SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Why aren't people listening to climate scientists when they are talking?

Krishna: That is one of the main questions bothering all the scientists  in the world, not only climate scientists. Meeting the Paris agreement demands, eventhough they are not upto the mark, will require unprecedented action to drive decarbonization of agriculture, energy, industry and transport. But nobody is anywhere near that goal! And it appears increasingly unlikely that the world will meet even the 2 C upper limit identified by the Paris Climate Agreement.

The “accelerating pace” of biodiversity loss is of particular concern. Species abundance is down 60 percent since 1970. That affects the human food chain, health and socio-economic development, with implications for well-being, productivity, and even regional security. 

Climate change is increasing strain on the global food system through changes in temperature, precipitation and extreme weather events, along with higher carbon emissions. The last four years have been the hottest on record. Sea-level rise is another headache. An estimated 800 million people in more than 570 coastal cities are vulnerable to oceans rising 1.6 feet by 2050. 

We are facing several consequences and the results are before our eyes, but people still ask for more evidence or demand direct co-relation between climate science and these disasters. 

One of my aunts said casually this when I asked her to reduce her carbon footprint by explaining the consequences of her spendthrift ways and wastage: "No need to worry, scientists will find solutions to all these problems". I was flabbergasted. 

You depend on scientists for solutions and trust them to come up with 'miracles'. But refuse to act when we suggest a few solutions. World, come out of your comfort zones. We cannot sustain for long  if you don't change your attitude.

The future generations will never forgive you for what you have done to them.

Q: Some policy makers are teasing climate scientists. Like the US president did during recent snow storm in the US! "What the hell is going on with Global Warming? Please come back fast, we need you!” 's what he tweeted. What is scientists' response to counter such taunting?

Krishna: Ignorance rules the world! But climate scientists have already started their work!

NOAA, the US federal agency that studies the Earth, tweeted what appeared to be a rebuttal to Trump’s assertion  that cold weather disproves long-term warming on a planet that’s seen average global temperatures rise about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1900.

Not only are severe snowstorms possible in a warming climate, they may even be more likely,” NOAA officials wrote in a tweet that appeared to challenge the president's notions.

   Correcting misinformation on climate would potentially put the academies on a collision course with the political culture, where falsehoods on climate change are frequently shared. But they have no choice now.

Facts have to be brought before people. 

Q:What should we do when you are possessed by a demon and are getting unexplained scratches during sleep? 

If you think you are possessed by a demon and are scratching yourself in sleep, you should consult a well qualified medical doctor immediately because the symptoms look like a mental condition.

Don’t go to quakes and other useless people who cannot do anything about it. That will be a waste of time and money. Your condition might get worse if you do so.

Q: I got flu despite taking flu shot. Why is this so?

Krishna: Yes, you can get flu even if you take a flu shot! 

Before you ask another Q, I want to add that you must first realize that there are several strains of flu viruses. And there are multiple strains of flu viruses circulating in any season. So getting sick with one strain of flu or taking a flu shot of one particular strain won't necessarily protect you from a different strain. Again taking a vaccine for one or two strains, doesn't protect you from attack of other strains.

Seasonal flu shots contain three to four strains of flu virus (which are made ineffective), because there isn't much "cross protection" between strains. It's possible that getting sick with one type of influenza A virus would offer some modest protection against another type of influenza A, but it probably wouldn't give you any protection against the influenza B virus. Therefore, if you do catch the flu, and you haven't received the flu vaccine for the season, doctors generally recommend that you still get a flu shot after you're no longer sick, particularly if it's early on in the flu season.The flu vaccine can be taken by everyone ages 6 months and older.

Q: I think it is possible to have cognitive dissonance with some people of science. Do you agree?

Krishna: One of my friends in the US recently told me this: There are large numbers of Evangelical Christians among US physicians.  Most Evangelical physicians reject evolution, even though they’re more than perfectly capable of prescribing the right medication for microorganisms that, through evolution, have acquired resistance to certain antibiotics!

Ask them to explain that, they simply duck the Q!

The same is true in the space field. There are people who work at a place where we study things millions of light years away and yet they have a cognitive dissonance that the universe is 6000 years old!

How do you explain that? 

Lack of critical thinking skills, fear of the supernatural, association with certain groups and ideology, emotions, conditioning of minds ... I can go on like this. 

Grey matter? Where is it? 

Evolution of brains? Where is it?

Courage to accept evidence based facts? Where is it?

Q: If the universe is about 14 billion years old,  how do you explain that the farthest stars that we can observe are 46 billion light years away?

Krishna: Space is expanding and taking the galaxies and stars away from us! The universe is estimated to be about 13.8 billion years old. We can see a galaxy like GN-z11, by receiving photons that are about 13.4 billion years old. Based on their redshift, we can calculate that due to the expansion of space that galaxy is - today - about 32 billion light years away. Expansion of space is very different than expansion within space. The light from objects like GN-z11 has traveled within space for 13.4 billion years.

Q: Which field of science is more important - Physics, Chemistry or Biology for human kind?

Krishna: You are asking a Microbiologist to answer this Q.  And I am proud of my critical thinking skills! :)

Okay, life sciences, particularly medicine, saves lives. But without Physics, you don't have tools to do that - MRI machines, microscopes and what not!

Have you heard the term medical physicist? Medical physicists are often found in the following healthcare specialties: diagnostic and interventional radiology (also known as medical imaging), nuclear medicine, radiation protection and radiation oncology.  The term "physical agents" refers to ionising and non-ionising electromagnetic radiations, static electric and magnetic fields, ultrasound, laser light and any other Physical Agent associated with medical e.g., x-rays in computerised tomography (CT), gamma rays/radionuclides in nuclear medicine, magnetic fields and radio-frequencies in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound in ultrasound imaging and Doppler measurements. There are courses like Medical imaging physics, Radiation therapeutic physics, Nuclear medicine physics, Health physics, Non-ionizing Medical Radiation Physics, Physiological measurement, Healthcare informatics and computational physics to help medical biology.

Without Chemistry, you cannot analyze and diagnose diseases properly. You cannot get good medicines. 

Medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry are disciplines at the intersection of chemistry, especially synthetic organic chemistry, and pharmacology and various other biological specialties, where they are involved with design, chemical synthesis and development for market of pharmaceutical agents, or bio-active molecules (drugs).
At the biological interface, medicinal chemistry combines to form a set of highly interdisciplinary sciences, setting its organic, physical, and computational emphases alongside biological areas such as biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacognosy and pharmacology, toxicology and veterinary and human medicine; these, with project management, statistics, and pharmaceutical business practices, systematically oversee altering identified chemical agents such that after pharmaceutical formulation, they are safe and efficacious, and therefore suitable for use in treatment of disease.

All the fields are interrelated these days and depend on and support one another. 

Don't try to create rifts between them. We are one! All are equally important for the welfare of the world.

When we are in the lab, these things don't occur to us at all. We think only about science, and science as a single unit. 

Q: What example of pseudo-science do you despise the most?

Krishna: Astrology and fake medicines based on primitive knowledge. Because I get to see them all around and all the 365 days of the year.

People cheating others and people willingly falling into the traps.

Grey matter? Where is it?

Evolution of brains? Where is it?

Courage to accept evidence based facts? Where is it?

Q: If white skin is not good, why did it evolve in the first place? 

Krishna: Not good?! Because it is more susceptible to skin cancer and wrinkles more earlier than darker skins?

In the regions of equator, you get enough amount of sunlight so that your skin can make vitamin D despite having large amounts of melanin pigment (dark skin). 

However, in the more colder parts of the Earth like the polar regions, you get less sunlight and you need to have lighter skin to absorb whatever little sunlight available to have vitamin D and healthy bones.

That is why people evolved to have lighter skins in the places where sunlight is inadequate to make vitamin D needed by their bodies.

Q: What's the scientific explanation for the transition from 'not alive' to 'alive'? 

Krishna: The group of atoms should have the power of self-replicating process that can evolve under natural selection to become a living being.

A thing is usually called a living one when it can display these 7 biological properties: homeostasis (maintain a constant state), growth, replication, metabolism (converting food to cellular components), adaptation, organization and response to external stimuli.

When molecules, made up of atoms, become large and complex, they can interact in the right way and possibly give rise to life. It's not the atoms that make things alive: it's how they are put together, forming organic molecules, absorbing energy, undergoing complex chemical reactions, self-organizing into complex structures that can replicate that, ultimately, qualify as "living".

 

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