If you were a travelling salesman, who travels to many places selling something, the most challenging part of the job is to find the shortest route to these places without visiting any of them twice. But, did you know many birds, animals and even insects like bees solve a similar problem in their daily lives while searching for food?
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Anyone who has ever had a relative in a hospital or watched any form of medical drama will have heard of 'ECG'. Come to think of it, almost everybody has. An ECG or an electrocardiogram checks if your heart is working properly by measuring the electric current it generates as it beats.
In 1908, a meteoroid (a small asteroid) exploded in the atmosphere near the Stony Tunguska River in Eastern Siberia, flattening over 2000 square kilometres of forest. Luckily, the region was very thinly populated, and there were no casualties. But, our Earth is not always that fortunate! Billions of years ago, our planet is thought to have been struck by many such asteroids, creating a dent on its surface.
Imagine streaming a movie through your tube light or accessing the Internet through a street lamp. Light Fidelity (Li-Fi), a new communication system developed by Professor Harald Hass, can actually achieve this!
Our genes affect every aspect of our lives, from the way we look to the diseases we get. However, they don't act in an isolated manner, because we are also affected by the environment we live in. Our diet, exercise levels, pollution levels in the place we live – all affect what happens to our bodies.
How do scientists proclaim an ecosystem like the Western Ghats as an ‘biodiversity hotspot’ and push for its conservation? They do so by ‘ecological sampling’, a technique used to find diversity and abundance of animals and plants in a habitat. They collect samples of plants and animals from different locations within an area and extrapolate the possible biodiversity that exists in the area.
If someone came up to you and said the stool from one person can be used as medicine to treat another, you’d most likely be disgusted or find it absurd. It sounds incredible, but it is true.
Mosquito bite! That’s all you need to express your killer instinct. But this allegedly innocent, tiny little arthropod with jointed legs, dressed in black and white stripes like an escaped prisoner, bites just for its ‘daily blood’. However, things aren’t quite limited to just blood sucking; this temporary parasitism is increasingly responsible for the transmission of a number of life-threatening diseases. Temporary parasites because mosquitoes suck blood from the host and then leave the crime scene, if alive.
Genetically Modified Crops are those whose genetic makeup has been altered by introducing a foreign gene into its system. This is a popular technique to get the best of both worlds; we retain the desirable traits of the original plant and introduce new beneficial traits from other plants.
The excruciating pain of having a failed organ and the grim chances of replacing it is a struggle of millions of patients across the globe. A ground-breaking discovery in this field, is giving a whole new definition to having one’s own personal organ! This discovery is none other than tissue engineering -- a science that has changed the face of organ transplant.