Answers to some common questions (Part-1)

 By : Aamarpali Puri

Q: Why cooked apple doesn’t turn brown?

A: The oxidation reaction is slowed or prevented by inactivating the enzyme with heat (cooking). Heat denatures the enzyme.

Q: Why cutlery that has corrosion should not be used in cut apples, pears, bananas, peaches and potatoes?

A: Using cutlery that has some corrosion (as is seen with lower quality steel knives) can increase the rate and amount of the browning by making more iron salts available for the oxidation reaction.

Q: Why browning of apple slice is faster than that of rusting of iron?

A: Fresh cut apples turn brown when iron-containing chemicals inside apple cells react with oxygen in the air.  We see this every day when iron objects rust, or when scabs on cuts turn brown. The chemical reaction is called “oxidation”, and the enzyme that regulates oxidation in apples is called “polyphenol oxidase” (PPO), also known as “tyrosinase”. In case of rusting or browning of iron, enzyme is not available to accelerate the reaction. So reaction is slow.

Q: Why adult male have usually deep voice then that of female?

A: The male vocal cords are longer than female vocal cords due to which male voice is deeper.

Q: Why is it that when an animal is excited its blood flow to the muscles increases?

A: This actually increases the level of oxygen in muscles at the time of excitement.

Q: Why in the presence of ozone allergies have tendency to become desensitized?

A: In allergic reactions deprived of oxygen, white blood cells malfunction. They fail to eliminate invaders and even turn against normal healthy cells. Ozone significantly raises the oxygen level in blood, which stimulates proper functioning and production of white blood cells in our body.

Q: If cancerous cell is exposed to ozone what will happen?

A: Ozone is antineoplastic. This means that ozone inhibits the growth of new tissue because rapidly dividing cells shift their priorities away from producing the enzymes needed to protect themselves from the ozone. Cancer cells are rapidly dividing cells and are inhibited by ozone.

Q: What is the effect of ozone on petrochemicals?

A: Ozone degrades petrochemicals. These chemicals have a potential to place a great burden on the immune system. They also worsen and even cause allergies and are detrimental to your long-term health.

Q: Why it is good to weep some times?

A: An enzyme called lysozyme is present in tears that destroy the cell membranes of certain bacteria thus protecting our eyes from them.

Q: While running which tendon elevates the heel in the springy motion essential for running and jumping?

A: Achilles’ tendon, which is by necessity the toughest and strongest of human tendons.

Q: Why without recycling activities of micro organisms life would grind to a standstill?

A: If micro organisms stop their recycling activity all nutrients would get locked up in dead plants and animals.

Q: Why paper industry prefers to use algal pigments rather than chemical dyes and coloring agents?

A: While recycling paper algal dye decomposes easily but chemical dye doesn’t decompose. So paper made from algal dye can be recycled but that made from chemical dye cannot be recycled.

Q: What is bio hydrogen?

A: Bio hydrogen is hydrogen produced via biological processes or from biomass.

Q: Why algae live close to surface of some sponges?

A: Sponge protects it from predators.

Q: Lichen is not a single organism rather it is a combination of two organisms which live intimately together. Which are they?

A: Fungus with green algae or fungus with cyanobacterium together forms Lichen.

Q: Why thermal conductivity of ice reduces with increasing pressure?

A: It happens due to pressure induced bending of the hydrogen bonding thus decreasing the transverse sound velocity.

Q: Oligosaccharides are present on cell membranes and surfaces. What is there function?

A: They serve as cell marker.

Q: What is the difference between orbit and orbital? Are these terms same?

A: Path traveled by planet around the sun is orbit and the space around nucleus where probability of finding electrons is maximum is orbital. So orbit and orbital are not the same.

Q: How lichen survives in arid conditions?

A: Lichen produces secondary compounds, including pigments that reduce harmful amounts of sunlight and powerful toxins that reduce herbivory or kills bacteria.

Q: How cartilaginous fishes solve the problem of conserving body water in strongly hypertonic environment?

A: They solve this problem by maintaining a high concentration of urea in their blood.

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