SCI-ART LAB

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

                                                                 Interactive science series

Q: Is it alright to gobble up all those medicines in one gulp or should you take it one at a time?  

Krishna: It really is a complicated issue and depends on what medicines you are taking and under what circumstances.

When people take several medicines at a time ... they can ...

1. Interact with one another

2. produce over dose of a drug because too much of one drug remains in your system because of the interactions

2. reduce or increase the potency of one another if they act in opposite or similar ways

3. nullify one another's potency if one drug can’t be absorbed or metabolized properly

4. produce other toxic and harmful products after reacting with one another inside human bodies

5. interfere with the patient's normal metabolic processes

6. cause damage to body organs

7. cause several other severe health conditions as a result of the above processes

-and this one is a positive one-

8. successfully suppress an existing health condition and help us find a new cure for diseases that don't have medicines yet!

Read here the full explanations and consequences of taking lots of medicines here: What might happen when you take lots of medicines...

Q: Are oxygen therapies effective? 

Krishna: This again is one of the fads of alternative medicines. One of the things they offer is liquid oxygen! They call it Vitamin O!

It is chilly (around minus 183 degrees Celsius). You could buy a home water cooler to infuse oxygen into your drinking water and call that liquid oxygen. Or you could use chemicals that release oxygen. Ozone gives off oxygen. So do hydrogen peroxide and chlorite compounds. They’re corrosive chemicals, but if you mix them with liquid and drink them, they will release friendly little oxygen bubbles in your stomach and maybe the dilution will counteract the corrosive effect. 

The main field medical literature reported that hydrogen peroxide caused deaths from gas embolism, gangrene, seizures, strokes, and other complications!

These therapies will not increase oxygen levels in your bloodstream. In fact, tehy won’t make it much past your stomach where it will decompose into plain old water and oxygen gas, just like the oxygen you can get from aerating tap water in your sink.

Scientists insist that these therapies could be harmful. So, the answer to your Q is a big NO!

Oxygen gets into your blood stream through your lungs, not your stomach or intestines. Don’t waste your money. If you need fresh air, go to the country side or a forest where you get  oxygen that your body needs. 

Q: What is your PhD thesis in a sentence? Lol My Thesis - Where PhD candidates make fun of their own theses by reducing them to just a sentence or two.

PhD candidates describe their theses in a single self-mocking sentence

What would yours be?  

Krishna: Wow, these beautiful microbes can kill you with their colourful metabolites, go, attack them with all your guns blazing!

Q: Why do cars' interiors get heated like hell in summer?

Krishna: It is because of something similar to Green house effect! Heard about it? Climate Scientists are warning us frequently about GHE that is caused by pollutants.

 A car's windshield allows the sunlight an unobstructed pathway inside your car's interior. Just like , the sun's shortwave radiation passes through a car's windows. These windows are only warmed a little, but the darker colored objects that the sunrays strike (like the dashboard, steering wheel, and seats) are heated immensely due to their lower albedo (the fraction of solar energy (shortwave radiation) reflected from the Earth back into space. It is a measure of the reflectivity of the earth's surface. Ice, especially with snow on top of it, has a high albedo: most sunlight hitting the surface bounces back towards space). These heated objects, in turn, heat the surrounding air by convection and conduction.

According to a research study, temperatures in enclosed cars with a basic gray interior rise approximately 19 degrees F in 10 minutes' time; 29 degrees in 20 minutes' time; 34 degrees in half an hour; 43 degrees in 1 hour; and 50-55 degrees over a period of 2-4 hours. 

Two-thirds of the temperature spike happens - when you leave your car outside - within the first 20 minutes! This is why people are urged not to leave children, the elderly, the sick or pets in a parked car for any amount of time -- no matter how seemingly short -- because contrary to what you'd think, the bulk of the temperature rise happens within those first few minutes. 

Q: You do tremendous work. Do you get lots of appreciation and recognition for your work?

Krishna: Thanks.

No, I don't get 'lots of appreciation'. I do my work in the right way. That gives me great satisfaction. Of course I get some appreciation and encouragement.

People understand and appreciate things based on their biases, pre-conceived notions, beliefs and strange mental make-ups. They need not adhere to scientific point of view. 

Science doesn't care about peoples' opinions and appreciations. It strictly follows its algorithms  no matter what living beings think, wish, pray or say. Science's rules are unyielding and unbending. Real People of Science too follow this way. 

We are seeking truth and facts. When we find them, we tell others about them. Whether people want the truth to be told that way or not doesn't matter.  Whether people appreciate or criticize it, doesn't matter. Whether people accept it or condemn it matters up to a certain extent and therefore, we take great pains to  present it in a convincing way. But if people refuse to listen despite your great effort? The world of science is facing this obstruction all over the world right now.  

What matters to us is showing a realistic and true point of view. If we do that the world might accept the facts sooner or later. So ... our work goes on and on ... 

But sometimes I get messages like these that encourage me a lot:

Dear Dr. Krishna Kumari,

This is a fantastic initiative that you have done here. I am amazed by the amount of content on science that you have. Each one of the articles and discussions are such high quality discourses.

I am keen on introducing more people to this wonderful site. I believe that the initiatives like this will go a long way in curing this world of stupidity.

Please accept my great admiration for your scientific knowledge, your earnestness, you ability to inspire and your pass for science. I am truly privileged to have found this site.

Thank you

Warm regards

Prashant

But I don't work for claps or appreciations or up votes or likes or praises. If they come it is okay, if they don't come my way, that is okay too. Science goes on ... no matter what ...

Q: What does science say about burps and f**ts?

Krishna: Your body has to eliminate 'gas' from the digestive tract either from top or from bottom ends. Where did this gas come from?

1. Just walking around with your mouth open, you’re swallowing gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. By the end of a long day, you’ve swallowed extra gas that needs to escape out one end or the other. While eating and drinking too you 'consume' some air along with food and water.

2. The CO2 in drinks such as sodas and other fizzy drinks you drink are one of the reasons too.

3. Bacteria in your digestive system. Billions of tiny bacteria reside in your intestines to help digestion. They turn some of the undigested food into nutrients. In the process, bacteria release smelly gases like methane, which make us burp … and f**t!

Foods that cause bloating... beans and lentils, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and other vegetables with fiber, fructose, a natural sugar found in artichokes, onions, pears, wheat, and some soft drinks, lactose, the natural sugar found in milk, some fruits (such as apples, peaches, pears, and prunes contain the natural sugar alcohol, sorbitol, which the body has trouble digesting. Many fruits also have soluble fiber, which is a type of fiber that dissolves in water. Sorbitol and soluble fiber must both also pass through the large intestines, where bacteria break them down to create hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas), processed foods, some non-vegetarian diet (protein may cause extra gas if you’re low in digestive acids and enzymes, or when a lot of protein is fermented in the colon), corn, pasta, potatoes, and other foods rich in starch, whole grains, such as brown rice, oatmeal, and whole wheat. Excessive amounts of fat in your diet result in extra gas too, so this could be the problem if your protein comes from high-fat meats.

Bottle-fed babies gulp more air while they take milk than breast-fed babies, and need more help burping because babies' digestive systems aren’t well equipped to burp on their own, so they need to be patted on the back to help the gas bubbles rise out of their bodies.

Belching or burping (eructation) is the voluntary or involuntary, sometimes noisy release of air from the stomach or oesophagus through the mouth. Burping 3 or 4 times after eating a meal is normal.

It is normal to pass gas from 6 to 25 times a day.

Other causes of burping include nervous habits or other medical conditions, such as an ulcer or a gallbladder problem, lactose intolerance, constipation, taking dietary supplements, taking some medicines, a medical condition such as bowel obstruction or Crohn's disease, changes in hormone levels ( like women have bloating before their periods because their bodies retain fluids and gases).

Q: What is the process by which you arrive at your religious and/or political beliefs?  

Krishna: Critical thinking. This process involves neutral (unbiased), and unattached reasoning. In this process, ‘belief’ has no place. You base your trusts on facts, data, evidence and reality. 

Q: How would you react if you as a patient say, “Thank God I'm cured,” and your doctor replies, “God didn't cure you, my colleagues and I did”?

Krishna: I would thank the doctors.

A heart beats only if it has the right conditions and sustainable bio-chemical reactions and electric pulses. A doctor's duty is just to see that these correct conditions are maintained. He will do everything that his knowledge in this regard tells him to do. But if things don't fit exactly into the rules of Science, the heart must stop working. Nothing can change it. No matter what you do outside can make it work!

Similarly a living body that has all the wrong working conditions cannot sustain for long. It has to cease to exist unless intervention takes place following scientific rules. Medical practitioners and their scientific training will have the role to do it in the way it should be done. Still if things don't fall in exact places, a body following biological rules, will stick to its predetermined course.

When several factors decide outcomes, they follow the interplay of scientific rules and routes and exactly fit into the reaction realities. How a person survives a catastrophe or a medical condition depends on the sum total outcomes of scientific factors occurring simultaneously. Other outside things have no effect whatsoever on it. Any connections you make between rituals/superstitions and the outcomes depend on your perceptions and experiences. The net result doesn't depend on anything that is not related to it! And these unrelated factors are your beliefs, rituals, superstitions and myths.

The doctors are right if they say, they cured you!  

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

Q: There is no proof of the existence of aliens or any god, yet scientists are searching for alien life while denying god's existence. Is that hypocrisy?  

Krishna: No, it is not!

We know (or at least we think we know) how living beings originated on Earth. We know the factors that are responsible for the origin of life and sustaining it. We know how evolution helped in intelligent beings coming into existence. Based on this information, we can guess how life might originate and evolve on other planets in 'other solar systems' of the universe. We can also imagine how these life forms could evolve into intelligent beings that could travel across the universe or at least communicate with other intelligent life existing in the other parts of the universe. This theory of alien existence is just an imagination or a guess work based on our knowledge about life. We ourselves are proof of life that can exist in certain conditions. It is not a 'belief'.

The process is called ‘informed imagination’ or ‘educated guesswork’ which forms a basis for theory which has some observable data and facts.

Okay, now show scientists data and facts about God! Then they would agree both are same kind of beliefs.

Baseless beliefs Vs informed imagination (or educated guessing)

Q: Can a doctor become a sea scientist?

Krishna: Your question is not clear. Do you mean a medical doctor becoming an oceanographer ?

Oceanography covers a wide range of topics, including marine life and ecosystems, ocean circulation, plate tectonics and the geology of the seafloor, and the chemical and physical properties of the ocean.

Becoming a marine biologist is easy because a medical doctor would be familiar with biology.

Dealing with plate tectonics and geology needs knowledge in geology.

Dealing with chemistry of the sea needs… you know what.

Physical properties of ocean like wave motions, ocean circulation, etc. needs knowledge in… again you know what!

If a medical doctor wants to become an oceanographer, he can learn a few things and yes, he can become a ‘sea scientist’!

On the other hand a medical doctor can also do research on conditions like ‘sea sickness’ , hand arm vibration syndrome, stress and the resultant health conditions of the sailors, musculo-skeletal disorders that come with working long hours and multitasking in ships, and pandemic and epidemic diseases as the sailors visit several countries and ports.

The field of science is vast … and you have innumerable opportunities. Only things that take you forward are your determination and thirst for knowledge. If you have them, nothing can stop you.

Q: How accurate is astrology?

Krishna: Not at all accurate according to modern science! It is nothing but an illusion based predictions that can go wrong most of the time. If at all the predictions come true, it just is a chance occurring. read here why:

Debate between scientists and people who practice pseudo-science - ...

Q: Which is a better job, a scientist or a professor?

Krishna: My vote goes to ‘scientist’! :)

Although professors are also ‘scientists’, their research is somewhat distracted by teaching and other academic activities. Moreover, they depend on their students’ work most of the time for paper publications.

Scientists can have undivided attention, and can go about their research with full concentration.

However, there are professors who could balance things well and could achieve great success.

One of the professors I know told me recently that his mental growth ‘s somewhat stunted, he gets bored very frequently while teaching, face frequent problems with students, burdened with other activities and therefore didn’t do much research work after joining the university as a professor and completely depend on his students work ( this view is also supported by my other professor friends)!

However, he presented more than 50 papers in international conferences - based on the work his students did, visited about 30 countries, wrote five books on his subject - with the help of his students, and got a best teacher award!

This made me think a professor’s life is easy! S/he gets all the propping s/he wants.

A scientist doesn’t have this luxury, even if s/he works in a group that consists his assistants, s/he still has to work a lot and that makes her/him, more responsible and self-sufficient, enhancing his or her mental growth. A ‘real scientist’ can never get bored or lose interest in his work!

Of course opinions differ, but my experiences and those of my friends and colleagues gave me this point of view.

Q: Why do some people claim that scientists don't believe in God when there are scientists who believe in God?  

Krishna: Yes, there are a few scientists who believe in God. I know some personally.

There are a few reasons for this belief in scientists.

Most of the famous scientists whose names are given in lists like these Religion, Science And The Attack Of The Angry Atheists belonged to another era! The conditions that were prevalent in those days made them think in that way.

Some get inadequate training in doing critical thinking. They treat it like car driving - use it on the road and forget it when you go home or use it in the lab and forget it as soon as you cross the doors of your lab.

Some people of science are unable to overcome their cultural, religious and emotional conditioning of their minds and to have an unbiased rationale and view.

Some people need outside emotional support because they cannot get it with their reasoning.

Anyway, following a religion is a personal thing. As long as people don’t mix up things and do injustice to science by forgetting scientific methodology, like some scientists do, it is okay and we can tolerate it.

Q: Was the study that claims that atheists are more closed-minded than believers performed correctly? 

Study finds the nonreligious can be more close-minded than the reli...
I am not asking whether you think that the results of the study are true or false, I am asking whether it was performed correctly. 

Krishna:  Statistically speaking, the results are questionable.

You can programme your problem that can give you the results you want, then p-hack your results to suit your opinions and biases on controversial issues, publish in dubious journals/ press and claim your popularity.

That is mostly what has happened here.

That is why many results in psychology are ambiguous and not reproducible.

I am sure you can show the opposite is true by tweaking a little. But that won’t buy you any eye-balls and recognition.

Right Scientific methodology? Where are you? We need you here.

Q: At what point the discovery of something new cannot be made?  

Krishna: Your Q is not very clear to me.

When something has been discovered already, you cannot make a new discovery.

When you cannot think creatively, critically and differently from others you cannot make a new discovery.

When your equipment is not up to the mark you cannot make a new discovery.

When people and Governments don’t provide adequate funds, again you cannot make a new discovery.

If you are afraid of finding truth that doesn’t confirm your biases and beliefs, you cannot make or accept a new discovery!

(If this answer didn’t satisfy you, please reframe your Q)

Q:Is it considered bad luck to travel on a new moon day (is there any scientific basis for this belief? 

Krishna: No, absolutely not! You can travel on any day you want and do anything on any day you want. Lunar phases don’t have any effect on any thing you do here on Earth.

All days are good, if your efforts, preparations and work are good. 

Q: What are some of the best things in life, most people miss out?

Krishna: Scientific knowledge that makes you take full control over your life and circumstances that dictate it!

Q:Does demonic possesion have any scientific explanation?  

Krishna: According to Science - the person who is thought to be ‘possessed’ might be suffering from mental issues like schizophrenia and should consult a well qualified medical doctor immediately.

Some people pretend that they are possessed even though they don’t have any mental issues just to scare others and control them!

Science doesn’t endorse any ‘demonic possessions’ that can’t be explained medically.

Q: Is there a difference between immunization and vaccination?

Krishna: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "Immunization is the process whereby a person is made immune or resistant to an infectious disease, typically by the administration of a vaccine. Vaccines stimulate the body’s own immune system to protect the person against subsequent infection or disease." A person becomes immune to a disease when the body has been exposed to it either through illness or vaccination/immunization. The immune system develops antibodies to the disease so that it cannot make you sick again. Immunization, therefore, describes the actual changes your body goes through after receiving a vaccine. 

A vaccine is "A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease. Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but can also be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose." Vaccination is the process of getting a vaccine into the body or "The act of introducing a vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease." A vaccine is what initiates the immunization process. 

Inoculation is "to give a person or animal a vaccine—a substance to prevent a disease." Inoculation is simply the process of giving a person a vaccine.

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