Science Facts of September - 2016

30

Friday

Question of the Week

29

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Shape shifting materials usually need an external trigger (light,temperature) to change shape. Therefore, those materials are impractical in places where we have no control(human body,space). So, scientists made a material which works on time! The material’s permanent bonds give the final shape and dynamic bonds affect the time required to reach it.To make surgeries smaller, “folded” implants(replacement for damaged body parts) which change shape could be developed.


28

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Ruins give light to what our ancestors were up to in the ancient times, but we have a hard time finding them. A new technology called “Lidar”(light detection and ranging) has been speeding things up. Aircrafts send lasers which penetrate forests. The properties of reflected lasers are used to map hidden ruins in forests. Using this, archaeologists have mapped a 13 square kilometre site in Mexico in just 45 minutes!


27

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Fireflies use their rough scale design to increase the brightness of the light they produce.Scientists applied the same pattern to the outer coating of the LEDs, and discovered that it increased the brightness of the light by up to 55%!


26

Monday

Answer for the Question of the Week

To maintain bacteria-free waters, chlorine is added to swimming pools. Chlorine and water remove sebum (the natural lubricant of hair) and leaves hair cuticles (outer layer) cracked, making hair dry and damaged. This gives us the “tangled hair” experience.


23

Friday

Question of the Week

22

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

A study has confirmed that baby mice(still in mother’s womb) will give stem cells(new cells) to repair their mother’s heart. This discovery could explain why half the women who develop heart weakness during pregnancy recover spontaneously.


21

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Scientists have found molecules which can prevent scar formation. These molecules stop the function of an enzyme called lysyl oxidase, which forms scar tissue. When these molecules are introduced to new wounds scar formation would stop. But this method can’t be used for scars we already have.


20

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

Crickets can tell us the outside temperature roughly(most of the time)!Certain muscle contractions cause rubbing of their wings, making their signature sound. As crickets are cold blooded, their bodies get as cold or hot as the surrounding environment. When the temperature goes up muscle contractions speed up and the sound rate increases.Counting its sounds for 15 seconds and adding 37 to it will give you the rough outside temperature in Fahrenheit.


19

Monday

Today’s Science Message

Scientist have found a woman who can see 99 million more colours than the rest of us! Most of us have three types of cone cells(these give colour vision). A very few have 4 types but the extra one doesn’t function. Extraordinarily this woman’s extra cone cell type functions, giving her “super vision”.


15

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

In the dwarf planet “Ceres”, regular volcanoes which shoot magma don’t exist. Instead, it has an ice volcano. Even though it is not active now, it appears to be geologically recent. These kind of volcanoes gush a mixture of salt, mud and water. Once the salt water is out it freezes, creating an icy dome at the top of the volcano.


14

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

Why do we cry when we are overwhelmed with happiness? It is because a part of the brain called “hypothalamus” can’t tell the difference between happiness and sadness. All it knows is that it’s getting a strong neural signal. Therefore, it activates the autonomic nervous system which stimulates tear production.


13

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

As giraffes have extremely long legs, blood pools in their legs.This makes it difficult for blood to return to the heart. To avoid this they have very tight skin around the legs. This concept has inspired a special protective suit for jet pilots.When experiencing high vertical g-forces, blood can rush from the brain to legs and make them faint. The special suit has valves and chambers which avoid this by applying pressure to the abdomen and legs.


9

Friday

Today’s Science Message

Have you heard of states of matter other than gas, liquid and solid? “Plasma” is one such other state of matter. It is a mixture of “free moving” electrons and positive ions. Even though it’s relatively uncommon here on Earth, 99% of the universe is made up of plasma (even the sun)! On Earth we find plasma in fluorescent bulbs and in neon bulbs.


8

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Sit upright on a chair with your hands resting on your legs.Try to stand up without bending forward or shoving your feet under the chair.You won’t be able to stand up!To stand up, the weight of the body and the upward force produced by pressing our feet(reaction force applied by the ground) should act along the same line.When seated, the weight acts downward from the centre of gravity situated near the stomach.Therefore, by shoving your feet under the chair you can apply the reaction force through the stomach area.Or else, you have to shift the centre of gravity forward by bending forward.


7

Wednesday

Today’s Science Message

The touch sensitivity of Mimosa pudica(“nidikumba”) made it our favourite childhood toy.All the leaflets fold up orderly when just one point is touched.Mimicking this action,scientists created a shape shifting nanomaterial.The material folds up like a straw when it gets in contact with water.This could be used to make wearable sensors(activates when exposed to sweat),shape shifting micro-robots and devices which harvest water from fog.


6

Tuesday

Today’s Science Message

When water is limited people will do anything for it, even build a mountain. That’s exactly what United Arab Emirates (UAE) is planning! UAE is considering building an artificial mountain (probably beside the sea) to encourage more rainfall. The sea breeze filled with moisture flowing towards the shore will be forced to rise because the mountain acts as a barrier. Moisture condenses as the air cools at high altitude, forming clouds and resulting in rain.


5

Monday

Answer for the Question of the Week

The green colour in unripe fruits is given by the pigment, chlorophyll. Even though orange and yellow pigments such as carotene and xanthophyll are present in unripe fruits, their colours are masked by chlorophyll. When ripening, chlorophyll gets degraded by catabolic enzymes. So, the green colour vanishes, revealing the orange-yellow colour. Moreover, yellow-orange pigments increase in number.


2

Friday

Question of the Week

As unripe fruits are green they get hidden among tree leaves. But once ripened, the yellow-orange colour makes them the center of attention.How do fruits switch from green to yellow-orange colour when ripening?


1

Thursday

Today’s Science Message

Did you know that you are completely blind for about 40 minutes each day?When your eyes move,your brain intentionally stops your vision,which is why you can’t see the motion of your own eyes in a mirror.If this effect wasn’t present we would be seeing our surroundings as a film recorded by a shaky handheld camera.