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

Q: How is my mom still alive without any medical issues after smoking Newport Menthols for 40 years?
Krishna : 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 health condition or a catastrophe or a bad situation depends on the sum total outcomes of scientific factors occurring simultaneously.

Your mom’s eating habits, her genetics (some DNA profiles are at lower risk while some are at higher risk), work/exercise, other air pollutants she breathes daily and several other factors decide the outcomes, not just smoking.

Certain DNA profiles have a lower risk of COPD – a collection of lung disorders including bronchitis and emphysema – than others, despite external factors such as smoking. These genes appear to affect the way lungs grow and respond to injury.

On the other hand, there are also certain DNA profiles that have a higher risk of COPD, explaining why some people develop the disease despite never having touched a cigarette in their lives.

But still, cigarette smoking is injurious to health, in general.

Q: Why are scientists extremely closed minded?

How can they deal with new ideas? How can they accept facts of science are just provisional and they should be ready to change when new data arrives? Why are they open to falsification?

Scientists are open-minded to evidence. They're open-minded to perspectives that are backed by evidence. They're not "open-minded" to things that are not supported by evidence.

Oh, yes, I understand your assumption. They sometimes refuse to deal with old dogmas, irrational beliefs, misconceptions, and silly ideas that cannot have any genuine evidence. This is because they have already subjected these things to thorough analysis in their minds and found them to be totally useless to waste their precious time on. If that denotes close mindedness, yes, why not?

I would rather close my mind to irrationality than deal with it again and again to get annoyed. Yes, we are selectively closed minded because we have better things to do.

Q: Can breast-feeding mothers drink alcohol? My sister-in law is a heavy drinker. Recently she gave birth to a boy. My mother told her not to drink but she is not listening. Will the baby get harmed if the mother drinks?

Krishna: Oh, my! Your sister-in-law  has to mend her ways!

Anything a mother eats or drinks finds its way into the breast milk.  Heavy drinking by the mother while breastfeeding may affect the baby's development. But an occasional drink is unlikely to harm her breastfed baby. Research suggests that breast-fed babies who are exposed to one drink a day might have impaired motor development and that alcohol can cause changes in sleep patterns.

You sister-in-law could try avoiding breastfeeding for two to three hours per unit after drinking. This allows time for the alcohol to leave her breast milk.  If she plans to drink alcohol, ask her to consider having a drink just after breast-feeding so that the alcohol begins to clear her breast milk during the natural interval between breast-feeding sessions.When a mother drinks alcohol, it passes into her breast milk at concentrations similar to those found in her bloodstream. Although a breast-fed baby is exposed to just a fraction of the alcohol his or her mother drinks, a newborn eliminates alcohol from his or her body at only half the rate of an adult.

There's no evidence that alcohol, including stout, helps a mother produce more milk. Studies show that alcohol actually decreases milk production and that the presence of alcohol in breast milk causes babies to drink about 20 percent less breast milk. If your sis-in-law chooses to drink, ask her to plan carefully to avoid exposing her baby to alcohol.

And tell her to keep the baby out of her bed while she 's drunk. She might harm or hurt the baby if she drinks heavily as she becomes unaware of the baby's presence. Mothers also become insensitive to a baby's cry in such situations and wilfully hurt them as these cries can irritate them easily.

Q: Does Indian cooking kill nutrients?

Krishna: While cooking makes food more digestible, as the process breaks down the thick cell walls of many plants, releasing the nutrients stored in them.

But too high temperatures and too much cooking time will definitely make it non-nutritious.

Water soluble vitamins like C and B and a group of nutrients called polyphenolics seem to be the most vulnerable to degradation in processing and cooking. Depending on the method used, loss of vitamin C during home cooking typically can range from 15 percent to 55 percent. Fat-soluble compounds like vitamins A, D, E and K and the antioxidant compounds called carotenoids fare better during cooking and processing. A method may enhance the availability of one nutrient while degrading another. Boiling carrots, for instance, significantly increases measurable carotenoid levels compared with raw carrots. However, raw carrots have far more polyphenols, which disappear once you start cooking them. Vegetables cooked in a microwave may have a higher concentration of certain vitamins.

The probiotics in curd will get killed because of heat if you prepare kadhi or use it in curries.

Anti-oxidants get destroyed while frying.

At very high temperatures  proteins get coagulated making them less digestible and also toxic. Overcooking foods containing protein can destroy heat-sensitive amino acids (for example, lysine) or make the protein more resistant to digestive enzymes. 

 Overly cooked foods ferment more easily, causing them to putrefy in the intestinal tract creating candida and body odor as it eliminates.

Unsaturated oils in cooked foods become rancid within a few hours, even in the refrigerator. The saturated fat and trans fat in deep-fried foods increase your risk for high cholesterol and heart disease. Deep-fried foods also may contain acrylamide, a possible carcinogen; foods fried at higher temperatures or for longer contain more than those fried for shorter times or at lower temperatures.

At 212 degrees, 100% of the enzymes are destroyed.  When our diet is enzyme-deficient (too much cooked food), the body has to supply the extra enzymes needed. The pancreas and other organs become overworked, which can exhaust them, causing the loss of the ability to digest foods.

Read these articles for more information:

stability-of-some-vitamins-in-different-cooking-and-environmental c...


Q: Does papaya cause abortion in pregnant women?

Krishna: I have read one research paper on this:

The abstract says ... 

Using controlled in vivo and in vitro pharmacological methods, we evaluated the safety of papaya (Carica papaya) consumption in pregnancy with reference to its common avoidance during pregnancy in some parts of Asia. Ripe papaya (Carica papaya L. (Caricaecae) blend (500 ml/l water) was freely given to four groups of Sprague-Dawley rats at different stages of gestation (days 1-5, 6-11, 12-17 and 1-20). The control group received water. The effect of ripe papaya juice and crude papaya latex on pregnant and non-pregnant rats' uteri was also evaluated using standard isolated-organ-bath methods. The daily volumes (ml) of ripe papaya blend consumed by the treated group were significantly (P<0.05) more than water consumed by the control (control 40.3 (sd 11.6) v. treated 64 (sd 19.0)). There was no significant difference in the number of implantation sites and viable fetuses in the rats given ripe papaya relative to the control. No sign of fetal or maternal toxicity was observed in all the groups. In the in vitro study, ripe papaya juice (0.1-0.8 ml) did not show any significant contractile effect on uterine smooth muscles isolated from pregnant and non-pregnant rats; conversely, crude papaya latex (0.1-3.2 mg/ml) induced spasmodic contraction of the uterine muscles similar to oxytocin (1-64 mU/ml) and prostaglandin F(2 alpha) (0.028-1.81 microm). The response of the isolated rat uterine smooth muscles to 0.2 mg crude papaya latex/ml was comparable to 0.23 microm prostaglandin F(2 alpha) and 32 mU oxytocin/ml. In the 18-19 d pregnant rat uterus, the contractile effect of crude papaya latex was characterized by tetanic spasms. The results of the present study suggest that normal consumption of ripe papaya during pregnancy may not pose any significant danger. However, the unripe or semi-ripe papaya (which contains high concentration of the latex that produces marked uterine contractions) could be unsafe in pregnancy. Though evaluation of potentially toxic agents often relies on animal experimental results to predict risk in man, further studies will be necessary to ascertain the ultimate risk of unripe papaya-semi-ripe papaya consumption during pregnancy in man.

According to gynaecologists I spoke to there is no genuine scientific evidence to show papayas cause abortions. 

One person told me his wife tried the fruit as a contraceptive but her experiment failed and she got pregnant despite having lots of papayas during a period of three months!

Q: How can we deal with people who have no respect for science?

Krishna: I came across such people several times. Most of my scientist friends also told me they  too experienced strange situations with these people. Some human beings  just close their minds to evidence, facts, knowledge, reality and just believe in whatever they think is truth.

I tried my best to open their minds to science. Some agree to this but some totally refuse to come in to the world of science. These people have 'conditioned minds'. How can you de-condition them? How can you re-educate them? We discussed this a lot. Being in a hostile situation makes us very stressful too. While keeping our stress in control, emotions in control to not to react adversely towards them, is quite a balancing act. Science communication is a very difficult job.

I have learnt to be tolerant but when something is really harming and hurting them and when they refuse to realize what is that that is causing this harm, and blame everything else except the real cause and when you really know what is wrong with that situation, it really is a testing time. Know what? People listen to you when they are in such situations! I wait till I get  those conditions and then strike. And I achieve success to a great extent!

It is quite unfortunate to observe that some people don't realize their mistakes until they themselves suffer a lot. Feel sorry for them. 

Q:Why can't we create life (human being) artificially by arranging necessary atoms or molecules in a specific order that makes a human being? 

Science has to grow a lot to learn things, understand them fully, experiment, and succeed. That day might come but takes a lot of time. Have patience.

Science will answer your questions and solve your problems too!

Q: What is the best explanation (scientific) about sleep paralysis? Why am I suffering from sleep paralysis without any warning, and how to overcome it?
Krishna : Up to as many as four out of every 10 people may have sleep paralysis. This common condition is often first noticed in the teen years. But men and women of any age can have it.
During sleep, your body alternates between REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement) sleep. One cycle of REM and NREM sleep lasts about 90 minutes. NREM sleep occurs first and takes up to 75% of your overall sleep time. During NREM sleep, your body relaxes and restores itself. At the end of NREM, your sleep shifts to REM. Your eyes move quickly and dreams occur, but the rest of your body remains very relaxed. Your muscles are "turned off" during REM sleep. If you become aware before the REM cycle has finished, you may notice that you cannot move or speak.

If you find yourself unable to move or speak for a few seconds or minutes when falling asleep or waking up, then it is likely you have isolated recurrent sleep paralysis.

During this time, you might 'feel' your dreams are true and if they are nightmarish, you think you are dealing with ghosts, which is not actually true.

Factors that may be linked to sleep paralysis include: Lack of sleep, sleep schedule that changes, mental conditions such as stress or bipolar disorder, sleeping on the back, other sleep problems such as narcolepsy or nighttime leg cramps, use of certain medications, such as those for ADHD, substance abuse.

Usually, you don’t need to go for a treatment. But treating any underlying conditions such as narcolepsy may help if you are anxious or unable to sleep well. Improve your sleeping habits. Try to reduce your stress levels.
Q: People use copper utensils for cooking. Is it good for health? Is wearing copper bracelets help arthritis patients? 
Krishna: Copper is a micronutrient essential for the smooth functioning of the nervous and immune systems in humans and plays a significant regulatory role in the growth and reproduction of plants. While the lack of copper causes disorders related to the blood and the nervous system, excess amounts of copper could be toxic, resulting in conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and inflammatory disorders.
Too much of copper is definitely harmful (4).

In plants an optimal concentration of copper in the soil can ensure a good crop. Insufficient amounts of copper reduce the crop yield by affecting photosynthesis, respiration, reproduction and disease resistance. The presence of excessive amounts of copper in water bodies can also be lethal to fishes. Corrosion of water supply pipelines made of copper could cause excess copper concentration in the tap water humans consume, causing health hazards mentioned above. Since ensuring optimum copper concentration in soil and water in the surroundings as well as the tap water we consume is important, a reliable and easy-to-use device to accurately measure copper concentration is essential according to experts. However, uncertainties remain regarding Copper reference values for humans, as illustrated by discrepancies between recommendations issued by different national authorities (1). 

Despite beliefs that wearing copper can provide certain health benefits, there is a lack of scientific evidence confirming these convictions. 

A 2013 science study tested the effects of copper bracelets on rheumatoid arthritis which was carried out in the United Kingdom over a period of 5 months and was featured in a peer-reviewed science journal called PLOS ONE. Results of the study showed that wearing copper bracelets do not help with rheumatoid arthritis and “…have no real effect on pain, swelling, or disease progression.”

Any perceived benefits by those wearing the copper bracelets were attributed to a placebo effect (2,3).

Q: Should we believe in religious scriptures or scientific research papers?

Krishna: I trust the ones that provide genuine evidence based facts. 

Q: How do we solve mysteries bigger than our mind?






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