SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: What are DNA banks? 

Krishna: DNA banking is a long term storage of an individual’s genetic material

DNA is most commonly extracted from blood, but can also be obtained from saliva and other tissues

Scientists are capable of retrieving genetic information from hair, skin, blood, sperm, tissue, and saliva as long as the sample contains intact DNA. Nucleotide sequences between humans differ by only 0.1%. Even so, this 0.1% includes approximately three million bases. DNA can be analyzed through restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and Polymerase chain reactions (PCR).  Restriction enzymes digest portions of the DNA, leaving short fragments. These fragments are sorted through gel electrophoresis. The gel demonstrates the length of the fragments allowing specialists to determine whether the fragments came from the same person. PCR is more commonly used today because it more efficient and requires smaller samples of genetic samples.

It has many advantages.

Molecular techniques are becoming increasingly important in the study and management of genetic resources. DNA has been routinely extracted and stored from the nuclei, mitochondria and chloroplasts of many plant species, together with derivatives such as RNA, cDNA and genes. Technologies are available to allow all these to be stored quickly and at low cost in DNA banks as an insurance policy against loss of crop diversity.  DNA storage has so far been undertaken with objectives other than conservation in mind; usually to allow genetic material to be made readily available for molecular application.

DNA banks help in conservation.  The threat of extinction for many species, both known and as yet undiscovered, grows ever greater as whole ecosystems vanish, human populations proliferate, and human-mediated interference increases.  DNA storage is particularly useful for those species that cannot be conserved in traditional seed or field genebanks and nor conserved in situ due to high risk in that area. 

Even though efforts to compile listings of threatened plants and animals are developing, current views of timing of recovery from anthropogenic extinctions suggest that many millions of years will be required for replenishment to present-day level. The establishment and scientific management of nature reserves and national parks in as many parts of the world as possible is imperative. This is especially true for the tropics, where the largest numbers of threatened and endangered species may reside. Major efforts to preserve biological diversity are under way through habitat conservation; other in situ support; living collections as maintained in botanical gardens, arboreta, and zoological parks; gamete and seed banks for species of agricultural interest; and the amassing and documentation of museum specimens. 

But the most fundamental derivative of a species is the information in its genome, currently most easily preserved in the form of purified high-molecular-weight DNA. DNA banks, may be considered appropriate in the context of current conservation priorities.

Q: Can we trust scientists' words?

Krishna: If they provide reliable evidence, yes!

Q:  What is the point in obtaining information that one will never use? Why should an art student like me read about science?

Krishna: This is a real story! When we were doing our PhDs,  I went into a forest area with some of my friends. We stayed in a guest house near the forest. One of our lady colleagues brought a reel of thread and a sewing needle with her. When one of our male colleagues saw them in her bag, he laughed at her and ridiculed her. 

Just half an hour after that, he came back and apologized to her. We were surprised. Then he slowly asked her, ''Ma'am, can I borrow your needle and thread? I tore my pants!"

We all laughed and laughed. 

Do you think, learning about science is a waste of time? Then think again. It sometimes becomes a question of life and death. Scientific illiteracy can kill you sometimes. Don't trust me? Read this article...

how-scientific-illiteracy-can-harm-you

Q: Why are physicists smart?

We deal with invisible microbes and their molecular mechanisms that create havoc, not with heavy stars and planets that make you and your head go round and round till you feel giddy!

Even I think physicists are smart. Chemists are smart. All people who deal with science are smart.

Because we cannot see microbes without microscopes. We cannot move even a millimeter without biochemistry.

All science subjects are interlinked. Why, without a brain working properly, even physicists can’t think. That is Biology helping physicists!

:) :)

Q: Why can I see talk and interact with spirits and demon and see their world? 

Q: Why do we use Greek numericals in social groups of animals? What do they denote?

Krishna: Observations of social animals and their behaviours by researchers made them classify them in this way. Research into the social behaviors of captive wolves led to coining the terms Alpha, Beta, and Omega. Subsequent studies of wolves in the wild found that the social hierarchy is completely different, based on familial relations, and not on the aggressiveness or dominance of a particular male (the alpha in a pack is typically the female with the most offspring).

Further observational studies by researchers on primates (which we have more in common with than wild wolves) demonstrated that the most dominant male in the primate hierarchy wasn’t necessarily the strongest or most physical, but the one which provided the most benefit to the widest number of members of its troop.

Then some people tried to apply it to human beings too. In organizational and social structures, the healthiest groups consist of well adapted individuals whose leadership structure places the most emphasis on servant leadership, consensus leadership styles, and top-down responsiveness.

People treated  ‘Alpha female’ as the most attractive, powerful or domineering woman they know. However, female alphas are not so easily recognizable. They might be beautiful or bossy or authoritative, but this is not what defines them. It is more of a spectrum. 

Then people are classified depending on their roles in a social structures like this...

Alphas: Leaders

Betas: Side-kicks or enforcers of alpha leadership.

Nu’s: The exact middle letter of the Greek Alphabet, Nu’s are fillers. They provide conversation, gossip and support for the Alpha.

Zeta’s: The jokester, comic relief, clown, goofball of the group. 

Omega’s: (The last letter of the Greek Alphabet) The victims, the bullied, the weaklings. 

Sampi’s: (An obsolete letter of the Greek Alphabet, often forgotten) The Invisibles, the forgotten ones whose quiet or shy demeanor often means they are not included or counted.

In modern sense alpha denotes, leadership qualities, the person with purpose, courage, balance, who is a risk taker and highly determined.

Is this classification really science? It is something on the border between science and art!

Q: Despite tremendous progress in science and technology, why aren't we progressing as much as we should?

Krishna: People are capable of great brilliance but they don’t use their intelligence properly. 'Some controls' pull back people for various reasons, if they are not cautious.

People close their minds stalling knowledge entering their minds, refuse to come out of their comfort zones, refuse to think on their own and critically, refuse to overcome their biases and irrational beliefs, refuse to take informed decisions and refuse to take new directions. Majority of the people are like that. 

If the minority intellectuals try to undo all these things wasting their precious time, that acts as a drag to progress. 

Q: Why do many people claim science has proven paranormal things aren't real when science isn't even capable of doing so?  

Krishna: You imagine something or hallucinate about it and then ask science to prove or disprove it! What type of logic is this?

It is your baby, you conceived it, it is your duty to bring it up and show to the world that it exists. Why should science bring up someone else’s baby?

Even then science tried it but couldn’t find any evidence of anything you hallucinate.

Science and the paranormal

Q: Mars and Earth are  thought to be twins. But why is it Mars red while Earth is brown, well most of it?

Krishna: Iron makes Mars red. The continental crust of Mars is so iron-rich that, over billions of years, surface rocks actually rust when exposed to the meager oxygen in the planet's atmosphere. The result is a rust-coated planet that appears red, even from Earth.

Earth might rust too,  if just a fraction more iron was present in the planet's continental crust. But something, deep underground, is stealing Earth's iron! What is it? 

Earlier scientists have pegged the case of the missing iron on a process involving volcanoes, and a mineral called magnetite  that sponges up iron from molten magma pools deep underground. Now, a new paper published on May 16th, 2018 in the journal Science Advances points the finger at a new culprit for Earth's missing iron. The true thief is not magnetite, researchers from Rice University in Texas say, but a sparkly mineral we all know and love to have : garnet!

"The accepted wisdom is that magnetite pulls iron from the [magma] melt before the melt rises and gets erupted out at continental [volcano] arcs," study author Ming Tang, an assistant professor at Rice University, said in a statement. "Iron depletion is most pronounced at continental arcs, where the crust is thick, and much less so in island arcs, where the crust is thin."

If magnetite was sucking up iron, then, you would expect magnetite to be more plentiful where the continental crust was thicker, and iron depletion correspondingly greater. But the thickness of the crust doesn't correlate with levels of magnetite.

But garnet abundance, the authors said, does correlate with crust thickness. Almandine — an iron-rich variety of garnet — forms best under high-pressure, high-temperature conditions. Conditions like these are common below the land-based volcanoes that form at continental margins, when dense oceanic crust slides beneath continental crust. With garnet more plentiful below such volcano chains — known as continental arcs — and iron less plentiful there, the researchers saw a correlation worth studying further.

This is a single study. And let me caution you more studies are needed to establish the fact.

Q: Are scientists trying to become like God (omniscience)?
Krishna : Science is omni-present. That is a fact. This universe runs on scientific principles. Life runs on scientific principles. Without science, you, me and the universe don’t exist.
Now if some people say science has no business in the matters of God and religion ( some say that), they are living in an illusionary pseudo-world, created by their minds which cannot see reality.
If science is discarded, we will all, along with the universe, would disappear from reality. Period.
Scientists are only trying to understand the language this universe is written in. We are not bringing something from somewhere else. Scientists are finding things because they exist in the universe. If you cannot realize this, you blame science, scientists, all that is fact and reality.

Anti-intellectualism? Anti-science?
I would call it anti- universe, anti-life and anti-yourself ( a living system based on science)!
Now, go fathom!
Q: Are we living in a time where creative scientific thought is blocked more than in the recent past? Krishna: Yes, earlier, people used to go for vaccination when told that it would help them. That is why we could eradicate small pox.
Now people are saying vaccines are anti-religion. That is why we are unable to get rid of polio.

Evidence is before your eyes.  
Q( based on the above one, sent by a person all the way from US: 

In Pakistan and Afghanistan, Taliban tells people not to use vaccines -it says it is the Western conspiracy to sterilize people. It also says, vaccination is against religion. That is why these two countries along with Nigeria became stumbling block in polio eradication.

Why even in the Us states like California have this problem. Read this article: California Bill Would Ban Vaccination Opt Out Based on Personal Belief

“Personal beliefs” can be anything including religious ones.

Q: ( based on the above one): Agreed. As for California and elsewhere, the false claim is that vaccinations cause autism. On the other hand, the leadership of California is not unlike the Taliban in there impositions but not yet their degree of violent enforcement. It is considered by many outside CA and much of the West Coast as fascist.

Q: Can we accept the scientific findings of a person even if he is not good? 

Krishna: Your Q is not clear. What do you mean by  "not good''? If it means ''morally not good", yes, we can accept it as long as the work is scientifically correct and benefits the world. 

I was told that Newton was a mean and vindictive person, and that Einstein didn't treat his first wife well. It seems the common technique of repairing broken bones by inserting (for a few months) stainless steel pin(s) to maintain alignment was developed and refined by a doctor working in Nazi medical research center. But still the world embraced the work of these people.

On the other hand even if the person is morally good, if his work doesn't adhere to good scientific method standards, the peer-reviewers recommend to reject it.

Scientific methods and methodologies are standards that define 'good and bad in science'.

Q: Is fasting good for health?

Krishna: I have read several research papers on this. Some say it is good and some say it is bad!

Yes, in a recent work, the researchers found that fasting every other day to lose weight impairs the action of sugar-regulating hormone -- insulin -- which may increase the risk of diabetes.

The findings, presented at the Endocrinology annual meeting, ECE 2018, in Barcelona, suggest that fasting-based diets may be associated with long-term health risks and careful consideration should be made before starting such weight loss programmes.
With so many papers - some saying it is good and some saying it is bad, you can't give a definite answer generalising things. It depends on the biology of a person and what you eat.
While fasting for a day or two is rarely a problem if you are healthy but it can be quite dangerous if you are not already eating a healthy diet, or if you've got liver or kidney problems, any kind of compromised immune system functioning, or are on medication.
Some people say fasting detoxifies and cleans the body. But there is no scientific evidence it will detox the body. The issue of fasting to cleanse the body has no biological basis because the body is real good at that by itself.
However, diet from processed foods and foods low in phytochemicals and anti-oxidants build up waste products in the cells -- AGE, advanced glycation end products -- that build up in cellular tissues and lead to atherosclerosis, aging, diabetes, nerve damage, and the deterioration of organs. Along with improving your overall diet, this is where intermittent fasting is one solution to that buildup of AGE, according to some doctors.

How does fasting remove toxins from the body? These doctors say, when you go without eating for more than a day or two, the body enters into ketosis. Ketosis occurs when the body runs out of carbohydrates to burn for energy, so it burns fat. And the fat is where the body stores many of the toxins it absorbs from the environment. I must add here that this is a controversial subject and there are no firm scientific confirmations that this is the case in reality.

I never fasted, never , ever in my life! But never faced any health problems because of this. Because I eat very healthy and therefore, toxin build up in my body is negligible. That is my personal experience.
Q: Why isn't everyone intelligent?
Krishna: Intelligence is what allows us to learn from our experience, analyse people and situations, overcoming preconceived notions that influence our judgement, critical thinking, making inferences, the ability to learn and communicate and understand complexities, to gain insight into life, to juggle multiple demands.

Several factors play a key role in this. Like education - both life's experiences and academic. Your mental training and ability to analyse things. Ability to creatively connecting your knowledge with problems you face.

If you lack any of these things, your mental abilities become disabled.

If you have some, you will have a rainbow of grades of intelligence depending on what abilities you have.

Brilliance comes when you have most of these and can utilize them to their maximum levels. We call those who have this brilliance, intellectuals, people with the highest form of mental abilities.

That is what real intellectualism is. And you can obtain it if you want and really try for it.

However, different people think differently when they define intelligence…

Some people think having great sense of humour is intelligence.

Some think people who can earn lots of money are intelligent.

Some think great orators are intelligent.

Some think writers are intelligent.

Some think actors, musicians and sports persons are geniuses.

All these denote some shades of intelligence but don’t come under the ‘intellectual category’, the highest form of intelligence.

Q: Are PVC pipes safe for drinking water?

PVC and CPVC pipes should not be used for drinking water supply

Q: Is science training given properly in our country?

Krishna: Recently one of my neuro-scientist friends in the US sent me a message. The message provided a link to a conversation an Indian  student had with the neuro-scientist on-line ( Indian students court American (and  Western) scientists a lot on-line.

It was long and I will just give a brief content of it.

The student (PY) introduced himself to the scientist (NS) as a Physics student of IIT, Kanpur. He told the scientist he got a good training in scientific thinking in the prestigious Institute he 's studying and  therefore very good at science.

Then PY said, "Sir, Bhaghavatgeeta is the ultimate truth. Science can never discover anything like the truth Lord Krishna told Arjuna. All scientists should accept it as truth. If any scientist denies it, that denotes his arrogance. Science can never teach to people or deal with moral values in human lives. Each and every human being should accept Hindu Dharma as the ultimate salvation method.

I don't read science articles because they don't give correct information. I prefer to read mythologies which show the right way to Heaven. If you read science and evolution, you will go to hell and have to face Yamadharmaraj. 

Physics is the only branch of science that is correct. Rest are bogus. Everybody should study physics and physics only. Bla, bla, bla, bla...."

The scientist got so annoyed, he sent the link to me and said ... ( I don't want to repeat here what he said).

You can come to your own conclusion now.

Q: Does a scientific understanding of the world erase its emotional impact or spiritual power?

Krishna: No!

And this answer came from my personal experiences.

Scientific understanding will not erase emotions completely but you can control them well and learn how to use them judiciously. Critical thinking teaches you how to go about in an unbiased way, despite your emotions. So you will have medium emotional quotient if you are a person of science.

Science enhances your spiritual power if you step on the right path and in the correct manner. Surprised to hear this? You will not be if you read how this happens …

Krishna KumariChalla's answer to How can you explain Kundalani in t...

Science and Spirituality

Why it is difficult for scientists to have high EQs

Unlike what several people think, science deals with spirituality, emotions and morals too and can provide an excellent guidance in life’s journey.

If anybody says it cannot and laughs at this very thought, like some people do, I would only advice them to get corrected by venturing deep into the science’s core to have a right understanding of its brilliance and facts.

Q: How can you scientifically explain even the most convincing paranormal activity?

Science and the paranormal

Q: Can thermal cameras really detect ghosts?

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