Time to Save Environment

Environment degradation has attained such an extent where the hazardous consequences are right in front of our eyes.

This year the theme of World Environment Day is ecosystem restoration and here are some aspects which need to be considered (in India):

Agriculture is one of the major sources of income but, the excess use of pesticides and insecticides has to lead to decreased soil fertility as well as the chemicals have made their way to food plates and underground water.

Climate change has lead to an increase in the number of cyclones, storms and floods. It has also affected agriculture as frequent hailstorms and excess rain had lead to a decrease in crop yield.

India is ranked fourth in the worst climate-induced disaster-hit country in the world and has suffered several disasters such as floods, storms and cyclones in 2020 and 2021 till May.

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

Water pollution is another alarming issue as the ongoing projects (and the older ones) hasn’t lead to any improvement in the quality of water bodies. The major rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and Godavari are gradually becoming dirtier.

Air pollution is increasing in most of the cities of India, especially those in the Indo-Gangetic plains. According to a recent study, there were twenty-two cities of India in the thirty most polluted cities of the world.

Out of the 6.67 million deaths due to air pollution in 2019, 1.67 million were in India.

Lancet Report

Human negligence, an increase in temperature, and a decrease in rainfall has lead to enormous forest fires, mostly in the regions of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Mizoram and Manipur.

Current Scenario
Instead of looking for solutions to the above issues, the government is busy planning to make money from natural resources. Recently, an online campaign has been initiated against the BJP lead government and the private firm, who wishes of setting a diamond mine in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh by cutting lacs of trees and by destroying the livelihood of tribal people of the Buxwaha forest.

Suggested Posts
Save Rivers
Indoor Air Pollution

Natural Sounds

The sound of nature- the birds song, the flowing waterfall, the rainforests sounds….you could imagine them in your head as the words appear in front of you!!

And recalling the times when you were away from the crowd and anthropogenic activities creates a series of refreshing scenarios.

In the present time, when one is surrounded with the smoky industries, heavy traffic sounds and huge buildings around, these things adversely affects the behavior, physiology and fitness of human beings. Thus, there is a need of spending some time in the fresh air to let our inner soul breathe in peace.

Advantage of Natural Sound

According to the latest scientific research, the natural sound changes the behaviour of synapse (which joins neurons with each other for transmission of electrical signals from our body parts to brain and vice versa) because of which the nervous connection across the body improves.

Moroever, the natural sound decreases the sympathetic responses and increases the parasympathetic responses responsible for regulation of unconscious activities like digestion, breathing etc thus, enabling the natural nervous control of body.

The natural sounds

  • Impart positive vibes.
  • Enhance focus and concentration of individual.
  • Create moment of peace.

Application of Natural Sound

By mixing live instruments and natural sounds sleep and music for meditation has been created to produce a sense of being close to nature, improve sleeping patterns and for effective meditation.

Sleep Music

Here, I have attached a playlist on natural sounds on spotify. (Ofcouse, you can find much more music there)

Playlist on Natural Sounds

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Amazing female animals

The post is about some female members of the species, who are powerful, independent and leading.

1. Lioness are believed to be best at hunting and more active than lions. They are more frequently spotted in groups for hunting in the forests.

2. Orca are the female hunting groups in the marine animals. They are matriarchal and act as leaders for their tribe.

3. Parthenogenesis is the phenomenon of production of young ones from the female gametes without fertilization. This is observed in about 80 taxon of fishes, lizards, reptiles and few birds. These females have capability of giving rise to young ones without their male partner.

I hope you liked this post. Do comment about any other such organisms.

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Bioluminescent sharks

If you remember one of my previous posts was about the phenomenon of bioluminescence (production of light by living organisms).

Three species of sharks have been found to have this property according to the recent studies.

1. Kitefin shark.

2. Black belly lantern shark.

3. Southern lantern shark.

These sharks have numerous photophores present under their skin, which emit light.

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I would suggest you to read this post to know more about bioluminescence.

Glowing Beings

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…

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Amazing facts about humming birds

Today’s post is about some amazing facts about this little creature called humming bird.

1. There are about 360 species of humming birds distributed in the tropical areas.

2. These birds have very good memory because a region called hippocampus, which is responsible for learning and memory occupies maximum portion of their brain.

3. They have very high energy and metabolism, they can travel around 1000 flowers each day.

4. They weigh around 1.6 grams only.

5. Their heart beats 1,260 times per second!!

6. During flight, they flap their wings about 60-80 times per second.

7. It’s unfortunate that only 1000 individuals of this species are alive today.

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Beauty

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.

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Stay beautiful❤

Why do viruses spread so easily through bats?

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.

How Earth became a Blue Planet?

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.

Hope you found the post knowledgeable.

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Plants do feel and smell!!

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.

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When The Earth Lost its Biodiversity!!

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.

The Five Mass Extinctions

1. Ordovician-Silurian Extinction
2. Late Devonian Extinction
3. Permian-Triassic Extinction
4. Triassic-Jurassic Extinction
5. Cretaceous Extinction

#Mass Extinction Time PeriodPercentage loss of Biodiversity Major Reason
1Ordovician-Silurian444 mya85%Global Cooling
2Late Devonian383-359 mya75%Volcanic Eruption
3Permian-Triassic252 mya96%Volcanic Eruption
4Triassic-Jurassic201 mya80%Global Warming
5Cretaceous-Paleogene66 mya76%Asteroid Impact
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.

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