It is the season of giving. Should there be a specified season of giving. When we give something should we expect to get something in return. Sure it is nice to receive something in return even if it is only gratitude. But should that prevent us from being generous. Helping someone out even if you consider it very minor may mean so much to someone else. Research has shown that volunteering helps alleviate boredom and loneliness by making new social connections. Giving back to your community can show an appreciation of your surroundings. Giving can help gain a new perspective on those less fortunate which can help one grow and develop as a person. The feeling of being needed by those you are helping can sometimes be overlooked and taken for granted in your daily routine. Volunteering can help you explore other avenues and in turn open you up to a new career by helping you explore your likes and dislikes. If giving is something that is encouraged at an early age, it can instill in children how one person can make a difference. The idea of sacrificing a portion of a child ‘s recreation time can help children understand that there are other things more important than self-gratification. So should we expect to get something back from giving or does it seem that we actually get a great deal back. Exposing ourselves to different backgrounds, abilities, ethnicities, ages, education and income levels can make us more comfortable and understanding of the world that surrounds us. What a gift!
Researchers at Google have come up with a chip that can be inbedded in contact lenses. The purpose of the chip will be to measure levels of glucose in tears. This tiny glucose sensor can help patients with diabetes check their glucose levels without pricking their finger. They are experimenting with tiny LED lights which would light up and appear as a fleck of glitter whenever there are fluctuations in glucose levels.
Scientists and architects are actually creating buildings that are giant air purifiers. This is accomplished by covering the façade of the building with titanium dioxide which can break down pollutants into less harmful chemicals. Researchers claim it can neutralize pollution from 1000 cars daily. Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital in Mexico is one example of this type of construction. Plans are being made to construct smog consuming buildings in Milan and London. There is also great interest in the US at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Since smog causes one in eight deaths, if this type of architecture becomes common practice, it can possibly put a dent is world pollution.
A decade ago scientists started playing with the idea of manipulating the process of photosynthesis to produce more food. The Gates Foundation has been funding the research as a possible solution to alleviating world hunger. After years of research, headway has been made working with the tobacco plant. It is not that they are interested in increasing tobacco production but the fact that the tobacco plant is relatively an easy and fast plant to grow. Results of manipulating photosynthesis have shown an increase by as much as 20% growth. Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants use carbon dioxide and sunlight to produce oxygen and glucose. The thought behind the technique is that nature is more concerned with survival and reproduction of plants rather than maximum production. The process involved transferring genes from a common house plant known as mouse cress into a tobacco plant. This increased the level of a protein already existing in a tobacco plant. When plants take in more sunlight then is needed they often expel it in the form of heat. The goal is to turn off this heat producing mechanism sooner, have the production of glucose increased thereby producing larger plants.