SCI-ART LAB

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

                                                                      Interactive Science Series 

Q: What is science to you?

Krishna: Everything!

This universe is based on scientific principles. Life is based on science.

Without science, this universe doesn’t exist in the first place.

You and I don’t exist at all without science.

Science is the life of universe and life of life itself!

Q: Can inanimate objects spread diseases?

Krishna: Yes, they can contribute in spreading the diseases if they are contaminated! 

A fomite is any inanimate object, such as clothing, shoes, furniture, door handles, children's toys or substance such as soap, that may be contaminated with viruses (1), bacteria or other infectious organisms and serve in their transmission to another person. Fomite exposure requires an inanimate object to carry a pathogen from one susceptible animal to another. 

That is why people recommend to use copper door handles, intensive care-units, taps, bed-rails and all the objects which are likely to be touched by humans. When copper was used there were significantly less bacteria surviving on the metal's surfaces.

Sustained Reduction of Microbial Burden on Common Hospital Surfaces...

Copper continuously limits the concentration of bacteria resident o...

Proper cleaning and disinfection procedures are necessary to arrest the spread of diseases through fomites.

Q: What are the risks of letting your dog sleep in bed with you?  

Krishna: Sleeping with, kissing and being licked by your pet can make you sick. Although they are not common, documented cases show people contracting infections by getting too cozy with their animals, according to work done by several researchers.

These so-called zoonoses ( any disease or infection that is naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans) include contracting plague from flea-infested pets, a MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection, a bacterial infection resistant to multiple strains of antibiotics originating from the canine family, and various parasitic worms.

Q: What are E110, E122, E102, and E150d? I read these things on the label of a cold drink. Is it good to consume them?

Krishna: E numbers are codes for substances that are permitted to be used as food additives for use within the European Union and the EFTA members. The "E" stands for "Europe." Commonly found on food labels, their safety assessment and approval are the responsibility of the European Food Safety Authority.  

E110 is a food additive. It is used as a synthetic colouring agent in food and drink products. The common names for E110 are sunset yellow FCF and orange yellow S. 

E110 is a yellow, synthetic coal tar food colouring that is highly soluble in water. It is a synthetic azo dye and is generally used in fermented foods that require treatment by heat.

E110 is thought by some to worsen asthma and, when taken in combination with benzoates, to induce hyperactivity in some children. Individuals with intolerance to salicylates may also find that they are intolerant to E110, due to the colouring being an azo dye. Some reports have also mentioned nausea, severe weight loss, and vomiting as side-effects of E110. Therefore, it is banned in some countries. 

E122 is a food additive too. 

It is used as a synthetic colouring agent in food and drink products, as well as in cosmetics.

The common names for E122 are azorubin and carmoisine.

E122 is a red, synthetic coal tar food colouring that is highly soluble in water. It tends to be used in fermented foods that require treatment by heat.

E122 is thought by some to worsen asthma and to cause allergic reactions in individuals allergic to aspirin. When taken in combination with benzoates, E122 is also suspected of inducing hyperactivity in children. Individuals with intolerance to salicylates may find that they are intolerant to E122, due to the colouring being an azo dye.

E122 is banned in the United States, Sweden, Norway, and Austria.

E 102 is a synthetic yellow azo dye found in fruit squash, fruit cordial, coloured fizzy drinks, instant puddings, cake mixes, custard powder, soups, sauces, ice cream, ice lollies, sweets, chewing gum, marzipan, jam, jelly, marmalade, mustard, yoghurt and many convenience foods together with glycerine, lemon and honey products. It can also be found in the shells of medicinal capsules. It can also be used with Brilliant Blue FCF, (E133) to produce various green shades e.g. for tinned processed peas.

Tartrazine appears to cause the most allergic and/or intolerance reactions of all the azo dyes, particularly amongst those with an aspirin intolerance and asthmatics. Other reactions can include migraine, blurred vision, itching, rhinitis and purple skin patches, (because of this more use is now being made of Annatto (E160b). In conjunction with Benzoic acid (E210) tartrazine appears to create an over-activity in children.

Not recommended for consumption by children. This is also banned in some countries. 

E150d  is sulphite ammonia caramel and is used as colouring agent (brown). Caramel colours  are widely used in the soft drink industry due to their low dosage requirements and for their excellent acid stability. 

Scientists looked at the safety of these constituents, some of which are of toxicological concern, such as furan and 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (5-HMF). Limits were set for consumption of these caramels as some of them 're found to be carcinogenic.

The safest colours to use are E100 (Curcumin, turmeric): Turmeric is an essential flavouring spice of Indian and other cuisine. The Turmeric rhizome provides the typical yellow colour of many curry dishes and helps to make the food more digestible.

It is also used in product systems that are packaged to protect them from sunlight. The oleoresin is used for oil-containing products. The curcumin / polysorbate solution or curcumin powder dissolved in alcohol is used for water containing products. Over-colouring, such as in pickles, relishes and mustard, is sometimes used to compensate for fading.

Turmeric has found application in canned beverages, baked products, dairy products, ice cream, yoghurts, yellow cakes, biscuits, popcorn-colour, sweets, cake icings, cereals, sauces, gelatines, direct compression tablets, etc. 

Investigations into the low incidence of colo-rectal cancer amongst ethnic groups with a large intake of curries compared with the indigenous population have discovered that some active ingredients of Turmeric appear to have anti-cancer properties. Second stage trials of a Turmeric-based drug to treat cancer are currently underway.

Q: People donate lots of money to temples, churches, mosques and other holy shrines. Why don't they donate at least a part of it to scientific research?

Q: If humanity values science, why isn’t it funded more?  

Krishna: Yes, why don't they? It is the clinical research that is saving millions of lives every year. It is the agricultural research that is providing food for the ever increasing population every day on this planet. It is science that is responsible for the progress of humanity. 

The other day a person asked me why haven't scientists found a cure to cancer yet? I told him - please donate money for cancer research like you are donating money to the richest temple in our country. You will see the results pretty soon.

Get your priorities right, folks,  if you want to see the best results!  

Q: We've heard of miracles and perhaps experienced a few. How can we tackle this with science, without flatly denying them?  

Krishna: I haven’t experienced any miracle till now. But heard a few stories people ‘made up’.

Miracles remain miracles only until science enters the scene. Once that happens, miracles will melt away. Of course it might take some time for science to tackle people’s stories because it has more urgent things to handle. Until then you can have your days. Enjoy!

Q: If the nature of any species is survival, why are human babies utterly helpless? We can't walk, can't hold our heads up, don't know where to locate the breast, essentially we die without help.  

Krishna: According to a new explanation, by nine months or so, the metabolic demands of a human fetus threaten to exceed the mother’s ability to meet both the baby’s energy requirements and her own, so she delivers the baby eventhough it is helpless.

(The traditional explanation for our nine-month gestation period and helpless newborns is that natural selection favoured childbirth at an earlier stage of fetal development to accommodate selection for both large brain size and upright locomotion—defining characteristics of the human lineage. In this view, adaptations to bipedalism restricted the width of the birth canal and, hence, the size of the baby that can pass through it. Human babies are thus born when their brains are less than 30 percent of adult brain size so that they can fit through the narrow passageway. They then continue development outside of the womb, with brain size nearly doubling in the first year. Instead of fetal brain expansion being constrained by the dimensions of the pelvis, the dimensions of the human pelvis have evolved to accommodate babies, and some other factor has kept newborn size in check.)

Q: Is it really possible to find out what a person thinks by looking into his eyes?

Krishna: Sometimes you can read a person’s face or eyes if they are very expressive. However, some people can easily camouflage their feelings and thoughts and there is no way of knowing what these ‘good actors’ are really thinking.

In such cases if you carefully observe the words they are using, the way they are using them, you can ‘read’ some of their thoughts. If you can check their body language, it gives more clues.

It is the sum of eye and facial expressions, body language, the way a person speaks, the words he uses, the ‘acting sequences’ of his behaviour that reveals what is going on in a person’s mind. You have to have very good experience to read the mind language without going wrong.

Machines can do a better job. By taking the brain maps of a person while he is thinking, you can exactly say what is going on in his brain or mind.

Mind-Reading Computer Instantly Decodes People's Thoughts

Q: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I assume there is no such thing as an "immortal cell". If this is true, are we made up of an entirely different set of atoms than when we were born?  

Krishna: Hela cell line is ‘immortal’ used in scientific research. These were the first human cells grown in a lab that were naturally "immortal", meaning that they do not die after a set number of cell divisions (i.e. lack of senescence).

These cells proliferate abnormally rapidly, even compared to other cancer cells. Like many other cancer cells, HeLa cells have an active version of telomerase during cell division, which prevents the incremental shortening of telomeres that is implicated in aging and eventual cell death. In this way, the cells circumvent the Hayflick limit, which is the limited number of cell divisions that most normal cells can undergo before becoming senescent.

Some original atoms do present in our systems till our dying day. Cells might take new atoms but retain some old ones too.

We all came from star dust and energy. And go to it again. In never ending cycles, each atom of our bodies goes to other forms, including the living ones both while we are still living and after our deaths. Atoms from other bodies come to us. There will be atoms that have been inside a living cell that started 3.8 billion years ago on our planet and are still in living cells today. Some might be even older originated at the beginning of the universe! In these never ending cycles of mass and energy, we might even ‘consume’ our own atoms released into air or food surrounding our immediate atmosphere!

Q based on my reply above...

Seeing atoms

Visualizing Molecules in Living Cells

Q: Why is my stomach growling when I am not hungry?

Krishna: Recently I watched a video in which a medical doctor -scientist says - when our bowels are cleaning themselves, they make these sounds too.  

 There's stuff moving in your digestive tract. As gases and contents move along, they squeeze, bubble, gurgle, and drain from one section to the next. This movement is mainly driven by peristalsis, which pushes and squeezes food etc. along the digestive tract. In turn, the peristaltic action is stimulated by many psychological, chemical, and physical factors, and is an important part of digesting your food and cleaning the undigested or useless part.

Q: What does science say about selfishness?

Krishna: Selfishness is essential sometimes for survival and for propagation of one's genes in the wild. However, in societal situations, selfishness doesn't have much edge. 

A new study published in Nature Human Behavior suggests that those who value economic equity, at their brain’s core, are more likely to be depressed. Those who prefer everything for themselves tend to be happier (2)!

Q: Is the anti-vaccination madness also spreading in India? Here is a report that is a cause of concern for me ... 

Krishna: Yes as a nation we are going back, not forward. Apart from the report you quoted, here are a few more…

1. Measles and Rubella vaccination scare: http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/28021...

Parents of a particular community in Bengaluru have refused to get their children vaccinated for Measles and Rubella over the last few days. Many parents have refused to get their children vaccinated, fearing health consequences. At least in two areas, state government agencies were forced to use the services of local priests and Wakf Board to convince the opposing parents.

Sources said that health activists and officials faced stiff resistance from the parents of a particular community in Devanahalli and K.G. Halli. “We used the services of local priests to convince the parents. But the protests continued and we are now using a letter issued by the Wakf Board to ensure that all the children are vaccinated,” said an officer.

2. Telangana: Schools nervous on Measles-Rubella vaccination, put drive on hold : http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lifestyle/health-and-wellbeing/22081...

A 13-year-old student died after administering the Measles and Rubella vaccine. Some private schools in Hyderabad have kept the ongoing measles-rubella (MR) immunisation drive on hold after a 13-year-old student died after administering the Measles and Rubella vaccine at the Yanadi Colony in Tadepalli mandal of Guntur district. Parents are demanding 100 per cent assurance of safety from the schools and therefore some managements have kept the programme on hold.

3. Days after polio scare in Telangana, suspected case in UP's Balrampur : http://www.deccanchronicle.com/nation/current-affairs/170616/days-a...

Days after a polio scare in Telangana, a suspected polio case has been detected in Uttar Pradesh, prompting the Union Health Ministry to initiate a probe even as it sought to allay concerns, saying no case of the crippling disease was reported in the country since 2011.

A suspected case of polio was detected in UP's Balrampur district, following which the state health officials have sent a report to the WHO.

These happenings are the results of ...

1. Carelessness on the part of health care workers - not storing and checking vaccines properly and also about the health condition of the children before vaccine administration

2. Careless reporting of the media that children are dying after taking vaccinations - without researching and mentioning of real reasons why the child died - and educating public - causing panic in parents.

3. Failure of science communicators and government agencies to educate people in the right way.

4. Religious leaders spreading misinformation based on false beliefs.

Read this article of mine to get a clear picture on why vaccines are safe .. vaccine-woes

If prepared and stored properly, the risk of a vaccine causing serious harm, or death, is extremely small. The probability of vaccines causing any significant issues is incredibly low. The probability of vaccines preventing significant illnesses is incredibly high.

You can meet with an accident while going on the road. But the probability is low if you take all precautions. If you refuse to go out because of your scare, you will have to sit in your home all your life. And that doesn't make you safe at all! Same is true for vaccines. Not taking vaccines is more dangerous than taking them.

Okay, you take a vaccine and then go out on the road. You meet with an accident. If you say, vaccination is the cause of your accident and if the media people report it, and when irrational minds believe it, and refuse to take vaccines, people of science get shocked.

We have to make more efforts to remove this confusion.

I will take all my loved ones to the vaccination center and get them vaccinated before the world. That is the proof I can provide for vaccine safety.

And I took vaccines for almost all the diseases and I am a living proof of vaccine safety!

What more reassurance can we give than making ourselves the research subject for everyone to observe and understand?

After reading this answer of mine, a health care provider told me this story...

I worked with a child with Autism. Her mother swore it was from vaccinations and refused to get the next child vaccinated. Then child number 2 also had autism.

Mum still thinks there was a link between the first child's autism and vaccinations. She hasn't said what she thinks caused the 2nd child's.

Some people just won't change their ideas. Ever. No matter what you do.

How to deal with these closed minds is eating our brains now.

Q: Based on the above one...I think there will be a time in future when the social media would be proven the most irresponsible thing we did using technology. Why don't we control it?

Krishna: There is a lot of misinformation out there. And people don’t know how to distinguish between genuine reports and the fake ones. Vested interests are taking this ignorance of masses to spread what they want to.

Technology is like a coconut in a monkey’s hand. It doesn’t know the significance of it and play with it until it breaks it and spoils it.

Educating people to realize the difference is the only way out. We are doing our bit. “But people should be really interested in getting educated in the right way “. Otherwise, there will be chaos all around like we have right now.

Controlling the media is a hot potato nobody wants to touch. Instead I want to ask the question, "Why don't the media people become more responsible?"

Q: With so much work do you have a personal life?

Krishna: Some people -especially the ‘special ones’ -belong to the whole universe, not to specific few people or entities. They are here for a purpose. I realized this long back and keep away from attachments as far as possible. I never regret what I am doing. This is my personal life and I love it!

Q: Which field of science has the least lab work and the most discussion on a day-to-day basis?

Krishna: Maths?! But maths is dealt with almost all areas of science.

Q: Can any science or theory explain dreams that become reality? This is a phenomenon experienced by many and from my personal experience can not be coincidence.  

Krishna: Dreams becoming reality is just coincidence whether you accept it or not and happens rarely. Personal opinions (anecdotal experiences) don’t count in science.

Don’t expect science to authenticate your beliefs and opinions. It doesn’t. If you try to make your beliefs and opinions ‘scientific’, it becomes pseudo-science.

Dreams become reality only if you try to make them real with your hard work.

Q: I am sending you this message after reading your article on 'luck'. What is 'luck' according to science

There are certain things and parts where human efforts are of no use

There are somethings which are beyond understanding and imagination

For eg

On the day of exam, you get typhoid and you we're sure to Ace in it what will u you do

You get struck on 3hour traffic. 

What do you say?

Krishna: There are certain things and parts where human efforts are of no use —-not true

‘’On the day of exam, you get typhoid and you we're sure to Ace in it what will u you do’’

You can take precautions before your exams and avoid falling sick with typhoid. I am a microbiologist and I know for sure how to hoodwink these microbes. Get yourself armed with knowledge to avoid getting ill.

‘’You get struck on 3 hour traffic’’

You can start early to avoid traffic.

When you are careless , you start blaming your luck! Hmmm!

Q: What is the relationship between science and business?
Krishna : Without science you cannot succeed in today’s highly competitive business world.

Science in business? Say 'yes', for success!

Q: Are all the PhD students brilliant in their fields of study from childhood?
Krishna : No! Many children who are brilliant during early years fall on the way side during the life's journey without reaching the heights their IQs would have taken them to. And several others with low IQs reach unimaginable heights.
It was found that children with IQ more than 140 have no better careers than their siblings who have low IQs.

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined (Book)

Q: Is evolution or creationism the truth?

Those who trust baseless beliefs will go the creationism way. And they tell you a hundred different stories derived from various religions.

Now decide for yourself who is telling the truth.

CITATIONS:

1. http://aem.asm.org/content/73/6/1687.full

2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nice-brains-finish-last/...

Views: 166

Replies to This Discussion

166

You are absolutely awesome. The answers for every question is so clear and so precise.

Thank you Ma'am.

Thank you so much!

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