SCIENCE-COOKING UP SCIENCE

Do you know that your kitchen is the ultimate chemistry lab? For example, coating steamed vegetables with a little bit of olive oil will help them stay moist. Steaming can cause the vegetables to lose their water content that can dry them out so a bit of oil science can keep that from happening. Adding baking soda to boiled eggs for easy peel-off and washing berries with 51°C water to prevent molds are all examples of culinary science. Can using chemistry concepts help you cook better? Here are some methods you can try to test this out.

UPGRADE YOUR COOKING WITH THESE SCIENTIFIC METHODS

GRILLING

One of the ancient scientific forms of cooking, grilling involves preparing food over an open fire, with charcoal. The technique has been improvised for modern day cooking and makes use of the heat source under the food for complete grilling, often requiring ‘turning’ once or twice for proper cook-through. The underlying chemistry principle behind

process is the use of infra-red rays from the fuming coals that cook the meat or vegetables. The process requires some deliberation as the heat from the grilling bars can sear the meat so you have to be careful not to get the meat overdone or too undercooked The best way to grill is to keep a check on the placement of food on the grill bar so the browning rate is favorable for the heat being conducted within the meat.  the

SEARING

Also known as pan-searing, this cooking method is used in different culinary styles like roasting, braising, grilling and sautéing. The method is used to cook meat like fish, poultry or red meat at high temperatures till the surface turns brown due to caramelization and the Maillard reaction. The caramelized crust that develops on the surface of the

meat adds to the delicious flavor and texture. Blackening and browning are searing alternatives used to parch the sides before cooking it completely in the oven. Its recommended that you keep the oven temperature set to 150 °C (300 °F) and above for proper browning.

BAKING

One of the most popular methods across the globe, baking is a household favorite. From fudge brownies to savory zucchini muffins, baking is a fascinating culinary technique that requires an even heat source all around the food. The radiations from the baking oven emit heat that couples with the convection patterns of hot air to facilitate dehydration. This also

promotes proper browning at the surface of the food depending on the temperature of the oven.

BRAISING

Braising is usually carried out with large cuts of protein like poultry or beef that are slow-cooked until completely done. The meat is placed in a deep pot with enough fluids to hold the large slices and cooked in an oven at temperatures ranges, 200°F to 325°F. With braising, the surface of the meat does not brown as the pot is covered and the surface of the food  

does not dehydrate. The flavors and colors of the braised meat enhance the taste of the liquids in which it is being cooked so it’s important that the temperature within the meat be kept under 100°C for the best results.

BRINING

Brining is a relatively new form of cooking that involves treating meat, cheese or vegetables with a mixture of salt or seasoning and water for preservation of food. First used by the Scandinavians, the process can also be used to season fruits and different types of cheese, a method known as pickling. While vegetables take more time for

developing texture and flavor using vinegar and seasoning, meat may be marinated for lesser duration using caramel, spices and vinegar depending on its size for cooking later or for elongation of its shelf-life. Cooking is definitely an art involving the intriguing concepts of science that make your kitchen appear like a laboratory packed with ingredients ready for observation and experimentation. Understanding the science behind cooking will help you become a better cook and improve your food while you’re having fun cooking it. As Julia Child said. “This is my advice to people: Learn how to cook, try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun”.

DATA CONTAINED IN YOUR DNA

Did you know humans share 50% of their DNA with bananas? Does that make us part-banana? No, but it’s fascinating to know how DNA, the blueprint of life, is responsible for our makeup. From our appearance to the gamut of emotions we experience, DNA is essentially the regulating block for what we call ‘genes’.

DNA – WHAT IS IT?

DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid (try saying that five times fast) is primarily responsible for determining your physical appearance and behavioral traits. This genome provides the coding for the different physical and physiological processes for all living organisms. Consisting of four building blocks or bases including thymine, adenine, cytosine and guanine, this double-stranded structure forms the

genetic hereditary unit allowing specific attributes or characteristics to be passed on from parents to their offspring.

The bases on a single strand of the DNA molecule form a pair with a complementary base on the opposite strand in the double helix structure. This results in a unique DNA ladder where the base-pairs are joined by hydrogen bonds to form the rungs of the ladder. The sequence of these base-pairs contains instructions or genetic code. The human genome is composed of 3.2 billion bases of DNA and contains the directions for making all the proteins in our body.

 

WHAT YOUR DNA CAN DETERMINE

SEX

One of the simplest things your DNA can tell about you is gender. DNA tests are conducted at times to find out whether someone is a male or female but this is often not required. You don’t need to look at a DNA sequence or the order of the base-pair to find out if your child would be a boy or a girl. All you require is a check for the X or Y chromosomes for a male and a pair of Xs for a female. A fetus normally grows as a female, by default, unless the gene is SRY, in which case it will be male.

HAIR COLOR

DNA can determine whether you’ll be a brunette, blond or redhead. The genome also determines the hair color pigmentresponsible for different hair colors. The gene instructs two pigment-producing cells to make eumelanin and pheomelanin to give hair its color.Eumelanin corresponds to two subtypes of black or brown shades, determining the darkness of the hair color. While all humans have a little pheomelanin in their hair, the pigment gives all redheads the shades orange and red.

EYE COLOR

The eye color is determined by four different genes. It was initially thought eye color is was simply passed on by recessive and dominant parts of a gene, but it is now understood to be the result of a far more complex inheritance pattern. Scientists can study the combination of genes to determine the eye color of any individual from the three primary groups, light (blue and grey), hazel or dark (black and brown).

LONG LIFE

A specific version of the Klotho gene can be explored to study the longevity of human life since it is associated with our life-span. The gene has an impact on various health conditions such as coronary heart disease and other cardio-renal diseases. It can be used to gain an insight into the life-time of any individual depending on the health conditions.

THE FUTURE OF DNA RESEARCH

Recent advances in science have led to breakthrough discoveries in DNA and genealogy. Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University, for example, used gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9 to fix a mutation responsible for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic heart disease. Using this technology, the embryos can correct the mutation themselves with timely input from the healthcare practitioners, so the genetic illness does not pass on to future generations.

BIOLOGY-Breakthroughs in Genetics

According to a report by WHO, cancer is the second most significant factor that claims lives globally. It was responsible for almost 8.8 million deaths in 2015 and nearly 1 in 6 deaths occurring globally is due to cancer. Imagine a world where people no longer suffer from cancer. Biologists could be closer than ever to find the answer to cancer and other life-threatening diseases due to breakthroughs in the last decade. Genetics is at the heart of it.

WHAT IS GENETIC SCIENCE?

Genetic science is related to the study of the genome, the blueprint of life. The study of genes began in the 19th century with the scientist Gregor Mendel observing the phenomenon of trait inheritance. His study was focused on finding out how the genetic attributes are passed on from parents to their progeny. The function and composition of genes to gain a better understanding of the science involved. Genetic

engineering has led to major progress in areas of healthcare and disease prevention saving millions of lives including other fields like crop production and selective breeding. By studying the human genome, genetic scientists and biologists have made breakthroughs that could transform our lives in ways we couldn’t imagine.

13 NEW GENES RELATED
TO HEART DISEASE

An international squad of healthcare experts recently discovered 13 new genes associated with cardiovascular disease. A study by the WHO reveals that 17 million people die annually due to heart disease which suggests that it’s the most potent category of disease globally. Scientists believe that apart from stress, smoking and drinking, genetics are also a crucial factor contributing to the disease. With these new findings, healthcare experts are hoping to

discover promising therapeutic mechanisms that will provide useful insights for prevention and possible treatment.

All Matter is Energy

Another striking discovery is Einstein’s mass and energy equivalence (E=mc2), which states that although these two physical quantities may be contrasting, they are in fact related. According to the theory, the energy stored in any specific amount of mass or object can be calculated by using the conversion factor of c2, where c is a constant for the speed of light. This reinforces that the energy of an object is very large even if its mass is very little.

5 GENES FOR ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE IDENTIFIED

As part of the world’s largest genetic science research, scientists from Cardiff University were able to identify five new genes related to Alzheimer’s. These were reported to increase the risk of developing the cognitive disease, in addition to five genes discovered earlier. The study included a sample of 20,000 people with the disease and 40,000 non-affected participants who were tested for gene identification. These findings can help find solutions to address the harmful effects of the genes, reducing the number of affected individuals in the future.

MUTATIONS IN MCF2L

Recent discoveries in the mutations of genetic link MCFL2 could lead to a possible treatment mechanism for those affected with osteoarthritis. The draining illness is said to impact 40% of individuals over the age of 70, while 27 million people in the US are also suffering from the malady. Researchers working on the The 1000 Genomes Project were able to identify a third gene that showed a link with osteoarthritis by screening a huge sample of almost 50,000 people. Experts at the Sanger Institute believe that it’s a complex disease with various genetic reasons and the discovery of the new gene could pave the way for possible treatments.

GENES FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS

According to a publication by Nature, researchers discovered 29 new genes associated with the inflammatory disease, multiple sclerosis (MS). This is known to affect the cognitive system, impairing communication between the spinal cord and nerve cells in the brain. The study consisted of twenty-three healthcare groups from 15 nations who found the identified genes play a strong role in the progression of the disease. With the discovery, biologists are hoping to conduct further probes into the MS-genetic link for effective solutions to counteract the disease.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF GENETICS LOOK LIKE?

Today, there are more than 4,000 identified single gene conditions that impact 1% of infants globally. New discoveries in genetic science will help invent cures for deadly diseases and life-limiting conditions like MS, cystic fibrosis and Huntington’s disease. Gene editing can help prevent the passing on of these inherited diseases and help discover cures for cancer in the coming years as indicated by Leading doc.

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