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

Krishna: Cyclosporines are a member of the group of cyclic peptides and are composed of 11 amino acids. Cyclosporine A is the major component of the cyclosporines, which distinguishes from other cyclosporines by the type of amino acid at carbon number 2.

It is the only member of this group used clinically. It has antiinflammatory, immunosuppressive, antifungal and antiparasitic properties[3]. It is used extensively in the prevention and treatment of graft-versus-host reactions in bone marrow transplantation and for the prevention of rejection of kidney, heart and liver transplants (3).

Cyclosporine A is widely produced by submerged fermentation of aerobic fungi identified as Trichoderma polysporum[1] but currently identified as Tolypocladium inflatum[2].

Trichoderma is a genus of fungi in the family Hypocreaceae that is present in all soils, where they are the most prevalent culturable fungi. Many species in this genus can be characterized as opportunistic avirulent plant symbionts (4).


  1. http://Dreyfuss M, Harri E, Hofmann H, Kobel H, Pache W, Tscherter H. Cyclosporin A and C. New metabolites from Trichoderma polysporum. Eur J Appl Microbiol. 1976;3:125–33. [Google Scholar]
  2. http://Koble H, Traber R. Directed biosynthesis of cyclosporins. Eur J Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 1982;14:237–40. [Google Scholar]
  3. http://Riley MR, Hebel KE. Drug Facts and Comparisons. Vol. 52. St Louis: Wolters Kluwer; 2000. pp. 1553–8. [Google Scholar]
  4. Trichoderma - Wikipedia

Q; What is a rogue wave? How often do rogue waves occur?

Krishna: Rogue waves are driven by wind. They form when waves coming from multiple directions meet at one point by chance. It's the constructive interference of waves coming from multiple directions. They all pile up and form this extreme event.

They sometimes occur when waves move into strong opposing currents, such as in the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic and off the coast of South Africa, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. It can be a single wave, or a series of three or four.

It's often impossible to know if monster waves are an actual rogue wave.

A rogue wave is defined as 2.2 times higher than the waves around it. The waves are measured relative to "significant wave height," determined by averaging the highest one-third of waves.

If the significant wave height is 6 feet, a rogue wave would have to be 13.2 feet. Some freakishly high waves that cause maritime disasters may be enormous, but may only be 1.9 times as high as the surrounding seas. Unless you have measurements for an individual wave, you can't tell if it was some rogue wave.

They occur much more often than many realize.

According to some estimates waves up to twice as high as the surrounding wave heights occur about every 3,000 waves and that a rogue wave may occur every 15,000 waves.

The higher the relative wave heights increase, the more unreal the rogue waves become. A wave three times higher than the background, that's extremely rare.

Some research has suggested warming temperatures are contributing to higher waves and more extreme wave heights in some regions.

It's those monster waves that occur when the background waves are 30 to 40 feet high that concern the shipping industry.

Q: What's the difference between a rogue wave and a tsunami?

Krishna: A tsunami is a very long wave of seismic origin, generated by earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. In the open ocean tsunamis have small wave heights, but in shallow water closer to the coast wave height can increase to 30-60 feet.

Rogue waves are generated by wind and are shorter waves. Although they often occur in the open ocean, and during stormy conditions, they also occur in coastal waters.

Meteotsunamis are typically waves smaller than tsunamis caused by air pressure disturbances in fast moving storms.

Q: How many times does a human eyelid blink in a day?

Krishna: The nervous system enables a person to blink to prevent harmful substances, like smoke from getting in the eyes. During the normal course of a day, a person blinks an average of 15–20 times a minute to keep the eyes healthy.
Blinking keeps your eyeballs lubricated and clear of particles. Without this reflex that happens about every four seconds, you'd have to deal with very dry, painful eyes.
But if you don't blink, the lack of oxygen can lead to corneal swelling. In fact, your cornea even swells a little bit when you sleep, but goes back to normal soon after you wake up. Your eyes won't get the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Your eyes can dry out, because your tear film isn't being replenished.
You may notice your eyes feeling dry after staring at a screen for a long time. That's because tasks that require concentrating for long periods of time, like computer work or reading, can cause your blink rate to get slower without you even noticing.
Although you may not thinking of blinking as a major component of your health care routine, if you didn't blink for extended periods you'd be at higher risk of eye infection, would have uncomfortable, dry eyes, and would have decreased clarity of vision.

Okay, now this is the answer to your Q: On average, most people blink around 15 to 20 times each minute. That means, while you're awake, you probably blink: 900 – 1,200 times an hour. 14,400 – 19,200 times a day (1).


  1. How Many Times Do You Blink a Day — and Why?

Q: What is the brain of the human cell?

Krishna: Cells don’t have brains.

The brain is a group of specialized cells, such as neurons.

In an individual cell, there is no brain. But single cells must still "make some decisions". They must react to the changing environment around them, engage in growth and cell division, and many of processes. On the cellular scale, these processes are mostly mediated by feedback loops - that is, chains of chemical events that either reinforce that chain of events happening again, or that die off when a critical threshold is released.

Some living things are made of only one cell. How are they controlled then?

Protozoa (a group of single-celled eukaryotes) can have behaviours. They can go toward or away from light, go around obstacles, and go toward food. They don't have brains, but have simple systems that work like very basic brains. They can't think,"I'll go over there," but they can have chemical reactions that make them move toward the side of a place that has more light.

If you take a single-celled bacterium as another example, it has a protein on its surface that detects food, then it might set of a range of chemical reactions in the cell that cause the cell to move in the direction of the food. Once it reaches the food, that sensor protein won't sense food in that direction anymore, and will stop the chain of chemical reactions, so the cell will stop and can eat the food it found. That reaction is very simple, but as you add up the thousands of proteins and chains of signaling events within a cell, quite complex behaviour can start to appear. This is a phenomenon called "emergent behaviour".

Within each cell this complex set of interacting chains of simple chemical reactions controls cell behaviour.

Some animals like the sponges don't have nerve cells, but the different parts of the animal communicate with chemicals.

When we form multicellular creatures, like humans, the cells send signals between each other and some cells specialize in signaling, becoming nerve cells. This makes the map of chemical interactions incredibly more complex and intricate, and allows the formation of higher-order emergent behaviour, such as brain activity.

Eukaryotic cells of animals and plants have organization centers that function similarly to ‘brains’. Like the nucleus. The nucleus is the part of the cell that holds the entire DNA. DNA has a cell's information that allows it to make proteins that do the things that the cell does. These proteins are then organized and released in a cluster of membrane-bound vesicles called the Golgi apparatus. Individual other organelles within the cell can communicate directly, just as our muscles can communicate with our spinal cord and don't need direct input from the brain. So you can compare the nucleus to those parts of the brain where at least some memory is stored, and the Golgi apparatus is like those parts which coordinates muscle movement. “Primitive control centres” ? May be!

Q: In which part of the blood does hemoglobin reside?

Krishna: Red blood cells (RBCs, also called erythrocytes). Hemoglobin is the protein inside red blood cells. RBCs contain hemoglobin , a protein that carries oxygen. Red blood cells also remove carbon dioxide from your body, bringing it to the lungs for you to exhale.

RBC and Haemoglobin

Q: Tribe groups are claiming they have effective herbal cure for any snake bite and it is time proven, are these herbal anti venom has been scientifically proven?

Krishna: The number of studies evaluating the pharmacologically active principles in herbs against snake bites are very few. Though novel phytotherapeutic agents have been isolated from plants due to vital leads from ethnic groups, yet validation is still an issue. Emphasis should be on proper design of both in vivo and in vitro studies, so that they relate exactly to the clinical situations.

Some studies say the herbal extracts act on local effects like inflammation, edema-inducing property of venom, respiratory changes. Some have shown antihemorrhagic potential.

However, the words ‘showing potential’, ‘having the properties’ are not conclusions that they really work in actual situations. So I have my own reservations.

Anyway, not all snakes are venomous.

And there are dry bites too. A dry bite is one where the snake bites without injecting its venom into the body of its prey (humans). There will be blood and pain, but no venom. This is mostly given by adult venomous snakes which have control over their glands. They do it to create fear and bide their time to escape from the threat scene.

And if the amount of venom injected is small, these herbs might work ‘to some extent’.

The tribal claims mostly feed on these bites of non-venomous snakes, dry bites and low amount of venom injected during the bite.

So the results depend on the situation. But I don’t trust these ‘herbal cures’ much.

(More answers will be added in the coming days)

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