Ciencia Boricua Profiles

Every month we profile the work of an outstanding CienciaPR member or discuss a topic of relevance to our community

The Fifth Anniversary of Ciencia Puerto Rico: Five years promoting science and research in our archipelago

Marcos Lopez's picture
Changes in CienciaPR website in first 5 years
CienciaPR website throughout time. March, 2006 (left). Right, August, 2011

CienciaPR.org was established in 2006 with the mission of providing a site in where the members of the scattered Puerto Rican scientific community could have a meeting point. Thanks to the support of thousands of users and a dedicated group of volunteer scientists, in five years, CienciaPR have exceeded the initial expectations becoming one of the scientific portals of more coverage in Puerto Rico and Latin America.

A Journey Through Our Indian Roots: The archeological work of Dr. Ricardo Alegría-Gallardo

Jacqueline Flores Otero's picture
Dr. Ricardo Alegría old and as a young archeologist
Dr. Ricardo Alegría Gallardo, arqueólogo y antropólogo

Ricardo Alegría Gallardo (April 14, 1921- July 7, 2011)

Archeological findings help reveal the secrets of old civilizations, construct the history of a place and its ancestors, and shape the identity of contemporary people. The knowledge of our Puerto Rican history, more than an agglomeration of findings that reveal an unknown origin, was a life style for Dr. Ricardo Alegría-Gallardowhom we honor with this spotlight.

Survey of Science & Technology: Assessing the R&D ecosystem in Puerto Rico

Jacqueline Flores Otero's picture

Our society is at the cusp of a scientific revolution. The generation and application of knowledge and innovation have fundamentally changed the way we live and are a driving force in the global economy. For that reason many countries around the world, including Puerto Rico, are making a push to establish knowledge-based economies.

Green Way or Future Environmental Disaster?

Marcos Lopez's picture
Gas Pipeline
The Gas Pipeline will impact several acres of rivers, forests and residential areas.

For some time, in Puerto Rico we have been hearing about the Gas Pipeline project or the Green Way. Since CienciaPR¥s mission is to impartially educate the general public, we have prepared this small special story a about what is in reality the Gas Pipeline and what are the possible advantages and risks associated with the construction, management and maintenance of it.

What is the Gas Pipeline or Green Way?

From Las Piedras to NASA

Jacqueline Flores Otero's picture
Dr. Félix Miranda
Dr. Félix Miranda

When the different NASA spacecraft such as Voyager, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), and MESSENGER (Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging), among others, currently exploring the universe send messages to Earth, they do so through the transmission of microwaves, a type of electromagnetic wave, shorter in wavelength than that of radio, that can travel far distances and penetrate through the atmosphere. While longer microwaves are used to cook our food, shorter microwaves are used for satellite communication to Earth, for radar systems such as the Doppler weather radar, for GPS navigation, and even for wireless internet signals.

The Taino Inside: Science Helps to Decipher Our Origins

Greetchen Díaz-Muñoz's picture
Haplogrupo A de Puerto Rico
mtDNA can be classified in haplogroups which are specific for differents regions in the world. This figure shows the haplogroup A of PR.

Do you remember the stories about the native inhabitants of Puerto Rico that we were taught in school? Yes, the Taino Indians. They faded with the arrival of Spanish colonizers, according to the story. When exactly TaÌno ceased to exist? There is archaeological evidence indicating that the Tainos lived on the island longer than historians point, but there are still conflicting versions of both lines. Not only archaeologists and historians were interested in learning more about the Taino culture. A curious scientist that since he was a teenager was fascinated with stories about the Tainos, had in mind a number of questions, but mostly an effort to answer them.

Beyond the Stars... Legacy of the First Puerto Rican Astronomer, Dr. Victor M. Blanco

Giovanna Guerrero-Medina's picture
Dr. Victor M. Blanco and the Victor Blanco Telescope at Cerro Tololo

The study of the planets, the stars, and the universe, in which we live, is the passion of many scientists.. Since the times of the British astronomer Edmund Halley and the British physicist Isaac Newton, the study field of Astronomy has been essential to understand what distinguishes celestial objects (position, distribution, movement, composition and energy).

The Science Behind Earthquakes

Anonymous's picture
Earthquake in Puerto Rico
Ruins from Puerto Rico's earthquake in 1918.

Two months ago we received 2010 with the news that neighboring Haiti was struck with a 7.0 earthquake in the Richter scale. Not recovered from Haiti’s situation, in the last days of February, Chile also experiences an earthquake; this time an 8.8 one and nowadays they are still getting aftershocks. After all these events have you ever asked yourself what causes an earthquake? Can Puerto Rico be struck by an earthquake? Fortunately, the answers to all these questions and the science behind earthquakes are the focus of the research of geologists like Dr.

Sea cucumbers and regeneration

Anonymous's picture
Holothuria glaberrima
Sea cucumber, Holothuria glaberrima.

Sea cucumbers are echinoderms commonly found in the coasts of Puerto Rico. Although they are called ìcucumbersî due to their morphology, they are not really plants, but animals. In Asia they are considered a delicacy, but in Puerto Rico they are not used as food. Instead, they are used by researchers to understand one of the biggest mysteries in biology: the process of regeneration. Certain organisms, like echinoderms, have regenerative capacities, and can grow new organs from scratch even as adults. Other organisms, such as mammals, have very limited regenerative capacities.

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