Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
Interactive science series
Q: What is speed-breeding?
Krishna:It is a way to cost-effectively accelerate crop yields. It is a technique called speed breeding, inspired by NASA’s experiments to grow wheat in space. A team of researchers from University of Queensland’s Jonn Innes Center and the University of Sydney began by planting a variety of crops such as wheat, barley, peas, chickpeas, and canola, in a modified, temperature-controlled glasshouse. The crops were then exposed to intense LED lights — beamed at specific frequencies up to 22 hours a day — to help accelerate photosynthesis.
The results, published in the journal Nature on January 1, 2018 (1), exceeded all expectations. The scientists say they were able to grow six generations of wheat, chickpea, and barley plants and four generations of canola plants within a year. In contrast, conventional greenhouses yield just two to three, while outdoor farming produces just one yield a year. The researchers were also able to successfully speed breed peanuts, amaranth, and lentils and believe the technique will work for crops like sunflowers, peppers, and radishes as well.
Even more exciting is that when they compared the plant features, such as the number of tillers, or lateral branches, and grains per spike, they found the crops were much better quality than those grown under standard greenhouse conditions.
Q: Is cow urine therapy useful to cure drowsiness in tuberculosis meningitis?
Krishna : NO, no, no,no and a big NO! Consult a medical doctor immediately and take the prescribed medicines if you or your loved ones are diagnosed with it. Delays in seeking medical care, diagnosis, and initiation of treatment are contributing factors to the high mortality and morbidity.
Tuberculosis bacteria enter the body by droplet inhalation i.e. breathing in bacteria from the coughing/sneezing of an infected person.
The bacteria multiply within the lungs, pass into the bloodstream and are able to travel to other areas of the body.
If the bacteria travel to the meninges (protective layers that protect the brain) and brain tissue, small abscesses (tubercles/microtubercles) are formed.
These abscesses can burst and cause TB meningitis. This can happen immediately, or several months or years after the initial infection.
The infectious process causes a rise in pressure within the skull, resulting in nerve and brain tissue damage, which is often severe
If the diagnosis or treatment is delayed at least 20% of the people who get it will suffer long-term after-effects. These are often severe and may include severe brain damage, epilepsy and paralysis. Sadly, between 15-30% of patients will die despite receiving treatment and care. That is the truth.
If treatment is started early, most people will make a good recovery provided that the treatment course is completed.
There is a vaccine known as BCG. This vaccine is effective in babies and young children. It gives good protection against the more severe forms of TB, such as TB meningitis.
Don’t endanger the patient’s life with baseless beliefs, misconceptions, ignorance and stupidity. Don’t waste time with them. Cow’s urine cannot treat TM or the drowsiness caused by it. Period!
Q: If I'm taking antibiotics of 1 g of ofloxacin rather than 3 g of fosfomycin to cure my infection, does it mean I should take the one with a smaller dose to lessen the potential side effects?
Krishna : Doctors consider everything - like your age, your health condition in general, interactions with other drugs prescribed, your infection level, potency required to cure your infection, drug resistance, your ability to cope with side effects and many more - before prescribing the medicines. I would say they have better knowledge than you and I do. Only when the benefits outweigh the negatives, they would suggest these medicines.
So do exactly what your doctor asked you to do. Don’t self medicate with half knowledge. You will not only suffer more but make the organisms resistant with low potency drugs.
Q: Is delusional infestation possible?
Krishna: Yes, very much! Sufferers have an unshaking belief that pathogens or inanimate objects pollute their skin despite no medical evidence. Patients insist they’ve been overtaken with creatures, such as insects, worms or parasites, or inanimate materials like fibers — or both (2).
Schizophrenia, dementia or other psychiatric illnesses can trigger delusional infestation. So can such drugs as amphetamines or cocaine.
Q: If aliens are present on other planets of different solar systems in our milky way, can they detect us if they try? What are the ways they can use?
Krishna: Yes, certainly! We are sending them signals right now! From gases in the atmosphere to satellites in space, Earth is sending plenty of signals that something here is alive.
First aliens will have to discover Earth. This they can do either by watching our sun wobble as the planet's gravity tugs against it, or by seeing the sun dim as Earth blocks a tiny fraction of sunlight during its orbit. We use pretty much the same things to discover extra- solar planets.
Alien scientists might then attempt to spot our atmosphere, to see whether life's thumb is on the chemical scales. Our planet's abundant oxygen is a major hint that something here is alive.
In addition to oxygen molecules, alien astronomers would look at our atmosphere's levels of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane. Only life could keep Earth chemically eccentric enough for all these gases to persist at once.
Beyond those chemical clues, alien astronomers with truly massive telescopes might even be able to map Earth's surface from such huge distances.
If intelligent life is nearby, the most straightforward way to find earthlings would be to listen for us. For the last century, human civilization has been broadcasting its existence to the cosmos via our leaky radio transmissions. Occasionally, we've broadcast messages to E.T. intentionally, and sent records into space on the off-chance that aliens stumble across our interplanetary spacecraft.
Aliens wouldn't be able to detect our radio presence.
Then they would turn their focus to our artificial satellites. As a satellite-fringed world drifts in front of its home star, its satellites would block some starlight in front of and behind the transiting planet. This metallic belt would look unnatural when compared to known planetary rings. Our footprint in space is growing exponentially: If we keep launching satellites at our present pace, nearby aliens armed with telescopes as powerful as the ones we have today could spot our satellites by 2200.
Q: Dr. Krishna, I am a student and studying science. I want to follow you and write like you. Is it possible? What are the difficulties women face while dealing with science subjects?
Krishna: Glad to hear from people like you. Go right ahead. You won't face any difficulty in understanding or writing on science just because you are a girl/woman.
But making people realize that a woman is behind all that brain matters is much, much, more difficult.
People don't accept and click on my links to my articles. They think I am giving links to somebody else's articles. If I quote from my own articles, thoroughly researched and fact based, people think I am reading and vomiting somebody else's work!
People can't associate a woman with science. Brainy things with woman. In earlier centuries, it seems, women used pseudo or male pen names to make people accept their literary work.
We face a similar situation with regard to science now. But don't get disheartened. Keep trying. You have to drill some sense into people's minds. There is no other go.
Q: What is the difference between proving and scientific proving?
Krishna: While proving scientifically something, you take the help of science particularly scientific methodology.
Like you take the help of DNA finger printing to nail a criminal. Or to prove a child is definitely somebody’s.
That a bullet was fired from a particular gun.
Scientific evidence is the best and most accurate, provided it is not manipulated.
On other hand, lawyers ‘prove’ something in courts by using logic, witnesses etc. These can definitely be manipulated if science is not used.
For example, lawyers argued and told told judges ‘astrology’ is science and SC ruled in favour of those astrologers who fought the case saying that when stars and their charts ‘re used, it is science. Hah!
But if you ask scientists, they will tell you why astrology is not real science but pseudo-science. I would have argued, proved scientifically that astrology is not real science and won the case, had they invited me. How? Like this:
In a court of law, a human witness’ testimony bears a lot of weight.
In science, human observation will be dismissed as the lowest possible form of proof.
Q: Has Hawking Radiation been discovered?
Krishna: No, It just is a theory. It was predicted by Hawking based on combining general relativity with quantum mechanics.
Scientists have detected evidence for big and very distant black holes. Hawking radiation is actually more intense for little ones, but it would only be directly detectable very close. We cannot do that right now.
Q: Why do women/girls blame men for their actions, when actually they know that hormones in their bodies are responsible for all their behaviour?
Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa's Art work
Q: Don't you think people who make colourful science videos and post on You Tube have best followers than text based ones like yours? Why don't you do that to attract more people?
Krishna: Mine is art and literature based too!
Yes, I agree, entertainment is winning out over real and genuine information.
Anyway, do you know videos attract young people more? My content is for the whole population, young, old, male, female, especially for whole families. I cannot target only people belonging to one age group. Older people prefer text and pictures. There will always be a portion of society that is not interested in science (and there always has been), but we need to keep up the work of effectively communicating science anyway because you never know who is out there, reading and listening attentively! And these could be people who have time and patience and can read text and assimilate it in the right way.
The time and effort it takes to learn something (whether it be about science, art, music, writing, language…) can seem long and boring, and thus some people will always give it up in search of the instant gratification of entertainment. But text and pictures stick more to your mind than fleeting video pictures!
Initial thrill at having a video that went viral was a form of instant gratification. That is not how we should measure the success of a science communicator. How much time a person gets to absorb the information correctly and how long it stays in their minds is more important for a science communicator like me.
But, I use videos too - although they are made by others - to show a point more effectively. It takes lots of effort and money, to make good videos. If I cannot make them, I can always use the ones made by others.
That is real smartness! :)
Q: Why are so many people not critical of science?
What do you think peer-reviewing is? Falsification is? Finding better solutions for a problem is? Improving on theories, applications are?
Oh, yes, these things have flaws too. But we have ‘reproducibility and other scientific methods and methodologies’ to check that. These methodologies are agreed by scientists to ‘control’ human frailties like confirmation biases, personalized opinions, misconceptions, baseless beliefs, ideologies, flawed perceptions based on their experiences in different conditions and many such things that influence human thought process.
We don’t want to give a chance to others to criticize us. With so many filters working constantly, it is highly difficult for anyone to escape the hawk eyed scientist colleagues of yours. We do our best to be very close to perfection. When evidence is shown, you cannot open your mouth to talk much about us, can you?
But still, some people criticize science anyway. And we have better weapons to counter that too.
And we think we can improve ourselves if people shoot constructive criticisms our way. Go ahead and do that. We need to improve more!
here: Researchers from the George Washington University have managed to switch consciousness on and off in an epileptic woman by stimulating a single region of the brain with electrical impulses. While this is a single case study, it provides an exciting insight into the neural mechanisms behind consciousness, a subject of great interest that is poorly understood despite decades of research. The has been published in .
Lots of work is still going on to fix the doubts that linger. Unlike what several people think Scientists definitely have some understanding of consciousness. But like you know, science looks for perfect evidence to fix the facts. It looks for falsification. We just cannot depend on ‘some evidence’. We have seen it. Understood it. But to show that to the world and tell what we understand need more perfection. It is not easy. But briefly this is what consciousness is …
Consciousness is the sum of millions of neurons at work. We actually are a mere product of trillions of mechanisms. It just is a complex multilayered ecosystem of chemical processes as we now know biological life to be.
Consciousness is generated by the brain. Brain activity, specifically the firing of neurons, is the phenomenon most correlated with consciousness that we know. Our experience of objects, thoughts and actions, the detailed structure of each of these, is identical to the sequential firing of various groups of neurons. The unique correlation of one phenomenon with another, in this case neural firing with the contents of consciousness, may indicate an identity of the individual. The subjective quality of consciousness is explained by neuroscience in terms of self reference. Each brain state, potential quale, must be presented to, or available to some form or structure (presumably more neural activity) representing or instantiating the self and then... there is awareness of the presented potential quale.
Q: What does science say about the origin of superstitions?
Krishna: How do superstitions originate?
When people can't think properly! I will give an example...
Chris Rush (USA) asked me this Q: Why do people cross their fingers for luck?
And this 's my reply to him ...
How do superstitions originate?
During ancient times, somebody in a difficult situation must have accidentally crossed his/her fingers while undergoing stress. By chance s/he would have come out of the situation unscathed. Then s/he made connections that were really not there and told everybody around that crossing fingers brings luck. So everybody started following it without giving it a second thought.
Wait a minute. Everybody? Not me! Not the rationalists.
If it was true, I would have succeeded 100% in all the attempts I made using this trick.
Crossing fingers cannot bring good luck, period!
So, that is the theory I proposed and Chris thanked me for that!
When people are in difficult or dangerous situations, when they lose control over things, when they can't think properly, they get stressed out, confused and panic. They try to clutch at any straw that is available. Anything, just anything would do to calm their jumpy nerves and minds. How irrational it may seem to others.
They try to take the help of some sort of external emotional support. Like putting lucky charms in their pockets. Avoiding things that they think will bring bad luck. They make all sorts of irrational connections.
If by chance they win or succeed or come out of dangerous situations unscathing, they think their baseless beliefs really worked. They not only start believing in them more strongly but also tell everybody around to follow them. And others start doing exactly that! That is how superstitions originate.
Read these articles for more information...
According to science, you can explain every paranormal situation people perceive as the games people’s brains play or people themselves play. Read here how this can be done …
2. J. Kohorst et al. Prevalence of delusional infestation—a population-based study. JAMA Dermatology. Published online April 4, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2018.0004