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Friday, February 21, 2020

After The Strike



Resultado de imagen de paro nacional armadoThe terrorist group named ELN announced that last February 14th, our country would have a national strike that would go on for 72 hours. This information was announced through pamphlets delivered all around the country.

In these types of strikes, the terrorist groups threaten the citizens telling them they should not go out of their homes, and shall remain in there as long as the strike goes. As well, they often restrict the crossing of roads, claiming that whoever goes out will get hurt. This time, they claimed they were going to compromise with those who are sick, but the greatest fear sown in the citizens was suffering a terrorist attack. 

For his part, Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said the Military Forces and the Police were ready to prevent and counteract any action these terrorists intended to take. Among the measures that were available, the Police announced the reinforcement of the National Police’s Transit and Transport Section due to the information of the pamphlet.

According to General Luis Fernando Navarro there were more than 117 terrorist intentions during the three days and more than 94 that were avoided after the deployment of the public force throughout the country, but there was a sub-official dead in North Santander.

By María Camila Montes, Step 10



The Strange Forest Case

Once upon a time, there was a forest which had a somewhat peculiar history due to the fact that every person who went there was never seen again. One day, a group of friends decided that they should investigate what was going on in order to become renowned researchers, but also, they were very curious to know what was in there. They decided to make this dangerous trip because the city was full of this news, on the other hand, many people had disappeared this holiday due to the secrets there. Other people also wanted to discover what was going on there. Unfortunately, they didn’t finish in the best way.

When the group of friends arrived to the forest, they felt a very bad vibe, something inside them told them that something was wrong and that they shouldn't have gone there. However, they continued with their investigation. Once they reached the place where they intended to stay, they realized that it was very small, thus a part of the group had to go to another place, which was on the other side of the river. When they were on their way to the other place where they had to stay, furthermore to being much further away, they were much more in danger because they were next to the river, therefore, they were exposed to many dangers so they decided to go to another place that was closer. What they didn’t know, was that it was the place which had many secrets and in which people disappeared.

When they were arriving, they saw a lot of flags which said they could not pass, that it was a forbidden place (That only authorized personnel could enter) and that it was highly dangerous; however, and despite all those signs that were in there, they decided to continue since they were really close of knowing what was happening. As they continued walking, they realized that they were in the place everyone was talking about and it was not only because of the signs, but also because they saw many people who "were lost" and they were not exactly dead as everyone thought, they were in perfect condition and living in the best way.

When they realized about this, they immediately decided to ask what was going on, why the people who were missing were there. Immediately, they all approached and began to solve all their doubts and also help them solve "the great mystery". They explained that there really was nothing wrong with the forest, they just decided to do as if they were missing because they were tired of living in the city and following all the things imposed by the government which seemed unfair to them and because of this, they decided to create a new community in the forest in which they lived with the rules that they themselves created in a way in which everyone agreed, in this way everyone lived happily and did not have to worry about anything. Moreover, they said that living in the forest was even better than living in the city, which gave to the group of friends a lot to think about, and also, they decided to be part of that community.

By María José Reyes, Step 8, Yellow

Australian Fires

Australian bushfires are one of the most renowned problems in 2020. As we know, Australia has been burning since 2019, firefighters are fighting and surviving this inferno. More than 1 thousand homes have been destroyed, and the Australian sky is covered by smoke and ashes. It all started as a consequence of fires season because the land was suffering a drought

The city of Sydney is surrounded by a vast fire. In all Australia the levels of toxins are worryingly high. In the southeast of Australia more than 4000 people were trapped by fire which was out of control, so they had to program an exercise to evacuate as soon as possible in order to not get injured. 

This is a clear example of the consequences of global warming. This problem was not a big deal some years ago. Unfortunately, we have not shown any interest in this problematic. Now, everything is out of control.

 Vast fires have consumed over a billion hectares worth millions of dollars in Australia. Animals that inhaled the toxic and now contaminated air in Australia are on the verge of extinction. 

However, not everything is bad, the authorities said that the rain is going to ease these horrific bushfires,to  finally extinguish them.

 Australia is passing by frail moments, so we hope to help them as much as we can with what we have.

By Valentina Quintero, Step 8 Y.

Fighting the Evil Flames


More On Australian Fires.

The bushfires that are burning in Australia are a very big problematic common to what we are living in nowadays' society as a consequence from global warming. Some say that it started just because of the drought, others say that it was on purpose, that it was people who did it, but what really matters is that a country that is almost a whole continent is being burned down by these huge bushfires and no one has been able to stop them.

The firefighters say that the task of setting off these bushfires will not be easy for them, that it will take a lot of work, but that they will make their best efforts to stop this huge fire.

Fires are being burning in the areas of the east and south
coast, which is where most of the people in Australia live, so many homes have been destroyed by this unexpected issue that they are living in. These areas include places all around the city of Sydney and the city of Adelaide as well.

This situation that some call and say that is an inferno has all the community around the world worried since it has gotten out of control and it has taken many hectares of land in its path. The drought season or as they call it “fire season” that they were in, is one of the many causes of this fire.

This is affecting people all around the planet because of the toxic smoke that they are breathing; for instance, the consequences of that are pneumonia, asthma and some other respiratory issues, and a smoke cloud recently got to some countries in America. This fact is very dangerous because a bushfire that first started in Australia got to a whole different continent. 

To ease its shutdown, the firefighters and authorities waited for the rains to arrive and after waiting for months, they came and helped to gradually extinguish the burning fire. These vast lack of resources to finally extinguishing the fires is devastating. Other nations have tried to help them collectively, caring for their animals that were dying in the dangerous areas and of course with the most affected people. Due to this, officers have recommended civilians to exercise indoors because of the toxic air that they may breathe when working out.

People have said that it is actually not very safe to exercise at all, as they may choke because of the lack of air, no matter where they are. It is very important to keep raising awareness about this event for people all around the globe to not only help them, but also the frail animals that are suffering the most. It is not very common that anything like this happens, that’s why we need to be psychologically ready for whatever comes in the future.

By Simón Duarte, 
Step 8 B, 
Project Class

Inherited Disease.


How likely we are to acquire diseases such as hemophilia?
Fist we need to know what  hemophilia is. It is a disorder that causes blood to not clot normally. It can also be said that it is a bleeding disorder where blood clotting is altered.  This pathology implies the lack or deficiency of coagulation factors, elements that, together with platelets, are responsible for plugging the lesion of blood vessels and reducing blending.

But what happens when the blood does not clot properly? When the blood does not clot properly, the patient can have excessive bleeding in internal or external wounds, the reason why people who suffer from this disease must be very careful with being hit or cut, since the patient could have bleedings, both external or internal.
This disease requires medical diagnosis and some symptoms include several large or deep bruises, inflammation and joint pain, unexplained bleeding and blood in the urine or feces.

But what is the cause of this disease?
Everyone can have hemophilia but it mainly affects men, women who carry the mutation rarely develop the disease and if this occurs, it is rather mildly.
People who have hereditary hemophilia are born with the disorder.  Hemophilia is due to an alteration in one of the genes that determine the way in which the body produces clotting factor VIII or IX.  These genes are located on the X chromosomes.

The chromosomes are arranged in pairs.  Women have two X chromosomes, while men have an X chromosome and a Y chromosome. Only the X chromosome contains genes related to clotting factors.

A male who has a defective hemophilia gene on the X chromosome will suffer hemophilia.  A woman must have the defective gene on both X chromosomes to have hemophilia. Which leads us to conclude that this disease is hereditary. 

There are two types of hemophilia,  A (classical hemophilia, or factor VIII deficiency) and B (Christmas disease, or factor IX deficiency).

Hemophilia is a disease that has no cure but with several treatments it has improvement.  Treatment consists of medications that improve coagulation with injections of a coagulation factor or plasma.
In Colombia there are 2,170 people diagnosed with hemophilia, the treatment of a patient with hemophilia type a can cost 37 million pesos in a year but the treatment of a patient with hemophilia type B can cost 280 million pesos in a year.

Many people who suffer from hemophilia has pain because
of the complications of the disease, it can occur in a timely manner because of muscle and joint bleeds and pain can also occur all the time, bringing disability and decreased quality of life, which are the long-term effects that overwhelm the patient with hemophilia.

Also patients can ease the pain of this disease by preventing bleeding by taking care of a healthy diet, rest, and exercise.

By María José Durán, Step 9

Eating Disorder


Myths about anorexia nervosa (AN)

Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological eating disorder and can be classified as one of the potentially life-threatening ones. Those suffering from this eating disorder are typically undergoing an extremely low body weight relative to their height and body type. 

An organization called "Eating disorder hope" has concluded that anorexia has the highest fatality rate of any mental illness and it is estimated that 4% of anorexic individuals die from complications of the disease.

BMI (Body Mass Index) is a tool that treatment providers often use to judge the suitability of body weight for an individual struggling with an eating disorder. Additionally, observations of eating patterns, exercise, and personality traits may give indications of an anorexic diagnosis, so those struggling with anorexia frequently fear to gain weight and often believe they appear much heavier than they are.

Many people think wrong things about anorexia nervosa,  but these misunderstandings may not seem dangerous to an average person; however, to someone fighting an ED (eating disorder) and their family members can change their mind about getting treatment. 

Taking this into account, we must deny these myths.

Myth No. 1: Anorexia is a lifestyle choice
No one suddenly decides to develop an ED, and this myth believes individuals can simply stop having an ED with an insignificant change in mind. But this isn't true. You can`t choose whether to have or not have an ED. Individuals battling with anorexia don't abruptly choose to stop eating, EDs are serious illnesses. A person may develop an ED if he or she is facing other mental or physical illnesses.

Myth No. 2: Men don't get eating disorders
Men are not immune to developing anorexia. According to CBS News, doctors used to believe anorexia mainly affected intelligent, highly wealthy teenage women. But the truth is that nearly 10 million males suffer from a significant ED during their lifetime, stated the National Eating Disorder Association. 3% of men struggle with anorexia once in their lifetime, everyone can develop an ED (HealthStatus).

Myth No. 3: A person needs to be seriously skinny to have anorexia
While it's true that individuals fighting anorexia tend to be dangerously thin in terms of body weight, this isn't always the case. According to CBS News, someone can have anorexia but not have a skeletal figure. For example, someone may have been overweighted and used unhealthy methods to achieve a normal weight. Even though he or she looks healthy, she or he is yet battling anorexia.

Myth No. 4: People fighting anorexia don't eat
Many persons think that people with anorexia don't eat, and it is kind of natural to think that, but that is not true. They do it, but their eating habits aren't the healthiest, HealthStatus explained.

Anorexic people usually follow restrictive diets that emphasize low-calorie foods. But recognize that anorexia is different from dieting because people with anorexia feel that they are being forced to eat. In their minds, every piece of food counts and they think that is harmful. 
Keep in mind that anything can be cured, and most of the cases anorexia is cured or treated with therapy, love, support, and motivation.

By Manuela Orozco, Step 9

Why do endangered species exist?


Endangered Species

“An endangered species is a type of organism that is threatened by extinction. Species become endangered for two main reasons: loss of habitat and loss of genetic variation.”

It starts with the loss of the species’ natural habitat, that include factors such as the climate being hot and dry, pollution, development for housing, industry and agriculture. As an example for this we can take the existence of dinasours, the asteroid coming to them caused the debris to enter to the atmosphere in a forced way. Making their habitat cooler, thing that they were not adapted to. It led them to be endangered and then to be extinct.

Humans nowadays are a big contribution to the damaging of various habitats, as mentioned before, with development. It has led to the complete elimination of certain habitats, an example the Amazon rainforest of South America, where they have been “clearing” the land, or thousands and thousands of acres. By “cleaning” they refer to eliminating every tree, flower, plant and any vegetation you may find. 

Development may also affect not only directly but indirectly
as well, like the destroying of trees. Trees are a habitat to many animals, and they all get cut off, more species get left out. Examples: Tree crowns provide habitat in the canopy, or top layer, of a rainforest. Plants such as vines, fungi such as mushrooms, and insects such as butterflies live in the rain forest canopy. So do hundreds of species of tropical birds and mammals such as monkeys.

Species have less room to live and reproduce.

What happens everytime loss of species’ habitats increase? 

It increases the probabilities for wild species to run into people. And as people get deeper into a species range, they are being more exposed with wild species. Not only animals, but plants that are poisonous such as fungi can grow closer to urban places. 

Polar bears, mountain lions, and alligators are all predators brought into close contact with people as they lose their habitat to homes, farms, and businesses. As people kill these wild animals, through pesticides, accidents such as collisions with cars, or hunting, native species may become endangered.

Loss of Genetic Variation: 

“Genetic variation is the diversity found within a species. It’s why human beings may have blond, red, brown, or black hair. Genetic variation allows species to adapt to changes in the environment. Usually, the greater the population of a species, the greater its genetic variation. “

The term "inbreeding" exists, and it is when species that are close family members try to reproduce and they don’t create new genetic information to be introduced to the group. 

Loss of genetic variation can occur naturally. Cheetahs are a threatened species native to Africa and Asia. 

Example: These big cats have very little genetic variation. Biologists say that during the last ice age, cheetahs went through a long period of inbreeding. As a result, there are very few genetic differences between cheetahs.

In conclusion, the conservation of endangered species is
important for humans as well. A well-balanced ecosystem purifies the environment, giving us clean air to breathe, a healthy water system to support diverse marine life, and arable land for agricultural production. When ecosystems fail, our own health is at risk.

By Katy Simmonds Campbell, Step 9