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Showing posts from December, 2012

Animals that live on Sunlight!

We have long since known that plants and algae are capable of using sunlight to synthesize their own energy. They essentially create their own food, and that was, by far, the clear distinction that separated plants and animals. However, nature just blurred that distinction further! Scientists have found that there are some pretty incredible animals that have been doing what we thought was a skill exclusively gifted to plants - photosynthesis.
These unique animals dubbed, ‘photobionts’ are capable of surviving only with light and air. One such animal is the solar powered, sacoglossan mollusc or the sea slug. Now one would imagine that this must be some sort of symbiotic relationship being maintained between a photosynthetic plant and the slug. On the contrary, the sea slug steals the photosynthetic apparatus from the plant/algae it engulfs. It doesn’t just stop at that, it also retains the photosynthetic genes from its meal! And like all animals, the sea slug is not selfish, it also thi…

How quickly can you spot a leader?

We all have our 'I-told-you-so' moments with our friends and most of predictions come true. But, how good are our predictions when it comes to guessing about strangers? How quickly can we gauge people and draw conclusions about them?
Less than two minutes is all it takes for us to pass judgments about people and identify them from a crowd. A study conducted by University of British Columbia, revealed that it takes lesser than 120 seconds for people to recognize a leader from a bunch of strangers. So, on what basis do we identify these individuals from the rest? Well, according to the study, there are only two factors that we take into consideration. One, the skills of the person and second, his/her dominance. So, we are likely to see an aggressive person as our leader.
Very likely, your next question is How did they find this? 
An initial group of 200 participants was first asked carry our certain activities in groups. After the activity, the participants were asked to rate the d…

The amazing underwater!

This is a must watch! Truly breathtaking....



Earth from the ISS

The International Space Station (ISS) is one of the most collaborative of human projects ever undertaken. It involves spaces agencies of five nations and serves astronauts from 15 different countries.

Here is just a glimpse of our own planet from the ISS.  We know you will like it, but don't forget to share it with others!


Bread that won't go bad!

Mold on bread (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Imagine a future where the packet of bread that you bought yesterday stays mould-free for months to come!
Rhizopus stolonifer, the most common form of fungus known to man, is the cause of moulds that grow on packed bread. The fungus is so common that all you need to grow it on a slice of bread is some moisture from the air.  So, how do you save the opened packet of bread from the an attack of this proliferative fungus. A common method, followed in most households is storing bread in the refrigerator.

While this might slow down fungal growth for the bread you bought, shelf life of packed bread is quite short (usually 5 days). As much as 25% of all bread produced is discarded after 5 days leading to a large amount of food wastage globally. Bakeries tend to add more preservatives such as sodium benzoate, calcium proprionate, potassium sorbate etc. to increase shelf life.  Increasing these concentrations not only affects flavour and texture of bread,…