General Knowledge Pt.- I (a)

What are filoviruses?

The Filovirus has string-like structures. Ebola and Marbarg viruses come under this category. These viruses cause haemorrhaging. The incubation period is 2 to 21 days. Death can occur in only 10 days. Compare this with the dreaded HIV or the AIDS virus that has an incubation period of a decade.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is the most steroid in the human body. Due to its association with the cardiac disease, cholesterol has got a bad name. However, it is a critically important molecule. It is essential to the formation of bile acids that aid digestion of fats, vitamins D, male and female sexual hormones as well as certain other important hormones.

What is the largest bird?

Ostrich is the largest of living birds. It is 8 feet tall and weighs up to 300 pounds. The ostrich cannot fly. However, it runs at an amazing speed of 50 km per hour. The ostrich egg is white in color arid weigh almost 1.2 kg; equivalent to almost two dozen chicken eggs.

What isatp?

ATP or Adrenosine TriPhosphate is a chemical compound present in all living cells. It is the immediate provider of energy.

What is thalassemia?

Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that causes anemia. It is thought to be caused by a defect in hemoglobin synthesis. Thalassemia is common among Mediterranean people.

Who determined the structure of vitamin b12?

Prof Dorothy Hodgekin, a British chemist, spelled out the structure of B12, the most complex vitamin. She also analyzed the structural details of the first known antibiotic. Penicillin. Prof Hodgkin was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964.

What is mosaic disease?

Many people do not know that it is a viral disease that causes leaf blotching in plants like tobacco, maize and sugarcane.

What is a zoophyte?

The first part of the word, ‘zoo’ means animal while ‘phyte’ implies a plant. Any invertebrate that resemble a plant are called zoophytes.

What is a double helix?

A DNA (Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid) molecule is a carrier of genetic code and a link between life and matter. There were several models describing its structure. Watson and Creek conceived of a model of DNA molecule like a spiral staircase or the doubly helical structure. This model has successfully described all properties of this giant molecule.

What is a prehensile tail?

Animals living in trees use their tail adapted as an extra appendage by curling it around a branch to get additional support. Several monkeys and lizards are endowed with a prehensile tail.

Why are dogs, unlike cats, supposed to be loyal?

Dogs were domesticated for hunting and herding some 14,000 years ago. While they evolved from wolves, they displayed sociable characteristics that resemble those of human beings, particularly affection and loyalty. On the other hand, cats are domestic creatures but not domesticated, which is why they are not considered as loyal as dogs. In fact, it is said that we don’t own cats, cats own us.

What is chicken65?

Chicken 65 is known to many Indians as a mouth-watering recipe. However, there is a scientific explanation for the term. When a chick is born, its weight increases linearly with its intake. This is valid for a couple of months – on an average about 65 days. Afterwards, the weight saturates but the intake goes on increasing.

What is a migiraine?

Migraine is a headache that affects only one side of the head and is associated with nausea. The word originates from the combination of ‘hemi’ or half and ‘cranium’ meaning the skull. Migraine continues to baffle practitioners of modern medicine. However, it seems to have a link with hormonal activity especially in the case of, females.

What is symbiosis?

Symbiosis is an association or togetherness of two dissimilar organisms for survival. The Hermit crab-sea anemone and the lichen or the algae and fungus are well known examples of symbiosis. The ‘crocodile bird3 wanders through the open mouth of a resting crocodile and gets its food by cleansing the crocodile’s teeth, in the process getting rid of parasites and leeches. In New Zealand, the puffin, a bird and the tuatara, a lizard, share the same cave. The puffin builds the nest while the lizard keeps the cave clean by devouring insects. Human beings have a lot to learn from the nature.

How do medicines cure people, though they are taken in such small quantities?

MOST processes that take place in the body are basically chemical reactions. Digestion too is the result of many chemical reactions. The moment the food enters the mouth, saliva is secreted. There is an enzyme called amylase (or ptyalin) in the saliva, which converts the starch in the food into the sugar, maltose. Amylase is found not only in the. saliva, but also in the pancreatic juices and intestinal juices. Saliva is alkaline. The gastric juice in the stomach is acidic. Therefore physicians advise you to keep certain tablets (that are likely to be affected by acidity) below the tongue (sublingual), till they are dissolved and absorbed. Some such tablets are coated so that the effective ingredient inside the tablet may remain unaffected by the acidity in the stomach. When the food enters the stomach, gastric juices act on the food and help in the digestion process. From the stomach, the food enters the small intestines. Starches, that have already, been reduced to maltose further break down into glucose In the small intestines and that is absorbed by the wall of the intestine into the blood. Similarly because of chemical reactions, the proteins as well as fats in the food are digested. When you take any medicine that too is absorbed in the blood, mostly through the was of the intestines and reaches every comer of the body. Some balms and ointments are meant to provide relief at particular points.

How does potassium cyanide kill a person within minutes?

POTASSIUM Cyanide (also Sodium Cyanide) is a highly dangerous poison. Cells in the human body need oxygen for their survival and functioning. This oxygen is carried to the various cells of the body by haemoglobin, to be found in blood. Hence haemoglobin is the actual oxygen-carrier. Cyanides have great affinity for haemoglobin and they prevent oxygen being carried to the cells. Lack of oxygen causes instant death.

What is bronze diabetes?    

Bronze diabetes is another name of hemochromatosis, an iron overload disease which causes the body to absorb and store too much iron. It is a genetic disorder, wherein deposition of excessive iron in the body damages the pancreas causing diabetes, apart from affecting other organs like the liver and heart and the joints too.

Why is it said that an elephant never forgets?

In general, vertebrate species with large brains like the elephant have developed complicated parts of the cerebral cortex (a part of the brain) to a greater extent and have greater capability for learning complicated tasks. It also seems that larger animals with large brains have the ability to retain information for longer periods. Based on evidence available, elephants seem to remember individuals, places and learned skills for many years. Accounts by observers indicate that elephants are able to remember the voices (and perhaps scents) of some people for over 12 years. Thus, it’s said that an elephant never forgets.              

What causes absent-mindedness?

Recent studies suggest that absent —a family of viruses causes mindedness. Picornaviruses are said to attack at least 1 billion people every year. Viruses from the same family are also said to cause polio, cold and diarrhoea. Scientists say that this sort of virus-induced memory loss could accumulate over the years to form clinical cognitive memory deficits.

Why does a human body float like cork in the dead sea?

The buoyancy is caused due to the high salinity of water. The Dead Sea is the most saline lake in the world. The salinity is due to the accumulation of salt flowing into it from different water bodies and due to the lack of a drainage system the salt gets deposited there. As the temperature increases, the water evaporates leaving behind the salt, thus increasing the concentration. Hence, the density becomes higher than normal water. Consequently, it provides greater upward thrust on a floating body. Thus, a swimmer floats like a cork.

Why do we feel thirsty when we eat salty things?

The salt in salty foods consists mostly of sodium chloride, which is hygroscopic i.e. salt has a strong tendency to absorb water from its vicinity. This is evident from the fact that table salt, when left in the open, becomes lumpy in a short while by absorbing the moisture from air. For the same reason, when a person eats salty foods, the salt causes the mouth to become dry by absorbing the moisture in the mouth and throat. As water is an important component of our body, water level in the various parts of our body is constantly monitored by the receptors in the hypothalamus of the brain. As soon as the mouth is depleted of its moisture, the above receptors detect the dryness and trigger signals that cause the person to feel thirsty.

Why are there only 60 seconds in a minute?

A minute is a unit used to measure both time and angles. A circle was divided into 360 degrees by ancient civilizations, probably Babylonians who figure everything in units of 10’s and 60’s instead of 10’s and 100’s as we do. The degree was divided into 60 parts and each of these parts was divided into 60 parts. The Romans called the first division of the degree ‘the partes minutae primal’ or the first part. The second division they called ‘the partes minutae secundaes’ or second small parts. These terms were finally shortened to minutes and seconds.

When an animal is called a mammal?

The word mammal is derived from the word mammae which mean milk. The groups of animals, which possess milk-secreting glands or mammary glands, are called mammals. These are the only animals which feed then- offspring by their body secretions. In addition to mammary glands, mammals possess some other unique characteristics like external ear (pinnae) and body hair. 

What is an okapi? 

An okapi is a ruminant forest mammal belonging to the giraffe family, but smaller in size and has a short neck. It is found generally found in the belt of Africa territory embracing Congo, northern Zaire and Uganda. Sir Harry Johnston reported spotting the okapi in the Semliki forest near Lake Albert (now Lake Mobuto Sese Seko) in 1901.

Though climatic conditions are similar in both cases, why are polar bears found only at the arctic circle and penguins at the antarctic circle?

It’s because of: i) Evolution —polar bears are totally reliant on the sea ice as their primary habitat. Penguins evolved in the southern hemisphere taking advantage of the very rich fish stocks in the cold currents of the southern ocean; ii) Difficult journey — to cross over the much warmer tropical waters to reach the cold northern waters has proved to be too great a journey for the penguins and iii) Ecological niche and adaptation — polar bears are an essential part of a food chain there. For them, sea ice is a critical platform.

Why does dry soil emit an odour when water falls on it?

The soil-inhabiting bacteria called streptomycetes produce the peculiar smell. They are abundant in dry warm soil — a million or so of them are present in a pinch of soil. They release compounds such as geosmin and 2-methyl isoborneol, which vaporise easily when water falls on them after a dry spell. That’s why dry soil emits an odour when water falls on it.

Why do we hiccup?       

Hiccups occur when the diaphragm and the muscles between the ribs suddenly contract. This causes a sharp, uncontrollable inhalation of air which does not reach the lungs because the muscle spasm has closed the windpipe. Hiccups are commonly induced by minor stomach upsets, like hot food irritating the phrenic nerve near the oesophagus, or when gas in the stomach presses upward against the diaphragm. Mild cases of hiccups usually disappear without treatment. What precisely causes hiccups is difficult to say; in most cases, there is no obvious cause. 

What material was used to wrap mummies?

Ancient texts state that a complete mummy treatment required 70 days. Embalmers removed the brain through the nostril by using a hook. They removed the internal organs, except the heart and kidneys, through an incision like the ones made by surgeons. They usually filled the empty abdomen with linen pads, and sometimes with sawdust. Then they placed the body in natron (sodium carbonate) till the tissues were dried out. Finally they wrapped the body carefully in many layers of linen bandages and placed it in a coffin.

Which is the world’s largest tree?

As of now, the world’s largest tree, that is, the one with the greatest mass, is the ‘General Sherman’, a giant sequoia located in Sequoia National Park, California, US. It is 84 meters tall and has a girth of 31.3 meters.

To which family does the giraffe belong?

The giraffe belongs to the Giraffidae family its scientific name is Giraffa camrleopardalis. It is the tallest animal and can grow up to a height of 5.5 m. Giraffes live on tree-dotted grasslands south of the Sahara in Africa. It feeds on acacia and mimosa leaves. It has a life span of 15 to 20 years. It can run up to a speed of 45km/h.

What is a jarvik heart?

The Jarvik Heart or Jarvik-7 refers to an artificial heart first implanted in a patient named Barney dark in 1982. However, this device, invented by Dr Robert Jarvik, required the patient to be permanently tethered to a large console. Recently, an American company has come up with the abiomed device, a fully implantable artificial heart. Although the people in whom the mechanical heart was implanted didn’t survive, the FDA exempted the company manufacturing it on humanitarian grounds, and has allowed it to sell about 4,000 devices every year.

Why isn’t there a nobel prize for mathematics?

Nobel prizes are principally for those inventions or discoveries of greatest practical benefit to mankind, possibly having in mind practical rather than theoretical work. Mathematics was not considered a practical science from which humanity could benefit, a key purpose for the Nobel Foundation. Nobel’s final will of 1895 bequeathed $9,000,000 for a foundation whose income would support five annual prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine Physiology, Literature, and Peace. Four of the original five prizes were in fields which were close to Nobel’s own interests, medicine being the exception. A sixth Nobel prize in economic science was added in 1969.

What’s special about hummingbirds?

Hummingbirds have the ability to hover in mid-air and fly deliberately backwards or vertically and to maintain their position to drink from flower blossoms. Bee hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world, weighing 1.8 gms. They typically consume more than their own weight in food each day Their heart beat can reach as high as 1260 beats per minute. During torpor (hybernation-like stage) the heartbeat slows down to 50-180 beats per minute.

Are home lizards poisonous?

The wall lizard or gecko, found in most homes, is not poisonous at all. It only checks insect population. The only poisonous lizard in the world is the heloderma, also called the gila monster and beaded lizard. It’s found in large numbers near the Gila river in south-western United States.

Why does milk overflow when boiled but water does not?

The answer given last week is not correct. Milk overflows when boiled for the first time because it contains entrapped air. The air expands on heating and tends to escape lilting the surface of milk. Once all the air is expelled, the boiling would be regular and smooth. A second boiling would not lead to overflow. Entrapped air in mother’s milk is the cause of pain for babies that go under the name ‘colic pain’. Breast-feeding is therefore to be done in small doses at a time.

Why does milk overflow when boiled but water does not?

Milk is not a simple liquid — it contains tiny globules of fat and casein, which are not dissolved but suspended in water. On heating milk, there occurs a separation of constituents and some elements like cream, being lighter, float up. After some time, a membrane-like film containing cream and casein is formed. When milk begins to boil, the heat energy is used for the conversion of water into steam. As a result, the pressure below the film increases suddenly and the rising bubbles of steam makes the milk overflow. On heating water, no such film is formed and the bubbles of steam formed by boiling escape easily without any resistance. Hence, water does not overflow on boiling.

What’s the origin of the word chikunguhya?

The dreaded disease, which is quite a pain in the joints, has its etymological origins in the African language Swahili. The word is derived from the description of the contortion caused by the illness.

What is cryopreservation?

Cryopreservation is the preservation of any living tissue at low temperature. This can include anything from human tissues to vegetables. It is basically used for preserving living tissues, which need to be surgically implanted or transplanted to a human. Some examples include cornea, heart, etc Temperatures usually used are sub-zero temperatures. Low tem- perature leads to a decrease or almost total cessation of metabolic processes of the living tissue, which increases its preservation life. Human sperms are also stored in a sperm bank at lower temperatures using this principle.

Why is peacock the national bird of india?

In 1963, the peacock was declared the National Bird of India because of its rich religious and legendary involvement in Indian traditions. The criteria for this choice were many. The bird must be well distributed within the country so it could truly ‘national’. It must be recognisable to the common man. It must lend itself to formal depiction, i.e. abstract depiction on government publications, etc. It must not be confused with the bird emblem of any other nation. It should be associated with Indian myths and legends. The peacock fit the bill.

To which family does the moose belong to?

The moose is the largest species in the deer family (cervidae), found in North America and Eurasia. It is called elk in Europe. Males have enormous, flattened antlers that are shed and regrown annually and they weigh up to 820 kgs.

When was the dog domesticated?

Dogs were domesticated about 15,000 years back in the Mesolithic period when humans were hunter-gatherers. They were domesticated first probably in China. Several qualities associated with dogs such as great speed, agility, strength and ability to follow scent, helped men in their efforts to hunt animals. These were main reasons that favoured domestication. There are several theories to support domestication of dogs, ranging from companions in hunting to garbage disposal to early warning system for approaching strangers and predators and even as beasts of burden.

A person stops growing tall beyond a certain age. But why does hair keep growing longer?

A person grows tall when the person’s bones increase in length. This is governed by the coordinated action of several hormones, chiefly the growth hormone (GH) produced by the anterior pituitary gland. The secretion of GH is the highest around puberty and declines progressively thereafter. Although the decrease in GH secretion with age is not well understood, one factor is the increased secretion of a growth-inhibiting hormone called somatostatin. The growth of hair is not due to hormones, but the production of new cells in hair follicles.

Why do doctors wear green in the operation theatre?

The sight of red stains of blood over white didn’t go well with many doctors and would perturb them psychologically By the 1950s, white gave way to shades of green, which produced lesser eye fatigue besides providing a better contrast in the environment.

Which nutrients are created or soyed when curds are made from milk?

Curds are made by mixing a few spoonfuls of commercial yoghurt made with live cultures of bacteria into pasteurized milk. A mixed culture of Lactobacilus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus consumes the milk sugar or lactose for energy and excretes lactic acid, which curdles the milk. Curds retain the fat; mineral and vitamin content of milk, but have only one-third to two-thirds the amount of lactose. Curds are therefore, more digestible than milk foe lactose intolerant people.

Who devised the sign language used by the hearing impaired?

Jerome Cardan devised the sign language. Deaf and mute people faced unreasonable brutality at one point of time. Jerome Cardan was an Italian doctor who believed that the mute and deaf people could be taught to communicate by using written characters. Finger characters were worked out for them in the seventeenth century, which was very similar to the present-day finger alphabets. About seventy-five years ago the deaf were taught to communicate ideas almost entirely by means of signs, facial expressions and finger alphabets.

How do microwave ovens cook food?

Microwave ovens contain a magnetron tube, which converts electricity into microwaves (high-frequency electromagnetic waves similar to radio waves) rather than heat, when they contact food. Microwaves are not hot, but are attracted to and absorbed by water, fat, salt and sugar in food. The microwaves cause the water, fat, salt or sugar molecules to rotate rapidly and bump into each other, causing the food to heat by friction of the molecules. Though microwaves don’t actually cook food, the friction resulting from the vibrating molecules produces the heat which does the cooking. Microwaves do not actually touch most of the food they cook. However, the heat generated by the vibrating molecules on the outer edges conduct this heat inward, layer by layer, to cook the food.

What is’a genethip?

It is a newly developed diagnostic tool that can immediately identify the exact type of infectious disease a person is afflicted with, such as malaria, influenza, ebola or any other type of bacterial infection. It does so using tissue, blood, and urine and stool samples. The gene chip is essentially a glass slide with several rows of DNA and RNA samples from about 30,000 types of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites. When the tissue or fluid sample is applied on the side, it would stick to the genetic material that is closely related to it.

What is the origin of the white tiger?

All white tigers are a colour variation of Bengal tigers. They are not separate sub-species of the Bengal tiger. White tigers are only born to parents that both carry the recessive gene for white colouring. The white tiger origin was record- ed in India from 1556 to 1605 AD. The first documented case of a white tiger being captured was in 1915. The local maharaja who kept the tiger till its death caught him. The first mutant white cub is believed to be the one trapped by the Maharaja of Rewa, who found it orphaned in the jungle in 1951. Named Mohan, the cub was later mated with a normal-coloured captive tigress that produced three litters with normal colouring. A few years later, Mohan mated with one of the offspring, producing the first litter of white cubs — these were to be the ancestors of others now in many zoos worldwide.

What are the edge species?

EDGE species refers to animals that are Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (hence EDGE). These species are considered to be one of a kind and, as its acronym suggests, are nearing extinction. Hence, scientists are trying to preserve them through a project, which will aid conservation efforts. Currently, on the endangered list are 10 creatures, the most well known being pandas and elephants. Scientists hope to add 100 more species and kick off conservation efforts to preserve them over the next five years.

What is hyponatremia?

Hypo means below normal and natrium means sodium. Various electrolytes like sodium, potassium, bicarbonates, etc. are dissolved in blood plasma and they are maintained within a normal range. Normal sodium concentration in blood plasma is 136-145 milliequivalent per litre. If plasma sodium concentration falls below 135 milliequivalent per litre, it’s known as hyponatremia. It is caused by various medical conditions like excessive vomiting or diarrhoea, medicines that cause more urination (diuretics), some kidney diseases, hormonal imbalance, etc. In sodium deficiency, more body water accumulates in cells leading to cell swelling, especially brain cells. Patients mainly have neurological symptoms — nausea, headache, drowsiness, seizures, lethargy confusion and even coma. It is treated by restricting water intake and promoting water loss and by correcting underlying disease.

What is heavy water? 

Heavy water is chemically called deuterium oxide. Deuterium is one of the isotopes of hydrogen and also known as heavy hydrogen. The credit for discovering it goes to Urey who first proved that ordinary water contains one part of heavy water in 6,000 parts of it. In 1933, Lewis & Donald were able to isolate pure heavy water by continuous electrolysis of water containing alkali. Heavy water acts as a moderator in fission in uranium235. It also has germicide and bactericide properties. In India, it is manufactured at Trombay Nangal, Rourkela, Namrup and Neyveli.

Why is a hermit crab called so?

Usually the entire body of a crab is covered with a hard, calcified Armour. The hermit crab, however, lacks this protection on the hindmost part of its body, the abdomen, which is soft and vulnerable. It protects its abdomen, which contains important organs like the liver and the gonads, by inserting it into a gastropod shell. Most hermit crabs salvage empty seashells to shelter and protect their abdomens, from which they derive the name hermit. The abdomen is bent, so that it fits in the curvature of the snail house. In case of danger, the hermit crab withdraws deep into the shell where there isn’t room for two big pincers. When the crab grows and does not fit in its shell any longer, it looks for a bigger one. The original occupant, if still present, is picked out. Then, quickly and nervously the crab moves over into its new home.

Do animals suffer from diabetes and blood pressure too?

Yes, definitely Diabetes mainly occurs as a genetic disorder, mostly in dogs. It can also occur due to hormonal changes mainly due to insulin deficiency It can be treated with hormonal therapy and dietary regulations. Problems related to blood pressure also occur significantly in animals. Congestive cardiac failure, cardiac murmurs, ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest, etc. occur in dogs and other animals. Treatment is limited mainly to medicinal therapy Surgeries are seldom done.

Why a group of fish is called a ‘school’?

Some fish tend to swim in groups in order to protect themselves from their predators. The collective noun, which denotes such a group depends on the species of the fish in the group, as, exemplified by the terms a troop of dogfish, a swarm of eels and a glide of flying fish. The most common collective nouns for a group of fish in general are school and shoal. Both the words have evolved from the same common Dutch root ‘schole’ meaning a troop or crowd.

Why is ethyl alcohol called ‘grain alcohol’?

Ethyl alcohol or ethanol is mainly prepared by fermentation of various sugars. These are obtained from sugarcane and sometimes from starchy grains like barley etc. That’s why ethanol is sometimes referred to as ‘grain alcohol’. For example, ethanol used in beer is extracted from barley.

What is bitchology?

Bitchology is the theory, practice and technique of being successful in a man’s world. A bitch should be Strong and self-confident but should remember to use feminine wiles, such as her attractiveness and, whenever useful, she should try to come across as a helpless creature. The 20th century definition of a bitch was a mean, spiteful, bad-tempered and unpleasant woman. In the 21st century, it’s an empowering name, a compliment, a title that all women should embrace. It’s a woman who is proud of who she is, stands up for herself, knows what she wants, willing to take risks, all in a pleasant but in a strong feminine manner.

What does the term agroecosystem mean?

An ecosystem modified for agricultural use is called agroecosystem. It includes dynamic association of several biotic and abiotic factors viz. crops,pastures, livestock, flora and fauna, atmosphere, soil, water, etc. Design and functioning of an agricultural pattern with inputs and outputs, as well as integration of social, economic and ecological factors makes agroecosystems complex in comparison to natural ecosystems. The level of an agroecosystem varies with the agricultural system designed for more efficient use of natural resources which results in higher agricultural productivity.

Is there any scientific proof to confirm the concept of rebirth?

Reincarnation holds the notion that some essential part of a living being (or sometimes, only humans) can survive death in some form, i, with its integrity partly or wholly retained, to be reborn in a new body. This is often referred to as the spirit or soul. In such beliefs, a new personality is developed during each: life, based on past-integrated experience and new acquired experiences, but some part of the being “remains constantly present through successive lives. Many persons have claimed to record memories of past lives. Dr Ian Stevenson has researched the subject extensively but it hasn’t been proven scientifically

Why is mesokaryotes called so?

‘Meso’ means ‘in between’ and ‘karyon’ means ‘nucleus’. As mesokaryotic cells contain a well organised nucleus like that of eukaryotic cells, but its nucleus divides through amitosis like that of prokaryotes, so the cells are termed mesokaryotes which indicates its nucleus resembles both eukaryotic and prokaryotic nucleus. It has been found that the Peridinium balticum din flagellate contains both a mesokaryotic nucleus and a eukaryotic nucleus.

Why the roaring forties are called so?

Western winds move in both the hemispheres (northern and southern) between 35 to 60 degrees latitudes. In the southern hemisphere, these winds show a very stormy nature after 40 degree latitude. This remains constant in summer as well as in winter. In the olden days, sailors called them ‘roaring forties’, ‘furious fifties’ and ‘crying sixties’ since these winds create a very noisy atmosphere and were not favourable for them at all.

Why is international diabetes day celebrated on november 14?

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) established world Diabetes Day, celebrated every year on November 14, in 1991 with the aim of coordinating diabetes advocacy worldwide. Since then, it has become the primary global awareness campaign of the diabetes community. World Diabetes Day commemorates the birthday of Frederick Banting, who with his colleague Charles Best, discovered insulin in 1921. The disease is a leading cause of blindness, kidney failure, amputation, heart attack and stroke. It is one of the most significant causes of death, responsible for a similar number of deaths each year as HIV/AIDS.

What is the difference between quagmire and quicksand?

Quagmire is a bog or swamp i.e. a lowland area permanently saturated with water. The word is also used to denote a situation fromwhich it is almost impossible to escape. On the other hand, quicksand is a bed of loose sand and mud mixed with water, which forms a soft, shifting mass, which sucks down any object that comes on it. For instance, you may get stuck in a quagmire, but you won’t be swallowed by it. But you would be in quicksand.

What is the significance of crab shaped bread?

The crab-shaped loaf of sourdough bread is baked at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. The crab shaped loaf is a long-standing holiday tradition that coincides with the local Dungeness crab season. The Fisherman’s bakery produces about 3,000 loaves of bread per day. The famous Dungeness crab owes it name to the small village Dungeness near Sequim, Washington and now it is well known around the world.

What is oxygen toxicity?

Although, oxygen is essential for our survival, breathing it in excess can cause harm to our central nervous system and lungs. The harmful effects caused by oxygen in people breathing it at excessive pressure and for prolonged periods is called oxygen toxicity Divers breathing from their own gas cylinders and patients in intensive care units of hospitals are susceptible to the above problem, if they violate the safety limits on the pressure of the gas mixture and period of breathing. Some of the symptoms experienced by divers violating the pressure and time norms are dizziness, nausea, twitching and convulsions. Breathing oxygen at excessive pressure for a long time can also damage the lungs, which in turn leads to breathlessness.

Why is mercury used in thermometers despite being the poorest conductor of heat? 

Most metals are good conductors of heat and they are solids at room temperature. Mercury is the only one in liquid state at room temperature. It’s used in thermometers because it has high coefficient of expansion. Hence, the slightest change in temperature is notable when it’s used in a thermometer. It also has a high boiling point which makes it very suitable to measure higher temperatures. Also, it has a shiny appearance and doesn’t stick to the glass surface of glass.

Why is refined sugar more harmful than jaggery for diabetes patients though both are produced from sugarcane?

Sugar contains various types of carbohydrates like glucose, fructose, glactose, lactose, ribose, maltose and sucrose. Sucrose is further converted into glucose which provides energy to the body Insulin, which is secreted by the pancreas, converts sucrose into useful sugar. In diabetics, the insulin secretion doesn’t take place, so the sugar which is not useful gets accumulated in the body. Jaggery is a natural sweetener made from sugarcane juice simply by evaporation or the method called centrifugation without the use of any chemicals, synthetic additives or preservatives. It contains an enormous wealth of minerals, protein, vitamins and useful sugar.

Who invented the biometric system?”

The use of biometric technology, which utitilises body characteristics to identify a person, goes back to the ancient civilisations of Egypt and China. However, modern-day biometrics has evolved thanks to the contribution of several minds. Joao De Barros, a European explorer is credited with recording the first known system of fingerprinting in the 14fh century Alphonse Bertillon, a policeman from Paris, studied body mechanics in an effort to identify criminals. In recent years, John Daugman, a physicist, has done pioneering work in developing the biometric iris recognition system. Owing to its accuracy, biometric systems are being used to help nab terrorists. Pakistan recently installed biometric systems at its border to keep a check on cross-border militancy from Afghanistan.

Is there any logical answer to the question: what comes first — the chicken or the egg?

Human beings evolved from apes. However, a male and female ape did not reproduce to give birth to a human child. As per Darwin’s theory of the survival of the fittest, Nature always chooses the fittest form of a species and allows it to exist and reproduce further. Due to this competition, a continuous gene mutation and development occurs in every living being until and unless a stable form is achieved. This happened among birds too, whose outputs were genetically different and these laid eggs. Finally, an egg was laid after many additive and subtractive combinations, from which came the chicken. Therefore, we can conclude that the chicken came first.

What are the patagonia calves?

The Patagonia calves are clonedand genetically modified calves which can produce human insulin. Scientists are hoping to extract this hormone from the Patagonia calves 1, 2, 3 and 4, which will be produced in these calves when they mature, and thereby bring down the cost of treating diabetes. The project was conducted by a Buenos Aires-based biotechnology company Bio Sidus.

Why do our veins appear green when the blood flowing in them is red?

Under normal light, blood appears red because most colours are absorbed except for red, which bounces back from the blood. Every colour but red is absorbed by the oxygen-carrying pigment haemoglobin (Hb). If a filter that blocks the reflected colour is positioned between the blood and the eyes of the person looking at the veins, the perceived colour changes. In the case of humans, the skin serves as a filter for the colour red, and the colour is therefore perceived as green. The exact colour spectra is determined by the relative levels of oxygenated iron (HbO) and carbon dioxide in the blood. High levels of oxygen reflect red, and high levels of carbon dioxide reflect blue, which, when mixed with the yellowish colour of fat and or the skin, end Up looking green.

How was curd first prepared?

According to a popular legend, while travelling across a desert, some Turks kept milk in a goatskin bag and slung it across the back of a camel. On opening the bag a few ‘ hours later, they found that it had been transformed into a thick, tangy custard. The desert sun and the bacteria in the bag had enabled preparation of curd, also known as yoghurt.

How were the pharaohs of egypt mummified?

The title ‘pharaoh’ was given to a ruler of Egypt. Egyptians believed in life after death and made elaborate arrangements to preserve their king’s body First, the body was dried thoroughly using the desert sand. Then, the internal organs were removed because they decay easily The body was embalmed with preservatives like palm wine, natron, oils, herbs, resins and spices. Later, the body was wrapped in strips of linen bandages in the process called mummification and placed in a coffin and put in a pyramid.

What’s unique about the insula?

Insula is the region in the brain that’s considered to be the seat of social emotions such as disgust, pride, humiliation, lust, guilt and atonement. The insula also seems to react to body states such as hunger and craving. Scientists believe it holds the key to tackling addiction of all sorts. People who’ve suffered damage in this prune-sized region of the brain were able to effortlessly give up the smoking habit.

Why is plastic surgery called so?

The word plastic is derived from the Greek ‘plastikos’ meaning to mould or to shape. Plastic surgery is the technique used to change the appearance or function of human bodies through either cosmetic or reconstructive operations. The use of plastic in this context is not connected with the most common synthetic polymer material known as plastic. It is interesting to note that the knowledge of plastic surgery existed in India as early as 8 B.C. when ancient physicians utilised skin grafts for reconstructive work. The Sushruta Samhita describes the knowledge of plastic surgery in the form of rhinoplasty and otoplasty.

Although plants give out carbon dioxide at night, why is the morning air fresh?

Plants give out carbon dioxide not only at night but during the day too. It happens because of the process of respiration in which plants take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. As soon as the sun rises another process called photosynthesis starts, in which carbon dioxide is taken in and oxygen is given out. Thus, the proportion of oxygen becomes greater in comparison to carbon dioxide in the lower atmosphere. The morning air has lesser amount of vehicle exhaust, dust, soot and smoke. All these make the morning air fresh. This is the reason why doctors advise patients to take morning walks.

Why aren’t flying birds pulled to the earth’s surface due to gravitational force?

It’s a misconception if one thinks flying birds are not pulled by Earth’s gravity Every object on Earth is influenced by gravity. Even the Earth is influenced by the Sun’s gravity So, if birds fly, they are doing so despite the gravitational pull, through their aerofoil structure. There are differences in velocity on the upper and lower side of aerofoil. This creates pres- sure differences i.e. the lower side gets more pressure and the upper side gets lesser pressure which lifts up the bird. The movement of wings creates the thrust to enable a bird to move forward. Thus, birds overcome gravity and gain height.

What is bilharzia?

A chronic disease, endemic in parts of Africa and South America, it is caused by infestation with blood flukes — leaf shaped, unsegmented flat worms calle schistosomes. Ii is named after the German physician T Bilharz. It is common in the tropics where ponds, streams and irrigation canals harbour bilharzla-transmitting snails. The worms feed on Red Blood Corpuscles and dissolved nutrients. Liver enlargement and kidney damage are mostly caused by these flukes.

Why does the planet venus rotate from east to west, not the other way around like other planets?

Venus is the hottest planet with a temperature of about 450 degrees to 500 degrees Celsius. Venus is not only close to Mercury but also has a similar temperature (Mercury’s temperature ranges from 400 to 450 degrees C). Venus repels Mercury away due to like charges. This makes Venus rotate from East to West.

What is the difference between a tortoise and a turtle?

A tortoise is a reptile of the order Chelonia and belongs to the family Testudinidae. Its body is enclosed in a hard shell. Turtles are freshwater or marine reptile whose body is protected by a shell. When in danger, a tortoise withdraws its head and limbs in to the shell. Turtles cannot retract their heads into their shells. Most tortoises are herbivorous and have no teeth. Turtles are generally omnivorous, feeding mainly on sea grasses and a range of animals including worms, frogs, and fish. Tortoise lay eggs in warm earth and are not incubated by the mother. Turtles often swim long distances to lay their eggs on the beaches where they are born. Turtles are excellent swimmers, having legs that resemble oar-like flippers. Unlike turtles, tortoise do not swim.

What is the bsx factor?

Bsx refers to the brain specific homeobox transcription factor, a gene mutation which causes people to fidget more, which experts believe also helps them in losing weight. They also believe that the sluggishness caused by the absence of the gene mutation can explain why they gain weight.

What is the significance of the cross in medicine?

The history of the cross in medicine seems to have originated with Christian monks running free hospitals. These monks either wore crosses hanging as pendants, or robes with crosses painted over them, or used the cross as a source of relief for the sick. In 1859, Swiss businessman Henry Dunant founded the International Committee for Relief to the Wounded to medically aid the war-wounded regardless of nationality. For its logo, Dunant reversed the Swiss national flag, a white cross on a red background. But the symbol gave a spiritual cloak to the organisation’s selfless service and became so identified with its work that people referred to it by the name of the emblem.

What is an e-cigarette?

It is a battery-operated cigarette which looks and feels like a real cigarette but it isn’t bad for health. It is being marketed by a Chinese company in the hope that China’s 40 million smokers will quit. Beijing-based SBT Co. first developed the e-cigarette technology in 2003 and it is now controlled by Golden Dragon. The cigarettes sell for around $208 apiece and are already available in China, Israel, Turkey, and a number of European countries. It’s not yet sold in Australia or the United States.

Is it all right to cook food in aluminium vessels?

Aluminium has good thermal conductivity for cooking. However, it can react with acidic foods and change the flavour and colour of the food cooked. Sauces containing egg yolks or vegetables such as asparagus may cause oxidation of non-anodised aluminium. Sometimes, Alzhelmer’s disease is linked to the use of aluminium but to date there is no proof that the metal is involved in causing, the disease.                   

What is fe-fortlfied rice?

Fe-fortified rice is rice enriched with iron- It’s a blend of premixed iron-fortified rice grains with ordinary rice. Ordinary rice grains are coated with iron in a suitable solvent and binder. A meal containing just one grain of iron fortified rice mixed with 100 grains of normal rice can make a lot of difference to malnutritioned children in India. Intake of approximately 4 to 6 cups of cooked iron-fortified rice will meet the daily Iron requirement of the body

Why are the heart, not any other organ, and the focus of all love stories?

As per Hindu mythology Lord Kamdev pierced the hearts of lovers with his arrow made of flowers. Lord Hanuman opened his chest to show Lord Ram and Sita seated in his heart. Images of an arrow through a heart is popular symbol the world overWe associate our emotions with the heart, although it is not the source of them. Had the focus of all love stories been any other organ, things would have been rather funny

Why are the heart, not any other organ, and the focus of all love stories?

Faster or stronger (or even irregular) heart beats are the most evident physical sign of any emotion we experience, not of love alone. Looking into the brain requires sophisticated instrumentation. Hence the millenia-old belief of lay persons that the heart is the seat of all emotions.

What’s special about the tomato trees?

These single vine tomato trees planted by Yong Huang (Epcots Manager of agricultural science), are the only single vine tomato trees in the US. It produces more than 32,000 tomatoes. Huang discovered the unique plant while vacationing in Beijing. They were planted in a specially designed experimental greenhouse. The vine now grows golf-sized tomatoes which are harvested and served at restaurants at Walt Disney World, Florida.

Why is the golden toad extinct?

The golden toad was once unique for its shimmering yellow colour and was found exclusively in Costa Rican jungles. Now, it has the dubious distinction of being extinct. Experts blame global warming for its disappearance from the planet. They believe that rising temperatures have led to a dangerous form of skin fungus entering their habitats. Also, two types of Harlequin frogs have become extinct, and several more reptiles and amphibians are on this ecological hit list.

What is the estimated age of the earth?                

It is believed that the Earth is 4-5 billion years old. Almost nothing is known of the Earth’s conditions during the first billion years before the consolidation of its crust. Through some methods like tidal force, sedimentation, rate of erosion, salinity of the ocean and radioactivity, the Earth’s age has been estimated but still debatable. The Big Bang theory, which explains the formation of the universe, was postulated in the 1950s and 1960s and its validity in 1972, proved by evidence received from the Cosmic Background Explorer to now accepted.

What is redshift in astronomy?

It is the increase in wavelength of the light from a stellar object towards the red end of the visible spectrum. This is usually caused by the object rapidly going away from the observer. The light spectra of distant galaxies show marked redshifts. This is normally interpreted as implying that they are rapidly receding from us.

What is the crigler-najjar syndrome?

The Crigler-Najjar Syndrome (CNS) is an inherited metabolic disorder caused by a liver enzyme deficiency which prevents the usual metabolic breakdown of bilirubin — a normal by-product in our body’s disposal of worn-out red blood cells. It is named after Dr Crigler and Dr Najjar who discovered this rare disease. Children with CNS must undergo daily 12-hour exposure to special blue light, just to survive. Without this, a child would suffer brain damage, muscle and nerve damage and die due to bilirubin toxicity.

Why the owl is considered wise?

Large eyes symbolise wisdom. As the owl has prominent eyes, some people consider it very wise. Perhaps for the same reason, it is associated with gods in some mythologies. Athena, the Greek goddess of knowledge and wisdom, transforms herself into an owl sometimes, and hence the Greeks consider the owl to be wise. In Hindu mythology, the goddess Laxmi is supposed to be accompanied by a white owl, and hence Hindus consider the owl a harbinger of prosperity. Due to its fierce appearance and mysterious nocturnal movements, some people feel the owl symbolises evil and death.

What is ‘wing-in-ground’ aircraft?

This is an aircraft that combines the power of a ship and a plane. Although it flies just above half a meter above the surface of the sea. It is six times faster than a ship and can go up to speeds of 300 km per hour. It can even carry up to four tonnes of weight, much more than the average plane. The ‘wing-in-ground’ aircraft is the brain child of Chinese scientists.

What is ramanujan number?

The number 1729 is known as the Ramunujan Number. It was Ramanujan who discovered that it is the smallest number that can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways. 1729 = I3 + 123 = 93 + 103.

What is palynology?

Palynology is the branch of science dealing with study of decayresistant remains of certain plants and animals. It can be classified as an interdisciplinary science and is a branch of earth science (geology or geological science) and biological science, particularly plant science (botany). The term Palynology was introduced by Hyde and Williams in 1944, on the basis of the Greek words paluno meaning to sprinkle and pale meaning dust.

What is the tangible 3d system?

Created by a Japanese firm, the tangible 3D system allows users to not only see but also feel a three-dimensional image with the help of a sensor-loaded glove. Possible commercial uses of this technology could include linking it to video phones, which will allow users to not only see but even touch their loved ones, even if they are far away.

What is no-till farming?

No-till farming is a cultivation technique of planting crops in previously unprepared soil or piece of land by opening a narrow slot, trench or band only of sufficient width and depth to obtain proper seed coverage. It requires no other preparation as required in conventional farming. Widely accepted in England and Europe, this soil conservation technique is also known as conservation tillage or zero tillage.

What does life-shirt refer to?

It is a vest that can be used to detect mental illness in a person, particularly manic depression and schizophrenia. The vest, which is lightweight and machine-washable, is filled with sensors which monitor several body functions including body movement. It gives a picture of the person’s physical activity, which scientists believe can be used to identify those who are in early stages of a bipolar disorder.

What is the hutchison effect?

The Hutchison Effect is a collection of phenomena discovered accidentally by John Hutchison during attempts to study the longitudinal waves of Tesla in 1979. The list includes levitation of heavy objects; fusion of dissimilar materials such as metal and wood; anomalous heating of metals without burning adjacent material; spontaneous fracturing of metals; changes in the crystalline structure and disappearance of metal samples. Hutchison and his supporters surmise that these phenomena arise from zero-point energy or the Casimir Effect. John Hutchison has not been able to replicate it on demand.

What is fringe science?

Fringe science may be a field of enquiry which is not yet considered a real science. It is also known as a proto-science. The phrase is used to describe scientific enquiry in an established field of study that departs significantly from mainstream theories. Fringe science is also used to describe unusual theories and models of discovery which have their basis in established scientific principles.

What is bio-sensor technology?”

Bio-sensor technology utilizes enzymes and antibodies, to identify sugars and proteins in body fluids, contaminating agents in air and gases in air. Commercially; it’s most popular avatar is, the blood glucose bio-sensor which uses an enzyme to break down blood glucose. Thai scientists have almost developed a technology which uses bio-sensors to detect tuberculosis.

What are spiral waves?

A wave rotating in two dimensions is called a Spiral wave because of its shape. There is a mathematical theory for waves in negative viscosity media. This theory predicts spiralling waves. Spiral waves have been demonstrated experimentally in a variety of biological and non-biological systems (heart, brain, retina, various social amoeba, and auto-catalytic chemical reactions). The heart muscle is actually three-dimensional. The waves in 3-D are said to be ‘scroll waves’.

What is a persian astrolabe?

The Persian Astrolabe is a historical astronomical instrument used by classical astronomers and astrologers. Brass astrolabes were developed in much of Persia (Iran), chiefly as an aid to navigation and as a way of finding the qibla, the direction of Mecca. In the Islamic world, astrolabes were used to find the times of sunrise and the rising of fixed stars, to help schedule morning prayers. It was the chief navigational instrument until the invention of the compass and sextant. Its many uses included locating and predicting the positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars; determining local time given the local longitude and vice-versa; surveying, and triangulation. Astrologers of European nations used astrolabes to construct horoscopes. In the Islamic world, they are and were used primarily for astronomical studies, though astrology was often involved there as well.