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What is Cloning?

What is Cloning?

Which is the most famous sheep in the world? A sheep called Dolly. But why is Dolly famous? That is because unlike other sheep’s, Dolly was not born in the usual manner. She is actually a carbon copy of her mother, like an identical twin. This means that she is the twin sister of her mother who is older by six years and she does not have a father! What is Cloning? [Illustration by Shinod AP] Scientists at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, UK, made history on 27th February 1997, when they successfully cloned a sheep....

Himalayas Have a Deep Impact on the Climate of the World

Himalayas Have a Deep Impact on the Climate of the World

Tibet is known as the roof of the world. That is because it is on a region which has the highest altitude in the world. The Himalayan mountain range merges into the Tibetan plateau to form this region known as the Himalaya-Tibetan Plateau. Besides being the roof of the world, this plateau also has a deep impact on the climate of the world, says a report published in the May, 2001, edition of Nature, a science and environment journal....

What is Pluto – a Star or a Comet?

What is Pluto – a Star or a Comet?

Which is the planet farthest from the sun? Pluto, of course. But, some recent findings suggest that Pluto is not a planet at all. It seems Pluto could actually be a comet, reports the National Geographic website – www.nationalgeographic.com Basically, it is Pluto’s small size that has got it into trouble. It has a diameter of approximately 1,420 miles or 2,280 kilometers. This makes it six times smaller than Earth. This fact irked scientists who always suspected that something so small could never belong to the hallowed club of planets....

How Far Away are the Stars?

How Far Away are the Stars?

The sun is a star, just like the thousands of others we see in the sky each night. But it looks so very big. Is it the biggest star? No. The only reason the sun appears so big is because it is closer to us than any other star. The sun is just 93,000,000 miles (or 14,88,000,000 km) away from the earth. That seems an awful lot of distance, but light can travel so quickly that the sun’s rays reach the earth in a little more than eight minutes!...

How does the Lotus Flower Clean itself?

How does the Lotus Flower Clean itself?

How will you explain the meaning of purity to someone? Well, many people do it by giving the example of the lotus — it grows in muddy waters but the flower remains spotless. It is not surprising that the lotus has a special or sacred place in world religions like Hinduism and Buddhism. It is a symbol of purity, and many a time gods are shown seated on lotus thrones. Now a group of German Scientists has discovered that the lotus plant is truly spotless....

Why do Flies have Compound Eyes?

Why do Flies have Compound Eyes?

Just like a man woos the woman he loves, takes her to nice restaurants, buys her presents, and courts her to impress her before marriage, animals too choose their mates through courtship. Since animals cannot do all these, they do it differently. Some animals put up a colourful display, while others give little gifts to their beloved – a choice worm, a designer nest and so on. A few species display their love through a series of grunts and others, like the Saurus crane or the stickleback fish, perform an intricate courtship dance....

How are Earthquakes Recorded?

How are Earthquakes Recorded?

When an earthquake takes place, people say that it measured 6.2 or 6.5 on the scale. The scale they are referring to is the Richter Scale developed by Charles Richter in the 1930s. The Richter Scale measures the magnitude of the seismic waves or vibrations that travels across the earth’s surface. The scale uses a logarithmic formula using high-frequency data collected from seismograph stations. However, long before Richter developed his scale, a Chinese philosopher Chang Heng invented a device to measure earthquakes in 132 A....

The Secrets of the Ocean Floor

The Secrets of the Ocean Floor

It is one question that is not a quizmasters’ favourite: which is the tallest mountain on earth? The answer is bound to come fast and snappy – Mt Everest, at a height of 29,000 feet. But that is only on land. For, if you were to measure from the bottom of the ocean, the tallest mountain in the world will probably be Mauna Kea in Hawaii. It rises more than 15,748 feet under the sea and another 13,779 feet above it....

Why do Meteorites Strike the Earth?

Why do Meteorites Strike the Earth?

On a hot summer afternoon, I sat down with my elder brother to play carom. I took the first strike and pocketed two coins. Then I did a little war dance. Wow! Suddenly dada (Bengali for elder brother) had an idea. “How would it be if a fast-travelling object hit the earth? Quite like the way the striker hit the coins.” I was amused. “How is it possible? The earth is so huge. Anyway there aren’t any strikers flying around in the solar system?...

How Lizards Defy Gravity

How Lizards Defy Gravity

Lizards slithering up walls or dangling precariously from overhead lights are a common sight in tropical countries. These slimy creatures zipping up walls are called geckos. They are the only lizard species that make any sound, other than hissing — in fact they make a loud clicking noise that sounds like “gecko”, hence the name. Recent studies show that the gecko’s ability to cling on to surfaces could well lead to the creation of the world’s first non-sticky, self-cleaning adhesive!...

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