Is your “antibacterial” soap really safe for daily use?

L0049721 Magazine insert advertising Lifebuoy soap
Lifebuoy Soap magazine advert (1910s) [Source: Wikipedia Commons]
What comes to your mind when you think of TV commercials for bath soaps? One can recall a sculpted actor pretending to be a “scientist” or “doctor” in a pristine, white lab coat explain why this or that soap has unique, “antibacterial” ingredients which can safeguard your family against harmful “germs”. It may come as a surprise to hear that these antibacterial products (sometimes called antimicrobial or antiseptic) do not have any demonstrated, clinical evidence to prove that they are more effective or safer than plain soap and water. Continue reading “Is your “antibacterial” soap really safe for daily use?”

Our gift to Mother Earth: The Anthropocene

nagasakibomb
Atomic bombing of Nagasaki [Image: Wikipedia Commons]
A friend recently had an uninvited guest visiting his car – a rat. Unfortunately, my friend came to know of the guest only after the visitor passed on to the netherworld when it got stuck with the wires in the car trunk, disrupting the car’s air-conditioning system. The departed visitor had gifted a bill of Rs. 5,000 to my friend towards restoring the car to its former glory.

To my surprise, my friend was not frustrated with the unwelcome rat. Rather, he felt remorse for having entered the rat’s ecosystem by purchasing a flat on the outskirts of Hyderabad. This part of the city was once part of a large wilderness, he said, and he wondered how much further damage his household had caused to the Earth’s once-pristine surroundings.

Not all of us would share my friend’s guilt, but it is a fact that the Earth has lost a considerable lot of its wilderness in recent years. One study estimates that one-tenth of global wilderness has been lost since 1990. This loss of wilderness has created disruptions in maintaining biodiversity, contributed to climate change and also disturbed indigenous populations. While it is easy to suggest that policy makers have to done more to conserve the environment, we as individuals and as members of the human race have to take responsibility. Continue reading “Our gift to Mother Earth: The Anthropocene”

Redefining the romance between the egg and the sperm

sperm-egg
Image source: Wikipedia Commons

Stephen and Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal’s upcoming documentary In Utero (“in the womb”) promises to be a fascinating look at life within the womb and its lasting impact on human behavior. The film’s trailer offers many diverse perspectives into how our experiences within the womb shape our future and the future of the world. Among the many revelations in the film, the directors suggest that the way we understand sex – that, a strong and active male sperm shoots up the vaginal canal to storm a weak, passive female egg – could be wrong. This submission, based on recent science, can redefine the male-centric narration of biological reproduction. Continue reading “Redefining the romance between the egg and the sperm”