SCI-ART LAB

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

                                                                    Interactive science series

Q: Why is glucose absent in a healthy person's urine and blood?

Krishna: Homeostasis is the maintenance of a stable internal environment within an organism, and maintaining a stable internal environment in a human means having to carefully regulate many parameters including glucose levels in the blood.

There are two major ways homeostasis is done. One way is that signals can be sent throughout the body is through the circulatory system. These signals are transmitted by specific molecules called hormones, which are signalling molecules that travel through the circulatory system.

Glucose is the main source of fuel for the cells in our bodies, but it's too big to simply diffuse into the cells by itself. Instead, it needs to be transported into the cells. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that facilitates glucose transport into cells. By facilitating glucose transport into cells from the bloodstream, insulin lowers blood glucose levels. It also inhibits glucose production from amino acids, fatty acids and glycogen.

Insulin actually stimulates glycogen formation from glucose. All of these functions of insulin help to lower glucose levels in the blood in a healthy human being.

Diabetes is a disease where people have trouble regulating their blood glucose. Diabetes is of two types.

In type I diabetes (also known as juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes), the immune system suddenly attacks and irreversibly destroys the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.

Type 2 diabetes has several causes like genetics and lifestyle. A combination of these factors can cause insulin resistance, when your body doesn't use insulin as well as it should. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes. This can be hereditary. Also when your body has too many cells i.e., when you are very fat, the insulin produced may not be sufficient to cover the whole body. Then again you develop diabetes.

When the above mentioned disruptive factors ( in the last two paras of my answer) are absent, you will be healthy with correct glucose levels in your blood as homeostasis is working perfectly in your body.

Q: I love my granny very much. But sadly she died last month. Can we clone her using cells from her body (she is buried)?

Krishna: Sorry to hear about your loss. Wish we could do what you want!

But, right now the answer is no! Science has to develop more to reach that stage.

There is no way of injecting a whole genome from a dead human into a live cell and then get it to divide and become an embryo. 

Moreover,  the outcome depends on the time the person has been dead.

If living cells are still present in a dead body, this is likely to be easier. You would culture the cells and try to form totipotent (or at least pluripotent) stem cells from them (we cannot do this yet to the extent necessary to clone a person). Or you’d inject the nuclei and mitochondria into a functional egg cell, replacing the already existing nuclei and mitochondria (1).

If intact nuclei are present, this is likely to be somewhat more difficult. You’d replace the nuclei (and mitochondria) in a dividing cell and do the above.

If intact chromosomes are present, this would be somewhat more difficult. You’d reconstruct an intact nuclei as best you can and do the above.

If a genome can be readily reconstructed this will be more difficult. You’d reconstruct the chromosomes as best you can, including epigenetic modifications, and proceed as above.

If a genome cannot be reconstructed, this will be impossible. The best you could do is make a chimera who has part of the DNA of the deceased, and part of the DNA of some other human.

Even if cloning in live humans were possible, the cloned individual will not be exactly the same person as the original, just like identical twins are separate people. The clone would be a genetic copy (like identical twins) but a completely different person.

So, once lost to death, our loved ones can never come back to life again in the way we want.

Q: If people don't question science, does it then become a religion?  

Krishna: Science has built into its design a wonderful thing called scientific methodology. It is a fire wall that prevents people from getting into a delusion that their beliefs - how irrational they seem - are right.

People can question science and are doing so. But the questions they pose and the challenges they throw has to stick to scientific methodology. Otherwise, they will be of no use in the world of science and people who rule the world of science will just ignore them .

So, what is keeping science from becoming a religion? Scientific Methodology! Pure and simple. 

Q: Can science go wrong sometimes?

Krishna: Scientists can go wrong sometimes while following the methodology, in understanding the language this universe is written in, not science! Algorithm with which this universe is based is full proof. Scientists have been wrong several times before. Some of scientific hypotheses/theories have been shown to be wrong. What we have now are the survivors of those attempts to show them wrong.

But, if science goes wrong, you, I and universe with which the programme is written, cannot exist. Realize that.

Q: Are science and religion both wrong?
Krishna: While religion is wrong most of the time, wait a minute, read my answer fully before jumping on the band wagon of my opposition, Scientists can go wrong sometimes while following the methodology, in understanding the language this universe is written in, not science! Algorithm on which this universe is based is full proof. Scientists have been wrong several times before. They can go wrong several times in the future too.

But, if science goes wrong, you, I and universe with which the programme is written, cannot exist. Realize that.

Q: If religion and science differ or are opposed, can we keep both? 

True scientists cannot tolerate cognitive dissonance because it interferes with critical thinking. If you are attached to a belief (or emotion or group), it fogs your reasoning power out of fear, hope, love or respect and affects your behaviour. A mind that is agitated by belief can never be free and therefore never know truth.

You shouldn't reason backward from belief to evidence because that will subject you to numerous cognitive biases and you risk fooling yourself about the nature of reality. Scientific methodology doesn’t allow such a situation.

Motivational reasoning is not allowed in science.

But some people try to keep both in their minds and how much they succeed depends on how well they can resolve these issues. But if they say “God did it” like Newton did to explain something, that would be a hindrance to science! As long as they don’t do that, we can tolerate religion.

Q: Should we believe in ourselves or Astrology?

Krishna: Believe in yourself, don’t run after illusions!

Astrology is nothing but an utopia built on pseudo-science and make to look like a genuine one to fool people.

You will find genuine reasons why I say so here: Debate between scientists and people who practice pseudo-science - ...

Q: Other than religion, what is something that is obviously fake that amazes you by the number of people who believe it to be real?  

Krishna: Astrology, alternative medicines, nutritional supplements and fad diets, detoxification scams, Paranormal phenomena, ‘pseudo-science' explaining traditional and cultural rituals.

All true scientists are fighting them now!

Q: What is the acidic part of soap?

Q: Are kojic acid soaps safe?

Krishna: Fatty acids ( soaps are normally salts of fatty acids and have weak basic properties actually).

These days you also get kojic acid ( produced by fungi) soaps to lighten skin and get protective effects from radiation induced damage.

Protective Effects of Kojic Acid on the Periphery Blood and Surviva...

But Kojic acid, which is a fungal metabolite has side effects like dermatitis in sensitive skins when the concentration is more than 1%. Some people also develop allergic reactions after prolonged use.

Q: Business is an art, not science. What is your opinion on this?

Q: Is entrepreneurship art and not science?

Krishna: Entrepreneurship is largely depending on data science these days.

Selling is an art. But how to sell and whom to sell? How can you read a buyer’s mind? How to manipulate his emotions?

How do you succeed with that art? Take the help of science! There is no other go!

This art cannot survive without science in today’s world!

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

Q: What is your view on science and spirituality?

Krishna: Science in itself is a spiritual journey. Unraveling the mysteries of the universe and trying to know the truth and meaning of our existence.. .

Science and Spirituality

Q: How do body detoxification drinks work?

Krishna: They don't! Body detoxification is a scam. Your liver and kidney works well to detoxify your body. If they can’t, nothing else can except the medical procedures done in genuine hospitals by well qualified medical doctors.

Read here the full story exposing detoxification scams…

The detoxification scam

Q: Do peacock feathers bring bad luck?

Krishna: I was presented two peacock feathers by my friend. I kept them in my flower vase along with a few flowers. In my childhood too I used to keep peacock feathers given by my friends in my books.

I never faced any problems because of them.

Superstitions are just perceptions about a situation - when you have no control over it, when utter chaos prevails and you fear about the consequences. They are irrational and cause a mind block. If you want to over come them read these articles…

Science's rules are unyielding, they will not be bent in any way fo...

Science and superstitions : How rational thinking can make you work...

But killing peacocks for feathers is bad and prohibited.

Q: Are generic drugs safe and reliable?

Krishna: generic drug  (or generics in plural) is a drug defined as "a drug product that is comparable to a brand/reference listed drug product in dosage form, strength, quality and performance characteristics, and intended use." It has also been defined as a term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without advertising or to the chemical makeup of a drug rather than to the advertised brand name under which the drug is sold.

Bio-equivalence, a measure of whether generic and branded medicines have the same compounds and formulation is a test and study done frequently on generic drugs. They contain almost all the components of  branded medicines. 

Although they may not be associated with a particular company, generic drugs are subject to the regulations of the governments of countries where they are dispensed. Generic drugs are labeled with the name of the manufacturer and the adopted name (nonproprietary name) of the drug.

A generic drug must contain the same active ingredients as the original formulation.  Generic drugs must be identical or within an acceptable bio-equivalent (  two products are said to be bio-equivalent when they would be expected to be, for all intents and purposes, the same)  range to the brand-name counterpart. By extension, therefore, generics are considered identical in dose, strength, route of administration, safety, efficacy, and intended use. In most cases, generic products are available once the patent protections afforded to the original developer have expired.

So there is no need to worry. Read this article I wrote on generic drugs which gives more information on the subject:

why-generic-drugs-are-important

Q: Do paranormal activities have any scientific explanation?

Krishna: Paranormal activities exist in your brain. No matter what others might say, this is what real scientists say. Those who are treading on science-paranormal relationship are after pseudo-science and not real science according to lab scientists. And ordinary people don’t know the difference between science and pseudo-science.

Realize how neuro-scientists are awakening the ghosts in your brain…

 

There are several reasons why people ‘see’ or ‘experience’ paranormal activities, according to science. Find those reasons here:

Science and the paranormal

How science debunks baseless beliefs

 Q: What are the known paranormal phenomena that have no scientific expalantion?

Krishna: 

Paranormal activities exist only in your brain. No matter what others might say, this is what real scientists say. Those who are treading on science-paranormal relationship are after pseudo-science and not real science according to lab scientists. And ordinary people don’t know the difference between science and pseudo-science. If you imagine something or have illusions about something, and ask science to explain that exists only in your mind, and ridicule science that it cannot have explanations for your baseless beliefs and fears, what can science do? Yes, scientists are showing how that can happen.

Realize how neuro-scientists are awakening the ghosts in your brain…

(watch the video posted above)

There are several reasons why people ‘see’ or ‘experience’ paranormal activities, according to science. Find those reasons here:

Science and the paranormal

How science debunks baseless beliefs

Q: How can I bring a revolutionary change in India by using the knowledge of medical science?  

Krishna: Educate people free of cost! That is what we, the science communicators are doing.

Then treat people, if you are a qualified doctor, free.

Why am I stressing on ‘free’? Because several people cannot afford to have good (and the right) education and medical accesses. If you leave a large section of people, there won’t be any ‘revolutionary changes’. 

Q: How can I stop people from bullying me? They do that in my class and lab.

Krishna: Bullying is a sort of soft terrorism causing severe emotional distress to victims. Bullies themselves have some mental issues like low confidence ( that is why they do it when they think they have support from their peers and choose a victim who they think is 'soft'), sadism, mis-placed vengeance and pseudo-ego.

The best way to confront them is to show strength ( not brought by violence) and power. If they think they cannot get away with what they are doing, they will not bully you. Gather support for you. Show them you are not weak. Show them you are strong mentally. Show them you have power. ...and they will not come anywhere near you.

Q: Do wishes made at 11:11 PM come true?  Some people say they do.

Krishna: No, they don’t! One of my friends was born on 11/11 (eleventh day of Nov.) at 11.11. She was obsessed with the number.

She wanted to marry her boy friend, wished for it daily at 11.11, but her parents got her married to another person.

When she was 32, she was diagnosed with brain tumour. She wanted to live and wished for it daily at 11.11. But sadly she died two years back.

So?!

Science's rules are unyielding, they will not be bent in any way fo...

If anybody says it works for them, it is just their perception about a chance occurrence.

Q: How can an atheist still be superstitious? How is that possible?

Krishna: Once a critical thinker should be a critical thinker, always. If you become an atheist following the critical thinking route, you will also be free of superstitions.

On the other hand, if you follow atheism as a fad, because everybody around is following it, you will still be superstitious because your mind is not working in the way it should be.

Some people think ‘believing in aliens’ is a ‘superstition’. I want to add here it is not a baseless belief but informed imagination of the scientists based on their previous knowledge about life. Get that right.

Baseless beliefs Vs informed imagination (or educated guessing)

Citations:

1. How Cloning Works

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 "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution".

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