Health
EARTH HEALS
Category: Health,Science Author: gcadmin Date: 7 months ago Comments: 0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE EARTH HEALS                

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere at 2016 was observed to be at its worst ever, for the first time, in several million years – 400 parts per million (ppm). The earth experienced this spike in the concentration from below 300ppm to over 400ppm in just a few years’ interval. If you are wondering what the consequences of this rise entails and why the inhabitants of the earth should be bothered, you may want to consider the greenhouse effect which has predicated a number of horrendous incidents such as:

To briefly examine these consequences, the increase in drought means crop failure and famine especially in areas with high temperature. This, in turn, will lead to flooding in some other areas, as the water vapors collected from the drought areas are released to them by the atmosphere as excess rain.

What’s more, extreme weather conditions result in natural disasters like tsunamis, earthquakes and tornadoes which are now experienced in many parts of the earth. So, what does this tell us? It conveys the heavy message that we are at risk.

What can we do though? Well, climate researchers are wondering too, they are seeking for the best way to curb this menace, this sickness we have inflicting on earth by our activities.

Satellite image shows dramatic drop in pollution since the COVID-19 lockdown

Fortunately, a surprise emerged! In March 2020, the earth had a gleam at a ray of hope, as a researcher from Colorado, Boulder, found that the earth may just be self-healing.  Researchers have observed a huge reduction in damaging chemicals in the atmosphere which has reversed some troubling changes in air currents around the Southern Hemisphere. So wait, aren’t you wondering what we may have done differently? According to research, the credits goes partly to a ban on ozone depleting substances (ODS) in the 1980s.

Besides this evidence, satellites orbiting the earth have documented an observable drop in air pollution. And with the world in a lockdown, many are wondering if it could be that the credit solely goes to nature. Is nature simply getting a much-needed opportunity to recover? Is the earth self-healing as we remain safely locked in our homes?

Around the world, people have reported a significant change in the environmental conditions of their areas. They said, “nature is healing, we are the virus” Are we really the virus? The last we checked, Covid-19 is the virus. How true is this statement? That aside.

Let’s take a look at some of the positive things that prove that the earth is healing:

Lower Levels of Air Pollution – An exciting change is observed in India, since the lock down order to stall the spread of the Corona Virus. The air quality in Delhi was reported to have dropped from 1000 to Air Quality Index of 129 and it is still expected to improve further. This is equally the case in China and Europe. Have a look.

Image showing reduction in air pollution in Delhi. Photo Credits Getty Images

Water Bodies are Healing – An interesting development shows that, Venice’s canals in Italy are showing signs of recovery from overuse as the usually murky waters has become much clearer, to the extent that the fish living inside are now visible to the naked eye.

Animals are Seen on the Streets – People have witnessed a sight of wildlife like deer roaming freely in the streets of Japan. These are animals that mostly reside in jungles and forests. This may be as a result of the peace and calm in cities these days.

The research on the Ozone layer, referenced above, shows that there exists a likelihood that the Ozone layer will recover completely, depending of course, on how much we choose to protect it from the combustion of fossils and other gases that raises the percentage of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Friends, the earth wants to heal, let’s help heal our planet. HAPPY EARTH DAY!


Molecular Model and Infectious Diseases: Solving the Case of Coronavirus
Category: Health,Science Author: gcadmin Date: 8 months ago Comments: 0

Fig 1: Image of a molecular model

INTRODUCTION

According to the William Webster dictionary, molecular model is a scale model showing the arrangement of atoms in a molecule (as of an organic compound). This can help us understand the spread of infectious disease like covid- 19 and how their structure influences their effect on humans, since every organic compound has a molecular model.

MAIN CONTENT

The pictorial representation of elemental arrangements provides a suitable means of understanding the constituents, and in some cases, an idea of the interaction of the constituents of the molecular model. Although it poses a challenge in the case of complex systems and interaction, molecular modelling provides an efficient way of studying protein-protein interactions and a piece of detailed information on how some protein residues interact with one other at the atomic level.
Everything organic in nature has a protein protein bond. The image bellows shows an example of the chemical bonds in protein.

Fig 2: Image of chemical bonds in proteins

With ideas drawn from other areas, mainly quantum and statistical mechanics, molecular modelling offers a compelling set of tools for translating essential physical principles to obtain high-resolution insight on relationships in the structure of bio-molecules. The modelling using a wide range of computational methods have steered both the interpretation and design of experiments on an extensive range of biological systems, contributing intensely to the understanding of how those systems function. So we encourage you to explore those fields and help solve any future problems.

Molecular modelling involves a group of computerized work that uses the laws of physics and supported with experimental data to analyse molecules in the system.

Fig 3: Image of a computer

That is to say that the most of science is now computerized. We can not stress the importance of ICT in the today’s world enough.

The analysed properties include the number and types of atoms, vibrational frequency of molecular systems, nature of the bonds, bond lengths, molecular energy, geometry optimization and enthalpy. The modelling can also describe molecular and biological properties such as nucleophilicity, electrophilicity, electrostatic potentials for understanding the structure-activity relationships needed to provide the rationale to drug design.

The modelling processes provide an excellent preliminary point for additional experiments with a proficient knowledge being very vital to guide the molecular modelling. The use of high performing computers in the simulation of the modelling processes together with improved algorithms allows for contributions from experts in other fields and the automation of the processes. Nevertheless, the level of accuracy is limited to the approximation and assumptions adopted in the models. The automation process can also permit non-specialist to use the models.

Fig 4: Molecular model of corona virus showing the interaction of elements

DISCOVERY

We can identify and solve these COVID-19 pandemic outbreak with proper understanding of these molecular modes. A virus, which is a molecular biological system, is a sub-microscopic infectious agent that can only replicates within the living cells of other organisms. The novel coronavirus can only survive within the cells of other organisms and outside a host cannot survive past a few hours. The molecular modelling of the interaction of the virus with hosts can provide insights into the properties of the system. Information from the modelling will be useful in understanding the interaction with the hosts, and the justification for drug design to take care of the virus.

ACTIVITY

Write out the knowledge you have gained and how it has helped expand your vision and ideas for your career choice.

Bibliography

1. Cohen, N.C., (1996). Guidebook on Molecular Modeling in Drug Design, first ed. Academic press, Inc., San Diego, CA, USA.
2. Saleh, N. A., Elhaes, H., & Ibrahim, M. (2017). Design and Development of Some Viral Protease Inhibitors by QSAR and Molecular Modeling Studies. Viral Proteases and Their Inhibitors, 25–58. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-809712-0.00002-2
3. Weng, G. (2002). Exploring Protein–Protein Interactions by Peptide Docking Protocols. Methods in Enzymology, 577–586. doi:10.1016/s0076-6879(02)44741-6