SCI-ART LAB

Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication

                                                                       Interactive science series

Q: How can I flush out parasites completely from my body? I have read several advises given on the net. Can I trust them?

Krishna: That depends on what type of parasites you have - external ones like lice, or the ones inside your body loosely attached like worms in your digestive tract or the tough ones lodged in your brain, liver or other organs of the body. You find microbial parasites all over - both outside and inside of - your body.

Each case needs special attention. You cannot have general approach. On line articles give so many advises but don’t take them seriously. If you think you have parasites, approach a medical doctor, get the identification done and follow the advice of the doctor to get rid of them.

No other route will make you parasite -free.

But I can give advice on how to keep yourself away from them...

The most common reason for their infestation is poor hygienic practices. This can start and be spread through: Poorly sanitized food and water, poor personal hygiene, foreign travel (food, water, and environment), pets (not properly de-wormed on a regular basis), from other people who have these parasites, sexual intercourse, insects, walking on infested ground without footwear, swimming in infested waters.

So be careful while dealing with the above things

The likelihood of a parasitic infection will increase with a weakened immune system. So eat healthy.

Q: What is the best way to cure thyroidism?

Krishna: Qualified endocrinologists   can diagnose hypo and hyper thyroidism by testing hormones in your blood.

 Conventional  treatments offer varied methods to try to restore hormone levels to their proper balance. Conventional treatments rely mainly on drugs and surgery depending on the situation and condition of the patient. You should always receive a medical evaluation from your doctor for any thyroid disorder; most of these conditions require treatment beyond the scope of home care alone.

Conventional medicine offers extremely effective techniques for lowering, eliminating, or supplementing hormone production. Before deciding which treatment is best for you, your doctor will make an evaluation based on your particular thyroid condition, as well as your age, general health, and medical history. 

If you start using anti-thyroid medications, your hyperthyroid symptoms should begin to disappear in about six to eight weeks. However, you will need to continue taking the medication for about a year. At that time, your doctor will check to see if the medicine can be stopped. You will need to receive periodic medical exams once you are off the medicine to make sure that the condition has not returned.

Surgery is usually reserved for pregnant  women who can’t take anti-thyroid medicine, or people with large goiters or cancerous nodules.

Hypothyroidism calls for a lifelong regimen of thyroid replacement. No surgical techniques, alternative medicine, or conventional drugs can increase the thyroid's hormone production once it slows down. Doctors generally prescribe synthetic forms of thyroid hormone.

So the best way to cure thyroid problems is to consult an endocrinologist. :)

Q: Why do most people think vaccines don't cause autism? I’m interested how people rationalize this. I saw what vaccines can do with my own eyes, there is no question.

Krishna: What did you see?! And what did you co-relate vaccines with?

Imagine this situation:

You are walking on a road. Suddenly you sneeze. At the same moment a lady walking on the same road trips and falls down and breaks her leg bone. And if she accuses that your sneezing caused her bone fracture?!

That is the relationship between vaccines and autism. Autism develops at the same age when your child is supposed to take his or her vaccines. And people started thinking that vaccines cause autism.

Much research has been done on this topic and it is an established fact that vaccines don’t - I repeat 'don’t' a million times - cause autism. It is not a thought, but established science.

I have taken all most all the vaccines. They didn’t cause any harm to me and on the contrary, they made me immune to several diseases. I am a living proof of safety of vaccines!

Q: What effects our thoughts to make them go awry and make us take stupid decisions?

Krishna: Cognitive Biases! And they are innumerable. I myself was shocked to read them and started wondering how I can avoid them. 

You will find a big list here: List of cognitive biases - Wikipedia

Q: How could science keep itself free from dogmas? Can scientists follow dogmas?

Krishna: Because of the 'dogma' called scientific methodology! It is invented by intellectuals  to keep us away from fooling ourselves that our beliefs are the best.

Science is different from scientists. Scientists are human beings and can err whereas science doesn't! 

Some people of science don't follow this scientific methodology properly and try to justify their  irrational beliefs by using pseudo-science and the foolish argument that they can have best of both worlds - both rational and irrational - and can balance them well in their lives!

It is okay, we can tolerate it as long as they don't mix up things and make absurd statements.

Some time back I have seen a well known physicist on social media mentioning about his daughter managing well the allergies of her children using  doctors' guidance  and becoming an 'expert' herself because of this and  asking people to follow her and consult her. I got the shock of my life!

He is a physicist , a professor in a well known university. I can respect him for that. But believing in his daughter's ability to guide people on a subject   she is no expert of is the dogma he has to get rid of but couldn't. He can harm others  with this belief  and we cannot accept such things from learned people.

Q: If the earth is going to be demolished in five billion years, and we have nothing to leave behind, then what's the point of making scientific discoveries?  

Krishna: To make the short life we live here on earth more comfortable and meaningful! To escape, if possible, the catastrophes we might face in the future with the scientific knowledge we accumulated. 

Q: I am afraid of biopsies. Is there an alternative to diagnose cancer?

Krishna: We have good news for you! Ultrasensitive blood tests known as liquid biopsies promise to improve diagnosis and care!

 A patient suspected of having cancer usually undergoes imaging and a biopsy. Samples of the tumor are excised, examined under a microscope and, often, analyzed to pinpoint the genetic mutations responsible for the malignancy. This information helps to determine the type of cancer, how advanced it is and how best to treat it. Yet sometimes biopsies cannot be done, such as when a tumor is hard to reach. Obtaining and analyzing the tissue can also be expensive and slow. And because biopsies are invasive, they may cause infections or other complications. And people like you are afraid of them!

A tool known as a liquid biopsy—which finds signs of cancer in a simple blood sample—promises to solve those problems and more. The technique typically homes in on circulating-tumor DNA (ctDNA), genetic material that routinely finds its way from cancer cells into the bloodstream. Only recently have advanced technologies made it possible to find, amplify and sequence the DNA rapidly and inexpensively. The liquid biopsy can detect the full spectrum of mutations in a mass and thus indicate when more aggressive treatment is needed. And importantly, liquid biopsies may one day provide a fast, easy screening test for detecting a cancer and determining its type in people who seem perfectly healthy.

Q: Is transmutation of elements possible?

Krishna: Yes!  Nuclear physicists routinely transform one element to another. In commercial nuclear reactors, uranium atoms break apart to yield smaller nuclei of elements such as xenon and strontium as well as heat that can be harnessed to generate electricity. In experimental fusion reactors heavy isotopes of hydrogen merge together to form helium.

And lead to gold like earlier alchemists tried? It is possible too — all you need is a particle accelerator, a vast supply of energy. More than 30 years ago nuclear scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in California succeeded in producing very small amounts of gold from bismuth, a metallic element adjacent to lead on the periodic table. The same process would work for lead, but isolating the gold at the end of the reaction would prove much more difficult.

Using the LBNL’s Bevalac particle accelerator, scientists boosted beams of carbon and neon nuclei nearly to light speed and then slammed them into foils of bismuth. When a high-speed nucleus in the beam collided with a bismuth atom, it sheared off part of the bismuth nucleus, leaving a slightly diminished atom behind. By sifting through the particulate wreckage, the team found a number of transmuted atoms in which four protons had been removed from a bismuth atom to produce gold. Along with the four protons, the collision-induced reactions had removed anywhere from six to 15 neutrons, producing a range of gold isotopes from gold 190 (79 protons and 111 neutrons) to gold 199 (79 protons, 120 neutrons), the researchers reported in the March 1981 issue of Physical Review C.

Q:What are important aspects of a good scientific research article?  

Krishna: 

Perfect methodology

Good format

Firm conclusion

Reliable citations

Novelty

Solution to a difficult problem

High creativity

Easy to comprehend

Clarity of thought and presentation

Clear reflection of science

Q: Can you think about something that has never been thought before?  

Krishna: I already did that and presented them in my scientific research papers and got them published.

Thinking in novel ways and finding creative solutions to difficult problems is the most important aspect of scientific research. Almost all the scientists do that in one way or the other. It is quite common in my field. That is how science and the world progresses!

Seeing what everybody sees but visualizing, thinking and presenting them in different ways to those of others is what a discovery or an invention is all about! 

Q: When we asked our father when we were very young why it thunders when it rains, he  told us that Gods were angry  as we 're not praying to them regularly and properly and that's why they 're making big noises to frighten us. He tells the same to my sons now. Although science gives a different explanation now, some people still believe in these myths. Is religion more convincing than science?

Krishna: For a critical mind, science is more convincing than religion! Only if people are unable to think rationally to differentiate between facts and fiction, such situation arises. Science teachers just tell what is there in text books but fail to make their students think critically. These children go home, learn the religious and cultural stories from their loved ones and think they are true too. Some try to think and find the truth but many don't. The second category people think science is like a language or other art subjects and if they just mug up things, write it in the exams and pass that is more than enough to get a job and that there is no need to understand science in a proper way to get benefited by it.

The other day somebody asked me why scientists in India are unable to find solutions to problems here as well as scientists in the West do. The situation I described above plus lack of creativity because of inadequate or deficient  thought process is the main problem!

Q: Why were religions created? Despite so much of scientific advancement why are they still thriving?

Krishna: During the earlier times people saw lives with pains, tragedies and sorrows. They wanted some kind of theory which could explain all this. Therefore, they thought about explanations and theories which gradually led into beliefs. These beliefs, which were influenced by the times they lived in i.e., non-scientific reasoning, were products of constant fear of the unknown. Instead of taking on the fear head on and finding permanent solutions, they just escaped into the world of false beliefs that gave them temporary relief. In a world where people clutch at all kinds of straws to make some sense of the madness around them, truth can never be found. Instead of analyzing, examining and understanding why something happens and how it should be handled, they tried shortcuts by bringing unknown and untested factors to interpret things! These beliefs divided people because each person had a different set of experiences and those in turn influenced their explanations and the resultant beliefs based on their mental makeup and situations and not on one truth. That's how different beliefs - both religious and non-religious - originated.

Then some people sustained them by creating fear in people, making emotionally dependent on them to control others and to earn money, keep their jobs intact and maintain their power.

Some tried to have an ‘order’ around by adding ‘religious rules’ or morals to them.

People who needed some sort of external emotional support, people who are fearful of things happening around them because they cannot understand and see things in a scientific way, people who cannot think critically and differentiate between facts and fiction still believe in these things.

Yes, some people need belief systems to sustain themselves. That is the reason why scientific world still tolerates religion although it can critically analyse and debunk the myths. 

Until everybody around can understand a scientific way of world to make them strong mentally and permanently, religions can survive.

Q: Are you biased against creationists and religious people?

Krishna: No! But I disagree with their stories because I know the established scientific facts!

Scientists criticize the arguments of creationists as non-scientific. Scientists also disown those who claim the authority of science when they are actually stating their own religious beliefs.

Science is not opinion. Opinions are not science. Beliefs  are not science and science is not a belief system. Scientists are under no obligation to provide jobs, or space in conferences, or pages in journals for those who substitute their opinions for actual scientific practice.

Also, don't forget that scientists disagree with other scientists over lots of scientific topics. They settle these disagreements by doing additional research, not by debating or arguing.

In science a dispute  is settled by data and  facts. Truth here is established by working in a lab and finding the right numbers that fit into formulas that can be proved again and again. 

So scientists refuse to listen to or talk to people who cannot stick to scientific methodology. If that looks 'biased' to you, well I am biased towards science!

Q: What should we do if a snake bites us? In movies, they show a lot of things about snakes, are they true?

Krishna: First - one should have full awareness about snakes and their venom to protect oneself. Movies give you false information based on misconceptions and baseless beliefs. Don’t take them seriously.

You will find the right information on venomous snakes, their poisons, how to avoid them, and what precautions you have to take if you are bitten here: The importance of snakes in our eco-systems

Q: If you would have to pick your most impossible goal in life, what would it be?  

Krishna: Educating everyone in a truly scientific way! Make everyone see this world through the beautiful and realistic lense of science! But I am still trying my best.

Q: Can horoscopes help us having perfect lives? What does science say about it?

Krishna: No! Absolutely not!

If you want to get into a delusion, go for it.

If you want to waste your time, go for it.

If you want to waste your money, go for it.

If you want to waste your brain, go for it.

Why do PEOPLE SAY Astrology is a fool’s paradise?

Read here: Debate between scientists and people who practice pseudo-science - ...

 

 

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 (An element is defined by the number of protons in its nucleus whereas an isotope of a given element is determined by the quantity of neutrons.)

This is absolutely amazing series. If everyone could pursue or at least appreciate scientific reasoning instead of believing dogmas this world would be such a wonderful place.

Thank you so much for your comment.  I am trying my best to  get as much traffic as possible to this network so that people could benefit from seeing the world from a scientific view point.

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