It’s so easy to become caught up in my physical role – my name, physical personality and looks; the social setup or family I’ve been born into, my friend circle, the school I went to, the person I married, the organization in which I work, the various material objects I own or possess. I forget my true identity, the spiritual being, and that it is me, the spirit or soul, who is experiencing life through this physical body and surrounding circumstances. The physical, human side is essential, but it’s the spirit, the being, the energy, which makes the journey. The physical body is the vehicle through which the journey is made. The people who exist in my life are also energies making their journeys through their respective vehicles. Looking at myself and others, when I realize who is making the journey and I remember this and maintain this spiritual consciousness throughout the day, I’m able to access spiritual treasures of peace, of power, of love and joy and see the same in others. It is because of not remaining in this remembrance; I remember and identify with the vehicle and experience my false identity. That is why we find ourselves empty of these treasures today. As a result there is a tremendous increase in interest in meditation throughout the world. Unlike in the past when this interest was seen primarily in the East, today relaxation and meditation is a blooming industry in the Western countries.
The more I become trapped by a materialistic consciousness, and the more I lose contact with my inner self, the less freedom I experience. The search of happiness through the physical senses brings temporary, short-lived gains. My life lacks depth when the only things I know, realize and feel are related to the loads of information I receive from the physical sense organs, and I become disconnected from the spiritual dimension.
If you thought plants are worried about the climate change and the increasing carbon emissions, think twice. Plants are in fact trying to make use of the increased carbon dioxide presence in the atmosphere now.
Biologists have identified plant enzymes that may help to engineer plants that take advantage of elevated carbon dioxide to use water more efficiently. The finding could help to engineer crops that take advantage of rising greenhouse gases.
Plants take in the carbon dioxide they need for photosynthesis through microscopic breathing pores in the surface of leaves. But for each molecule of the gas gained, they lose hundreds of water molecules through these same openings. The pores can tighten to save water when CO2 is abundant, but scientists didn’t know how that worked until now.
A team led by Julian Schroeder, professor of biology at the University of California, San Diego, has identified the protein sensors that control the response. Enzymes that react with CO2 cause cells surrounding the opening of the pores to close down, they report in the journal Nature Cell Biology.
The discovery could help to boost the response in plants that do not take full advantage of elevated levels of the gas, Schroeder says. “A lot of plants have a very weak response to CO2. So even though atmospheric CO2 is much higher than it was before the industrial age and is continuing to increase, there are plants that are not capitalizing on that. They’re not narrowing their pores, which would allow them to take in CO2, while losing less water,” he said. “It could be that with these enzymes, you can improve how efficiently plants use water, while taking in CO2 for photosynthesis. Our data in the lab suggest that the CO2 response can be cranked up.”
Plants lose 95 per cent of the water they take in to evaporation through these pores, also called stoma. Modifying crops to be more responsive to CO2 could help farmers meet demand for food as competition for water increases. In California, for example, 79 per cent of water diverted from streams and rivers or pumped from the ground is used for agriculture according to the California Department of Water Resources.
Schroeder’s team identified a pair of proteins that are required for the CO2 response in Arabidopsis, a plant commonly used for genetic analysis. The proteins, enzymes called carbonic anhydrases, split CO2 into bicarbonate and protons. Plants with disabled genes for the enzymes fail to respond to increased CO2 concentrations in the air, losing out on the opportunity to conserve water.
Several types of cells in plant leaves contain carbonic anhydrases, including those responsible for photosynthesis, but Schroeder’s team showed that the enzymes work directly within a pair of cells, called guard cells, that control the opening of each breathing pore. By adding normal carbonic anhydrase genes designed to work only in guard cells they were able to restore the CO2-triggered pore-tightening response in mutant plants.
Adding extra copies of the genes to the guard cells actually improved water efficiency, the researchers found. “The guard cells respond to CO2 more vigorously” said Honghong Hu, a post doctoral researcher in Schroeder’s lab and co-first author of the report. “For every molecule of CO2 they take in, they lose 44 percent less water”
The action of carbonic anhydrases is specific to changes in CO2, the researchers found. Mutant plants still open their pores in response to blue light, a sign that photosynthesis can begin. And their pores also shut when water is scarce, a response mediated by a plant drought-stress hormone.
Photosynthesis continued normally in the mutants as well, suggesting that altering CO2 sensitivity wouldn’t stunt growth – good news if the goal is to engineer drought-resistant crops with robust yields.
But saving water and surviving heat involves a tradeoff for plants: Evaporation of water through the pores also cools the plant, just like sweat cools human beings. If future growing conditions are hotter and drier, as they are predicted to be in some parts of the world, then modifications to the CO2 response will need to be carefully calibrated.
Written by new contributor, Sonia Dong
The wonders of the natural world never cease to amaze. Imagine: a fruit that when eaten, renders sour foods sweet. It’s like the Midas touch of food, and it actually exists.
Dubbed Miracle Fruit, this small red berry hailing from West Africa is the star performer at ‘flavour tripping parties’ organized by Franz Aliquo in the United States. Bartenders have also been experimenting with the fruit to create new cocktails, and UK art magazine Cabinet has included it on the menu at their events.
At the ‘flavour tripping’ events, partygoers pop a red berry in their mouths, and for the next hour, limes taste like candy and vinegar like apple juice. Other choice eats at these parties include bananas, mustard, cheese, dark beer and cheap tequila.
The flavour-altering berry (or Synsepalum dulcificum, if you want to be technical), contains a protein called miraculin. When miraculin comes into contact with acids, the result is a sweet, sweet taste in your mouth. We want.
Don’t know whether its true or not, but just thout of sharing it to you. 7 reasons the world will end in 2012.
Scientific experts from around the world are genuinely predicting that five years from now, all life on Earth could well finish. Some are saying it’ll be humans that set it off. Others believe that a natural phenomenon will be the cause. And the religious folks are saying it’ll be God himself who presses the stop button…
1. Mayan Calendar
The first mob to predict 2012 as the end of the world were the Mayans, a bloodthirsty race that were good at two things:
These days, it’s a big deal when celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Katie Holmes get six and five-carat diamonds in their engagement rings (respectively). But compared to these 10 gems, those trinkets are nothing. Here are the stories behind some of the largest and rarest diamonds ever found.
1. The Eugénie Blue
This Titanic-esque vivid blue diamond is 30.82 carats. It’s called the Eugénie Blue because of an old legend that the sparkly stunner originally belonged to Empress Eugénie de Montijo, the wife of Napoleon III. There is no evidence to support this tale, though, so many people prefer to simply call it “The Blue Heart” instead. The gem was cut into its distinctive shape in 1909 or so (some accounts say it was 1910) and was bought by Cartier shortly thereafter. Since then it has bounced around from a wealthy Argentinian woman, Van Cleef and Arpels, a European family, Harry Winston, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and, finally, the Smithsonian, where The Blue Heart has resided since 1964. And although it may look like it inspired the fictional Heart of the Ocean from the 1997 Leonardo DiCaprio epic, it didn’t – the Heart of the Ocean was actually based on the infamous Hope Diamond.
Have you ever wondered what the babies of bats, aye-ayes, hedgehogs, echidnas or pygmy marmosets look like? Well, now you can find out. Unusual as some of these animals are, the babies will surely trigger some awww inspiring moments.
Its tongue flickers snakishly from a mouth filled with toxic potential while its body boasts the bulk of a crocodile’s. Armed with the lethal weapons of our most feared reptilian counterparts, the Komodo dragon is best left alone. There’s just one snag: this fiend wouldn’t necessarily want to leave you alone, and you might not even know about it if it were on your tail. What’s more, it now seems that the largest lizard on the planet is deadlier than anyone previously thought.
This living dinosaur can be found only on the central Indonesian islands of Komodo. It’s been getting a lot of press of late, and let’s just say not all of it has been positive.
This stunning image shows remarkable and mysterious details near the dark central region of a planet-sized sunspot in one of the sharpest views ever of the surface of the Sun. Just released, the picture was made using the Swedish Solar Telescope now in its first year of operation on the Canary Island of La Palma .
It is probably the most poisonous animal on Earth. It is so toxic that even touching it can be dangerous. A single frog contains enough poison to kill 20,000 mice or 10 people. It is usually found in Central and South America. Scientists are unsure of the source of this frog’s amazing toxicity, but it is possible they assimilate plant poisons, which are carried by their prey.