Science Facts of March - 2016

31

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Athletes, the elderly and others who suffer from injuries and arthritis can lose cartilage and experience a lot of pain. Here’s good news for them! Researchers have found a way to produce cartilage using a 3-D bioprinter. These use a bio-ink (which contains the patients’ cells) as the material.


30

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Did you know that gravity is essential for most birds to swallow food? They have to lift their beak upwards so that the food falls to their esophagus. Also, the tongue and jaws help to guide the food. But most of the credit goes to gravity for doing what it does best ; making things fall(In this case food).So, birds should not swallow upside down(food would come out of their beaks) or be sent on space missions(gravity shortage)!


29

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Did you know that an aeroplane can’t stop in mid air, unlike a helicopter? The reason is simpler than you think. The rotor blades in helicopters and the wings of aeroplanes have the same special shape. When air is blown over the wings/blades, an upward force is applied on the aircraft (Bernoulli’s law). In the helicopter, the flow of air is produced by the rotating blades – rather than by moving the whole aircraft(like a plane). When the upward force is equal to the helicopter’s weight, it can “park” in the sky. But a plane can’t stop moving, because the lift is caused by moving the whole aircraft.


28

Monday

Today’s Science Message

Scientists have been able to unboil a boiled egg white! They have renatured some egg white proteins which had been denatured when boiled. They have used urea (to turn the cooked white back into a liquid) and a “vortex fluid device” (for pulling apart tangled proteins and allowing them to refold). But why did they bother this much? They could have simply taken a new egg. The reason is, this would reduce the cost in manufacturing cancer medicine because the proteins which are denatured accidently could be renatured.


24

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Did you know that woodpeckers carry wood-eating fungi on their beaks? Because the fungi digest wood, woodpeckers can easily dig tree holes (their houses). Also, fungi gets food. So, benefits are guaranteed for both parties.


23

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

The extreme temperature in these days is driving us crazy! Here are the causes who should take the blame. A climate cycle in the Pacific Ocean called El-Nino is impacting global weather (Actually, human actions have intensified El-Nino effect). This has caused the below average rainfall. Besides, the lack of strong winds from the south-west is making coastal areas more humid. That makes it hard to release body heat by sweating. Also, the sun is directly over the equator in March. Worse news coming up because the sun comes directly over Sri Lanka early next month, heating us even more.


21

Monday

Answer for the Question of the Week

The inward side of the spoon acts as a concave mirror. As the curvature of a spoon is high its focal point is short. So, almost always we are outside the focal point of the spoon. Objects outside the focal point of a concave mirror form upside down images. Also, the left and right sides are flipped in these images (laterally inverted). The outward side of the spoon acts as a convex mirror. So, it always makes upright images. These images are not laterally inverted. But, remember, spoons were made to prepare food not as a mirror to look at your face.


18

Friday

Question of the Week

Take a closer look at a spoon in your kitchen (metal spoon). If you look at the spoon’s concave surface you’ll see your reflection upside down. You’ll see yourself upright, if you look at its convex surface. Why do we see like this?


17

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

As meat & fish are high in protein, those are favorite place of pathogenic bacteria and fungi (full of nutrients for their growth). The cutting board, knife, spoons which are used when preparing food such as meat, should not be used again without washing thoroughly to prepare other food or to serve cooked food. It would contaminate the (almost) germ-free food and make us sick.


16

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

We all dream of a plastic rubbish free world and now we are one step closer! Researchers have discovered a bacteria (which they have named as Ideonella sakaiensis) which munches polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a widely used plastic. These “eco-friendly heroes” use two enzymes to degrade PET.


15

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

You would have noticed that to water the furthest plants in your garden, covering a bit of the hose’s open edge (from your finger) is effective. The rate of the water input is constant from the tap and the same rate should be followed by the open edge of the hose. As the rate of flow is given by, the area of the hose’s open edge multiplied by the velocity of water, when we make the area of the hose’s open edge smaller the water gains a higher velocity.  So, water will reach faraway lands!


14

Monday

Answer for the Question of the Week

Betacyanin (present in cell vacuole) pigment which makes beetroot purple is water soluble but beta-carotene(present in chromoplasts,chloroplasts) pigment which makes carrots orange is insoluble in water. As water is polar(have both charges, slightly, in opposite ends) the pigment should also be polar or charged, to get dissolved. Betacyanin is polar so it becomes qualified to mix with water but as beta-carotene is non-polar it doesn’t get a chance.


11

Friday

Question of the Week

10

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Have you seen that the background behind a flame looks blurry? Don’t worry, nothing’s wrong with your eyesight. When the air around a flame gets hot, its density lowers and rises up, allowing the cool and denser air flow towards the flame. So, the density of the air around a flame keeps changing. Light coming from the background refracts (bends) when moving to air pockets with different densities. As air density changes continuously, so does the angle of refraction. So, the light coming from the background meets our eye at various angles. So, we “see” as if the background image is changing position.


9

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Have you noticed that an ice cube melts faster in water than in air? This is because the molecules in liquid water are more tightly packed than the molecules in air, allowing a higher heat transfer rate. Also, water has a higher specific heat capacity than air. Which means water has more heat “in store” to give to the cold ice. So, water warms ice at a higher rate.


8

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Bioluminescent bacteria (they can emit light by a biochemical reaction) have now been used to illuminate shop windows. The lights are made by filling cases with a gel with bioluminescent bacteria and the nutrients they need. Scientists are trying to make these eco-friendly lights light up the whole world!


4

Friday

Today’s Science Message

Have you ever skipped stones in a lake? Even scientists have started skipping rocks and it has inspired them with ideas to improve everything from aquatic toys to naval weapons. So, how do stones bounce? When the stone hits water, the water surface applies a force on the stone and moves it upwards. As the stone already has a horizontal velocity (because we throwed it forward) it will move in a curved path and hit the water surface again. The bouncing ends when its energy becomes insufficient.


3

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Did you know that carrots taste sweeter in winter? As an adaptation to survive the freezing weather, carrots convert some of their starch into sugar. When water molecules try to make new bonds to form ice, sugar molecules get in the way and disrupts ice formation (decreases the freezing point of water). So, as ice doesn’t form in carrot cells, carrots live on!


2

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Are you aware of Zika virus? The virus is mainly circulating in Africa but people fear that it could spread worldwide. It is transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes; the same mosquitoes which transmit dengue virus. There are also suspicions that the virus is transmitted through blood transfusion, sexual contact and from pregnant mothers to their babies. People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can include fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, headache. People rarely die of this, but the worry is that Zika virus may be the cause for baby births with abnormalities in brain size.


1

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Can you believe that there is a red waterfall in the frozen world of Antarctica? Why does it look red? It’s the iron-rich water. When it comes into contact with air, it rusts-depositing red stains on the ice (a hydrated iron oxide forms).But there’s another problem, how is liquid water possible in Antarctica? This water is extremely salty. So salt particles come in between water particles and disturbs the formation of ice. This lowers the freezing point of water.