Tag Archives: Public Awareness

Public Awareness deals with all the information that people need to know about science and related topics.

11 Kinds of Synthetic Fibers that we use in our Daily life.

Synthetic fibers are polymers made from small units joined together through chemical synthesis. The chemical synthesis of synthetic fibers involves polymerization. Polymerization is the process of combining monomer units to make a long chain or polymer. Here, I have put together a list of 11 synthetic fibers that we use in our daily life.

Rayon

Rayon is a synthetic fiber but is made from a natural source. It is obtained from purified cellulose through the chemical treatment of wood pulp. It was first developed in 1894 by English chemist Charles Frederick Cross.

Rayon fabric is soft, smooth, shiny, cool, comfortable, and highly absorbent. These properties are similar to that of silk, but rayon is cheaper than silk. Hence, rayon is sometimes called poor man’s silk.

rayon-sewing-threadsA tangle of rayon sewing threads.

Nylon

In 1935, DuPont (US Conglomerate) made Nylon without using any natural raw material. So, it was the first fully synthetic fiber. It was first used in bristles of toothbrushes and women’s stockings.

Nylon fiber is strong, elastic, light, lustrous, and easy to wash. Thus, it was widely used as a replacement for cotton and silk during Second World War. It is also used to make tents, ropes, and parachutes.

Coils-of-nylon-ropes-and-kevlar-fiber.Coils of Nylon ropes and Kevlar fiber.

Kevlar

It is a heat-resistant synthetic fiber. Kevlar was first developed by DuPont in 1965. Due to its high tensile strength, it was first used as a replacement for steel in racing tires.

Kevlar fibers are very tightly spun thus it is impossible to penetrate them. For instance, when a bullet or other projectile hits the kevlar, the fibers actually grab the projectile while absorbing and dissipating its energy.

Polyester

Polyesters are polymers that are made up of the repeating units of a chemical called an ester. Fabric made from polyester does not get wrinkled or shrank easily. Moreover, these fibers are hydrophobic in nature which makes them easy to wash and dry.

polyester-fabric-for-men-suitPolyester fabric for men’s suits.

Polyester is the most commonly used synthetic fiber. It is widely used in apparel and home furnishing items.

Acrylic Fiber

Acrylic fibers are made up of thousands of acrylonitrile monomer units. These fibers are soft, strong, warm with a wool-like touch. Moreover, they are easy to wash, thus find use in the apparel industry.

Acrylic fibers are used to make winter clothing such as sweaters, socks, fleece wear, etc. Some common trade names for acrylic fibers include Acrilan, Creslan, Orlon, and Zefran.

acrylic-fibre-threadsYarns and reels of acrylic fiber threads.

Carbon fibers

Carbon fibers are made up of thin, strong crystalline filaments of carbon. These fibers also have superior electrical properties, high strength, they do not expand under heat.

These properties make carbon fibers an excellent candidate for use in aerospace, F1 racing, wind turbines, and military designs. Sometimes, carbon fibers are also called graphite fibers.

carbon-fiber-in-workshopCarbon fiber in a workshop.

Microfiber

Microfiber is finer than one strand of silk and is about a fifth of the diameter of human hair. These fibers are mostly made from polyesters or polyamides. Fabric made from microfiber is highly absorbent.

Microfibers are mostly used to make mops, cleaning towels, industrial filters. It is also a popular choice for the manufacture of athletic wear such as cycling jerseys.

microfiber-cleaning-towelsCleaning towels made of microfiber.

Lycra

Lycra fiber is the trademarked brand name of a class of synthetic fibers. It is also known as spandex in the US and elastane in the rest of the world. Joseph Shivers, a chemist at DuPont labs, invented lycra in 1958.

It has exceptional elasticity and strength. Lycra is used to make skin-tight garments such as athletic wear, leggings, shorts, yoga pants, undergarments, etc.

PVDC or Polyvinylidene Chloride

PVDC or Polyvinylidene Chloride is a transparent and flexible thermoplastic. It is produced by the polymerization of vinylidene chloride. PVDC is also highly resistant to many chemicals including grease and oil.

It also forms a barrier against water and oxygen, making it perfect for protecting food and other perishable items. The most popular brand of PVDC is Saran wrap.

pvdc-food-wrapRaw food wrapped with PVDC food wrap.

Thinsulate

Thinsulate was invented by the 3M corporation. It was first sold in 1979. According to 3M Corp, it is twice as warm as any natural material and much finer than the normal fiber.

Thinsulate is used in your winter clothing to help you keep warm. Nowadays, carmakers are also using Thinsulate to make fabric roofs for convertible sports cars.

Also Read: 11 Methods of Food Preservation used by Food Industry

Nomex

Nomex is heat and flame-resistant fiber that doesn’t melt, drip, or support combustion. Thus, provide superior heat, flame, and arc flash protection. Dupont developed this fiber in the 1960s. Nomex protects first responders, utility, and electrical workers.

nomex-fire-retardant-suitNomex Fire Retardant Suit.

So, now you know about various kinds of synthetic fibers and their properties. So that is all for now, meet you in my next article. Keep Reading, Keep Exploring, and Keep Sharing your Knowledge, and above all BE CURIOUS. 🙂

Also Read: 11 Methods of Food Preservation used by Food Industry


References:

11 eye-opening Facts About Climate Change.

Climate Change is a serious global issue. It includes both the global warming driven by human-induced emissions and the resulting large-scale shifts in weather patterns. Climate change is expected to cause more frequent and intense droughts, storms, heatwaves, rising sea levels, melting glaciers, and warmer oceans.

We are already seeing some of these effects on our planet earth. Here, I have put together some eye-opening statistics about climate change that everyone needs to know.

concentration-of-carbon-dioxide 1. 419 parts per million (ppm)

Before Industrial Revolution, levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) were around 280 ppm. In May 2019, these levels stand at 419 ppm, highest in the human history. Carbon dioxide is the most abundant greenhouse gas, accounting for about two-thirds of greenhouse gases. 

2. 2019 was the 2nd hottest year

According to WMO, 2019 was the second hottest year on record. The global average temperature in 2019 was 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period. In 2019, greenhouse gas emissions also reached a record high.

3. 2010-2019 = warmest decade

According to WMO, the average temperatures for the five-year (2015-2019) and ten-year (2010-2019) periods are the highest on record. 2010-2019 also concluded as a decade of exceptional global heat, retreating ice, and record sea levels.

4. Methane – most powerful greenhouse gas

Methane is responsible for more than 25% of global warming we are experiencing today. It is a powerful pollutant with a global warming potential of over 80 times greater than COif measured over a period of 20 years. According to IPCC, deep reductions in methane will be necessary to help limit global warming.

rising-sea-levels5. Rising Sea levels

With the rise in global temperature, the ice sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic are also melting. This has led scientists to predict that by 2050, sea levels may rise between one to 2.3 feet above present levels. As a result of this most of the low-lying coastal areas of the world may be flooded with seawater.

6. 11% of emissions

30% of the emissions from industry and fossil fuels are absorbed by forests. Yet every year our planet loses 10 million hectares of forest lands. Deforestation and forest degradation account for 11% of carbon emissions. Cutting forests adds carbon dioxide to the air and also reduces the ability to absorb the existing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

7. 30% of the world population

30% of the world’s population is exposed to deadly heatwaves for more than 20 days a year. A warming world will increase the need for access to cooling. More cooling means more emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in cooling equipment. These HFCs will then increase global warming.

mangroves8. 800,000 hectares are lost every year.

Only 0.7% of the world’s forests are coastal mangroves, yet they store up to 10 times as much carbon per hectares as tropical forests. If we continue to lose mangroves at this rate, we may completely lose them by the next century.

9. Difference between 1.5°C to 2°C

The world will see serious climate impacts at a 1.5°C increase in global temperature. But after that, it will get much worse. At 1.5°C,

  • 70% of coral reefs will die.
  • one ice-less summer in the Arctic per century.
  • 6 million affected by sea-level rise.

And, if it rises up to 2°C

  • 90% of coral reefs will die.
  • one ice-less summer in the Arctic per decade.
  • 16 million affected by sea-level rise.
  • 1 meter added to sea-level rise.

10. 7.6% every year.

To prevent warming beyond 1.5°C, we need to reduce emissions by 7.6% every year from 2019 to 2030. However, if countries had acted 10 years ago we would have to reduce emissions only by 3.3% each year. Thus, every year we fail to act, the cost to reduce emissions goes up.

11. It all lies in nature

Tropical forests have been one of Earth’s best defenses against rising carbon dioxide levels. Forests absorb twice as much carbon dioxide as they emit in a year. Despite this, forests receive only 3% of all climate funding.

Also Read: How Diseases are Emerging and Re-Emerging?

So, now we know various causes, impacts, and facts related to climate change. Also, we know that now is the time to take action by educating yourself and urging your community to get involved in mitigating climate change 🙂. So that is all for now, meet you in my next article. Keep Reading, Keep Exploring, and Keep Sharing your Knowledge, and above all BE CURIOUS. 🙂


References:

How does a scientist’s brain work?

Curiosity is a characteristic feature of a scientist’s brain. It makes scientists think in specific ways and observe patterns and natural processes. The brain of a scientist has a natural urge to learn how things work in this world. This urge to know every aspect makes their brain the most creative mind.
how-does-scientist-brain-work
The scientist’s brain can harness the power of curiosity to investigate every aspect of this observable world. For example, a scientist can deduce many things after seeing a half-filled glass. He can say that one-half of the total volume of glass is occupied by water, and the other half by air. In addition to this, a scientist can deduce the composition of water and air present in the glass and so on.

Thus, we can say there is no limit to a scientist’s brain. Also, this article was not meant to be serious but what can I do, this is how a scientist’s brain works 😉. So that is all for now and meet you in my next article. Keep Reading, Keep Exploring, and Keep Sharing your Knowledge, and above all BE CURIOUS. 🙂

Also Read: Evolution of Brain – Where did our brains come from?

11 Algae that are Used as Human Food.

The Algae growing as planktons, benthos, epiphytes and in other common aquatic habitats provide a major source of food to small fishes, aquatic amphibians, and other animals. Since man is dependent on fishes to supplement his diet, the algae prove to be a very important indirect source of human food. The practice of direct consumption of algae as human food is also present around the world. A list of more than hundred species can be made which provide direct food to the human beings, especially to the coastal people of the world. Continue reading 11 Algae that are Used as Human Food.

11 Industrial Products that are derived from Microbes.

In Industrial Microbiology, microbes are used to synthesize a number of products valuable to human beings. This industry has provided products that have deeply changed our lives and life spans. There are various industrial products that are derived from microbes such as beverages, food additives, products for human and animal health, and biofuels.

Continue reading 11 Industrial Products that are derived from Microbes.

11 Methods of Food Preservation used by Food Industry

With the beginning of civilizations and human settlements, the consumption of food by the human population increased and thus, the need to preserve excess foods became essential for survival. Since then, many traditional and household methods of food preservation have evolved to limit food spoilage. Such as cooking, the addition of spices and fermentation. Continue reading 11 Methods of Food Preservation used by Food Industry

What are Emerging and Re-Emerging Diseases?

Fifty years ago people believed that the war of humankind against infectious diseases was virtually over. They thought that science had won over diseases such as pneumonia, whooping cough, polio, and smallpox with the help of antibiotics, vaccines, and some aggressive public health campaigns. But, after the 1980s, emerging and re-emerging diseases have caused havoc.

In the last 30 years, at least, a dozen new diseases have emerged and traditional diseases that were gone are re-emerging. In these years, the world has seen the global spread of AIDS, the resurgence of Tuberculosis, and the appearance of new enemies like hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, hepatitis C and E, Ebola virus, Lyme disease, etc.

What are Emerging Diseases?

Emerging diseases are the diseases that

  • Have not occurred in humans before. This type of emergence is very rare.
  • Have occurred previously but affected only small numbers of people in isolated places. For example, AIDS and Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever.
  • Have occurred throughout human history but has only recently been recognized as a distinct disease due to a causative agent. For example, Lyme disease and Gastric Ulcers.

So, we can conclude that the emerging diseases are the diseases caused by some newly identified and previously unknown causative agents. 

What are Re-emerging Diseases?

Re-emerging diseases are the diseases that once were major health problems globally or in a particular country and then declined dramatically, but are again becoming a health problem for a significant proportion of the population. Malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, pertussis, influenza, and gonorrhea are some examples of re-emerging diseases.

What are factors contributing to the emergence of diseases?

Several factors are contributing to the emergence and re-emergence of diseases. Some of them are listed below.

1. Climate and Environmental Changes:

Humans are cutting trees and clearing natural habitats on a very large scale. This has forced wild animals to come closer to human habitats. This displacement has increased the possibility for causative agents to breach the species barrier between animals and humans.

For example, Lyme disease, Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), Lassa fever all emerged when humans began encountering the arachnid vector (For Lyme disease) or rodent host (for HPS and Lassa fever) of the causative agents in greater number than ever before.

deforestation

Global Warming is also indirectly responsible for the outbreak of diseases. This is because global warming leads to unpredictable and extreme climatic changes such as floods, tsunami, cyclones, etc. These changes then help in the rapid transmission of diseases such as malaria, dengue, cholera, etc.

2. Uncontrolled Urbanization and Population Displacements:

Urbanization often crowds humans and increases exposure to microbes. Crowding of the population leads to unsanitary conditions and also hinders the effective implementation of adequate medical care. Thus, enabling more widespread transmission and propagation of pathogens.

For example, the re-emergence of diseases such as diphtheria and whooping cough (Pertussis) is related to inadequate vaccination of the population.

Land Development and the exploration or destruction of natural habitats have increased the likelihood of human exposure to new pathogens and may put selective pressure on pathogens to adapt to new hosts and changing environments.

For example, the spread of Lyme diseases in New England probably was due to the ecological distribution that eliminated predators of deer. An increase in the deer population and deer tick populations provided a favorable situation for pathogens to spread among humans.

3. Human Behavior and Activities:

The food processing and supply centers, which carry out processes such as handling, cutting, refrigeration of food, and other treatments have the potential of becoming breeding grounds for foodborne microbial diseases.

For example, the emergence of diseases such as hemolytic uremic syndrome was related to the consumption of raw or uncooked beef and unpasteurized apple juice.

The unnatural and unprotected sexual practices have also created a higher risk of getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases(STDs). Diseases like AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), Gonorrhea, and Syphilis spread through unprotected sexual practices.

4. Antimicrobial Drug Resistance:

The key factor responsible for the rise in drug-resistant pathogens has been the excessive or inappropriate use of antimicrobial drugs or therapy. Moreover, the indiscriminate use of broad-spectrum antibiotics has also led to antimicrobial drug resistance.

For example, Tuberculosis has re-emerged due to the evolution of the causative bacteria. The bacteria have acquired resistance to the antibiotics used to treat Tuberculosis (either through mutation or genetic exchange).

antibiotic-resistance

Immunosuppression, either by another disease agent such as the AIDS virus or by drugs taken upon organ transplantation, increases the number of individuals susceptible to new pathogens.

Also Read: How do Bacteria become Resistant to Antibiotics?

So, now you know what is emerging and re-emerging diseases? And, what are the various factors contributing to their emergence and re-emergence? So that is all for now, meet you in my next article. Keep Reading, Keep Exploring, and Keep Sharing your Knowledge, and above all BE CURIOUS. 🙂

Also Read:11 Things Parents should know about giving Antibiotics.


References:

  • (US), National, and Biological Study. ‘Understanding Emerging And Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases. National Institutes of Health (US) (2007): n. pag. Web. 3 Oct. 2015.

11 Things Parents should know about giving Antibiotics.

Antibiotics have been around for many years and if your baby is 3 years or few months old then it is evident that you may get confronted with antibiotics 4 to 5 times in a year and may have fears and doubts about antibiotics. Moreover, many of you may have a habit of taking antibiotics on an old prescription. These habits are not good for your baby’s health. However, if antibiotics are used wisely, they can provide significant benefits. So, here I have put together 11 things that parents should know about giving antibiotics to their children.

1. Never Prescribe On Your Own.

Parents usually have a habit of self-prescribing antibiotics to their babies. This is a terrible habit and may prove harmful to the health of your baby. Always consult your doctor before taking any kind of antibiotics. Your doctor will decide what form of treatment is best suited for your baby and if prescribing an antibiotic is necessary, he will then select the one that will work best for treating your specific infection.

always-complete-the-medication2. Always Complete The Medication.

Parents think that taking antibiotics for a longer period may cause some side effects to their baby. Because of this thing in their mind, they stop the medication when symptoms seem to go away. Stopping the medication may allow some of the bacteria to continue to live and become resistant to the antibiotic prescribed to your baby. This will make it more difficult to treat any subsequent infections he will acquire in the future.

3. Never Save Your Medication For Reuse.

If you think you can keep and reuse leftover antibiotics then you are totally wrong. Antibiotics should not be taken to treat any other illnesses. Do not merely take them when you feel sick. Moreover, the antibiotic that is in powder form gets expired within 7 days of their first use.

Also Read: How do Bacteria become Resistant to Antibiotics?

4. Prepare The Dosage Properly.

Mostly the antibiotics for infants are in the form of syrup powder, which is taken after mixing them with water. There is always a sign for measuring the volume of water to be mixed for preparing the syrup. Check this sign properly before purchasing the medicines and never exceed this level while making the syrup.

5. Ask Before Taking Antibiotics.

Some medicines come in the form of “sustained release”. Thus, you shouldn’t break or grind medicines before giving them. So, always ask your doctor before using them.

prepare-the-dosage-properly6. Always Give The Correct Dosage.

The correct dosage is a very important factor in antibiotic effectiveness. So, never measure the dosage using spoons (in the case of syrups) and remember the repetition time of the medication.

7. Discuss Drug Allergy Running In The Family.

If you, your baby, or any member of your family have any kind of drug allergy then discuss it with your doctor. The allergic reaction can produce rashes, itching, or difficulty in breathing in severe cases. Some of them can be fatal. Tell him if your baby is taking antibiotics or any medication over a very long period. It will help him in prescribing the most appropriate medication.

store-them-at-right-place8. Store Them At Right Place.

Keep antibiotics away from your baby’s reach. Also, keep them away from direct sunlight and moisture. In hot weather, you can also store them in refrigerators.

9. Do Not Pressurize Him.

Many parents have a habit of pressurizing their doctor to write antibiotics in the prescription for their baby. This may be because they think that antibiotics can cure every disease. But, this is not true. Antibiotics work only against infections caused by bacteria. They do not work with viral infections, such as colds, flu, and most sore throats. Moreover, many of them don’t know that 80% of baby infections are viral which do not need antibiotics.

ask-before-taking-antibiotics

10. Ask Doctor About Dosage Time.

Some medicines are taken before meals and some are taken after meals. So, always ask your doctor each and every detail before leaving the clinic.

11. Sharing Is Not Good For Health.

Never share your medication with other such as eye/ear drops. Because by doing this, there is a possibility of transmission of infection or pathogenic particles, or antibiotic resistance.

So now, parents know what they need to do before giving antibiotics to their children. However, these things imply to adults also. 🙂. So that is all for now, meet you in my next article. Keep Reading, Keep Exploring, and Keep Sharing your Knowledge, and above all BE CURIOUS. 🙂

Also Read:How Diseases are Emerging and Re-Emerging?