Isabel H. y Laura G. representan a España en el Certamen Europeo de Jóvenes Investigadores

Isabel H. y Laura G. representaron a España en el 30th European Union Contest for Young Scientists, celebrado en Tallín del 22 al 27 de septiembre. Este es un prestigioso certamen en el que 89 proyectos científicos fueron presentados por 146 estudiantes de 43 países de todo el mundo.

Isabel y Laura, que finalizaron el pasado curso 2016-2017 segundo curso de Bachillerato, participaron en este concurso con su proyecto de química “En búsqueda del cocktail ideal para la descontaminación de las aguas”, llevado a cabo con los profesores del área de Biología y Química del centro y con la colaboración de personal investigador de la Universitat de València. El proyecto de las alumnas fue uno de los dos elegidos para representar a nuestro país en este concurso de ámbito internacional tras recibir tres primeros premios en el XXIX Certamen Nacional de Jóvenes Investigadores, celebrado en Málaga en septiembre de 2016.

Durante el certamen europeo Isabel y Laura presentaron el trabajo realizado a lo largo de dos años y los resultados obtenidos ante un jurado especializado formado por expertos científicos a nivel europeo. Las jóvenes tuvieron oportunidad de compartir esta experiencia con estudiantes de países como Suecia, Chipre, Bélgica, Reino Unico, China, Corea del Sur, Egipto o Estados Unidos, entre otros.

Entrevista en RTVE a las alumnas participantes en EUCYS 2017

Las alumnas de Gençana participantes en el Certamen Europeo de Jóvenes Investigadores (EUCYS 2017), Isabel H. y Laura G., fueron entrevistadas durante la celebración del concurso en Tallín (Estonia) por el programa de RadioTelevisión Española “Europa 2017″, que se emite en el Canal 24h.

El pasado viernes 29 de septiembre se pudo ver en este programa la entrevista, en la que las estudiantes del centro hablaron sobre el proyecto de química con el que representaron a España en el certamen internacional: “En búsqueda del cocktail ideal para la descontaminación de las aguas”.

En el siguiente vídeo se puede ver a partir del minuto 25:36 el reportaje con la entrevista a Laura e Isabel:

Europa 2017 – Programa 29/09/2017

Can replicants be considered humans?

replicant definition.jpg

Definition of “Replicant” (source: New American Dictionary, 2016)

In the future represented in the film “Blade Runner” humanity has been capable of creating human-like beings to work as slaves in the Off-World (colonies in outer space), and to have them under control they have a lifespan of only four years and implanted memories in their brains. The name of these creatures is ‘replicants’. But are they really humans?

On one hand, they are physically identical to us humans. They have the same organs, tissues and bones. Because of that, from a biological point of view, they are humans. On the other hand, a replicant doesn´t have memories or a past either, so that´s why their emotional reactions are different to a human’s. However, I think that, with the time, they could react as we do.

To sum up, replicants are humans for me. Although they have different ways of observing the world, biologically they are like us.

Guillem P.

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Blade Runner 2049 (2017) artwork

Can replicants be considered humans? This is the question that the film “Blade Runner” makes you think about. In my opinion, humans and replicants are two different species for many reasons.

Humans and replicants are difficult to distinguish at first sight, but replicants are created in a laboratory and they’re characterized with different features. For example, their lifespan is only four years long. At their inception point, they have memories implanted so they think they’re normal but they aren’t able to develop complex emotions. In my opinion, what makes a human being human is the ability to feel. Feel pain, happiness, sadness… feel anything.

In a nearby future scientists will create real replicants for sure but they’ll not be the next step in human evolution. What actually makes the world in peace everyday is the fact that we have feelings and we can feel empathy for one another. Without that, everyone would kill and commit crimes every day.

In conclusion, replicants are very different from human beings and they could never be considered humans for all the multiple reasons mentioned above.

Lidia Ll.

The challenges of overpopulation

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Tokyo subway during rush hours

Overpopulation… A serious problem that needs to be resolved. This concept is an issue in the post-apocalyptic world represented in the movie Blade Runner (1982). Even though it is a movie, it is very possible to happen in the real world.

First of all, if there are too many people it is very likely that there will be a lack of resources, which means there won’t be enough food to maintain all the people. One of the effects would be poverty or hunger.

Moreover, there are leaders in charge of controlling the society and the cohabitation among everyone. But the more people on the planet, the harder it gets to control the situation. Not everybody agrees with the rules or the decisions made, which can lead to wars. The loss of control and the multicultural environment can play a role in the beginnings of a war.

Also, if there is overpopulation, the government will have to make room for everyone, so that means the destruction of nature in order to build houses or buildings.

To sum up, wars, lack of resources and the destruction of nature are problems associated with overpopulation. So to prevent or solve it we have to keep in mind those problems too.

Isabel H.

Outer space colonization

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Source: University of Puerto Rico, 2014

What would happen if we suddenly conquered another planet? Is it even possible to conquer a planet? Scientists have been trying to discover if there is life in other planets of the Milky Way but they haven’t found anything. However, they are also exploring the possibility to live in other planets like Mars.

Living in another planet could be a beautiful experience if it was possible. We could discover more about the galaxy that we live in and we could learn about new materials or compounds from other planets. We would also have a totally different perspective of the Earth and the universe. If we were further away from the Earth it could also mean to be closer to other lifeforms.

However, this could also turn against us. The movie “Passengers” shows how a group of people are sent to another planet to live but the trip lasts for 90 years so they are kept asleep in machines until the trip ends. The problem is that some machines fail and they’re are awakened before the right time so they die before arriving at their destination.

So, in my opinion, a lot of things like this could go wrong when moving to another planet. Also, we would have to start a life from zero which would mean that humans would have to put a lot of effort to live in it. Another negative consequence is that we would all be very far away from our friends, families and everything we used to know.

In conclusion, outer space colonization could mean the beginning of a new era for the planet Earth. This event would have many positive and negative consequences as mentioned above.

Lidia Ll.

/Artificial/Intelligence?

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Cut from the movie I, Robot (2004) starring Will Smith, based on Isaac Asimov’s sci-fi novel.

The current development of artificial intelligence and robots is making them capable of performing complex tasks that only human could do before. This advance might enable them to substitute humans at work.

  The replacement of humans with machines or robots might seem like a huge benefit because in that case less people will need to work to produce the same amount of products. The downside of this replacement in that less people are being paid and less job offers will be available, resulting in a massive increase of poverty and unemployment.

This replacement can be looked in a different way. Imagine that humanity manages to make intelligent robots for every task needed, placing them at the spot of every working human, making disappear the need for workers. Achieving a world without compulsory tasks.

  The problem of this possible future system lies in the distribution of the wealth generated by robots, but the solution is simple. As no one works no one deserves more than anyone else, ending in an equal distribution of everything by autonomous machines.

  The development of technology is unstoppable but the uses we give it is completely up to us.

Jacobo F.

Jekyll and Hyde

jekyll hyde.jpgTitle: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Author: Robert L. Stevenson

Publisher: Penguin

Genre: Thriller & mystery

Two sides, two faces, one person… This novel is about a doctor’s double ego, thanks to a scientific breakthrough. It represents the battle between good and evil, a recurrent topic throughout the history of literature.

Dr.Jykell works in a laboratory and one day he discovers a substance which turns him into another man, Mr.Hyde. But Mr.Hyde is the evil face of the doctor, and he becomes a criminal. The problem is Dr.Jekyll’s addiction to the beverage, which eventually changes him every time he falls asleep. At last his two identities are discovered by his friend Mr.Utterson.

The main characters of the novel are Mr.Hyde, Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Utterson, all very different from one another. The book is set in the 19th century in England. The events are narrated by Mr.Utterson.

The book touches topics like science, good and evil, and mystery, common themes throughout 19th century Gothic literature. Also, the book reminds me of Frankenstein, in which a scientist creates a monster.

Isabel H.

Carrie

Carrie-2011.jpgTitle: Carrie

Author: Stephen King

Publisher: Anchor Books

Genre: Horror 

Year: 1974

Pages: 290

Author:

Stephen King is an American author of horror, supernatural fiction and fantasy. He has written more than 50 books and received several awards, including the National Book Award in 2003.

Plot summary:

Carrie White is a girl who doesn’t fit in high school and gets bullied by her classmates. When she discovers her new telekinetic powers, she takes revenge of the ones who bullied her. Throughout the school year her classmates continued messing with her. In the process of taking revenge she causes several disasters in which she kills people. Also, Carrie is abused by her own religious mother who thinks she is worshipping the devil. The main themes are religion, bullying, supernatural powers and revenge.

Personal opinion

In my opinion, the book contains articles and news reports in random places and sometimes it’s confusing and difficult to understand. The novel deals with themes like bullying, something that is unfortunately present nowadays and affects a lot of lives negatively. Carrie (1976) is also a movie based on the novel written by Stephen King. Overall, I liked the book, even though sometimes it uses complex vocabulary. For people who love a little bit of horror and fiction, Carrie is a very good choice. It combines some fiction like super powers with a realistic environment. I would recommend the book to other teenagers.

Isabel H.

NippleJesus

nipple jesus.jpegTitle: NippleJesus

Author: Nick Hornby

Publisher: Idiomas Pons

Pages: 19

Genre: Modernist novel

Subgenre: Short story

Year: 2000

The author, Nick Harnby, follows a literary current that shows the readers the actual immorality that surrounds them through short stories.

The book’s main theme is prejudice. The author explains it with the story of a big man, Dave, who leaves his job as a nightclub bouncer because he’s a family guy and wants a safer job. Finally, he finds a job as an art gallery security guard. He has to protect an extravagant picture he hates until he meets Martha -the artist. Finally, Martha confesses Dave that the picture wasn’t her artistic goal. Her real artwork was a video she was recording with people’s reactions towards ‘NippleJesus’ -a portrait of Jesus Christ made up of nipples. She’s the opposite image that people imagine after seeing the painting. With her secret performance, she’s trying to provoke a social reaction.

The most significant point of the novel is prejudice. It’s a social criticism towards some fake reactions that people might have depending on the context that surrounds them. The author’s message is that you can’t figure out a person’s character only through a unique source or an insignificant feature.

Amelia G.