Saturday, May 30, 2015

Are You Drinking Your Coffee Correctly?

Everyone starts their day with a caffeinated drink, mainly coffee or tea. And everyone believes that coffee is the sole reason why they wake up in the morning. 

But did you know that you might be drinking coffee the wrong way? And you might not get all of coffee's benefits? ASAPScience gives all the details in the video below. 

Continue Reading
No comments

Monday, May 25, 2015

Radioactive bananas.... kind of

Fact: The radioactive potassium-40 emits about 15 articles of antimatter a day.

So what, exactly, is antimatter?

Antimatter is matter consisting of elementary particles which are the antiparticles of those making up normal matter.

The person who discovered antimatter was the English Physicist Paul Dirac (1902-1984). Dirac derived an equation that explains how really small and really fast things behave, such as electrons travelling near the speed of light. Later, Dirac realised that not only did his equation & theory discover the behaviour of very tiny things, he also discovered something new to the growing world of science; anti-particles. Paul Dirac continued to assert that every particle has a mirror-image particle with nearly identical properties, except for an opposite electrical charge. Similar to the way protons, neutrons and electrons combine to form atoms and matter, antiprotons, antineutrons and anti-electrons (called positrons) combine to form anti-atoms and antimatter.

His findings also led him to believe that there could exist a mirror universe of antimatter.

Everything that exists is made up of matter. Even a banana (in this example) is made of particles of matter, which is why we can see, feel & taste it. Around 15 times a day, a banana produces something called antimatter and Bang! That particle of antimatter instantaneously  vanishes in a flash of light.
When Antimatter comes into contact with matter, it immediately vanishes out of existence.

So, does that mean antimatter falls upwards?

Since gravity works the same way on all matter, but what about antimatter? Instead of matter falling down, would anti matter fall up? A CERN experiment has been discussed to try and find this but there are still questions around the theory.

And why is antimatter important?

The prediction, and subsequent discovery, of antimatter counts as a great success of physics. It represents a whole mirror world of particles, identical atoms and there could even exist an identical universe, a mirror image of the universe we live in today. Mind-blowing...

References [1][2][3][4][5]

P.s this is my first physics related post, however I do think with the talk of atoms, electrons & protons it also fits in with chemistry, a little bit. If you liked this post please share it with the links below. Thank you! - M

Continue Reading
No comments

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Why you can rarely get Vitamin D poisoning...

Vitamin D refers to a group of fat-soluble secosteroids (a subclass of steroids that consist of “broken” ring structures) that are responsible for the intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc. The major natural source of the vitamin is in the skin. For vitamin D to be activated from cholesterol (via the skin) it requires sunlight to initiate the activation (especially UVB radiation); you can also obtain vitamin D from food, such as oily fish (salmon, sardines, cod liver oil etc...) and some fortified foods. Vitamin D has been shown to boost bone health and it may play a role in preventing diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and other illnesses.

Vitamin D deficiency can occur if: the body has an increased need for vitamin D, the body is unable to produce enough vitamin D, or not enough vitamin D is being taken into the diet. Vitamin D deficiency is more common than vitamin D toxicity.

High doses of vitamin D...

A study conducted from 2002-2011, from patients in the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a National Institutes of Health-funded medical records pool that makes Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA, the home of Mayo clinic. Mayo Clinic is is one of the few places worldwide where scientist can share and study virtually an entire geographic population to identify health trends.

They found that an overdose of vitamin D was very unlikely to happen, even if levels raised more than 50 ng/mL; the given highest dose allowed in the blood in between 20-50ng/ml. The scientists took over 20,308 measurements, 8% of people had levels greater than 50 mg/mL and less than 1% of the people had levels of over 100 ng/mL.

"We found that even in those with high levels of vitamin D over 50 ng/mL, there was not an increased risk of hypercalcemia, or elevated serum calcium, with increasing levels of vitamin D," said study co-author Thomas D. Thacher, M.D., a family medicine expert at Mayo Clinic.

They also found that females over the age of 65 were more at risk of having very high vitamin D levels in their blood, which is expected since that group usually, takes vitamin D supplements.

Another notable outcome: The occurrence of high vitamin D levels over 50 ng/mL increased during the 10-year period of the study, from nine per 100,000 people at the start of the study up to 233 per 100,000 by the end.

"We were surprised by that degree of dramatic increase in vitamin D levels," Dr. Thacher said.

"Our bodies will naturally produce vitamin D when our skin is exposed to sunlight, however, we don't recommend excessive exposure to sun due to the risk of skin cancer," Dr. Thacher added.

Although, it has been recommended that doctors and GP’s always ask their patients whether they take vitamin D supplements, since some may consume capsules which contain 50,000 IU of vitamin D and if taken on a daily basis, it could lead to toxicity.

"The evidence is clear that vitamin D toxicity is one of the rarest medical conditions and is typically due to intentional or inadvertent intake of extremely high doses," wrote Hollick, a professor of medicine, physiology and biophysics at Boston University School of Medicine.

Quotes provided from Mayo Clinic, from Science Daily.

Images: [1] [2] [3] [4]

Continue Reading
No comments

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Please Read... Just A Little Notice

***********UPDATED*********** 29/05/2015

The 30 Day Science Blog Challenge will commence on the 1st of June 2015.

30 Days. 30 Topics. A challenge in a month.


As many of you have seen, I was starting the 30 Day Science Blogging Challenge and I had hoped I would be able to post for 30 consecutive days during May 2015. However due to unforeseen circumstances and technical difficulties I am not able to keep up with the daily posting so I have postponed the challenge till June 2015. Sorry if this disappoints anyone.

I am also thinking of trying to find a better theme/template for my blog with a better user interface. Your thoughts about the current theme would be appreciated!

Continue Reading
No comments
All content copyright © 2016/17 Mariam Zaki unless otherwise noted. Powered by Blogger.