Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a group of chemicals produced after burning wood, coal, garbage, gas and oil. PAHs might occur naturally from sources like volcanoes and forest fire or they might be produced by various human activities. More than 100 PAHs are known and many of them are very common around us. The smoke of a cigarette, meat cooked in high temperature, naphthalene - the toilet deodorizer and asphalt covering the roads, all contain PAHs.
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The push for renewable energy has been greater than ever in the recent past, thanks to the realisation of the fact that fossil fuels and other forms of energy wreak havoc on the environment. India, like many other countries, has ambitious goals for producing electricity using renewable sources for 2022. In our rush to chase this goal, how are our policies crafted? Are they a win-win situation for the producers and the customers? Or are they making renewable energy all the more expensive, thus defeating the purpose of the switch? A new study now examines how renewable energy policies are structured and recommends some changes to make them effective and help us reach our 2022 goals.
Bangalore of the yesteryears was a city of gardens; cool, pleasant and green. In addition to the 2000+ species of trees -- some natural and some specifically planted -- individual gardens in small households contributed to the large biodiversity here. The undulating terrain of the city allowed formation of lakes -- natural and manmade – that were interconnected. As the ‘Garden City’ transformed into the ‘Silicon Valley of India’, the city’s rapid, uncontrolled growth turned this biodiversity haven to a concrete jungle.
What can a large company learn from a marriage? In this new study researchers show that different social systems, be it a marriage between two individuals or a firm with thousands of employees, show similarities in the way they fail. When the reasons for failure are plotted on a graph, the curves obtained for the different social systems turned out to show similar distribution. For example,willingness of the individuals that make a system, to make sacrifices for the greater good of the system was found to be a key factor in keeping social systems alive.
It was a routine practice in India to give infants a sunbath. But now, many kids remain indoors for a major part of their day, owing to a changing lifestyle. A recent study from Delhi has recommended that infants must be given a sunbath for 30 minutes in a week to attain sufficient levels of vitamin D, that is, 20 nanograms per ml. More than 50% of the Indian population is vitamin D deficient, according to some studies, which is a health concern especially for infants. This is because its deficiency leads to rickets, a malformation of leg bones.
With the increasing use of electrical and electronic devices, the amount of ‘electronic waste’ that we generate is quickly filling up our landfills. Recycling electronic waste or e-waste is a challenge due to the emission of poisonous gases in the process. Now, a new study has designed various adsorbents to be used in the process of recycling by burning the e-waste. By using these adsorbents, the researchers hope, could make the whole process less toxic for the air and for ourselves.
Eyes have been described as one of the most beautiful organs of our body that is our window to the world, quite literally. But not everyone is fortunate to look through that window crisp and clear. Millions today suffer from blindness in the eyes due to many medical conditions. The good news is that some type of blindness like corneal blindness is completely curable, provided there is a generous soul that decides to donate his/her eyes at the time of death. Eye donation is slowly gaining awareness and many today are pledged donors. But how does one become a donor? How is the cornea taken from the donor and what is the status of eye donation in India? Find out more on the account of National Eye Donation fortnight.
Happy Teachers Day! As we celebrate the 55th Teacher’s Day today in rememberance of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan's birthday, let us take this opportunity to thank every teacher who played a great role in making us who we are. And for those teachers who are teaching science, here is a wish to make it fun and enjoyable rather than rote and mundane!
India’s premier institutes like the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are the most sought after institutes in the country that attract the best of the talent from across the country. But how do these national institutes compare with those in Singapore, a major hub of education in Asia? A new study by researchers from the Vidya Academy of Science and Technology, Thrissur and A.P.J.
Chlorella pyrenoidosa is a type of freshwater algae found around the world. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a long time, and in recent times, emerged as a leading candidate for the production of biodiesels. Toxic algal blooms, can be seen covering ponds and lakes, and happens due to a rapid growth of algae in the waterbody. Since some of these algae produce toxins harmful to humans and other animals, toxic algal blooms generally lead to a decrease in the amount of fish in the water and amount of life surrounding it.