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  • EnCambio - Estanislao Bachrach July 28, 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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  • El cerebro idiota - Dean Burnett July 28, 2017
    ¿Por qué pierde discusiones con personas que saben MUCHO MENOS que usted? ¿Por qué es capaz de reconocer a esa mujer a la que conoció aquella vez que... pero no logra recordar su nombre? ¿Por qué, tras su última ruptura sentimental, se pasó varios días seguidos en el sofá, hech@ un ovillo, y sin mover más que la mano para secarse los mocos y las lágrimas de […]
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  • La teoría del todo - Stephen W. Hawking July 28, 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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  • ¿Cómo pensar como Sherlock Holmes? - Maria Konnikova July 28, 2017
    Ningún personaje de ficción es más conocido por sus poderes de intuición y observación que Sherlock Holmes. Pero, ¿es su inteligencia extraordinaria una invención de la ficción o podemos aprender a desarrollar estas habilidades, para mejorar nuestras vidas en el trabajo y en casa? A través de ¿ Cómo pensar como Sherlock Holmes? , la periodista y psicóloga Ma […]
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  • La física del futuro - Michio Kaku July 28, 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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  • Breve historia de mi vida - Stephen Hawking July 28, 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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  • El gran diseño - Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow July 28, 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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  • Sobre la teoría de la relatividad especial y general - Albert Einstein July 28, 2017
    Entre el Electromagnetismo y la Mecánica newtoniana existe una fórmula de bisagra: la teoría de la relatividad especial y general. La importancia del nuevo marco planteado por Albert Einstein se entiende por lo siguiente: la percepción del tiempo y el espacio es relativa al observador. ¿Qué significa esto? Si usted viaja a una velocidad mayor que la de la lu […]
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  • Ágilmente - Estanislao Bachrach July 28, 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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  • Tricks Any Dog Can Do! - Susan Day July 28, 2017
    This great book comes with advice and guidance as to the best way to teach these tricks. It offers more than one method which the reader can choose depending upon their own situation. There is also advice to using treats and shows you how to not end up with a treat junkie! This books is from the desk of Susan Day, a canine behaviourist. Susan teaches obedien […]
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Weyl what? Discovery of new particle could lead to low-energy electronics

Why Weyl fermions are better than the god particle […]

Robots reveal the secrets behind how sidewinder snakes move

The snakes have the ability to conquer steep hills of sand, a feat that robots have yet to conquer, until now. […]

CO2 levels reached a new record last year, 142% of the pre-industrial era

The surge from 2012 to 2013 is actually the largest year-to-year increase since 1984, when reliable global records began. […]

Poop-Eating Worm

As I turned into another alley in the West Point slum in Monrovia, Liberia, I was hit by the stench of human waste. On this tiny peninsula jutting into the Atlantic, one hundred and twenty thousand people – a population bigger than Ann Arbor’s – live without access to safe sanitation. […]

Crowdfunded Tesla tower project seeks to recreate inventor’s wireless energy transmission system

In 1903, Nikola Tesla built his Wardenclyffe magnifying transmitter tower as proof-of-concept for his world wireless communications and energy transmission project. A century later, a new project aims to pick up where he left off. […]

Ancient Egyptians Had Vegetarian Diet, Mummy Study Shows

(Inside Science) — Did the ancient Egyptians eat like us? If you’re a vegetarian, tucking in along the Nile thousands of years ago would have felt just like home.

In fact, eating lots of meat is a recent phenomenon. In ancient cultures vegetarianism was much more common, except in nomadic populations. Most sedentary populations ate fruit and vegetables.

Although previous sources found the ancient Egyptians to be pretty much vegetarians, until this new research it wasn’t possible to find out the relative amounts of the different foods they ate. Was their daily bread really daily? Did they binge on eggplants and garlic? Why didn’t someone spear a fish?

A French research team figured out that by looking at the carbon atoms in mummies that had lived in Egypt between 3500 B.C. and 600 A.D. you could find out what they ate.

All carbon atoms are taken in by plants from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the process of photosynthesis. By eating plants, and the animals that had eaten plants, the carbon ends up in our bodies.

The sixth-lightest element on the periodic table – carbon – exists in nature as two stable isotopes: carbon-12 and carbon-13. Isotopes of the same element behave the same in chemical reactions but have slightly different atomic masses, with the carbon-13 being slightly heavier than the carbon-12. Plants are categorized into two groups. The first group, C3, is most common in plants such as garlic, eggplants, pears, lentils and wheat. The second smaller group, C4, comprises foodstuffs like millet and sorghum.

The common C3 plants take in less of the heavier isotope carbon-13, while the C4 plants take in more. By measuring the ratio of carbon-13 to carbon-12 you can distinguish between these two groups. If you eat a lot of C3 plants, the concentration of carbon-13 isotopes in your body will be lower than if your diet consisted mainly of C4 plants.

The mummies that the French researchers studied were the remains of 45 people that had been shipped to two museums in Lyon, France during the 19th century. “We had an approach that was a little different,” explained Alexandra Touzeau, who led the research team at the University of Lyon. “We worked a lot with bones and teeth, while most researchers study hair, collagen and proteins. We also worked on many different periods, with not many individuals for each period, so we could cover a very long time span.”

The researchers reported their findings in the Journal of Archaeological Science. They measured carbon-13 to carbon-12 ratios (and also some other isotope ratios) in bone, enamel and hair in these remains, and compared them to similar measurements performed on pigs that had received controlled diets consisting of different proportions of C3 and C4 foodstuffs. As pigs have a similar metabolism to humans, their carbon isotope ratios could be compared to what was found in the mummies.

Hair absorbs a higher rate of animal proteins than bone or teeth, and the isotope ratios in hair of the mummies corresponded to that found in hair of modern European vegetarians, confirming that the ancient Egyptians were also mainly vegetarians. As is the case with many modern people, their diet was wheat- and barley-based. A main conclusion of the research was that C4 cereals, like millet and sorghum, were only a minor part of the diet, less than 10 percent.

But there were a few surprises.

“We found that the diet was constant over time; we had expected changes,” said Touzeau. This showed that the ancient Egyptians adapted well to the environment while the Nile region became increasingly arid between 3500 B.C. and 600 A.D.

To Kate Spence, an archeologist and specialist in ancient Egypt at the U.K.’s University of Cambridge, this could be expected: “Although the area is very arid, they were cultivating crops along the river just by managing irrigation, which is very effective,” she said. When the level of the Nile decreased, farmers just came closer to the river and kept on cultivating in the same way.

The real mystery is the fish. Most people would probably expect the ancient Egyptians living along the Nile to have eaten loads of fish. However, despite considerable cultural evidence, there seems to have been little fish in their diet.

“There is abundant evidence for fishing in Egyptian wall reliefs and models (both spear and net fishing), and fish shows up in offering lists. There is also a lot of archeological evidence for fish consumption from sites such as Gaza and Amama,” said Spence, who added that some texts indicated that a few fish species were not consumed due to religious associations. “All this makes it a bit surprising that the isotopes should suggest that fish was not widely consumed.”


Alexander Hellemans is a freelance science writer who has written for Science, Nature, Scientific American, and many others.

Reprinted with permission from Inside Science, an editorially independent news outlet of the American Institute of Physics, a nonprofit organization supporting the dissemination of science news and information to society.

[…]

Breakthrough in Fusion Research Brings New Nuclear Power Source Closer

Nuclear fusion has similarities to conventionally produced nuclear power in that it produces zero carbon electric power, but its big advantage over fission nuclear power is that it generates no nuclear waste, the bane of fission nuclear power plants. Recent research breakthroughs are bringing closer the day that power generation from fusion reactors will become a reality. While research to develop commercially viable nuclear fusion has been underway for decades, advances have been slow due to the immense technological complexities involved and modest funding. That said, recent technological breakthroughs may hasten progress. […]