SCIENCE REPORTER

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ISSN: 0036-8512                                                                                              

VOLUME 48                                                        NUMBER   5                                         MAY 2011

Contents

COVER STORY

 

Fukushima Nuclear Accident: What Happened?

K.S. Parthasarathy

8

INTERVIEWS:

Interview with Dr R. Bhattacharya, Secretary, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), Govt. of India                                                                                      

Interview with Dr Baldev Raj, Director, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research (IGCAR), Kalpakkam

 

14

 

 

 

17

FEATURE ARTICLES

Quake, Tsunami, Fukushima

P.S. Pathak

 

19

Radiation Alert

Himanshu Shekhar

 

24

Melatonin: Wonder Molecule

Syed Ibrahim Rizvi & Kanti Bhooshan Pandey

 

26

Beware of Online Identity Thefts

Prshant Kumar & Bhaskar Mukherjee

 

29

Sweeteners for That Sweet Tooth

Shailendra Bhatt

34

Healthy Teeth for a Dazzling Smile

Rajat Mathur, Smita Mathur & Mohan Singh

45

A Twist in the Tale

Prakash Chandra

 

54

V. Radhakrishnan—Scientist Par Excellence

K. Smiles Mascarenhas

56

 

DEPARTMENTS

 

Reactions

6

Editorial              

7

Interview

17

Report: Safeguarding Traditional Knowledge

 

38

 

Test Your Knowledge

40

Cartoons

44

Puzzle Corner

50

 

Familiar Fossils                                                                

53

Fun Quiz

58

What’s New

60

Crossword                          

62

 

  

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 8-16

Fukushima Nuclear Accident—What Happened?

K.S. Parthasarathy

                                                     

Fukushima” will now be remembered with “Three Mile Island” and “Chernobyl”, three places where nuclear accidents occurred. Apparently nuclear technology is on trial now. Though many reactors and related facilities are involved, the radiological impact of the incident is unlikely to be as much as that from the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power station.

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 19-23

Quake, Tsunami, Fukushima

P.S. Pathak

Japan, which shows its love of nature in its reverence for trees and seasons, lives on one of the most geologically violent archipelagoes on the planet. The Japanese archipelago is located in an area where several continental and oceanic plates meet. This is the cause of frequent earthquakes and the presence of many volcanoes and hot springs across Japan as they travel inland

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 24-25

Radiation Alert!

Himanshu Shekhar

 

The Japan nuclear incident once again focused the world’s attention to the dangers of nuclear radiation. Exposure to ionizing radiation could lead to damage to living tissues and chronic diseases.

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 26-28

Melatonin: Wonder Molecule

Syed Ibrahim Rizvi & Kanti Bhooshan Pandey

This ubiquitous molecule called Melatonin regulates your body clock. Widely distributed in plants, fungi and animals, in most vertebrates and in humans melatonin is produced primarily by the pineal gland, a small endocrine gland situated in the center of the brain. This tiny gland is often called the "third eye" due to its central placement deep in the middle of the brain.

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 29-33

Beware of Online Identify Thefts

Prshant Kumar & Bhaskar Mukherjee

The transformation from traditional banking to e-banking has been a great leap. But increasing instances of phishing attacks and several other types of scams related to online banking have snared several victims. However, with a little awareness and vigilance you can prevent yourself from falling into the clutches of the scamsters.

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 34-37

Sweeteners for That Sweet Tooth

Shailendra Bhatt

 

Concern for rising ailments like heart diseases, diabetes, obesity and other metabolic disorders has led to the recognition that substitution of sucrose in the diet by a non-nutritive alternative is one of the best ways to control these ailments. IF you have always been drinking sweet milk try for once drinking it without sugar. Many of you would not want to try it the next time. Many of us even have a ‘sweet tooth’—something like an addiction to sweets.

 

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 45-48

Healthy Teeth for a Dazzling Smile

Rajat Mathur, Smita Mathur & Mohan Singh

 

Taking care of teeth on a daily basis from a young age is necessary to hold on to them as long as possible. Healthy teeth depict a healthy lifestyle. Properly aligned clean teeth not only add to the personality, but also the confidence of a person. However, despite increasing awareness of the need for dental health care, most of us are still not accustomed to visiting the dentist for routine check up and show up only once some serious problem, which is not cured by folklore treatments or self or suggested medication, gets out of enduring limits.

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 54-55

A Twist in the Tale

Prakash Chandra

Any schoolchild will tell you Samuel Morse invented the telegraph. And James Watt the steam engine. And that Priestly discovered Oxygen. But these ‘facts’ belong to a long list of misconceptions that many people – including scientists – have accepted over the years. For Morse never invented the telegraph; he merely got all the necessary information from the American physicist, Joseph Henry, and later denied that Henry had helped him. A good promoter, Morse persuaded the US Congress to build the first telegraph line from Washington to Baltimore in 1844, and thus wriggled his way into the history books!

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 48, May 2011, pp 56-57

V. Radhakrishnan—Scientist Par Excellence

K. Smiles Mascarenhas

Prof. V. Radhakrishnan, who entered the heavenly abode on the 3rd of March 2011, was fondly known as RAD to all his friends. He was the Director of the Raman Research Institute, Bangalore from 1972 to 1994, and a distinguished astrophysicist in his own right.