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

                                                            Interactive science series

Q: A girl in distress called me yesterday and said, " Madam this is urgent! Please give an immediate reply. My brother swallowed two apple seeds accidentally just now. Will they poison him?"

'What is his weight?', I asked.

'About 35 kg', she replied.

Krishna: If he swallowed whole seeds, don't worry. They will pass through his digestive tract without doing any harm. If he chewed the seeds thoroughly, he will be exposed to the chemicals inside the seeds, but the dose of toxins in an apple is small enough when compared to his weight that his body can easily detoxify it.

If you chew apple seeds, they taste bitter and people usually will spit them out instantly. Your brother swallowed them. Therefore we can presume he didn't chew them at all or chewed them lightly. In that case the release of toxins would be in very small amounts.

Yes, apple seeds contain small amounts of cyanide which is a deadly toxin. They contain amygdalin,  a substance that releases cyanide when it comes into contact with human digestive enzymes, but acute toxicity is rare with accidental ingestion of seeds.  Apple seeds, as well as many other fruit seeds or pits, have a strong outer layer that is resistant to digestive juices.

But it is deadly at a dose of about 1-2 milligram per kilogram of body weight. An apple seed contains 0.49 mg of cyanogenic compounds. When two apple seeds are swallowed, even if they are chewed well, contain only 0.98  mg of toxin. You said your brother's weight would be at least 35 kg.  He needs to eat atleast a hundred apple seeds to receive a fatal dose! Therefore, there is no need to worry. But still if you notice anything unusual or still worried, please consult a doctor immediately.

 (1-2 mg/kg is a fatal oral dose of cyanide for an adult of 70 kg weight. He would need to finely chew and eat about 200 apple seeds, to receive a fatal dose.)

Q: Can fungal infections be cured with diet?

Krishna: This is what internet and fake knowledge do to people! Spread misconceptions. 

Although a well balanced diet helps in fighting infections, diet alone cannot cure stubborn fungal infections. Please consult a doctor and follow his instructions strictly to get cured of infections. 

Q: Is chronovisor possible?

Krishna: Chronovisor is a fictional time viewer that can display events occurring in another time, either the past or the future.

It is beyond present day technology on Earth to invent a time machine.  Maybe in the future someone fiddling with an advanced technology might try it and succeed. 

Q: Currently, what are the most evolving and promising fields in biology?  

Krishna: There are several. But the most promising ones are immunotherapy , CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing , molecular biology, stem cell research.

Scientists are currently gaining insights into these areas to cure several diseases and conditions and reduce human suffering. This is so exciting.

Q: Which pathogen can be considered most evolved?

Q: Which is the most infectious organism?

Krishna: The most evolved one can be considered the most infectious. What are the evolved characteristics of a pathogen?

The one that has multiple hosts, can jump hosts, can mutate easily and become highly resistant, hoodwink or attack the immune system of the host and make it useless.

The pathogen that is highly resistant to environmental stresses such as high temperature, osmotic pressure, and ultraviolet light and therefore can become ubiquitous. The one that has low inoculum potential.

It is the question of survival for pathogens, so several evolved in those directions and fit into the bill.

Q: Whys is science so exciting?

Krishna: If new knowledge isn't exciting, if  learning something that is useful isn't exciting, if helping someone isn't exciting, if making life easy and comfortable isn't exciting, if finding cures to diseases isn't exciting, if prolonging life isn't exciting, if finding new frontiers by erasing the old ones isn't exciting, what else is?

There is no field that can give you so much thrill if you are really into it. 

Q: My science teacher says male mosquitoes don't bite us. Is it true?

Krishna: Why did you doubt what your science teacher said?

Mosquitoes feed on nectar from plants not blood. Only female mosquitoes take blood, the protein and iron found in blood enables their eggs to develop.

Q: Are there different types of intelligence? How are they useful in science?

Q: Does intelligence mean knowing something more than the other person? 

Q: How can you tell a person is more intelligent than another person?

Krishna: The definition of intelligence is more than what you mentioned.

There are two specific types of intelligence: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence.

Fluid intelligence is defined as the ability to solve new problems, use logic in new situations, and identify patterns. When you go to a new place, how you negotiate different roads and streets to find an address denotes it. One way you can think of fluid intelligence is that you'll use it slightly differently each time you're in a new situation, so it's flexible and adaptive - like water in its fluid form.

Crystallized intelligence is defined as the ability to use learned knowledge and experience to solve problems , using logic and to find patterns. When you're learning a new language, you memorize the new vocabulary words and increase your vocabulary over time. You also learn the theory behind solving algebraic equations, or how to do division, or the general rules of grammar when using a sentence. Crystallized intelligence is like water as it turns into ice, or a solid form. Over time it gets more and more stable, like a crystal.

How they are useful in science and life? Well, you learn so many things in schools, collages and universities. You get knowledge. When you go into research, you have to solve a new problem or find something new. Either you use your gained knowledge (inventions) or you find new knowledge (discoveries).

Either way, you have to use your intelligence. When you do your critical thinking, you can solve problems in your lab. You can do that in real life too.

A distinction is sometimes made between an intelligent person and and an intellectual. Intellect is considered to be related to "facts" in contrast to intelligenceconcerning "feelings". Feelings can sometimes screw up your mind and that is why even intelligent people make mistakes. Intellect refers to the cognition and rational mental processes gained through external input rather than internal. Intellect refers to the ability of the mind to come to correct conclusions about what is true. Intellect is often considered to be a branch of intelligence reflecting mainly its logical and rational side. Because of the lack of emotional and sensitive engagement, intellect is sometimes considered to be strictly limited to facts and not going beyond mere raw knowledge. You have to defeat your conditioning of mind by religion, emotions, culture, politics etc. and strictly depend on facts and evidence to do critical thinking and come to a conclusion to become an intellectual. Intellectuals rarely make mistakes while thinking. So intellectualism is a better and higher form of mind matters.

An intellectual is more intelligent than an intelligent person!

Q: How much has the biocenterism ideas been accepted by the sciences and scientists?  

Q: If the universe was completely dead, or without life, would it actually exist?

Krishna: Einstein asked an interesting question. Does the moon exist only when I look at it? Doesn’t it exist if I don’t look at it?

Of course it does! But who knows about it’s existence? Only when human consciousness recognizes the moon, its existence will have a meaning!

Space, time and universe are constructions of our mind and it does that with the help of our senses. Even the blind can ‘feel’ the universe! So do animals and other living beings with the help of bio-chemistry and physics.

Quantum physics experiments have routinely shown that the results do depend on whether anyone is observing. This is perhaps most vividly illustrated by the famous two-slit experiment. When someone watches a subatomic particle or a bit of light pass through the slits, the particle behaves like a bullet, passing through one hole or the other. But if no one observes the particle, it exhibits the behaviour of a wave that can inhabit all possibilities—including somehow passing through both holes at the same time.

Quantum theory tells us that an unobserved small object (for instance, an electron or a photon—a particle of light) exists only in a blurry, unpredictable state, with no well-defined location or motion until the moment it is observed. This is Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Physicists describe the phantom, not-yet-manifest condition as a wave function, a mathematical expression used to find the probability that a particle will appear in any given place. When a property of an electron suddenly switches from possibility to reality, some physicists say its wave function has collapsed.

What accomplishes this collapse? Messing with it. Hitting it with a bit of light in order to take its picture. Just looking at it does the job. Experiments suggest that mere knowledge in the experimenter’s mind is sufficient to collapse a wave function and convert possibility to reality.

From this point of view it was argued that life—particularly consciousness—creates the universe, and the universe could not exist without us.

So life is important in recognizing the existence of universe. Imagine there is no life at all in the entire universe. Then what happens? Will there be universe still?

It might be there, but it becomes so irrelevant, that it is as good as a non-existent one.

Yes, life is important to the recognition of our universe. Life is center of its relevance and therefore bio-centrism makes sense in that context.

Q: What causes jaundice?

Krishna: Jaundice can occur because of several reasons. Hepatitis is caused by Viral infection. The most common causes of viral hepatitis are the five unrelated hepatotropic viruses hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E. In addition to the nominal hepatitis viruses, other viruses that can also cause liver inflammation include cytomegalovirus, Epstein–Barr virus.

Too mush alcohol can also cause hepatitis and cirrhosis.

Blocked bile ducts (because of gallstones, cancer and sometimes pancreatic cancer or other rare liver diseases) can lead to jaundice.

Certain medicines that have steroids, birth control components can also cause jaundice.

Jaundice happens when there’s too much bilirubin, a yellow-orange substance, in your blood. It’s found in your red blood cells. When those cells die, the liver filters it from the bloodstream. But if something’s wrong and your liver can’t keep up, bilirubin builds up and can cause your skin to look yellow which we call jaundice.

New born babies have physiologic jaundice. It occurs because their organs aren't yet able to get rid of excess bilirubin very well. This type of jaundice usually appears about 24 hours after birth. It gets worse until the third or fourth day, and then it goes away in about a week.

In rare cases, jaundice may be caused by other things, such as an infection, a problem with the baby's digestive system or a problem with the mom's and baby's blood types (Rh incompatibility). Your baby may have one of these problems if jaundice appears less than a day after birth.

Q: Albert Einstein said imagination is more important than knowledge. Do you think this is true?  

Krishna: I have a funny story to tell on this aspect…

This is the quote used by artists very frequently to tell the importance of art and the way it is created.

However, what they fail to realize is Einstein must have thought about 'his knowledge based or information loaded imagination as a scientist' when he said those words but people are interpreting it in several intriguing ways!

Imagination without knowledge is like having only wings and no feet! What will your work stand on then? Absurdity!

This is my experience with one artist who believed in the quote to the core and did some stupid experiment and I was asked to review it!

Shocking and funny 'science-art'

Q: Has science explained all miracles?

Krishna: No! What people call miracles are just unexplained occurrences. Why do some things remain unexplained?

When your observations about a happening are not up to the mark. When you don't understand all the natural laws for various reasons to explain a thing under its realm.  

Like I have said earlier, science is still in an infant stage. It has to grow a lot to explain  several natural things. It takes time. Therefore miracles remain miracles only till science gets a grip over them. Once science takes charge, all the miracles melt away !

Q: What is your opinion on 'godmen' explaining things from a scientific point of view?

Krishna: There is evidence based on a scientists' years of toil, thorough analysis and testing and there is rubbish based on wild imaginations and perceptions.

Science can have tremendous impact on the lives of living beings. If science information is given wrongly or misleadingly, it can cause more harm than good. Therefore, it is very important that one gets one's fact right.

Non-experts cannot be given equal status with scientists. Someone who objects to scientific facts on non-scientific grounds or try to explain things from a pseudo-scientific point of view simply cannot form part of the debate. There is the data and what it means. And there are facts whether anybody agrees with them or not. You got to consider only them. Period.

Q: Do you get lots of traffic to your site? Do you get income from it? Do people quote you frequently?

Krishna: We are not into business. Our position is that we are not in the business of selling magazines and that we publish articles because we think they contain science that is both rigorous and outstanding, not because we think they will attract lots of citations. We are interested in educating people for free. We want people to get benefited by our work.

Yes, we get moderate traffic even though we never advertised. I spend a lot from my own purse to educate people. I never expect any returns for it. Yes,I got some sponsors who are helping me a bit. People love this site for its content, free education, and the light it throws in their lives and the path it shows.  

Spreading knowledge is my motivation. I am succeeding in doing that. And yes, knowledge helps people. People are recognizing that now.

Q: What are some important best practices when working in a microbiology lab?

Krishna: Strictly following bio-safety standards. View full details here: What are Biosafety Labs?

Views: 423

Replies to This Discussion


Dear Dr. Krishna Kumari Ma'am,

I have been recently pounded by few friends on concept of "Water has memory". They cite Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier's research to substantiate this concept. 

This video -

How do we prove that this is pseudoscience?

Warm regards





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