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Showing posts from March, 2014

Oh Mighty Chondria, who art thou?

Mitochondria are organelles surrounded by membranes, distributed in the cytosol of most eukaryotic cells. Its main function is the conversion of potential energy of pyruvate molecules into ATP. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The term 'mitochondria' is not alien to many. School level science introduced us to it, where we were told that these thread-granules (literal translation from Greek) were the power houses of the cell. They make energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), something that the cells can use and that was all we ever needed to know. But these organelles have their own history and their own secrets that are so grave, that they would even put a Dan Brown novel to shame. Well, let us begin with some history.
Background (we have been outsourcing since the begining of time!!- it seems)
Although, we are very comfortable with the concept of mitochondria supplying power to the cell, many are surprised, when they get to know that the mitochondria were not originally a…

Immortality! - The story of Hydra

Immortality - a phenomenon, we admire in characters of fictional books, - the impossible, crazy scientists hope to attain in their labs and the unfulfilled desire of all human kind. We could do a 100,000 things if we were immortal; take up more reading, switch to a better job or simply take more vacation time when needed. Yet the constraint of time pushes us to maximise what we have at hand, make most of resources available and fit in a myriad of things into our timelines to make our lives more 'meaningful'. But what if there was no time constraint. There was no pressure of perishing. There was always ample time to do what we wanted. Well, that's the life of Hydra, the microscopic fresh water creatures that lead an immortal life.

The Hydra are small fresh water animals that are just a few milllimetres long and have a radial symmetry. Although, we have known Hydra since the 18th century, a recent discovery has sparked tremendous interest in these organisms. The paper publis…

A raft like none other!

If you have always gloated about how intelligent humans are, how we have built, boats, houses, smartphones and computers for ourselves and how we have built communities to protect ourselves and to work together, well, you have never seen ants in action then!

If you still do not believe us on this, ask yourself this is,

Would you cross the Amazon with nothing but your large extended family or people in your neighbourhood. 
Well, ants do!

Here, this colony of ants migrate across the Amazon by making a raft out of themselves