Snippets: 'Science Reporter', October 2013

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SMART SPONGE FOR CONTROLLED DRUG DELIVERY
Researchers have developed a drug delivery technique that comprises of a sponge-like material surrounding an insulin core. Proposed to be used for diabetes treatment, the sponge expands and contracts in response to blood sugar levels to release insulin as needed. The drug delivery systems mimic the health beta cells of the Islets of Langerhans cells.
ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM RESEMBLES A PARKING GARAGE
Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) is one of the most important eukaryotic organelles know as the site of protein synthesis. Recent study has shown that it looks exactly like the parking garage.
BEAVERS PLAY A ROLE IN CLIMATE CHANGE
Beaver is a rodent kind of animal. They naturally thrive in swamps or areas where water is collected in abundant. They don’t allow conversion of carbon into gaseous form when the plants die in the particular area.
KOMBUCHA – THE MAGICAL DRINK
Kombucha is a refreshing beverage obtained by the fermentation of sugared tea with a symbiotic culture of acetic bacteria and yeasts, consumed for its beneficial effects on human health. It is also called tea fungus.
SCIENTIST OF INDIA – OBAID SIDDIQI
⇒ He is the man who changed the Outlook of Biological Sciences in India
He died due to brain injury recently on 26th July, 2013.
His prominent work includes study of brain.
In 1992, he established the National Centre for Biological Sciences as a Centre of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) (i.e. he started a biology division).
Awards given – Padma Vibhushan (2006), Padma Bhushan (1984), Bhatnagar Prize (1976)
BASICS OF LASIK SURGERY
Definition of Lasik Surgery – Lasik Surgery is a quick and easy procedure to correct vision problems due to anatomical abnormalities in retina and cornea.
LASIK stands for Laser insitu Keratomileusis
What causes such defects in eyes – It is basically the problem with the focusing system of the eye which consists of cornea and the lens. Most problems are related to the improper functioning of cornea (either cornea is not able to curve or there is excess curvature of the cornea)
The only solution till now for these problems was wearing external lenses in the form of spectacles.
But now LASIK can be used which permanently reshapes the cornea for improved vision, has come into vogue.
LASIK uses special type of laser known as excimer laser.
An interesting aspect of LASIK is that two Indian-born scientists have made seminal contributions to make it possible. They are Dr. Mani Lal Bahumik and Dr. Rangaswamy Srinivasan.
Excimer Laser – Excimer lasers are a special class of gas lasers in which a mixture of a noble gas (argon, krypton or xenon) and halogen (chlorine or fluorine) form the lasing medium.
Dr. Bahumik and his colleagues at Northrop developed for the first time, an excimer laser using arogon and fluorine, which emitted radiation at the 193 nanometer wavelength.
PARK THIS WEEK – NAMDAPHA NATIONAL PARK
Present in the Tirap District of eastern Arunachal Pradesh
Famous for tiger, the leopard, the snow leopard and the clouded leopard.
SCIENTIST OF INDIA – SHANKAR ABAJI BHISE
Life time 1867-1935
Because of his great achievements he was called “The Edison of India”. Bhise has to his credit 200 inventions, for about 40 of which he took patents.
Published a science magazine in Marathi called Vividh Kala Prakash, through which he conveyed the importance of science to the common people.
Bhise’s most acclaimed invention is that of type-casting and composing machines.
He invented an automatic dwell machine, and obtained a patent for it. This invention was used on a wide scale in all the Bannerman type-casting machines of England.
Bhise’s next invention was the rotary multiple type caster. It could automatically cast and assemble over 3000 different types every minute, which was more than what several other European machines of similar kind could do at that time.
His first invention in the fields of chemistry was a washing compound ‘Rola’ in 1917.
He also developed a medicine named ‘Automodine’ which was used extensively during First World War.
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