SCI-ART LAB

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

Q: Does microwaving foods cause loss of nutrition?

Krishna: Yes, to some extent, according to research. To clarify the effects of microwave heating on the loss of vitamin B(12) in foods, raw beef, pork, and milk were treated by microwave heating and then their vitamin B(12) contents were determined according to a chemiluminescent vitamin B(12) assay with hog intrinsic factor (1). Appreciable loss ( approximately 30-40%) of vitamin B(12) occurred in the foods during microwave heating due to the degradation of vitamin B(12) molecule by microwave heating. When hydroxo vitamin B(12), which predominates in foods, was treated by microwave heating and then analyzed by silica gel 60 thin layer chromatography, two vitamin B(12) degradation products were found. 

The conversion of vitamin B(12) to the inactive vitamin B(12) degradation products occurs in foods during microwave heating.

B-12 doesn’t react well to microwaves. Apparently, although it doesn’t affect the molecule chemically, it does affect it structurally so that the body doesn’t recognize it as B-12 to absorb it. So when you cook/heat B12- containing food in a microwave, even though you are eating them, you will become B12 deficient!

Footnotes:

1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10554220/#:~:text=Appreciable%20los...(%20approximately%2030%2D40,12)%20molecule%20by%20microwave%20heating.

Q: Can the electricity generated  by an electrical eel kill you?

Krishna: Although there are very few documented instances of people dying from an electric eel's shock, it could happen. A single jolt could incapacitate a person long enough to cause him or her to drown, even in shallow water. Multiple shocks could cause a person to stop breathing or go into heart failure.

Whether the shock of an electric eel is fatal also may depend on the size of the eel, which, by the way, isn't actually an eel at all. The electric eel, Electrophorus electricus, is a fish classified in the order Gymnotiformes and is a cousin to the carp and catfish. Electric eels populate the streams, rivers and ponds of South America and can grow as long as 8 feet (2.5 meters) and as heavy as 44 pounds (20 kilograms). Although eels live in the water, these serpentine-shaped creatures surface frequently to breathe air. Even when they don't feel threatened, they emit a constant electric charge of about 10 volts, which acts as a radar to help them find their way in muddy waters. They also use the electric charge to identify fish, amphibians and birds to eat (1).

A full-grown electric eel will generate about 600 volts of electricity in short, intense bursts that last only about 2 milliseconds. This electrical charge comes from thousands of muscle cells that each create a tiny current. A 6-foot eel, for example, has about 6,000 muscle cells working together to generate those 600 volts, which is quintuple the voltage contained within of a standard wall socket in some countries (2).

While it's unclear why an eel is able to shock and sometimes electrocute – that is, kill something with the shock – other fish, fowl and amphibians without delivering fatal voltage to its own body, there are a few theories. One such theory is that the eel may feel the shock, but it's built up such a resistance that it doesn't suffer the detrimental effects (3).

Footnotes:

1. https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/e/electric-eel/

2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-do-electric-eels-gene/

3. http://askanaturalist.com/how-do-electric-eels-generate-electricity/

Q: Is there a third wing of the climate science debate? Anti-catastrophists (not to be conflated with deniers) observe the measured change (as opposed to the projections) and refuse to run in circles shrieking "The sky is falling, we're all gonna die".

Krishna: There is a 'wide range of views' on climate science starting from total denying to full supporting.

People cling to whatever they 'feel' is right irrespective of evidence and data presented in the denying category.

On the other hand, the majority of scientists trust their colleagues in the field of climate science and the data presented and think AGW is real.

And there are people on the street who don't understand the data and are confused about it.

Some think the truth lies somewhere between the denier's view and the supporters' view ( a third view?).

The sky is not going to fall tomorrow. Long term effects are what matters. Peoples’ suffering because of these effects is what matters.

Do 'just views' count? NO! Do 'cooked up data' count? NO!

What counts is 'genuine data'. And where is it? Who can understand it?

Do these different categories bring any difference then? Yes! If deniers enter the political scenario like President Trump in the powerful US, it is a catastrophe (to the paris agreement). Like Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil contributing to the destruction of Amazon and its contribution to climate disturbances.

It doesn't matter whether we have a third wing or fourth wing or any wing. It matters how we all can unitedly protect our climate. And how we can save it for our future generations.

Image source: Google images

Q: Is this a definition of science and rationality? Science and rationality is the capacity to come to a conclusion that violates your biases and prejudices and accept it because you believe in the process.

Krishna: Science and rationality are different things. Scientific method and its rules are what guide science. This scientific method doesn't guide rationality and the latter is used usually in ordinary life.

Rationality is essentially the application of our logic. And logic need not be guided by facts and data.

Therefore, science works better than rationality.

Rationality is in a way using reason. Reasoning is also the action of thinking about something in a logical, sensible way. Reason the justification for an action or event. Rationality and reason are different because rationality originates from reason but reason does not originate from rationality. A person who is rational is always reasonable but a person who is reasonable is not always rational.

Moreover, There are two types of reasoning:

(1) the one that is attached to emotions and beliefs
(2) the one that is detached and neutral
An example: You have a very young daughter whom you love more than your life. If one day she behaves very badly during a party, you try to understand with your loving mind and think that as she is still a child she doesn’t know how to behave properly and she would definitely learn things when she grows up and excuse her! Here your love for her shaped up your behaviour! As an unemotional person I would say that even if the child is young, she has to be taught how to behave in a public place with a mild warning after understanding her innocence so that she doesn’t repeat it and help her correct herself.

There is another aspect to this type of reasoning: Motivation. You want to forget your ex-girlfriend. So you try to reason that you would be better off without her by recollecting all her negative qualities!

This biased analysis of anything is due to the now well-known psychological phenomenon of motivated reasoning. Research suggests that all people tend to seek out information that confirms (or at least does not challenge) the conclusions they want to draw on a given topic. In other words, we will work to discredit or avoid information that might require us to reconsider our pre-existing beliefs. Motivated reasoning is particularly likely when taking the other side might create conflict within our social circle—like religious or political groups.

Likewise if you are attached to a belief (or emotion or group), it fogs your reasoning power out of fear, hope, love or respect and affects your behaviour. A mind that is agitated by belief can never be free and therefore never know truth.

You shouldn't reason backward from belief to evidence because that will subject you to numerous cognitive biases and you risk fooling yourself about the nature of reality.

To avoid such pitfalls science asks us not to get attached to emotions and beliefs. It tells us to have an unattached reasoning power ( we use scientific method to guide us in this) so that your mind can seek truth in a neutral manner.

All of us are subject to the psychological forces at play when it comes to choosing between facts and beliefs when they do not mesh. In the long run, it is better to understand the way the world really is rather than how we would like it to be. That is exactly what science does.

Then you said: ‘Science and rationality is the capacity to come to a conclusion that violates your biases and prejudices and accept it because you believe in the process’.

You don’t “believe” ‘in the process’ in science. We trust the scientific method because it is the best under present circumstances to overcome biases, fallacies, distortions that effect your thinking process and keep you away from perceiving the universe as it is.

Q: Are the rational thoughts of sciences trying to suppress natural human emotions?

Krishna: Even human emotions are science based (1)! There isn’t anything in this universe that isn’t science based. How?

Science has two aspects to it.

One: The principles with which this universe came into existence (to atheists), or created (to theists) and run by it.

Two: The process with which we study this universe.

People usually take only the second one into consideration, not the first one while dealing with this aspect. But the truth is, without scientific principles, this universe in which we live, wouldn't have come into existence in the first place. Only when the scientific principles based universe came into existence, the consequences like galaxies, stars, planets, origin of life, its evolution, human beings and finally their, emotions, thoughts, cultures and religions became a reality.

So science is the basis for everything.

Then scientific thinking is making you understand everything here in the right way. Even emotions. Only when you deal with them in the way you should, you can manage them correctly.

Science isn’t supressing emotions, it is only trying to put them in the right way.

Footnotes:

  1. Can science explain or deal with emotions and morals?

Q: Why can't science explain magic?
Krishna: Science can study and explain anything that exists in the first place. Even if something doesn't exist, science can explain why people believe in it and follow it.  
Science understands magic perfectly and why people get mesmerised by it.  Science understands the power of suggestion, the effect of rituals on human behaviour and how some people are incapable of critical thinking. All of this explains “magic” very well.  
Q: Why was Albert Einstein's brain stolen, and who did it?

Krishna : Albert Einstein's brain was removed within seven and a half hours of his death. His brain has attracted attention because of his supposed reputation as one of the foremost geniuses of the 20th century.
Einstein's autopsy was conducted in the lab of Thomas Stoltz Harvey. The story is interesting.

Einstein did not want his brain or body to be studied. Harvey took the brain anyway, without permission from Einstein or his family, dissected and studied it.
Although several things were attributed to his brain structure, experts say these studies are flawed. Because all human brains are unique and different from others in some ways. Therefore, assuming unique features in Einstein's brain were connected with his genius goes beyond the evidence. Moreover, correlating unusual brain features with any characteristic requires studying many brains with those features, and scanning the brains of many very capable scientists would be better research than investigating the brains of just one or two geniuses (1).

So we don't give much importance to any of the things mentioned about Einstein's brain. Flawed research doesn't need our attention.

Footnotes:

  1. The strange afterlife of Einstein's brain

Q:Why is Nokia building a 4G network for the moon? How will they set up the 4G network on the moon?

Krishna: Nokia ( of America) has been awarded US$14.1m (£10.8m) for the development of the first ever cellular network on the Moon. TheLTE/4G network will aim to facilitate long term lunar habitability, providing communications for key aspects such as lunar rovers and navigation. 

They are doing this because NASA plans to send astronauts and a “sustainable” human presence to the moon by 2028.
Nokia’s 4G network will allow astronauts to carry out a number of activities including making voice and video calls sending important data and deploying payloads. NASA plans to eventually launch 5G on the moon as well.  The system could support lunar surface communications at greater distances, increased speeds, and provide more reliability than current standards
 The solution has been specially designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the launch and lunar landing, and to operate in the extreme conditions of space.

How will they set up the 4G network?

According to the company (1)Nokia Bell Labs’ pioneering innovations will be used to build and deploy the first ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened, end-to-end LTE solution on the lunar surface in late 2022. Nokia is partnering with Intuitive Machines for this mission to integrate this groundbreaking network into their lunar lander and deliver it to the lunar surface. The network will self-configure upon deployment and establish the first LTE communications system on the Moon. 

Footnotes:

1. https://www.nokia.com/about-us/news/releases/2020/10/19/nokia-selec....

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