If you look close enough you will see that nature is filled with solutions to our problems! Once a gardener had been very cross about the high cost and risks of fracture of the ceramic flower pots. Then he had observed that the linked sclerenchyma (plant tissue which provide stiffness) structure of a decomposed leaf gives solidity to the leaf mass. This structure inspired him to produce inexpensive, less brittle flower pots.
Water is well known for being a good solvent but, when it comes to cement, water hardens it instead of dissolving it. This is beneficial, as we want the concrete hard, not soft. Here, water reacts with major compounds in cement and produces water insoluble hydrates (mainly, calcium silicate hydrate). This reaction is called hydration. The hydrates fill the pores in concrete and bind the mixture together.
Believe it or not, the gender of some reptile species are determined by temperature! The temperature during a critical period of embryonic development determines its gender. In a study using lizards, it was discovered that during low temperatures, testosterone (gives male characteristics) is converted into oestradiol(gives female characteristics) by aromatase enzyme. So, in lizards, low temperatures give birth to females and high temperatures produce males!
Each object has a frequency at which strong vibrations occur naturally. This effect which is known as resonance, amplifies that frequency. One task of the voilin’s sound box is to resonate. The air column inside the sound box and the body of the sound box have different resonating frequencies. This enhances the sound of some frequency ranges. Another task is providing a big surface area for the sound to spread efficiently to the surrounding air.
Violin is a very expressive musical instrument which is loved for its very romantic tone. Do you know why it has a sound box?
A dog bite (any mammal bite) should be treated quickly because you could be infected with the deadly rabies disease. Washing the wound with soap and running water is the best first aid. Soap harms the “projections” situated on the outer surface of the rabies virus. Without these “projections” the rabies virus is unable to infect you properly.
Some fat is added to make chocolate pour more easily but, now there’s a fatless method using electric fields. The discovery ties into a field of research called electrorheology (study of how fluids can be manipulated by electricity). It is done by applying an electric field in the same direction as the flow of the liquid chocolate. This reduces chocolate’s viscosity(thickness) in that direction making it pour easily. The method removes 20% of fat out of chocolate making it less unhealthy!
Do you remember that we previously told you that butterfly wings have inspired ‘Mirasol’ displays? Looks like butterfly wings’ll keep inspiring scientists. Butterfly wings have nano structures that reflect light at different angles, causing light waves to interfere with one another. The structure has been imitated to create faster and stronger light-driven computer parts (Light driven computers use light to transfer data rather than electricity). As the new material controls the way that light interacts with it, light-based information could be transferred at the speed of light around a computer chip.
Seawater is not qualified as drinking water for mammals because of its high salt concentration.So, sea mammals don’t drink water frequently. Then how do they get water? One way is through oxidation of lipids and carbohydrates in the body which produce water. Also, as most limit their diet to low salt concentrated food – such as fish (fish are 60% – 80% water) – their water requirement becomes less. Another adaptation is their kidneys. These have longer loops of Henle (the part which reabsorbs water).This avoids precious water from escaping the body.
We can’t live by drinking sea water, but sea mammals live without having access to freshwater! How do they do it?
One parameter of drinking water is its pH value.(pH is a measurement of a solution’s acidity/basicity.Solutions with pH lower than 7 are acidic and solutions with pH higher than 7 are basic.)Normally drinking water should have a pH of 6.5 – 8.5. As toxic heavy metals dissolve in acids, water with a low pH might contain them. Also water with marginal pH values might cause skin,eye and gastric problems.
What should we do with garbage? Get rid of it as quickly as possible, of course! But, don’t be in a hurry to get rid of a type of biological garbage – CO2 . Here is what it does. CO2 gives blood a low pH by forming carbonic acid. In low pH (acidic) conditions, heamoglobin can easily release oxygen to cells. So, our cells get a good O2 supply. More over, CO2 makes blood circulation efficient by dilating (widening) blood vessels.
Camels are the “ships of the desert” because of their clever adaptations. To keep it from overheating they have thick coats which reflect sunlight and their long legs keep their bodies further away from the hot ground. Their flat and wide feet prevent them from sinking into the sand. This is because flat feet provide more surface area for its body weight to spread. So, as the camel exerts less pressure on sand, it doesn’t sink.
Atmospheric pressure is greater than the pressure of the water column inside the bottle. This helps an air bubble to displace water and rise to the top making a “glug” sound. This makes a region with air on the top. As the pressure of the air region and the water column is now greater than the outside air pressure, a greater downward force pushes water out. As this happens, the volume of the air region increases, making its pressure less, thus decreasing the downward force. This stops the water flow. Now, as the outside air pressure is greater, another air bubble pops in. The cycle continues until all water gets out.
When emptying a bottle full of water by turning it fully upside down, you would have noticed that the water doesn’t continuously flow out of the bottle. Instead, segments of water go out of the bottle, making a “glug glug” sound. Do you know why?
When cutting stems for propagation, cutting at an angle with a sharp knife will give better results. A sharp cut will minimize cell wounding. The angled cut gives more surface area for rooting than a horizontal cut. Flowers for vases should also be cut at an angle because a larger xylem opening will be formed. This makes it easier to take in water.
In case of an emergency we do our best to get the injured to a hospital as soon as possible. Even though our intention is to do “no harm”, if we carry him in the wrong manner we might be doing the exact opposite. If fractured bones are disturbed, nearby nerves and muscles would also get damaged. So, as a support for fractured bones, the patient should be carried on a rigid support (e.g. piece of wood).
Ever wondered why we can’t see fan blades separately when they rotate fast? This is because our brain neurons need about 100 milliseconds to fully convert information. As a result, the brain cannot clearly distinguish fast changes in light that occur faster than this period.The brain combines previously perceived images of the high speed object with the new image of it, to fill in the gaps. This makes the fan blades blurry.
Red-green colour blindness is caused by a recessive allele in the X chromosome (The gene is X-linked). If a recessive allele pairs with a dominant allele, the dominant allele represses the recessive allele. As women have two X chromosomes, both chromosomes should have the recessive allele to make her colour blind. But, as men only have one X chromosome (the other is a Y chromosome) one recessive allele is all it takes to make him colour blind. So, this vision is relatively common in men.
Why is red-green colour blindness relatively common in men than in women?
Have you ever heard that sound can extinguish a fire? Now, don’t visualise the fire brigade shouting at a fire. A device which produces low frequency sounds has been able to put out small, oil fires. Sound waves are mechanical waves that cause vibrations in the medium in which they travel. They disrupt flames by increasing air velocity and vaporizing fuel. This spreads out the fuel, lowers its temperature, and shuts off combustion.
It is recommended to drink a lot of water when you have a fever. Normally you get cough,diarrhoea and vomiting with fever. As the mouth is open for a long period of time when you cough continuously, more water get evaporated through the mouth. Vomiting and diarrhoea also takes away a lot of water. As these conditions could make your body dehydrated, drinking water frequently is a must.