6 Great Chilean discoveries which have had global impact

6 Great Chilean discoveries which have had global impact

These six Chilean discoveries are now applied or used around the world. If you think that in Chile scientists, astronomers, biologists or engineers are "there no more", we are happy to tell you that you are wrong.

The most astonishing discoveries often arise from chances, but they are always accompanied by hard work and great effort.The six we present below are not only Chileans, but also revolutionaries!Thanks to them, today the world has a better medicine, a greater understanding of the universe and the birth of life on Earth.

If you think that the great inventions and milestones of science and technology are all foreign, we invite you to read this article, which will make you have much morefaith and affection in knowledgeMade in Chile.

A contraceptive for forgetful

Whoever has "chicken head" will know that the topic of the daily birth control pill can be a real challenge. That day you went out at night and you were late, that other day you kept your case with the meds, or that time you ran out of pills and you didn't have time to go to the pharmacy.Everything becomes a possibility of pregnancy.

But there was a savvy Chilean who noticed this problem in the late 1960s (and at the height of the contraceptive boom) and created theFirstsubdermal contraceptive, also known as pellet. This is the doctorHoracio Croxatto, a surgeon, biologist, physiologist, human reproduction specialist and, of all,National Prize of applied and Technological Sciences.

In 1967 and with the AmericanSheldon Segal, created polydimethylsiloxane polymer capsules to put under the skin of women, so that the active substance in the contraceptive (steroid hormones), would spread slowly and prolongedly over time. To this day,this type of contraceptive is still being used, having99% efficiency.However, it is not as popular because its initial value is higher, about 180 thousand pesos (although the long-term savings can be considerable). The process of removing it is minimal and only takes a few minutes.

The father of a pop star who created a revolutionary vaccine

The grace ofPablo Valenzuelait is not only that they have created the hepatitis B vaccine, sequenced the HIV genome and discovered hepatitis C, but, to top it off,is the singer's fatherFrancisca Valenzuela. It happens that the pop girl of the moment, has a father with a lot of merit, becausethehepatitis Bit's an infectious diseasethat for more than a century (itsfirst recordin 1885) it was reproduced in millions of people around the world - especially Africa, Asia and South America - by becoming sick to their livers and often killing them with cirrhosis.

It is a discovery that, like many in history, emerged without looking for it. His team was sequencing the hepatitis B virus, when the idea of expressing those genes appeared, so the possibility of developing the vaccine arose."We added the results, one plus one and it worked",designatesValenzuela.

While at the time it did not size the caliber of the discovery, in the long run the vaccine became a safe and effective revolution, which to this dayit's used177 countriesas part of the mandatory health plan. Thanks to the hepatitis B vaccine, infections from this disease have decreased by 95%.

Making water in the middle of the desert

You could say that this is a millennial inventionMade in Chile, although it has been implemented in the last few decades only in a massive manner. Because if life has been possible in the most arid desert in the world for thousands of years,this has been thanks to the generousCamanchaca.

If you've gone north, you've seen athick mistfrom the sea to the mountains. This happens because during the day the ocean absorbs the heat from the sun, while during the night and early morning, it releases it in the form of steam. It is these clouds full of water that, for example, water the slopes that then bloom in August and September, giving way toflowery desert.

In the 1960s, the physicist of the University of Chile,Carlos Espinosa, obtained a patent for the creation of a panel in the vicinity of Antofagasta, capable ofAbsorbthe water particles in the chamaca, and then used, for example, for irrigation. But his invention was so novel and could be so useful to hundreds of communities in the world, that he ended updonating the patent to UNESCO, for free dissemination in the world.

His concept offog catcherhas been retaken several times in Chile, carrying out projects that have been very convenient for northerners. For example, this is the caseYakka, a spherical structure that is capable of capturing water particles, as well asstudiesconducted by the School of Engineering at Catholic University, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology of the United States (MIT) to make the system more efficient.

Already some17 countrieshave taken advantage of the benefits, although for now 80% of the water that could be caught by a heater, continues to be lost.

Here is a descriptive video that captures how it works:

A huge exoplanet

So far we have only talked about men with a consolidated scientific trajectory, but now it is the turn of a twentysomething who, staring at the sky from the La Silla observatory, a good dayRealizedWhatthere was a giant orbiting a star.

Maritza Soto, a PhD student mentioning Astronomy of the U. of Chile, was studying the HD110014 system, a giant red star that is 293 light-years, in the constellation Virgo, and is twice the size of the Sun. Everyone knew that this system had only one planet, HD110014 b, but Maritza noticed something strange, a weak signal that could indicate the presence of a second planet. Working hard and measuring this signal, you were able to see what it was like:"we proved that there was another planet in this system: theHD110014c. My planet",says.And it's not just any planet, because it hasthree times the size ofJupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System.

True, with the new telescopes they are constantly discoveredlots of planets; each discovery becomes an important contribution to unraveling the mystery of the universe around us. But since Maritza's finding,the whole world knowsthat the star Ji Virgins, as it is known, has two exoplanets, for the discovery of the Chilean wasPublishedat the prestigiousMonthly Notices, royalty society of London.

A dwarf star with a Mapuche name

Continuing in the realm of space, in1997Chilean astronomer and now president of the Chilean Academy of Sciences,Maria Teresa Ruiz, was working and almost by chance, made a tremendous discovery for science. She was studying dead stars andwhite dwarfsto rebuild the creation of the gaseous spheres of the Milky Way. However, he stumbled upon something he had not seen before: two stars spinning around each other, while one of them was smaller, whose type would be known ascoffee dwarf.

"For decades astronomers had been behind these super planets (as they are also known) and there were million-dollar projects ready to go in their quest.I discovered the first brown dwarf I called Kelu, which means red in mapudungun. This find was a great gift from the Universe,"designatesMaria Teresa, who recently alsoWonUNESCO's For Women in Science Award.

These objects are among the heaviest gas giants and light stars,they don't havemass enough to generate nuclear reactions as the rest of the stars have, and that's why they are also called "super planets". As for its formation, it may have developed as a star, that is, by the collapse of a cloud of dust and gas, or as a planet, that is, from solid debris that collides and melts.

From now on, astronomers have continued to discover more of these kinds of stars, asWISE J0304-2705, a coffee dwarf found by a group of scientists from the University of Chile and the CATA Astrophysics Center, which was born at a temperature of 2,800Kelvins20 million years ago, andtoday its surface is no hotter than a cup of coffee that burns.

The definition of the phenomenon of life is Chilean

And here's another cap. The Professor and National Science AwardHumberto Maturana, with his former discipleFrancisco Varela, gave theoretical foundation to the phenomenon of life. It sounds like divine work but no, they are simply two scientists who applied their lucid reasoning to the mystery of the existence of living beings.

It all started from aQuestionthat a student at the University of Chile once made to Maturana, following the calculation that life had begun 2.8 billion years ago:"What starts 2.8 billion years ago, so you tell me now that living beings started then?". In practice, he raised doubts as to what distinguishes living beings from non-living. The teacher did not know the answer and was silent, and then answered: "I don't know, but if you go back to my class next year, I'm going to propose an answer." No more was learned from this student, but his question "clicked" on the brain of the passionate biologist, who began to spend hours of his day thinking about it.

This is how he came, together with Varela, to the concept ofAutopoiesis, which considers every living organism to be a dynamic system, that is, a collection of elements related to each other, and that can vary its relationships over time.An autopoetic system is one that reproduces, creates and repairs its own elements, and for Maturana and Varela,it is the basic and distinctive property of living things, because in the absence of autopoiesis, that is, because it cannot renew its cells, cleanse the toxins, etc., the living being dies.

This concept has had a profound impact around the world, and today it is being studied in fields as diverse ascybernetics, sociology and psychology(we explain this in detail inthis articleDefined).

Next, an interesting interview with Maturana conducted by the programA New Beauty:

If before science and technologyMade in Chileit was looked with distrust, today we can proudly say that we have professionals who have made discoveries of international impact. Great characters like the ones named here, today they are university professors whocultivate seedlings of future professionals who, we hope, will give us new joys.

Source: www.eldefinido.cl