Have you seen a Lava Lamp. Is it not wonderful to see large colored bubbles sinking, rising and transforming. If you go to a shop to buy the same it will come at around Thousand bucks. The better the look and feel, higher the price. If I tell you, you can make this at home with your kitchen stuff (temporary one), won’t you be excited. All the more it’s a simple kitchen experiment which you can do with your kids. It’s easy to do, safe, and looks very cool.
Let’s get started
Take an empty glass and to it add water with food color added to it.
To this now add vegetable oil. Add approximately double the amount of oil to water.
Closely watch to see how two immiscible liquids behave.
Let the two layers settle and now add to it a pack of Eno salt and see the magic unfold.
It will look much beautiful, if you place a flash light underneath it.
Wouldn’t it have been good if we had ‘Magic Scissors’ that could eliminate disease, solve world hunger problem, create unlimited clean energy…..it’s no longer a future technology…..the technology is already among us. Discovery of this technology has been hailed as ‘monumental moments in the history of biomedical research’ by David Baltimore a Nobel laureate.
This post is all about this ‘Magic Scissors’, a new gene editing technology, known as CRISPR-Cas9 and what it can do to science and how it can impact common man’s life. This Scissors promises myriad of wonderful opportunities as well as frightening ethical challenges .
What is this ‘Magic Scissors’
What we are, what we look like or how healthy we are , all are dependent on genetic material DNA. DNA is like a record of instructions which tells the cell what its job is going to be. In simple way, DNA is to human cells, as codes are to computers. As codes control the functioning of computer, Genes present within interwined DNA regulates the functions of the cell. So if there is an error in these codes or some external organism like virus attacks cells, the normal programming of cells gets affected and the cells won’t function normally. This is what leads to diseases. The best option to make the cell up and running, would be to erase or alter the corrupted codes from Genes. This is what CRISPR-Cas9 does with high precision.
Little deep into CRISPR CAS9…for curious minds
CRISPR or “Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats” was isolated from bacterial system. The CRISPR-CAS9 system comprises of two components – Guide RNA and CAS9 endonuclease. Guide RNA can be tailor-made to perfectly match a sequence of DNA (the mutated or corrupted DNA) and CAS9 will do slicing act with precision. So one end binds to the target gene or wrong gene, and the other end delivers a DNA-cutting enzyme, which will remove with accuracy the wrong gene.
Jennifer Doudna, a biochemist at the University of California, Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research in German demonstrated for the first time the full potential of CRISPR in 2012.
CRISPR, ‘The Magic Scissors’, is worth the hype. This technology will help to fight cancer, treat Alzheimer’s and eradicate Malaria. It’s an exciting development and scientists from across the globe from different fields are gung ho about this ‘new editor’.
What could CRISPR Do ?
Time for Super Plants
Imagine we can get mangoes all around the year or can make strawberries to grow in deserts. Researchers are currently experimenting with ways to improve crop disease resistance and environmental stress tolerance using CRISPR. CRISPR would steer an era of super plants with yields higher than ever.
Let’s Treat HIV
HIV has been eluding scientists for a long time. But no longer. In 2015, scientists used CRISPR to cut HIV cells out of living cells of patients in a laboratory – proving that it is possible. By injecting CRISPR into the rats with HIV, they were able to remove 48 per cent of the virus from the DNA of their body cells. Although the experiments are still in their infancy, it looks like CRISPR could be the ultimate solution to cure HIV and ultimately AIDS.
Add to your food plate some purple, they are good for health. Purple foods include grapes, eggplant, blackberries to the not so popular purple cauliflower and cabbage. The purple color in itself is the healthy component — the pigment that give food their purple color are a family of potent antioxidants known as anthocyanins. It is also said, darker the color, higher the anthocyanin concentration, and greater its nutrition benefit.
They are ‘Super Healthy’
Research have found that anthocyanins can lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological disease, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. They can also help to control obesity and diabetes. They have anti-inflammatory properties, and hence also linked to most chronic diseases.
Anthocyanins are generally found in the skin of the vegetable, so don’t peel it off
Like vitamin C, these nutrients are water soluble, hence don’t boil it
It’s ideal to eat it by roasting or steaming
8 unusual ‘Purple Foods’
Can your bread be purple ?
Purple bread is hailed as ‘First Superfood from the world of baking. According to inventor of purple bread, Professor Zhou Weibiao, purple bread is rich in cancer fighting antioxidants and is digested 20% slower than regular white bread.
Try some Black Rice from China
The kernel of black rice is black in color due to a pigment known as anthocyanin. Black rice is also known as purple rice, forbidden rice, heaven rice and prized rice. This rice is also known as long life rice as it can increase the longevity of life. China cultivates the most black rice followed by Sri Lanka, Indonesia, India and Philippines. This rice does not contain gluten, free of cholesterol, low in sugar, salt and fat. Black rice can be prepared with ease like any other rice and do not need any sophisticated ingredients.
On average, children in India under five are watching more than two hours of television a day. Access to mobile phones and new age online games and computers are making our kids into gadget addicts. Doctors say children who spend long hours in front of gadgets are increasingly showing signs of postural deformities, emotional detachment and are vulnerable to mental illness. Let’s not point fingers at each other, but act immediately and look for alternate options to get them off these gizmos.
With play areas shrinking, increase security threat in leaving kids alone outside and lack of time with both parents working, best thing parents can opt for is ‘Activity based subscription boxes’.
Why subscription boxes are good for kids
Playing is how children learn. Play comes naturally to children. Combining learning with fun filled exercises like performing science experiments, making robots and creating their own tools and gadgets would help children to pick the laws of chemistry, maths and physics with ease. And also creators of these boxes have packed these up in such a way that children will get the required fun, excitement and surprise element.
So go ahead and pick your favorite subscription box
Xplorabox provides subscription based activity box for kids in the age range 2-4 years, 4-8 years and 8 year plus. For toddlers they provide 5 games and various DIY activities in each box, according to the theme. 4-8 years will receive five games every month that could help in developing skills like motor, cognitive, play & social skills. Kids above 8 years will get DIY science and technology boxes.
There boxes are prized little above 1000, but they give great discounts if one opts for 3 month or 6 month package. Cofounders Rishi Das and Shweta Das believes that their toys could stimulate children’s creativity and fosters their imagination.
PodSquad is another activity based subscription box for children aged 2 to 8 years. There activity boxes are curated by experts, approved by teachers and tested by kids. They have designed there learning materials based on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligence. It is designed by Quadrum solutions, which has more than a decade of experience in creating books for some of the world’s largest publishers across India, USA, UK and Africa. They have activity boxes from prize range of 300 plus. One could even opt for 3 month or 6 month subscription mode. Also subscribers can avail their digital platform solutions like e-books, free printables, newsletters, games etc.
Butterfly Fields offers Learning-by-Doing science kits to students. To ensure that kids benefit fully from their products, their models are mapped to curriculum. Each ‘activity box’ comprises of – a story guide, an activity worksheet, a real life document and a concept map. There products are useful for kids from 5 to 15 years. Butterfly Fields is an IIT-IIM alumni initiative. They have activity boxes from prize range of 450 plus.
Genius Box kits are designed for kids in the age group of 2 to 7 years. These boxes are designed in such a way that it can enrich and stimulate young minds and also support overall personality development. Once parents subscribe to Genius box, they will receive each month a kit filled with 9-10 hands-on activities, books or games, along with high quality supplies and easy-to-follow guide. They offer activity boxes at a prize range of Rupees 1500 to 2000.
As humans, we prefer to sleep at night and feel fresh during the day. But this is not due to habit we inculcate or based on any work schedules or convenience. It is driven by our own body clock.Circadian rhythm is just not about sleep, it regulates many physiological functions including Blood pressure, Body temperature, Hormone secretion, Sleep-wake cycle, Heart beat, Metabolism, Cell cycle, Response to drugs and many more.
Where is the clock?
The clock was first identified in Fruit flies. No doubt why Nobel prize winner Michael Rosbash said “I am very pleased for the fruit fly”.
Biological clocks are not made of cogs and wheels, but the area of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus is body’s master clock
A group of nerve cells in the brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus, or SCN, situated right above the point in the brain where the optic nerve fibers cross, controls circadian rhythm. The SCN controls the body’s temperature, and small fluctuations in temperature throughout the day trigger various cells in different organ systems in the body to be sleepy or active. This is how the SCN controls the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes one sleepy. Genes are also involved in regulating body’s clock and circadian rhythms.
What Melatonin does
Durinh night more melatonin gets secreted. This hormone signals the brain to go into sleep mode. When the sun rises, melatonin secretion hits low, and the brain’s awake circuits restarts.
Is light important for Body clock?
Light is the signal based on which body clock functions. When the eye senses light, it sends signals to the SCN. This resets the clock every day. Our body does this to make sure rhythms do not drift out of line with the environment. Although our rhythms cycle happens about once every 24 hours, if we opt for total blindness, humans actually tick a little more slowly ie, about 24.1 hours. Thus, if we didn’t have daylight we would get out of synchrony with night and day. Precisely the reason because of which people in captive lose on day and night.
Things you did not know about Circadian rhythm
Do you feel sleepy post lunch. Blame it on circadian rhythm. Every day between 2 and 4 PM, the majority of the human race feels sudden sleepiness and a lack of focus. That’s because circadian rhythm goes down about 8 hours after wake up time. Some experts suggest taking a short power nap to get over this lull.
Teenager son or daughter suddenly behave like owls. Do not scream at them. Blame it again on circadian rhythm. As a teenage body goes through puberty, its circadian rhythm essentially shifts three hours backward. Studies of teenagers around the globe have found that adolescent brains do not start releasing melatonin until around eleven o’clock at night and keep pumping out the hormone well past sunrise.
It’s Circadian Rhythm that make you gain weight if you Snack at Midnight.