countries, including Brazil – the cradle of Cultural Anthropophagy. Twelve years ago at UFSM, this concept was applied to the area of education by Dr. Valdo Hermes de Lima Barcelos, Professor at the Department of School Administration, in the Education Center. Dr. Barcelos has a PhD in Brazilian Cultural Anthropophagy and is a member of the ALPAS 21 International Academy of Arts, Literature and Sciences, the Santa Maria Literary Academy, the Brazilian branch of Amnesty International, as well as a consultant for several organs, including The Brazilian Ministry of Education, UNESCO, The Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, the Ibero-American Program of Science and Technology for Development (CYTED), the National Institute for Amazonian Research (INPA) and the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology. He is the author of dozens of scientific articles, book chapters and complete books, such as An education in the tropics – contributions from Brazilian cultural anthropophagy, published by Vozes Publishing House in 2012. In addition to cultural anthropophagy, Barcelos explores themes including interculturality and environmental sustainability. His research has led to partnerships with international institutions such as the University of Coimbra and the Piaget Institute, both in Portugal,



where Barcelos had his doctoral dissertation on literary texts and ecology published by the Piaget Publishing House in 2009. His work has also involved cooperation with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in Costa Rica, and the National Institute for Amazonian Research."The common thread guiding all these activities is the desire to help build education as a process of human development grounded in an ecological and solidary worldview" said the professor, who spoke with the magazine Arco. Your research applies the idea of cultural anthropophagy to the area of education. How does this work? Basically, it seeks to end the practice of imitating ideas and educational models that are foreign to our culture and the Brazilian social reality, without the necessary recontextualization. In this sense, it is not about developing something that is completely Brazilian, but rather that takes into account the different Brazilian cultural matrices, namely: Indigenous, Portuguese and African. This process aims to bring our education closer to the realities of the people of Brazil. One example is Paulo Freire. In a networked society, can we still have something genuinely local? This is a practical impossibility because of contemporary processes involved in network relations, characterized by interchange between the local and the global. What anthropophagy proposes is to make this relationship one of devouring, rather than one of submission. Anthropophagy offers foreigners the possibility of being devoured and also of devouring.

How do you relate anthropophagy to teaching? Does it mean choosing different authors? Yes, this is an alternative. It is interesting to explore authors whose ideas and propositions seek a relationship that is not guided by intellectual submission and subalternity. To exemplify, I use an expression from the Anthropophagic Manifest (1928) by Oswald de Andrade: it is necessary to "see with free eyes". Can cultural anthropophagy change daily classroom practices? Certainly. This can happen by creating environments where learners’ creation and imagination can flow without controls, as well as by opening up spaces for valuing ways of knowing and ways of doing that students bring with them to school. In summary, practices change by valuing intercultural exchanges, particularly in our current times with so many migratory diasporas. What would be an intercultural and sustainable civilization? A proposal to live together based in a perspective of living well, seeking cooperation, mutual acceptance and respect for particularities. This would create a solidary civilization stemming from the tropics.

Could you comment on the relationship between Augusto Boal's Theater of the Oppressed and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed? Among the various relationships, we can mention that both use, as a starting point, the ways of knowing and ways of doing of the group involved. Both are about putting theater and education into practice within the most varied spaces and not only inside the theater and the classroom. Both are marked by reflection about ways of living and practicing education and theater. Both aim to expand the concept and practices of citizenship. And, finally, both aim to transform our reality into a more inclusive reality. Could you describe your conception of human development resulting from an education based in cultural anthropophagy? Human development guided by these basic principles: Freirean amorousness and dialogism; cooperation and partnership, as proposed by Humberto Maturana in opposition to competition and domination; solidarity, tolerance, respect and defense of differences; ecology and the construction of an education for peace such as that espoused by the educator Maria Montessori; an education and a pedagogy whose aspiration and purpose is to encourage the emergence of spaces for creation and invention at schools, fostering spontaneity rather than copying, imitation or symbolic and physical violence which, unfortunately, are still very present in our educational spaces.

Towards recovering our national identity Brazilian cultural anthropophagy originated during the Week of Modern Art, held in São Paulo in 1922. The initiative aimed to break artistic, cultural, political and aesthetic standards imported from Europe without any recontextualization. The name anthropophagy, given to the movement, arose from a work by Tarsila do Amaral: the Abaporu. The figure with large hands and feet in contrast to a small head was baptized by Oswald de Andrade, who united two words of Tupi origin: Aba, man, and Poru, one who eats human flesh. In addition, Macunaíma - the hero with no character (1928), by Mario de Andrade, is another notable work from the movement. In music, Brazilian cultural anthropophagy inspired the Tropicalist Movement, in the 1960s, whose greatest representatives were Torquato Neto, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa and Gilberto Gil. It also influenced Glauber Rocha’s Cinema Novo and Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed. The movement was taken up in other countries in Latin America, such as Uruguay, Peru, Paraguay, Chile and Colombia. Reporter: Andressa Motter . Graphic Design and illustration: Yasmin Faccin

Published 2019



Foreign Affairs


BEYOND BORDERS Unesco Chair at UFSM seeks to strengthen ties with international universities Human beings are migrant by nature. Homo Erectus, the predecessor of Homo Sapiens, is believed to have migrated in groups through territories that today make up part of the African continent. During millennia, the human desire to set off in search of improved living conditions has persisted. In order to explore the complex processes of human migration, UFSM has joined forces with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to establish a UNESCO Chair on Humanities and Borders and Migrations. The chair was officially inaugurated at the UFSM Graduate Program in History (PPGH) in March 2019. The theme of borders and migrations offers a wide array of research directions. "It’s an issue that goes back to prehistoric times and spans the whole of South America. But it also relates to current affairs and understanding how the world reacts to it,"says Dr. André Luis Ramos Soares, coordinator of the Chair and professor at the PPGH. In addition, talking about the subject in Santa Maria means recovering the history of settlement of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, constituted partially from migrations from the neighboring Platina Basin. In this sense, UFSM is located in a strategic region. However, it goes far beyond being a geographical question alone, so much so that the group’s research on the subject has drawn the attention of scholars from around the world. The Chair’s proposed activities synched with research already


Foreign Affairs

What is a chair? UNESCO is one of several organizations that work with initiatives to create chairs in higher education. UNESCO defines their chairs as projects involving a team at a university or a higher education or research institution who partner with UNESCO in order to advance knowledge and practice in an area that is a priority for both the institution and UNESCO. According to UNESCO, the chair program aims to provide "training through the exchange of knowledge and the spirit of solidarity established between developing countries." Created 27 years ago, today it engages more than 700 institutions around the world. In Brazil alone, there are already 29 chairs. Chair activities, such as seminars, disciplines, courses and research groups, are developed around a central thematic axis. The chair brings together researchers with common themes, which may be from different areas or working through different courses of action. In the case of the Chair on Borders and Migrations, professors from a number of areas besides History are part of the team, including International Relations, Linguistics, Geography, Philosophy, Anthropology and Law.

underway at the PPGH. "Besides being one of our research lines, the theme Borders and Migrations is also the basis of our network in the Associación de Universidades Grupo Montevideo (AUGM).” UFSM has been a part of AUGM's History, Regions and Borders Committee since 2003, which “has become a reference in research on the subject," says Dr. Maria Medianeira Padoin, vice-coordinator of the UNESCO Chair and the UFSM representative on the committee. About 18 universities are part of the AUGM group, which develops a number of initiatives, including exchange programs for professors and students, PhD supervision, joint publications and mini-courses. "The connections and experiences provided by integration with AUGM served as a basis for the PPGH to present the proposal for the UNESCO Chair," says Dr. Medianeira Padoin. In 2016, UFSM held the I International Congress on History, also sponsored by the PPGH, which was a leap towards the internationalization of its research. Several speakers from European and Latin American countries were present, including Luiz Oosterbeek, professor at the Instituto Politécnico de Tomar (IPT), in Portugal, and secretary of the UNESCO International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences. The professors of the PPGH already knew Luiz from other international meetings, but it was during the Congress at UFSM that articulation to create a Chair in Humanities began."We were encouraged even more at this moment in which the area is going through a process of discredit," says Dr. Soares.

What changes with the creation of the Chair? When the proposal for the UNESCO Chair was submitted, the professors elaborated a two-year plan. Much of it expanded on actions already being developed by the PPGH. "The difference is that now we have a wider reach and this will allow us to raise funds from other sources, including through international calls for proposals. But the goal remains the same: to hold academic discussions in an attempt to solve specific problems,"reiterates Dr. Soares. The expansion also opens up opportunities for joint publications with international partners. While there is a focus on researching migration processes, the coordinators emphasize that this does not rule out more practical actions, such as extension projects. One example is an initiative to create the UFSM Geopark in the Quarta Colônia region near Santa Maria. In March 2019, professors linked to the Chair, together with the President of UFSM, Dr. Paulo Afonso Burmann, were present at the IV Apheleia International Seminar, in Mação, Portugal. At the event, future actions were presented and UFSM and IPT signed a contract to formalize cooperation between the Borders and Migration Chair and the Unesco Chair on Humanities and Territorial Management in the 21st Century, a new Chair inaugurated at IPT in 2018. The Unesco Chair on Borders and Migrations officially began its work at UFSM in November 2019.

Partnerships To expand the Chair’s production of knowledge, UFSM has established partnerships with several universities abroad: Instituto Politécnico de Tomar, in Portugal; Universidad de Extremadura, in Spain; Universidad de La República, in Uruguay; Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Universidad Nacional de la Plata and Universidad Nacional del Litoral, in Argentina; Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, in Bolivia; and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, in Brazil. Reporter: Taisa Medeiros . Graphic Design and illustration: Yasmin Faccin

Published 2019

Foreign Affairs


Our inventions


Robot produced at UFSM helps research on the other side of the planet

TauraBots, the UFSM humanoid robot soccer team, has a new teammate: the robot Dimitri. The new android is the first to be funded through international cooperation between UFSM and a laboratory at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in South Korea. Dimitri is aiding researchers in the field of cognitive robotics by enabling them to test computational models of cognitive development in a physical robot. The partnership was initiated after a meeting between UFSM professor and project supervisor, Rodrigo Guerra, and the director of the South Korean laboratory, Jun Tani. Built in late December of 2015 and exported to Korea, the robot is composed of a torso, head and compliant robotic arms that give it sensitivity for dynamic manipulation, enabling it to understand when it is squeezing an object, for example. A second Dimitri was built and is kept at UFSM to help exchange code in cooperation with the Korean lab. The android in Brazil also has two legs and is about 1.24 meters tall, one of the largest humanoid robots ever designed in Brazil. The idea for its name came from a project member, who said that the robot was “tough like a Russian actor”, so the invention should be given a Russian name. According to the developers, you could throw a concrete block at Dimitri without damaging it.


Development of the elastic series actuator required almost two years of research. It is compact, low-cost and is made of a low-density polyurethane elastomer material.

The aim of the project is that when the Santa Maria team improves the functionality of the machine, this information can be used in South Korea – and vice versa – since both robots are based on the same system, which facilitates the replication of results. The most distinguishing feature of the Dimitris is that they have special series elastic actuators (SEAs) in their arms and legs. SEAs are a kind of actuator where springs are placed in series between the motor and the joints and they can be placed in any joint of the body. Traditional robots without this technology have stiffer and more fragile joints that don’t handle unpredicted external forces well, such as when someone pushes the robot’s arm, for example. With this innovation developed at UFSM, the robots maintain compliance with the environment when they are under strain, which increases the safety of the interaction, both for the robot and, more importantly, for people working with it.

Investment Developing this kind of technology requires a large financial investment: each robot costs at least US$16,500, according to Professor Guerra. The electric motors alone, used in the Brazilian Dimitri – which were reutilized from another project – cost around US$1,000 each, totaling approximately US$13,200. Professor Guerra, who resorted to using his own financial resources in the project, points out that Dimitri’s importance for the future justifies its high cost of development. “Dimitri is a robot that, for now, has no pretension to handle household problems, wash dishes or help people with special needs, for example, but it explores this type of technology, which is a step in that direction,” he says. Reporter: Gabriele Wagner de Souza · Photographer: Rafael Happke · Graphic Design: Kennior Dias and Taynane Senna

Dimitri’s developers chose to make the files used to build the robot available to anyone who wants to contribute or even copy the invention. The software and more information about the project can be obtained by contacting the team at Published 2017


Our inventions

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