Beauty is not mostly about looks rather it’s about one’s nature. It is all those qualities that create good vibes among the people around.
The refreshing sunrise and fading sunset. The bright moon and the twinkling stars. Colourful birds and roaming animals. They all are beauties of Earth.
Kindness, compassion, love, care, humbleness and respect, all these are the beauties of beings. All species have these beauties.
But, think of ourselves what we do is that we create our standards of beauty, the perfect look that one should have. And then, we communicate our irrelevant remarks on the physical appearance of people and make them feel bad. It is better to be a moment of happiness in someone’s life rather than making someone feel bad for how they look.
Tall and short. Slim and fat. Young and old. Colour of skin. These all are the traits which distinguish people from each other. They should not be taken as standards of beauty. Beauty resides in one’s nature and behaviour.
Today’s blog post is about the reasons because of which viruses get transmitted to other organisms easily through bats.
Bats are the carriers of many viruses, like rabies, Hendra, Marburg, Ebola viruses, even the coronavirus is believed to be transmitted through them. A total of about 60 zoonotic viruses (the viruses which can be spread through animals, including human beings) are transmitted by them.
They are the only mammals having flight capability, so the viruses could be spread easily when they fly from one region to another. The viruses spread through their saliva, faeces and urine.
Their life span is around 30 years so they bring the viruses near the environment for a long time.
They live in groups so, even one carrier can easily spread viruses to their groups (hundreds and thousands of bats, together) in contact.
The body temperature (about 40⁰C) of bats is comparatively much higher than other mammals thus, creating more immunity in them in the initial stage of infection as most viruses could not withstand that temperature.
Why bats do not get infected by the viruses they carry within themselves?
STING (Stimulator Interferon Genes) pathway is weak in bats (because of a mutation replacing serine amino acid from the sequence) so their immune system produces less reaction against the viruses present in their body and remains unaffected thus, bats have unique capability of coexisting with the viruses.
(STING pathway is responsible for the production of interferons, which activates immune response against viruses).
Bats do spread deadly viruses but, they are also vital for the ecosystem as they occupy a position in the food chain by eating other insects and they also help in pollination.
I hope this love season treating you well. Have a Great Day Ahead.
Would love to learn more from you on this…thank you.
The fact that about three fourth of Earth is covered with water in the form of oceans, seas, rivers, lakes etc. is known by all of us.
But, how these water bodies were formed and what is the source of this much amount of water on Earth is the major topic of controversies and debate for the scientists.
The oceans are significant domains of the Earth because the first life was originated in the oceans and it protected the first organic molecules and organisms from the meteoritic bombardment and UV radiations.
Various theories have been proposed about the particular topic but, none of those is universally accepted till now.
The major theories can be studied as follows:
1. Cometary Theory The present volume of the water of the oceans is 1.4×10²¹ kg. The theory stated that during the earlier days of the formation of Earth, it was hit by several comets. These comets were full of water and about 2.2- 8.5×10²¹ kg of water was supplied to the Earth. But, it was not possible that the comets actually hit the planet during its formation period so, this theory is not accepted.
2. Terrestrial Water Inventory This states that the source of water and other volatile substances (including water and carbon dioxide) is the interior of Earth. During the time when the planet was formed, the substances were degassed outside.
3. Volcanism This states that the major source of volatiles is the volcanic eruption which released a large amount of water and carbon dioxide into atmosphere.
4. Asteroids About 90% of the total water on Earth’s surface was brought to the Earth through asteroids which entered inside. This is proved by the fact that deuterium to hydrogen ratio of oceanic water is close to that of asteroids. But, the ratio was found to be slightly different in deeper regions of Earth indicating that there are other sources of water also, besides the asteroids.
5. Solar nebula It is the clouds of gas and dust left after the formation of sun. Scientist Jun Wu suggests that one or two water molecules out of the 100 water molecules on Earth were formed from solar nebula. When the Earth was formed, its upper surface comprised of a large amount of magma. The atmosphere was initially composed of the hydrogen and noble gases brought by the solar nebula.
It is native plant of Madagascar but, also grown in other parts of the world as ornamental plant and for medicinal purposes. It is used in Indian and Chinese medicine system for curing diabetes, malaria etc. The cancer drug vinblastine is extracted from this plant.
Red Amaranth – Amaranthus cruentus
It is native plant of Central and South America. The plant is grown as ornamentals and as staple food because seeds, flowers and leaves of the plant are edible. It is also consumed as green vegetables in Asian countries. It is similar to the beet in terms of the nutrients as it is rich in carotene, protein, Vitamin C etc. The plant is also used to extract red dyes.
Hope you liked the post. This is probably the last post of year 2020.
Today I am with amazing findings of Daniel Chamovitz, who is a director of Manna Center for Plant Biosciences, Tel Aviv University. He discovered that plants do feel and smell on the basis of his experimental findings and observations.
Earlier, he found a group of genes which controlled the response and growth of plant in varying sunlight and they seemed to be unique to plants.
His later studies concluded that the same genes are a part of human genome also and were involved in regulating sunlight dependent 24 hours circadian clock of human beings. Besides this, they were involved in cell division, growth of neurons (because of which we are able to sense our environment and respond accordingly) and maintenance of immune system. Thus indicating genetic similarity between the plants and animals.
The animals are mobile i.e. they could move to any place for their safety and as per their needs. In contrast, plants are immobile i.e. they cannot move so, they need to sense the changing environment to survive in it. So, they do have complex and sensitive mechanism for this purpose.
Sense of Smell
When we talk about smell we specifically refer to some volatile chemical compounds present in the air to which we respond.
Some example supporting the smelling sensation of plants are:
When unripe fruits are kept with the ripe fruits the aroma produced by ripe fruit in air in perceived by unripe fruit and so, it gets signals and begins to ripe. The ripe fruits naturally releases ethylene gas which helps in ripening of fruits.
The dodder plant do not perform photosynthesis rather it feeds on host plants. It chooses its host, the neighbouring plants by smelling and prefers the hosts which smell good and are tastier!! Between tomato and wheat, it chooses tomato.
Memory of Plants
Plants do have memory but, it is for short duration only e.g. the case of insectivorous Venus Fly Trap plants which close only after the bug has touched two of hairs of the plants. This implies that it remembers when its hairs were first touched. But, this information lasts for only 20 seconds.
The plants that grow in stressful conditions give rise to the young plants who are more resistant to the condition.
Communication in Plants
It is proven that the plants give certain signals to the plants e.g. when a plant is undergoing insect or pathogen attack, they release certain chemical to alert the other plants for danger and they start synthesizing chemicals to save themselves.
It has been found out that the plants in dry and drought conditions communicate to the other plants through roots to prepare them.
Research is still being performed on Darwin’s root-brain hypothesis, which suggests that the tip of the root act as a brain in the plants.
It came into my mind that all of us has encountered some major events in our lives. Similarly, our Earth would have also gone through the events of same kind. Mass-extinction is one of those events. Have a Read!
Mass-extinction is also known as biotic crisis or extinction-level event. It is characterized by major loss of biodiversity. When the extinction rate of organisms outweighs the speciation rate of organisms, mass- extinction occurs. Till now, Earth has witnessed a total of five mass-extinction.
Reasons Behind Mass Extinction
1. Global cooling i.e. the time period of the ice age characterised by colder temperatures and glaciation.
2. Global warming i.e. rise in average temperature because of enormous emission of greenhouse gases.
3. Glaciation i.e. formation of glaciers or freezing of water bodies this, leading to destruction of aquatic life.
4. Fluctuations in Sea Level– In case of global warming the sea level rises while that in case of global cooling the sea level lowers down thus, adversely affecting the aquatic habitats.
5. Global Anoxia i.e. decrease in oxygen concentration in atmosphere may have caused extinction as organisms could not survive in absence of oxygen.
6. Volcanic Eruptions i.e. release of lava and a large amount of gases from a volcanic vent.
7. Entry of asteroid, comets, and Meteors on Earth.
8. Gamma Rays released from supernova event may be a reason for mass extinction as these rays can penetrate through cells and destroy them.
9. Disease– Genome to genome transmission of pathogenic diseases would have lead to extinction of a specific species. About 12% of species extinction has been caused by diseases.
A Brief of the Mass Extinctions (mya-million years ago )
This was all about the five mass extinctions. But, let me remind you that, we are moving towards the sixth mass extinction and the reason would be us, the Homo sapiens.
There is a immediate need of environmental conservation to avoid such events in future.
Earlier the mass extinctions were due to the natural changes but, for the sixth mass extinction, our fatal activities such as deforestation, environmental pollution, burning of fossil fuels and many more are enough to welcome another one in 240 to 540 years.
Have you ever wondered🤔 why fireflies flicker? Why does water surface glows in dark?
The reason is phenomenon of bioluminescence. Have a read:
Bioluminescence is the process through which light is produced and emitted by living organisms.
It is generally found in the aquatic marine organisms living in water columns, under deep sea, among corals etc. It also occurs in the fireflies.
Scientists believe that bioluminescence could be the most common way of communication on the planet because the phenomenon mostly occurs in deep sea, which occupies the major portion of planet!!
They have also discovered that the phenomenon of bioluminescence has evolved around 40 times in the course of evolution while rayfinned fishes alone have evolved about 27 times.
Lanternfish have a light emitting organ, photophores present at their belly, ventral surface and a light organ at nose acts as a headlight.
A biological clock controls bioluminescence in the dinoflagellate, Pyrocystis fusiformis i.e. after the sunset chemicals responsible for light emission are synthesized.
The phenomenon is known to be existing in 1,500 species of fish, bacteria, algae, sharks, sea stars, jelly fishes and crustaceans.
Some dinoflagellates form blooms on the surface of ocean giving reddish-brown colour to them. But, at night, they sparkle with the waves of ocean. Some of them are toxic to living system thus, given the name harmful algal blooms (HBA). When they are consumed by aquatic organisms, they fall ill or may die too.
The way bioluminescent organisms flicker is due to a chemical reaction occurring in their abdomen, a molecule called luciferin which reacts with oxygen to produce light. In some organisms, an enzyme called luciferase catalyzes this reaction.
Different forms of luceferin is present in different species.
Sometimes luciferin occurs in the form of photo-protein, which immediately lights up an organism in presence of calcium ions.
As bioluminescent organisms live deep under the ocean, lights of only smaller wavelength like, blue and green wavelengths of light reach our eyes when we observe them.
1. Protection from Predators- Squid release bioluminescent fluid to confuse predators.
2. Attraction of Mates- Some worms and crustaceans use bioluminescence to attract their mates.
3. Feeding- Some fishes create a lighted lure near their mouth to attract the prey.