Article archives

Laser spectrochemistry beyond Earth’s boundaries: Curiosity’s Chemcam

Laser spectrochemistry beyond Earth’s boundaries: Curiosity’s Chemcam

ChemistryPhysicsRobotics

By Paola Vega

It is well known that an accurate and energetic laser shot can melt, ionize and excite the material in which the light is focused, creating very bright plasmas after the interaction. Valuable information can be obtained from the light emitted by the plasma, such as the elemental composition of the material itself or the environment […]

Ever since Wallace

Ever since Wallace

BiologyEvolution

By Rafael Medina

Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1813) is especially known as one of the discoverers of evolution by natural selection. However, among his various contributions to the development of modern biology we can also consider the British naturalist as the father of biogeography: the study of the spatial distribution of organisms over the surface of the planet. Wallace’s […]

Sex and the colony

Sex and the colony

BiologyGenetics

By Adela Torres

When the general media report news about genetics, there is a deplorable tendency towards gene determinism. Headlines in the vein of “Gene for X discovered”—where X is anything from a physical trait to a complex behavior—are regrettably common, and almost always incorrect. That’s why I face this article with some trepidation. Because, you see, there […]

Cultural traditions in orcas

Cultural traditions in orcas

BiologyEthology

By Patricia Teixidor

Orcas or killer whales (Orcinus orca) are widely distributed and feed on a large array of prey —fish, seals and sometimes whales—. These powerful predators are highly adaptable, cooperative and live in stable matriarchal social groups of related animals. Each prey species they feed on requires special hunting skills and there have been observational reports […]

MI weekly selection #11

MI weekly selection #11

Humanities & Social SciencesScienceTechnologyWeekly Selection

By César Tomé

“Native” water once existed on the Moon A new analysis of lunar soil samples from NASA’s Apollo missions has found evidence that the moon in its early days may have contained “native” water. The findings, which were published in the journal Nature Geoscience, go against prevailing theories that the moon formed from the debris of […]

Experimenting with markets

Experimenting with markets

Economics

By José Luis Ferreira

Markets are the most studied economic mechanism for two main reasons. First, they have existed in most societies. Second, at least since Adam Smith we have learned some of the interesting properties they possess. In particular, the modern General Equilibrium Theory, in its standard version, asserts that rational agents interacting in a competitive market with […]