Sunday, January 9, 2011

Welcome to the International Year of Chemistry 2011

Welcome to the International Year of Chemistry 2011

Without the whys? Why nots? Whats? And how? Our lives would be unimaginative, dull and passive like inanimate objects.

It is not only in questioning but exploring to seek the answers for these whys? Why nots? Whats? and how? Whatever source they emanate from and in all possible ways, is what educates and emancipates mankind.

In this process of enquiry, we must steer clear of impenetrable jargons, lukewarm sea of half-baked theories, the illusion that life and its meanings and problems can be reduced to some specific strait-jacket dogma, and delusions of fettering axiomatic certitudes like something is said to be so and therefore, it is so; and a whole lot of other such aspects of the culture of escapism, and indifference and lies.

These are indeed magical words. Small children use it to keep their parents talking on and on without end. Unfortunately, it is not only to keep their parents talking but also out of inquisitiveness. Inquisitiveness is what produces a wide range of characters starting from an eavesdropper, a scandal monger or a clandestine voyeur or a gossip giant or a spiritual mediator or a social inventor, etc. So the type of reply a parent gives to a child’s enquiry of a why? Or how? Or what? Or why not?(out of inquisitiveness) will produce such a “deep” impression that, the child’s mind would start using these questions to get a particular expected answer and also produce any of the above referred characters depending upon the parent’s reply.

Very often parents tend to give clever replies like a tourist guide who, when once, a lady asked him “How a row of fine rock formation were piled up”, said “they have been piled up here by the glaciers”. When she anxiously asked him “Where are the glaciers?” he replied “Madam, they have gone back to get some more rocks”. Such replies are often the result of ignorance, half-knowledge or impatience or all of these.

I, for one, would rather like to go to the maximum extent possible to find the answer for all the whys? And why nots? And hows? that arise in me. This year being the international year of chemistry, which includes bio chemistry and genetics , let us ask freely all the whys? And why nots? And try to get the answers for them so that we can enhance our knowledge and explore the possibilities of utilizing the finding too for betterment of human life.

Some of the chemicals, bio chemicals, minerals, cells and tissues of different animals that are already being used for different purposes.

a] Lanolin, an essential ingredient of many expensive cosmetics, is, in its native form, a foul-smelling, waxy, tarlike substance extracted from the fleece of sheep

b] Sea sponges are used in drugs for treating asthma and cancer

c] The enormous livers of basking sharks, which can account for up to one-third of their body weight, produce valuable oil used to lubricate engines and manufacture cosmetics.

d] The first medical use of leeches dates back to approximately 2,500 years ago. The leech's saliva contains a property that acts as an anticoagulant for human blood.

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