Science, Art, Litt, Science based Art & Science Communication
All about Science - to remove misconceptions and encourage scientific temper
Communicating science to the common people
'To make them see the world differently through the beautiful lense of science'
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WE LOVE SCIENCE HERE BECAUSE IT IS A MANY SPLENDOURED THING
THIS IS A WAR ZONE WHERE SCIENCE FIGHTS WITH NONSENSE AND WINS
“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
"Being a scientist is a state of mind, not a profession!"
"Science, when it's done right, can yield amazing things".
"Knowledge is a Superpower but the irony is you cannot get enough of it with ever increasing data base unless you try to keep up with it constantly and in the right way!" The best education comes from learning from people who know what they are exactly talking about.
Science is this glorious adventure into the unknown, the opportunity to discover things that nobody knew before. And that’s just an experience that’s not to be missed. But it’s also a motivated effort to try to help humankind. And maybe that’s just by increasing human knowledge—because that’s a way to make us a nobler species.
If you are scientifically literate the world looks very different to you.
We do science and science communication not because they are easy but because they are difficult!
“Science is not a subject you studied in school. It’s life. We 're brought into existence by it!"
There are about 1052 articles posted here in this group. Links to some important articles :
1. Interactive science series...
a. how-to-do-research-and-write-research-papers-part 13
b. Some Qs people asked me on science and my replies to them...
Part 6, part-10, part-11, part-12, part 14 , part- 8,
part- 1, part-2, part-4, part-5, part-16, part-17, part-18 , part-19 , part-20
part-21 , part-22, part-23, part-24, part-25, part-26, part-27 , part-28
part-29, part-30, part-31, part-32, part-33, part-34, part-35, part-36, part-37,
part-38, part-40, part-41, part-42, part-43, part-44, part-45, part-46, part-47
Part 48, part49, Critical thinking -part 50 , part -51, part-52, part-53
part-54, part-55, part-57, part-58, part-59, part-60, part-61, part-62, part-63
part 64, part-65, part-66, part-67, part-68, part 69, part-70 part-71, part-73 ...
BP variations during pregnancy part-72
who is responsible for the gender of their children - a man or a woman -part-56
c. some-questions-people-asked-me-on-science-based-on-my-art-and-poems -part-7
e. debate-between-scientists-and-people-who-practice-and-propagate-pseudo-science - part -9
f. why astrology is pseudo-science part 15
g. How Science is demolishing patriarchal ideas - part-39
2. in-defence-of-mangalyaan-why-even-developing-countries-like-india need space research programmes
3. Science communication series:
a. science-communication - part 1
b. how-scienitsts-should-communicate-with-laymen - part 2
c. main-challenges-of-science-communication-and-how-to-overcome-them - part 3
d. the-importance-of-science-communication-through-art- part 4
e. why-science-communication-is-geting worse - part 5
f. why-science-journalism-is-not-taken-seriously-in-this-part-of-the-world - part 6
g. blogs-the-best-bet-to-communicate-science-by-scientists- part 7
h. why-it-is-difficult-for-scientists-to-debate-controversial-issues - part 8
i. science-writers-and-communicators-where-are-you - part 9
j. shooting-the-messengers-for-a-different-reason-for-conveying-the- part 10
k. why-is-science-journalism-different-from-other-forms-of-journalism - part 11
l. golden-rules-of-science-communication- Part 12
m. science-writers-should-develop-a-broader-view-to-put-things-in-th - part 13
n. an-informed-patient-is-the-most-cooperative-one -part 14
o. the-risks-scientists-will-have-to-face-while-communicating-science - part 15
p. the-most-difficult-part-of-science-communication - part 16
q. clarity-on-who-you-are-writing-for-is-important-before-sitting-to write a science story - part 17
r. science-communicators-get-thick-skinned-to-communicate-science-without-any-bias - part 18
u. art-and-literature-as-effective-aids-in-science-communication-and teaching
v.* some-qs-people-asked-me-on-science communication-and-my-replies-to-them
y. sci-com: why-keep-a-dog-and-bark-yourself
z. How to deal with sci com dilemmas?
4. Health related topics:
p. do-you-think-the-medicines-you-are-taking-are-perfectly-alright-then revisit your position!
r. dump-this-useless-information-into-a-garbage-bin-if-you-really-care about evidence based medicine
u. allergic- agony-caused-by-caterpillars-and-moths
26. are-these-inventions-and-discoveries-really-accidental-and-intuitive like the journalists say?
32. Science and trust series:
You will find the entire list of discussions here: http://kkartlab.in/group/some-science/forum
( Please go through the comments section below to find reports/research results relating to science reported on a daily basis and watch videos based on science)
Please contact us if you want us to add any information or scientific explanation on any topic that interests you. We will try our level best to give you the right information.
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Hallucinations are often depicted in the movies as terrifying experiences. Think Jake Gyllenhaal seeing a monstrous rabbit in Donnie Darko,…Continue
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Turmeric has been used by humans for more than 4,000 years. As well as cooking and cosmetics, it’s been a staple of the traditional medicine practice of Ayurveda, used to treat a variety of…Continue
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Q: If humans are energies, where do they go or what do they convert to after cremation, because it is said that energy can neither be created nor destroyed?Krishna: There are …Continue
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Q:Do you really agree that we use our brain only 10 to 12%? Why do we use only 12 or 10% and not more?Krishna: NO! Science doesn’t agree with this statement or myth because we have evidence to the…Continue
The analysis showed that endotoxins reduced the body's ability to turn white fat cells into brown-like fat cells and reduce the amount of stored fat.
This browning process is crucial in maintaining a healthy weight, and if scientists can figure out more about how it works and how to control it, then it opens up more potential treatments and therapies for obesity.
"Endotoxin from the gut reduces fat cell metabolic activity and its ability to become brown-like fat cells that can be useful to help lose weight.
We know that the guts of obese people are less resilient than normal, so endotoxins have more of a chance to escape. What this study also shows is that those leaking substances are then making it even harder for fat cells to function normally.
The study authors also point out that bariatric surgery reduces the levels of endotoxins in the blood, which adds to its value as a weight control method. It should mean that fat cells are more able to function normally.
All kinds of factors play into how our weight is controlled on a biological level, and now there's another significant one to consider. With obesity and its associated health problems becoming more of a problem worldwide, we need all the insight we can get.
As such, this work suggests the need to limit endotoxin-induced fat cell damage is even more important when you have excess weight, as the endotoxin contributes to reduce healthy cellular metabolism.
Toxic substances leaking out from the gut can interfere with the functioning of fat cells and drive obesity, according to a recent study by a team of international researchers. The results could inform how we treat excessive and dangerous weight gain in the future.
The substances, called endotoxins, are fragments of bacteria in our guts. While they're a normal part of the digestive tract's ecosystem, the microbial debris can cause significant damage to the body should they find their way into the bloodstream.
Here, the researchers wanted to look specifically at the impact of endotoxins on fat cells (adipocytes) in people. They discovered that key processes that usually help control the buildup of fat are affected by the material.
"Gut microbe fragments that enter the bloodstream reduce normal fat cell function and their metabolic activity, which is exacerbated with weight gain, contributing to increased diabetes risk.
It appears that as we gain weight, our fat stores are less able to limit the damage that gut microbe fragments may cause to fat cells.
The study involved 156 participants, 63 of whom were classed as obese, and 26 of whom had undergone bariatric surgery for obesity – a procedure where the size of the stomach is reduced to limit food intake.
Samples from these participants were processed in the lab as the team looked at two different types of fat cell, described as white and brown.
White fat cells, which make up most of our fat storage tissues, stores lipids in larger volumes. Brown fat cells take stores of fat and break them down using their numerous mitochondria, such as when the body is cold and needs warmth. Under the right conditions, the body can convert the lipid-storing white fat cells that behave like lipid-burning brown fat cells.
In many cases, there is good reason to be wary of black box machine-learning algorithms and models. Suppose a machine-learning model has made a diagnosis about your health. Would you want the model to be black box or glass box? What about the physician prescribing your course of treatment? Perhaps she would like to know how the model arrived at its decision.
What if a machine-learning model that determines whether you qualify for a business loan from a bank turns you down? Wouldn't you like to know why? If you did, you could more effectively appeal the decision, or change your situation to increase your chances of getting a loan the next time.
Black boxes also have important implications for software system security. For years, many people in the computing field thought that keeping software in a black box would prevent hackers from examining it and therefore it would be secure. This assumption has largely been proved wrong because hackers can reverse-engineer software—that is, build a facsimile by closely observing how a piece of software works—and discover vulnerabilities to exploit.
If software is in a glass box, then software testers and well-intentioned hackers can examine it and inform the creators of weaknesses, thereby minimizing cyberattacks.
For some people, the term "black box" brings to mind the recording devices in airplanes that are valuable for postmortem analyzes if the unthinkable happens. For others it evokes small, minimally outfitted theaters. But black box is also an important term in the world of artificial intelligence.
AI black boxes refer to AI systems with internal workings that are invisible to the user. You can feed them input and get output, but you cannot examine the system's code or the logic that produced the output.
Machine learning is the dominant subset of artificial intelligence. It underlies generative AI systems like ChatGPT and DALL-E 2. There are three components to machine learning: an algorithm or a set of algorithms, training data and a model.
An algorithm is a set of procedures. In machine learning, an algorithm learns to identify patterns after being trained on a large set of examples—the training data. Once a machine-learning algorithm has been trained, the result is a machine-learning model. The model is what people use.
For example, a machine-learning algorithm could be designed to identify patterns in images, and training data could be images of dogs. The resulting machine-learning model would be a dog spotter. You would feed it an image as input and get as output whether and where in the image a set of pixels represents a dog.
Any of the three components of a machine-learning system can be hidden, or in a black box. As is often the case, the algorithm is publicly known, which makes putting it in a black box less effective. So to protect their intellectual property, AI developers often put the model in a black box. Another approach software developers take is to obscure the data used to train the model—in other words, put the training data in a black box.
That's because researchers don't fully understand how machine-learning algorithms, particularly deep-learning algorithms, operate. The field of explainable AI is working to develop algorithms that, while not necessarily glass box, can be better understood by humans.
For the first time, researchers have managed to use GPT1, precursor to the AI chatbot ChatGPT, to translate MRI imagery into text in an effort to understand what someone is thinking.
For the first time, researchers have shown that reduced oxygen intake, or "oxygen restriction," is associated with longer lifespan in lab mice, highlighting its anti-aging potential.
Research efforts to extend healthy lifespan have identified a number of chemical compounds and other interventions that show promising effects in mammalian lab animals— for instance, the drug metformin or dietary restriction. Oxygen restriction has also been linked to longer lifespan in yeast, nematodes, and fruit flies. However, its effects in mammals have been unknown.
To explore the anti-aging potential of oxygen restriction in mammals, researchers conducted lab experiments with mice bred to age more quickly than other mice while showing classic signs of mammalian aging throughout their bodies. The researchers compared the lifespans of mice living at normal atmospheric oxygen levels (about 21%) to the lifespans of mice that, at 4 weeks of age, had been moved to a living environment with a lower proportion of oxygen (11%—similar to that experienced at an altitude of 5000 meters).
They found that the mice in the oxygen-restricted environment lived about 50% longer than the mice in normal oxygen levels, with a median lifespan of 23.6 weeks compared to 15.7 weeks. The oxygen-restricted mice also had delayed onset of aging-associated neurological deficits.
Prior research has shown that dietary restriction extends the lifespan of the same kind of fast-aging mice used in this new study. Therefore, the researchers wondered if oxygen restriction extended their lifespan simply by causing the mice to eat more. However, they found that oxygen restriction did not affect food intake, suggesting other mechanisms were at play.
These findings support the anti-aging potential of oxygen restriction in mammals, perhaps including humans. However, extensive additional research will be needed to clarify its potential benefits in humans and illuminate the molecular mechanisms by which it operates.
Rogers RS, Wang H, Durham TJ, Stefely JA, Owiti NA, Markhard AL, et al. Hypoxia extends lifespan and neurological function in a mouse model of aging, PLoS Biology (2023). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3002117
Lab-grown meat, which is cultured from animal cells, is often thought to be more environmentally friendly than beef because it's predicted to need less land, water and greenhouse gases than raising cattle. But in a preprint, not yet peer-reviewed, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found that lab-grown or "cultivated" meat's environmental impact is likely to be "orders of magnitude" higher than retail beef based on current and near-term production methods.
Researchers conducted a life-cycle assessment of the energy needed and greenhouse gases emitted in all stages of production and compared that with beef. One of the current challenges with lab-grown meat is the use of highly refined or purified growth media, the ingredients needed to help animal cells multiply. Currently, this method is similar to the biotechnology used to make pharmaceuticals. This sets up a critical question for cultured meat production: Is it a pharmaceutical product or a food product?
"If companies are having to purify growth media to pharmaceutical levels, it uses more resources, which then increases global warming potential.
The scientists defined the global warming potential as the carbon dioxide equivalents emitted for each kilogram of meat produced. The study found that the global warming potential of lab-based meat using these purified media is four to 25 times greater than the average for retail beef.
Derrick Risner et al, Environmental impacts of cultured meat: A cradle-to-gate life cycle assessment, bioRxiv (2023). DOI: 10.1101/2023.04.21.537778
Is it possible to extend lifespan by simply slowing the aging of an organ, such as the intestine? Researchers have discovered how to extend the life expectancy of zebrafish by reactivating a gene within intestinal cells. The results were published in the journal Nature Aging on May 4, 2023.
The intestine plays a crucial role in an anti-aging approach as well as general health. Over a century ago, Elie Metchnikov observed that aging ensued from increased inflammation of the intestine and microbial infiltration within blood circulation. The more we age, the less the digestive tract serves as a barrier, allowing the undesirable particles and bacteria that cause the more rapid aging of the organism to pass through.
In a new study researchers have analysed the impact on aging of telomere length in the intestinal cells of zebrafish. As with humans, these chromosome extremities shrink faster in the intestine than in other organs during the course of a life, which is why this process plays such an important role in aging.
Scientists inserted a DNA fragment within zebrafish that enabled intestinal cells to produce the enzyme responsible for lengthening telomeres, telomerase. They then observed the slowing not only of the organ's decline, but also and especially that of the entire organism. This phenomenon regenerates the fertility and general health of individuals during the normal aging process, and increases lifespan with no associated risk of developing cnacer.
The proximity between telomere length among zebrafish and humans opens prospects for counteracting aging. Researchers are simultaneously studying the pathologies associated with shrinking telomere length, including cancer as well as neurodegenerative, immune, and gastrointestinal diseases.
More information: Mounir El Maï et al, Gut-specific telomerase expression counteracts systemic aging in telomerase-deficient zebrafish, Nature Aging (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s43587-023-00401-5
Amputees feel warmth in their missing hand
Amputees can now feel warmth in their phantom hand thanks to a new device.
Scientists have developed MiniTouch, which consists of a small sensor placed on an amputee’s prosthetic finger and electrodes that mimic sensations on the residual arm.
Electrodes on the amputated arm relay the temperature of the object being touched by the finger sensor, giving “the illusion that we are cooling down, or warming up, missing fingers”.
Scientists believe the findings could allow amputees to have temperature-sensing technology built into their prosthetic limbs, without the need for invasive technology.
If you place something hot or cold on the forearm of an intact individual, that person will feel the object's temperature locally, directly on their forearm. But in amputees, that temperature sensation on the residual arm may be felt in the phantom, missing hand.
Researchers have been keen on incorporating new sensory feedback into prosthetic limbs for providing more realistic touch to amputees.
By providing temperature feedback non-invasively, via thermal electrodes (aka thermodes) placed against the skin on the residual arm, amputees report feeling temperature in their phantom limb. They can feel if an object is hot or cold, and can tell if they are touching copper, plastic or glass. The technology was successfully tested in 17 out of 27 patients. The results are published in Science.
Of particular importance is that phantom thermal sensations are perceived by the patient as similar to the thermal sensations experienced by their intact hand.
The projection of temperature sensations into the phantom limb has led to the development of new bionic technology, one that equips prosthetics with non-invasive temperature feedback that allows amputees to discern what they're touching.
Humidity is as important as scent in attracting pollinators to a plant, new research finds, advancing basic biology and opening new avenues to support agriculture.
In a study published in Current Biology, a team of researchers found that the weevil responsible for pollinating the plant Zamia furfuracea was just as sensitive to humidity as to scent.
The world of plant-insect interactions was drastically changed by the work that was done on visual and scent cues. And now we're just starting to realize how many other factors are playing a role in plant reproduction and impacting insect decision making, pollination and success.
Another groundbreaking study published in 2022 in Nature Communications found humidity was acting as a signal to encourage hawkmoths to pollinate the sacred datura flower (Datura wrightii). Taken together, the studies demonstrate that two very distantly related plants actively use humidity to encourage pollination.
Prior to this research, humidity was seen as just an outcome of evaporation of nectar, a side note. What researchers now have found is that this is an active process of the flower, coming through specialized cells, and these organisms may even have evolved to privilege this humidity release, because it attracts pollinators.
Until now, the study of pollination and plant-insect interactions has focused on visual and scent markers—senses that humans can also interpret. Insects, however, are far more adept than humans at sensing changes in humidity, carbon dioxide and temperature.
Especially as climate change directly impacts exactly those things, it's crucial that we understand how insects utilize all of that information in their interactions with plants. While humans need relatively large changes in humidity before we can sense a difference, insects can sense minuscule changes.
Shayla Salzman et al, Cone humidity is a strong attractant in an obligate cycad pollination system, Current Biology (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2023.03.021
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