Monday, July 28, 2008

An Insect's Swimming Style

There is an insect that swims near the surface of water with its upside down! It is called Backswimmer (Notonecta glauca). Though this aquatic insect resembles Water boatman, it is different: unlike water boatman it is a predator of tadpoles and small fish – a non-vegetarian. And it has specially adapted fringed hind legs for swimming. It can also fly. And it may bite us and give pain, if disturbed.

It is a wonder insect to watch in its action – back swimming!

Friday, July 25, 2008

A 'Hot Ice' that Warms You!

You have seen solid ice flakes melt into liquid water; but have you ever seen a liquid turn into solid within seconds? (You shall have to keep water in refrigerator for about three hours to get the solid ice cubes!) Moreover have you seen the so formed solid to become hot, hotter and the hottest in the process? Yes, the matter I refer to here is the Hot ice !

This ‘ice’ is actually the chemical, Sodium acetate in its trihydrate form. This chemical is used in the heating pads (pain reliever) or hand warmers. A heating pad contains the Sodium acetate dissolved in water.
When we need heat we shall have to just click the metal disc placed inside the pad. It switches on the process: the entire transparent liquid turns into white solid within seconds moving like a mist – emitting heat also for us!

This Sodium acetate has also other uses such as flavoring chips and preserving food. This is the wonder chemical having the wonder phenomenon that I have presented here for this week.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Wonder Medicine for Rescuing Women

In consultation room, in India, majority of women patients complain of having pain in the arms, neck, chest and lower back. When they are examined they are invariably found to have the disease Anaemia. In pregnant women also this anaemia peeps in as the baby grows larger gradually inside the uterus, and when they are undernourished. This iron deficiency anaemia can be either prevented or cured by simply taking tablets containing Iron and Folic acid. Blood’s major solid component, Red Blood Corpuscle (RBC) contains the protein, Haemoglobin that in turn has also the iron. Deficit of these Red Blood Corpuscles resulting out of their increased demand, decreased availability of its contents (iron, vitamins, etc.) or its loss is called the anaemia. These corpuscles help us to breathe (take in Oxygen from air and carry it to the tissues), be active, grow and renew tissues. So, their deficit (anemia) causes breathlessness, delayed growth and repair, pain, sluggishness and others. To rescue the women from these bad effects of anaemia, tablets containing iron salts and vitamins are to be taken. These are the sole cheap and best handy medicine available. At present this wonder tablet is also the sole panacea for promoting the health of the future generation: the present babies in the wombs and in the world!

Friday, July 18, 2008

An Inspiring Wonder Jerk

In my school days, my doctor brother used to bring wonders to home which he learnt in his studies at Medical College – about forty years back. One of those wonders: Our legs swung when he simply tapped on our knees!

This leg movement is not made voluntarily by us. It is not abnormal otherwise. It is done as a reflex reaction that is carried out only through nerves.

In medical practice this Knee Jerk test is used to examine the integrity of nervous system. You can also do it yourself as follows: Sit on a high leveled chair or on a table top with knees hanging free, placed away from the edge. Now tap just below the knee cap with the back of a ladle in a single and gentle strike. You will see your leg jerk and swing forward at knee by itself effortlessly, without your prompting it to do it!

This wonder test inspired me to yearn for pursuing medical education and made me to learn it in the same Medical College! Thanks to my brother.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Agents adding Years to Our Lives

My parents have told me that there was no birth control in the past as there were more deaths in all the ages of people from the new born babies to the adults. To compensate for these deaths there was only advocacy of getting more babies. Then the overall average life expectancy was only around fifty five years or so. But today, as you see it has increased in toto. The main reason for this is that we use soaps and detergents to wash out germs from our body. Use of these chemicals prevents diseases like Dysentery, Dental caries, Typhoid, Hepatitis, Rabies, HIV infection and what not? They combine with water and remove the germs containing dirt by their surfactant action. Improving our personal hygiene they wish us to have a happy long life.

Indeed these are wonder chemicals in deed to save us and to add years to our lives!

Friday, July 11, 2008

An Oil 'Plant' that produces Diesel!

A hedge plant was discovered to have fuel content that can be used for energizing motor vehicles. This drought and pest resistant plant is Jatropha (Jatropha curcas)! Its seeds contain the ‘Biodiesel’ up to 40%. It may also be called Biodiesel ‘Plant’ as it lives up to forty years to produce the diesel! It is well known as biodiesel ‘plant’ rather than as Jatropha. At this time of acute oil crisis, it does fit here to say it as a Wonder World Wide Wild plant!

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Wonder Box!

In the past taking snuff into the nose was also a rampant habit like that of smoking. People used to place snuff even inside their mouth between gum and the inner wall of the cheek (snuff-dipping)! The snuff taking habit was seen all over the world in the past: people used to place a pinch of snuff on the base of the thumb before inhaling it in each nostril – snorting. This had tempted to name that human part as snuff box in Anatomy! You can see yourself this ‘Anatomical Snuff Box’ on your hand itself. Place your hand on the table with palm side down. Now move only the thumb inwards, raise it above and keep it tightly in this position: you can see this triangular area well marked with its base at the wrist – Wonder Box!

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Surgery that adds Quality to Life!

Out of all surgeries performed the Cataract removal surgery is the great one. Its greatness is in the advantage that it gives to the patient: the permission of light into his/her eyes, and as a result, a brighter life – with the eyesight! Great! For the aged people it is a boon and a chance to see their grand children and to get acceptance from their supporting family members without any neglect. It makes them more social - a Socializing Surgery! Moreover it takes off the burden from the shoulders of those who take care of them. Such a wonder surgery is being done on poor and rural people on a regular basis here in India free of charge by philanthropic Trust Hospitals realizing its potentials to give the glitter in the eyes and the smile to the face of aged people!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Cured of Hypertension"!

Sometimes I get happy notes from my hypertension patients (when I meet them) that they have been cured of their disease and so they did not turn up for consultation for that reason! Later when I checked their Blood Pressure (B.P.) I was surprised to note that they are now having normal blood pressure of 120/80 m.m. of Hg! They had been taking medicines for Hypertension for more than three or four years. Then, now how they could have been cured of it, I wondered. On careful analysis of their past treatment histories, I found out that they had either started the treatment when they were temporarily hypertensive or they have now recently changed their life style drastically with diet restrictions and all that, so that their mild hypertension in the lower border of the high pressure range crossed down to its still lower normal range! So, for Hypertension it is only these life style modifications will be the wonder cure (– when it is detected in its earlier stage), and not anything else! (That is why yearly health checkups are advised for all those crossed the age of thirty years).

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