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A Spoonful of a New Crystalline Material Can Absorb a Whole Roomful of Oxygen

A Spoonful of a New Crystalline Material Can Absorb a Whole Roomful of Oxygen | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it

A team of scientists at the Universiy of Southern Denmark just invented a crystalline material that can absorb oxygen with astounding efficiency. How astounding? Well, a single spoonful of the stuff can suck all of the oxygen out of a room. The best part is that it can release it again with just a little bit of heat. Say goodbye to bulky oxygen tanks.

"The material can absorb and release oxygen many times without losing the ability. It is like dipping a sponge in water, squeezing the water out of it and repeating the process over and over again," says Professor Christine McKenzie who led the research. "When the substance is saturated with oxygen, it can be compared to an oxygen tank, containing pure oxygen under pressure. The difference is that this material can hold three times as much oxygen."

 

In other words, a patient with lung trouble or a scuba diver wouldn't need to carry around heavy oxygen tanks. Instead, they could take advantage of this new cobalt-based material in a doubtlessly smaller container. Something as small as a mask could replace complex oxygen tank-and-pump setups. And yes, the scientists say that it will work underwater.


New ways to capture and store oxygen bear massive implications not only for medical technology but also for hydrogen fuel cells. The team in Denmark is now exploring the possibilities which extend all the way to artificial photosynthesis. That said, one can't help but wonder how this material might be weaponized. But let's just focus on the positive for now: Pocket-sized scuba kits here we come.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Tecnología, sí, pero… - Granma Internacional

Tecnología, sí, pero… - Granma Internacional | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it
Granma Internacional Tecnología, sí, pero… Granma Internacional El periodista cuenta cómo en una entrevista concedida por Steve Jobs en el 2010, tras dar a conocer el primer iPad, se sorprendió al oírle decir que ninguno de sus cuatro hijos lo...
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El valor de la ciencia

El valor de la ciencia | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it
La ciencia ha tenido, y sigue teniendo, un impacto fundamental en el desarrollo de nuestra historia como seres humanos. Habrá quien esté más de acuerdo que otro, el que crea que el impacto ha sido negativo, o el que piense que es la solución a todos los problemas. Lo importante aquí no es tanto qué piensa uno, sino que, en general, existe una aceptación de que es uno de los factores más importantes que han ido moldeando nuestra cultura, nuestra existencia, y sobre todo, nuestra forma de pensar. Es decir, es innegable que la ciencia tiene un valor. Pero, ¿nos hemos parado a pensar alguna vez qué valor tiene? Seguramente muchos de vosotros sí, incluso un servidor ha tenido la oportunidad de recapacitar y discutir sobre ello. Una de estas personas que se sentó a pensar sobre este tema y lo plasmó excepcionalmente bien fue el físico americano Richard Feynman. Esta entrada es un pequeño homenaje a este carismático personaje, y a su excelente capítulo The value of science aparecido en el libro What Do You Care What Other People Think.

La manera en que Feynman justificaba el por qué estaba escribiendo sobre el valor de la ciencia era en base a algo que ocurría entonces, y sigue haciéndolo hoy en día. La gente piensa que si los científicos nos pusiéramos a pensar con más energía y fuerzas en los problemas sociales en vez de perdernos en desvaríos a priori inútiles, seguramente se solucionarían mucho más eficientemente. Lo que sucede es que realmente pensamos en ellos, pero de vez en cuando, ya que al no ser problemas puramente científicos (Feynman lo dice así textualmente) y de gran complejidad, no hay un botón mágico que sea capaz de otorgarles una solución. El valor de la ciencia es un tema con base social, y Feynman da tres razones por las cuales es importante.

La primera de ellas es bastante directa. La ciencia nos otorga la posibilidad de hacer todo tipo de cosas. El que uno haga cosas buenas o malas depende de su propia escala de valores pues no hay ningún libro de instrucciones que nos diga cómo utilizarla, pero indudablemente nos da la capacidad de realizar una gran cantidad de cosas. Feynman retrataba muy bien esta situación con un proverbio hindú que escuchó en unas vacaciones en Honolulú:

“A cada hombre le es dada la llave que abre la puerta de los cielos; la misma llave abre la puerta de los infiernos”[2]

Es cierto que a pesar de que la misma llave pueda abrir tanto una puerta como otra puede ser peligroso, pero, ¿cómo podríamos entrar a ese “cielo” de otro modo? Por lo tanto, y a pesar que la ciencia puede ocasionar situaciones nefastas, tiene el valor de que puede producir algo.

La segunda razón por la cual la ciencia tiene valor es la propia recreación que produce el saber cómo funcionan las cosas y por qué, ya sea por leer y aprenderlo o por trabajar directamente en ello. Como un buen amigo mío decía: “ese dulce momento de la comprensión”, que es el que incita a seguir tratando de saber un poco más. Sin duda es un punto importante, pues de él depende muchas veces que la gente siga trabajando en el duro camino de la investigación, donde estos momentos de comprensión son pequeños oasis en un desierto bastante árido.

De hecho, Feynman hace un pequeño llamamiento a no infravalorar la visión del mundo que nos da el conocimiento de cómo es en realidad, y comenta que “la imaginación de la naturaleza es bastante mayor que la del hombre”. De hecho, y utilizando el mismo ejemplo que usa, es mucho más extraordinaria la visión de que estamos pegados a nuestro planeta por una fuerza cuya acción también provoca que este mismo esté girando durante millones de años en el espacio; mucho más que la visión de que estamos siendo transportados en las espaldas de un elefante, el cual está a lomos de una tortuga gigante que nada en un océano sin fondo[3].

Es el misterio y las ganas de resolverlo lo que siguen impulsando nuestra voraz curiosidad. Da igual con cuántas piedras nos encontramos en el camino, puesto que cada una de ellas es importante a su manera y arroja tanto respuestas como preguntas interesantes que deben ser respondidas. Pero no es solo el intentar acumular conocimiento de cómo funciona nuestro alrededor, sino la propia idea en sí lo que es importante, como muy bien remarca el autor. De nada vale si solo nos fijamos si tal y cual investigación pueden curar el cáncer, ya que nos estaremos fijando en el uso de una idea, no en la propia idea en sí. Darse cuenta de la importancia de éstas no es algo trivial y se nos debería enseñar a tener esta visión desde pequeños, pues es algo que se va perdiendo gradualmente.

Y, ¿quién dijo que la ciencia es incompatible con el arte? Nuestro amigo se saca de la manga unos pocos “versos” que merecen la pena ser leídos:

Via Fernando de la Cruz Naranjo Grisales
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C. elegans Can Pass a Trait Down for 100 Generations…Without DNA !

C. elegans Can Pass a Trait Down for 100 Generations…Without DNA ! | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it

C. elegans worms whose grandparents had the ability to fight viruses using a fleet of tiny RNA molecules retain these molecules even when they don’t have the genes for them. They can pass these molecules down for more than a hundred generations.

 

A research team engineered worms that didn’t have the genes to make the RNAs—which work by inhibiting the virus replication machinery—and then bred them with worms that did for several generations. They ended up with some worms whose ancestors had had the virus-fighting molecules, but did not themselves possess the necessary genes. The team then watched these worms under the microscope and saw that they still attacked viruses in exactly the same way as their grandparents.

 

Numerous control experiments confirmed that the effect was real, and only happened in worms who had ancestors with the genes. The researchers collected all the various RNA molecules in these worms and saw that indeed, they possessed the virus-fighting variety.After about three generations, the effect seemed to wear off; most worms without the genes stopped being able to attack viruses. But for some worms, it never stopped. The team bred those worms for more than one hundred generations, nearly a year, and the creatures never flagged in their ability to defend themselves.

 

How is this possible? The team keeps mum on any ideas of how this inheritance works. But they do uncover some tantalizing details that give us room for speculation. One possibility is that the RNA molecules made by the original worms in response to a virus attack were floating around in the cytoplasm of the eggs and sperm that became their offspring. If that’s the case, then the offspring are basically using their parents’ leftovers, with each generation having a bit less of the original stuff.

 

The researchers mention this possibility of the original RNA being “diluted” with each generation, but don’t, as far as we can tell, try to test that.But what about the worms that hang on to the RNA indefinitely? The researchers found that for that to happen, a particular enzyme that builds RNAs has to be present. Maybe, then, these worms manage to jerry-rig a way to make copies of the virus-fighting RNA with that enzyme (which isn’t part of the usual machinery), even though they lack the gear required to make it in the normal fashion. The gene for that enzyme would then be passed on as normal.


Via Sakis Koukouvis, Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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1,000 mile wide magnetic super tornadoes rage on the Sun

1,000 mile wide magnetic super tornadoes rage on the Sun | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it

The discovery of "super-tornadoes" rising above the surface of the sun may help solve the mystery of how our home star heats it wispy outer atmosphere to a million degrees. There is plenty of energy below the 5780° visible surface to do the job, but solar physicists have long argued about how that energy heats the corona, seen as an encircling crown of light that emerges during a total solar eclipse. Now a group reports online today in Nature that, using both spaceborne and ground-based telescopes, it has detected 1500-kilometer-wide swirls of solar atmosphere rising from the surface into the corona.

 

Each lasts 10 to 15 minutes, and there are about 11,000 of them on the sun at a time. Computer simulations (picture) show how similar-looking the twisting magnetic field lines of a solar tornado are to real tornadoes. Now solar physicists must figure out how much energy super-tornadoes deliver compared with other proposed energy sources.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Jim Doyle's curator insight, August 21, 2013 6:19 AM

That is what you call a storm

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The Longitude Problem

The Longitude Problem | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it

Via Seth Dixon
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Romain ARMAND's comment, August 21, 2013 5:17 AM
Thank you for the video and fo the link to the Board of Longitude! Already know this story, but still amazing and well documented.
Richard Miles's curator insight, September 5, 2013 7:30 PM

Great video on how the problem of longitude was solved.

Luke Walker's curator insight, October 3, 2014 3:57 AM

What was mapping and navigation like before the era of GPS?

Check out this great archive and collection of video clips! 

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Slim invierte en tecnología espacial - QUO mx

Slim invierte en tecnología espacial - QUO mx | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it
El dispositivo también ampliará el acceso de banda ancha. Su compañía Star One enviará un satélite para tansmitir Juegos Olímpicos 2016.
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Two new Jupiter-sized extrasolar planets found, each orbiting one star of a binary-star system

Two new Jupiter-sized extrasolar planets found, each orbiting one star of a binary-star system | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it

Astronomers at Keele University have found two new Jupiter-sized extra-solar planets, each orbiting one star of a binary-star system.

 

Most known extra-solar planets orbit stars that are alone, like our Sun. Yet many stars are part of binary systems, twin stars formed from the same gas cloud.  Now, for the first time, two stars of a binary system are both found to host a ``hot Jupiter'' exoplanet.

 

The discoveries, around the stars WASP-94A and WASP-94B, were made by a team of British, Swiss and Belgian astronomers. The Keele-led WASP-South survey found tiny dips in the light of WASP-94A, suggesting that a Jupiter-like planet was transiting the star; Swiss astronomers then showed the existence of planets around both WASP-94A and then its twin WASP-94B. Marion Neveu-VanMalle (Geneva Observatory), who wrote the announcement paper, explains: "We observed the other star by accident, and then found a planet around that one also!"


Hot Jupiter planets are much closer to their stars than our own Jupiter, with a "year" lasting only a few days. They are rare, so it would be unlikely to find two Hot Jupiters in the same star system by chance.   Perhaps WASP-94 has just the right conditions for producing Hot Jupiters?  If so WASP-94 could be an important system for understanding why Hot Jupiters are so close to the star they orbit.

 

The existence of huge, Jupiter-size planets so near to their stars is a long-standing puzzle, since they cannot form near to the star where it is far too hot.

 

They must form much further out, where it is cool enough for ices to freeze out of the proto-planetary disk circling the young star, hence forming the core of a new planet.   Something must then move the planet into a close orbit, and one likely mechanism is an interaction with another planet or star.  Finding Hot-Jupiter planets in two stars of a binary pair might allow us to study the processes that move the planets inward.

 

Professor Coel Hellier, of Keele University, remarks: "WASP-94 could turn into one of the most important discoveries from WASP-South. The two stars are relatively bright, making it easy to study their planets, so WASP-94 could be used to discover the compositions of the atmospheres of exoplanets".

 

The WASP survey is the world's most successful search for hot-Jupiter planets that pass in front of (transit) their star. The WASP-South survey instrument scans the sky every clear night, searching hundreds of thousands of stars for transits. The Belgian team selects the best WASP candidates by obtaining high-quality data of transit light curves.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Cinco dispositivos tecnológicos que te hacen 'superhumano' - CNN México.com

Cinco dispositivos tecnológicos que te hacen 'superhumano' - CNN México.com | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it
CNN México.com
Cinco dispositivos tecnológicos que te hacen 'superhumano'
CNN México.com
(CNNMoney) — Los gadgets ya han pasado de tus manos, bolsillos y escritorios a tu cuerpo.
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Desarrollan en Nuevo León un “dron” con ingeniería mexicana | López-Dóriga Digital

Desarrollan en Nuevo León un “dron” con ingeniería mexicana | López-Dóriga Digital | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it
Su uso será para la vigilancia y recopilación de información de cualquier tipo (El primer dron hecho en México http://t.co/F0aMx4XZdF http://t.co/68e02LXPpJ)...
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Black Holes and Gravitational Waves: Movies of Extreme Spacetimes

Black Holes and Gravitational Waves: Movies of Extreme Spacetimes | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it

A beginner's guide to black holes, warped spacetime, gravitational waves, and other bizarre ideas from astrophysics: From Galileo's first telescope to today's most sensitive neutrino telescopes, astronomers have been developing new eyes with which to see the night sky, allowing them to discover new worlds while better understanding our own. Now, for the first time, astronomers are creating new earswith which to hear the Universe around us.


The sounds we hear in our ears are carried through the air around us. Anything giving off sound gives the air more pressure, then less pressure. These changes in pressure travel as waves, until they reach our ears and push on our eardrums. The waves don't move our heads very much, but they move our eardrums, which allows the delicate mechanisms in our ears to pick up these movements relative to our heads.

Since sound needs air (or some other matter) to compress, sound can't travel through empty space. Gravitational waves, on the other hand, don't need air to travel; they just need spacetime. They travel across the Universe from its deepest reaches, never stopping or slowing down—regardless of the presence or absence of air. Nonetheless, they have a similar effect on our ears. As a gravitational wave passes through your head, the positions of your eardrums change relative to the position of your head. Again, the delicate mechanisms in your ears would pick up these movements, and your brain would turn them into sounds. But why aren't we kept up at night with the noise from black holes everywhere falling into each other?

It turns out that, by the time gravitational waves from these distant sources reach us, they are incredibly quiet. The smallest sound that a human with good ears can hear is roughly the sound of a mosquito buzzing 10 feet away. Gravitational waves reaching the Earth are typically another three trillion times quieter than this. To put it another way, consider the sound of an atomic blast 20 feet away. That sound (though you wouldn't be around to hear it if you were there) is as much louder than the mosquito as gravitational waves are quieter.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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1/5 of Humanity

1/5 of Humanity | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it

"The world divided into 5 regions, each with the population of China."


Via Seth Dixon
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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 11, 2013 3:10 PM

Your thoughts...?

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:42 AM

This map is mind blowning to try to grasp. To think that India has an equvilant population to every country in the Americans has me dumbfounded. Then comparin the economic instability of India to all the economic juggernauts that fit into the light blue regions really shows how poor the distrubution of wealth and population is throught the world.

Trish Pearson's curator insight, April 9, 2014 3:33 PM

A little perspective on population

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New theory points to ‘zombie vortices’ as key step in star formation

New theory points to ‘zombie vortices’ as key step in star formation | Ciencia y tecnología. | Scoop.it
UC Berkeley scientists have proposed a new model that elucidates a key step in star formation. They point to "zombie vortices" as a destabilizing force needed to help protostars accumulate the mass needed to grow into stars.

 

A previously unknown instability creates space-filling lattices of 3D vortices in linearly stable, rotating, stratified shear flows. The instability starts from an easily excited critical layer. The layer intensifies by drawing energy from the background shear and rolls up into vortices that excite new critical layers and vortices. The vortices self-similarly replicate to create lattices of turbulent vortices. The vortices persist for all time. This self-replication occurs in stratified Couette flows and in the dead zones of protoplanetary disks where it can destabilize Keplerian flows.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Experto en Divulgación y Comunicación de la Ciencia y de la Tecnología

Experto en Divulgación y Comunicación de la Ciencia y de la Tecnología (Experto en Divulgación y Comunicación de la Ciencia y de la Tecnología http://t.co/mNj9U7xqIg vía...
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