La Ciencia en Breve • ¡El Universo a tu Alcance!

A Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) and Self Reliance Foundation (SRF) Service

Writer Highlights the Importance of Learning Spanish

Generally, writers and Latin teachers are the ones who are more interested in bilingual education for children.

Nevertheless, William Adams, a writer of children’s stories, decided to change this trend through the publication of his educational collection of bilingual books “Mandy and Andy.”

“I do not speak a word of Spanish,” William confesses. “However, I think it is important for kindergarten children and those in first year of school to learn a new language.”

According to Williams, learning between the ages of 3 and 8 is much easier than in the future, especially in adulthood. This and other factors, such as the increasing use of Spanish in the United States and the interest in learning another language in other countries, led him to write a children’s book in English and Spanish.

“Through my collection of books, I hope I can provide parents, grandparents and teachers with an educational tool motivating children to learn a new language,” Williams said. In fact, he has visited a lot of schools in order to read and motivate children to learn Spanish as a second language.

On the other hand, there are people who do not agree with Williams’ passion for learning Spanish. “Some people do not understand, and say they are Americans,” Williams added. “That really hurts me.”

Nevertheless, he said that 99% of people support his work in favor of a bilingual education. “I think that the majority of people see this as an example and are open to welcome the Spanish language and Hispanic culture into this country,” Williams concluded.

Inca Artifacts Returned Home Before the End of the Year

After years of waiting, Peru was able to recover nearly 350 Inca artifacts that were discovered in the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu by the American archeologist Hiram Bingham.

Bingham, a Yale University archeologist, may have discovered the ruins in one of his explorations to the South American country in 1911. The impetuous city in ruins was hidden behind a large area of vegetation.

According to a report by Science magazine, it was Bingham who took the artifacts to Yale University, an organization that claimed to be authorized to export them to the United States.

The Peruvian government, however, did not stop insisting on the return of said artifacts over time, warning Yale of a possible lawsuit.

Yale University finally recognized their moral obligation to return the Inca artifacts to Peru some months ago, although they still have some of them (the exact quantity is unknown).

In addition, Yale has committed to co-sponsoring a traveling exhibit that may help raise money to build a museum in the city of Cuzco, the Inca capital, which will be opened during the centenary celebration of Bingham’s discovery.

Known as the “Lost City of the Incas,” Machu Picchu means “Old Mountain” in Quechua, and the site is perhaps the most emblematic symbol of the Inca Empire.

Located at the top of a mountain in Urubamba Valley, it receives nearly 2,000 visitors every day and was recently chosen by 100 million voters as one of the new seven wonders of the modern world.

Passion for Chocolate is in the Gut

English scientists have recently discovered that the passion for chocolate might depend on the bacteria that all human beings have in their gut.

According to a study done by Nestle biochemists at the Imperial College of London, people indifferent to chocolate produce different bacteria than those who consider themselves chocolate lovers.

Science magazine reported in their latest issue that scientists studied 22 volunteers for five days in a row, half of them being “chocoholics.”

Urine and blood tests able to identify metabolic bioproducts from different types of bacteria showed that the levels of dozens of the components in these bacteria were different between the two groups. “[This is] not just a product of our genes,” says Sunil Kochhar, head of the study published in the November issue of the Journal of Proteome Research.

Studies also found that the chocoholics’ group had lower levels of damaging cholesterol in the blood, as well as higher levels of “albumin,” a nutrient-transporter protein.

Diabetes, Hispanics’ Worst Enemy

Diabetes has become the disease with the highest growth rate worldwide in recent years. And the United States has not been left behind. In 2005, 1.5 million new diabetes cases were diagnosed in people older than 20. 2.5 million out of the 30 million of Hispanics living in the United States have been diagnosed with diabetes.

In November, diabetes prevention month, organizations and physicians are calling on the community to obtain information on how to care for themselves and avoid contracting this incurable disease, and for those who suffer from it to continue their medical treatments.

Roberto Collazo, nephrologist and medical director of the dialysis unit at South Oak Cliff Dialysis Center in northern Texas, states that prevention is essential for Latinos, since they are a community with a high percentage of diabetics.

“In the case of Hispanics, these diseases are not usually detected on time. We find many patients who do not discover they suffer from it until their cases are in very advanced stages,” Collazo said.

Diabetes is a metabolism disorder. During digestion, food turns into sugar or glucose, the greatest source of fuel for the body. This glucose goes into the blood, where insulin allows it to enter into the cells.

In diabetics, this process fails due to three factors: the pancreas does not produce insulin, does not produce enough insulin, or the cells do not respond to insulin. In any of these cases, sugar is not absorbed by the cells.

Hispanics’ genetics, their environmental conditions and diet are what make them prone to suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure.

A diabetic person must exercise, avoid eating candies or flour, have a diet rich in vegetables, and continuously check their blood sugar levels.

For further information on diabetes month visit www.diabetes.org/espano