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Pedro J. Hdez
Attended University of Manchester
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Pedro J. Hdez

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Brazo robótico de 6 ejes para impresión 3D inspirado en una araña para tejer estructuras de plástico. El proyecto está basado en arduino y es libre. El vídeo completo en https://vimeo.com/117134365
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The second plague pandemic in medieval Europe started with the Black Death epidemic of 1347–1353 and killed millions of people over a time span of four centuries. It is commonly thought that after its initial introduction from Asia, the disease persisted in Europe in rodent reservoirs until it eventually disappeared. Here, we show that climate-driven outbreaks of Yersinia pestis in Asian rodent plague reservoirs are significantly associated with new waves of plague arriving into Europe through its maritime trade network with Asia. This association strongly suggests that the bacterium was continuously reimported into Europe during the second plague pandemic, and offers an alternative explanation to putative European rodent reservoirs for how the disease could have persisted in Europe for so long.
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Escribí, por cierto, un artículo en el blog sobre el origen de la peste negra y las primeras guerras bacteriológicas http://ecos.blogalia.com/historias/67910
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Pedro J. Hdez

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The issue is that most people today listen to those they are familiar with and trust and discount those they don’t know. Therefore nothing is more important than the scientific community listening to and speaking with the public in a way that earns their trust. Getting this done is essential to all of our futures. The work ahead of us all to build trust in science is huge and it will take a long time but we must be relentless in our efforts to make this happen.
Recent public outcry as a measles outbreak has managed to impact much of North America has once again showed the nature of public deniers of science. In this case it is concerns about vaccinations that have led to numerous children falling sick with measles. While not considered a highly risky ...
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You have been the first one that mentioned radiation without talking about any dose at all, weren't you? Let me quote:

«Almost all the antinuclear movement is anti-science when the health effects of radiation are discussed.»

Did you mentioned there which type of radiation were being discussing? Did you mentioned there how much radiation? time exposure? whatever other parameter? Because it seems you didn't...

So you better apply such lesson to yourself in first place before lecturing others. Just saying...
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Buen resumen de toda la mitología que ha inundado las redes sociales sobre las medidas tomadas por Islandia después de la crisis.
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Ya me lo tomo un poco a coña, pero como periodista especializado en política y economía islandesa, me da ansiedad leer las opiniones que la gente comparte en las redes sociales sobre supuestos hech...
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Pedro J. Hdez

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Microorganisms have been identified and isolated from glacial ice samples from many different regions of the world. The global distribution of these microorganisms in snow and glacial ice is the result of wind and atmospheric circulation. Bacteria and fungi have been detected and isolated from many different frozen environments such as permafrost, cryopegs, sea ice, glacial ice, and accretion ice from subglacial lakes. Bacteria and fungi have been isolated from both Arctic and Antarctic regions . Most of the bacteria and fungi isolated from these permanently cold environments were psychrotolerant as opposed to psychrophilic, having optimal growth temperatures well above freezing. Glacial ice has constant temperatures, making it ideal for long-term preservation of microorganisms and biomolecules. Environmental ice acts as a protective matrix for microorganisms over extended periods of time and provides a record of microbial evolution and ancient biodiversity.

While the numbers of viable organisms and intact nucleic acid sequences decline with depth, they have been recovered from ice that is more than a million years old.
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Awesome.
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Pedro J. Hdez

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¿Por qué los espejos intercambian derecha e izquierda pero no provocan el mismo efecto verticalmente? Magnífica explicación a una pregunta aparentemente sencilla para la que nadie suele tener una respuesta clara.
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EROI is [a] method to evaluate whether an energy source is sufficient to power our society into the future. Recent EROI determinations have become better at capturing the total life-cycle costs, and eliminating temporary economic fluctuations and politically motivated influences and policies that distort the actual return.

Results from the most recent study byWeißbach (2013) are summarized in the above figure. Other studies give similar results (Carbajales-Dale 2014). EROI was evaluated for power plants fueled by wind, photovoltaic solar, solar thermal, hydroelectric, natural gas, biomass, coal and nuclear. Because some sources require buffering, storage or load-following, there are two values for each source, with and without energy storage or buffering.
Energy Returned on Investment, or EROI, is the ratio of energy returned to energy invested in that energy source, along its entire life-cycle. When the number is large, energy from that source is easy to get and cheap. However, when the number is small, the energy from that source is difficult to get and expensive. The break-even number for fueling modern society is about 7. The working EROI for each energy source is - Nuclear 75, Hydro 35, Coal ...
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Numbers speak for themselves.
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Pedro J. Hdez

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¿Cómo es posible que las capas exteriores de una estrella salgan lanzadas a tal velocidad en la explosión de una supernova? Physics Girl nos los explica de manera sencilla jugando con unas pelotas.

Vía +Joaquin Sevilla 
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Pedro J. Hdez

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A los padres y abuelos de nuestra generación no había que convencerles de que las vacunas funcionan, pues vieron a mucha gente morir de infecciones que hoy en día básicamente han desaparecido. Pero estamos viendo morir a niños de enfermedades como sarampión [http://www.lavanguardia.com/vida/20150223/54427546687/muerte-de-un-nino-en-berlin-de-sarampion-reabre-el-debate-sobre-las-vacunas.html] porque los padres más jóvenes han sido víctimas de:

1) Propaganda de movimientos anti-vacunas liderados por gente con supuesta formación médica que se juntó con una creciente desconfianza en las instituciones gubernamentales y en corporaciones como las farmacéuticas y que han terminado de minar la confianza en las instituciones científicas.

2) La seguridad añadida de que en una población mayoritariamente vacunada, tu hijo tenga muy pocas oportunidades de enfermar

3) La idea (sesgo cognitivo) de que la inacción (no vacunar a tu hijo) te exime de responsabilidad de las consecuencias de una posible infección mientras que la acción (vacunar) te señala como responsable en caso de que algo fuese mal.

Esos tres aspectos se retroalimentan mutuamente creando un círculo vicioso del que es realmente difícil salir. Al menos espero que los casos recientes de brotes, e incluso víctimas mortales, puedan cambiar esa percepción.
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Nunca había caído, pero es fundamental, sobre todo, el punto 3. Y, además, se puede extender a muchos otros ámbitos. Poca gente se da cuenta de que la decisión de no actuar es, en definitiva, una decisión y un acto en sí mismos.
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The education-centric story of our problems runs like this: We live in a period of unprecedented technological change, and too many American workers lack the skills to cope with that change. This “skills gap” is holding back growth, because businesses can’t find the workers they need. It also feeds inequality, as wages soar for workers with the right skills but stagnate or decline for the less educated. So what we need is more and better education.

For one thing, is the pace of technological change really that fast? “We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters,” the venture capitalist Peter Thiel has snarked. Productivity growth, which surged briefly after 1995, seems to have slowed sharply.

Furthermore, there’s no evidence that a skills gap is holding back employment. After all, if businesses were desperate for workers with certain skills, they would presumably be offering premium wages to attract such workers. So where are these fortunate professions? You can find some examples here and there. Interestingly, some of the biggest recent wage gains are for skilled manual labor — sewing machine operators, boilermakers — as some manufacturing production moves back to America. But the notion that highly skilled workers are generally in demand is just false.

Finally, while the education/inequality story may once have seemed plausible, it hasn’t tracked reality for a long time. “The wages of the highest-skilled and highest-paid individuals have continued to increase steadily,” the Hamilton Project says. Actually, the inflation-adjusted earnings of highly educated Americans have gone nowhere since the late 1990s.
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Excelente artículo. Es difícil ir contra las ideas tan repetidas. Por cierto :'We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters' : qué gran verdad ;)
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We examine expected impacts of future computerisation on
US labour market outcomes, with the primary objective of analysing the number of jobs at risk and the relationship between an occupation’s probability of computerisation, wages and educational attainment. According to our estimates, about 47 percent of total US employment is at risk. We further provide evidence that wages and educational attainment exhibit a strong negative relationship with an occupation’s probability of computerisation.
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In 2001, Frederic Brochet conducted two experiments at the University of Bordeaux. In one experiment, he got 54 oenology (the study of wine tasting and wine making) undergraduates together and had them taste one glass of red wine and one glass of white wine. He had them describe each wine in as much detail as their expertise would allow. What he didn't tell them was both were the same wine. He just dyed the white one red. In the other experiment, he asked the experts to rate two different bottles of red wine. One was very expensive, the other was cheap. Again, he tricked them. This time he had put the cheap wine in both bottles. So what were the results?

The tasters in the first experiment, the one with the dyed wine, described the sorts of berries and grapes and tannins they could detect in the red wine just as if it really was red. Every single one, all 54, could not tell it was white. In the second experiment, the one with the switched labels, the subjects went on and on about the cheap wine in the expensive bottle. They called it complex and rounded. They called the same wine in the cheap bottle weak and flat.
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Creo que una conclusión que ha sido además replicada es que simplemente nuestra percepción responden a nuestras expectativas. Por eso es típico que te bebas un vino cuando estás de vacaciones que después te lleva a casa y "no sabe igual" ;)
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Education
  • University of Manchester
    MSc, 1992 - 1993
  • ULL
    Física/Astrofísica, 1986 - 1991
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Nunca atribuyo a una conspiración aquello que pueda explicarse por simple incompetencia
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Profesor de tecnología en Secundaria
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