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05/12/2020
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Los mejores avances de la biología

Algunos avances de la biología adolecen de serios y controversiales problemas éticos, pero la mayoría ha dado grandes pasos positivos en lo que va de siglo. Entre los avances más sobresalientes figuran: 

  1.  La impresión 3D de órganos que podría hacer obsoleta la donación de órganos;
  2.  La producción de medicamentos adaptados genéticamente a dolencias específicas que podrían conducir a la cura del cáncer;
  3.  La ‘limpieza de primavera’ del ADN mitocondrial que podría prevenir el envejecimiento y alargar la vida.
  4.  El descubrimiento de un nuevo tipo de célula cerebral, nombrada "célula diana".
  5.  La secuenciación genómica completa podría convertirse en una rutina para evaluar a los niños y detectar a tiempo trastornos hereditarios raros.
  6.  El descubrimiento de fragmentos de material genético que forman parte integral de los mecanismos de defensa de las células madre para defenderse de los virus invasores.
  7.  El descubrimiento del ARN de interferencia.
  8.  La creación de miembros artificiales robóticos controlados por el cerebro.
  9.  La producción de insulina humana a través de la tecnología de ADN recombinante.
  10.  La terapia génica para controlar la atrofia muscular espinal tipo 1 en los bebés.

El último avance fundamental de la biología se basa en la investigación de un científico español

Alfonso Valencia, del BSC, sentó las bases del método que ha usado Google para resolver un puzle de la biología de hace medio siglo

Dic. 2.– El lunes los científicos que trabajan en ciencias de la vida no daban crédito. Después de medio siglo intentando completar uno de los puzles más complejos de la biología, una inteligencia artificial había logrado, por fin, resolverlo. DeepMind había mostrado que era capaz de predecir con exactitud cómo las proteínas se pliegan y forman estructuras tridimensionales que determinan su función dentro de la célula usando un algoritmo de aprendizaje profundo.

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Warning: Serious destruction of ecosystems by human intervention

The harmful effects of human intervention in the ecosystems are not limited to localized degradation of land, rivers, or seas, but also on how it influences climate change. One of the main promoters of this harmful intervention is the ambition for easy profits through the abusive exploitation of virgin environments that require low levels of investment: the conversion of ecosystems into agricultural areas, cattle pastures, dams, urban areas, and roads; the excessive exploitation of many species, including their illegal traffic; the introduction of animal and plant species from other countries that become invasive, etc. These results in the pollution of soil, water, and air. One of the most serious assaults on the environment is the destruction of the forests that serve as the oxygen-generating lung of the planet, through clandestine logging, fires to clear the land for agriculture, clearing for livestock, etc., etc.

International lawyers draft plan to criminalise ecosystem destruction

Plan to draw up legal definition of ‘ecocide’ attracts support from European countries and small island nations.

Nov. 30.– International lawyers are drafting plans for a legally enforceable crime of ecocide – criminalising destruction of the world’s ecosystems – that is already attracting support from European countries and island nations at risk from rising sea levels.

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Will the US continue the divestment process in China and its efforts to level the trade balance under the Joe Biden Administration?

Government & State Pension Funds are the second largest group investing into Chinese companies. The vast majority of the amounts held from U.S. pension or sovereign funds is from the California Public Employees Retirement Systems (CalPERS), which is estimated to have half a billion dollars in investments across several state-controlled companies such as China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, and a variety of smaller stakes in other companies, including rail equipment manufacturer CRRC Corp., China Communications Construction Co. Ltd., and China Railway Construction Corp. Ltd. According to a CNN report the recent ban to Americans from investing in Chinese firms decreed by President Trump, «set to take effect January 11, comes as trade and technology battles are heating up between the world's two largest economies». Trump's order bans US investors from owning or trading any securities that originate or are exposed to those firms. This includes pension funds. A senior official of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told CNN that «the US government "maliciously slandered" legitimate collaboration between China's military and civilian companies and "unreasonably suppressed Chinese companies"

Americans have Billions invested in companies with ties to Chinese Military

Nov.23.– President Donald Trump’s latest executive order bars U.S. investors from holding ownership stakes in a list of 31 Chinese companies designated to have ties with various Chinese Communist Party (CCP) military apparatuses.

This order, while somewhat limited in scope, ensnares several well-known Chinese companies, including non-public companies such as Huawei and publicly traded companies such as China Mobile and Hangzhou Hikvision. The 31 companies were previously designated by the Pentagon as being “owned or controlled” by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), the official name of the Chinese military. (The list of companies can be found here and here.)

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¿Hay relación entre la desigualdad de ingresos y la pobreza?

Según el ex presidente Obama, la elevada desigualdad en el nivel de ingresos entre los sectores más pobres y más ricos de la sociedad es un mal pernicioso porque "una mayor desigualdad se asocia con una menor movilidad entre generaciones". Como resultado, "[una] desigualdad peligrosa y creciente y la falta de movilidad ascendente ... ha puesto en peligro el trato básico de la clase media en Estados Unidos: que si trabajas duro, tienes la oportunidad de salir adelante". Esta y otras afirmaciones semejantes se han propagado y se siguen divulgando en los medios académicos, el ambiente político y hasta en algunos centros de investigación económica y financiera como los de la OCDE y la CEPAL. Esto da lugar a que se impulsen políticas para que el gobierno redistribuya la riqueza; en otras palabras, para que el alegado exceso de riqueza que cae en manos de los ricos se entregue a los pobres. Un estudio reciente de un grupo de economistas de Harvard dirigido por Raj Chetty contradice directamente la afirmación del  ex presidente de que una mayor desigualdad de ingresos obstaculiza la movilidad económica. “La participación del 1% superior [de la riqueza] no está correlacionada con la movilidad relativa”, escribe Chetty. Al revisar el trabajo de sus colegas, el economista Lawrence F. Katz admite que, a pesar del aumento de la desigualdad, "no es cierto que la movilidad en sí sea cada vez menor". De hecho, descubrieron que los niños de hoy tienen la misma probabilidad de pasar a un nivel de ingresos más alto que hace 50 años.

Mark W. Hendrickson, un destacado economista especializado en políticas sociales, nos ofrece (en inglés) un breve, pero profundo análisis sobre este tema.

More Mischief About Income Inequality

In September, the renowned RAND Corporation released a meticulously detailed, scrupulously objective study about income inequality in the United States: “Trends in Income From 1975 to 2018.” The authors of the study, Carter C. Price and Kathryn A. Edwards, adhered to the highest standards of scholarly integrity.

The study opens with the statement, “The three decades following the Second World War saw a period of economic growth that was shared across the income distribution, but inequality in taxable income has increased substantially over the last four decades.”

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Reunified Germany: Waking Europe's sleeping giant

Thirty years after reunification, Germany is shouldering more responsibility. But it has a lot more to do.

German Unity Day is the National Day in Germany, celebrated on 3 October as a public holiday. It commemorates the German reunification (German: Deutsche Wiedervereinigung) in 1990 when the the German Democratic Republic (GDR, colloquially East Germany; German: Deutsche Demokratische Republik, DDR) became part of the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG, colloquially West Germany; German: Bundesrepublik Deutschland, BRD) to form the reunited nation of Germany, as provided by the original Article 23 of the federal Constitution (Grundgesetz). Berlin was reunited into a single city, and again became the capital of united Germany.

Today exactly one month ago Germany celebrated the 30th anniversary of its reunification.

Germans celebrating 30th Anniversary of  Reunification

Berlin, Nov. 3.– Margaret Thatcher feared and openly opposed the reunification of East and West Germany. François Mitterrand was said to have shared her worries, though he accepted it was inevitable. Giulio Andreotti repeated a popular quip: that he loved Germany so much, he “preferred it when there were two of them”. Yet despite the reservations of the British, French and Italian leaders in 1990, a new country came into being 30 years ago on October 3rd. With 80m people, it was immediately the most populous country and mightiest economy in a Europe that until then had had four roughly equal principals. Ever since, statesmen and scholars have grappled with the problem of how to deal with the reluctant hegemon at the heart of Europe. How should Germany lead without dominating? Indeed, after the enormities of Nazism, can it be trusted to lead at all?

Thirty years on, German reunification has been a resounding success. East Germans were freed from the dull yoke of communism. With just three chancellors in three decades, the new, liberated Germany has been steady and pragmatic. It has championed the expansion of the European Union to the east and the creation of the €uro.

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