Volume 9, Issue 3, 2009 July-September

Volume 9, No 3 Pages:
2009 July-September Articles: 4

400th anniversary of Galileo’s first telescopic observation

he glory crumbled when Galileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de’ Galilei invented, or rather improved, a telescope in 1609, precisely 400 years ago, based on the technique of Hans Lippershey, who invented the first telescope in 1608. It ultimately turned into the ‘fruit of the tree of knowledge’ in astronomy, eventually leading to his discovery of many novel features of the universe, and to all his adversities, his denunciation. It was when toying with his telescope that he soon discovered four large moons revolving around Jupiter, implying all heavenly bodies need not necessarily move around us.

International Year of Astronomy (IYA-2009) and its significance

The United Nations Organisation (UNO) following a global scheme laid out by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has declared the year 2009 as the International year of Astronomy to commemorate and celebrate the important occasion just 400 years back, when Galileo invented the first astronomical telescope in 1609 and instantly turned it around to heavens. The year is intended to be a global celebration of astronomy and its contributions to society and culture, stimulating worldwide interest not only in astronomy but science in general, with a particular slant towards young people. Galileo’s astronomical discoveries and investigations into the Copernican theory have led to a lasting legacy which includes the categorisation of the four large moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo as the Galilean moons. It was an important milestone in the field of astronomy and of science in general. Till that discovery, science was mostly theoretical and speculative. It was the beginning of a new era of science, that of acquiring knowledge through observation and experimentation. In this article, we shall try to explore, in brief, the important achievements in the field of astronomy during last 50 years.

Oxidative stress is a central factor in diabetes mellitus: an overview

Diabetes mellitus is a disease having a characteristic symptom of high level of sugars in the blood (hyperglycemia), perceptible through the urine due to failure of metabolism, and thus, the name. Controversy exists about whether increased oxidative stress is merely associative rather than casual in diabetes mellitus. Several mechanisms may cause oxidative insult in diabetes mellitus, although their exact contributions are not entirely clear. Accumulating evidences point towards many interrelated mechanisms that increase the production of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species or decrease antioxidant protection in diabetic patients. Therefore, their role in diabetes mellitus needs critical examination. This review aims to summarize the role of oxidative stress in diabetes mellitus.

“Quack quack quack” - revealing the strange advertisement call of Leptobrachium smithi (Anura: Pelobatidae): a bioacoustic analysis

To verify the different sounds of animals along the rivers and their tributaries in Mizoram, a study was conducted. Particularly a strange sound which is never identified. Tlâwng, Durlui, Herhse and Tuitun were explored using acoustic encounter surveys (AES). Ous study revealed that the strange sound was produced by a frog, Leptobrachium smithi. The call of the male is a good indicator of the mating season. Its tadpoles were collected and studied, and compared with specimens in Thailand.

Recent trends and developments in nanomaterials

Why the research journals, magazines, newspapers even literate and illiterate society talk about nanoscience and nanotechnology? Why every addresses of our former President of India, A.P.J. Kalam had advised to the scientific community to promote nanoscience and nanotechnology in our country? Why huge packages were announced in the past years to promote nanoscience and nanocenters in India? Developed and developing countries had already opened new courses, departments and nanocenters especially for nanoscience. Why the peoples are so interested and eager in this field of science? A brief account on the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology is reported in this article.

From Mozart to MJ: the life and science of music – the good, the bad, and the ugly

Death is such an indispensable fact of life. It is not the ultimate tragedy in itself, but rather a paramount triumph of life. What would be the meaning of living without dying? To live perpetually without having to kick the bucket makes no biological sense at all. Yet death is the most unwelcomed encounter for every organism. It has been known from experience that music brings pleasure to life in humans. It has been further scientifically demonstrated that music is clinically beneficial to those inflicted with diseases, even terminally ill patients. However, on the bleak side of it, gifted musicians are at greater risk of mortality than non-musicians. A wealth of scientific data posits that committed musicians have relatively low life expectancy. A variety of causes have been attributed, of which aggressive life style and reckless behaviors appear to be the dominant factor. If you want to live fast and die young, become a rock star, statistics says.

MIPOGRASS Conference 2009 and annual report

Conference 2009 and annual report