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Monday, June 27, 2011

Have you asked how fishes breathe underwater?

Sometime ago we looked at the question What happens to marine life when a lake or pond is frozen?. But have you ever wondered how fishes breathe in water much less to survive in a frozen pond or lake? Well, if this makes you ponder then read on. Water is the most abundant substance on earth that covers about 70 percent of the earth's surface. Thus, it is the home of various living organisms of which one such is fish. Water provides many functions that are essential to all known forms of life one of which is to provide a medium for aquatic animals to live and call their home. Such a home can be a; lake, pond, sea, river and stream just to name a few.

What is a fish
Fish is any cold-blooded (poikilothermic) vertebrate animal that lives in water. It typically has jaws, fins, scales, a slender body, a two-chambered heart, and gills for providing oxygen to the blood. Thus, in simple terms, fish is a cold-blooded strictly aquatic vertebrate (animal with backbones) with gills. Fishes live in nearly every water habitat such as in fresh water like springs, swamps, lagoons, reservoirs, lakes and ponds and in salty water such as the ocean. They can be found in many climatic conditions from near-freezing Arctic waters to the hot desert springs.

Click image to enlarge
Fish being an aquatic animal, has a respiratory system that is different from that of animals that live on land. It is capable of breathing under water without making frequent trips to the surface to breathe air like marine mammals such as the Whale (see discussion below for more details). This is due to the fact that fishes have a breathing organ known as gills. This is made up of thin feathery sheets of tissue membrane containing many blood vessels through which oxygen passes allowing fishes to breathe.

How fish breathe
The process begins by water in the fish’s surrounding entering its mouth‘s. Water enters the mouth by a very effective pumping system that involves the mouth and the outer flexible bony flap that cover the gills called the operculum. This is achieved by the opening and closing of the fish's mouth as it pumps water through the gills. When the fish’s mouth is open, the operculum closes and water is drawn into the fish’s mouth. Conversely, when the fish closes its mouth, the operculum opens and fresh water is then allowed to flow across the gills.

Click to enlarge image
After water enters the fish's mouth it passes through a structure called the gill rakers. The function of the gill rakers is to act as a filter system by sieving out particles such as food or any other foreign particles that may have entered the mouth from the inflow of water. The filtered water then travel through the gill arches thus passing over the gills (see above diagram). Here each gill consists of two rows of extremely thin membranes called gill filaments. The structure of the gill filaments consist of sequence rows of a thin, disc-like membrane loaded with a capillary network called lamellae. Gill filaments which are projected out into the water flow allows water to flow across the lamellae. This will result in gas exchange where, oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged directly across the capillary membrane.

As water flows through the gills, the oxygen it contains (dissolved oxygen) passes into blood circulating through the gill structures (filaments and lamellae) while simultaneously, carbon dioxide ( the waste product) in the fish’s bloodstream passes into the water. This deoxygenated water is then carried away and out of the body through the operculum. This process repeats itself continually and this is the process by which fish breathe. This is process is also known as respiration.

Whales and dolphins are they fish?
Whales and dolphins are not fish. The definition of a fish is explained and defined in the above article. They are mammals just like humans and breath air using lungs, give birth to live young (rather than laying eggs), and feed their young with their mother's milk. Fish use their gills to extract oxygen from the surrounding water in which they live but mammals on the other hand ( such as humans , whales and dolphin) get the oxygen they need by breathing air, using their lungs. This explains why they come to the surface of the ocean. They have a hole (their nose) in the flat part of the middle of their heads called blow holes which closes when the whale or dolphin is under water and it opens when they are at the surface and need to breathe. The reason why warm-blooded animals like whales breath air like humans is due to the fact that it would be hard to extract enough oxygen from their water surrounding using gills. furthermore, air has approximately 20 times more oxygen in it when compared to the same volume of water. While on the other hand, fish being a cold-blooded animal take on the temperature of their surroundings and uses less energy than that of warm blooded animals which convert the food that they eat into energy to adjust their body temperature. This reduces oxygen demands for fishes thus, gills work best with fishes.

What’s the purpose of fish nostrils?
It is important to note that although fish have nostrils they play no role in respiration but are rather used only for a sense of smell.

Why humans (mammals) don’t breath under water?
Most animals including humans had gills in their early fetal stage of development in the womb. However, they lost this organ further into their development since it has no essential function toward sustaining and maintaining live. Therefore animals, as well as, humans cannot breathe underwater because our lungs do not have enough surface area, that is necessary to absorb enough oxygen from water. Furthermore, the lining in our lungs is adapted to handle air rather than water. Fish on the other hand, retained these gills, which are necessary for their survival in their environment ( water medium ). Gills are very efficient at removing oxygen from water due to their feathery structure that greatly increases the surface area for gas exchange. Hence, gills play an important role in the anatomy of fish.

Where does the oxygen come from that the fish breathes?
Water is formed from the combination reaction of hydrogen gas (H2) and oxygen gas (O2) to produce liquid water (H2O). In other words, each molecule of water is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. However the oxygen that fish breath is not the oxygen found in H2O - the molecular formula of water. The oxygen in liquid water is bound to two hydrogen atoms forming water molecules, thus oxygen from is not free to take part in respiration. Therefore the fish cannot breathe the resulting liquid water, and the oxygen gas (O2) that the fish breaths comes from that which is dissolved in the water. Hence, fish "breathe" the dissolved oxygen out of the water using their gills. This also means that if there is not enough dissolved oxygen in the water, then the fish can suffocate, just as humans and other animals will if there is not enough oxygen in the air that we breathe.

Why some fish thrive in specific habitats?
This is due to the fact that some fish require more oxygen than others. This means that different aquatic environments, have different levels of dissolved oxygen content that suits some fish over others, due to the effective pumping system that extracts oxygen from its surrounding. Some fish have an effective pumping system that involves the mouth and the operculum however, their are some such as the tuna that have a much less effective pumping system and requires constant movement to keep oxygenated water flowing over their gills.
Other fishes deal with this by finding an ideal habitat. In northern streams the water is very cool thus resulting in the water retaining high levels of dissolved oxygen. An example of a fish that needs this high oxygen content is the trout. It is a very active fish and its demand for oxygen is high so the extra oxygen is a necessity. Conversely, warm water and stagnant water has much less dissolved oxygen content and fish with are not that active and have a slower metabolic rate strive well in these habitat. Carp is one such fish, their demand for oxygen is relatively low.

Did you know? - some interesting facts about fish.

  • a scientist who studies fish is called an ichthyologist
  • Fish are divided into three main groups: jawless fish, cartilaginous fish, and bony fish.
  • A seahorse is actually a fish.
  • The largest fish is the great whale shark which can reach fifty feet in length and weigh up to 15 tons.
  • The smallest fish is the Philippine goby that is less than 1/3 of an inch when fully grown.
  • The fastest fish is the sailfish. It can swims at more than 60 miles an hour.
  • A walking catfish can live out of water for days at a time. They have a special chamber in their lungs to help them breathe.
  • There are over 25,000 identified species of fish on the earth.
  • There are more species of fish than all the species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals combined.
  • Some deep-sea fishes attract prey with specialized light organs.( e.g. Anglerfish)
  • Most fishes sleep with their eyes open. Those that don't, rest by staying in one spot while not swimming around.
  • Some fish like sharks don't posses an air bladder to help keep them afloat and must either swim continually or rest on the bottom.
  • Some species of fish can fly (glide) others can skip along the surface and others can even climb rock.
  • Fish have a specialized sense organ called the lateral line which works much like radar and helps them navigate in dark or murky water. It also detect changes in water temperature, pressure, current, etc. courtesy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Your swirls: tips of how your hair can say a lot about you

Did you know about hair whorl?

Counterclockwise scalp hair-whorls appear more frequently in gay men than in the general population, apparently

Amidst the swirls of controversy that buffet other sexuality researchers, one man focuses, quietly, on swirls. In a monograph called Excess of Counterclockwise Scalp Hair-Whorl Rotation in Homosexual Men, Dr Amar J S Klar announces a subtle discovery. "This is the first study," he writes, "that shows a highly significant association of biologically specified counterclockwise hair-whorl rotation and homosexuality in a considerable proportion of men in samples enriched in gays."

Klar heads the developmental genetics section of the gene regulation and chromosome biology laboratory at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland. His hair-swirl study appears in a 2004 issue of the Journal of Genetics.

The phenomenon is easy to overlook. Klar explains:
"Since the hair whorl is found at the top ('crown') of the head and thereby it is difficult to observe one's own whorl and the direction of orientation is seemingly an unimportant feature, most people are oblivious to the direction of their hair-whorl rotation. It takes two mirrors to observe one's own hair-whorl." His monograph includes a photograph showing the "scalp hair whorl of an anonymous man selected from the general public", and directs the reader to hold that picture in front of a mirror in order to "appreciate the counterclockwise orientation".

How difficult is it to collect hair-whorl-direction data? Klar explains that he, for one, got lucky:
"By chance I happened to be vacationing at a beach where a preponderance of gay men was fortuitously noticed. The subjects were considered to be homosexuals because of their public display of stereotypical interpersonal relationship deemed typical of homosexual men. This assessment was reinforced by the dearth of females and children on the beach ... Conveniently, the gay men were highly concentrated in one area of the beach. Such considerations made it relatively easy to collect the data on groups of predominantly gay men with great confidence even though the subjects were not asked for their sexual preference."

A year later, Klar returned to the same beach and collected another load of data.
He reports that "altogether in a combined sample of 272 mostly gay men observed, 29.8% exhibited counterclockwise hair-whorl orientation". This, he says, is "vastly different from the value of 8.4% counterclockwise rotation found in the public at large, which included both males and females".

The study does not take account of the erstwhile hair-whorl directionality of persons who are now bald. Klar explicitly excluded them from consideration, along with anyone who was wearing a sun hat.

Klar suggests a direction for further exploration: "It should be equally interesting to compare the proportions of clockwise and counterclockwise hair-whorl orientations in lesbian women with those in females at large."

The report ends with a simple notice that deftly fends off the research-is-a-waste-of-government-money crowd: "Author's personal funds were used for the study".

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Shocking Banned Advertising Campaign

Diesel ‘Be Stupid’ Ads Banned for Being Indecent and Antisocial

For those who are adventurous and have the guts to do something offbeat would love these creative ads. These images are sure to zap you in case you haven’t seen these earlier. These portray sheer courage and are pretty blunt too. It is rightly said that when the message is depicted in the raw form it meets the targeted audience in a far better manner.
However, on the lighter side you’d probably not preach the same concept when out on roads or amongst the friends. Although it might help you in drawing their attention but a permanent concentration can ruin your image. So better not stick to the idea and understand the hidden message behind the Diesel ‘Be Stupid”.
Its being banned for portrayed a strong unexpected image of femininity.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hair Rebonding Technique & Tips

If you were to ask any woman on the streets, chances are that you will learn that most women desire for beautiful hair and this is where hair rebonding can help turn that desire into a reality! Rebonding of hair is a type of hair treatment which can help change the way you feel and look. Now, before you fix an appointment for hair rebonding with your hair stylist, you will first need to find out as much information about it as possible. By being knowledgeable and prepared for this hair treatment process, you can ensure that you receive the best service and care for your hair rebond.

What is Hair Rebonding?

This is a hair treatment process in which the chemical bonds in your hair are broken, rearrange and then permanently bonded backwards using some really powerful chemicals. Prices for this hair bonding treatment can vary across different hair salons due to the type of products used, your hair type, service provided as well as post treatment care. Once your hair has been straightened out, you will have to touch up on the new growth every 6 months to a year, depending on your hair growth.

Hair Rebonding Procedure & Tips

The time taken to complete a hair rebonding treatment will ultimately depend on the type, length and thickness of your hair. In general, hair till mid back can take roughly 8 hours or more to be rebounded. A man's hair may require only 3 hours. Here's the step by step approach to rebonding your hair.

Hair must first be washed using a mild shampoo with no conditioner being applied. Next, you can have to use a blow dryer to dry your wet hair completely.
Hair is then separated into parts, with the cream softener applied to every hair shaft thus keeping it straight.
Depending on the person's hair type, cream softener or relaxant will be kept on the hair for at least half an hour or more. Do note that keeping it for too long can possibly harm the hair. After this is done, the individual's hair is then steamed for roughly 30-40 minutes, depending upon hair type and condition, and then rinsed.
Hair is blow dried and following this, keratin lotion is applied.
A flat iron will be used to straighten hair further and break any remaining curls. The iron should not exceed 180 degrees. A ceramic iron is better than other metal irons. The hair stylish will iron your hair until it is satisfactorily straight and shiny.
Hair is again parted and a neutraliser is applied to set the bonds and stabilise the hair.
The neutraliser is kept on for at least 20 minutes, and then rinsed off with cold water.
Finally, hair is blow dried and a type of hair serum will be applied. Hair appears silky straight and shiny.

In general, you are advised to not wash your hair for at least 3 days. This is necessary so that the treatment can set in fully. In addition, you should not clip your hair, tie a rubber band or wear any other accessories in your hair. But you are allowed to wear a shower cap while bathing in order to prevent your hair from getting wet.

Hair Rebonding Side Effects

Excessive use of chemicals in hair rebonding products will lead to hair becoming dry, weak and eventually falling off. Hair rebonding requires post treatment care otherwise it may turn harmful. If you are suffering from hair loss, you must avoid rebonding or any other chemical hair treatment at all costs. Also, hair rebonding can become disastrous if you use cheap chemicals or approach inexperienced hair stylists. Always remember this, once your hair is rebounded, you must pamper your hair more.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Facebook Scams You Need To Know About: The 9 Most Common Hacks and Attacks

by Shaun Zhang 
Given Facebook’s fame, it was only a matter of time before con-artists brought their scams onto the network. Facebook today is infested with dozens of different scams, with increasing reports of users falling victim to foul play. If you’re an avid facebook user, here are 9 common scams that you should look out for, and avoid when they inevitably come your way.

1. Clickjacking

Facebook Scams
[Source: Cheerleaders Gone Wild Clickjacking Tempts Facebook Users] Ever seen applications asking you to paste certain chunks of technical (and illegible) code in your browser address bar? This is essentially what clickjacking is; tricking you to paste harmful code in your browser that authorizes foreign access to your Facebook, baiting your curiosity with “Find out who is stalking you!” claims.

2. Fake Friend Requests

Facebook Scams
Ever get friend requests from strangers? That might be because programmed bots were created to expand a scammer's social network for personal gain. You might think it’s harmless to accept their request, but what you are unaware of is that they might be just looking to send you spam or viruses. We know it’s hard to turn down a friend request from a Megan Fox lookalike, but think about it, are you really that lucky?

3. Phishing

Facebook Scams
Phishing simply means an attempt to steal your important personal details (credit card info, passwords) by posing as an authorized or trustworthy site. Facebook has had several of such scams, including some tricky ones that resemble a facebook portal asking you to re-login. The best way to spot phishing sites is to look out for unusual-looking URLs in the address bar.

4. Malicious Pages, Groups & Events

Facebook Scams
Many scam pages exist solely to extract and collect personal information from you. Such pages and groups often try to trick you into inviting your friends to join them or participate in their quizzes (sometimes booby-trapped with phishing schemes) by offering you phony gifts and rewards. Some of these pages may be pose as authentic companies like Microsoft or Apple in order to gain your trust.

5. Fake “Team Facebook” Emails

Facebook Scams
The real Team Facebook always sends messages telling you they will never ask for personal information such as passwords, and they mean it. If you ever get an email or message from “Team Facebook” asking you for passwords, you can be sure they are looking to steal your personal information.

6. Worms & Viruses

Facebook Scams
For a content-rich network like Facebook, there are plenty of opportunities to lay mines for worms and other computer viruses. One such example is the koobface worm in 2008, which posed as links to Adobe Flash Player updates and were circulated to disastrous consequences. Although Koobface worms have mostly been stamped out, there are still cases of infection so watch out for those.

7. Western Union Money Scam

Facebook Scams
An extremely scary scam, this one poses as your friend, sending you a request to urgently transfer cash to him via Western Union (most commonly) or through other wiring services like PayPal. This is where it works best. How do you turn down a friend in need? You don’t, and your money gets stolen. Be very wary when you are asked for money. Tell your friend to call you personally if he needs it that desperately.

8. Unauthorized Surveys

Facebook Scams
It’s extremely common to take polls and quizzes on Facebook. Everyone does, and it’s not a surprise to see your friend update his status about how he is "Captain America of the Avengers”. It’s fun, but watch out for the kind of quizzes you are taking. Some surveys redirect you outside of Facebook, while others require you to enter personal details such as your contact number before you can view results. Reject these, as most of them are scams looking to get your personal details.

9. Harmful Apps

Facebook Scams
Harmful apps often look like they are the real thing. They disarm you with images and text that make them look authentic and harmless, whereas in reality they just want to trick you into “allowing” the app. Once allowed, the app now has liberty to send fake announcements and messages to your network of friends. Heard of the infamous “Facebook Shutdown” scam? This was how it originated.
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