Archive for April, 2012

Treating Obesity by Shifting the Fat?

That stubborn fat that refuses to budge no matter how hard you try to lose weight was recently the object of a scientific study. In this science project conducted by a collaboration of Indian and Australian researchers a new fat busting method was experimented with.

The idea was to test if fat would burn faster if it was moved to a location of the body that was more active. So fat tissues of white rats were taken from their less active body regions and transplanted on the chest and thighs to increase the glucose insulin based metabolism.

Sure enough the glucose insulin rates more than doubled after the transplant of fat in the rates. This meant that the fat was being metabolized twice as fast as before leading to faster reduction of the fat. Now the researchers claim that a similar technique would allow human beings to treat not just obesity but also diabetes.

Of course the entire science project is in a very nascent stage as of now and it will be years before the process can be tested on a human being. However the idea for a revolutionary new fat loss technique may just have been planted in many more fertile researcher brains. Who knows what new way to burn fat the future will bring?

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Can Air Pollution make the Monsoon Disappear?

Human activities have been affecting the climate. The degree to which they do so have been argued about by various researchers based on their science project findings. There have been many recorded instances where pollution has caused harm to the ecosystem, and now it seems that air pollution may cost us the rainy season.

Some researchers at Princeton University published a paper in the September 2011 edition of Science. The paper recorded a 5% reduction in rainfall during the monsoon season in India over the last five decades. As per the scientists it was the result of aerosols formed by wood burning and car emissions that were to blame for this drastic climate pattern change.

Aerosols are fine particles suspended in the air which tend to reflect sunlight back into outer space. This reduces the heat of the sun and disrupts the process which would bring rain to the Indian subcontinent region. However just how the human activity affects the monsoons is not discussed.

There have been other studies which have said that the air pollution is responsible for increasing the intensity of the rainfall during the monsoon season. It is difficult to tell which study to believe at this stage, but one thing all these science projects do prove is that the human beings are irrevocably changing the climate.

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A science experiment is like a recipe

What can two such different processes possibly have in common?One in the laboratory, the other in the kitchen. If you think about it you will agree that conducting a science experiment is rather like following a food recipe.

Both include step by step directions on how to proceed and both can turn into perfect disasters if you ignore some key instructions. Also both can be tweaked to get slightly different results from the original.

At the same time you can be literally playing with fire if you mess up with either. The key to a good outcome in either an experiment or a recipe is the preparation time that you spend on them before you actually get down to doing the deed.

Just as it helps speed up the cooking process if you wash and chop your ingredients in advance, it can speed up your experiment process if you have all the material required lined up and easily available to you.

To master a recipe you need to cook it repeatedly, in the same manner most scientific norms advice that any science experiment should provide the same outcome at least three times for it to be considered stable.

So when you get down to the basics you will agree that any science experiment you conduct can actually be treated at par with a new recipe that you want to try out.

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Safety and Animals in your Science Project

Should you chose to do a science project which includes the responses of an animal you will have to bear in mind safety rules for both the animal involved and yourself. It is a big responsibility to care for an animal whom you are involving in a science project.

The two main components that you have to look after for the animal are housing and food. The place you keep the animal should be safe and comfortable for the animal. Of course the size of the animal will determine the actual location you can house it in. You may need to look into fences or cages as well.

The animal should also be provided with adequate and appropriate food as per its needs. Some animals need special food which can not be obtained easily at the local supermarket. So you may want to look into buying food supplies from specialized stores before you get the animal.

At any point of time if you feel that the animal is unhealthy, you must immediately contact a vet. Your science experiment must also not be inhumane to the animal.  Handling animals can take a lot of effort as those of you with pets would already know. Actually conducting an experiment with them can be even more taxing.

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Safety and your Science Project

Any science project that you get involved with is bound to have some level of experimentation. An experiment by definition will have some expected and some unexpected results. It is important to ensure that you stay safe when you conduct your experiments.

Three things that contribute to the safety of the experiment would be the location you pick to conduct the experiment, the nature of the experiment and the safety gear you use. It never hurts to have a good supervisor monitoring your efforts as well.

Before you begin any experiment it is a good idea to go through any possibilities of things that may go wrong. Also have an emergency plan in place so that if something does go wrong you know exactly what you need to do. Don’t panic and seek out help immediately.

If you are not sure about how a specific experiment is likely to end up, its a good idea to have a teacher, or mentor present when you handle the experiment. Any potentially dangerous element in the experiment such as fire, electricity, a laser, or chemicals must be handled with great care. Remember you are striving to make a science project, not end up as one yourself for the local hospital.

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