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03 Jun 17

Mothers and their babies from an urban public hospital’s newborn nursery were recruited for the study. Over 250 pairs between 6 months and 4 ½ years of ages were monitored for their degree of understanding of words, and for early reading and literacy skills.

Comparisons were made between the findings and the quantity of shared book-reading, like the days spent reading together per week and the number of books they have at home. The quality of shared book reading was assessed by questioning parents on the conversations they had with their child over the pictures in the book, the emotions displayed by the characters, etc; and by assessing whether the stories were age-appropriate.  

The study revealed that reading with children right from infancy boosts reading and vocabulary skills four years later, before elementary schooling begins. And, the reading quality and quantity predicted the child’s vocabulary.

These findings highlight the significance of parenting programs utilized in pediatric primary care that encourage shared book-reading immediately after birth.

The abstract of the study was presented under the title "Early Reading Matters: Long-term Impacts of Shared Book reading with Infants and Toddlers on Language and Literacy Outcomes”. 

Content: www.sciencedaily.com

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International Pi Day

24 Mar 18

The number π (/paɪ/) is a mathematical constant. Originally defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, it presently has various equivalent definitions and appears in many formulas in all various areas of mathematics and physics. It is approximately equal to 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter "π" since the mid-18th century. It is also sometimes spelled out as "pi". March 14 is celebrated every year as International Pi Day. The exact value of Pi has so far been calculated upto 22 trillion digits, although it is believed to go on indefinitely. Some of the amazing facts about Pi are as follows:

1. Birth of Albert Einstein

March 14 which is celebrated as Pi Day, also marks the birthday of the great physicist Albert Einstein. He was born on March 14, 1879.

2. Pi Day or Pie Day

People around the globe indulge in celebrating the Pi Day by grabbing a slice of Pie. That sounds cool, doesn’t it?

3. Trillion Digit Value

The exact ratio hasn’t been calculated yet. Pi enthusiast Peter Trueb's computer calculated pi to 22,459,157,718,361 digits. In order to make this possible, he had to build a computer with 24 hard drives. Each of it contains six terabytes of memory.

4. Value of Pi by heart

Suresh Kumar Sharma of India, has set the record for memorizing the value of Pi upto 70,030 digits in October 2015. It took him 17 hours and 14 minutes to rhyme off what he learnt.

5. Digits

There are no occurences of 123456 in the first million digits of pi. But the first six digits, 314159, are present in that particular order at least six times in the first 10 million decimal places.

6. History of Pi

At first the Babylonians calculated pi approximately 4000 years ago. Later an Egyptian scribe calculated a circle’s area giving it approximate value of 3.16. Around 287 B.C. Mathematician Archimedes used the Pythagorean Theorem to calculate Pi. Further Chinese mathematician Zu Chongzhi, also calculated it to 3.14159292. It was in 1700s that the Greek letter π began to be used to represent pi.

By: Anuja Arora

Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/pi-day-facts-1.4572534


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Explore Your Weird, Incredible Brain

23 Mar 18

We are what we think ourselves to be. We can encourage ourselves to think and be what we want. In fact, we use a very small portion of our undaunted brain. Although a human brain weighs not more than 3 pounds (1.36 kg), it is amazing to know that it contains more than a trillion cells. And these set of cells functions like a super computer: process facts and figures, stores in it millions of undamaged memory, controls our movements, imagine and assume things and activities beyond comparison.

Here are some amazing facts about our weird, incredible brain:

The human brain is divided into two hemispheres of which the left one contains almost 200 million more neurons than the right hemisphere.

The neurons are too small, yet for scientists they can still measure activity of each single neuron simply by inserting microelectrodes into the brain, 'single-unit recording' to refine epilepsy diagnoses.

The issue of sex difference is controversial in human brain, but according to an article in Journal of Neuroscience, gray matters are found in pretty good numbers in women than men. However, according to researchers, with regular exercise, the gray matter can be increased.

Fat is risky for heart but for brain, it is beneficial and more than half of the brain including myelin is made of fat.

Human brain is a powerhouse of energy and even a sleeping brain has got the potential to light a 25-watt bulb.

Glial cells exceeds the number of neurons in the brain. They are 10-times more in number than the neurons. Though they basically held neurons together but certain types, like astrocytes play a significant role in the complex thought process.

Forty years after the death of Albert Einstein, researchers at National Institute of Health found that his brain contains unusually high number of astrocytes. His brain also contained an extra-thick corpus callosum.

However, the brain of this legendary genius proved that size doesn't matter. It weighed only 2.71 pounds, which is comparatively smaller than the usual.

Pain receptors do not exists in human brain for which surgeons can operate the cerebral  cortex of a fully conscious patient. Infact, people can survive even on a half brain. 

By: Subrata Dey

Content: https://mic.com/articles/103518/43-facts-about-your-brain-that-will-blow-your-mind#.LyFeA7Svl

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Rediscovering Jupiter

22 Mar 18

Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System.  In 1610, when Galileo discovered the four large moons that revolve around Jupiter it revolutionized the way universe was conceived. It was a big support for the Copernican view which said that the Earth was not the center of the universe.

Jupiter is so enormous that it is estimated that it could hold 1,300 earths. Jupiter’s characteristics are more of a star or rather like a solar system in itself with four large moons and many smaller ones orbiting around it.

The colorful light and dark bands around Jupiter are caused by very strong winds blowing from east to west at a speed of more than 640 km per hour. These activities are recorded at the upper atmosphere of the Jupiter. The giant red spot is a hurricane like storm that has been raging for more than 300 years.

Juno, the NASA space probe sent on the 5th of August, 2011 to explore the story of how Jupiter was formed and evolved. The studies revealed that the light and dark bands that were initially thought to be at the upper atmosphere actually extend to a depth of approximately 3,000 km below its surface. These atmospheric processes also last longer than the atmospheric processes on Earth.

The findings of Juno help understand the mechanism that drives these strong jet streams. It is also seen that the gravity signature of the blowing jet streams is entangled with that of the gravity signal coming from the core of Jupiter.


By: Madhuchanda Saxena

Content: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180307183418.htm

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Sports Drinks Vs Water - What's Better?

21 Mar 18

With a range of sports drinks available in the markets that claim that after a long workout, you need the electrolytes and vitamins present in it and not water to replenish yourself - the question arises on whether or not these drinks are really better than water? According to Lauren Popeck, a registered dietician at Orlando Health in Florida, water is best for hydrating your body. You only start losing electrolytes from your body when you have been exercising for more than an hour and have been sweating a lot.

Electrolytes, mainly sodium and potassium, can easily affect your muscles and hydration of your body. Low electrolytes can lead to muscle cramps and headaches. After doing an hour of exercise, you need 20 ounces of fluid to stay hydrated. While picking a sports drink, make sure it has ample amounts of sodium and potassium as well as carbohydrates to provide your body fuel to continue exercising.

But, in order to stay healthy, consuming sports drinks should be kept to a minimal as some of them are very high in sugar. Also, if you have proper diet, then your body stores of sodium and potassium are enough to replenish any loss of electrolytes. After performing an hour of exercise, you need around 20 ounces of fluid to stay hydrated. Normally, people who do not engage in long duration exercise need 9 cups or 2 litres of water for women and 13 cups or 3 litres of water for men.


By: Neha Maheshwari

Content: https://www.livescience.com/54548-sports-drinks-vs-water.html

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IG International Brings Organic Apples to India

20 Mar 18

Although organic farming is a controversial concept in India, it has been saving many farmers' lives and gaining prominence with city dwellers. Recently, fresh fruit importer IG International has introduced organic apples from Wenatchee, USA. It is the first instance for India. The company has imported these organic apples in association with Stemlit Growers. Stemlit Growers is Northwest’s largest grower, packer and shipper of organic apples, pears and cherries.

The motive behind IG International’s move is to serve the present day’s health conscious consumers, who have their preference towards organic fruits and vegetables. Tarun Arora, Director, IG International Pvt. Ltd. stated that their aim is to convey that “fruits are the best snacks”. By giving the society organic apples, they have given them what they most wanted.

After bananas, apples are the most desired fruit. They are extremely beneficial for the fitness freaks. Now, with Organic Fruit consumption constituting of 52% of total organic food products in India, demand for Organic Apples have also increased. Organic farming is a type of farming system that focuses purely on improving soil fertility and biological diversity. It doesn’t promote or allow the use of synthetic substances. The organic apples from IG International will be available at retail outlets all over India.

By: Anuja Arora

Content: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/agriculture/ig-international-introduces-organic-apples-in-india/articleshow/63268389.cms

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