Friday, October 23, 2009


Reto México 2009
18 Octubre 2009

El Reto México 2009 se llevará a cabo el 24 de octubre y tiene como objetivo imponer el record mundial de lograr el mayor número de personas observando la Luna al mismo tiempo, cada una con telescopio.

Este evento forma parte de las actividades del Año Internacional de la Astronomía 2009, cuyos fines han sido maravillar al público con la ciencia astronómica, además de promover la ciencia en general en forma divertida y mostrando su importancia en la vida cotidiana.

Para participar en este record de observación masiva de la Luna, es requisito indispensable tener un telescopio y registrarse en las distintas sedes del evento y el día 24 de octubre apuntar con su telescopio a la Luna de las 20:00 a las 20:20hs. El registro puede hacerse por Internet entrando a la página http:// donde aparecen enlaces de todas las sedes. De no hacerse el registro y no observar la Luna entre las 20:00 y 20:20hs no podrá demostrarse el record mundial.

¿Por qué la Luna? Es el segundo objeto más brillante de nuestro cielo, ese día 24 de octubre nuestro satélite natural estará en un hermoso cuarto creciente, lo que permitirá distinguir fácilmente sus cráteres, montañas y el fascinante contraste de la luz y la sombra. Ella será fácil de localizar a pesar de la contaminación por alumbrado nocturno en las zonas urbanas. Por si fuera poco, fuel el primer objeto del cielo nocturno que observó Galileo del 30 de noviembre al 19 de diciembre de 1609.

Reto México 2009 es organizado por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), el Instituto Politécnico Nacional (IPN), el Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT), el Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnología del Distrito Federal (ICYTDF), el Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica Óptica y Electrónica (INAOE), la Alianza Francesa de México, Club France, A.C., Astrónomos Amateurs de México, Hermanos Sánborns, S.A. y Planet 51

El Reto México 2009 tendrá lugar en 41 sedes en 24 estados de la República.

Para mayor información puede consultarse la página oficial de Reto México 2009:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Science to 'stop age clock at 50'

Professor Eileen Ingham explains the main aims of the project

Centenarians with the bodies of 50-year-olds will one day be a realistic possibility, say scientists.

Half of babies now born in the UK will reach 100, thanks to higher living standards, but our bodies are wearing out at the same rate.

To achieve "50 active years after 50", experts at Leeds University are spending £50m over five years looking at innovative solutions.

They plan to provide pensioners with own-grown tissues and durable implants.

New hips, knees and heart valves are the starting points, but eventually they envisage most of the body parts that flounder with age could be upgraded.

The university's Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering has already made a hip transplant that should last for life, rather than the 20 years maximum expected from current artificial hips.

The combination of a durable cobalt-chrome metal alloy socket and a ceramic ball or "head" means the joint should easily withstand the 100 million steps that a 50-year-old can be expected to take by their 100th birthday, says investigator Professor John Fisher.

Meanwhile, colleague Professor Eileen Ingham and her team have developed a unique way to allow the body to enhance itself.

The concept is to make transplantable tissues, and eventually organs, that the body can make its own, getting round the problem of rejection.

So far they have managed to make fully functioning heart valves using the technique.

It involves taking a healthy donor heart valve - from a human or a suitable animal, such as a pig - and gently stripping away its cells using a cocktail of enzymes and detergents.

The inert scaffold left can be transplanted into the patient without any fear of rejection - the main reason why normal transplants wear out and fail.

Once the scaffold has been transplanted, the body takes over and repopulates it with cells.

Trials in animals and on 40 patients in Brazil have shown promising results, says Prof Ingham.

They have licensed the technology to the NHS National Blood and Transplant Tissue Services so it can be used on any UK donated human tissue in the future.

The NHS is already looking into using the method on donor skin for burns patients.

Professor Christina Doyle of Xeno Medical, the medical device company that is developing the technologies under Tissue Regenix, said the holy grail was to remove the heavy reliance on donor organs.

"That's where the technology will lead us eventually."

But she said: "To replace all donor tissue using this technology will take 30 to 50 years. Each single product will need to be designed and tested individually."

Prof Doyle said experts elsewhere were also working on similar regenerative therapies, but grown entirely outside of the body, to ensure that people can continue being as active during their second half-century as they were in their first.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Science, Nationalism & View of a Nobel Laureate

I want to bring the following recent news to your kind attention. It is related to our earlier discussion on Mexico and Nationalism.

A little less nationalistic hero worship, please says Dr.Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Nobel laureate for Chemistry 2009:

"I am distressed by the reaction to my comment about being deluged by emails from India, and realize I have inadvertently hurt people, for which I apologize. I hope people realize that I have no personal secretary and use my email mainly for work, so finding important communications became very difficult.

I want to make it clear that I was delighted to hear from scientific colleagues and students whom I had met personally over the years in India and elsewhere, as well as close friends with whom I had lost touch. Unlike real celebrities like movie stars or people in sports, we scientists generally lead a quiet life, and are not psychologically equipped to handle publicity. So I found the barrage of emails from people whom I didn’t know or whom I only knew slightly almost 40 years ago (nearly all from Indians) difficult to deal with.

People have also taken offence at my comment about nationality being an accident of birth. However, they don’t seem to notice the first part of the sentence: We are all human beings. Accident or not, I remain grateful to all the dedicated teachers I had throughout my years. Others have said I have disowned my roots.

Since 2002, I have come almost every year to India. In these visits, I have spent time on institute campuses giving lectures or talking to colleagues and students about their work, and stayed in the campus guest house. I have not spent my time staying in fancy hotels and going sightseeing without them. The people I visited, e.g. at the ICGEB in Delhi, CCMB in Hyderabad, the University of Madras or the IISc in Bangalore can vouch for this. Finally, at a personal level, although I am westernized, many aspects of culture like a love for classical Indian music or South Indian or Gujarati food are simply a part of me.

The best way to take pleasure in someone’s achievement is to take an interest in their work and feel motivated to learn more about science. I remember reading about Gellman’s work as an undergraduate in Baroda, and, when he won the Nobel prize, rushing upstairs to tell my parents. It did not matter to me whether he was Indian or not. In my case, I am lucky to have had a combination of education, opportunities and a great team of co-workers to have made a contribution to an important problem. I am not personally that important. If I hadn’t existed, this work would still have been done. It is the work that is important, and that should be what excites people.

Finally, there are many excellent scientists in India and elsewhere who will never win a Nobel prize. But their work is no less interesting and people should find out about what they do. My visits to India confirm that it has great potential and bright young students. A little less nationalistic hero worship will go a long way to fulfil that potential".

I don’t know how many of you will be able to accept this viewpoint, but I am in total agreement. As usual I want to present and leave it for analysis and interpretation by each and every one of you.

For those interested to know related News, please read (I sincerely suggest all to read)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

World unknown to us: Youngest Headmaster of the World

Outside there is a world unknown to us. Following is the brief summary of a news item that came out in British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) yesterday.
"Around the world millions of children are not getting a proper education because their families are too poor to afford to send them to school. In India, one 16 year old schoolboy is trying to change that. In the first report in the BBC's Hunger to Learn series, Damian Grammaticas meets Babar Ali, whose remarkable education project is transforming the lives of hundreds of poor children".
See the video and

Please read the full article before reading further. One of the comments in the BBC page
"This article is like a cold shower that woke me up. my parents pay thousands of euros to my uni every year to give me an education. Realising that with the same amount of money all these children could much easily get education hurts. It hurts realising i have the chance and the means to learn, but I'm even complaining for having "too much to study". To see i have Facebook open instead of a book. We do need articles like this, we do need to wake up"- Melisa, Rome

TIES Conference 2009

Ms. Argelia Cervantes Ovalle, Ing. Gerardo Jose Manuel Martinez Castro, Dr. K.C. Das and Dr. Nagamani Balagurusamy attended the III TIES conference at Veracruz, Mexico between 8th and 10th October, 2009. Both Argelia and Gerardo presented and discussed a paper on "Innovation in developing young researchers with social awareness" along with both Directors of the project. They explained overall objectives of the project, its importance, their research data and the potential impact of their research on Comarca Lagunera.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Absorbido por la inmensidad

Here in Mexico we're mostly just little humans, and sometimes we can only stay astonished and remain with our mouths wide open when we see the developed habilities of individuals in certain disciplines of science, art, in some technics, sports, etc. Lots of times there is not much we can do, not because of lack of potential but due to a lack in develpment(desarrollo de habilidades) that we have decided to provide ourself with (because we do not practice). In particular and there's lots like me, and a lot more the opposite, one is not ready to give up our life do dominate something and be the best at that certain thing, but it's because we are thought since children that there is only one life and you gotta live it to the fullest (but living it to the fullest is a vague concept since it is subject to relativity or subjectivity which ever word fits better) living to the fullest can be just being happy dancing, drinking, singing, not working, but this is just simply called Edonism a way of life where questions and principles and reasons are not valid the trick is to have fun no matter the means.. Or living to the fullest may be working 24/7, reading, being productive, having discussions, but the people in the first group would just called this stressed work-aholics. I've always thought i'm just a human with no right to decide which one is right and a human unable to couple both life-styles in one... i still have a lot of way to go...

Mean while since i'm focusing in growing and dragging the most people i can to the top, for the "Semana Academica" in the school of Ciencias Biologicas that is coming right up, i wanted to do an the rutherford backscattering experiment to see how many more students we can awaken and interest in science. the link for the video is

the experiment i want to copy starts in the minute "11:20" see it and let me know if you're willing to give me a hand with it.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Did you know?

Amazing facts and numbers related to the world we live in, be carefull you might feel a little bit dizzy by the end of the video with all the info that's there.
Hope you like it and  let us know which fact amazed you the most!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Universal Appeal

i think i am in a posting spree. a video (Yannick Noah - Aux Arbres Citoyen) recommended by shruthi and is meaningful to all of us.

Lost in thoughts

Reading the comments on my post "Realmente Queremos a Mexico" made me to feel uneasy. I am extremely glad to note that all of you love Mexico. Although I am not a Mexican by citizenship, I feel I am one by my heart. I think by reacting forcefully all of you are not seeing the point made by Eunice. I assume the point she wants to make is that there is no point in a celebrating a thing with out contributing for its betterment. I sense that she is feeling uneasy the way the things are and want to make a change. It is a cry for change and not a self destructive criticism.
The point I want to make is the change should start with each and everyone of us, first as a human and contribute for the good of mankind in general and to the society of Mexico in particular.
In relation to this I like to post one of the memorable lyrics of John Lennon

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

You can see it at

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nationality-DNA Testing?

I am a dreamer, but reality is making me to keep my eyes and mind open!!!

Following article appears in the recent issue of Science dated 2nd October, 2009. In brief:

"The existence of a DNA-based program to identify nationality was revealed in late September... The plan is to look for ratios of certain isotopes in tissue that could be matched to ratios in the environment where a person was born or grew up. The idea is to use DNA and isotope analysis of tissue from asylum-seekers to evaluate their nationality and help decide who can enter the United Kingdom..... If the pilot project is successful, the Border Agency suggests that it could be extended".

Read the full article at

I leave it to your discussion/interpretation & conclusion