Trivia

Leap Second:

A leap second is a second, as measured by an atomic clock, added to or subtracted from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) to synchronize atomic clocks with astronomical time to within 0.9 second. Without such a correction, time reckoned by Earth rotation drifts away from atomic time because of irregularities in the Earth’s rate of rotation. The Earth’s rotation around its axis, which determines the length of a day, slows down over time. But the atomic clocks we use to measure time tick away at almost the same speed over millions of years. So, leap seconds are a means to adjust our clocks to the Earth’s slowing rotation.

Maitri:

Is India’s second permanent research station in Antarctica. It was built and finished in 1989. Maitri was built in an ice free, rocky area on the Schirmacher oasis. It also serves as a gateway to one of the largest mountain chains in central Dronning Maud land, located south of Schirmacher.

MRI:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a procedure used in hospitals to scan patients and determine the severity of certain injuries. An MRI machine uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body. A strong magnetic field is created by passing an electric current through the wire loops. While this is happening, other coils in the magnet send and receive radio waves. This triggers protons in the body to align themselves. Once aligned, radio waves are absorbed by the protons, which stimulate spinning. Energy is released after ‘’exciting’’ the molecules, which in turn emits energy signals that are picked up by the coil. This information is then sent to a computer which processes all the signals and generates it into an image. The final product is a 3-D image representation of that area being examined. Common reasons to get an MRI are for a sprained ankle or back pain. Also are very useful for examining the brain and spinal cord.

Mad Cow Disease:

Mad Cow Disease, or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), is a transmissible, slowly progressive, degenerative, and fatal disease affecting the central nervous system of adult cattle. Researchers believe that the infectious agent that causes mad cow disease is an abnormal version of a protein normally found on cell surfaces, called prion. For reasons still unknown, this protein becomes altered and destroys nervous system tissue – the brain and spinal cord.

Compact Disc:

A compact disc is a small, portable, round medium made of molded polymer (close in size to the floppy disk) for electronically recording, storing, and playing back audio, video, text and other information in digital form. Tape cartridges and CDs generally replaced the phonograph record for playing back music. Initially, CDs were read-only, but newer technology allows users for record as well.

Gene Therapy and its uses:

Gene Therapy is an experimental technique that uses genes to treat or prevent disease. It is the treatment of disease by replacing, altering, or supplementing a gene that is absent or abnormal and whose absence or abnormality is responsible for the disease. It may use the genetic material, DNA, itself as the means of treatment.

Gene Therapy can be used to fix defective genes or to replace missing genes. Many diseases are the result of just one gene malfunctioning; sickle cell anemia, cystic fibrosis, SCID, are all caused by one defective gene. To correct the problem, gene therapy is used to deliver genes that function correctly. Other diseases are the result of a missing gene; juvenile Paget’s disease- an extremely rare bone metabolism disorder. In those cases, gene therapy can be used to deliver genes to replace the missing one.

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