General

David Rankin Watercolors of India

Posted by David Rankin on June 13, 2011

 
Forum Post
David Rankin's Ganges Himalayas Watercolor Expedition - Although I am primarily a Wildlife Artist who focuses on the Wildlife of India... my most recent efforts are centered on the sensitive regions of the Ganges Himalayas. And I am gradually posting my Artist Journal pages on Facebook from my artistic efforts from Haridwar... up into the high altitude glacial regions of Gangotri... Kedarnath... and Badrinath.

You can review this journal at...
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.467659279302.251769.773694302&l=3ae5840ff7

General

Cancer and Cateracts

Posted by Tulip Das on March 27, 2011

 
Forum Post
Cancer: Normal cells in the body multiply only when the body needs and die when body does not need them. Cancer appears when the growth of the cells became out of control and cells divide non stop again and again. The cancerous cells (which are also known as malignant cells) forgot how to die. Besides human, animals and other living organisms can get cancer. Cancer can develop almost in every organ or tissue such as colon, breast, lung, skin, bones, or nerve tissues. The various causes of cancer include-1. drinking excess alcohol. 2. genetic problem. 3. obesity. 4. radiation. 5. viruses. 6. excessive sunlight exposure.
But the cause of many cancers remain unknown. Lung cancer is the most common of all cancer- related death. Most of the cancers are diagnosed by biopsy.

Cataracts: Clouding of the lens in eye is referred to cataracts. It affects vision and are very commonly found in older people. cataracts generally grow slowly. some symptoms of cataracts are- 1. Blurry or/and double vision. 2. colors seems faded. 3. Vision not so well at night. 4. glare.
At first stage, some protection measures can help, like- using anti- glare glasses, use of sun glasses, brighter light. Surgery is also done by removing the cloudy lens by replacing it with artificial lens.


General

Enzymes

Posted by Tulip Das on February 18, 2011

 
Forum Post

Living system controls its activity through enzymes. Enzymes are biological catalysts. They increase or decrease the rate of chemical reaction in the cell, but enzymes remain unchanged after the reaction. Most cellular reaction occurs about a million time faster with the help of the enzymes rather than in the absence of it. Enzymes work on which chemical substances are known as substrate. Enzyme works on substrate to form an enzyme-substrate complex. After reaction, this complex split and produce the Product and enzyme get released. In the end of the reaction, enzyme remains unchanged and paired with another substrate. A small amunt of enzyme can work on a huge amount of substrate.

 

The term, enzyme was first used by Kuhne(1878). Buchner (1897) first collected enzymes from Yeast cell.

 

The general properties of enzymes are

1.      All enzymes are globular protein and catalyst.

2.      Their presence do not affect on characteristic and type of the Product.

3.      Enzyme reactions are bi-directional.

4.      Enzymes are selective for their substrate.

5.      Enzyme’s activity can be influenced by other molecules. Inhibitors are the molecule that decreases enzyme’s activity. Activators are molecule that increases the activity.

6.      Enzyme works in definite pH, temperature and concentration.

7.      The protein parts of the enzymes are apoenzyme, and non-protein part is known as co-factors.

 

International Union of Biochemistry (IUB) and Enzyme Commissiob (EC) classify and name the various enzymes. Generally, -ase is added with the name of the substrate to form the name of an enzyme, eg; the enzymes function on arginine and urea are respectively known as arginase and urease.

Tulip Das

General

Vacancy At Orange County Kabini, Karnataka

Posted by Joydeep Banerjee on November 22, 2010

 
Forum Post
We have vacancy for the post of Executive Naturalist at Orange County Kabini. Candidates with pleasing personality, communications skills and knowledge on wild life and conservation can apply.

http://www.orangecounty.in/kabini/home.php


Warm regards,

Joydeep Banerjee
Resident Manager
Orange County kabini
Website: www.orangecounty.in
Email: joydeep.banerjee17@gmail.com
joydeep.banerjee@orangecounty.in
Mob: 9980137141

General

Relive a Earth full of Life

Posted by Relivearth on August 25, 2010

 
Forum Post
There was a planet full of diversified lively species abiding by all natural laws. A planet of peace where only nature ruled. But the days are gone. The planet is now becoming home to only one species swiping out all other poor species. The intelligent species has challenged every natural laws, spread across every corner of this planet, killing and burning each and every other species. it is cleaning up and consuming every natural resources so fast that the poor planet will shortly have hardly anything to supply this species. With a population about 7 billion and growing at unstopping rate every moment,  it is nothing but Human species and the planet is our lovely earth. Humans are growing every second at such a faster rate that many of the species have total of less individuals compared to number of human births every secs. We are at war with Nature and there is none to stop us. It's only our intelligence that can show us the right path and save the whole planet along with us. It is high time to generate awareness among everyone about those species fighting for extinctions, places that are facing threats due to pollutions. We should start learning the importance other lives and beauty of Nature. Relivearth is such an effort to help anyone to bring any species, places to front line and create awareness. Then why don't you join this movement?

General

“BIRDS n MUSIC” by a j mithra

Posted by a j mithra on July 26, 2010

 
Forum Post

                   Birds are the most beautiful of all creations... Aren’t they? Of course they are.. There's so much we can learn from them, from living an organized lifestyle with what little they have and the way they take themselves and their homes and kids in times of adversities... Above all, we can learn a lot about music and the most important part played by music in its life….

                    Birds have never been to an university. But the fact is that, most of the universities around the world are behind birds, learning new things everyday about them.

                    Out of all that we can learn from birds, the most amazing habit is their singing, what the birders call as bird calls of bird songs.  Singing is their habit and way of living, but for us, singing is a hobby and we try to earn a living out of it…

                   Birds are the only creations which start their day with singing and end their day with singing… Oh! What joy they should have in their life to do so?                     A small Sun bird’s call can be heard as far as 300 to 400 meters. If a bird is as big as a human and if it sings, its singing can be heard as far as 3 to 4 kilometers... Well, that is what Ornithologists say... To sing that powerful, birds need lots of energy.Hence, they need to eat very often, because birds burn lot of calories on singing...

                    Maybe their early morning singing is the reason that they are able to fly hundreds of miles every day in search of food and water and yet returns home with so much of energy to end their day with another open-air concert ... There is a saying which goes like this “Laughter is the best medicine.”Birds can’t laugh... Is that why they sing to show their joy? Where there is joy,there is strength… Is that the reason why the birds are so strong that they can fly and we can’t? Birds never go to a doctor because that their music can heal them…Music has the power to heal you know?

                    Well, how many of us start or dare to start our day with singing? Where there is singing there is joy and where there is joy there is strength... It sounds so simple isn’t it? And it’s not just simple but, it’s powerful too…Birds know this secret and that’s why they bring so much joy through their singing…

                   Birds sing in perfect pitch and perfect rhythm... Musicians use a software called “NEUNDO” for recording and the default set for the Tempo is 120 BPM (beats per minute)… The rhythm of the song of most birds is set to the tempo of 120 BPM... It sounds as if they-had invented NEUNDO…Isn’t it quite astonishing or amazing or whatever you may call it?  The syncopation of bird songs has intricate patterns and most of them are new to men... They sing very short phrases compared to human singing, but, their syncopation has complicated but-complete rhythmic patterns…

                  Once as I was birding, I saw a Chestnut-headed bee-eater perched on a dry tree. Suddenly the bird flew as far as about 50 meters and flew back to the same place where it was perched with a dragon-fly stuffed into its beak.. The dragon-fly was still alive. So,the little bird whacked its beak. Tak, tak, tak, tak, tak, fivetimes on either side on the branch where it was perched to kill the dragon-flyall in one motion… Was just wondering, why it whacked five times… Then I found that, in music a rhythmic phrase always ends on the first beat of the next bar…Don’t we sing in a funeral? That’s what the Bee-eater did?  Hmmmmm… Was that not the poor dragon-fly’s funeral?

                  Birds like   Plain Wren, Atherton Scrub Wren, Carolina Wren and even Babblers; they spontaneously sing complicated rhythmic patterns like a seasoned jazz player... Most composers avoid composing on 5/8 rhythm because of its limitation and the complications involved in the execution of a song in this rhythm...

                   But, I’ve heard a Rustic Bunting’s bird call from the Macaulay’s Library of Cornell’s lab of ornithology, sing in 5/8 rhythmic pattern… I felt so small in front of this small little bird when I heard that song… How it is possible for this little bird to sing in this one of the most complicated rhythmic pattern so spontaneously? 

                   Each individual of Oriental Magpie Robin can sing more than fifteen songs per individual and each one is different... Just imagine how much competition would be there to impress upon the females?

                   There are birds like the Malabar Whistling Thrush, which is considered as one of the best singers of the bird community… Bird call specialists say that you would mistake its singing for a human whistling a song… But, I personally feel that, that statement shows human ego... If I sound arrogant, please forgive me for that, because, I personally feel that the song of the Malabar Whistling Thrush or any other bird on planet earth is ORIGINAL... NO COMPARISONS PLEASE… Each bird’s songs are special and they know that too.. That is why birds never get jealous when others sing... Do they?

                     Researchers say that, if a bird doesn’t learn to sing early, the percentage of survival is minimized...  This means Birds sings for survival… The mother bird feeds the chick which shouts the most first… So, the louder you sing the more you eat… Imagine if the same rule applies for mankind, how many of us would still be alive?

                     Birds sing to attract their mate… A bird which sings the best gets the most attractive mate… If again, the same rule applies to us, scores of us still be bachelors isn’t it?

                      Remember, most of us prefer to sing in the bathroom rather than in the church! We sing for applause,name, fame and money. If we start applauding, each time a bird sings, I wonder if any bird could live near us, for they will fly away and never venture to sing before a man again… But, Birds sing for the sheer joy of singing… When would we learn to live like them?

                    An African bird called the Slate colored  Bou Bou has a sound which resembles the wood block, a percussion instrument, which originated from Africa… May be the Africans were inspired by he bird’s call… There are tales after tales that say how man was inspired by nightingales and sparrows and cuckoos for their inspiring songs…

                    Birds never keep singing the same old songs all through their lives… To impress upon their mates they try to outwit their male subordinates by improvising their songs time and again... After all,female birds feel that, the males which sing the most complicated songs are the ones which are capable of taking care of their families better…  Is that why, great teachers like Socrates and Pythagoras taught music first before they taught mathematics and astronomy?

                   We stop teaching our kids with rhymes than music; and that too only till the kindergarten level… If only we had been singing all through our lives, this world would’ve been rid of jealousy, ego, hatred, terrorism and the list may go on and on… If Osama  Bin Laden had practiced music, he would’ve been a carrying a 4stringed Oudh - an Arabian stringed instrument plucked with the Quill of an Eagle’s feather, instead of an AK47…

                    Birds live in perfect harmony not only among themselves but also with the flow of nature… Once I heard a territorial call of an Indian bird called Common Iora. Each one was answering one an others territorial calls. They both were singing similar phrase. Slowly, the calls turned a bit aggressive I thought; because, one was answering before the other could finish singing its phrase. At one particular point when one over lapped the other’s call, like what we call singing cannon in music, it turned into a harmony. As a musician, I know it was perfect harmony. But, I don’t know if it was intentional or accident. All that I heard was perfect harmony. They are in harmony with time and season. Rain or shine, no matter what happens around them the birds are able to sing.

                    A home or a street or a town or a city or a state or a country which encourages and practices music will live in PERFECT HARMONY...  After all music is all about harmony and perfection of body, mind and soul…

                   It is because of us trying to move against the flow of nature that the world is facing severe biological catastrophe. If only we could learn to live in harmony with nature? This world would be the same as it was in the beginning.               It may be too late and too hard to live in harmony with nature right now. But, we can surely postpone the inevitable to a certain extent. This can happen only when we unite together in harmony and save earth so that they Birds can sing and sing and sing forever and ever… Come on, rain or shine; let us all learn to sing like birds at all times and live in PERFECT HARMONY…

General

Human Elephant Conflict

Posted by Susan Sharma on October 12, 2007

 
Forum Post


Elephants’ Fear Of Angry Bees Could Help To Protect Them


At a time when encroaching human development in former wildlife areas has compressed African elephants into ever smaller home ranges and increased levels of human-elephant conflict, a study in  Current Biology,  suggests that strategically placed beehives might offer a low-tech elephant deterrent and conservation measure.

The researchers found that a significant majority of African elephants fled immediately after hearing the sound of bees, providing "strong support" for the idea that bees, and perhaps even their buzz alone, might keep elephants at bay. By contrast, the elephants ignored a control recording of natural white-noise, the authors reported.

"We weren’t surprised that they responded to the threatening sound of disturbed bees, as elephants are intelligent animals that are intimately aware of their surroundings, but we were surprised at how quickly they responded to the sounds by running away," said Lucy King of the University of Oxford. "Almost half of our study herds started to move away within 10 seconds of the bee playback." King is also affiliated with Save the Elephants, a Kenya-based organization that aims to secure a future for elephants.

Earlier studies had suggested that elephants prefer to steer clear of bees. For instance, one report showed that elephant damage to acacia trees hosting occupied or empty beehives was significantly less than in trees without hives, the researchers said. In Zimbabwe, scientists have also seen elephants forging new trails in an effort to avoid beehives.

This behavioral discovery suggests that bees might very well be a valuable addition to the toolbox of elephant deterrents used by farmers and conservation managers across Kenya, King said. She added that such innovative approaches are sorely needed "to avoid extreme solutions such as shooting problem animals."

"But if we could use bees to reduce elephant crop raiding and tree destruction while at the same time enhancing local income through the sale of honey, this could be a significant and valuable step towards sustainable human-elephant coexistence."


Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071008130405.htm

 

 

General

Monsanto - Why the company failed

Posted by Susan Sharma on August 19, 2007

 
Forum Post

 Robert Shapiro rose to the top of Monsanto Corp. with a powerful vision for transforming the company from a chemical manufacturer to a life sciences company using genetic engineering to produce "Food,Health and Hope." His logic seemed impeccable: use science, specifically genetics, to engineer plants that were resistant to disease, drought, and insects and that produced better yields per acre using less energy and pesticides.  Monsanto spent millions of dollars developing the technology and several billion to acquire the seed companies and distributors it needed to make Shapiro’s vision a reality.  Wall street applauded Monsanto’s pioneering efforts.  The stock price even rose after the company slashed its dividend to help cover its heavy spending. 

Monsanto’s genetically engineered products were a hit with big American agricultural companies.  The soybean, corn, cotton, and other seeds, while more expensive to purchase than unmodified seeds, fulfilled Monsanto’s promise of better yields.  Cultivation of genetically modified crops in the United States soared from 18 million acres in 1997 to 58 million acres in 1998. By the end of that year Monsanto was on a path to generate $10 billion in annual revenue from a pipeline of new products to be introduced over the next few years.


Then the problems began.  A farmer in Canada reported that some canola seeds, genetically modified to be pesticide resistant, had escaped and cross pollinated with a related type of weed on the fringes of his field, creating, in effect, a "super weed" that couldn’t be controlled by existing pesticides.  A rival seed company introduced genes from a from a Brazil nut into a soybean to make it more nutritious as animal feed.  But soybeans are a big source of protein for human consumption too, and some people are fatally allergic to Brazil nuts.  The product never made it to the market, but news accounts speculating that modified soybeans could kill people allergic to Brazil nuts got plenty of attention.  And then there was the Terminator gene.  Monsanto bought a seed company that had patented the technology to insert a gene in crops that effectively sterilized new seeds when the crop was harvested.  The idea was to prevent farmers from saving the seeds from a portion of their crop to plant the next year, in effect, protecting the seed company’s proprietary genetic modification technology.  Farmers would have to buy new seeds each year.

Everything came to a head when Monsanto applied to sell its genetically modified seed in Europe.   Europeans were already reeling from a decade of health scares related to food, including Britain’s terrifying encounter with "mad cow" disease.  Although the European Union’s regulators gave Monsanto permission to sell its modified products, consumer reaction on the Continent verged on hysteria.   Environmental groups and the media led the charge against Monsanto, labeling its products "Frankenstein Foods".  Prince Charles weighed in with the opinion that "I happen to believe that this kind of genetic modification takes mankind into realms that belong to God, and to God alone."  The German subsidiaries of both Nestle` and Unilever said they would not use Monsanto’s genetically modified soybeans.   Polls showed huge majorities of Europeans firmly against altered foods.  Monsanto’s efforts to counter the critics-a $5million advertising campaign that told Europeans that while they were new to biotechnology, Monsanto has been researching the subject for twenty years-instead inflamed public opinion as being condescending.

Shapiro wasn’t swayed by the furor.  "This is the single most successful introduction of technology in the history of agriculture, including the plow," he proclaimed.  He acknowledged the opposition, but contended that "eventually, scientific proof should win over reluctant and skeptical consumers."

But science had never been the real issue.  Public opinion was what counted.  A consultant whom Monsanto brought in to mediate with the company’s growing number of critics gave up, claiming that Monsanto just didn’t get it.  "There is a barrier to really listening to what people are saying." he said of the company.  In the United States, where small farmers were becoming increasingly incensed over Monsanto’s efforts to collect fees and put restrictions on their use of modified seeds, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman got straight to the point, warning Shapiro to keep quiet because" every time he opens his mouth, U.S. agriculture loses millions more bushels of agriculture exports." Monsanto’s stock price fell 35 percent even as the overall market rallied 30 percent in 1999. 

( Source Know-How by Ram Charan)

General

Bicycle rally in Delhi

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 22, 2007

 
Forum Post

Delhi Cycling Club is organizing a bicycle rally  India Gate-Red Fort at 7.AM 0n 24th June 2007

to create awareness about various benefits of cycling;  Promote road safety  amongst cyclists;and demand from the Government the much needed cycle tracks on all main roads of Delhi. 

About DELHI CYCLING CLUB:

Formed by ITDP India in April 2007, Delhi Cycling Club is a forum of bicycle enthusiasts, health and environmental conscious citizens in New Delhi.

The club has been engaged in carrying out the following activities:

  1. Creating public awareness and sensitization about the environmental, health, economic, energy and other benefits of bicycling. 
  2. Educating various decision makers and stakeholders about the need and advantages of promoting cycling and NMT in our cities and integrating them with other modes of transportation. 
  3. Demanding fast implementation of better and safe cycling infrastructure in Delhi from the Government. 
  4. Planning regular traffic safety programmes for bicycle users in association with other NGOs and Traffic Police especially amongst the students and factory workers who are more vulnerable to accidents. 
  5. Planning and organizing regular bike trips on various themes such as Heritage Biking, Excursion trip, adventure trips, and bike rallies etc.

About ITDP INDIA:

The Initiative for Transportation and Development Programmes (ITDP India) is a Delhi based NGO involved in the research and advocacy of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT) cities and non motorized transportation. The organization is the India chapter of New York based Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP). ITDP is dedicated to the promotion of transportation policies and projects which are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable as well as equitable.

General

Women Foresters for Maharashtra

Posted by Susan Sharma on January 31, 2007

 
Forum Post

Maharashtra all set to induct women foresters

CHANDRAPUR: For 21-year-old Yogita Madavi, the steep climb of Tipagarh hills in the naxal-hit Gadchiroli last month was no mean feat. Physically challenged, this tribal girl wanted to prove a point. "My friends used to taunt by calling me a langdi. Every time they did so, I got more determined to prove my mettle some day. And I think I’ve done it," she says.

Yogita is one of the 11 successful girls who were recruited by the Maharashtra Forest Department last April after a written and physical test. She and her co-mates literally walked into what was hitherto a male bastion. "We walked 16 km in four hours on the trot to pass the physical test. All of us here passed the test at ease," the gutsy recruit says. “This is the first batch of women foresters in Maharashtra. And it’s doing very well,” said S P Wadaskar,  principal of Rangers Training College. Though a few other states have already recruited women cadres before, this is the first time in Maharashtra, he said. After a two-month training, the 11 women foresters would join work, the principal said.

Their responsibilities include everything from joint forest management to catching poachers and safeguarding wildlife.  They have to lead separate teams of guards to monitor the depleting jungle wealth.

Three of the 11 female recruits are married. Motivated by their husbands, all of them decided to join the department as foresters  post-marriage.  "It was my husband who motivated me to go for the test," said Seema Sherki nee Gore.

Last year, the forest department received 47,000 applications, including 7,000-odd from female aspirants for 36 vacant posts. Of them, 36,000 got short-listed for the preliminary examination.

About 520 got through for the mains, and finally only 33, including 11 women were selected, Wadaskar said. Amrapali Khobragade, one of the women recruits, says: "We are no less than men. And we are extremely anxious to prove that women can work even harder than men. This was, perhaps, the only field without women. There is no field left now where women haven’t countered risks and challenges successfully."

Source: DNA, January 21, 2007 

 

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