If the mountain won’t come to science
ICMol, UV, Valencia (Spain).
In his 1627 Essays  Sir Francis Bacon exemplified boldness with this proverb: “If the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill”, which since then became a much used metaphor for someone that takes initiative to pursue a difficult (if not impossible) goal with the strongest determination, instead of simply waiting for it to happen. That scientists can pursue things with strong determination is no surprise to anyone. Spanish scientists, like in Sir Bacon’s proverb, are taking initiative and seem to be determined to climb the high mountain where the institutions (government and parliament) that host political decision-makers reside…
Biophysics and the war on cancer
CIC bioGUNE, Derio (Spain).
It was in 1971 when President Nixon signed The National Cancer Act to increase USA efforts against tumor diseases by boosting the resources dedicated to cancer research. For some people the results in terms of reducing the mortality rate have been disappointing, while others value the increase in our understanding of cancer biology, risk factors, treatments, and prognosis of certain types of tumors. Nowadays about 50 % of cancer occurrences are curable by a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, but others remain largely incurable, like pancreatic cancer. One of the major obstacles is the heterogeneity of this malignancy…
Life through a hole
Biofisika Institute (UPV/EHU – CSIC), Bilbao (Spain).
“Socrates: To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images”. Plato, The Republic (Book 7). Using Plato’s allegory, we can imagine light entering through a window in a sunny day. If by chance a bird crosses the window, its shadow would be projected into the wall. More precisely, rather than its shadow being projected into the wall there will be a decrease in the amount of light, a decrease with a specific pattern. Usually, just looking at the decrease we may identify the object that caused it and conclude that a bird passed through the window. Now, take the window and make it a thousand times smaller.…