Category Archives: Science articles

Slavoljub Eduard Penkala – a great Croatian innovator and inventor

Slavoljub Eduard PenkalaWho was Slavoljub Eduard Penkala?

Croatia is proud to have had the famous innovator and inventor by the name of Slavoljub Eduard Penkala amongst its ranks. He was well-known for his enthusiasm and great energy for making practical devices with higher quality, more useful and much simpler. Penkala was born in the Slovak Republic formerly known as Liptovsky St Mikulas, on April 20, 1871. His father was Polish and his mother was Dutch.

When he was young, his family had noticed his keen interest in finding solutions to technical problems. He had already been doing some repair jobs at home where he had a small workshop. He studied medicine in Vienna, but later changed his course to chemistry in Dresden where he met a music student named Emilija who became his wife. Continue reading Slavoljub Eduard Penkala – a great Croatian innovator and inventor

Croatia’s contribution to science from the 20th to 21st century

Ivan 'Juan' VuceticCroatia stands at the crossroads of the Balkans, the Mediterranean and Central Europe. Its first inhabitants were Neanderthals in the prehistoric age as evidenced by fossil discoveries in the country’s north. Although relatively small in geographical size, it’s history reveals a country that has produced some of the most prominent people in various fields of study.

When the importance of oil in driving the world’s economy is discussed, the name, Antun Lucic gets little or no mention. Born in Split, Croatia in 1855, Antun moved to America where his name was conveniently changed to Antony Lucas. He took his studies at the polytechnic of Graz where he studied mining engineering and was later to be known as the father of the petroleum industry after his discovery of the first Texas gusher. This discovery was responsible for the population build up in a town called Spindletop from 8,000 in 1901 to over 60,000 people in 1902. Again, it was because of this discovery, that America overtook Russia as the leading producer of oil. Continue reading Croatia’s contribution to science from the 20th to 21st century

Croatia’s contribution to science from the 15th to 19th centuries

Ivan Lupis VukicCroatian science made leaps between the 15th and 19th centuries. It was the period of awakening when it came to new discoveries that later made a lot of changes with the way things were seen at that time. Particularly, this era proved to be one of the golden times in Croatian history because of the influence of some prominent personalities during that period.

Some of the noted Croatian Personalities that became famous during that era were listed below:

Mark Antun de Dominis (1560-1624) – is considered as one of the greatest philosophers and scientist during his time. He especially earned the good graces of King James I and was given the nobility Continue reading Croatia’s contribution to science from the 15th to 19th centuries

Finding the Higgs boson

Higgs bosonA few months ago, scientists from the Large Hadron Collider announced they had found a new particle, one that could be the Higgs boson. The Higgs particle is thought to have properties explaining how other particles have mass. But the first signs of this new particle were detected over a year ago. So why did physicists wait this long to announce the discovery of the Higgs?

The Higgs boson is a very difficult particle to find. The Large Hadron Collider creates Higgs bosons by smashing other particles together at high speeds. Sometimes one of these collisions creates a Higgs particle. However, the Higgs is not stable; it lasts just millionths of a second before breaking down into other particles. It is these other particles that are detected. Continue reading Finding the Higgs boson

The Contributions of Milislav Demerec to Modern Genetics

Milislav DemerecMilislav Demerec is a renowned scientist in the field of genetics. He was of Croatian-American descent, born on 11th January 1895 and died on 12th April 1966. From 1940 to 1960 he was the director in the department of genetics in Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory.

Demerec spent the better part of his childhood in Croatia, then Austia-Hungary. He earned his higher education in a College based in Krizevci from where he graduated in 1916. After working in the Krizevci experiment station for some time he furthered his education by attending the School of Agriculture in Grinon, France immediately after World War I. He moved to U.S.A in 1919 to complete his PhD at the Cornell University. His thesis was on maize genetics. He finalized his PhD in 1923. Continue reading The Contributions of Milislav Demerec to Modern Genetics

The life and times of Ruđer Josip Bošković

Ruđer Josip BoškovićBorn on 18th May 1711, Ruđer Josip Bošković was a legendary theorist. Not only a theorist but he was also an astronomer, philosopher, physicist, poet, Jesuit priest, diplomat, a polymath and what not. He was a native of Dubrovnik which is now known as Croatia. He used to live in Italy & France and many of his works were also published there. His most famous work was his work on atomic theory. He has also made major contributions towards the world of astronomy. He was the first theorist ever to discover the geometric process for the determination of the equator of a planet that is rotating.

Major works by Ruđer Josip Bošković

Ruđer Josip Bošković also used to work as a consultant for civil works departments regarding the development of ports, rivers, etc. Few of his major works j=have been summarized below, Continue reading The life and times of Ruđer Josip Bošković

Gene mutation can be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's Alzheimer’s disease is a memory loss disease that occurs to the people in the age of around 70 to 80 years. Scientists say that a rare mutation in the DNA that changes a single letter in the genetic code can be a cure for this disease. As a result of this mutation, there is an increase in the amount of beta amyloid. It is a protein fragment that usually gets accumulated in the hallmark plaques, which forms in the patient’s brain. The researchers say that these findings are not only interesting and challenging rather than surprising.

There is a gene called as the APP gene which gets affected and breaks down into smaller pieces, along with the beta amyloid after this gene mutation. Scientists have studied previously about more than 30 changes or mutations that affected this gene but none of them were found to be useful. Many of these mutations , increased the amount of beta amyloid and formed a devastating form of Alzheimer’s that afflicted the people in their early age of 30’s and 40’s which is much in advance to the normal Alzheimer’s that comes to the people in the age of 70’s and 80’s. Continue reading Gene mutation can be a cure for Alzheimer’s disease

Everlasting intimacy

turtlesBeing intimate is one of the most exciting things that one can wish to happen in their life or experience it. However, it becomes awkward when one dies in the process and the pair gets to be preserved in that state for years until one day they are uncovered then they become a subject of discussion. Where people will struggle to justify and compete for the spot for who will be the one to deliver the best solution to it. Some decades ago a group turtles were unfortunate as they met this fate.

Palaeontologists have discovered a group of couples of the species who died and were preserved by nature in that state and it is the only of its kind among vertebrates. Looking beyond the unfortunate event that accosted the couples, this provides an insight into the condition of the environment at that time. For a long time now the Messel pit in west central Germany has provide fossils that have been well preserved over the years under the layers. These consists of full skeletons of varied sizes of different ancient creatures such as pygmy horses, rodents, insects and even feathers that still exhibit features of their original colours. An experienced palaeontologist from the University of Tubingen Germany specializing in vertebrates known as Joyce Walters says that the oily layer that engulfs the fossils comes from the lake sediments that lay on the bed of the lake. Even though many fossils have been excavated from there, site only the nine couples that occur in pairs. Continue reading Everlasting intimacy

The lifesaving experiment seen as a human pandemic threat.

researchFrom the time when the noxious H5N1 avian flu killed a boy in Hong Kong in 1997, it has scared the world and also health experts who are working day and night to look for a cure of this perilous flu. Up to now it has killed a total of 340 people and it is feared that in the future it might be a pandemic. This virus can blight mammals and is also said to be proficient at killing chickens but presently none of these animals have got the disease and not even the bets doctors know the real reason to this.

To study what makes H5N1 communicable and also precarious amid mammals, two scientists got engaged in the study. Yoshihiro Kawaoka from the University of Wisconsin concentrated his study on an amalgam flu virus that is from avian H5 and human H1N1 plague flu that was serious in 2009. Ron Foucheier from a medical center known as Erasmus in Rotterdam, Netherlands tried to make the virus poison cells upper in the respiratory tract by naturally improving his H5 pressure. They then wedged the strains in the noses of furrows. Continue reading The lifesaving experiment seen as a human pandemic threat.

Similarity in the family definitions in different cultures

happy familyThere are diverse cultures in the world all with different perceptions of life. However, scientists are optimistic that they may have discovered a variety of similar ideologies of family relationships across diverse cultures. There are countless ways that relations are labeled in different languages. Nevertheless there is a recent research geared by Charles Kemp who hails from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh and Terry Regier from the University of California in Berkeley that reveals that perhaps there is a common global perspective about family connection as well as other issues.

The expressions that are used in different languages to identify relatives across the board precisely reflect the varied contrasting values that each culture holds. In May 25 Science Kemp and Regier stated that the systems instilled to identify family relationships thrive to achieve a perfect balance between practicality and straightforwardness. Continue reading Similarity in the family definitions in different cultures

Mathematicians decipher ancient astrology

ancient astrologyMore than three thousand years ago, Ancient Egyptians wrote a calendar predicting good or bad luck for the days and weeks of a year. Archaeologists in the 20th century noticed several patterns when deciphering the document, known as the Cairo Calendar. Unfortunately they couldn’t work out whether the patterns meant anything. Recently, a team of scientists from Helsinki decided to revisit this ancient document to see what they could find.

The calendar was divided into 12 months, each with 30 days. Each day had three parts that were described as lucky or unlucky. The researchers were interested in these patterns of good and bad luck. After they had identified one pattern that lined up perfectly with each month, they noticed another one that took 29.5 days to repeat. This matched up with the orbit of the Moon – it’s about 29.5 days between full moons. Continue reading Mathematicians decipher ancient astrology

Anticipating Crime

crime and punishmentDuring the past summer, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security(DHS) tried to anticipate the future at a classified location in a northeastern metropolis. Unlike other times, they did not seek the psychic powers. Instead, they used a battery of sensors that aims at impelling human intentions through analyzing the changes in heart rate, gaze and other relevant physiological attributes.

The sensors are known as Future Attribute Screening Technology(FAST). This is a federal project worth twenty million dollars, that was designed to bring to light suspicious looking airport passengers. It is believed that FAST has the capacity to expose terrorist just before they perform terrorism. However, critics say that the technology may have negative repercussions like, giving false positives for innocent passengers and false negatives for terrorists. The DHS, on the other hand, affirms that FAST is an improvement of an older unstable crime detector.

About 3,000 DHS officers are already using FAST in national airports to scan for apprehensive behavior and gaze through a program known as Screening of Passengers by Observational Techniques(SPOT). Continue reading Anticipating Crime

Ever Wondered What Is Dark Matter

dark matterDark matter is something that has been on the minds of many scientists inclusive of astronomers ever since the theory of the evolution theory. It has sparkled the curiosity and imagination of many. There have been many suggestions about what dark matter is and this has brought about misunderstandings about how to define it. Some have termed dark matter to be a normal matter in the atmosphere and day to day life that cannot be seen while others have gone ahead and modified this and said it is something the naked eye and other apparatus such as the telescope cannot see. But we can today look at dark matter as an expansion of the universe. This dark matter is about 84% of the universe. Dark matter cannot be seen by the naked eye or scientific inventions. It doesn’t absorb light or energy in electromagnetic state. We can describe dark matter as a universe material that is there but is not seen to be there and the fact that we cannot see it does not mean we deny its existence.

The fact that dark matter is plentiful in the universe means that it interacts with human beings everyday. It is said that it interacts with an average person’s body approximately once every 60 seconds. Even now as people read this article, dark matter is busy bombarding with their body’s and they don’t it. Continue reading Ever Wondered What Is Dark Matter

Are our brains responsible for the obesity epidemic?

brain studySitting in a booth at Chevys Fresh Mex, one October evening, I began reviewing the science of hunger and obesity. I devoured a sumptuous shrimp and a mouth-licking crab enchilada, I guess I consumed about two thirds of it. With the shocking revelations that I discovered out of my study, I was wondering whether I would attain my ambition of getting under 190 pounds.

As I delved into the study of the appetite for fatty and salty foods, such as guacamole, some temptations that were out of the ordinary crept into my head. The bowlful of chips at the edge of the table, as well as that of deliciously luring salsa was urging me to consume more and more of them. The bowl seemed to say to me, “We are sure you want us and you can’t deny it. After all, are we not mouth-watering?” In a matter of some few minutes the bowl was empty, and my willpower gone with the contents.

I just couldn’t muster enough willpower to say no to the bowl of chips although I had made the decision to reduce my weight. I’m sure I’m not the only person going through this kind of dilemma. Continue reading Are our brains responsible for the obesity epidemic?

Crayfish strange characteristics of deception

crayfishThese fresh water astacoidea also known as crawfish live in water that does not freeze to the base, they breathe through the gills and their bodies are divided into twenty segments. They average to the length of seven inches and contain several species. One fact is that they cannot live dirty water but amazingly feed on dead animals.

Crayfish is a creature that has unique characteristics unmatched to any marine animals, when you keenely look at the male species the claws differ in size and strength. Moreover, the size of the animal does not matter when it comes to territorial domination, research has shown that dominance can be attained by those that are of comparatively smaller size.

Territorial dominance is successful when there are fights amongst the male genus of crayfish, this dominion can only be achieved when one challenges the opponent in broils. During this stage, the act of deception to win the clash is overshadowed by deception, which is a natural instinct amongst animals. Continue reading Crayfish strange characteristics of deception