Blood type

Do you know your blood type? If you haven’t been in any medical situations where blood type is important, you might not.

We know that there are 8 main blood groups that make up most of the world’s population.

But it turns out that scientists still don’t know why we evolved different blood types. And that may remain a mystery for a long time. But from now, science can at least tell you about your own blood.

Knowing your Blood type

In develops parts of the world, it’s not crucial to know your blood type off the top of your head. Doctors will typically run tests before any major procedure and if there’s any doubt in a medical emergency, you’ll most likely receive O negative blood, because that’s the universal donor blood that’s save to give to any A, B, AB or O recipient.

Blood type experiments

For thousands of years nobody really understood blood. A Greek doctor Claudius Galenus from 200 CE believed that it was created food and liver, and this school of thought lived on for nearly 1500 years.

It wasn’t until in the 17th century A british doctor named William Harvey, discovered that blood actually circulated through the body. This spawned A new age of experimentation with blood.

In 1665, an English physician successfully kept one dog alive by transfusing it with a blood of another dog. Just two years later, doctors began experimenting with Xenotransfusions. That is transfusing humans with animal blood, such a sheep. And those human patients died.

It wasn’t until 1900 that we finally realised people and animals actually have different types of blood that determine whose blood can mix with whose. That’s where different letters came into play.

If you’re type A, your immune system will perceive type B blood as an intruder and trigger auto immune response that can cause

  • kidney failure,
  • extensive blood clotting, and
  • even shock.

The reverse is true of type B blood. The immune system will attack type A.

AB blood however, accept both A and B blood without triggering the auto immune response. These things get little bit complicated when introduced there negative and positive part of your blood type. Positive can’t accept negative, but the opposite is extremely dangerous.

Other than 8 Blood types

To further complicate things scientists have discovered dozens of more blood type, such as the Duffy blood group, which can determine your susceptibility to malaria. Or the Hh blood type, which 1 in 10,000 people in India have. But the vast majority of the humans fall into this A, B, O system.

As per why humans evolved this complicated system of blood types and compatibility, we really don’t know. The original mutations are thought to date back nearly 20 million years. But whatever the biology is behind blood typing, it’s a real practical thing that matters.

It’s just not a bad idea to know your blood type. If you’re traveling somewhere that’s rural, or doesn’t have access to advance medicine, it’s good for you and your travelling companion to know your types, just in case of an accident along the way. In big emergency closer to home, blood banks often put in calls for donors of a specific type. And remember if you’re type O Negative, you’re an extremely useful universal donor. So, knowing your type can give you a peace of mind.

Your body when you Swim

Harvard medical school published a study which looked at over 40,000 men, aged 20-90 who were either runners, walkers, swimmers, and physically in active people. With an average length of 13 years of observation and in that time

  • 2% of swimmers passed away
  • 8% of runners passed away
  • 9% of walkers passed away
  • 11% of physically inactive people passed away

This study showed that swimmers are much healthier later on in life than the rest of the population and for women swimming just 30 mins a day can decrease coronary heart disease by 30 to 40 percent.

It also helps to increase HDL aka good Colestrol. Some studies have also shown that aerobic excercise can keep the cells in the lining of your arteries more flexible and healthier. Hence there is no question that swimming is an awesome form of fitness.

Body during swimming

What do you actually feel when you go into the water? Here are some main elements of the human body that gets impacted during swimming.

1. Blood

According to the America Heart Association, swimming is considered as Aerobic activity. Aerobic excercise enlarges the heart and it increases the blood flow through the entire boby. Because swimming is an excercise, the blood has to pump all the molecules into the body.

2. Heart

Since so much of blood has to be pumped into the body, that ties into how it impacts your heart because we know that after 2 mins your body goes into aerobic respiratory because your heart has to pump all the oxygenated blood through the body. So as you swim, your heart is circulating the blood which help your body to perform and achieve the required goals.

3. Skin

You must have seen that the skin color changes of swimmers. For example, some swimmers face turns red when the swim, that happens because your blood vessels are dilating and the brings the heat to the surface into the skin then some people turn red, as a result your skin is showing the effort that you’re putting in the water.

4.Muscles

There’s a reason why swimmers are considered to have best body and physiques in the world compared to any athlete, because swimming engages every single muscles in the water when it comes to your core stability, your upper body, your biceps, your hamstrings, your calves, everything is engaged when you swim.

When you’re swimming, you are micro tearing your muscles while swinging it. And the muscles requires 24-48 hrs to recover those muscles. That’s when sometimes you might feel sore.

5. Lungs

Swimming can actually help increase your lungs volume because in swimming different than other sports, you can’t actually breath whenever you want. It’s not like running when you have full access to oxygen.

In swimming you’re engaging your muscles and you’re not allowed to breathe necessarily at the time when your body might want it. So because you have to get used to this, you actually increase your Vo to max (maximum amount of oxygen body is able to use). So basically you are making your lungs more efficient at functioning.

6. Brain

The Brain loves swimming, because of all the extra blood flow moving through these endorphins that makes you more awake, alert and focus.

But this could happen in any type of sport but swimming is something really special because you’re sort of in your own world where the medium is 800 times more dense than air, which makes you feel free and relaxed.

Hence, from physical health to mental health, swimming is an incredible benefit human body and after reading this you must be thinking of trying swimming.

Being Bilingual

People have very different opinions on what bilingualism really is. For some it means speaking two languages fluently and with little to no effort rather strongly consider a person bilingual, if it has perfect pronounciation in both languages and makes very few grammatical errors while talking.

The truth is that, even with a bad accent and making some mistake, being able to speak in two or more languages rather than one has practical benefits in an increasingly globalised world.

Multilingualism

Multilingualism has been shown to have many psychological and social advantages that can go something simply as

  • watching movies with no subtitles
  • to having less problems in traveling and
  • even getting a job or business opportunities specially in tourist areas.

Types of Bilingualism

It is considered to be two types of Bilingualism

1. Compound Bilingualism

Compound Bilingualism, also called addictive Bilingualism happens for example when a child is raised by bilingual parents and both languages are used in home, the child grows when both languages are used simultaneously in the same environment.

With this type of Bilingualism, the person does not see the two languages as separate it is common to hear such people speaking different languages in the same sentence or using a word of a different language from the one they’re talking to better express themselves.

2. Coordinate Bilingualism

This is the second type of Bilingualism also know as Subtractive Bilingualism. In this type, the person perceive two languages as separate because he learns them separately and in different environments in context.

I am an example of coordinate Bilingualism, most of the time i talk Hindi when I’m in my college environment or to people who talks only that language, I use the language specifically for those context but to my family members i usually talk in Bengali which is my native language, the language related to my home environment. I see these two language as separate since I learned and used them in completely different environments.

Officially Monolingual Countries

Only a few countries in the world including the U.S, England, and Australia are officially Monolingual but even in these countries only a considerable percent of people who speaking and understand more than one language.

Advantage

Researchers suggest that bilingualism can slow the advance of age-related mental issues such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s by up to 4 years.

Also in bilingual adult, brain tissue called grey matter is denser compared with Monolingual adults.

Although speaking more than one language does not necessarily make you more intelligent person, it helps stimulates and increase brain connections. Learning a new language is like an excercise to the brain that will improve your Cognitive skills and even if you grew up in a Monolingual environment, it is never too late to start learning a different language.

History of Halloween

From communion with the dead to pumpkins and pranks, Halloween is a patchwork holiday, stitched together with cultural religions and occult tradition that spans centuries.

Before Halloween

It all began with the Celts; a people whose culture had spread across Europe more than 2,000 years ago. October 31st was the day they celebrated the end of the harvest season in a festival called Soin, that night also marked as Celtic New Year and was considered a time between years; a magical time when the ghost of the dead walked the earth as called as time when the veil between death and life was supposed to be at its thinnest.

At that time the villagers would gathered and lit huge bonfires to drive the dead back to the spirit world and keep them away from the living. But as the Catholic Church’s influence grew in Europe, it frowned on the pagan rituals like sawing.

The name Halloween

In the 7th century the Vatican began to merge it with a Church sanctioned holiday. So November 1st was designed All Saints day to honor martyrs and the deceased faithful. Both of these holidays had to do with the afterlife and about survival after death, it was a calculated move, on the part of the church, to bring more people into the fold.

All Saints day was known as then Hallowmas; hallow meaning holy or saintly, so the translation is roughly mass of the saints. The night before October 31st was All Hallows eve while gradually morphed into “Halloween“.

How the holiday spread

The holiday came to America with the wave of Irish immigrants during the Potato Famine of the 1840s. The brought several of their holiday customs with them including

  • Bobbing for apples and,
  • Playing tricks on neighbors like, removing gates from the front of the houses
Irish immigrants

Trick-o-treat

The young pranksters wore masks so they wouldn’t be recognised but over the years the traditional of harmless tricks grew into outright vandalism such as in 1930s, pranks during Halloween became really holiday, as there was such a hooliganism and vandalism.

Trick-o-treat was originally a extortion deal, give candies or get your house trashed. Storekeeper and neighbors began giving treats or bribes to stop the tricks and children were encouraged to travel door-to-door for treat as an alternative to trouble making. By the late 30s trick-o-treat became a holiday greeting.

Where did Necktie came from?

The neckties, also known as decorative noose are a narrow piece of fabric designed to be worn around the neck and tied at the throat. They can be made from many materials but commonly constructed from silk or cotton.

Varieties

Today there are many different kinds of neckties:-

  • Ascot tie
  • The zipper tie
  • Clip on tie
  • The tie dye tie

So when did wrapping a piece of fabric around your neck become a formal style necessity. The length of World War to blame can partially be placed on the French Military. While humans have been tying fabric around their neck since they could sew.

History

The neckties is been known as it didn’t start crowding collars until the 17th century. King Louis XIII of France had hired Croatian mercenaries to fight for him during the 30-year war and the king was impressed by the length of cloth the Croatian used to keep their jackets together.

Croatian

Louis liked it so much that he required his entire royal court to wear them a tradition that his son will continue in his court. The trend soon spread across the French aristocracy and it wasn’t long before all of the Europe had converted to the curve at.

Tying a Necktie

There are four main ways to tie a neckties;

  1. The Four-in-hand knot
  2. The Pratt knot aka The Shelby knot
  3. Half-windsor knot
  4. The Windsor knot

According to researchers from Cambridge Cavendish Laboratory, there are 85 ways to tie a tie. Thomas Fink and Yong Mao actually use Mathematical modeling to figure this out and publish a book on their finding.

Towards the end of tie fashion

The necktie is losing its grip around the throat of male fashion. Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and eBay actually encourage their employees to dress casually with some going as far as banning traditional office wear entirely and other companies are following suits.

Its fast become a power move to dress drown to the office in the 21st century as a statement of fellow workers, you can wear what ever you want.

Californian companies have led the charge in disrupting many common business practices, by rejecting aspects of corporate life that once seemed to given such as

  • Traditional working hours
  • Corporate hierarchies
  • Paying employees a living wage

Now politicians and even royalty are leaving tie in their dresses so it many not be long before neckties joins the history books of pointless male neck fashion.

BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER(BDD)

Body Dysmorphic disorder is a mental disorder marked by an obsessive of perceived defects or flaws in once appearance. A flaw that to others is considered minor or not observable.

People suffering from BDD

  1. Can feel emotion such as shame and disgust concerning a part or parts of their body part and fixate on this.
  2. The obsession is so intense that the person repeatedly checks and compares the perceived flaw seeks reassurance sometimes for several hours each day.
  3. The person can also adopt unusual routines to avoid social contact that exposes the perceived flaw.
  4. This pervasive thoughts about their appearance and body image interfere with their daily life via
    • Educational
    • Occupational dysfunction and
    • Isolation

No matter how many times people assure them that there is no flaw, they cannot accept that the issue doesn’t exist.

The most common features about which people obsess includes:-

  • Nose
  • Wrinkles
  • Acne
  • Complexion
  • Blemishes
  • Hair
  • Skin
  • Vein appearance
  • Muscles size
  • Tone
  • Breast size
  • Buttocks
  • Genitalia

BDD is estimated to affect up to 2.4% of the population. The condition usually starts during adolescence affecting both men and women. BDD does not go away on its own if Untreated it may get worse with time leading to

  • severe depression
  • Anxiety
  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior

Causes

The exact cause is unknown, but like every other disorder BDD may result from a combination of causes such as:-

  1. Brain differences
  2. Environmental factors; special if they involve negative social evaluations about the body or Self-image
  3. Childhood trauma
  4. Genetics; studies suggest that BDD is likely to run in family.

Certain factors that may increase the risk of developing the condition may include:-

  1. A family history
  2. Negative body image
  3. Perfectionism
  4. Negative life experiences such as bullying or teasing
  5. Introversion
  6. Media influence.

Symptoms

Extreme preoccupation with a perceived flaw in your physical appearance that appear minor to others for at least one hour a day. Attempting to hide perceived flaw with –

  • styling, makeup or clothes – to seeking plastic or cosmetic surgery,
  • avoiding social situations,
  • constantly comparing appearance with others,
  • always seeking assurance about appearance from others,
  • low self-esteem, compulsive behaviour such as skin picking and frequent clothes changing.

Extreme preoccupation with an appearance that interferes with social life work, school, or other functionality.

Diagnosis

A medical evaluation will be carried out other medical conditions after which further evaluation is carried out by a mental health professional.

Diagnosis is based on:-

  1. A psychological evaluation; which aims at assessing risk factors and thoughts feeling as well as behavior can be associated with a negative self-image.
  2. Personal, medical, family and social health history.

Treatment

Treatment option may include therapy and medication includes:-

  1. Cognitive behavioral therapy; that helps you learn how to cope and behave to improve your mental health
  2. Medications; such as SSRIs may help is control obsession and control repetitive behaviours

Psychiatric hospital may be suggested if the symptom is severe such as when you’re in immediate danger of harming yourself.

Famous personality with BDD

Here is a list of people with BDD;

  • Michael Jackson(singer, dancer)
  • Billie Elish (singer)
  • Robert Pattinson (from twilight)
  • Ileana D’Cruz (from Rustom)
  • Miguel Herrán (from money heist)

History of Indian Stamps

India got independence on 15th August of 1947 assured in a new era in the history of the country but philatelist had to wait another 98 days for the release of India’s most commemorate stamp on 21st of November 1947.

First stamp

The Postal Telegraph Department however came out with a large Kashi postmarked with the slogan “Jai hind” for the occasion and letters mailed that the major post offices of the country were cancelled with this post mark.

The India’s first commemorative stamp features the Lion capital of Ashoka which had one set on the top of a column of Sarnath near Varanasi. The lion capital has since been around at the state emblem of India the denomination of the stamp was one and a half annas and an inspiration of “Jai hind” in Hindi was also depicted in the stamps.

Other stamps

Actually three stamps were planned to release at the time of Independence. The rest two stamps were released in the 15th of December 1947 with the three and a half annas stamp with portray of the national flag in tricolor Saffron on the top, white in the middle and green in the bottom.

The twelve annas stamp depicts an aircraft a symbol of the modern age. These stamps also have inscription “Jai hind” in hindi, they are also known are Jai Hind stamps.

The stamps were printed offset lithography. As the three and a half annas stamp was printed in three colors in three steps because difference in inking at different stages, because specimens having the top of the flag in deep orange or pale orange and the lower part in pale green and deep green were coming across.

Petroleum Jelly is harmful to skin

You probably have a jar of Vaseline somewhere in your house. Millions of people swear by it as a remedy for clapped lips, congestions, diaper rash and dry skin. Unfortunately the popular product is more harmful than many realise.

What is Petroleum Jelly?

Petroleum jelly, commonly known by the brand name Vaseline, is a byproduct of the oil refining process. It was originally found coating the bottom of oil rigs in the mid 1800s. As a byproduct of the oil industry, it’s an unsustainable resource and far from eco-friendly.

How does it work?

Used in everything from lotions to baby products, petroleum jelly works by creating a protective barrier on the skin to hold in moisture. The waterproof barrier it created on the skin blocks pores and can lock in residue and bacteria.

When used on a burn or a sunburn area, it locks in heat and can block the body’s ability to heal. You need to stop using Vaseline for these four reasons:

  1. It contains harmful Hydrocarbon. The skin is unable to metabolize petroleum jelly, so it sits as a barrier on the skin untill it wears off. This blocks the body from gaining any benefit from the substance. A 2011 study found strong evidence that the mineral oil hydrocarbon Vaseline contains are “the greatest contaminant of the human body”
  2. It Promotes Collagen Breakdown. Due to the barrier that petroleum jelly creates on skin, it blocks the skin ability to breathe and absorb nutrients. This can cause the skin to pull the moisture and nutrients it needs from within, leading to collagen breakdown.
  3. It can leads to Estrogen dominance. Estrogen dominance occurs when the body has high levels of estrogen and low levels of progesterone. It has linked to infertility, menstrual problems, allergies and autoimmune problems. Petroleum jelly contains chemicals called xenoestrogens which are believed to increase estrogen problems.
  4. It can cause pneumonia. Although rare, a condition known as lipid pneumonia can occur when small amounts of petroleum jelly is inhaled and build up in the lungs. Because the body can’t metabolize or breakdown the substance, a severe inflammation in the lungs can occur.

Natural Alternatives

There are several natural alternatives to petroleum jelly that you can use without worrying about health risks. If you’re looking for a simple alternative, try one of these options:-

  • Shea butter – High is vitamin A, E and F, shea butter works to nourish the skin through the beneficial fatty acids it contains. It can also help reduce inflammation and increase collagen productions.
  • Beeswax – a great alternative to petroleum jelly is Beeswax. It can be blended into homemade beauty products to protect the skin. Add it to a homemade lip balm and body cream.
  • Coconut oil – this oil loaded with health benefits. It works to nourish the skin through the fatty acids, lauric acids and anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Coco butter – it contains antioxidants and benefits fatty acids. It may even reduce the signs of ageing.

Why does a student need to be industry ready & how they can be?

What do you mean by industry ready?

An industry expects their employees to have Non-technical skills and personal attributes such as team work, communication skills, integrity, reliability and self-motivation are considered more important than purely technical skills to get industry ready.

Importance

A study shows that 50% of the curriculum that are been taught in college/universities, by the time students will graduate, it will get auxiliated with new technologies in the market.

Let’s say for example, a product manager of a company who advertises the product, collects data and analysis the data to improve the marketing strategies of company. He can do it manually, but with time if an app is developed for this work, the company won’t be requiring any product manager.

Although degrees are important for future but it is also important to have a knowledge about what all techniques and skills that will be there in future and also to start developing those skills.

How can students be industry ready?

Here are some ways of getting industry ready:-

  1. Practical Knowledge of Doing Things:- If you can demonstrate how to implement the theoretical knowledge you have then your chances of getting hired will improve significantly.
  2. Sharpen Your Communication Skills:- If you are not able to communicate properly, your knowledge will be of little use to you.
  3. Inculcate the Habit of Innovation:- Form a habit to think out of the box, if you can provide a company with a method to save on expenditure or increase their profit, you have better chances of getting hired.
  4. Read Books and Newspapers Regularly:- Form a habit to read a newspaper or book at least half an hour daily, as this will improve your thinking process as well.
  5. Build Your Profile to Show Your Accomplishments:- One needs to be presentable and be able to exhibit his or her qualifications and capabilities convincingly.
  6. Pursue Online Courses to Hone Your Skills:- To make yourself industry ready, it is better to learn some new skills online.
  7. Work on Your Weak Areas:- The trick here is to present your weaknesses in a way that it looks profitable to the company for whom you want to work for.
  8. Learn to Organize and Manage Your Time:- It is about getting the maximum output in a given amount of time. Productivity matters a lot when you are working for a company.

So start investing more on prolonged and sustainable skills because knowledge and degrees are not going to be most required in future. This is the time to decide what is to be done and how should the steps be taken forward.

Will you take Chinese vaccine?

Made in China, accept it or not but for many of us this label has become synonymous with low cost and low quality. So how true is the stereotype and what has Chinese done to deserve such a bad reputation? Well the list goes long, the latest item is vaccine.

China has sold vaccines to the World which may not be working. It is currently exporting vaccine to 43 countries with:-

  • a total of 742 million doses that have been sold,
  • 22 million doses have been donated,
  • 262 million doses have been delivered.

China is exporting 3 major vaccines:-

  1. Sinovac
  2. CanSino BIO
  3. Sinopharm

But do these vaccines even work? Let’s look at some of the countries those have received Chinese vaccines.

Mongolia

In Mongolia, more than half of the population is fully vaccinated but daily infection has risen by more than 70% in the last 2 weeks, and they’re using the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm. No doubt Mongolians are questioning the effectiveness of the Chinese vaccine.

Bahrain

Bahrain an Asian country is witnessing a surge. There’s a sharp rise in the number of infections and this dispite of high levels of inoculation. How will China explain this? China’s Sinopharm vaccine, accounts for 60% of the inoculation. Bahrain is now administering a Pfizer booster shot for those who have received both doses of vaccine.

Seychelles

Seychelles of East Africa, 61% of the population have been vaccinated with just 100,000 of people. This island nation has the highest vaccination cover globally. It’s daily average cases rose up to 400 with 37% of the fresh infections reported in fully vaccinated people. This is the result of the Chinese vaccine they’re using which is Sinopharm.

UAE

The United Arab Emirates has vaccinated more than 38% of the population with more than 51% have received first dose and yet daily new cases exceeded to 1700. And they are also using the vaccine Sinopharm that was received from China and UAE is also questioning the efficacy of the Chinese vaccine and also giving a Pfizer booster shot to Sinopharm recipient.

Countries who have refused

Philippines

In the month of May, the Philippines President apologized and asked China to take away Sinopharm vaccine back. He sent back the doses because Chinese cure is unproven.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has also refused to recognise certificates of Sinovac and Sinopharm. It is recommending Pfizer and AstraZeneca instead.

Do Chinese vaccines works in China

There’s a fresh out break of new infections that are been reported in the Guangdong province of China. Guangdong with its capital Guangzhou, accounting of 90% of the confirmed cases. Health authorities of the capital blames the delete variant which was first identified in India. A strict lockdown has been composed there overseas arrivals are being quarantined, million have forced to indoors.

Hence its proven that the rumours of China had conquered the pandemic was false. The virus is unpredictable, it keeps spreading. Vaccines are not full proof in preventing infections but if one vaccine has repeatedly proven ineffective then it’s time for some reflection.

Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Narcissistic personality disorder or NDP is a personality disorder characterized by grandiosity. You may see it in people who have an inflated ego, with little regards to others. It is important to note that NDP is a psychiatric condition, and it is more complex than simply being arrogant. It’s distressing for those who have it and for those who’re around them. Hoping to shed some light on the condition, and sign that a person should seek help. While much of T.V and movies portray narcissism as people who feel like they’re better than everyone else, it’s usually not just the case.

What is narcissism?

Narcissism is a set of traits classified and studied by psychologists. The psychological definition of narcissism is an inflated, grandiose self-image. To varying degrees, narcissists think they’re better looking, smart and more important than other people and that they deserve special treatment.

Psychologists recognize two form of narcissism as personality traits:

  • Grandiose
  • Vulnerable

What is NDP?

  • NPD is a personality disorder in which the person feels self-important and craves constant validation.
  • Their feelings of superiority often hint at a deeper problem.
  • As their need of validation often comes from a place of insecurity and instability rather than genuine self love which they may not be aware of.

What causes NPD?

  1. While the cause of NPD is unknown, researchers believe that it has to do with a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
  2. It’s believed that 6% of people have this disorder. Men have a higher chance of this disorder than women.
  3. Some believe that NPD is developed to cope with trauma and feelings of inadequacy. Others believe it may be learned in early childhood from dealing with anything, from abuse to excessive pampering.
  4. There is even a debate as to how much of the disorder is passed down from parents to children acquiring the disorder.

What are the signs and Symptoms?

The feeling of grandiosity where they feel that they’re superior to others and low empathy are often seen in those with NPD; they don’t care much for others expecting to receive constant validation.

  • People with NPD feel as though they’re entitled to whatever they want which can be dangerous as it can manifest into toxic relationships.
  • They may manipulate others to get what they want.
  • They brag and exaggerate their achievements or feel envious of anyone that outperforms them, but deep down the person with NPD may be really dealing with their own feeling of inadequacy.

How to get help?

  • People with NPD may not seek help for the disorder itself as they may not know that there’s an issue.
  • Usually, people are diagnosed because they seek treatment for other issues such as depression or addiction.

However people who feel that they may have the condition and urged to reach out for help. NPD and the underlying feelings of inadequacy can be treated. It not only benefits the individual, but also to people around them.

What treatment options are available?

People diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder will most likely work with a therapist using psychotherapy methods.

Other self-improving activities such as:-

  • Doing exercises and,
  • Hobbies may be used in conjunction with therapy.

Coming to a conclusion, we do live in a very materialistic and Consumersious society and as long as that’s the case, narcissism is going to win because it’s about putting yourself first and not caring as much about others. Not to mention people with NPD can be very generous when it’s going to get them what they need. They may buy everyone big dinners and take everyone on a big vacation so it creates this illusion that there’s lots of people all around them, because it’s all the stuff that they’re making possible for them. It’s important to know that treatment is available and that life can be made more manageable.

Story of Cellular Jail of India

You might have heard about the deadliest punishment that one could never wonder in their dreams. It is also known by the name Kala paani ki saza or by the name The black water punishment. So why is this jail different from other jails?

Emergence

During the colonial rule, Britishers got short of places where they could keep and punish the freedom fighters and political activists who were emerging against them. So they made single cellular jail punishment there they can punish the freedom fighters. In the year 1896, Britishers decided to build this jail on Andaman & Nicobar islands and in the year 1906 it was completed.

It was named as “cellular jail” because every jailer was kept in a single cell, so that the one jailer could not talk to others. As the jailers were freedom fighters so if they communicate somehow they will be able to find a way out. The cellular jail is also on an island which is surrounded by water so that the jailer won’t ran way.

The Punishment

The cellular jail wasn’t any normal jail it was like an experimental jail for the Britishers which involved torture, medical tests, forced labor and also some of these punishment which are unimaginable. The Britishers used to send freedom fighters to 1300 km across the water to the Andaman & Nicobar islands. It was so far away from India that people would die even on the boat voyage. So if the prisoners made it that far, they were kept in the cells which were designed for solitary confinement.

The cells of the jail is made up of brick and concrete where there is no toilet, the jailers were allowed to go to the toilet in the morning and at night and the rest of the time they were just locked in the cell. They prisoners were also forced to do labor like to extract 30 pounds of coconut oil and 10 pounds of mustard oil in a day. And if they don’t, then they have to face the consequences by beating up with iron rods while they are chained in iron chains.

Britishers in their own jail

In the year 1944, Japanese came to India and invaded the Islands and took over. The Japanese prisoned the Britishers in their own prison. As per Mahatma gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore’s demand the Indian prisoners were set free.

After the Japanese lost in World War II, they had to retreat, and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands became India’s part when it got independent in the year 1947.

After independence the cellular jail was declared as a National Memorial which is now a tourist place for all. There is also a Museum where you can get to know about all the freedom fighters along with their stories.

Pollution causes blindness

Air pollution is a global malice. It destabilzes the climate, punishes our lungs and now according to a new study could possibly affect our eye sight or might make you blind.

The research was published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, it analysed 115,000 participants over 14 years. At the start of the study in 2006, these people have no eye problems but in the latest medical examination , 1,286 of them reported A.M.D (Age related Macular Degeneration). It is the leading cause of blindness among the people aged 50+ in rich nations. There are 200 million people living with this condition.

There appears to be a link between A.M.D and air pollution. People exposed to fine particulate matter are more vulnerable to A.M.D, nearly 8% vulnerable and this isn’t from industry level exposure. Even relatively low level of air pollution could be triggering A.M.D.

Effect on eye sight

The eyes have particularly high flow of blood. This leaves them vulnerable fine particles that flow through the body. It’s important to note that this study is observational. It cannot categorically establish a link between air pollution and A.M.D. However there has been similar study elsewhere with the same results. And the link between smoking and A.M.D has always been known.

The threat from air pollution has always been clear, but new studies are revealing more dimensions of this threat.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that air pollution contributes to 7 Million deaths annually. This leaves us with another cause of concern, toxic air could leave you blind.

History of Dentistry

From brushing and flossing to straightening and whitening, people today put a lot of work into maintaining a health and appearance to their smile. The current trend is for straight, pearly white teeth. But history of dental care stretches all the way back to the beginning of human society.

Ancient ways of cleaning teeth

Prehistoric humans who lived before the advert of oral care actually had very few dental problems. Scientists believe this is on account of their diet, which consisted of unprocessed fibrous foods that help clean their teeth while they ate. However as human evolved, so did the food on menu. Overtime, people found if they didn’t take care of their teeth, they developed dental problems.

Archaeology found evidence that early humans cleaned their teeth by picking at them with things like porcupine quills, animal bones, and tree twigs.

In earlier 3,500 BCE, Mesopotamians were using chew sticks to clean their teeth. Egyptian and Chinese have known to use them as well.

Tooth Decay

Ancient people were always aware of the tooth decay. But the first known scientific theory about its causes dates back at least 5,000 years, to Ancient Sumeria. The theory was that cavities were caused by a creature known as the tooth worm, which they believed would wore holes in teeth.

Cavities can actually resemble the kinds of holes that the worms bore through other materials, like wood. The Sumerians, Greeks, Egyptian, Chinese, Japanese, and Indian people all believed in the tooth worm. Some European doctors were still warning people that worms were the cause of their tooth decay as late as the 14th century.

First Toothbrush

Though no one knows exactly when people started brushing their teeth, archeologists believed the practice originated somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 BCE. The Babylonians and the Egyptians were the first cultures we know of to fashion rudimentary toothbrushes, which were made mostly from twigs.

The first used bristle toothbrush was created in China sometime during the Tang dynasty, between the 7tg and 10th centuries. It was made from hog bristles which would have been attached to a handle carved from bone or bamboo.

Explorers eventually brought these to the West. And in the 17th century, they began to be adopted in Europe.

New trend

In modern times, the dental ideal is considered to be a bright smile with straight white teeth. People will wear braces, use whiteners, to achieve the look. But most didn’t realise, its a relatively new fashion.

The popularity of look really only goes back to the 20th century and was greatly created by Hollywood movies. The trend, arguably, began their veneers, created by cosmetic dentist named Marcus Pincus in the 1940s. It was spotted by movie stars, like Shirley Temple and Judy Garland, who became famous for perfect smiles.

Judy Garland

While mass market teeth whitening products didn’t became a thing until the 1980s, teeth whitening itself is nothing new.

Introducing Skateboarding in Olympics

In recent history, skateboarding has become a pop culture phenomenon. We see it in everything, from T.V advertisements to fashion shows. And for the first time ever, skateboarding will be introduced in the 2020 summer Olympics. But, skateboarding hasn’t always had the mass appeal we see today.

Brief history

Sometime in the late 1940s or early 1950s, skateboarding was born out of the boredom of surfers when the waves were no good. They would remove the wheels from the roller skates and attach them to a piece of wood to create a skateboard.

By the 1960s, skateboarding’s popularity has grown with rise of surf culture. Contest were held all over and the first sponsored skateboarders were beginning to emerge. However, the popularity of skating in the 60’s dropped just as fast as it rose.

The 1970’s brought along one with the most important changes to the skateboarding world, the advent of the Urethane wheel, which allows skaters to ride faster are over rougher types of ground than ever before.

In 1976, a horrible drought in southern California forced most homeowners with backyard swimming pools to drain them, giving way to birthplace of pool skating. This was the first major shift in how people rode there skateboards. No longer were they limited to the abysmal, flat grounds of parking lots and sidewalks.

The 1980s were a time of Renaissance in skateboarding. People were constantly inventing new tricks, pros were earning unheard of amounts if money, and skateboarder-own companies were thriving.

The vert

The favourable terrain for most of this era was vert. And even though there was a high level of progression occurring, to the untrained eye, skateboarding had gone stale and the popularity once again fell flat.

This lull in skateboarding led to the introduction of street skating which brings us into the 1990s. Skating during the era was at its most raw. Skaters took to the streets, to find new terrain, abandoning traditional skaters parks for something that felt more natural and could be done anywhere, by anyone.

Popularity

Skating things that occur almost anywhere, like sets of stairs, handrails, benches, curbs, and just about anywhere four wheels can roll. From there, skateboarding has been a nonstop, uphill climb to what it is today.

At its core, skateboarding has traditionally been for the underdogs, the outcasts, the misfits, and in result has been thought of negatively by a large major of its existence. But now, with generation of young adults who grew up with skateboarding and the exposure at an all-time high, the future of skateboarding is looking bright.

Mountain of light: Kohinoor

Kohinoor, which means mountain of light, is a colourless Diamond which was discovered in the mines of Guntur in Andhra Pradesh somewhere in the 13th century. It was the biggest Diamond ever known to mankind during that time.

Currently, this Diamond is embedded in the Queen’s Mother’s crown. Governments of India, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan have all claimed the ownership of this Diamond, but the UK governments has denied it stating that it was obtained legally.

Journey

Kohinoor has rich history behind it, though it is generally believed that this Diamond was discovered in 13th century during the kakatiya dynasty rule. There are scholars who dispute saying that the Diamond was discovered in the 16th century in Golconda. Kohinoor was taken by Alauddin Khilji who’s army defeated the Kakatiya dynasty.

It was with the Mughals most of the time after it’s discovery. However, Mughal lost the battle against Nadirshah in 17th century. It was Nadirshah who took the diamond from the Mughals and named it Kohinoor. After Nadirshah’s death, the diamond was passed on to Ahmad Shah Durrani who was his General.

After that Kohinoor was later gifted to Ranjit Singh by the Durrani dynasty during early 18th century. However, British East India Company defeated Ranjit Singh’s army in mid 18th century and took possession of this Diamond. Kohinoor was later shipped to Britain and the diamond was gifted to Queen Victoria in 1850 and Kohinoor has been in possession of the Royal Family since then.

Cursed?

An ancient Hindu text describe this diamond as

He who owns the diamond will own The World, but will also know all its misfortunes. Only God and women can wear it with impunity.

Well by the consequences that we have seen so far it is quite evident that whoever has owned this diamond we’re either defeated or died.

  • Kakatiya dynasty (original owner) defeated by Alauddin Khilji
  • Alauddin Khilji died shortly after that and the diamond was passed on to Mughals.
  • Mughals lost the war to Nadirshah weakening their army.
  • Nadirshah died while Kohinoor was in his possession.
  • Ahmad Shah Durrani died while Kohinoor was in possession.
  • Ranjit Singh had Kohinoor with him when he lost the war with British.
  • British Empire started losing hold on its colonies including India when they had Kohinoor

This supposedly curse of Kohinoor in Britain. Only the Queen is allowed to wear the Kohinoor diamond. Men are prohibited in using it. With such a history of blood and violence behind it, no wonder this diamond has generated more curiosity in people over a period of time. We might not know if this diamond will come back to India, but the bigger question is will this be a blessing of disguised for India.

Banned cartoons and their reasons

You may have came across the word “ban” Or “censored’ used in movies, but do you know these terms are also used for some cartoons in some countries which are liked by other countries. Let’s have a look at some popular cartoons which are banned in some countries and their reasons.

1. SpongeBob SquarePants

This is the longest running Nickelodeon show ever. It got banned because of violence and foul language which are used in this show. Countries like Russia, America and 120 others have banned this show from watching.

2. The Simpsons

This is America’s most popular cartoon show till now. This show had scenes where public figures like Donald Trump, were insulted. This show also promoted disorderly behavior which were totally misleading for kids. After sometime, the show is now available to watch, but there has been argument going on this show as countries like US have censored this cartoon show.

3. Mickey Mouse

This is world’s first cartoon show which had voice, and the first word that Mickey Mouse said was “Hot Dogs”. This cartoon show got banned in 1930s in the Romanian region because Romania government stated that big Mouse in this cartoon will scare the kids rather than making them laugh.

4. Doremon

This is a Japanese cartoon show which is ban in more than 50 countries because of the character Nobita. The Nobita character is a lazy character who always depends upon the character Doremon for helping gadgets. An argument concluded that the Nobita character was promoting laziness, procrastinating, etc, which resulted in banning.

Cartoon shows should be developed keeping kids as their main audience. It should have the simplicity and cleanness that attract audience and also focusing on the impact and effect that it’ll leave mainly on audience. That’s why shows that promotes foul language can always make a big effect on kids. This makes banning a healthy and better option.

Organ Donation: Myths and facts

Every years, many thousands receives the gift of life, a life saving transplant of Heart, Kidney, Liver, Lungs, Pancreas and Interesting. And thousands more people receive Corneas and other tissues that restore sight and health. Organ transplantation is one of the medicals advances of our time.

How does it work?

It all starts when someone’s organ begins to fail and that person will need a transplant to survive. The steps are as folllow:-

  1. A through evaluation is conducted at a transplant centre and the person is a good candidate for transplant, he or she will be put into the National Transplant Waiting List.
  2. Once a person is on the waiting list, the wait for organ begins.
  3. A national system matches people on the waiting list with donors. That factors matching donors to recipient includes
    • Blood type
    • Body size
    • How sick the patient is
    • Distance from donor
    • Tissue type
    • Time on list

What isn’t taken into account, organs are never matched based on

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Celebrity
  • Social status

There is no telling how long the wait will take. Infact, some people don’t receive an organ in time, because the Waiting List is really long and there aren’t enough donors available. That’s why an average of 20 people on the Waiting List died each day. Imagine how many could we save if we all were donors.

Becoming a donors

Most of organs transplant comes a deceived donors. For example, a person comes to the hospital with a life threatening brain injury, such as from an accident, stroke, our lack of oxygen. The doctors work hard to save them patients life but sometimes nothing can be done. There’s a complete, irreversible loss of brain function. The patient is clinically and legally dead.

Thats when being a donor can turn a time of loss into a time of hope. Because machines have blood containing and oxygen flowing into the organs, they can be passed along. One person can give life to as many as eight people through organ donation, and enhance the lives of fifty people or more with eye and tissue donation. But now minutes matter, matches must be found and transplants must happen quickly.

Organ Procurement organization

The hospital contracts an Organ Procurement Organization (OPO), it manages the recovery process. The OPO checks the state of organ donor registry, if the person is already registered as a donor they inform the family, if not they’ll ask the family to authorise donation.

A medical examination is taken place. They check the medical and social history and the person is eligible to be an organ donor, the computer begins to search on the National Waiting List for well matched patients The best matched patients are contracted by the transplant team. This is the call that every person on the Waiting List was waiting for.

The Transplant

A surgical team recovers the organs, then Corneas and other tissues. The organs are sent to the transplant hospital where patients and transplant teams are waiting and the life saving transplant takes place. It will take health living and medication to keep the organ working well in its new home.

You too could make the decision today, sign up on your state registry as an organ, eye and tissues donor, any age is the right age, Young or old, any day is the right day to sign up as a donor. You can register through your drivers license or you can register online. Remember to tell your family so that they can support your wishes. More than 1r5 million people have already registered, and we all need to save kore lives. So let’s share the gift of life.

Search Engine Optimization

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a process of optimizing web pages and sites to get more traffic and make them search engine friendly, thus getting a higher ranking in search results. 

Here are step by step processes if you want your website to rank higher in search engines like google :

  • Find keywords

Keywords are fundamentals to the search process but they should be relevant to the context. Using long-tail keywords is a great strategy. It consists of three to five words and is more specific. They are less competitive than common keywords which tend to attract more traffic to your website.

  • Creating good content

If you want your website to get a good ranking, to get popularity then start creating good and engaging content. One of the reasons why most of the websites don’t get ranking is because the contents don’t get shared or linked to. To get someone to link or share your website, you need to create unique content which

  1. Publish in-depth and engaging content so that the reader gets want he wants to know without getting bored might lead to sharing your content or even gain links.
  2. Adding hooks to your content will help you get more links. It can be anything such as statistics or an interview which can be used to engage your website visitors and guide them to take actions you want them to take next.  

  • Keyword optimize your content

Keyword optimization is to make sure that chosen keywords are effective and map your targeted keywords in a few important places on your page. This will help search engines to understand better what your page is all about the targeted terms. You should decide where to use each keyword depending on the content of each page on the site. Key areas on your website are the title tag, image alt text, H1 heading, H2 and H3 subheaders, and so on. Using LSI keywords will help search engines to know what your content is about. LSI keywords are terms closely related to the keywords you are targeting.

  • Optimize your content for users

To boost your website rank higher in the search engine you have to optimize your content such that the user remains engaged with the content for a longer period otherwise they will leave your page and will eventually lead to a lower rank in the search engine. 

Structure your content by giving a short introduction about what the topic is all about. This will grab the reader’s attention and then start with the topics covered in the post. Add come relevant images to make your website look clean and easy to read.

  • Build backlinks

Backlinks help to promote your site just by being hyperlinks to you from another source. Search engines aggregate the volume and relevance of all of the pages linking to your site which impacts your page rank.

There are many ways to build backlinks and one of them is broken link building. When a site has been taken down entirely, existing backlinks on the other site will result in a 404 error. These are called broken links. Find resource page and check for broken links and this is done by using a browser extension like Check My Links. Broken links will be highlighted in red, making them easy for us to find at a glance. Find a good replacement on your site and send the resource site owner an email asking him to swap the dead link for a link to your content.

There are too many websites that are clustered with the same stock photos. The more original images you will put on your website, the better experience for the user and the better your odds are of ranking on search engines.

DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 10

This is the last article in this series. This article is about another pre-trained CNN known as the ResNet along with an output visualization parameter known as the confusion matrix.

ResNet

This is also known as a residual network. It has three variations 51,101,151. They used a simple technique to achieve this high number of layers.

Credit – Xiaozhu0429/ Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-4.0

The problem in using many layers is that the input information gets changed in accordance with each layer and subsequently, the information will become completely morphed. So to prevent this, the input information is sent in again like a recurrent for every two steps so that the layers don’t forget the original information. Using this simple technique they achieved about 100+ layers.

ResNet these are the three fundamentals used throughout the network.

  (conv1): Conv2d (3, 64, kernel_size= (7, 7), stride= (2, 2), padding= (3, 3))

  (relu): ReLU

  (maxpool): MaxPool2d(kernel_size=3, stride=2, padding=1)

These are the layers found within a single bottleneck of the ResNet.

    (0): Bottleneck

  1    (conv1): Conv2d(64, 64, kernel_size=(1, 1), stride=(1, 1))

  2    (conv2): Conv2d(64, 64, kernel_size=(3, 3), stride=(1, 1), padding=(1, 1))     

  3    (conv3): Conv2d(64, 256, kernel_size=(1, 1), stride=(1, 1))    

      (relu): ReLU(inplace=True)

   Down sampling   

   Conv2d(64, 256, kernel_size=(1, 1), stride=(1, 1))

    (1): Bottleneck

  4    (conv1): Conv2d(256, 64, kernel_size=(1, 1), stride=(1, 1))

  5    (conv2): Conv2d(64, 64, kernel_size=(3, 3), stride=(1, 1), padding=(1, 1))     

  6   (conv3): Conv2d(64, 256, kernel_size=(1, 1), stride=(1, 1))     

      (relu): ReLU(inplace=True)

    )

    (2): Bottleneck

  7    (conv1): Conv2d(256, 64, kernel_size=(1, 1), stride=(1, 1))

  8    (conv2): Conv2d(64, 64, kernel_size=(3, 3), stride=(1, 1), padding=(1, 1))

  9   (conv3): Conv2d(64, 256, kernel_size=(1, 1), stride=(1, 1))

   (relu): ReLU

There are many bottlenecks like these throughout the network. Hence by this, the ResNet is able to perform well and produce good accuracy. As a matter of fact, the ResNet is the model which won the ImageNet task competition.

There are 4 layers in this architecture. Each layer has a bottleneck which comprises convolution followed by relu activation function. There are 46 convolutions, 2 pooling, 2 FC layers.

TypeNo of layers
7*7 convolution1
1*1, k=64 + 3*3, k=64+1*1, k=256 convolution9
1*1, k=128+ 3*3, k=128+1*1, k=512  convolution10
1*1, k=256+ 3*3, k=256 + 1*1, k=1024 convolution16
1 * 1, k=512+3 * 3, k=512+1 * 1, k=2048 convolution9
Pooling and FC4
Total50

There is a particular aspect apart from the accuracy which is used to evaluate the model, especially in research papers. That method is known as the confusion matrix. It is seen in a lot of places and in the medical field it can be seen in test results. The terms used in the confusion matrix have become popularized in the anti-PCR test for COVID.

The four terms used in a confusion matrix are True Positive, True Negative, and False positive, and false negative. This is known as the confusion matrix.

True positive- both the truth and prediction are positive

True negative- both the truth and prediction are negative

False-positive- the truth is negative but the prediction is positive

False-negative- the truth is positive but the prediction is false

Out of these the false positive is dangerous and has to be ensured that this value is minimal.

We have now come to the end of the series. Hope that you have got some knowledge in this field of science. Deep learning is a very interesting field since we can do a variety of projects using the artificial brain which we have with ourselves. Also, the technology present nowadays makes these implementations so easy. So I recommend all to study and do projects using these concepts. Till then,

HAPPY LEARNING!!!

DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 9

This article is about one of the pre-trained CNN models known as the VGG-16. The process of using a pretrained CNN is known as transfer learning. In this case, we need not build a CNN instead we can use this with a modification. The modifications are:-

  • Removing the top (input) and bottom (output) layers
  • Adding input layer with size equal to the dimension of the image
  • Adding output layer with size equal to number of classes
  • Adding additional layers (if needed)

The pre-trained model explained in this article is called the VGGNet. This model was developed by the Oxford University researchers as a solution to the ImageNet task. The ImageNet data consists of 10 classes with 1000 images each leading to 10000 images in total.

VGGNet

I/p 1     2   3     4     5        6       7         8      9          10     11            12       13   o/p

Credit: – Nshafiei neural network in Machine learning  Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 License.

This is the architecture for VGGNet. This has been found for the CIFAR-10 dataset, a standard dataset containing 1000 classes. This was used for multiclass classification. Some modifications are made before using it for detecting OA. The output dimension is changed into 1*1*2 and the given images must be reshaped to 224*224 since this dimension is compatible with VGGNet. The dimensions and other terms like padding, stride, number of filters, dimension of filter are chosen by researchers and found optimal. In general, any number can be used in this place.

The numbers given below the figure correspond to the layer number. So the VGGNet is 13 layered and is CNN till layer 10 and the rest are FNN.

Colour indexName
GreyConvolution
RedPooling
BlueFFN

Computations and parameters for each layer

Input

224*224 images are converted into a vector whose dimension is 224*224*3 based on the RGB value.

Layer 1-C1

This is the first convolutional layer. Here 64 filters are used.

Wi =224, P=1, S=1, K=64, f=3*3

Wo =224 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 224*224*64

Parameter= 64*3*3= 576

Layer 2-P1

This is the first pooling layer

 Wi =224, S=2, P=1, f=3

Wo=112 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 112*112*3

Parameter= 0

Layer 3-C2C3

Here two convolutions are applied. 128 filters are used.

Wi =112, P=1, S=1, K=64, f=3

Wo=112 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 112*112*128

Parameter= 128*3*3=1152

Layer 4- P2

Second pooling layer

Wi =112, P=1, S=2, f=3*3

Wo =56 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 56*56*3

Parameter= 0

Layer 5- C4C5C6

Combination of three convolutions

Wi =56, P=1, S=1, K=256, f=3*3

Wo = 56 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 224*224*64

Parameter= 64*3*3= 576

Layer 6-P3

Third pooling layer

Wi =56, P=1, S=2, f=3*3

Wo =28 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 28*28*3

Parameter= 0

Layer 7-C7C8C9

Combination of three convolutions

Wi =28, P=1, S=1, K=512, f=3*3

Wo =28 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 28*28*512

Parameter= 512*3*3= 4608

Layer 8-P4

Fourth pooling layer

Wi =28, P=1, S=2, f=3*3

Wo =14 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 14*14*3

Parameter= 0

Layer 9-C10C11C12

Last convolution layer, Combination of three convolutions

Wi =14, P=1, S=1, K=512, f=3*3

Wo =14 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 14*14*512

Parameter= 512*3*3= 4608

Layer 10-P5

Last pooling layer and last layer in CNN

Wi =14, P=1, S=2, f=3*3

Wo =7 (this is the input Wi for the next layer)

Dim= 7*7*3

Parameter= 512*3*3= 4608

With here the CNN gets over. So a complex 224*224*3 boil down to 7*7*3

Trends in CNN

As the layer number increases,

  1. The dimension decreases.
  2. The filter number increases.
  3. Filter dimension is constant.

In convolution

Padding of 1 and stride of 1 to transfer original dimensions to output

In pooling

Padding of 1 and stride of 2 are used in order to half the dimensions.

Layer 11- FF1

4096 neurons

Parameter= 512*7*7*4096=102M

Wo= 4096

Layer 12- FF2

4096 neurons

Wo= 4096

Parameter= 4096*4096= 16M

Output layer

2 classes

  • non-osteoarthritic
  • osteoarthritic

Parameter= 4096*2= 8192

Parameters

LayerValue of parameters
Convolution16M
FF1102M
FF216M
Total134M

It takes a very large amount of time nearly hours for a machine on CPU to learn all the parameters. Hence they came with speed enhancers like faster processors known as GPU Graphic Processing Unit which may finish the work up to 85% faster than CPU.

HAPPY LEARNING!!

Why do Insectivorous plants exist?

If you find insectivorous plants strange and fascinating then this blog is for you.

What are insectivorous plants?

Insectivorous plants are those plants that derive some nutrients by trapping and consuming animals, mainly insects.

Categories of being insectivorous

There are essential two things that a plant has to do to be considered insectivorous:-

  1. Ability to take nutrients from dead prey:- a plant should have the ability to trap the prey and absorb nutrients from it. Those prey is usually insects or small vertebrates like, salamanders. It is not enough for the plant just to have defenses that can kill an animal that’s trying to snack on it. It also has to get it’s animal’s nutrients.
  2. At least have one adaption:- the plant need to have one adaption that actively lures in, catches, or digests it’s prey.

Doing at least one of these things and absorbing the nutrients for it’s benefit make it a insectivorous plant.

Plant traps

Over millions of years and across hundreds of species, plants have developed five different types of traps, most of them are from different times. And traps can be passive, if prey just fall into them and can’t escape, or active, if plant actually moves to catch its prey.

  1. Pitcher plant:- pitfall traps are the standard and passive trap used by plants like pitcher plants. Prey lands on the plants slippery surface and slides down into a pool of digestive juices.
  2. Sundews:- these are flypaper traps in which the prey become stuck in a sticky substance that is produced by the plant leaves. These traps can be passive as well as active. Sundews have sticky moving tentacles that react to contract with prey.
  3. Venus fly trap:- these are snap traps which are active, using rapid modified leave
  4. Bladderworts: they have bladder-suction. This creates little negative pressure vacuum inside their traps, which, when triggered by prey, pop open and suck the victim inside before snapping close.
  5. Lobster-pot trap:- they passive traps that force prey to move towards the plant’s digestive organ by having little inward pointing hairs that keep prey from moving backward out of the trap.
Venus fly trap
Lobster-pot trap
Bladderworts
Sundew
Pitcher plant

All of these unrelated plants have not only developed the same kinds of traps but it looks like they have also developed that same molecular mechanism for digesting their prey.

Reason of existence

It goes back to idea of convergent evolution. All these different insectivorous plants are responding to similar environmental pressure:-

  1. Found in open sunny places that have moist but nutrients – poor – acidic soil. Many of them live in bogs and fens.
  2. In these kind of habitat where nitrogen and phosphorus is not present in the soil, the plant tend to developed two kinds of leaves one for normal photosynthesis and one that are modified onto their particular type of trap.
  3. This results them to invest more in modified leaves than normal photosynthesis leaves as they have to live in a place with enough sunlight as well as to trap preys

Insectivorous plants can stop paying carnivorous temporally once they’re put in nutrients rich soil and if they don’t get enough sunlight and water.

Insectivorous plants are pretty rare and they are only found in certain kinds of habitats, they are just less likely to fossilize than other kinds of plants that are more widespread.

A guide to internships

Introduction

Internship is an opportunity for you to get real time experience in a field that you are interested in. It is a program that helps you improve in a particular field. Internships are short-term jobs. Internships are mostly done before securing a permanent job or done by college students to add it as an experience in their resume. Internships can be paid and unpaid. Either way you will work for a particular organization and get experience.

Requirements for an internship

This is just the basic requirements for any internship you get. The particular organization will have particular requirements for the internship anyway. These are the things that you need to have before you apply for an internship

  • A well built resume. As internship is actually a job that you are going to do, the organization need to know your education details and other interests. So you need to have your resume ready.
  • Experience. Don’t forget to add your experience details in your resume if you have any, because that acts as one of the factors to hire candidates. Some organizations do not expect any previous experience from you. And some will require work samples related to your work. If you can do your work samples and keep them ready, there are chances to be hired since they can see if you are capable of doing the job or not.
  • Why should we hire you. This is one important question that requires a neat and precise thoughtful answer. Be prepared for that. Make sure you show your interest towards the work you would be doing as well as towards the organization. Mention your experience in it if you have any.
  • Research. Research about the organization you are applying for and get to know them. This is not very much necessary but you need to know this in order to know about the company and develop interest. The company most of the time is not going to ask questions about them but it would be good if you mention some of it during interview.
  • Assessment. Some organizations do not ask for work samples instead they give you assessment to get to know your knowledge in the field. Do the assessment with full dedication and be punctual and submit it before deadline.

Find the internship

Next step is to look for internships. I will list down some internship websites I know.

  • LinkedIn
  • Internshala
  • Glassdoor
  • Internships.com
  • Internmatch.com
  • LetsIntern
  • InternWorld
  • HelloIntern

Dedication

Once you get an internship offer, do it with full dedication even if it is unpaid. Make contacts with the employees to increase your professional circle. Some organizations provide letter of recommendation. It will help you in future to get a permanent job.

Conclusion

If you are a college student and have interest in some field with little knowledge in it, go ahead and find an internship to develop it! It will definitely help you to get a job after internship by developing yourself. When you are free and has nothing to do, you can simply join for a 1 month internship to get exposure.

DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 8

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is deep-learning-logo-picture-id871793108

The previous article was about the padding, stride, and parameters of CNN. This article is about the pooling and the procedure to build an image classifier.

Pooling

This is another aspect of CNN. There are different types of pooling like min pooling, max pooling, avg pooling, etc. the process is the same as before i.e. the kernel vector slides over the input vector and does computations on the dot product. If a 3*3 kernel is considered then it is applied over a 3*3 region inside the vector, it finds the dot product in the case of convolution. The same in pooling finds a particular value and substitutes that value in the output vector. The kernel value decides the type of pooling. The following table shows the operation done by the pooling.

Type of poolingThe value seen in the output layer
Max poolingMaximum of all considered cells
Min poolingMinimum of all considered cells
Avg poolingAverage of all considered cells



The considered cells are bounded within the kernel dimensions.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-8.png

The pictorial representation of average pooling is shown above. The number of parameters in pooling is zero.

Convolution and pooling are the basis for feature extraction. The vector obtained from this step is fed into an FFN which then does the required task on the image.

Features of CNN

  1. Sparse connectivity
  2. Weight sharing.



This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-9.png

    

    Feature extraction-CNN              classifier-FNN

In general, CNN is first then FFN is later. But the order or number or types of convolution and pooling can vary based on the complexity and choice of the user.

Already there are a lot of models like VGGNet, AlexNet, GoogleNet, and ResNet. These models are made standard and their architecture has been already defined by researchers. We have to reshape our images in accordance with the dimensions of the model.

General procedure to build an image classifier using CNN

  1. Obtain the data in the form of image datasets.
  2. Set the output classes for the model to perform the classification on.
  3. Transform or in specific reshape the dimension of the images compatible to the model. The image size maybe 20*20 but the model accepts only 200*200 images; then we must reshape them to that size.
  4. Split the given data into training data and evaluation data. This is done by creating new datasets for both training and validation. More images are required for training.
  5. Define the model used for this task.
  6. Roughly sketch the architecture of the network.
  7. Determine the number of convolutions, pooling etc. and their order
  8. Determine the dimensions for the first layer, padding, stride, number of filters and dimensions of filter.
  9. Apply the formula and find the output dimensions for the next layer.
  10. Repeat 5d till the last layer in CNN.
  11. Determine the number of layers and number of neurons per layer and parameters in FNN.
  12. Sketch the architecture with the parameters and dimension.
  13. Incorporate these details into the machine.
  14. Or import a predefined model.  In that case the classes in the last layer in the FNN must be replaced with ‘1’ for binary classification or with the number of classes. This is known as transfer learning.
  15. Train the model using the training dataset and calculate the loss function for periodic steps in the training.
  16. Check if the machine has performed correctly by comparing the true output with model prediction and hence compute the training accuracy.
  17. Test the machine with the evaluation data and verify the performance on that data and compute the validation accuracy.
  18.   If both the accuracies are satisfactory then the machine is complete.

HAPPY LEARNING!!



DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 7

The previous article was about the process of convolution and its implementation. This article is about the padding, stride and the parameters involved in a CNN.

We have seen that there is a reduction of dimension in the output vector. A technique known as padding is done to preserve the original dimensions in the output vector. The only change in this process is that we add a boundary of ‘0s’ over the input vector and then do the convolution process.

Procedure to implement padding

  1. To get n*n output use a (n+2*n+2) input
  2. To get 7*7 output use 9*9 input
  3. In that 9*9 input fill the first row, first column, last row and last column with zero.
  4. Now do the convolution operation on it using a filter.
  5. Observe that the output has the same dimensions as of the input.

Zero is used since it is insignificant so as to keep the output dimension without affecting the results

Here all the elements in the input vector have been transferred to the output. Hence using padding we can preserve the originality of the input. Padding is denoted using P. If P=1 then one layer of zeroes is added and so on.

It is not necessary that the filter or kernel must be applied to all the cells. The pattern of applying the kernel onto the input vector is determined using the stride. It determines the shift or gaps in the cells where the filter has to be applied.-

S=1 means no gap is created. The filter is applied to all the cells.

S=2 means gap of 1. The filter is applied to alternative cells. This halves the dimensions on the output vector.

This diagram shows the movement of filter on a vector with stride of 1 and 2. With a stride of 2; alternative columns are accessed and hence the number of computations per row decreases by 2. Hence the output dimensions reduce while use stride.

The padding and stride are some features used in CNN.

Parameters in a convolution layer

The following are the terms needed for calculating the parameter for a convolution layer.

Input layer

Width Wi – width of input image

Height Hi – height of input image

Depth Di – 3 since they follow RGB

We saw that 7*7 inputs without padding and stride along with 3*3 kernels gave a 5*5 output. It can be verified using this calculation.

The role of padding can also be verified using this calculation.

The f is known as filter size. It can be a 1*1, 3*3 and so on. It is a 1-D value so the first value is taken. There is another term K which refers to the number of kernels used. This value is fixed by user.

These values are similar to those of w and b. The machine learns the ideal value for these parameters for high efficiency. The significance of partial connection or CNN can be easily understood through the parameters.

Consider the same example of (30*30*3) vector. The parameter for CNN by using 10 kernels will be 2.7 million. This is a large number. But if the same is done using FNN then the parameters will be at least 100 million. This is almost 50 times that of before. This is significantly larger than CNN. The reason for this large number is due to the full connectivity. 

                                                 

Parameter= 30*30*3*3*10= 2.7M

HAPPY READING!!

Sleepwalking

Did you ever Sleep walked? Here’s what I came to know that every 1 out of 3 kids aged between 4 to 8, sleep walk. And that’s a lot by the way.

Sleep walking formally known as Somnambulish is a strange phenomena where people get up and do things in their sleep, sometimes more than just walking and when they wake up they don’t have any recollection of what they were doing. Moreover, if they find way back to their bed they may not ever know that they were sleep walking.

Sleep walking is nothing about embarrassed about though or terrified for that matter, it’s relatively common. In a recent study Stanford found that 1 out of 3 people sleep walk at some point of their lives. It is specially common among children, between the age of 4 and 8. So what happened when we sleep walk.

Reasons

A leading theory about why we sleep walk is:-

  • In normal sleep cycle, your brains motor system continues to issue physical commands to the body.
  • Whereas those who sleep walks are suppressed by sleep chemical called GABA.
  • GABA access act as a break in your brain, it brings your mind and body down to rest by neutralizing Glutamate a chemical that causes excitement.
  • In sleep walkers there’s a glitch in the process that suppresses your boby from moving around namely that you don’t produce GABA.

So that’s why you are moving around when you’re still asleep. There are few causes of GABA deficient in the body:-

  1. Genetic sleepwalking :- when sleepwalking runs in the family
  2. Underdeveloped system:- when the boby simply hasn’t matured enough to produce the proper amount. That’s why it is more common amongst kids.
  3. Depression:- Those who suffer from depression are three times as likely to sleep walk.

Myths

You would have probably heard about the myth that you shouldn’t wake a sleepwalker because they’re going through a psychotic rage that could even kill you. But these are myths, if you see anyone sleepwalking, you are asked to wake them up gently, especially if they are in the kitchen or holding a knife.

Recently there was a story about a lady who drove 190 miles in her sleep without hurting or killing herself or anyone. She should be definitely called lucky.

DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 6

The previous article was about the procedure to develop a deep learning network and introduction to CNN. This article concentrates on the process of convolution which is the process of taking in two images and doing a transformation to produce an output image. This process is common in mathematics and signals analysis also. The CNN’s are mainly used to work with images.

In the CNN partial connection is observed. Hence all the neurons are not connected to those in the next layer. So the number of parameters reduces leading to lesser computations.

Sample connection is seen in CNN.

Convolution in mathematics refers to the process of combining two different functions. With respect to CNN, convolution occurs between the image and the filter or kernel. Convolution itself is one of the processes done on the image.

Here also the operation is mathematical. It is a kind of operation on two vectors. The input image gets converted into a vector-based on color and dimension. The kernel or filter is a predefined vector with fixed values to perform various functions onto the image.

Process of convolution

The kernel or filter is chosen in order of 1*1, 3*3, 5*5, 7*7, and so on. The given filter vector slides over the image and performs dot product over the image vector and produces an output vector with the result of each 3*3 dot product over the 7*7 vector.

A 3*3 kernel slides over the 7*7 input vector to produce a 5*5 output image vector. The reason for the reduction in the dimension is that the kernel has to do dot product operation on the input vector-only with the same dimension. I.e. the kernel slides for every three rows in the seven rows. The kernel must perfectly fit into the input vector. All the cells in the kernel must superimpose onto the vector. No cells must be left open. There are only 5 ways to keep a 3-row filter in a 7-row vector.    

This pictorial representation can help to understand even better. These colors might seem confusing, but follow these steps to analyze them.

  1. View at the first row.
  2. Analyse and number the different colours used in that row
  3. Each colour represents a 3*3 kernel.
  4. In the first row the different colours are red, orange, light green, dark green and blue.
  5. They count up to five.
  6. Hence there are five ways to keep a 3 row filter over a 7 row vector.
  7. Repeat this analysis for all rows
  8. 35 different colours will be used. The math is that in each row there will be 5 combinations. For 7 rows there will be 35 combinations.
  9. The colour does not go beyond the 7 rows signifying that kernel cannot go beyond the dimension of input vector.

These are the 35 different ways to keep a 3*3 filter over a 7*7 image vector. From this diagram, we can analyse each row has five different colours. All the nine cells in the kernel must fit inside the vector. This is the reason for the reduction in the dimension of output vector.

Procedure to implement convolution

  1. Take the input image with given dimensions.
  2. Flatten it into 1-D vector. This is the input vector whose values represent the colour of a pixel in the image.
  3. Decide the dimension, quantity and values for filter. The value in a filter is based on the function needed like blurring, fadening, sharpening etc. the quantity and dimension is determined by the user.
  4. Take the filter and keep it over the input vector from the first cell. Assume a 3*3 filter kept over a 7*7 vector.
  5. Perform the following computations on them.

5a. take the values in the first cell of the filter and the vector.

5b. multiply them.

5c. take the values in the second cell of the filter and the vector.

5d. multiply them.

5e. repeat the procedure till the last cell.

5f. take the sum for all the nine values.

  • Place this value in the output vector.
  • Using the formula mentioned later, find the dimensions of the output vector.

HAPPY LEARNING!!

DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 5

The previous article was on algorithm and hyper-parameter tuning. This article is about the general steps for building a deep learning model and also the steps to improve its accuracy along with the second type of network known as CNN.

General procedure to build an AI machine

  1. Obtain the data in the form of excel sheets, csv (comma separated variables) or image datasets.
  2. Perform some pre-processing onto the data like normalisation, binarisation etc. (apply principles of statistics)
  3. Split the given data into training data and testing data. Give more preference to training data since more training can give better accuracy. Standard train test split ratio is 75:25.
  4. Define the class for the model. Class includes the initialisation, network architecture, regularisation, activation functions, loss function, learning algorithm and prediction.
  5. Plot the loss function and interpret the results.
  6. Compute the accuracy for both training and testing data and check onto the steps to improve it.

Steps to improve the accuracy

  1. Increase the training and testing data. More data can increase the accuracy since the machine learns better.
  2. Reduce the learning rate. High learning rate often affects the loss plot and accuracy.
  3. Increase the number of iterations (epochs). Training for more epochs can increase the accuracy
  4. Hyper parameter tuning. One of the efficient methods to improve the accuracy.
  5. Pre-processing of data. It becomes hard for the machine to work on data with different ranges. Hence it is recommended to standardise the data within a range of 0 to 1 for easy working.

These are some of the processes used to construct a network. Only basics have been provided on the concepts and it is recommended to learn more about these concepts. 

Implementation of FFN in detecting OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA)

Advancements in the detection of OA have occurred through AI. Technology has developed where machines are created to detect OA using the X-ray images from the patient. Since the input given is in the form of images, optimum performance can be obtained using CNN’s. Since the output is binary, the task is binary classification. A combination of CNN and FFN is used. CNN handles feature extraction i.e. converting the image into a form that is accepted by the FFN without changing the values. FFN is used to classify the image into two classes.

CNN-convolutional neural network

The convolutional neural network mainly works on image data. It is used for feature extraction from the image. This is a partially connected neural network. Image can be interpreted by us but not by machines. Hence they interpret images as a vector whose values represent the color intensity of the image. Every color can be expressed as a vector of 3-D known as RGB- Red Green Blue. The size of the vector is equal to the dimensions of the image.

                                                  

This type of input is fed into the CNN. There are several processing done to the image before classifying it. The combination of CNN and FNN serves a purpose for image classification.

Problems are seen in using FFN for image

  • We have seen earlier that the gradients are chain rule of gradient at different layers. For image data, large number of layers in order of thousands may require. It can result in millions of parameters. It is very tedious to find the gradient for the millions of these parameters.
  • Using FFN for image data can often overfit the data. This may be due to the large layers and large number of parameters.

The CNN can overcome the problems seen in FFN.

HAPPY LEARNING!!!

Are you a Smartphone Zombie?

Few days back i saw a question on a site asking “I want to put my phone aside and study, but i’m not able to do it? Is there any I can get rid of it?”

Well we can say that we all faced this phase where we get too much addicted to Mobile phone and couldn’t keep it aside and focus on other works. A research recently released the details of a study which told us where in the world was the biggest Smartphone penetration:-

  1. South Korea
  2. Australia
  3. Israel
  4. U.S
  5. Spain
  6. U.K

But this doesn’t mean that people in this countries are using mobile phones all the time. Based on a 2016 study led by Statistica, it does look like people in those countries might fall into the category of smartphone zombies. The study also said that

  • Brazilian spend the most hours on average connected to a smartphone as 4 hr 48 mins per day.
  • Chinese spend the most hours on average 3 hours 3 mins
  • Followed by U.S 2 hours 37 mins
  • Italy 2 hours 34 mins
  • Spain 2 hours 11 mins
  • South Korea 2 hours 10 mins

One thing range true for all countries in the study, and that was the fact time spent on a smartphone for the average person was up quite a lot from 2012 to 2016.

It’s not totally people’s fault that we are addicted to the smartphones. We have this exciting thing in our pocket that flashes, beeps and invites us to use it. NPR in 2018 talked about this manipulative object we carry around with us, that is just so irresistible. The story mentions Russian psychologist Ivan Pavlov, and what we know as Pavlov’s dog. The psychologist one day realised that when his dog heard a bell or a buzzer, he knew it was feeding time, thereby associate with a sound to eating, which led to the dog drooling and looking excited.

Modern psychologist tells us this is what is happening to us when we hear a beep or a ding inside our pocket; we become excitable, like Pavlov’s dog. Our reward is coming, and we get a hit of dopamine and we want more. We check our phone on average every 15 mins and that make the tech use psychological tricks to keep us checking in.

All the time spent checking in may affect our sleep, our relationship, our work, or even all the creative things we might do to have a flourishing existence. Psychologist tend to agree we should be checking in less, and tech producers need to start thinking about creating less powerful digital drugs. But that isn’t easy because as most people now need those beeps and likes, and need to feel that they are not missing out on something.

Experts even states that putting your phone down, you may experience withdrawal symptoms, such as craving, restlessness, irritability or difficulty in concentrating. So from now on you might turn off notifications, have a plan for the day and stick to it, take off the apps you really don’t need as that might lead to a kind of app surfing. In general, not many people are against these technologies, but we should be focusing on what we might call device quality time, educating ourselves and being productive and creative.

DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 4

The previous article dealt with the networks and the backpropagation algorithm. This article is about the mathematical implementation of the algorithm in FFN followed by an important concept called hyper-parameter tuning.

In this FFN we apply the backpropagation to find the partial derivative of the loss function with respect to w1 so as to update w1.

Hence using backpropagation the algorithm determines the update required in the parameters so as to match the predicted output with the true output. The algorithm which performs this is known as Vanilla Gradient Descent.

The way of reading the input is determined using the strategy.

StrategyMeaning
StochasticOne by one
BatchSplitting entire input into batches
Mini-batchSplitting batch into batches

The sigmoid here is one of the types of the activation function. It is defined as the function pertaining to the transformation of input to output in a particular neuron. Differentiating the activation function gives the respective terms in the gradients.

There are two common phenomena seen in training networks. They are

  1. Under fitting
  2. Over fitting

If the model is too simple to learn the data then the model can underfit the data. In that case, complex models and algorithms must be used.

If the model is too complex to learn the data then the model can overfit the data. This can be visualized by seeing the differences in the training and testing loss function curves. The method adopted to change this is known as regularisation. Overfit and underfit can be visualized by plotting the graph of testing and training accuracies over the iterations. Perfect fit represents the overlapping of both curves.

Regularisation is the procedure to prevent the overfitting of data. Indirectly, it helps in increasing the accuracy of the model. It is either done by

  1. Adding noises to input to affect and reduce the output.
  2. To find the optimum iterations by early stopping
  3. By normalising the data (applying normal distribution to input)
  4. By forming subsets of a network and training them using dropout.

So far we have seen a lot of examples for a lot of procedures. There will be confusion arising at this point on what combination of items to use in the network for maximum optimization. There is a process known as hyper-parameter tuning. With the help of this, we can find the combination of items for maximum efficiency. The following items can be selected using this method.

  1. Network architecture
  2. Number of layers
  3. Number of neurons in each layer
  4. Learning algorithm
  5. Vanilla Gradient Descent
  6. Momentum based GD
  7. Nesterov accelerated gradient
  8. AdaGrad
  9. RMSProp
  10. Adam
  11. Initialisation
  12. Zero
  13. He
  14. Xavier
  15. Activation functions
  16. Sigmoid
  17. Tanh
  18. Relu
  19. Leaky relu
  20. Softmax
  21. Strategy
  22. Batch
  23. Mini-batch
  24. Stochastic
  25. Regularisation
  26. L2 norm
  27. Early stopping
  28. Addition of noise
  29. Normalisation
  30. Drop-out

 All these six categories are essential in building a network and improving its accuracy. Hyperparameter tuning can be done in two ways

  1. Based on the knowledge of task
  2. Random combination

The first method involves determining the items based on the knowledge of the task to be performed. For example, if classification is considered then

  • Activation function- softmax in o/p and sigmoid for rest
  • Initialisation- zero or Xavier
  • Strategy- stochastic
  • Algorithm- vanilla GD

The second method involves the random combination of these items and finding the best combination for which the loss function is minimum and accuracy is high.

Hyperparameter tuning would already be done by researchers who finally report the correct combination of items for maximum accuracy.

HAPPY READING!!!

DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 3

The previous article gave some introduction to the networks used in deep learning. This article provides more information on the different types of neural networks.

In a feed-forward neural network (FFN) all the neurons in one layer are connected to the next layer. The advantage is that all the information processed from the previous neurons is fed to the next layer hence getting clarity in the process. But the number of weights and biases significantly increases when there is a large number of input. This method is best used for text data.

In a convolutional neural network (CNN), some of the neurons are only connected to the next layer i.e. connection is partial. Batch-wise information is fed into the next layer. The advantage is that the number of parameters significantly reduces when compared to FFN. This method is best used for image data since there will be thousands of inputs.

In recurrent neural networks, the output of one neuron is fed back as an input to the neuron in the previous layer. A feed-forward and a feedback connection are established between the neurons. The advantage is that the neuron in the previous layer can perform efficiently and can update based on the output from the next neuron. This concept is similar to reinforcement learning in the brain. The brain learns an action based on punishment or reward given as feedback to the neuron corresponding to that action.

Once the final output is computed by the network, it is then compared with the original value, and their difference is taken in different forms like the difference of squares, etc. this term is known as loss function.

It will be better to explain the role of the learning algorithms here. The learning algorithm is the one that tries to find the relation between the input and output. In the case of neural networks, the output is indirectly related to input since there are some hidden layers in between them. This learning algorithm works in such a way so as to find the optimum w and b values for the loss function is minimum or ideally zero.

The algorithm in neural networks do this using a method called backpropagation. In this method, the algorithm starts tracing from the output. It then computes the values for the parameters corresponding to the neuron in that layer. It then goes back to the previous layer does the computations for the parameters of the neurons in that layer. This procedure is done till it encounters the inputs. In this way, we can find the optimum values for the parameters.

The computations made by the algorithm are based on the type of the algorithm. Most of the algorithms find the derivative of a parameter in one layer with respect to the loss function using backpropagation. This derivative is then subtracted from the original value.

Where lr is the learning rate; provided by the user. The lesser the learning rate, the better will be the results but more the time is taken. The starting value for w and b is determined using the initialization.

MethodMeaning
ZeroW and b are set to zero
Xavierw and b indirectly proportional to root n
He w and b indirectly proportional to root n/2

 Where n; refers to the number of neurons in a layer. These depend on the activation function used.

The derivative of the loss function determines the updating of the parameters.

Value of derivativeConsequence
-veIncreases
0No change
+veDecreases

The derivative of the loss function with respect to the weight or bias in a particular layer can be determined using the chain rule used in calculus.

HAPPY READING!!

Blogging: my experience

I never really thought about writing blogs before but I did, with this post I’ll be completing 30 blogs. Lie is unexpected isn’t it, you do what you have never thought of before. Writing blogs was all just a part of my internship that I HAD TO DO, but it became a wonderful experience. When I started posting the major problem I faced was What should I post about? I don’t know the first thing about it. I am not a technology geek who can talk about various new gadgets that came out in the market, nor do I like cars, nor am I much of a reader to write book reviews or a movie enthusiast for that matter. I am a simple, LAZY student who likes to do craft (yes my hobby is to make best out of waste kind of things), watching anime (It also helps practice my listening skills and get accustomed to listening Japanese; I am a Japanese language student) and listen to music (ARMYYYY!!; if you are new to this, ARMY is BTS’s fandom); these are the only three things that I do, of course beside studying and all (I DO STUDY OKAY(ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻).

As I mentioned above I don’t really have the kind of hobbies I can write 30 posts about so I thought, Why not write about the thing that I love; I love Japan (so much that I am learning the language and want to go study there). Yes studying there is my ultimate dream, and to achieve my destination I am doing this internship right now, blogging which I never really thought about doing ever (sometimes you need to do those things that you never thought you will ever do just for the sake of making your dreams a reality).

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

But even if I never thought of blogging, I still enjoyed it sooo much; it was such a different experience, I did have some difficulty in deciding the topics, had to study a lot but, at the end it was worth it, I was able to share with you my knowledge about what I have learnt about Japan. Although my posts were a bit (okay a lot educational) and not really fun, but as a language student I am very well aware of the difficulties we face while learning about such topics, simply because enough material is not available online and our teachers ask us to write about these topics in 2500-3000 words ┬─┬ノ( º _ ºノ). So all those students or Japanese enthusiasts out there I hope my posts will help you a teensy bit. I am not a professional blogger but thank you if you liked my intense educational posts (づ ̄ ³ ̄)づ.

Sayounara.

Do Vampires exist?

You probably have seen in movies and shows about these supernatural creatures such as Vampires, Werewolves, Witches, Wizards, etc. But did you ever thought from where did we got these idea? Do the supernatural creatures really exist. Let’s learn about vampires first.

Think about the features that a vampire have. What’s the first thing you thought? Shape teeths to suck blood may be? Glowing eyes? What if I tell you some people with these features exist.

There is a Vampire Disorder in which people suffering from this condition frequently have pointed teeth like carnivore animals. This disorders also has a difficult scientific name Hypohydrotic Ectodermal Dysplasia. Therefore, they look similar to the legendary blood feeding creatures from movies.

Symptoms

People with more prominent symptoms of this illness are

  1. Extremely thin and pale
  2. Eyes are outlined with dark circles
  3. Teeths are typically pointed
  4. Hair is absent
  5. Also they don’t like stakes not actually the beef kind

Problems

The biggest problem for such patients is not mistaken for considered as vampire but something else.

  1. They always have to check their temperature.
  2. Have to stay away from the sunlight
  3. Have to strictly avoid hot weather

They don’t have sweat glands and as you know these glands serve as a thermal regulating mechanism of our body. Imagine what could happen if it is broken. And above all this is the most typical syndrome of this disorder.

For example, Actor Michael Berryman, who suffered from this disease made a career playing horror movie characters.

So now you’ve probably figured out vampires exist or not.

DEEP LEARNING- PART 2

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is deep-learning-logo-picture-id871793108

The previous article gave a brief introduction to deep learning. This article deals with the networks used in deep learning. This network is known as a neural network. As the name suggests the network is made up of neurons

The networks used in artificial intelligence are a combination of blocks arranged in layers. These blocks are called an artificial neurons. They mimic the properties of a natural neuron. One of the neurons is the sigmoid neuron.

This is in general the formula for the sigmoid function. Every neural network consists of weights and biases.

Weights- The scalar quantities which get multiplied to the input

Biases- the threshold quantity above which a neuron fires

NotationMeaning
XInput
YOutput
WWeight
BBias

Working of a neuron

This is the simple representation of a neuron. This is similar to the biological neuron. In this neuron, the inputs are given along with some priority known as weights. The higher the value of the weights, the more prioritized is that input. This is the reason for our brain to choose one activity over the other. Activity is done only if the neuron fires. A similar situation is seen here. The particular activity is forwarded to the next layer only if this particular neuron fires. That is the output must be produced from the neuron.

Condition for the neuron to fire

The neuron will produce an output only if the inputs follow the condition.

As mentioned before, the bias is the threshold value and the neuron will fire only when the value crosses this bias. Thus the weighted sum for all the inputs must be greater than the bias in order to produce an output.

Classification of networks

Every neural network consists of three layers majorly: –

  1. Input layer
    1. Hidden layer
    1. Output layer

Input layer

The input layer consists of inputs in the form of vectors. Images are converted into 1-D vectors. Input can be of any form like audio, text, video, image, etc. which get converted into vectors.

Hidden layer

This is the layer in which all the computations occur. This is generally not visible to the user hence termed as a hidden layer. This layer may be single or multiple based on the complexity of the task to be performed. Each layer processes a part of the task and it is sent to the next layer. Vectors get multiplied with the weight matrix of correct dimensions and this vector gets passed onto the next layer.

Output layer

The output layer gets information from the last layer of the hidden layer. This is the last stage in the network. This stage depends upon the task given by the user. The output will be a 1-D vector. In the case of classification, the vector will have a value high for a particular class. In the case of regression, the output vector will have numbers representing the answer to those questions posed by the user.

The next article is about the feed-forward neural network.

HAPPY LEARNING!!

DEEP LEARNING SERIES- PART 1

Have you ever wondered how the brain works? One way of understanding it is by cutting open the brain and analyzing the structures present inside it. This however can be done by researchers and doctors. Another method is by using electricity to stimulate several regions of the brain. But what if I say that it is possible to analyze and mimic the brain in our computers? Sounds quite interesting right! This particular technology is known as deep learning.

Deep learning is the technique of producing networks that process unstructured data and gives output. With the help of deep learning, it is possible to produce and use brain-like networks for various tasks in our systems. It is like using the brain without taking it out.  Deep learning is advanced than machine learning and imitates the brain better than machine learning and also the networks built using deep learning consists of parts known as neurons which is similar to biological neurons. Artificial intelligence has attracted researchers in every domain for the past two decades especially in the medical field; AI is used to detect several diseases in healthcare.

Sl.noNameDescriptionExamples
1DataType of data provided to inputBinary(0,1) Real
2TaskThe operation required to do on the inputClassification(binary or multi) Regression(prediction)
3ModelThe mathematical relation between input and output. This varies based on the task and complexityMP neuron(Y=x+b) Perceptron(Y=wx+b) Sigmoid or logistic(Y=1/1+exp(wx+b)) *w and b are parameters corresponding to the model
4Loss functionKind of a compiler that finds errors between the output and input (how much the o/p leads or lags the i/p).Square error= square of the difference between the predicted and actual output.  
5AlgorithmA kind of learning procedure that tries to reduce the error computed beforeGradient descent
NAG
AdaGrad
Adam
RMSProp
6EvaluationFinding how good the model has performedAccuracy
Mean accuracy

Every model in this deep learning can be easily understood through these six domains. Or in other words, these six domains play an important role in the construction of any model. As we require cement, sand, pebbles, and bricks to construct a house we require these six domains to construct a network.

 Now it will be more understandable to tell about the general procedure for networks.

  1. Take in the data (inputs and their corresponding outputs) from the user.
  2. Perform the task as mentioned by the user.
  3. Apply the specific relation to the input to compute the predicted output as declared by the user in the form of model by assigning values to parameters in the model.
  4.  Find the loss the model has made through computing the difference between the predicted and actual output.
  5. Use a suitable learning algorithm so as to minimize the loss by finding the optimum value for parameters in the network
  6. Run the model and evaluate its performance in order to find its efficiency and enhance it if found less.

By following these steps correctly, one can develop their own machine. In order to learn better on this, pursuing AI either through courses or opting as a major is highly recommended. The reason is that understanding those concepts requires various divisions in mathematics like statistics, probability, calculus, vectors and matrices apart from programming. 

       

HAPPY READING!!

Who was the First Plastic Surgeon?

Plastic surgery – the name implies an artificial substance – but it is derived from the Greek word “Plastikos” which means to mold or to give form. An important specialty has been taking shape, one that reshapes the lives of patients. So who was the first plastic surgeon?

John Staige Davis was the first plastic surgeon. He played an important role not only at his council group in Hopkins but also in the United States in the plastic surgery. He limited his practice in the field of plastic surgery in those times. He was the only plastic surgeon who was there when World War I took place.

Dr. John Staige Davis

In 1991, Dr. Davis published the first English language textbook of plastic surgery and it is still used today. He sends copies to medical school founder, doctors and at that time no one acknowledged receiving it. And though plastic surgery at Hopkins would not gain the standard they deserved until the next century, Dr. Davis was helping to build the foundation for the entire discipline of plastic surgery in America.

He used to pioneer the transferring tissue techniques known as “Z- plasty” and the use of small deep grafts to heal chronic wounds. He was the founding member of The American Board of Surgery and The American Board of Plastic surgery. Dr. Davis’s work and reputation starts Hopkins on its way to becoming a crossroad and destination for the country’s best plastic surgeons.

In 1942, John Staige Davis was part-time faculty member and was running a plastic clinic even though he was in his 70s by then and beyond his retirement age, two years from then a forth year medical student at Hopkins had the chance observe the master surgeon doing a cleft lip repair.

His successor Dr. Edgerton graduates and proceeds to work by joining the army and was serving at Valley Forge General Hospital in Pennsylvania. He was one of the few surgeon treating thousands of men coming back from combat with disfiguring wounds and burns needing plastic surgery. This horrendous war injuries united skill surgeon in their desire to heal wounded soldiers. This dynamic gave raise to a new and important speciality in medicine.

Dr. Edgerton

With the scientific foundation and tissue regeneration, transplantation, and stem cell biology plastic surgery is uniquely poised to make the next major advance in medicine. By regenerating or replacing missing body parts, plastic surgery can transform patients life in ways that could not have been imagined only recently.

John Staige Davis didn’t lived to see plastic surgery receive the recognition and support if required and deserved in the world. But his path-breaking work and clear vision allowed a greater dream to be realized.

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES- PART 9- VACCINES

The previous article was all about the process of inflammation. This article is about vaccines.

The vaccines fall under the type of artificial active acquired immunity. This is artificial because we are giving the vaccine externally and this is active because the body is generating the antibodies/response and it is acquired because we are getting the immunity and it is not present by birth. You must have known what immunity is at least by now.

A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins (antigens). So these vaccines are nothing but the pathogen itself but it cannot cause any disease, instead, it triggers the immune system.

This is a quick recap of the principle of working on vaccines. The vaccine contains the pathogens as a whole or the surface antigens only. These antigens stimulate the immune system. If the immune system had a memory about this antigen, then it would immediately produce an antibody, and phagocytosis of the antigen occurs by the macrophage aided by the antibody. In this scenario, the antigen is new and there is no memory, therefore the immune system struggles and takes time to produce the antibody.

So the antigen reign over the body and this can lead to inflammation. As a result, some of the symptoms of inflammation like fever, heat, pain in the area of application, and swelling may appear. The chances of them are rare and also severity is less (last for a few hours/days) since the pathogen is attenuated.

Once the immune system produces the correct antibody, phagocytosis of the antigen occurs and hence the causative agent is eliminated from the body (primary response). So if the same or similar pathogen which has disease-causing ability enters into the body, the memory triggers the immune system to produce the correct antibody. So a heightened and rapid response is generated in order to kick away the pathogen quickly (secondary response).

There are three types of vaccines:-

Live- infection is caused without any harm – measles & polio

Dead- doesn’t last long, requires booster dose- cholera

Microbial products- involves non-infectious pathogen, capsule and toxoid- anthrax, diptheria

Hence using the vaccine as a stimulus, the body is able to generate a response that is stored and can be useful for preventing the disease caused by the pathogen.

There might be an idea to generate vaccines for all diseases so that all humans are protected. But there are some difficulties in this which are listed below:-

There are new microbes being discovered every day and no one knows which microbe can cause disease. There can be multiple microbes causing the same or similar disease. So being immune to one microbe doesn’t mean being immune to the disease

The disease-causing microbe can undergo mutation meaning that there can be changes in the genetic material and hence the antigen can change. In this case, the antibody which was stimulated by the vaccine won’t work. A suitable example is a common cold, it is impossible to produce a vaccine that covers all mutants of viruses

The pathogen has to be genetically modified so as to remove its disease-causing ability which is easy to say but difficult to implement

Also, it is important that the antigen chose for the vaccine must be close to that of the original causative agent of the disease. If the original pathogen is not so close to that of the vaccine, then it will not work

Hence all these above points explain the difficulties in producing a vaccine. Despite these many research organizations in many countries have produced vaccines especially for the pandemic and dreadful diseases like the COVID-19, hepatitis, polio, etc. in which some vaccines provide lifetime immunity to some of the diseases. We must take a minute to appreciate those who have done immense work and their contribution is stopping some of the dreadful diseases.

With this, we come to the end of the series. I hope that all the concepts explained in this were simple and clear and also would have inculcated an interest in immunology. By now, it would be clear how the immune system protects us from several microbes and diseases.

HAPPY LEARNING!!

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES- PART 8- INFLAMMATION

The previous article dealt with the types and functions of immunoglobulin. This article provides a complete explanation of the process of inflammation.

Inflammation is the process of protection which was seen as one of the six mechanisms of innate immunity.

Inflammation is one of the body’s responses to the invasion of foreign particles. This is an important process in the human body that occurs to drive away from the pathogen. Inflammation is one of the stages seen in healing. Some of the changes that can be seen in the target site are:-

  • Changes in blood flow (mostly blood loss)
  • Increase in platelets (to plug the damaged vessel)
  • Increase in immune cells
  • Supply of nutrients

The word inflammation refers to a burning sensation. Hence there are five cardinal signs in inflammation namely:-

  • Rubor (redness)
  • Tumor (swelling)
  • Calor (heat)
  • Dolor (pain)
  • Functioleasia (loss of function)

These cardinal signs as well as the changes occur due to some mediators which are basically chemicals and also due to the action of various immune cells.

Mediator nameIt’s effect
Bradykinin, histamine, serotoninIncrease permeability
ProstaglandinDecreases blood pressure
CytokinesProduce fever
Toxic metabolitesDamage tissue

This inflammation can be either acute or chronic. As seen earlier, acute stays for a shorter time but produces more vigorous pain whereas chronic stays for a longer time with less vigorous pain. If the causative agent has been driven away then healing occurs either by complete restoration or scar formation. There are chances that the acute inflammation can become chronic which can be worse. It can lead to several diseases and complications.

The pathogen in order to establish its supremacy in the human body, it has to pass through the epidermis which is the outermost layer of the human body. This is known as SALT skin-associated lymphoid tissues. Hence T and B lymphocytes are prominent in the skin. Most of the pathogens get destroyed in this stage. Let us assume that our pathogen is strong and it had passed through it. The next layer it encounters is the dermis. As we go deep inside the skin, more and more immune cells get involved. In the dermis the following immune cells are seen:-

immunity in the skin
  • Macrophage
  • NK cells
  • Mast cell – produce histamine and serotonin
  • T helper cells – it provides help to other immune cells

The next stage is the hypodermis which has a large number of macrophages and neutrophils that phagocytosis the pathogen. Hence these following processes help in defending against the pathogens.

When a particular pathogen say a virus enters the cell, the immune system will get alerted through signals and they immediately send the correct immune cell to the target site. This occurs since either the immune system gets information naturally or artificially through previous infection or vaccine. This leads to the classification of immunity in humans.

So now we will consider a new and strong pathogen that has not been recognized by the immune system and has dodged those barriers and has entered inside the skin. Now it multiplies at a rapid rate and colonizes that particular area. Hence the cells in that area start to die and they release several signals like TNF, cytokines, interleukins. This gets combined with other signals like histamine, serotonin released from immune cells. Some of these signals produce direct effects on the target site as seen in the table.

An array of these signals triggers the immune system and it, in turn, starts the inflammation process and the cardinal signs are observed. This process lasts for some time and as it occurs; the pathogens decrease in number through phagocytosis and subsequently vanishes from the body. This can be observed by a decrease in the signs. After this process, the targeted site starts to heal and the immune system learns how to defend the pathogen when it enters the next time.

Now the damage caused by the pathogen has to be repaired by the process of healing.

  1. Haemostasis
  2. Inflammation
  3. Proliferation
  4. Maturation/Remodelling

The pathogen will rupture and damage the outer layer of blood vessels known as endothelium resulting in blood loss. Hence the blood vessels start to contract to prevent further loss. Also, a plug is formed at the site of leakage by the platelets. Then the process of inflammation occurs; clearing out the dead cells and the pathogen. In the proliferative stage, new blood cells are formed by a process known as neovascularisation and the new epithelium is formed. In the last phase, the newly formed cells become stronger and flexible. Hence the combination of these steps brings the affected area back to normal.

Hence the inflammation is an essential process in the immune system and it has to occur to prevent the conspiracy of the microbes. The next article is about vaccines and their principle of working.

HAPPY READING!!!

Attraction

Ever thought why do we get attract to someone? Well everyone has different answer to it. For some it can be the way one look, smiled, walk or may be their was an unusual aura around that one.

What is attraction?

Attraction, especially in a romantic way, is a complex process that take place in our brains, and has had it’s roots since it’s beginning of the humankind. It’s our minds way of telling us who has the potential to be our partner, our friend, or even our soulmate, and is based on a complex blend of our interest, values, experience, and desire. Physical and romantic attraction, which are often focused on, are only small facets of a much larger equation.

Psychologist look at the ingredients of attraction is in a form of pyramid, split into 4 different sections.

The base of the pyramid is made up of health and status:-

  • Status – 1. internal (confidence, self set, beliefs) 2. External (person’s job, possession and appearance.
  • Health – Physical attributes, smell, basic level of intelligence.

If the potential partners passes these initial requirements then we move to the center of the pyramid, which are the emotional factors:- includes

  • trust comfort someone wants,
  • their emotions intelligence, and
  • unique characteristics.

The final portion of the pyramid is “Logic”.This is the part that differentiate us from other animals, and is the part where our brains seriously

  • considers whether we are totally compatible for that person.
  • It ensure that the other person is aligned with us in term of what they want – things such as marriage, children, even the city they want to live.

According to this model, the more alignment there is, the more attraction there is, but it doesn’t always have to follow from bottom to top – like online dating.

What makes someone Attractive?

The answer to this questions make come to our mind is physical traits. Due to the influence of media, we tend to favor women who is younger, and more feminine features, in men on the other side, qualities such as broad shoulders, a deep voice, and strong jawline are highly upon.

Scientists suggest that, these also have an evolutionary origin because these traits are associated with a higher chance of producing health offspring and passing of good genes. Also, values, culture, and the environment, that we grow in also plays an important role.

Hence, attractiveness is complex, there’s a number of different perspective to consider, and at the end of the day, there’s very little we can choosing who we are attracted to. As each person looks for unique set of traits and, while physical traits are often focused there are far more factors that come into play. A person’s upbringing, behavior and even lifestyle have major influence. The most important thing to remember is to be happy and make the most of it.

Dotcom

A dotcom, or dot-com, is a company that conducts business primarily through a website. A dotcom company embraces the Internet as the key component in its business. The businesses are normally conducted through a website with the domain “.com” in the URL. Popular dotcom companies include Amazon.com, eBay.com, Priceline.com, coupons.com, and shuttelfly.com. The companies survived the burst of the dot-com bubble.

The Dotcom Bubble Burst

People started a dotcom or a website for almost everything, right from buying groceries from nearby grocers to buying pencils, but they did not figure out how much money they spent on making the website and buying space and designing it. They did not even access how much money they should make by selling their products to recover the cost because they had funds from others supporting them. Later, when the supporting people who funded their website started asking how they would recover money, the founders were clueless. So, the website was shut down. This happened all over the world. Then, the venture capitalists or the VCs (the people who fund other people to start a business) became careful about the money they were spending to avoid losses. This caused a lot of disappointment among people who wanted to start a venture. Hence, the dotcom bubble busted.

It was like bargaining for onions

Sabeer Bhatia – Hotmail founder

An eleven-year-old from Bangalore sold off his excess sandwiches, made by his mom to his friends; perhaps this was his first venture.

When he attended a lecture at Standford University, he learned about the history of founders like Steve Jobs or Scott McNealy. He thought to himself, “This is no big deal, I can do this.”

This is the story of none other than Indian – Sabeer Bhatia, the person who founded hotmail.com.

Working in Apple Computers, he hated it when others had access to his company email. He decided to form an email system that could be accessed only by the owner, and no matter where he was, he could check his inbox and receive emails for free.

He was rejected by 19 funding organizations. Finally, a company agreed because it felt introducing a free email service would revolutionize the Internet.

The day hotmail was launched; servers were flooded with people signing up. Thousands and thousands of people flocked to sign up every day.

By year-end, they were greeting their millionth customer. When Microsoft came knocking, 12 months later, they’d signed up nearly 10 million users. But what were 10 million subscribers worth?

Bhatia didn’t know how to sell a company. But he did know how to buy onions. “In India, you’ve got to negotiate for everything,” he says. “Even while buying vegetables, you’ve got to negotiate.” When the bargaining started, Bhatia felt right at home. “They came in low with $160 million, so I came in at $700 million! And when they said: that’s ridiculous! Are you out of your mind?” I knew it was just a ploy. Bhatia won’t budge and finally, they had to succumb.

Microsoft purchased hotmail.com for a whopping 400 million dollars.

There are plenty of options available to you if you wish to choose a career in a dotcom company. Here are a few of them : 

  • Venture Capitalist
  • Web Developer
  • Web Designer

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES- PART 7- TYPES OF IMMUNOGLOBULIN

The previous article dealt in detail with immunoglobulin and how they help in phagocytosis. This article is about the types of immunoglobulins, their functions.

The types of immunoglobulins are based on the types of light and heavy chains. There are two types of light chains namely the kappa and the lambda. An immunoglobulin contains either kappa (K-K) or lambda (L-L) but does not have a mixture of both (K-L not possible). About 60% of the immunoglobulins in humans have kappa chains.

So, the classes of immunoglobulins are based on the heavy chain. So based on this condition, there are five classes of immunoglobulins namely:-

  • Immunoglobulin G (IgG) – gamma
  • Immunoglobulin M (IgM) – mu
  • Immunoglobulin A (IgA) – alpha
  • Immunoglobulin D (IgD) – delta
  • Immunoglobulin E (IgE) – epsilon

These immunoglobulins have certain configurations and play different roles in the human body. The immunoglobulin G is present the most. It constitutes about 80% of the total immunoglobulin. These are mostly present in the blood, plasma, and other body fluids. This immunoglobulin has the lowest carbohydrate content when compared to the rest. This immunoglobulin has a half-life of 23 days which is the longest of all. Some of the unique features and functions of this immunoglobulin:-

  • This is the only immunoglobulin which can cross the placenta (this is a unique feature because this immunoglobulin provides immunity to the foetus inside the womb and also after birth for some months. Presence of others may indicate infection)
  • This helps in killing bacteria and viruses by opsonisation (the process of covering the pathogen with a protein coat such that the pathogens become more presentable to the immune cells)
  • Neutralize toxins
  • Activate complement by classical pathway (The complement system, also known as complement cascade, is a part of the immune system that enhances the ability of antibodies and phagocytic cells to clear microbes and damaged cells from an organism, promote inflammation, and attack the pathogen’s cell membrane)
  • Unique catabolism (breaking down of molecules) based on concentration
  • There are four sub classes (G1, G2, G3 and G4) out of which 1,3 and 4 cross the placenta and offer immunity
  • Also involves in the Rh immunization (there are two types’ Rh+ve and Rh-ve based on the presence of Rh factor in blood). The mother being Rh+ve and child the opposite is not a problem in the first pregnancy but can be fatal in second, killing the foetus.

The immunoglobulin M constitutes about 5-10% of total proteins. This is a pentamer structure with a J chain. This weighs about 900000-1000000 and is the heaviest of all. They have 5 days of half-life. Some of its features-

  • Presence in newborn indicate congenital infection as they don’t cross placenta
  • Short lived, so their presence indicates recent infection
  • First Ig to participate in primary response
  • Opsonisation
  • classical pathway
  • bacteria agglutination
  • Play an important role in ABO blood grouping (discovered by Landsteiner). There are 8 types of blood groups based on antigen, antibody and Rh factor

Immunoglobulin A is also known as the secretory immunoglobulin and is mostly present in body secretions (tear, saliva, sebum, mucous, and milk) in which they are dimer and are monomer in blood. They constitute 10-15% of the proteins. They also have a J chain and secretory piece. Their half-life is 6-8 days.

  • The secretory piece protects the Ig from enzymes and juices
  • Complement activation by alternate pathway
  • Promote phagocytosis
  • Intracellular microorganism killing
  • First line of defense against some microbes

Immunoglobulin E is a dimer similar to IgG. This is present in low concentrations (about 0.3) and has the weight of about 1,90,000. These have a half-life of about 2 days and can become inactivated at 56 C.

  • Present extra-cellularly
  • Associated with allergic reactions like asthma, hay fever and anaphylactic shock
  • Bind with the Fc of mast cells and basophils resulting in degranulation and release histamine which causes allergy
  • Mediate the some immunity reactions
  • No complement activation
  • Provide immunity against helminthes

The last is immunoglobulin D.  It is present in low concentrations and on the surface of B lymphocytes. They constitute 0.2% of proteins. They have a half-life of 3 days. The IgM and IgD bind on the B lymphocyte to help in antigen identification.

Hence these were the different types of immunoglobulins and the mechanisms by which they help with immunity. The next article is about the process of inflammation.

HAPPY READING!!

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES- PART 6- IMMUNOGLOBULIN

The previous article was about the different types of immune cells. This article is about a special molecule in immunity known as immunoglobulin.

There might be a question that what is so special about this immunoglobulin. There is a reason for this. These molecules play an important and inevitable role in the phagocytosis of pathogens. To understand this, it is essential to know about immunoglobulins.

The immunoglobulin is a gamma globulin, a specialized group of proteins (glycoprotein) produced in response to pathogens. It is produced by the plasma cells (a globulin protein present in the plasma). These constitute 25-30% of the blood proteins.

There are two important terms that are more commonly known by the most, they are the antigen and the antibody. The antigen is the molecule present on the surface of the pathogen and can stimulate an immune response. There is a small part of the antigen called the epitope which interacts with the antibody.  The epitope is known as the antigen determinant site. An antigen can have unlimited epitopes.

On the contrary, the antibody is the molecule produced in response to the antigen in order to kick it away. The part of the antibody which interacts with the antigen is called a paratope. An antibody must have at least 2 paratopes. These antibodies belong to the immunoglobulins. All antibodies are immunoglobulins but not immunoglobulins are antibodies. To understand how the antibody helps in immunity, it is essential to understand the structure of an antibody/immunoglobulin. The image below shows the general structure of an immunoglobulin:-

There are two chains in an immunoglobulin namely the light chain and heavy chain. The light chain has 212 amino acids (the building block of protein) and the heavy chain has 450 amino acids. Each chain has two types namely the constant and variable. These regions are based on the amino acid sequences. Half of the light chain (1 out of 2) is constant and the rest is variable. A quarter of the heavy chain (1 out of 4) is variable and the rest is constant. These are linked by two types of sulfide bonds namely the intra (H-H AND L-L) and inter (H-L). These molecules contain carbohydrates (CHO) hence these are called as glycoproteins.

The tip of the variable regions of the heavy and light chain is hypervariable in nature and these constitute the antigen-binding site (Fab). These are hyper-variable because they have to produce amino acid sequences complementary to that of the antigen so that they can interact together. The other site is called a crystallizable region (Fc).

Having known all this, now it will be convenient to explain the process by which the antibody plays in the prevention of infections.

There are millions of substances that pass through the blood every day. So there must be a criterion/substance to identify them whether they are pathogenic. This is where antigen comes to play. These antigens present on the surface of the pathogens alert the immune system which then identifies this as a pathogen. So in response to the antigen, a suitable antibody is secreted and deployed to the target site. On reaching the antigen, the Fab region binds with the antigen.

The ultimate aim of the immune system is to abolish the pathogen and one way is by phagocytosing them. This is done by the macrophages. But it is essential for them to identify the substance before engulfing it. This is where the antibody comes to play. The Fc region of the antibody combines with the receptor of the macrophage. This facilitates the process of phagocytosis.

Hence the antibody acts like a bridge between the source (antigen) and the destination (macrophage) aiding in phagocytosis. This is essential because in most of the cases the macrophages, it is difficult to identify the non-self-objects and this is where antibody helps.

In the case of the new pathogen, the antigen is new, and therefore their might not be a suitable antibody. In that case, the macrophage cannot phagocytocise the pathogen and it reigns in the body causing infection and disease.

The next article is about the types of immunoglobulins.

HAPPY LEARNING!!

Music can change you

These days we hear music all the time, it wakes us up, motivates our workouts, keeps us company on our commutes. It doesn’t matter what kind of music it is, it itself has the ability to affect our moods and our bodies in all sorts of ways. It can give us chills even can make us cry.

Effects on Brain

Music activates every area of the brain that scientists have mapped so far. In fact, there is no area of the brain that music doesn’t touching some ways.

25 years ago there was an idea which said that language is in left side of the brain and music is in right side of the brain but now with better quality tools, higher resolution, neuroimaging and better experimental methods, it is discovered that thats not at all right so how does it effects our brain?

When music enters and then gets shuttled off to different parts of the brain:-

  1. It stops at specialise processing units in auditory cortex, they track loudness, pitch, rhythm, etc.
  2. The visual cortex activates when you’re reading notes as a musician or watching music.
  3. Motor cortex activates when you move or dance or tap your feet, snap fingers, clapping your hands.
  4. The Cerebellum activates and immediate the emotional responses.
  5. The memory system in the Hippocampus will activate and will help you to recognise any familiar music or lines that you listen

Hence, music is going on in both halves of the brain, left and right, the front, back, the inside, and the outside.

How playing Instruments helps?

We can start learning to play instrument at any age. Picking up an instrument can provide some huge benefits for Intelligence, Physical well-being, Brain.

Playing an instrument requires:-

  • Auditory motor
  • Sensory
  • Visual system to work together

This inner system cooperation has some incredible outcomes that can affect many areas of life.

Different intensities of training produce different outcomes, even the most minimal practice can make a difference. Starting to play an instrument just one hour a week for few months can cause growth and increased activity in the parts of the brain responsible for memory, hearing, and motor. Researchers have found that this kind of activities can even increase IQ by 7 point or more.

Its also known that people who play musical instrument are better at other practical things too such as:-

  • Practical emotions
  • Learning new things/tasks
  • Creative problem solving

Musicians brain have better communication between left and right hemisphere which allows for more cooperation and out of the box thinking. Playing an instrument can also has benefits for brain and body.

  • boosting immune system function
  • Increase in resilience to hearing lose
  • Helps stroke patients regain motor skills

It’s been found that just listening to music can prompt the repair and regeneration of damage nerves in the brain.

Music is so much more than notes on a page, it can change the way we think, speak and feel. Music making and listen is really complex it’s not demystified till now it’s more mysterious than ever.

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES-PART 5- INTRODUCTION TO THE IMMUNE CELLS

The previous article was about the acquired immunity. This article is all about the immune cells, the warriors of the human body.

These cells play a major role in protecting the body from infections. Some of them contribute directly and some contribute indirectly. Despite the methods, all of them are required in optimum amounts so as to live a healthy life.

All of these cells are derived from a specific type of cell found in the blood. The blood is a freely flowing interstitial fluid that transports oxygen, nutrients, etc. to the cells of the body. There are two components in the blood in which the first one is called plasma. The plasma is the liquid carrying water, salts, enzymes, and proteins. There are three specialized proteins in the plasma-

Albumin- to maintain water balance

Globulin- for immunity (it is a part of immunoglobulin)

Fibrinogen- for clotting

Hence the plasma also contributes to immunity. This plasma constitutes about 55% of the blood. The rest 45% of the blood is constituted by the formed elements or corpuscles. There are three elements in it namely-

Erythrocyte or Red Blood Corpuscle- transport of oxygen

Leucocyte or White Blood Corpuscle- fight infections

Thrombocyte or platelets- for clotting

Out of these, the WBC is the one primarily contributing to immunity. A healthy person must have a WBC count from 4000-11000. Count less than 4000 means leukopenia meaning that the immune system is weak. If the count is more than 11000 then it means the condition of autoimmunity known as leucocytosis. There are some further classifications in the WBC which are displayed through the flowchart below.

There are two types of cells in the WBC namely the granulocytes and agranulocytes.

The granulocytes, as the name specifies have granules in their cytoplasm. There are three different cells in this.

The neutrophil constitutes to about 55-70% of the total WBC and they are ones involved in most of the fights against the infections. These defend against bacterial and fungal infections. These cells are mostly found in the epidermal regions and are in the first line of defense.  These cells engulf the pathogens by the process of phagocytosis. These cells have multiple nuclei hence these are also known as PMN (Poly Morpho Neutrophils). Neutrophils help prevent infections by blocking, disabling, and digesting off invading particles and microorganisms. They also communicate with other cells to help them repair cells and mount a proper immune response. The death of these cells often results in the formation of pus (suppuration).

neutrophil

The eosinophil constitutes about 2-4% of the total WBC. These cells are very little in the body but can increase in the case of allergic reactions, parasite infection, and so on. The functions of the eosinophil include movement to inflamed areas, trapping substances, killing cells, anti-parasitic and bactericidal activity, participating in immediate allergic reactions, and modulating inflammatory responses.

eosinophil

The basophil is present in the least concentration of all (0.2%) in total WBC. These cells play an important role in allergic reactions in which their count can increase. The basophil contains inflammatory mediators like histamine and heparin. The release of the compounds results in dilation of the blood vessels. Hence these cells regulate the inflammation process.

The agranulocytes are those which lack granules in their cytoplasm. There are two types in this. The lymphocyte can be called as the memory of the immune system. There are two types of lymphocytes namely T and B lymphocytes. These lymphocytes recognize the incoming pathogens and based on their memory it produces a suitable response in a short amount of time. These cells are involved in the secondary response in the acquired immunity.

B cells make antibodies that can bind to pathogens, block pathogen invasion, activate the complement system, and enhance pathogen destruction. The T cells mostly known as CD4+ T helper cells produce the cytokines (proteins in cell signaling) and coordinate with the immune system. There is another form called CD8+ cytotoxic T cells which is opposite to the previous type, they help in the destruction of tumors and pathogens.

The monocyte is the largest of all the cells in WBC. They function similarly to that of the neutrophils (phagocytosis of the pathogens). These cells present the pathogen to the memory cells upon which a response is generated. Once they leave the blood, they turn into macrophages which help in clearing cell debris and killing pathogens. These are known as the vacuum cleaners of immunity.

Hence all these cells work in different mechanisms and they coordinate together to make sure that we do not fall prey to the disease-causing microorganisms.

HAPPY LEARNING!!

DEBATE CONCEPTS IN OSTEOARTHRITIS

This article deals with some of the concepts related to the progression of osteoarthritis. These statements were given by prominent researchers and resulted in a debate between two prominent groups of researchers against each other. All of these took place actively in the 19th century where the publications of research scholars were opposed to that of the scholars in the other group.

William Bauer told that mechanical trauma can result in OA directly or indirectly. By the 20th century ideologies were majorly split into two ‘inflammation’ and ‘no inflammation’. Henry Fuller and Robert Todd suggested that OA occurred due to disruption to nutrients required for knee development and doesn’t occur through inflammation. On the other hand, Garrod and others stated that OA is partly degenerative and partly inflammative. Hence the study for OA continued under these two domains and each group of scientists trying to prove the other is false. But this situation can be compared to two sides of a coin where both the situations cannot be neglected. Hence both the domains of OA cannot be neglected.

Some others say that OA is a neurogenic immune homeostatic disorder. Garrod in 1988 stated that OA is associated with lesions in CNS in a peculiar manner. CNS refers to the central nervous system which constitutes the brain and spinal cord. The brain is the mastermind of the body which generates electrochemical signals to simulate several neurons in the body. The spinal cord is known as a warehouse of reflexes. Reflex is an involuntary (cannot be controlled by conscience) rapid sequence of actions. Reflex can be best explained by several experiments.

When someone comes to hit you; you will either duck or catch his hand spontaneously and this is known as a reflex and the spinal cord or vertebral column is responsible for this.

The reflex of the knee is tested by the doctor who takes a rubber mallet and taps it on the knee and what interestingly happens is that the knee starts to retract and the patient can feel the pain. In case of OA or any knee-related diseases, the patient cannot experience any pain and hence the doctor understands that there is some abnormality in the knee. Hence we can understand that there is a connection between the knee’s ability and CNS and an interruption in this connection can lead to knee diseases.

We have to understand that this is a basic relation and there are other complex associations between them and require more complex methods like electrophysiology and pharmacology to understand them. Later it was proposed that changes in the sympathetic nervous system can also lead to OA.

The sympathetic nervous system is a part of the autonomic nervous system. This can be correlated to the word ‘increase’. The sympathetic nervous system works in response to stimuli like emotions and increases some parameters of the human body like heart rate, eye dilation, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc. this proposal paved the way for using micro-circuitry to correct it.

There is also another field on which the world is divided into two namely ‘nociceptive’ and ‘neuropathic’ where nociceptive refers to pain resulted due to receptors. These are present at target and send signals to the brain via the spine more or less like the reflex. On the other hand neuropathic refers to the condition where pain occurs due to nerves. The following table shows the difference between these two. 

NociceptiveNeuropathic
Receptor-mediated painNerve mediated pain
Doesn’t affect nervesAffects the nerves
Due to painful stimuliDue to inflammation

However, some of the debate topics have not been resolved even till now but a lot of research articles about the progression of the disease and its underlying phenomena have been published. This is one of the cases in which a debate has done some good to the field of science!

HAPPY READING!!

OSTEOARTHRITIS GRADING SYSTEM

Osteoarthritis can be mainly classified into two. They are primary and secondary. The criterion for this classification is based on the different types of risk factors. Primary OA is mainly due to age where the reason for cartilage breakdown is not known or maybe due to genetics. Secondary OA is due to direct injury through sports or trauma, stress, inflammation, or other metabolic diseases. In this case, the cause may localize.

OA grading

Grading is the process of classifying the disease based on its extent or severity. OA has been graded into 5 from grade 0 to grade 4

Stage numberCondition
 0Normal
1Minor
2Mild
3Moderate
4Severe

This was proposed by Kellgren and Lawrence and it is known as KL grading. The five grades have been proposed based on radiographic analysis of subjects. This was accepted as a standard measure by WHO in 1961. The grading has been done based on the narrowing of joint space and the formation of osteophytes.

  • grade 0 (normal): no changes in knee x-ray
  • grade 1 (minor): minimalistic joint space narrowing with possible osteophyte lipping
  • grade 2 (mild): definite osteophytes and  joint space narrowing
  • grade 3 (moderate): multiple osteophytes, definite narrowing of joint space and some sclerosis and possible deformity of bone ends
  • grade 4 (severe): large osteophytes, marked narrowing of joint space, severe sclerosis and definite deformity of bone ends

Grade 0

Grade 0 is considered normal. The subject will not exhibit any features for OA. The x-ray image from this grade is taken as a standard and the other grades are compared with this grade.

Credit:- Häggström, M (2014). “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014“. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). doi:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 2002-4436. Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication
X-ray of a healthy knee 
Credit:- Häggström, M (2014). “Medical gallery of Mikael Häggström 2014“. WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). doi:10.15347/wjm/2014.008. ISSN 2002-4436. Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication
This is the joint space which is observed in healthy patients.

Grade 1

Grade 1 is known as the minor. It can be considered as the initial grade. The joint space has just started to decrease. Osteophyte refers to excess bone growth. It is also known as bone spurs since spur refers to kind to sharp material. This bone growth can be observed as sharp spikes. Here there is very minimal growth of excess bone. Bone spurs occur only at the bones adjacent to the joint. There will be very minor loss of cartilage but this does not contribute to the narrowing of the joint space. Subject in this stage is not confirmed with osteoarthritis. However, subjects having any of the risk factors become more prone to the disease

Grade 2

Grade 2 is known as mild. In this grade, the narrowing of the joint space is more and is visible through the x-ray. There will be also more formation of osteophytes. This grade can be considered as the precursor to many complications like bone dislocation and rubbing. None of these complications are seen in this grade but these complications are soon to occur. The subject in this grade is confirmed with osteoarthritis. Special care has to be taken by those in this grade and through proper medications, they can prevent those further complications.

Grade 3

Grade 3 is known as moderate. Obvious damage occurs to the cartilage and the joint space narrows even at a faster rate. Swelling of the joints starts to occur in this stage. Erosion of cartilage becomes prominent in this stage. The joints become rougher due to spurs leading to stiffness. Inflammation occurs at regular intervals. Subjects can experience popping sounds from the knee.

Grade 4

Grade 4 is known as severe. It is the worst and highest grade of all. The changes become prominent and occur at larger scales. There will be no gap literally meaning the joint is absent. The bones start to rub over each other causing pain. The joint becomes stiff like a rock. The cartilage wears down and maximum growth of osteophyte is seen. Various cytokines are released at cartilage resulting in further death. Life would be dreadful for those in this grade. The arrow in the given X-ray indicates the bones are touching each other and there is no gap in between them.

Grade 4 osteoarthritis
Courtesy: – James Heilman, MD Osteoarthritis of the left knee. Note the osteophytes, narrowing of
 the joint space (arrow), and increased subchondral bone density (arrow). the joint space (arrow), and increased subchondral bone density (arrow). Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0

HAPPY READING!!

THE DREADFUL DISEASE FOR THE AGED- THE OSTEOARTHRITIS

Osteoarthritis is the most well-known type of joint pain, influencing a huge number of individuals in the world. It occurs as a result of the wearing down of the cartilage that cushions the ends of your bone over time. It is a complex disease that integrates biomechanics and biochemistry associated with the knee. This is the standard way of defining OA which will be difficult to understand. Hence let us try to understand what OA is. The best way is by splitting the word and analyzing it part by part

Osteo- bone

Arth- joint                        

It is- inflammation    

Knee, Old, Care, Injury, Pain, Knee Pain
x-ray of the osteoarthritic knee joint

                      

As mentioned earlier, the unit of bone is called osteon and any word ending with itis refers to inflammation. Also, arthro term refers to joints in general. Hence the combination of the terms corresponds to inflammation of bones in the joint. This rather sounds simplified. The previous definition had complex terms like biomechanics and biochemistry. Biomechanics refers to the study of movement in living beings. Biochemistry refers to the study of the reactions occurring in living things. So in short, osteoarthritis is such a disease that results in inflammation of joints that occur due to wearing down of the bones surrounding the joint hence affecting the movement and chemical reactions which used to occur properly during normal conditions.

Osteoarthritis can occur in any joint in the human body like elbows, hips, knees, etc. Since our primary focus is on the knee, we will take a deep dive into it. In view of its expectancy and the tolerance that goes with sickness in the knee osteoarthritis represents more prevalence with daily activities like climbing steps and walking when compared to other diseases. Osteoarthritis is the most standardized reason for total knee replacement. As a result of the frequency of this disease especially in middle-aged people, osteoarthritis can act as an extensive barrier towards work and can lead to early retirement.

Coining of OA

Many say that the term osteoarthritis was coined by the British physician John Kent Spender but it was Richard Von Volkmann who tried to separate it from rheumatoid arthritis. The other names which were offered to this disease were ‘chronical rheumatism’

‘senile arthritis’

‘hypertrophic arthritis’

‘arthritis deformans’.

Effect of age

Osteoarthritis can affect people of any age group but it majorly affects old age people. National Library of Medicine suggests that people with an age greater than 70 have more risk to get osteoarthritis. The reason lies in the definition of osteoarthritis. The definition says that disease occurs due to the wearing down of bones. So the bones don’t get worn down the next instant a baby is born. Every process requires time to occur. A mother has to wait for a minimum of 9 months to give birth to a healthy baby. A student must wait for 4 years to get a degree from college. Similarly, it takes time for the bones in the knee to get worn down.

This disease has always troubled old aged people in their lives. Living with osteoarthritis is dreadful. Even climbing the stairs will be a difficult task for them. Hence it is worth knowing about the disease.

HAPPY READING!!

INTRODUCTION TO THE KNEE DISORDERS

When there are some imbalances within the knee then it can lead to disorders which can be indicated by deviation of the knee in terms of function. Most of these disorders occur due to some conditions imposed onto the structures present inside the knee.

BURSITIS: – inflammation (burning sensation) of the bursa causes pain.

(TIP- a word ending with itis refers to inflammation)

FAT PAD IMPINGEMENT: – the fat pad gets swollen heavily and can burst due to over-expansion.

TENDINITIS: – inflammation of a tendon

TORN MENISCUS: – a sudden twist of the knee can tear the rubbery cartilage leading to serious issues.

FRACTURE: – the bones surrounding the joint may get broken especially the patella is viable to damage in the case of accidents.

DISLOCATION: – the knee bone slips and comes out from its original location leading to excruciating pain.

ACL AND PCL INJURY: – the anterior and posterior cruciate ligament gets torn which may occur when there are a lot of instantaneous turns. However, this occurs rarely since these are very strong ligaments naturally. 

OSGOOD-SCHLATTER DISEASE: – this is the swelling of the tendon between the tibia and patellar muscles.

STRAIN AND SPRAIN: – both are injuries but strain occurs in ligaments whereas sprain occurs in tendons.

These are some of the common disorders occurring to the knee. All of these disorders have something in common….PAIN but the intensity can vary based on time and severity of the disorder

ARTHRITIS                                                      

Arthritis is a commonly used word referring to the inflammation of joints. In fact, many people have an intuition that severe pain in the knee corresponds to arthritis mainly in old age groups. This is potentially a dreadful disease and can mainly affect the old aged. Most arthritis occurs over time but some can occur suddenly. Old-aged persons are more prone to this disease. This disease is likely to affect all age groups. This disease is more prevalent in women rather than men since their joints are weaker and more susceptible to motion when compared to men.

differences between normal and arthritic knee joint

  

In the case of arthritis, the bones start to wear down, the ligaments can tear, inflammation and swelling can occur, and also lead to internal bleeding (hematoma). There are about 100+ types of arthritis with different causes and symptoms.

comparisons between some of the arthritis

The different types of arthritis have symptoms different from each other. But arthritis, in general, shows some symptoms irrespective of the type.

Joint pain, stiffness in joints, red swollen mass, deranged and irregular motion is some of the common symptoms exhibited during arthritis. These symptoms are easy to identify by a common man and hence one can consult a medical practitioner known as a rheumatologist. The study of joints is known as arthrology and it is recommended to consult such a person.

As mentioned earlier cartilage is the one that protects the bones and also acts as a shock absorber. In the case of Osteoarthritis, this cartilage starts to vanish slowly. In the case of rheumatoid arthritis, the synovial fluid gets attacked by its own antibodies!!! This phenomenon in medicine is known as autoimmune disease and occurs due to error in the programming of these cells leading to the attack on their own cells.

In the case of gouty arthritis, there is a deposition of sodium urate crystals in the joints. It can lead to redness, pain, and heat around the joint. Uric acid which is generated in our body gets converted to purines (an essential component in DNA). Increased uric acid levels can lead to its deposition in the form of crystals. The best way is to remove the synovial fluid.

So these are the different types of disorders that can be seen in the knee. Proper diet and exercise and a healthy lifestyle can prevent most of them. So it is essential to be healthy to prevent the occurrence of these diseases.

HAPPY READING!!

INTRODUCTION TO THE BONES AND JOINTS

Our human body can be compared to a machine in terms of its functioning, but the magnanimous human can perform extremely better than a machine. As there are many nuts and bolts to connect many parts in a machine, there are too some bolts and nuts in our body which join several parts of the body like arms and legs. The so-called nuts and bolts of the human body are known as JOINTS. A joint in general is the articulation that is present in between two bones. This sounds a bit complex. So joint in the English language refers to the association. So the joints in the human body associate something. The something defined previously is bones. In order to understand this, we have to know about the structure of bone in detail.

Fig 1.1- structure of a bone 

                     

The above image depicts the structure of a bone in general. Important information to be known is that the unit of a bone is called an osteon. Many osteons combine together to form a bone. Bone-destroying cells are known as osteoclasts and bone-forming cells are known as osteoblasts. The external structure of a bone has two parts namely epiphysis and diaphysis. Physis refers to the growing plate. An increase in the bone’s height corresponding to bone growth. Epi means above and dia means through. Hence diaphysis is found in between two epiphysis which acts as the head and tail to the bone. The point of attachment of muscle in this bone is known as the trochanter. Everything present in the human body has some kind of protection. In the case of bone, that protection is offered by the periosteum. The inner layers can be visualized by peeling off those previous layers hindering them. Next, we have the cartilage which is a rubbery kind of protection to the bone. Hyaline cartilage present in bone is rather glassy in nature. The bone also has nerves and blood vessels since the bone requires nourishment and a proper message for its functioning. Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside the bones. It contains stem cells. The stem cells can develop into the red blood cells that carry oxygen through your body, the white blood cells that fight infections, and the platelets that help with blood clotting. Bone marrow can be considered the mother of blood cells. This table provides insights on the types.

Type namePrevalenceContent
RedChildrenBlood
YellowAdultsFat

So now we move onto how a joint connects two bones. Consider this situation where there are two pipes and we want to connect them. The best way to connect so as to minimize their loss is by using a junction. There may be other options also, but there is no need to make a fuss about it.

Fig 1.2- the structure of a healthy joint

Hence from all these, we can come to an understanding of the importance of joints in the human body. To be short, the human body is meaningless and fragmented as the face, trunk, hands, and legs are separated without the joints.

HAPPY READING!!

The law of attraction

It is a philosophy that suggests that positive thoughts bring positivity and negative thoughts bring negativity to your life. It is basically a belief that when we tell the universe what we want in life, it delivers it to us. The positive energy from us attracts success in all aspects of our life like health, relationships, career, etc.


The theory was put forth by a book “The Secret”. But there is no scientific evidence for the claims. Many people in the world follow the law and claim that it is actually true.

How does this actually work?

It suggests that if we focus on positive things in our life it will attract it, likewise, if we focus on negative things, negative situations will be attracted towards us. So basically we must focus on what we want and not on what we don’t want.Another law suggests that if we ignore the negative thoughts, we give more space to positivity in our lives, which gets delivered in our day-to-day lives.

How can I implement this?

You can practice the law of attraction every second of your life by following a few things. Let me creates scenarios for better understanding.

One day, you are getting up from bed in a bad mood. You have lots of work on that day so you are a little frustrated with it. The first thing you can do there is, before doing anything, tell yourself that the day is going to be awesome and you will complete all your work by the end of the day. This simple thought will motivate you and make you feel positive right after you get up. People believe that a positive start to a day will give you the strength to survive the day no matter what comes in your way. Now, let us create another scenario.

You want to buy something, let’s say a bicycle. This law suggests that you should push yourself into thinking about how it will feel when you possess it and how you will enjoy it. Feel like you already own it. Focus your mind completely on it. Wake up to it. The universe will make ways for you to get it. But again, you also have to work to get it. Just simple thoughts cannot bring it to you. It is just a way of motivating you and making you believe that you can own it, everything I said now is about the positivity you are creating. This is one of the theories of the laws of attraction.

In another scenario, let’s say you are about to attend an interview and you are nervous about it. Instead of thinking “I hope I don’t mess this up”, you can think “I hope I do well in this interview”. This is basically an example of using positive affirmations. Again, this is one of the ways you can ignore negative thinking.

To conclude I would say, the law of attraction is not the only solution for all your life problems but it is definitely going to create a different perspective for you if you practice it daily. It is all about perspective and whatever we do is for our happiness so why not start it with a happy note?

WEIGHT BEARERS OF THE BODY- THE KNEE JOINT

The knee joint is one of the biggest and most important joints in the lower part of the body. The knee plays an important role in distributing the body weight throughout the body. It is worth studying about this joint.

The knee joint is the tibiofemoral synovial hinge joint. This seems a bit complex. This can be easily understood by splitting each term.

  • Tibio- tibia bone
  • Femoral- femur bone
  • Synovial- freely movable joint
  • Hinge- swinging motion

We can consider the knee joint as a castle with the patellar bone as a castle wall protecting it from the front, the femur from top, tibia and fibula from bottom and muscles aiding these bones. In general, the massive structures protect the joint from mechanical damage like banging the knee onto a hard surface etc…

                      the detailed structure of knee joint.
                   Credit:- OpenStax College Anatomy & Physiology, Connexions Web site. http://cnx.org/content/col11496/1.6/, Jun 19, 2013

The above diagram shows the complete parts of the knee joint. There are some terms that were not explained earlier. Bursa can be compared to a tin of oil or any other lubricant and structurally is like a sac containing fluid to reduce friction. Friction is      

A physical quantity develops when two things come in contact and the lubricant is the one that provides a medium between the two objects thus reducing friction.

Here are the anatomical terms and their meaning:-

  • Anterior-front
  • Posterior-back
  • Supra-upper
  • Infra-lower
  • Cruciate-cross shape
  • Pre-before

The fat pad is the one present beneath the knee bone and acts as a cushion for the joint. Ligaments are the primary elements of the knee joint which connect bone to bone.

There are two types of ligaments namely ACL and PCL. They connect the tibia to the femur as mentioned earlier through the term tibiofemoral. ACL is medial (present more close to centre) than PCL and PCL are lateral (present far from the centre).

NOTE:-Understanding these structures are very important as an imbalance in each structure can lead to a disorder.

The knee is the largest known joint in the human body which performs very complex functions. The various functions are:-

  1. It bears the weight load and prevents the lower legs to take in all the weight.
  2. Acts as a supportive agent to the body.
  3. Provides motion but is limited.
  4. Coordination of the movement of upper and lower legs
  5. Fat present in knee acts as thermal insulator
  6. Bursa reduces friction between the bones
  7. Synovial fluid acts as medium for bones to articulate with.

As mentioned earlier motion is a key aspect amongst the functions of the knee. The following table shows the various movements exhibited directly or indirectly using the knee.

Knee movements are of two types- primary and secondary.

NameMeaning
FlexionDecreasing the angle
ExtensionIncreasing the angle
Medial rotationRotating towards centre
Lateral rotationRotating away from centre
AdductionMoving towards middle
AbductionMoving away from the middle
Anterio-posterior displacementFront and back movement

Flexion, extension, medial and lateral rotations constitute the primary movements. Adduction, abduction and anterio-posterior displacement constitute secondary movements. Hence all these movements can be offered by the knee. In addition to that knee joint also has sensory receptors and produce proprioreceptic information about the position of knee.

The ligaments contribute more towards the stability of the joint as compared to other elements.  The several structures inside the knee must perform perfectly so that the knee functions properly as a whole. The knee joint is hinge type and hence it is more vulnerable to injury (stretching beyond the limit leads to injury). In case of injury, the damaged cells start to heal when the stress is removed but there is a chance of losing their functions as there is a chance of them getting replaced with scars.

It is absolutely worth knowing about the structure and function of the knee joint and how they help to carry ourselves on.

HAPPY LEARNING!!

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES- PART 4- ACQUIRED IMMUNITY

The previous article dealt in detail about innate immunity. This article is about another type of immunity known as the acquired immunity.

The acquired immunity, unlike the innate immunity, is not present from birth. As the name suggests, it is the immunity that we acquire throughout our lives. This immunity is acquired through experience and learning. In order to understand the previous statement, it is essential to know about primary and secondary infections.

The first encounter with the foreign agent is known as the primary infection. Since this pathogen is new to the immune system, it does not know what to do and hence it produces a generalized response through innate immunity. Once the pathogen is driven away from the body, certain information related to this encounter is stored in the memory of the immune system.

If the same or a similar pathogen enters into the body, the memory is triggered and a strong & quick response is generated which kicks away the pathogen faster than before. Hence the immune system has learned to defend from a new pathogen through learning. This is known to be a secondary infection.

These two combine together to form the natural active acquired immunity which is the immunity acquired as a result of diseases. In most of these cases, innate immunity fails and we get sick. During the recovery phase, the immunity is good and the activity is stored. Hence we may not get these diseases for a long period. The following diseases fall into this category:-

  • Polio
  • Chicken pox
  • Measles
  • Influenza
  • Common cold (not effective since there are several strains of viruses)

There are two characteristics in this which are:-

  • Latent period= time in which no response is seen (required for activation)
  • Negative response= time in which there is reduced response

The second type is the artificial active acquired immunity. This is similar to that of the first type with a slight change. In this case, we are artificially introducing pathogens into the body. But these pathogens have undergone a major modification. Their disease-causing ability has been genetically removed. Still, these are non-self for the immune system but they do not cause infections. Hence the immune system produces responses similar to that of natural active. These artificially induced pathogens are called vaccines. These help to induce immunity in our bodies. There are three types of vaccines:-

  1. Live
  2. Dead
  3. Products

I will be writing a separate article regarding vaccines.

The third type is natural passive acquired immunity. This is the immunity that we get from a natural source. You might have the answer. It is indeed the milk from the mother. Breast milk is rich in immunity cells especially immunoglobulins. A better idea will be in the article upon the immunity cells. This can provide immunity to the newborn up to 3 years but after three months it deteriorates since the child starts to develop immunity.

The last type is artificial passive acquired immunity. In this type, we get immunity (immunoglobulin) from an artificial source. These immune cells play a major role in identifying and binding to the pathogens and aid in phagocytosis. Don’t worry this process will be covered in the subsequent articles. There are three types in this namely

  • Hyperimmune sera- from animal or human source
  • Convalescent sera- from a recovering patient
  • Pooled human gamma globulin- from a healthy person

It is important to understand that the word active refers that the body is developing immunity and passive refers that we are providing immunity. The words artificial and natural refer to the source. There is one called combinational immunity (active+passive) in which the passive immunity provides protection until the active immunity activates (latent response).

Till now we have seen several types of immunity, the next article will be on the immune cells, the guys who are behind all these.

HAPPY READING!!!

The Best Time to Apply for an Internship

Hey there! So, Are you thinking about doing an internship but not sure when to start? Check out this!

Internships

An internship is a temporary period of work in some field where you can gain a piece of practical knowledge about the domain. It is up to you to select your field to gain experience.

Internships
Internships

When to start?

College! Yes, It is always the right time to start in your college.

You can be in your freshman year, yet you can apply for an internship.

It is always about your interests, not about your experience or prior knowledge.

In your freshman year, You can start applying for internships like content writing, video editing, digital marketing, etc. These are some digital internships that you can do from your home and don’t need much time. 

It's about right timing.
It’s about right timing.

Summer Internship

A summer internship is about doing an internship in your career field. It needs basic subject knowledge to work on. Also, Some of them will be a daily commute for a certain period. Benefits of summer internships include :

  • An opportunity to explore different career paths 
  • The chance to develop your interested skills needed for your chosen career
  • Experiences you can list on your resume when applying for jobs
  • The ability to build relationships and a network of professionals

You can start applying for summer internships after your second year. This will be the right time to apply for internship opportunities.

Virtual Internships.
Virtual Internships.

Tips for applying for a summer internship

Here are some tips to keep in mind when applying for summer internships:

  • Get your resume ready.
  • Follow application directions closely.
  • Be familiar with the deadlines for internships.
  • Prepare for the interview.

What to avoid when applying for a summer internship

  • Don’t apply for an internship where the organization demands money from you.
  • Don’t apply for a fewer internships.
  • Submit your authentic resume.
  • Waiting until the last time to apply.

RUMINOCOCCUS- THE TRUSTABLE BACTERIA

Bacteria, Microbiology, Organism

In general, microbes are known to cause harm to plants, animals, and humans, and so on. In particular, bacteria have caused a lot of problems in humans like tuberculosis, anthrax, cholera, etc. but not all bacteria are pathogenic (disease-causing) in nature. The particular bacteria discussed here is friendly to humans and is completely trustable.

The ruminococcus genus of bacteria falls under the class clostridia. These bacteria are round-shaped, anaerobic (do not need oxygen for survival), and are gram-positive. These bacteria are gut-friendly. More than one type of these bacteria is present in the human’s gut helping in the process of digestion.

The gut of the human which primarily includes the intestines is known as the bacterial fermentation chamber. Most of these bacteria help the human and have a symbiotic relationship.

The symbiotic relationship is a relationship between two organisms in which both of the organisms get benefitted. A suitable example of this is the lichens.

The lichen is a symbiotic association between fungi and algae. The shape of the lichen is purely based on the fungus which is dominant and the green color is due to the presence of algae. The role of the algae is to produce food and the role of the fungi is to provide water from the tree it is in. So the fungus gets food in return for the water it gives to the algae. The lichen is not harmful and it gets converted into the organic matter once dead.

A similar relationship is seen in the intestine of the human. The bacteria help the human in digestion and in return get food. We all know that the human digestive system has HCl acid accompanied by a lot of other digestive enzymes and juices. There is a fact that the stomach acid is able to digest even a bar of steel. So in that case why are there some bacteria helping us out with indigestion?

Monkey, Mammal, Animal, Gorilla
gorilla- a perfect example for an omnivore

The reason is that we humans are omnivorous. So we eat meat and vegetables. There is no problem in digesting the meat. But there is a small concern when digesting the vegetables. The problem is that the cell wall of most of the plants contains a substance called cellulose which is lacking in the animal cell walls.

The enzyme which is used to digest cellulose is known as cellulase. This enzyme is not present in the human but is present in the ruminococcus species. Hence these bacteria present in the gut provide this enzyme in return for the food we give to them. Hence there is a mutualistic behavior seen in the gut. Also, there is an added advantage.

There fecal and genital routes are the most important routes for the transmission of several infectious and deadly diseases and most of these are caused by bacteria. There is a fact that the presence of one species/genus does not allow the presence of other species/genus. So the healthy bacteria present in the gut prevent some deadly infections.

Based on these facts, I think it is appropriate to say that this is a human-friendly bacterium and can be completely trusted.

HAPPY LEARNING!!!

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES- PART 3- MECHANISMS OF INNATE IMMUNITY

A detailed description of innate immunity has been provided in the previous article. This article explains in detail the action of innate immunity. As mentioned earlier, innate immunity is a non-specific immunity that acts as the first line of defence. There are six mechanisms backing innate immunity. They are:-

  1. Epithelial surfaces
  2. Antimicrobial products
  3. Microbial antagonism
  4. Cellular factors
  5. Inflammation
  6. Acute phase proteins

These are the six different mechanisms of innate immunity.

Epithelial surfaces

The epithelial surfaces are those which form the outermost layer of the body. It is pretty obvious that the pathogens gain access into the body through the body openings. Hence it is trivial that the immunity is strong at these places. The following are the body openings where the immunity is present:-

  • Eyes
  • Ears
  • Nose
  • Mouth
  • Skin
  • Genital tracts

Eyes– there is a special fluid called the ‘tear’ generated by the lacrimal apparatus. This tear can flush out the microbes by its mechanical action. Also, the enzyme called lysozyme is present in it which is antibacterial in nature. This particular enzyme splits certain polysaccharide molecules from the cell wall of the bacteria without which it cannot sustain. Hence these are processes that confer immunity to the eyes.

Ears– there is a constant production of wax that entraps the foreign microbes. The cells lining the outer surface of the ear membranes secrete the wax for cleaning and protective purposes. The inner ear is filled with phagocytic cells.

Nose– the nose and the respiratory pathway are very important to be protected since they involve the exchange of air and microbes can easily enter. So there is tightened defence provided by several mechanisms:-

  • The anatomy of the nose itself prevents the entry of some microorganisms
  • There is mucus lining the entire respiratory pathway which have hairs that can sweep the microbes back to the air
  • There are mucopolysaccharides which are sticky in nature and hence the microbes get stuck to them
  • The alveoli of the lungs are filled with phagocytic cells

Mouth– the mouth and the digestive system are also as important as the nose. The following defence mechanisms can be seen

  • Saliva which is basic in nature kills some of the pathogens
  • The peristalsis movement can kick away some of the microbes
  • The stomach acid which is low in Ph can destroy most of the microbes
  • The digestive juices and secretions like the bile also provide immunity

Skin- the skin is present all over the body and there are 4 mechanisms

  • Long chain fatty acid
  • Salty nature of the sweat
  • Soaps contribution
  • Oils and sebaceous glands

Genital tract- this is also an important opening to be concerned about as there is a large concentration of microbes found here. The urine itself flushes out any incoming pathogens. In males, the sperm protein spermine and zinc are antibacterial. In females, high acidity can kill the microbes.

Antimicrobial products

There are some anti-microbial products present naturally in the bloodstream and other body fluids.

  • Beta lysine- effective against thermostable bacteris
  • Polypeptides- leukin and plakin
  • Lactic acid- muscles
  • Lactoperoxidase- present in breast milk
  • Interferons- effective against virus

Microbial antagonism

Remember the fact in the first article that the foreign microbe has to find a suitable ‘target site’. The reason is that there are already some microbes present inside us. Don’t worry they won’t hurt us. These microbes constitute the normal flora and are resident. They follow symbiotic relationships with us. A suitable example is an e.coli present in the intestine helping indigestion for food.

So the presence of one species of organisms do not allow the presence of similar or different species. So these microbes indirectly furnish immunity to the body. So nice of them!

Cellular factors

These are some cells that are specialised in the function of protecting the body by destroying pathogens. It is done by the process of phagocytosis which is the engulfing of substances. The phagocytising cells engulf the foreign particles in response to the chemical mediators (mediators are certain chemicals released by a special type of immune cell known as mast cell).

There is a special defence for viral infections. In this case, the interferons activate the NK cells (Natural Killer) to undergo phagocytosis. This cell can be called the assassin of the immune system.

Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the body’s responses to the invasion of foreign particles. This is an important process in the human body that occurs to drive away from the pathogen. Inflammation is one of the stages seen in healing. This inflammation can be either acute or chronic. Acute stay for a shorter time but produces more vigorous pain whereas chronic stays for a longer time with less vigorous pain. If the causative agent has been driven away then healing occurs either by complete restoration or scar formation. There are chances that the acute inflammation can become chronic which can be worse. It can lead to several diseases and complications.

Acute-phase proteins

These are certain indicator proteins present in the blood whose increase in the level indicates infections. A group of these proteins constitute the acute phase proteins. They are:-

  • C-reactive protein
  • Mannose binding factor
  • Serum P amyloid component
  • Alpha -1-acid antitrypsin

These proteins enhance the defence and host resistance, prevent tissue injury and aid in damage repairs.  

The next article deals in detail with another type of immunity, the acquired immunity.

HAPPY READING!!!

THE MULTIPURPOSE TREE- A GOD’S GIFT

Bananas, Banana Trees, Banana Plantation

All of us have some purpose in our lives. This can apply to all the living species in this universe. The bees are present to produce honey, the flowers are present to produce nectar and pollen, and the cows are present to produce milk and plants to produce food. It is generally seen in plants that more than one part of them has a purpose. But there is a specific tree in which all its parts are useful and none of them is wasted. This is a tree with several purposes and indeed it is a gift from god. Already some of you would have found it out! It is the banana tree.

Mostly the fruits, vegetables and flowers of a plant are useful. But all the parts in the banana tree have more than one specific purpose. Also, these do not serve a purpose for humankind, but also to a lot of animals. This article mainly highlights the medicinal benefits of each part of the banana tree.

Speciality of banana tree

As we know the portion which is above the ground and which houses the leaves, flowers, fruits etc. is known as the stem. However, in the case of the banana tree, the true stem is found underground and the green part which we see is a ‘pseudo stem’ meaning false stem; the true stem is a rhizome. Even this part is also consumable. If one has decided to cut a banana tree, he can cut it till the pseudostem and a new tree start to grow from the original stem. This depends upon the condition and strength of the root to regenerate one.

Banana fruit

The fruit is the tastiest and delicious part of the tree. An interesting fact which some might know is that the banana tree can produce fruit only once in its lifetime. They say that the banana tree is dead after fruiting because it starts to degrade after fruiting. So the tree is cut down up to the false stem after fruiting.

There are different sizes and colours of bananas which are based on the fruit obtained from the banana tree. Some of the banana varieties known are:-

  • Red banana
  • Nendran
  • Mountain
  • Rasthali
  • Robusta

There is a banana known as the blue java banana which looks blue in colour and tastes like ice cream!!

  • Bananas are a good source of potassium, an ion which takes part in most of the body’s metabolic processes
  • Bananas can aid in weight loss
  • Bananas can make us full (healthy food)
  • Bananas are rich in antioxidants
  • Bananas are rich in fibre essential for proper stool

And there are even more health benefits. It is recommended to eat at least one banana a day.

Banana vegetable

Shrub, Banana, Banana Plant, Fruit

The vegetable cannot be consumed raw as compared to its fruit. This is a bit hard in nature when compared to the fruit. This is mainly used in cooking to make curries, chips etc.

  • The raw bananas are rich in magnesium, a micronutrient essential for the body
  • They can help in regulation of blood sugar levels
  • They are a healthy source of starch
  • They aid in digestion due to high content of fibre
  • They can prevent constipation and other digestive problems

Banana flower

Banana, Banana Tree, Bunch Of Bananas

The flower is said to have an umami profile of taste. Hence this is least preferred by children. Also at the same, this part has the highest medicinal benefits.

  • They are immunity boosters; they prevent infections and add resistance to the body
  • Promote the kidney function in the filtration of the blood
  • They help in regulating diabetes
  • They can reduce anxiety and relax the mind
  • They help in reducing the blood cholesterol and blood pressure levels

Banana leaf

Banana, Leaf, Green, Tropical, Plant

This is the point that separates the banana tree from the rest. The leaves of these trees are also used, apart from the fact that animals eat them. This part of the tree is non-edible for humans. The leaves of the tree have been traditionally used as plates. the following are the reasons for this purpose:-

  • There is a thin coating of wax in the leaves which get melted when hot food is placed, this process results in a release of good aroma and also enhances the flavour
  • These waxes are totally consumable and they contain polyphenols which is required for the immunity to fight off diseases
  • The antimicrobial property of the leaf is exposed when hot food is served, so these properties infuse into the food
  • The leaves are easy to use and are cheap

There is one dish called ‘kizhi parotta’ where the parotta is wrapped in a banana leaf and is steamed. All the flavours of the leaf enter into the food, enhancing its taste.

Banana pseudostem

The false stem is also edible and has a lot of medicinal benefits. It can be cooked to make a lot of dishes or can be consumed raw as juice.

  • Rich in fibre and helps in digestion
  • ‘Kidney-friendly’, in fact it is recommended for kidney stone patients to drink the juice. It aids the kidney in the filtration process
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Rich in potassium and vitamin B, boosts the production of haemoglobin
  • Boosts the production of insulin hence helping in controlling diabetes

Banana root

Even the root of the tree is useful. It can be used to make ropes and sacks. The following are its medicinal purposes.

  • The root can cure tooth pain
  • They are rich in dopamine and can assist the mind in taking decisions
  • They can cure stomach problems

On the whole, the entire banana tree is useful and none of them gets wasted. from the medical point of view, this tree is equivalent to medicine. There is no doubt in calling this tree the ‘GIFT OF GOD’

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES-PART 2- CLASSIFICATION OF IMMUNITY & INNATE IMMUNITY

The previous article gave a brief introduction to immunity, the internal force protecting us from several hazards. This article will be on the classification of immunity.

This is the classification chart for immunity. Immunity can be briefly classified as two, innate immunity and the acquired immunity. Innate immunity also known as natural immunity and native immunity is the one that has been bestowed to us. This type of immunity is present from birth till death. The following are the other names of innate immunity:-

  • Natural immunity
  • Native immunity
  • Non-specific immunity

Innate immunity is the resistance to infections which an individual possesses due to their genetics. Also, there are other factors that can decide native immunity.

Species- the native immunity which is present within everyone is species-specific. The meaning is that humans have resistance to a specific set of infections and the plants have resistance to another specific set of infections. This is the reason for which humans do not get affected by plant diseases and vice versa.

Race- race refers to the group of people from several parts of the world. People in one part of the world may be resistant to a particular disease when compared to others. This can also depend on the environmental conditions and other factors in which people reside. A suitable example for this is a study that shows that the Negroid species (of African origin) in the US are more resistant to tuberculosis when compared to the Caucasian species (European origin).

Individual- people having a similar genetic constitution may have the same resistance/non-resistance to infections. A study shows that twins have the same level of resistance and non-resistance to several diseases.

The innate immunity is long-lasting, non-specific, and has a good memory. The term memory will be explained while introducing the immune cells. Innate immunity forms the first line of defence in our body. This immunity primarily focuses on providing a barrier to the body and destroying the microbes and pathogens, irrespective of their type. Hence the innate immunity is known as non-specific immunity. There are specified cells that perform this activity and the process is known as phagocytosis. More details will be provided in the next article.

The innate immunity can be comprised of four namely. These can be known as the barriers of innate immunity:-

  • Physical
  • Physiological
  • Cellular
  • Cytokine

The physical type includes the mechanical barriers mostly present in the openings of the body (eye, nose, mouth, ears, genitals, and skin) which prevent the entry of microbes through several mechanisms.

The physiologic type includes the secretions of which help in kicking out the pathogens. These include sweat, highly acidic stomach acid, saliva, sebaceous glands, earwax, and mucus, and so on. These secretions mostly trap the pathogens and prevent them from reaching inside.

The cellular type includes some arrangements made to prevent microbe entry. For example, the wall of the blood vessels is tightly attached with each other ensuring that there is no gap hence preventing the entry of microbes.

The last type includes cytokines. The cytokines are a broad group of signaling proteins that take an important part in immunity. These molecules help in regulating the immune response.

The next article deals with the 6 mechanisms of innate immunity. Till that

HAPPY READING!!

IMMUNOLOGY SERIES- PART 1- INTRODUCTION TO IMMUNITY

There are about 1 trillion microbial species which constitutes about only 0.0001% of the entire species. One trillion itself is a huge number and they constitute the number of identified species only. Most of the microbes are packed inside the glaciers and is said that global warming which melts the glaciers can release them! The microbes can be broadly classified into 6:-

  • Bacteria
  • Archaea
  • Fungi
  • Protozoa
  • Virus
  • Algae
some shapes and forms of the microbes

An important thing is that even though there are these many species of microbes, we do not get infected by them so often. To understand this it is trivial to know about the infection. Infection is defined as the invasion of the host’s body tissues by disease-causing microorganisms followed by their multiplication, colonization, reaction with the host, and release of toxic product metabolites. Infection is a complex process in which the harmful organisms enter into the host, finds a suitable and weak target place, establishes themselves well, multiples themselves, react with body cells, and release bad substances. The series of these events constitutes the prevalence of several diseases. The word ‘target site’ is very important since the microbe cannot establish themselves in any place in the human body. A clear-cut idea of this concept will be given in the next article.

Infection by a microbe can be best understood through relationships. A relationship is always exhibited between two organisms. There are three different kinds of relationships namely parasitism, commensalism, and symbiosis.

Commensalism– the relationship in which one of the organisms is benefitted and the other is neutral (neither harmed nor benefitted)

Symbiosis/mutualism– the relationship in which both the organisms help out with each other so that both are benefited

Parasitism– the relationship in which one organism is benefitted and the other is harmed. In this scenario, the harmed one is known as the host and the one causing the harm is the parasite.


Credit- differencebetween.net

The reason for which that all microbes don’t cause disease might be that some of them are cannot cause infection meaning that they are not parasitic. Under those circumstances, there are about 1500+ kinds of microorganisms that particularly target and infect human beings. If so, then we would have got around 1500+ diseases and that is not the case. So there is some inner force that protects/guards us against these microbes. This protective force present in our body is known as immunity.

Immunity is defined as the response generated by the local mammalian in response to the infection caused by the pathogenic microbes and their products (toxins).

As mentioned earlier, the microbe has to enter into the body in order to establish itself. In fact, this is the hardest part for the microorganisms and most of them fail to cross this stage. It is this immunity that prevents most of the microbes to enter the body and cause infections. The immunity identifies and destroys these microbes and prevents their infections.

The first step is known as recognition which is an important characteristic of the immune system. It is the ability that the immune system destroys the objects which are foreign or not present in the body (non-self) and do not affect the body cells (self). An error occurs in this and as a result, the immune system is unable to differentiate both and starts to destroy their own body cells. This condition is known as autoimmunity.

A brief introduction to immunity has been provided, the next article discusses the classification of immunity.

HAPPY LEARNING!!

CAUTION TO THE DEEP SEA DIVERS- DECOMPRESSION SICKNESS

Have you experienced pain in you legs and hands after a good session of deep sea diving? This blog explains about this particular problem which is experienced by most of the deep sea divers. A particular aspect of this problem is based on the affinity for the nitrogen by the fatty tissues. It is recommended to read the previous blog (CRACKING OF FINGERS-GOOD OR NOT) to get a clear idea on the affinity of nitrogen by the fatty tissues.

The particular problem which can affect the deep sea divers is known as decompression sickness. It can be classified as one of the forms of embolism. Embolism refers to the obstruction caused by any mass carried in the circulation. The human body is known to have a closed system of vascular system unlike cockroaches which have open type where the fluids freely flow throughout the body.

Human Body, Circulatory System, Circulation, Blood
the representation of closed system of vasculation in the human body

In the case of human beings, there are vessels which carry the blood throughout the body. They can be broadly classified as three namely the arteries (carry oxygenated blood), the veins (carry deoxygenated blood) and capillaries (the mix of two). A vessel is like a cylindrical tube and there are high chances for it to be obstructed. This is known as embolism and the substance causing it is known as emboli. The following list shows the various possible emboli:-

  • Thromboemboli
  • Tumour cell
  • Athermatous plaque (fat)
  • Tissue fragments
  • Parasites
  • Foreign bodies
  • Amniotic fluid
  • Bone marrow
  • Air/gases
an example of fat emboli which obstructs the artery

As a result, these substances which initially obstruct the blood vessel; slowing cover the blood vessel and finally block them. So the oxygen and nutrient rich blood cannot be delivered to the target which leads to the death of cells from lack of oxygen and nutrients (infarction in medical terminologies)

The primary concern for us is the gas/air. Air or gas embolism can occur when the air or gas is introduced into the vasculature. Air emboli is seen in common while using invasive biomedical equipment (invasive refers to penetration into the body). This can be seen while using injections, IV supplementation, catheter usage etc.

If gases enter into the body and cause embolism then it is known as gas embolism. The particular concern for the divers is decompression sickness. The decompression sickness or generalised barotrauma (baro- pressure trauma-sickness) is a medical condition which results in injuries due to release of several gas bubbles as a result of rapid decrease in the pressure in the surroundings.

The rapid decrease can occur in two cases. The first case is descending from higher altitude to normal altitude and the second case is descending from normal altitude to lower altitude. In both these cases, there is a rapid decline in the atmospheric pressure. There are two situations to analyse right here.

credit-facebook

Situation-1

This occurs during the descent. As we go deep into the ocean, the pressure increases. So the gases that are present in the ocean diffuses into the blood and tissues. The primary gases which diffuse are nitrogen, oxygen and carbon-di-oxide.

Situation-2

This occurs when returning to original (ascent) quickly. As we go towards the surface of the ocean, the pressure decreases. So the gases which got diffused into blood, form bubbles and they are released from the blood. We already know that the fatty tissues have great affinity for nitrogen and hence they accept them. If the level of absorbed nitrogen is too much, then it can cause severe pain in the muscles and joints. Also these bubbles can block the blood vessels in any part of the body and can be fatal in areas like lung, brain etc.

The following are the consequences of the decompression sickness:-

Bends– acute pain in the skeletal muscles, joints and ligaments due to the accumulation of nitrogen bubbles

Chokes– accumulation of nitrogen bubbles in the lungs causing shortness of breath

Cerebral effects– stroke, vertigo, coma and even death

The severity of the consequences of decompression sickness depends on the following factors:-

  • Depth reached
  • Duration under the deep sea
  • Rate of ascent/descent (quick ascent after long descent can lead to this problem)
  • Condition of the individual

The chronic condition is known to as Caisson’s disease which can lead to the formation of gas emboli in the head of several bones like the tibia, femur and humerus and so on. The disease is named because it was seen primarily in deep sea divers who drill underwater tunnels. They are referred to as caissons (diving bell).

Man Left Looking Like Popeye After Diving Accident
the condition of bends seen in a peruvian diver suffering with decompression sickness

Hence it is important to understand that the decompression sickness is mostly rare but dangerous. It can become fatal if not treated soon. It is trivial that the condition arises with a quick ascent after a deep descent. The following are some of the steps that can be followed to prevent decompression sickness:-

  1. Take a safety stop or pauses in the ascent; this is done to make sure that there are gradual changes in the pressure
  2. Drinking lots of water
  3. Spending less time under the sea, this can reduce the concentration of nitrogen
  4. Avoiding air travel after diving
  5. keep nitroglycerin sublingual doses it can immediately cure the bends

Scuba and deep sea diving are indeed fun and interesting activities. It is recommended to enjoy and experience them at least once in a lifetime. But be aware of this problem that can occur while diving and take the precautionary measures responsively!!

HAPPY READING!!!

COOL AND HEALTHY

It is around summer, and you have come home from an intense gym session/casual cricket match with your friends. You take a bottle of ice-cold water or any chilled beverage from the refrigerator and chug it at once. You can feel the immense amount of pleasure you get from this just by reading this. But what if I say that your body hates this even though you like it? This article brings upon the ill-effects of drinking ice water and a sustainable solution/alternative to that.  

Ice water has some of its own benefits like ice water stimulates thirst enabling further consumption of water. Hence ice water can keep you hydrated. Also, ice water can keep one mentally active and awake. Research says that athletes who consume cold water are able to exercise or perform longer.

However, the benefits of ice water are countable and limited. On the other hand, there are many ill-effects of consuming ice water. Consumption of ice water and any chilled products can lead to “brain freeze”- an intense headache that is seen within few seconds of consumption of a chilled product. It is a principle that cold produces vasoconstriction (contraction of blood vessels) and this sudden experience of cold can make the blood vessels in the brain contract.

cartoonic representation of brain freeze

Hence there is limited blood and oxygen supply to the brain. This in medical conditions is known as shock. So in order to balance this more blood is supplied to the brain and hence the vessels swell. This can be considered as a mechanism of the brain in order to avoid consuming the cold substance. Hence this can be the reason for children not eating the ice cream after getting brain freeze. It is a natural defensive process and is not dangerous when it goes away within seconds but can be detrimental if prolonged. Repeated consumption can lead to migraines (heavy headache accompanied by nausea).

Also, ice water can disrupt the process of digestion. According to Ayurveda, there is a fire (jatharagni) inside us that helps in the process of digestion. This can be compared to the digestive enzymes and juices which aid in digestion. There must be an appropriate temperature for the digestive organs to work. This has also been proven scientifically which says that a minimum of 38’C of core body temperature is required. The ice water can disrupt the internal heat environment and can prolong digestion. This is not advisable in the long run.

a pictorial representation of inner fire- jatharagni

The entire process of digestion is prolonged especially in the regions of the stomach and intestine. Ice water can affect the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. The intestine contract as a result and there can be chances that the stool becomes too hard. So it can lead to constipation. The worst time to drink ice water is after a meal. The reason is that the body raises the core temperature so as to start the process of digestion and ice can disrupt it. There are even more ill effects like a decrease in heart rate, improper fat metabolism, and throat irritation, and so on.

So a solution to all these problems is to avoid drinking ice cold water. But if we do so, we cannot rejoice in the pleasure we get from it. So we have to find an alternative method/source of ice water which is healthy for us. The answer lies with our ancestors. Years ago, there were no refrigerators then how was it possible for them to have cold water? They used earthen pots to get chilled water.

Earthen pots or Matka have been used for many years. They produce chilled water by the process of evaporative cooling. The pores present in the pot release the heat out by capillary action hence making the water ‘cool’. It is important to understand that the water is cool and is not cold.

This water provides the benefits of refrigerated ice water and rules out all its ill effects. The pot water does not only affects digestion problems but also enhances digestion. The minerals that are present in the water help in digestion and create a balance in the Ph. The minerals in pot water make it alkaline which balances the acidic Ph of the stomach. This can prevent a lot of digestive problems which can be caused due to excess acidic Ph.

Pot water does not irritate the throat and does not cause sore throat. Also, it refreshes the body with mineral-rich water and prevents dehydration and sunstroke in summer. The pot water also boosts metabolism. The earthen pots act as natural filters and remove the toxins. Apart from that, earthen pots are sustainable, eco-friendly, and also cheap to use. The fridges release chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) which is an important cause of ozone depletion. No such problems are seen in earthen pots.

earthen pots with water kept during summer to quench the thirst of several passerby’s
source- twitter

On the whole, the earthen pots have produced the benefits of refrigerated water and on the contrary, they have no ill effects as compared to refrigerated water. And the important point is that we can get these benefits at minimal cost and do not harm Mother Nature. So from here afterward, chug upon a pot full of Matka water after an intense gym session or long and tiring sports match. This time, your body also enjoys the water along with you.

HAPPY READING !!!