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With our special coverage, a 4 pages spread of ‘The human Genome Project’


The Nature of Science The steps and techniques that guide.. All scientific experiments.

The Scientific Method by understanding science, one is able to distinguish between science and nonscience (pseudoscience), to understand anything that science does, we must first understand the nature of science. science is a particular way of understanding the natural world. It is to respond to one's curiosity that a person is born with. It allows us to connect the past with our present. Science follows specific rules and whatever the result is, it is always subject to testing or revision if necessary. Science benefits from creativity and imagination as long as a bit of logic is involved. scientists share certain basic beliefs and attitudes about what they do and how they view their work. It has to do with nature of the world and what can be learned about it. Science presumes that things and events in the universe occur in consistent patterns that are comprehensible through careful,

Systematic study. Scientists believe that through the use of the intellect and with the aid of instruments that extend the senses, people can discover patters in all nature. science ideas are subject to change; science is a process for producing knowledge. Process depends both on making careful observations of phenomena and on inventing theories for making sense out of those observations. No matter how well one theory explains a set of observations it is possible that another theory may fit just as well or even better or it may fit a well wider range of observation. Scientists assume that even if there is no way to secure complete and absolute truth, increasingly accurate approximations can be made to account for the world and how it works.

Shifting Science Volume no 1


The history of this method.. it was first developed by the Greeks. Ancient Greek philosophers, like Plato, believed that you don't need to go and physically measure objects, they concluded all needed info can be obtained through logical reasoning. on the other hand, Aristotle stated that empirical evidence has a significant importance, and that in order to make a correct theory, you need to study all topics related and look for the general consensus about it.

Shifting Science Volume no 1

Science And

Science has become part of our lives and has deeply affected every aspect of it, even though we don't really pay attention to it. It makes extraordinary things possible. Science allowed us to understand the past, deal with our present, and will create new ways to improve our future. Everything surrounding us was created through Science. Whether it is regarding diseases, transportation, entertainment, learning...etc., science furnished these opportunities. It is said that our life has changed more in the last one hundred years than it did in thousands of years earlier, because of the scientific knowledge accumulated over the last three centuries, and its application in the form of technology. So the impact of Science on Society is very visible, like for instance progress in agriculture, medicine and health care, telecommunications, transportation, computerization and so on, is part of our daily living.

In spite of all this progress, the consequent development of technology and industry, and the conveniences, comforts and power we have got through this knowledge, Science has also created destructive and tremendous power such as weapons which made violence increase and caused many wars and has led to ending millions of lives. So, does humanity deserve to have the knowledge which science is generating? Is it then responsible for scientists to generate knowledge, giving more and more power, without the wisdom to use it rightly? Scientists aren't solely responsible for generating scientific knowledge but also responsible for the whole society, all humankind and even the earth. Thus Science represents an ethical challenge. Nevertheless, although scientists tend to push the limits in order to acquire more knowledge and discoveries, they’ve cultivated an awareness and consciousness towards society and have set certain boundaries not to exceed; it is their duty to inform the society about possible risks and deceiving realities.

Despite bringing immense benefits and opportunities, Science has also contributed to the building of the disparities between the North and the South. Since as we know the South doesn’t benefit from the same socio-economic facilities of the North, which leads to the improvement of technological means through the funding of researches and the capacitybuilding of engineers and many other factors. Lacking commitment and appropriate skilled force, the South couldn’t achieve scientific progress. According to UNESCO statistics in 1990, only 4 % of the world total scientific research was conducted in the developing countries, this shows the very small contribution of the South.

An Internet Operated Social Networking Service that Changed the World

While there are many approaches through which I could address the subject of communication and the revolutionary ways in which it has changed the world in the 21st century alone… I believe the social networking service “Facebook” deserves an ‘article’ to itself. The website was launched in February 2004, and gained exponential popularity in an incredibly short period of Founded by Mark Zuckerberg along with time.

his college roommates and friends, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes, Facebook is a networking site that is used by people of all ages. It is free, and only requires a 5-minute registration process in order to create a “Facebook account.” The site has revolutionized the way in which the people of world socialize with one another.

Corporations and businesses use the site for advertising and recruiting purposes, the average person uses it to keep in touch with loved ones, and most recently (as seen in the Arab Spring), the people of suppressed countries have used Facebook as a tool by which to communicate in order to topple Facebook, alongside various other social networking sites has arguably given the average individual a voice as well as the ability to convey his/her ideas and opinions to a large amount of people with great ease. In many ways, the site has bridged the gap of physical distance between friends and family by enabling people to communicate on a daily, hourly, if not minute-to-minute basis with each other. While this stands for the advent of the telephone as well as the email, Facebook is different in that it allows people to create a “personalized” page through which they can share almost all the aspects of their life (relationship status, education, job, photos, videos, etc.). The dissemination of information through “Event planning” and “statuses” was most greatly appreciated during last year’s Arab Spring. The people communicated with one another through the site, and organized protests against their respective governments through Facebook. The site has become a weapon that keeps governments and people in power in check. Various people appreciate Facebook for its multifarious benefits that it has to offer society. That is not to say that there are no drawbacks to the creation of such a site (namely, online pedophilia, invasion of privacy, increase in infidelity, and much more). However, the number of users on the website… is enough to convey its persisting popularity: 900 million users (and growing).

Join, Update Status , Post, Share, Like, and Comment.

Science And Agriculture

This world is facing the most rapid growth rate of all time especially in developing countries. Food production is not keeping pace with the increase in population and it needs to expand at least by 2.5% per year in the coming decade to be able to meet the needs of the fast-growing populations of the world. The question to be raised is will we be able to meet their demands or will we be struggling in the new millennium trying to feed the population and avoiding malnutrition and food shortages.

Agricultural technology for exploiting the presently non-arable lands is a long way off. Most developing countries struggling to increase their agricultural production need to increase it on land that is under cultivation. Green revolution technologies and the policies that are used to promote them and sustain their use may be inadequate for the further growth production. The Green Revolution transplanted a lot of agricultural technologies from the rich to the poor countries. the techniques are now a lot and range from conventional and traditional scientific techniques to the complex genetic engineering. With the aid of new improved seed strains, fertilizers, better practices, mechanization, improved irrigation efficiency, integrated management techniques and reduced post-harvest losses, the yields of crop have increased in many countries, especially Asia. Because of that, the real price of staple foods decreased which in return helped to increase the living standards in many countries. Of course, without the Green Revolution, the number of 'absolute poor' would have been higher by hundreds of millions.

Unfortunately, countries that are desperate for modern techniques were only exposed to the technology 'left over' from the industrialized countries. This deepened the dichotomy and made the gaps between the rich and poor and the industrialized and the third Worlds wider. Further, the lack of proper education, of the capital and the infrastructure to be able to fully develop and be good at such technologies adequately, Third World mismanagement and the lack of technical know-how caused environmental damage and jeopardized natural resources.

Global Warming .. And the 21st Century

We have all heard the warnings pertaining to global warming. We bought our popcorn and sat in the cinema watching “The Day After Tomorrow� eyes wide and mouth agape. While the exciting cinematic effects were certainly entertaining, it is important to have some sound scientific knowledge on the phenomena so to understand the extent to which such film productions are true in terms of conveying the science behind global warming. Moreover, in understanding the dynamics of global warming, we as individuals can work to lessen the aggressive pace with which man is accelerating global climate change (GCC).

It is important to note that global warming occurs as a result of both natural phenomenon such as the green house effect, and man induced actions. The greenhouse effect is a natural process in which infrared radiation is absorbed and emitted by select gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. Joseph Fourier was the first scientist to propose the concept in 1824. The major contributing greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. In simple terms, in relation to GCC, the gases absorb thermal radiation, and then re-radiate the energy back into the Earth’s atmosphere. In this way, the Earth’s climate is balanced so to support the multifarious life forms that have, do, and will continue to exist on the planet. The natural greenhouse effect is necessary for the continuation of life. However, in recent decades the rate of climate change has accelerated to dangerous levels that threaten the existence and order of life on Earth. This acceleration is owed to detrimental human activities. While these activities have propelled societies and the advent of new technologies forward, it has expedited the process of global warming to a degree where nations and individuals must ask themselves if such advances are worth the cost of the planet’s existence.

The industrial Revolution might be an adequate point to mark as the shift in the amount of greenhouse gases remaining in the Earth’s atmosphere. Since then the concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane have increased by 36%. The burning of fossil fuels are responsible for approximately ! of the increase in carbon dioxide that has occurred in the last 20 years. Deforestation is another human activity that plays an enormous role in the exacerbation of global warming. During the process of photosynthesis, plants absorb (and therefore remove from the atmosphere) carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. With the mass deforestation, particularly of tropical regions, a great excess of carbon dioxide is left within the Earth’s atmosphere, largely contributing to the increase of global warming.

There are many impacts of the unnatural increase in the greenhouse effect. Below are just a few of these effects: • An overall increase in the Earth’s temperature. • Changes in the hydrological regime have the potential to cause disastrous weather incidents including floods, droughts, and storms. • Many sites around the world are heavily contaminated by mercury. An increase in the Earth’s temperature could result in the emission of mercury from these “chemical time bombs” • The flooding of coastal areas could drastically influence the mercury cycle by elevating the rates of mercury methylation, and subsequently the levels of mercury in water, zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, and fish within the new-formed bodies of water. The flooded areas may also contaminate the rich fisheries resource of numerous coastal areas with mercury. • Global warming has far reaching effects that reach out to small populations as well as entire species. Changes in the food change structure within temperate lakes is generically non linear. Therefore, small changes brought on by climate change could result in dramatic changes in bioaccumulation rates. • Tropical and Arctic ecosystems are especially vulnerable to heavy metal pollution. The unique structure of the food web in these areas exposes the top predators of to heavy metals. Moreover, global warming can further aggravate the contact of the most sensitive organisms to toxic metal pollutants. • The order and structure of many food webs, be they within aquatic or land ecosystems is threatened by changes in the Earth’s climate. These threats may lead to the extinction of many populations if not entire species of organisms.

While the awareness of global warming has certainly increased during the 21st century, it is necessary for humanity as a whole to take the initiative to carry out sufficient and effective actions that will check the increasing levels of greenhouses gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. There have been political and economic initiatives carried out by some countries and individuals across the globe, but these programs are far from the necessary change in human activity that is required to save our planet from its impending doom. Global carbon emissions experienced the greatest increase to ever be recorded in 2010. The reasons worldwide global warming initiatives are not taking a firm hold on the priorities of politicians are because there are certain factors that must be taken into account. These reasons include economic and developmental factors. Industrial output, and thereby the burning of fossil fuels is a key component to the sustainment of economic stability. Moreover, developing countries need to go through intense industrialization so to emerge from their “poor� status. It is factors such as these that make the issue of global warming a highly controversial and convoluted issue in the world today. For further information on the worldwide initiatives to control carbon emissions, you can research the following: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change The Kyoto Protocol International Carbon Action Partnership *There are many more non-governmental organizations and groups that are concerned with the decrease of greenhouse gases, and thereby the decrease of the rate of global warming. Above are just international initiatives that have been and that are in progress.

History Of Science -Pre-Historical:

Science existed before the Modern era and in many historical civilizations and was often reviewed for further implements. For instance, Aristotle and Kuan Tzu (4th C.BCE), in an example of simultaneous scientific discovery mention that some marine animals were subject to a lunar cycle, and increase and decrease in size with the waxing and waning of the moon. Many interpretations were made to understand the world we live in, since the dawn of time but they were missing the experimental approach that defines modern science and leads to successful and reliable results.! -Philosophical turn to human things: ! A major turning point in the history of early philosophical science was the attempt by Socrates to apply philosophy to the study of human things, such as human nature, human knowledge‌etc. He was concerned that some of the early physicists treated nature as if it could be assumed that it had no intelligent order. !

-Medieval Science: During late antiquity and the early middle Ages, the Aristotelian approach to inquiries on natural phenomenon was used in the general fields of science or natural philosophy as it was called.

Islamic science provided much of the activity at that time as well. In Europe, men like Roger Bacon argued for more experimental science. By the late

middle Ages, Western Europe had become a new geographic Centre of science.

Renaissance- Early Modern Science (scientific revolution):! Copernicus formulated a heliocentric model of the solar system. Galileo made innovative use of experiment and mathematics. Rene Descartes argued that mathematics could be used in order to study nature and Bacon emphasized the importance of experiment over contemplation, he also argued that science should aim for the first time at practical inventions in order to improve all human life. In the 17th and 18th centuries, a rapid scientific advance was achieved and the development of a new type of natural science, mathematical, methodically experimental and innovative was successful. Newton and Leibniz succeeded in developing a new physics, now referred to as Newtonian physics, which could be confirmed by experiment and explained in mathematics. ! In the 19th century, Herschel and Whewell systematized methodology. Charles Darwin published “The origin of species�, he established descent with modification as the prevailing evolutionary explanation of biological complexity, his theory of natural selection provided an explanation of how species originated. John Dalton developed the idea of atoms. The laws of thermodynamics and the electromagnetic theory were also established then.! In the 20th century, Einstein’s theory of Relativity led to the development of a new physics. The extensive use of scientific innovation during the wars of this century led to the space race and widespread public appreciation of the importance of modern science. !

Life Changing Discoveries & Medical Advancements

Science has helped shape and change the world in which we live today, without its major achievements we wouldn’t be able to live as long as we do. The influence of science is wide it covers all fields and provided a great understanding of our natural world and all its components including us, humans. An amount of knowledge discovered through generations without which humans couldn’t have survived.

Here are some examples of discoveries, listed in the order they were discovered: ! ! The Copernicus system: In 1543, Nicholas

Copernicus a polish astronomer published his theory that the Sun is a motionless body at the center of the solar system, with the planets revolving around it. Before his theory, astronomers believed the Earth was at the center of the universe. !

! The law of universal Gravitation: An

English mathematician and physicist, Isaac Newton, in 1664 figured out that gravity is the force that draws objects toward each other. It explained why things fall down and why the planets orbit around the Sun.!

! Electricity: Michael Faraday made two big

discoveries; in 1821 he discovered that when a wire carrying an electric current is placed next to a single magnetic pole, the wire will rotate which led to the development of the electric motor. In 1831, he became the first person to produce an electric current by moving a wire through a magnetic field. Faraday’s experiment created the first generator, the forerunner of the huge generators that produce our electricity.!

! The theory of Evolution: Charles Darwin, the

British naturalist, came up with this theory in 1859, which changed our idea of how life developed on earth. He argued that all organisms evolve or change over time; these changes are the result of adaptations that happen by chance and allow a species to survive in its environment. If a species doesn’t adapt, it may become extinct. He called this process natural selection or the “survival of the fittest”. !

! Louis Pasteur: French chemist began

experimenting with bacteria in the 1860’s, people didn’t know what caused diseases. He discovered that diseases came from micro-organisms and realized that bacteria could be killed by heat and disinfectant. This idea led doctors to wash their hands and sterilize their instruments, which has saved millions of lives.!

! The Theory of Relativity: Albert Einstein

published in 1905 the theory of relativity, which explains the relationships between speed, time and distance. The theory states that the speed of light always remains the same186.000miles/second (300.000km/second) regardless of how fast someone or something is moving toward or away from it. This theory became the foundation for much of modern science !

! The Big Bang Theory: Nobody knows exactly

how the universe came into existence, but many scientists believe that it happened about 13.7 billion years ago with a massive explosion, called the Big Bang. In 1927, Georges Lemaitre proposed his theory of the universe; it says that all the matter in the universe was originally compressed into a tiny dot, and in a fraction of a second the dot expanded and all the matter instantly filled what is now in our universe. The event marked the beginning of time. Scientific observations seem to confirm the theory.!

! Penicillin: Antibiotics are powerful drugs that

kill dangerous bacteria in our bodies that make us sick. In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic, penicillin, which he grew in his lab using mold fungi.!

! DNA:

In 1953, James Watson from the USA and Francis Crick from England found the double-helix structure of DNA, it is made up of two strands that twist around each other and have chemical patterns that create instructions for the human body to follow. The discovery has helped doctors understand diseases and may someday prevent some illness like heart disease and cancer.!

! The Periodic Table: It is based on the periodic

law proposed by Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev. He noticed that when arranged by atomic weight, the chemical elements lined up to form groups with similar properties. He was able to use this, to predict the existence of undiscovered elements and note errors in atomic weights.!

! X-rays: A German physicist, Wilhelm

Roentgen, discovered X-rays in 1895. Xrays go through some substances, this allows them to be used to see broken bones or explosives inside suitcases.!


The Atomic Bomb: Many scientists who worked in the 1940’s on The Manhattan Project by discovering how to refine uranium and used the quantum theory (structure of an atom) to build the atomic bomb. It put a successful end to World War Two but killed thousands of civilians.!

! HIV/AIDS: In 1983/1984, Montagnier of France

and Gallo of the USA discovered HIV virus and determined that it was the cause of AIDS. Scientists have since developed tests to determine if a person has HIV or not. People are urged to take precautions to prevent the spread of the disease. Drugs are available to keep HIV and AIDS under control. The hope is that further research will lead to the development of a cure. !

MEDICAL ADVANCES/BREAKTHROUGHS IN THE 21st CENTURY Medicine is a field of science that is constantly changing. While we have witnessed great medical breakthroughs in the last couple of centuries, medicine is a long way from being completely understood. There are still many angles of medicine that are in need of vigorous scientists willing to spend hours (if not their life) on finding cures and solutions to the unsolved medical mysteries of science. Having said this, it is important to recognize the breakthroughs and advances in medicine that are taking place and that have taken place so far in the 21st century alone. While there are many advances to be listed, below is a list of just ten of the top medical advances that have taken place this century: 1. International Human Genome Project: In 2000, the completed rough draft of the human genome was released to the public via the Internet. For the first time ever, the world had access to the complete set of human genetic information that would enable scientists to discover (roughly) what our 20,000 genes do. (More information on the human Genome elsewhere on the magazine)

2. The Benefits of Technology on Doctor-Patient Interaction: The Internet has had an incredible impact on the practice of medicine. It has allowed doctors to have easy and quick access to the library of materials available on the Internet so to answer a medical question that they may have. Previously, finding research to support or answer a doctor’s questions might have taken hours of time spent in libraries, going through numerous books. In terms of the patient, the advent of new technology has eased the process by which the patient is admitted and “organized” within the hospital’s files. In some places, the patient is given a bar code upon his/her admission that matches their blood samples and IVSs.

Information technology has significantly improved hospital care. However, many hospitals have yet to wholly incorporate it into their medical programs due to the significant investment such changes require.

3. The Impact of Anti-Smoking laws and campaigns: Anti-smoking laws in various countries around the world have had a significant impact on the impact of secondhand smoke. 27 States and the district of Columbia in the United states, the United Kingdom, many countries in Europe, and even some in the Middle East (Oman), have implemented smoking in public bans that prohibit smoking indoors or in public places. A report issues by the Institute of Medicine reported that these actions taken against smoking have contributed to a reduction in heart attacks and death from heart disease. Moreover, the number of cigarettes smoked by the average smoker has also experienced a decline. The bans motivate people to quit.

4. Heart Disease Deaths Drop by 40%: 25 years ago, when a patient would be admitted into a hospital with a heart attack, he was usually given a dose of morphine and lidocaine which was believes to prevent dangerous and irregular heart beats. The method depended a great deal on “hoping for the best”. Today, the treatment of a heart attack is highly dependant on “speed”. Rush the patient to the hospital, where a blood clot may be treated with drugs such as TPA. Another option (if a vessel is narrowed due to the build up of plaque) is to install a stent into the heart. Aside from these methods, there are some patients who still require surgery. But even then, surgeons have developed sophisticated techniques that allow them to sew new vessels into the heart in order to bypass diseased arteries. Other drugs such as Simvastatin, Lipitor, Mevacor and Crestor are routinely used to slow the progression of atherosclerosis. Research is available that shows around half of the gains in heart disease has come from new treatment interventions. The other half is owed to prevention (better control of blood pressure, pre-emptive lowering of blood cholesterol levels, better diets, and reduced smoking). *****”In 1998/2000, the American Heart Association set a decade –long goal to reduce coronary heart disease and stroke risk by 25% by 2010. The goal was realized in 2008!”

5. Stem Cell Research: Stem cell research has been a matter of great controversy. Because of this, it has found itself at the heart of political action relative to medicine. But while stem cell research was previously limited, the much publicized ban on Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research was lifted in 2009. The clinical advances since the ban have been astounding. •

European researchers were able to genetically manipulate bone marrow cells taken from two 7 year old boys that they then transplanted the altered cells back into the boys and found that the process apparently stopped the progress of a fatal brain disease, adrenoleukodystopy (ALD). Dr. George Daley of Children’s Hospital Boston spoke of some of the advances made via stem cell research: “Now we can make embryonic-like stem cells directly from skin cells, which makes it possible to model a multitude of human diseases in the petri dish. New drugs based on stem cells are being developed, and the first human clinical trial based on products of human embryonic stem cells is expected in 2010. The Science of the past decade

has been spectacular, and we’re hopeful that in the next decade, we’ll start to realize the promise of new stem cell therapies.”

6. Targeted Therapies for Cancer: Two “blockbuster” therapies for cancer were discovered in the late 1990s; Herceptin, and the cancel pill called Gleevec. Both of these therapies have arguably altered the field of cancer treatments… converting a fatal disease into a chronic illness. Herceptin is a drug that targets a specific type of breast cancer that is characterized by the cancer gene, HER-2. About 25% of women with breast cancer have this form of the disease, and will most likely respond to Herceptin, even when powerful alternate therapies (chemotherapy) have failed. Studies show that the drug will prevent many women’s breast cancer from recurring, and will improve the survival rate of those who have breast cancer as well. Unlike the other methods that target cancer, this drug attacks the cancer, not the patient. Gleevec targets a genetic mutation called bcr-abl that allows cancer cells to grow and multiply within patients who might have a variety of cancers. Gleevec and Hereceptin are two breakthrough agents that have enabled the development of numerous cancer drugs that target specific molecules that control both the cell growth and the blood supply that is known to feed tumors.

7. Creation of Drugs to Extend HIV survival rates: In 1996, a 20 year old with AIDS had the life expectancy of about 3-5 years. Now however, thanks to the creation of a highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART), the survival of someone with the disease has stretched decades. The previous president of the Infectuous Disease Society of America, Dr. John Bartlett, captured the amazing aspect of the discovery in adept terms: “Think of it: In 1996, everyone in our HIV clinic was prepared to die. Now, they all live. And most of them look great. They just need to take the meds.” Of course the next challenge is to find an absolute cure of the disease, and scientists are trying to do just that. Researchers continue to refine regimens in order to improve results. There is emerging evidence now that indicates that some combinations may even be more effective on patients with more extensive diseases. There was a 10% drop in deaths owed to HIV in the U.S between 2006 and 2007. But the breakthrough “cocktail” drug has had its impact around the world. Although doctors are make a relatively slow progress towards ridding itself of such high HIV rates, one of the most triumphant accomplishments of the past decade have been the use of antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother to infant HIV transmission.

8. Minimally Invasive Surgical Techniques: At the close of the 20th century, a patient would expect to have at least a 6-inch scar after going through a surgical procedure that involved the removal of an organ. Today however, minimally invasive surgery has virtually removed scars from some procedures. •

Women can anticipate much shorter recovery periods from hysterectonies today then they could in the previous century. This is because of the development of natural orfice surgeries. Now doctors are able to remove the uterus through the vagina as opposed to through a large incision in the abdomen.

In the late 2000s, doctors at the Cleveland Clinic began to use a technique that removed the kidney through the patient’s naval.

9. A study found that Hormone Replacement Therapy runs the risk of heart disease, and cancer: Up until July 2002, many doctors believed that by giving middle-aged women hormones (estrogen or estrogen & progestin) would prevent their hearts from “the ravages of age” that seemed to attack women post-menopause. HRT was considered to be good for the bones, brain, skin, figure, and libido. Moreover, it was widely distributed to women as a way to check menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep disturbances. However, when a study conducted by the National Heart and Blood Institute concluded that HRT increased the risk of heart attack, stroke, blood clots and breast cancer, it revealed the dangerous effects of the therapy to the world. After these results were studied by other doctors and scientists, it was also found that HRT is associated with a huge increase in the risk of breast cancer.

10. Functional MRI: The Functional MRI is a way in which sophisticated imaging techniques allow scientists to map the way the mind works. The process involves tracking brain cells by observing changes in the oxygen levels and blood flow in the brain. The greater the brain activity in a particular area of the brain, the more oxygen will be used, resulting in an increased blood flow to that region. All that the patient has to do is lie awake inside of the MRI scanner and answer a series of questions. (example: identifying a color or solving a math problem). While the fMRI was first developed in the early 1990s, it has developed and presented its effectiveness most sufficiently since the start of the new century. The fMRI is an efficient way to study the living human brain in action, and has offered scientists numerous insights into cognition, social interactions, reward systems, the decision making process, and much more. In terms of the implications of such studies that are enabled to be carried out via the fMRI, the technique allows researchers to learn valuable information about many diseases relating to the brain (brain cancer, memory disorders, autism, depression.).

THE HUMAN GENOME PROJECT What is the human genome project?

When biologists first began investigating human genes at the molecular level in the 1970s, the idea of the Human Genome Project surfaced abstractedly. The Human Genome Project is a collective term given to various researches and projects that started in 1990. It was coordinated by the U.S and led by the Deportment of Energy (DOE), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) completed 2 years in advance, in 2003. The project mainly aimed to: 1- Identify all the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA 2- Determine the sequences of the 3 billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA 3- Store this information in databases 4- Improve tools for data analysis 5- Transfer related technologies to the private sector 6- Address the ethical, legal, and social issues (ELSI) that may arise from the project”1 SIDE QUOTE: “Mapping the human genome has been compared with putting a man on the moon, but I believe it is more than that. This is the outstanding achievement not only of our lifetime, but also in terms of human history. A few months ago I compared the project to the invention of the wheel. On reflection, it is more than that. I can well imagine technology making the wheel obsolete. But this code is the essence of mankind, and as long as humans exist, this code is going to be important and will be used. “— Thomas Michael (T. Michael) Dexter2

The bacterium Escherichia coli, the fruit fly, and the laboratory mouse were mostly the organisms whose genetic make up was examined and analyzed. It is estimated that anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 genes exist, which

1 2

Scientists planned to map in the Human Genome Project. But it doesn’t stop here, the project also aimed to sequence the 3 billion DNA amino acid or “building blocks” that constitute each gene.

YOUTUBE VIDEO: “How to sequence a Genome: Introduction” ?feature=player_embedded&v= N4i6lYfYQzY

FEED YOUR IMAGINATION. “It would take thirteen fullvolume encyclopedia sets or 200 Manhattan phone books to equal the amount of genetic information the project scientists plan to organize.”1 The development and completion of the Human Genome project resulted in substantial rapid progress in many fields of science. What are some of the possible, potential applications of genomics research conducted by the Human Genome Project? 1- Medicine 2- Environmental applications

1) Medical applications and benefits

The separation and analysis of every new gene provides new knowledge about the human body and how it functions, revolutionizing the developing realm of biological research and experimental medicine. This enabled the facilitation and simplification of disease recognition and diagnosis. The main modification that the Human Genome project has introduced to molecular medicine is that it enabled the examination of the underlying causes of a disease (by locating the errors in the genes) rather than just treating their symptoms. This made early treatment of several diseases attainable. Not only is the Human Genome Project providing a clear understanding of present-day genetic diseases and diagnosis, but is also said to have provided medical researches with a “link to the past”. Conducting experiments and studying the history of diseases enables scientists to examine the cause of particular diseases and how they mutated over the years. The meticulous mapping of genomes has facilitated the search for genes linked with various genetic conditions. These include: inherited colon cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and heritable breast cancer. The Human Genome Project also introduced the revolutionizing development of a new generation of therapeutics that is based on the study of genes. Researchers utilize the information of base sequences on genes, and structure of protein to create new drugs. Gene therapy is the process of using genes to treat diseases, which may, in some cases, prevent the need for surgery. Introducing new healthy genes to a body for treatment or to replace flawed genes has proved very successful You can add a gene to a patient with a

“Because the Human Genome Project provides researchers with a clear link to the past, present and future, scientists are able to study where a disease is, trace it back from whence it came, and predict the way it will move in the future. Having this information is crucial, and makes the Human Genome Project one of the greatest scientific advancements ever.”3

2) Environmental applications

Waste Control and Environmental Cleanup The Human Genome Project enabled the foundation of the Microbial Genome Initiative in 1994, which deals with the genetic sequencing of bacteria that is effective in the areas of energy production, environmental development, toxic waste reduction, etc. Scientists were able to sequence the genetic make-up of 6 microbes that are known to survive under severe conditions and extreme temperatures. The knowledge of the protein structure of these microbes enables the use of the organisms and their enzymes for waste control and environmental cleanup.

3) DNA Forensics (Identification)

“Some Examples of DNA Uses for Forensic Identification 0) 1) 2) 3) 4)

Identify potential suspects in crime scenes Defend somebody wrongly accused of crime Establish parenthood and other family relationships Detect bacteria and other organisms that may pollute air, water, soil, and food Match organ donors with recipients in transplant operations”4

How does forensic identification work? The Human Genome Project has enabled the identification of organisms through the studying of their unique DNA sequence. In order to create a DNA profile, forensics scientists examine several DNA regions and use this information to identify a person. They can use blood, bone, hair or any body tissue sample to examine and to create a DNA profile of that individual. The DNA sample from the suspect is examined and analyzed, and compared with the DNA profile created from the samples taken from the crimescene. Scientists then perform the process of DNA typing using advanced technologies such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Short Tandem Repeat (STR) technologies to determine whether the sample profiles match or not.


How does forensic identification work? The Human Genome Project has enabled the identification of organisms through the studying of their unique DNA sequence. In order to create a DNA profile, forensics scientists examine several DNA regions and use this information to identify a person. They can use blood, bone, hair or any body tissue sample to examine and to create a DNA profile of that individual. The DNA sample from the suspect is examined and analyzed, and compared with the DNA profile created from the samples taken from the crime-scene. Scientists then perform the process of DNA typing using advanced technologies such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) and Short Tandem Repeat (STR) technologies to determine whether the sample profiles match or not.

Ethical and Social implications and the Human Genome project Although the Human Genome Project has offered revolutionary advances in the fields of medicine and other sciences, there are many social and ethical implications that must be taking into account. The information that is obtained from genomic mapping can considerably influence human health, but how will it be used? Who will have access to it? Can it be misused or exploited in a disadvantageous manner? The ELSI Program was established to tackle these issues and provide solutions to them. DID YOU KNOW? “The Human Genome Project is the FIRST large scientific endeavor to address social issues that may arise from the project. The DOE and NIH genome programs each set aside 35% of their annual budgets for the study of ELSI.�1 The ELSI address four main issues regarding the implications of the Human Genome project: 1 1) The privacy and confidentiality in the handling and analysis of genetic information. 2) Clinical and medical incorporation of new genetic technologies. 3) Commercialization of products from human genetic research and data materials (i.e.: patents, copyrights, etc.) 4) The education of the general public and health care providers: are the knowledgeable about genetics?

Scientific Quotes for your delight A fact is a simple statement that everyone believes. It is innocent, unless found guilty. A hypothesis is a novel suggestion that no one wants to believe. It is guilty, until found effective. Edward Teller

Anybody who has been seriously engaged is scientific work of any kind realizes that over the entrance to the gates of the temple of science are written the words: 'Ye must have faith.' Max Planck

In all science, error precedes the truth, and it is better it should go first than last. Hugh Walpole


Now to keep your brain working .. Our Game of the month

I bet you wont come out of here alive.. Muahahhaaa

In the End, The traditional learning process requires that we expose students to science at a tender age. The early awakening of a child’s mind to be sensitive to the environment around it is today very well accepted as the proper approach to learning science. In doing so, a child is taught to recognize ideas and concepts. Through playing with educational gadgets, children develop manipulative skills. Learning science there- fore starts when a child is still with its parents. Differences in societal settings and parental ability to explain science can therefore create a difference in learning of science. However, this disability may not be serious because it can be overcome by schooling. The early years of schooling are essential for the teaching and learning of science because they correct the mistakes made by parents. Provision of welltrained science teachers is essential to science learning. Furthermore, teachers must be provided with tools and equipment to teach science. Unfortunately, most schools in the developing world neither have well-trained science teachers nor the tools or equipment to teach science. As a result, many pupils are turned off by science. ; Cause children are the scientists of the future.

Sincerely, The Team: Anam Sufi Jude Benhalim Sabrine Khemiri Donia Karash Suzan Salah

Shifting Science  

the first edition of a Scientific magazine that serves as our semester project.

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