SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Does evolution happen day to day?

Krishna: Yes, antibiotic resistance is a good example. Antibiotic resistance is a consequence of evolution via natural selection. The antibiotic action is an environmental pressure. Those bacteria which have a mutation allowing them to survive will live on to reproduce. They will then pass this trait to their offspring, which will be a fully resistant generation.

Antibiotic resistance evolves naturally via natural selection through random mutation, but it could also be engineered by applying an evolutionary stress on a population. 

Once such a gene is generated, bacteria can then transfer the genetic information in a horizontal fashion (between individuals) by plasmid exchange.

If a bacterium carries several resistance genes, it is called multiresistant or, informally, a superbug.

Causes Antibiotic resistance can also be introduced artificially into a microorganism through transformation protocols.

This can be a useful way of implanting artificial genes into the microorganism.

Antibiotic resistance is a consequence of evolution via natural selection.

Mutations occur at a rate of, say, 10 mutations per nucleotide base, that amounts to nearly 300 mutations in that population of bacteria within 10 hours! ( Source: Mutation Rates and Antibiotic Resistance )

More information can be obtained here: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC64729/

Q: How can bacteria become resistance to antibiotics? 

Krishna: Bacteria can become resistant to antibiotics through several ways. Some bacteria can “neutralize” an antibiotic by changing it in a way that makes it harmless. Others have learned how to pump an antibiotic back outside of the bacteria before it can do any harm. Some bacteria can change their outer structure so the antibiotic has no way to attach to the bacteria it is designed to kill.

After being exposed to antibiotics, sometimes one of the bacteria can survive because it found a way to resist the antibiotic. If even one bacterium becomes resistant to antibiotics, it can then multiply and replace all the bacteria that were killed off. That means that exposure to antibiotics provides selective pressure making the surviving bacteria more likely to be resistant. Bacteria can also become resistant through mutation of their genetic material.

Q: Why do researchers use mostly mice in their experiments?

Krishna: Scientists and researchers rely on mice for several reasons:

1. Convenience: rodents are small, easily housed and maintained, and adapt well to new surroundings. 2. They  reproduce quickly and have a short lifespan of two to three years, so several generations of mice can be observed in a relatively short period of time.

3. Mice and rats are also relatively inexpensive and can be bought in large quantities from commercial producers that breed rodents specifically for research.

4. The rodents are also generally mild-tempered and docile, making them easy for researchers to handle, although some types of mice and rats can be more difficult to restrain than others.

5. Most of the mice and rats used in medical trials are inbred so that, other than sex differences, they are almost identical genetically. This helps make the results of medical trials more uniform. As a minimum requirement, mice used in experiments must be of the same purebred species.

6. Another reason rodents are used as models in medical testing is that their genetic, biological and behaviour characteristics closely resemble those of humans as they are mammals too, and many symptoms of human conditions can be replicated in mice and rats. 

7. Rodents also make efficient research animals because their anatomy, physiology and genetics are well-understood by researchers, making it easier to tell what changes the mice's behaviour or characteristics are caused by.

8. Some rodents, called SCID (severe combined immune deficiency) mice, are naturally born without immune systems and can therefore serve as models for normal and malignant human tissue research.

Q: Is telepathy an exceptional phenomenon or a scientifically proven method?

But still why do people believe in strange things? Watch these videos for an answer:

Technology makes it possible to communicate brain-to-brain

Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans

Other ways people say is possible is not possible actually

Q: Why are some people suspicious about science?
Krishna:Science is a subject that is the most reliable in this world. But still why do some people are sceptical about it? Scientists discussed this problem on various fora and we now can give several reasons for people not trusting science as intensely as they should be doing. I discussed these reasons and what we should do to restore the trust in science in detail in an article series.
You can read them by clicking on these links:
Q: Why do some stars visually break in the sky (or move from one point to another)?
Krishna : If I understood your Q correctly, yes, you are right in your assumption or perception!

You can literally see a ‘star’ crossing the sky from one side to another in 2–5 minutes! I have seen them myself!

However, they are not real sun-like stars! They are satellites that look like stars!

This breaking of stars is also something to do with balloons that look like stars but not real ones.

Real star movements are very slow to observe and real star breaking up (A **supernova** is a large **explosion** that takes place at the end of a **star's** life cycle) is difficult to see because they are rare.

Q: Why can't modern science explain ancient wonders like 'Hanging Gardens of Babylon'?

Krishna: This is the problem with the media. It creates a false situation of mystery to keep people hooked to them! And the latter fall for it!

There is no archeological evidence for hanging gardens of Babylon in the first place. There are no extant Babylonian texts that mention the gardens (2).

Even if they existed, the Hanging Gardens probably did not really "hang" in the sense of being suspended from cables or ropes. The name comes from an inexact translation of the Greek word kremastos, or the Latin word pensilis, which means not just "hanging", but "overhanging" as in the case of a terrace or balcony.

The Greek geographer Strabo, who described the gardens in first century BC, wrote, "It consists of vaulted terraces raised one above another, and resting upon cube-shaped pillars. These are hollow and filled with earth to allow trees of the largest size to be planted. The pillars, the vaults, and terraces are constructed of baked brick and asphalt."

"The ascent to the highest story is by stairs, and at their side are water engines, by means of which persons, appointed expressly for the purpose, are continually employed in raising water from the Euphrates into the garden.(1)"

Therefore, even if they existed, science can easily explain the mechanism with which they created and worked.

If we can’t find them in the first place how can we explain something mythical?

  1. Hanging Gardens of Babylon
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon - Wikipedia

Q: Do scientists usually know the significance of a new breakthrough immediately, or is the outcome more emergent?  

Q: Why are new path breaking ideas by science always resisted initially?
Krishna : Instead of ‘resisting’, I prefer the words, ‘question the idea thoroughly’ which is a healthy attitude in science.

Anybody who is proposing a new idea has to provide evidence and data that lead to this proposal. If s/he cannot do that just opinions have no place in the scientific world. Everybody who has some knowledge in the area would definitely question it if you make your idea seem like an opinion. The questioning stops when your vagueness stops.

When you prop your idea up with unquestionable data, nobody opposes it. Every sensible scientist knows this. People who are making path breaking proposals should be smart enough to make people accept it. But in their eagerness to make the first attempt some scientists don’t make full efforts to make it irrefutable. That might come later, but people want credits to their names first.

I might think with all my biases and beliefs what I propose are innovative ideas but the scientific community is smart enough to realize what is evolution and what is intelligent design.

Only if you propose evolution ( which has evidence), you can go forward in science. If you propose intelligent design, you will have to face the music.

Okay, there ‘re some ideas which really are pathbreaking but the way they were proposed needed course corrections. That ‘s why they were questioned.

Q: Why is there science behind the benefits of positivity?


Krishna: Science says there are none in reality! The ones people propagate as science behind positivity is in fact pseudo-science.

And science also adds that this cultural phenomenon is not only delusional, but dangerous.

Making people see things and think realistically is more important than thinking positively. The thing that makes us truly strong is ‘being realistic’, neither positivity nor negativity. Why?

Find the answer here: Positivity: This pseudo-scientific theory too is owned by a thrash ...

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