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  • El gran diseño - Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow June 23, 2017
    Aun antes de aparecer, este libro ha venido precedido, en todos los medios de comunicación, de una extraordinaria polémica sobre  sus conclusiones: que tanto nuestro universo como los otros muchos universos posibles surgieron de la nada, porque su creación no requiere de la intervención de ningún Dios o ser sobrenatural, sino que todos los universos pro […]
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  • La tabla rasa - Steven Pinker June 23, 2017
    La concepción que podamos tener de la naturaleza humana afecta a todos los aspectos de nuestra vida, desde la forma en que educamos a nuestros hijos hasta las ideas políticas que defendemos. En La tabla rasa , Steven Pinker explora la idea de la naturaleza humana y sus aspectos éticos, emocionales y políticos. Demuestra que muchos intelectuales han negado su […]
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  • Ask the Brains, Part 1 - Scientific American Editors June 23, 2017
    Why do we do the things we do? The human brain is a marvelous, mysterious piece of evolution that on one hand empowers us to be rational, self-aware and innovative. On the other, the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology are a testament to our attempts to understand the human brain and behavior. Why do we persist in believing opinions despite scientific e […]
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  • Ágilmente - Estanislao Bachrach June 23, 2017
    Bachrach es Doctor en biología molecular y explica el funcionamiento del cerebro. A través de ello, da consejos y herramientas para ser más creativos y felices en el trabajo y en la vida. La neurociencia es clara: el cerebro aprende hasta el último día de vida. La creatividad puede expandirse. Tu mente, mediante la aplicación de las técnicas correctas, puede […]
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  • Réussir sa mort - Fabrice Hadjadj June 23, 2017
    Ce n'est pas nous qui réussissons notre mort, c'est elle qui ne nous rate pas. À nous toutefois de ne pas la rater non plus. Que signifie dès lors réussir sa mort ? Avec verve, humour, espièglerie, mais vérité et sincérité, Fabrice Hadjadj nous invite à passer du confort au combat, à choisir la vie alors même que nous mourons et que nous mourrons. […]
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  • Inteligencia emocional para niños. Guía práctica para padres y educadores - Mireia Golobardes Subirana & Sandra Celeiro González June 23, 2017
    ¿Cómo podemos enseñar a los más pequeños a gestionar sus emociones? ¿Cómo ayudar a nuestros hijos a mejorar en sus relaciones con los demás? ¿Cómo facilitar a nuestros alumnos su capacidad para identificar sus emociones y la de los demás y favorecer relaciones sanas y positivas, con empatía y respeto? ¿Cómo contribuir a que padres y profesores puedan también […]
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  • La teoría del todo - Stephen W. Hawking June 23, 2017
    Una manera clara y amena de acercarse a los misterios del universo. En esta esclarecedora obra, el gran físico británico Stephen Hawking nos ofrece una historia del universo, del big bang a los agujeros negros. En siete pasos, Hawking logra explicar la historia del universo, desde las primeras teorías del mundo griego y de la época medieval hasta las más com […]
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  • La física del futuro - Michio Kaku June 23, 2017
    Un recorrido asombroso a través de los próximos cien años de revolución científica. El futuro ya se está inventando en los laboratorios de los científicos más punteros de todo el mundo. Con toda probabilidad, en 2100 controlaremos los ordenadores a través de diminutos sensores cerebrales y podremos mover objetos con el poder de nuestras mentes, la inteligenc […]
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  • EnCambio - Estanislao Bachrach June 23, 2017
    EnCambio te va a permitir alumbrar los procesos por los cuales te comportás de determinada manera con el fin de dejar atrás aquellos hábitos y conductas que ya no te sirven. El objetivo es que aprendas del potencial que tiene tu cerebro para cambiar y la capacidad que tenés vos para modificarlo. Este año cambio de trabajo, empiezo el gimnasio, bajo esos kili […]
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  • Breve historia de mi vida - Stephen Hawking June 23, 2017
    La mente maravillosa de Stephen Hawking ha deslumbrado al mundo entero revelando los misterios del universo. Ahora, por primera vez, el cosmólogo más brillante de nuestra era explora, con una mirada reveladora, su propia vida y evolución intelectual. Breve historia de mi vida cuenta el sorprendente viaje de Stephen Hawking desde su niñez […]
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New pepper is so hot it could kill you

The new dragon’s breath chili is killer hot, but is intended to help, not hurt, when used in medical treatments. […]

Photo series shows how addicted we are to personal devices

‘Removed’ by Eric Pickersgill reveals the many ways in which personal devices are impeding our ability and willingness to interact with the real world around us. May it be a warning to all. […]

Five questions for Dr. Chelsea Rochman about Plastic in our Seas and Seafood.

Plastic is everywhere. Not just in our homes and cars and offices – it has moved beyond our garbage bins and can be found littered on our city streets, parks and beaches. As a consequence, we increasingly see it on our beaches and in our rivers, lakes and oceans. There’s even disturbing evidence that it’s now inside the fish that we eat. I interviewed Dr. Chelsea Rochman, a postdoctoral Smith Fellow at the University of California in Davis and the University of Toronto, about her research on the impacts of plastic debris in fish: Question 1: What kind of research has been done to indicate that plastic found inside of fish is a widespread problem? Answer: Scientists have looked inside the stomachs of many different kinds of fish from lakes and oceans all over the world. Besides the usual algae, worms, plankton, fish, etc… we are increasingly finding something a bit more familiar to our own species–plastic. Many of the fish sampled to look for plastic are fished from oceans and lakes during research cruises. Some of these studies pointed out plastic debris in species we consider commercial. We wanted to look a bit closer, asking a more direct question related to these findings: Is there plastic debris in our seafood? To answer this question, my colleagues and I purchased roughly twenty different species of fish from fish markets in Makassar, Indonesia and California, USA. We also purchased one species of oyster from Californian markets. We found plastic and fibers from textiles (e.g., clothing, carpet, fishing nets) in about 1 out of every 4 seafood items sampled. (read the article in Nature Scientific Reports here). Were we surprised? Yes. But why, when we said earlier that plastic debris is found in many species of fish globally? We were surprised because suddenly our findings were directly relevant to us. Our data went straight to our stomachs–the ghost of waste management’s past is indeed coming back to haunt us on our own dinner plates. Dr. Chelsea Rochman (Photo Credit: Dr. Chelsea Rochman) Question 2: How harmful is this plastic – both to the fish, and to humans who might eat them? Answer: We know much more about how plastic debris is harmful to fish and much less about how plastic debris in our fish is harmful to our health. Several laboratory studies have demonstrated that plastic debris can harm fish. Plastic can get stuck in the gut of fish and make them feel full, thus changing their feeding behavior. Small pieces of plastic can cause inflammation in organs and tissues. My own research demonstrated that small plastic debris can transfer harmful chemicals to fish, cause stress in the liver and change the activity of genes related to reproduction. For humans, all we know at this point is that there is no doubt we are eating plastic when we eat seafood. Studies have shown plastic debris in shellfish, fish and even sea salt. So, yes, we need more research to answer questions about how plastic debris may impact food security (i.e. fish stocks) and food safety. But more importantly, our results suggest we take our waste management more seriously now to prevent plastic debris from ending up on our dinner plate period. Question 3: What can be done, realistically, to reduce to flow of plastic into our waters and into the food chain? Answer: In general, the most effective way to prevent further contamination is to cut off plastic pollution at the source. If we focus only on clean-up efforts, we will be wasting time and money. For example, let us imagine you have a flood in your basement. The pipe from your washing machine has exploded. Where do you spend your energy first, mopping it up or turning off the water? If we focus all our efforts on cleanup, we are not stopping the millions of tons of plastic entering the ocean from land every year (Jambeck et al., 2015). As such, we need to focus our efforts on a diversity of local solutions to this global problem, including building new waste management infrastructure, education and outreach, local environmental cleanup, creating laws that prevent the consumption of non-sustainable single-use plastic items and the innovation of sustainable items that are less likely to become persistent plastic pollution. Together, these efforts will help ensure cleaner oceans and seafood for future generations. Question 4: I understand you also research the impact of plastic microbeads from facial scrubs that go down the drain and end up in the oceans. Why are these a threat? Answer: Plastic microbeads are one of the many sources of plastic pollution that are found in hundreds of species of wildlife. These tiny beads, which are added to our facewash, bodywash and toothpaste as abrasive scrubbers, are particularly problematic because, by design, they are more likely to enter the ocean than many other forms of plastic. These tiny beads rinse off our bodies, go down the drain and travel to the wastewater treatment plant in our city. There, they either settle into the sludge or remain in the final effluent–the cleaned water that is sent directly into streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. Wastewater sludge is often applied to land as fertilizer. During rainstorms, runoff from land flows back into aquatic habitat, carrying some of the microbeads with it. Our own estimates suggest that at present, roughly 3 trillion microbeads enter aquatic habitats in the United States every year. This is enough beads to wrap around the Earth more than 7 times when lined up end-to-end. That’s a lot of beads! Thus, removing these from our daily products prevents a lot of plastic from becoming plastic pollution. Question 5: Do you think the recent congressional vote to ban microbeads – a rare act of congressional unity – goes far enough? Answer: I think the recent vote to ban plastic microbeads from all rinse-off personal care products in the United States is a major victory. It is one of the many steps necessary to prevent plastic debris from landing in our oceans. There are a couple of things that are special about the Microbead Free Waters Act: 1) it is bipartisan; 2) it won with a unanimous vote; and 3) environmental activists and industry both support the legislation. This bill demonstrates how important this issue has become to all our members of congress and their constituents. It also demonstrates the recognition of plastic pollution as a contaminant of concern in the United States, which is a critical step for future prevention and cleanup. As such, while this bill may not ban plastic beads from all personal care products, it likely will open the doors and carve a path toward more funding for marine debris research and further mitigation strategies for prevention and cleanup of persistent plastic pollution. Dr. Chelsea Rochman is a Marine Ecologist with emphases in Marine Ecology, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry. Her overarching goal is to use objective science to inform positive environmental change. She is currently a David H. Smith Postdoctoral Fellow in Conservation Biology working at UC Davis and at the University of Toronto. Her main research focus has been about the implications of the infiltration of plastic debris into aquatic habitats. Her work has asked questions about the sources fate and toxicity of plastic in aquatic habitats. Tim Ward is co-author of The Master Communicator’s Handbook. “Communications: it’s not about output, it’s about impact.” — This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website. […]

Chelsea Flower Show’s smaller gardens have quirky and environmental themes

Chelsea Flower Show designers are paying more attention to environmental issues this year. […]

Didier Drogba Becomes China’s Big Soccer Import

Will the former Chelsea star help turn around Chinese soccer? […]

Ew, Boys: The Battle Over Same-Sex Education

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Camp Karolyi: An Enduring Legacy for U.S. Olympic Gymnasts

Camp Karolyi: An Enduring Legacy for U.S. Olympic Gymnasts […]