24 de novembro de 2014

Chocolate component reverses memory loss in older people

A research carried out at Columbia University in New York and directed by professor Scott A. Small discovered that a component of chocolate called flavanol reverses memory loss in adults. In this research a group of people was given a drink containing lots of flavanols and by the end of three months they found out that their memory had improved. It’s the first time we know diet can help memory decline. 

Unfortunately, the problem of this study is that people must eat or drink big quantities of chocolate to get a beneficial effect.

From http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/27/chocolate-component-reverses-memory-loss-older-people-claims-study

Written by Alejandra Recimil and Antía Rodríguez (3rd ESO - 9th grade).

10 de novembro de 2014

Alfred Nobel, the dynamite inventor

Alfred Nobel was a famous scientist, inventor and businessman and he was also the founder of the Nobel Prizes. He was born on October 21 (1833) in Stockholm, Sweden. His father was an engineer and inventor, and his mother came from a wealthy family. He had two older brothers and a younger one.
He lived in Stockholm until 1842. Then he moved to Russia with his family because his father had a successful business there. Alfred was interested in literature, chemistry and physics, but his father decided to send him to Paris to study and become a chemical engineer.
The Nobel family returned to Sweden in 1863, and Alfred concentrated on developing nitroglycerine as an explosive. Although his experiments resulted in accidents, he didn't give up. Alfred invented, thanks to his experiments, dynamite and he set up factories in 90 different places. He lived in Paris, but he travelled to his factories a lot. He worked in Stockholm, Hamburg, Paris, San Remo, etc. He also experimented in making synthetic rubber and leather and artificial silk.
He died in San Remo, Italy on December 10, 1896.
His last wish was to give prizes to those who have done their best for humanity. So the first Nobel prizes were in 1901.
Image from Wikipedia
Written by Nora, Olalla and María (3rd ESO - 9th grade).

6 de novembro de 2014

Production of hydrogen fuel using sunlight

Michael Grätzel, a Swiss chemist, and his group developed a photovoltaic device using perovskites which are cheap and abundant materials. This device is used to break water into hydrogen and oxygen using sunlight. 
Grätzel's gadget improves the efficiency and price of previous aproaches using silicon. But more work is needed on the durability and stability of the solar cells.
Written by Marisol, Noa and Sofía (3rd ESO - 9th grade).