Although the spring is not a Double Helix structure, the diffraction pattern produced as you can see is very similar to the famous Photo
51 of helical DNA.
It was also known at that time that DNAs obeyed the Chargaff’s rules: Adenines paired with Thymine and Guanosine paired with
As James Watson explains in this video,
he was trying out different models for the DNA that satisfied
Chargaff’s rules and also the Helical structure of DNA as Gosling had found out. This led him to the Double Helix model of DNA.
And this model has stood the test of time. In 2012, an electron microscope captured the famous Watson-Crick double helix in all its glory asserting that the DNA is indeed a Double Helix.
** Images of dead animals ahead and reading this post sort of ruins the magic from the demo *** SPOILER ALERT
With over 2M hits on YouTube, this TED talk by Greg Gage from Backyard Brains was my one of my first insights into neuroscience. He demonstrates how to control someone’s hand with your brain.
As a maker and not knowing much about Neuroscience, me and my friends tried to replicate the same with some DIY kits but it failed. But why?
How to force muscle movement ?
Now with the help of some friends who actually study neuroscience,we were able to decipher the talk. The talk is subtle and doesn’t dwell into some technicalities which are essential to recreate the experiment.
** We are by no means neuroscientists and have huge respect for the work done by Greg and his team at Backyard Brains. This post is not meant to undermine the work but to bring out the subtleties that belies it.
It’s easy: Form a triangle, then a hexagon, then a bicycle wheel
This is the general mechanism on how a spider spins its web (talk about engineering, right?). When an insect gets caught in its web,
the vibrations caused by the insect is felt by the spider which then
rushes to engulf its prey.
Now here is the trippy part ; This is the effect of drugs on the pattern of the web.
Hope you are having a great week. Have a good one!
Somewhere between the 24th and 28th week of the pregnancy, surfactant
– sometimes called “lung detergent” – starts being produced in the
amniotic fluid. As the pregnancy continues, more surfactant is produced.
That is why the closer to term, 38 to 40 weeks, the better a baby is
able to breathe outside the womb.
What is a surfactant ?
Surfactants are essentially
chemicals that reduce the surface tension of the fluid. (or) It is a
chemical that reduces the stiffness of a balloon.
If you reduce
the stiffness of the balloon, I think from personal experience you can
understand the breathing in becomes a lot easier!
Why is the surfactant important in the lungs?
Surfactant coats the inside of the lungs and keeps the alveoli, or air sacs, open by keeping them at the right pressure.
RDS ( Respiratory Distress Syndrome )
Babies that are born before prematurely do not have much of this surfactant in their lungs and as a result can suffer from something known as RDS – Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
A – Alveoli of a baby with RDS B – Healthy alveoli
With less surfactants in their lungs, some of the alveoli collapse due to the excess pressure.
If you remember this post on ‘Smaller Bubbles, Higher Pressure’, then you might know that the balloon with the smaller radius has the higher pressure and therefore collapses.
This is exactly what happens in the lungs of babies born prematurely as well, many of their alveolus collapse.
With less alveoli available, the infant has to work hard to breathe. He or she might not be able to breathe in enough oxygen to support the
body’s organs. The lack of oxygen can damage the baby’s brain and other
organs if proper treatment isn’t given.
Babies who have RDS are given surfactant until their lungs are able to start making the substance on their own.
That’s how simple physics blends with biology to yield elaborate ecstatic phenomenon that gears life. Have a great day!