Evolution has equipped us with ingenious stress responses (flight or fight), to maximise our chances of survival against life threatening threats. An adrenaline rush prompted by our brain during threats increases our blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar levels enabling us to remain alert and respond to threat. Cortisol, a stress hormone released by the brain keeps these levels high as long as the perceived threat persists.
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Doing our dirty jobs of clearing animal carcass for generations, extraordinary scavenging birds of prey, the vultures, deserve our gratitude and attention. Associated with goddesses in Egyptian mythology and revered hero in Indian mythology as Jatayu who sacrificed himself to save Sita, and once commonly seen; today, most species of vultures face extinction worldwide. Four out of nine species of vulture in India are critically endangered; it is now crucial to understand this often overlooked ecologically important bird.
Most of us have seen diabetics take insulin injections. Wasim Akram was an insulin dependent diabetic, and at the same time, a threatening fast bowler.
Insulin is a protein produced in our bodies by the pancreas. In earlier days, insulin was extracted from the pancreas of cattle, in a tedious process that yielded just a few micrograms per pancreas.
Have you ever stepped outside and looked up at the sky on a clear, summer day and noticed something swimming in your field of vision? Little transparent worms or blobs that seem to disappear whenever you try and get a closer look at them, only to reappear as soon as you shift your glance. These are ‘floaters’, or as the scientific community calls them- ‘muscae volitantes’, which is Latin for ‘hovering flies’.
Have you ever received an electric shock while operating everyday electronic devices? Ever wondered why? One of the most probable reasons could be faulty earthing.
The term earthing is not as intriguing as it sounds, for it does in fact involve a connection to the earth. It is a safety installation, which involves connecting the non-electricity carrying part of an electrical system to the mass of the earth so that any electrical energy that gets built up in this part is discharged to the ground.
Are you a fan of detective TV shows? If so, you will know of DNA Fingerprinting as a tool to identify a criminal.
Everyone’s DNA, much like a fingerprint, is unique. Repeating sequences of DNA called tandem repeats are present between genes. The number each repeat sequence varies from person to person. We can generate a unique pattern of tandem repeats for every person using specialized laboratory techniques. Identical twins are an exception to this case since they have the same DNA fingerprint.
India is the world’s largest milk producer and it produced 140 million tonnes of milk just last year. Though we know the milk comes from bovines (cows and buffaloes), how exactly is it produced in mammals?
Bobbing up and down on the seabed are beautiful little creatures called Seahorses, sometimes vigorously trying to swim with the currents and other times, anchoring to seaweed. Nature’s extraordinary organisms, where only males get pregnant so females can make more eggs; sadly some species may disappear before we can learn more about them. Let us take you underwater and introduce you to fascinating little world of the seahorses.
Vaccination is a very familiar term to us. Every newborn is recommended to follow a vaccination/immunisation schedule. Yet, many of us do not know what vaccines really are or how they prevent diseases.