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Showing posts from February, 2013

Blogger traces meteroid steps, Scientists use blog as a starting point for their research

Further to our post about the significance of the Russian meteroid, we found something today that had to be shared right away.
Just a day after the impact of the asteroid, Stefan Gees, an expert on digital maps and geospatial imagery, reconstructed the path of the meteor using some very simple school level mathematics, a selection of videos available on YouTube and his area of interest, Google Earth.How Mr. Gees reconstructed the path of the meteor is thoroughly explained in this blog post and totally worth reading.
What we found out today was that scientists Jorge I. Zuluaga & Ignacio Ferrin used this very blog post as a starting point for their further work to reconstruct the path of the meteroid before it hit the Earth. While these scientists had advanced software developed by the U.S. Navy Observatory that allowed them to factor in gravitational forces of 8 planets of our solar system as well as the Earth, they definitely needed a starting point for their work, which Gees'…

No Mate? No Worries!

Early life on Earth consisted of single-celled organisms that reproduced by dividing into half or what is formally known as asexual reproduction. As life evolved and more complex and multi-cellular organisms were created, two sexes became distinguished- the male and the female, which were both required in the process of sexual reproduction. It is believed that nature promotes sexual reproduction since it provides an opportunity of recombination of genetic material in a given population.
There is evidence for sexual production in plants as well and distinct male and female plants do exist. Usually a female produces an egg which is then fertilized by a male gamete to give rise to an embryo, which grows into an adult organism. So, when we were busy considering ‘Dioecy’ (species have distinct male and female organisms) as one proof of our evolution, scientists have found that certain females can reproduce without the need of a male. Offspring produced in such a manner are often females a…

Meteor in Russia, why should I care?

The meteor that slammed near the Ural mountains in Russia on Friday, 15th February, sent waves that not only broke some glass windows in the neighboring area but also shook news agencies that flashed amateur footage for the next day or two. Here's a an amateur footage if you missed it.

While astronomers and star gazers were busy waiting  for 2012 DA14 's, a near-Earth Asteroid, fly-by our planet, the 'Russian meteor'  as it is called now, moved in swiftly into our atmosphere and made its presence felt , before hitting a frozen lake in the Chelabinysk area. So, what difference does it make to our lives, if a two-meter wide rock falls from the sky?
Broadly speaking, the Russian meteor incident raises three questions:
First,  of New Life!
According to theory of Panspermia, life originated elsewhere (in the solar system or outer space ) and came to the Earth via meteroids and developed here. Analyses and experiments have shown that bacteria can survive forces to the order …

Strange laws of attraction in birds!!!

Cell: “I’m not ruled by my genes”

One often comes across the phrase “It’s in my genes” in our day-to-day life. Less than a century after their discovery, the words 'DNA' and 'genes' are commonly used by all and are also a common topic of speculation in the academic as well as the non-academic world. Some scientists believe that "the living body/cell is just a mere vehicle produced and used by the genome to carry on information ahead in time generation after generation”.
Readers with a biology background are aware of the “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology”; for others let me just brief it. It proposes that DNA in genes produces RNA which in turn produces proteins that give a phenotype to  an individual. It also states that the transfer of information is unidirectional  (DNA to cell ) and not the other way round. This is considered to be the basis of molecular biology.
I would like to discuss a few implications of crediting DNA /genes with life in a cell.
Is Inheritance a property of just the DNA?
It i…

5 things you MUST know about Paracetamol

English: Panadol, used for reducing pain and fever. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Paracetamol or acetaminophen is most commonly used pain reliever used in the world. Right from our birth to our old age, paracetamol comes to our aid for relieving pain and reducing fever. The common usage of the drug is further promoted by the fact that it requires no prescription and can be brought at your nearest convenience store along with your groceries. So, before you put paracetamol on your next shopping list, here are a few things you must know. Paracetamol is commonly compared to drugs such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin which are called NSAIDs (Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). However, a study has shown that paracetamol has little anti-inflammatory activity and is weaker than ibuprofen in relieving fever. Unlike aspirin though, paracetamol is not anti-thrombotic i.e. it does not stop clotting of blood, which is probably the reason why it is favored over aspirin.
Paracetamol overdoses are the most c…

Optical Illusion - different shades of grey!

This is quite interesting! What do you think ??