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Sunday

Microgreens | Source of Essential Nutrients

Microgreens are rich in nutrients and can be easily grown at home over a small space. In places where all vegetables are not available or in situations where kids avoid few vegetables, microgreens are good answer fulfilling all the dietary needs. They cannot be the immediate magic medicine for any health ailment, but inculcating microgreens in the diet along with small changes in life style can be helpful in avoiding the risk of heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease and cancers. Apart from this, nutrients content packed in the very minute volume is a boon for people on diet. 

CUT FLOWER CULTIVATION (Floriculture- Gladiolus)

Gladiolus species are well known “bulbous” plants for their attractive and colorful inflorescence. The word “bulbous” grabs a glance because bulbs (the underground corms) are crucial part of the plant. They are popular cut flowers well known among florists because they have an 8-10 day period of long vase life.
Basically it is a winter crop and can be grown for yearlong harvest when cultivated in moderate climatic conditions.
Flower representation
Plants grow from underground corms and leaves are long sword shaped bearing flowers on inflorescence. Fragrant flowers are one sided on spike making them most wanted among bouquet makers. Colors vary from pinkish to red, white, purple to violet, golden yellow to orange. Various cultivars of Gladioli are cultivated basing on market needs. Golden melodies, White prosperity, Silvia, Snow princess, Nova lux, Suchitra are popular cultivars known for their vibrant colors. Each variety has different spike length varying from 75-88 cm with varied number of colored florets on the spike specific for each variety. Number of florets varies ranging from 14-18 on a single inflorescence. 


Field conditions:                                                 

Gladiolus cultivators avoid too harsh or too cold climate for farming. Balancing a mild climate zone is a point of concern. However Gladioli prefer sunlight so farmers avoid shaded region for cultivation. Stable wind flow is mandatory for handful of harvest because disturbing wind patterns can destroy the stems. Gladiolus bearing stems are used in bouquets so injured stems can bring loses on commercial point of view.

Soil preparation and plant material for cultivation:

·     Soil bed is prepared by proper ploughing for good aeration and fertility of soil is maintained well. Organic manure is added to soil prior to planting if the soil is light and sandy. Gladioli are propagated through corms and hence soil beds are made as ridges and well aerated.

·     Winter is ideal season for planting. However if farming is planned in green houses with controlled environment, year round cultivation is possible.
·     Corms are underground storage organs. The swollen stem is enclosed by scale leaves are used as planting material. About 4-5 cm sized disease free high crown corms are selected for flower production rather than flat ones. Smaller corms (cormels or first season corms) are used as planting material for producing flowering corms of next season. Corms are fungicide treated before planting.  
·        Medium sized second season corms are planted for flowering purpose at a depth of 10 cm and 20cm from one another and 30cm spacing between each ridge. Shallow planting favors cormel production but can result in lodging due to winds. Hence farmers take care of wind patterns if they plant for corm multiplication.
·         Watering is done after sprouts have developed. Water logging should be avoided in the field to avoid rotting of corms. 
·       Soil can be hilled up at stem soil interface once the aerial parts reach a length of 20 cm in order to avoid the corm exposure to external atmosphere. Hilling up aids in strength to stem bearing the aerial parts.
·       Weeding should be done manually since stems should not be harmed as they are important for cut flower in bouquets.
·     Manuring with farm yard manure (FYM), and Nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and zinc supplements adds strength to plants. However excessive manure can lead to thin and slenderness among stems. Strengthy stem is essential for successful flowering.    

Harvesting flowers:

·      Spikes are harvested when at least five florets are colorful and it takes around 100-120 days after planting the corm. Harvesting at bud stage when first floret starts to open is better since it avoids Gladioli from being damaged.
·       Harvest is done during morning when there is minimal heat intensity of sun. This reduces water loss and nutrient consumption because of increased respiration rate.
·    Spikes are harvested using sharp knife such that few leaves are retained on plant for complete development of corms and cormels. Harvesters make sharp cuts on spikes since a crushed end can render microbial growth which in turn shortens the vase life. Cut ends are immediately placed into water for retaining freshness.
·       Gladiolus flowers at a rate of only one inflorescence per plant. So after spike is harvested, the farm area is left for corm lifting.
Cultivation
Gladiolus cultivation 


Harvesting corms:

·    After spikes are harvested, leaves on plant turn yellow after one and half month or two inferring corms reached maturity. Farm land needs to be irrigated nearly a week before harvest of corms.
·         Using digger the entire plant is lifted up from soil. Plant is held up and loose soil is shaken off from corms. This avoids bruises and injuries to corms.
·       Lifted corms are hot water treated followed by fungicide treatment. Fungicide treated corms are shade dried for 2 weeks and later cold stored for future use. Corms are retained with husk while storing. Corms have a dormant period of 2-3 months after which they can be used as planting material.

Reaching market:                 

Spike cut ends are immediately placed in water and are retained like that till packing time. Flower spikes are graded based on spike size and floret number and packed. Packing is done as bundles of spikes retained in packing paper and set into cardboard boxes or gunny sacks. Cutting a half inch length of spike from base under water can help in prolonging the vase life.


Tuesday

CUT FLOWER CULTIVATION (Floriculture-Rose)

During past times ornamental plants are part of rich man’s garden. In recent years scenario changed and floriculture gained interest for small scale farmers in growing as entrepreneurs. Floriculture is cultivation of flowers and ornamental crops from seed and grafted stage till they reach market. Cut flowers have a large market in recent days and are definite hosts for celebrations in metro cities. Floriculture market is not only confined to cut flowers but also has its shade in supplying raw materials for cosmetics, perfumes and pharmaceuticals relying on natural products. Apart from traditional loose flowers like Jasmines and Marigold many other cut flowers along with their stems have gained florists interest. Roses, Gladiolus, Lilies, Carnations, Orchids, Tulips, Gerbera are most common cut flowers for bouquets and decorative purposes. 

Roses

Roses are one of the oldest and widest cultivated flower species on earth. Apart from using rose oil and rose water in the cosmetics and soaps, the oils are well known members of Ayurvedic healing treatments. Throwing back its utilization in cosmetic industry, roses always stand as topper in decorations as cut flowers, bouquets and garden displays.
Rose flower cultivation,  floriculture-Rose
Rose flower cultivation 

Floribundas, Hybrid Tea, Polyanthus, China roses, Miniature roses, Grandiflora, Ballerina and Bourbon roses are common names known among cultivators. Floribunda and Hybrid Tea are well known for cut flowers usage and are cultivated in a number of attractive colors. Miniature roses are popular for garden designing as pot decorators.

Plant material for cultivation:

Roses are cultivated by asexual means of reproduction. Grafting, budding and stem cutting are used in propagating rose species. Plants are grafted for protecting its vigor and longevity. T-shield budding is best known for cultivation of hybrid roses like Floribunda and hybrid T roses.

1. T- Shield budding:

Small swellings visible on the rose stem are selected such that eyes only bud up but have not grown or elongated. The part containing eye on bud wood (one containing eye) is cut with budding knife and shield piece having bark and eye are separated from interior stem piece. Simultaneously root stock is prepared by removing off side shoots and branches. A small T shaped pocket (a vertical cut) is made on root stock at anterior edge nearly 3 inches away from internode. The shield containing eye is accommodated into this vertical cut on root stock and tied with fiber ensuring enough air reaches the bud. Off shoots and suckers from root stocks should be pinched off otherwise growth of bud may be suppressed and root stock continues its growth. Stem part above bud is cut off after bud insertion for successful budding operation. 
Fall of leaf petiole above to the inserted bud after few days of bud insertion is a sign of successful budding. If leaf petiole has not fallen off properly but still hangs onto stem and bud has turned into black color indicates that budding has failed and need to be repeated.  

2. Cutting:

Stem cuttings are made from healthy and disease free root stocks at length of minimum 12 cm using sharp budding knife at inclined angles. The cut ends are dipped in IA (Indole 3- acetic acid) and BA (6- Benzyl adenine) suspension and planted in moist chambers for efficient and quicker root induction. Roots grow well after 12 to 15 weeks of planting the stem cuts. Then plantlets are manured well for growth of foliage and aerial parts.

Whether budding or grafting?

Each node is potential source of bud in case of T- shield budding. So a single healthy stem can be a source for multiple number of buds. And a single rose twig can produce numerous clones. Stem cuttings on other hand can give a single plantlet. So horticulturist cultivate through budding to produce more and more number of plants if farm is developed from primary stage. Otherwise if the farm is under extension, stem cuttings can serve best use on such small scale needs.
When the root stocks have special disease resistance, insect resistance characters and that need to be implicated in multiple copies, budding is performed. 
Success rate depends on callus formation between bud and root stock. This depends on genetic incompatibility between partners. The area of union should not be too wet and needs well aeration for callus to develop. Success rate is more if selected partners are from same genera, species.  

Farm land Preparation and planting:

  • Roses are hardy plants and produce flowers on year long time scale. So plant beds are prepared keeping in mind that plants live there for repeated seasons. They grow well in loamy soils with adequate amount of organic content. 
  • The farm land needs to be well tilled and left exposed to sun light at least one month prior to planting. Hence the best season for preparing plant bed is during May – June. So once the monsoon starts, plantlets are planted and so conditions are ambient for small plantlets to acclimate for field conditions. Pits are made prior to planting such that plantlet can accommodate well along with earthened soil in order to maintain the microenvironment at root interface.
  • If planted from stem cuttings, main stem is placed in center of pit and soil is covered over the pit.
  • If planted from T-buds the root stock is planted into soil pit such that bud (eye that has elongated on the new root stock) is above the soil and adequate amount of sunlight reaches it. Plantlets are watered well and sunlight should not be too harsh till root system develops. Field should be drained well to avoid water logging for newly developed roots.
  • Post planting the soil beds need to be well irrigated with salt free water. Plants need perfect sunlight and humidity needs to be well maintained in green houses.
  • Good amount of sunlight with duration of minimum 6 hours is necessary for healthy vegetative growth.

Flowering and farm maintenance:

1.Pruning
Pruning is removing the dead and diseased ends. In farms that are cultivating from repeated seasons pruning is a necessary step before buds start to grow. Pruning is performed when the plants are nearing dormant stage. All the suckers arising from root stocks, criss-cross tangled shoots, dry and less vigorous stems are lost in this step. This ensures breaking dormancy and buds initiate on fresh and strong stems. Using cutters, old dead ends are cut at 45 degree angle into a clean sharp cut. Hybrid teas and floribundas flower nearly after 45 days of pruning.

2.Manuring: 
Nitrogen and Potassium are essential for healthy stem growth and flower bud development. Deficiency of nitrogen can lead to small sized leaves and weaker stems. Phosphorous ensures healthy root growth and stimulates flowering. It can be provided as phosphoric acid or super phosphate. Foliar spray of micronutrients with magnesium and borax supplements ensures good quality flowers.  

3.Disbudding:
Few varieties produce multiple buds (main bud accompanied by small side buds) below the center main bud. Side buds are disbudded at earlier stages of development in order to avoid wound scars for cut flowers. Disbudding ensures farmers with stem ending in a single large and attractive bud that attains profit in market.

4.Irrigation: 
Roses demand bigger water needs and field needs to be well irrigated with salt free water after pruning for healthy foliage development. Farmers must ensure that water do not log the root system otherwise roots face aeration issues. Weeding needs to be performed on interval basis manually.

Harvest and post harvest measures:

Flowers are harvested in a tight bud stage, just after petals have gained full color and start unfolding. This is performed during mornings or evenings using sharp blades and cut stem ends are placed in water immediately for prolonged freshness. Flowers are stored at 2-4°C cold storage and segregated based on stem length. Grade 1 flowers with a stem length 45 cm and grade 2 flowers having 30-35 cm are packed separately. 10-12 flowers per bunch are generally packed in corrugated card board boxes in-lined with news paper or tissue paper. 

Trade and profit:

Roses have a good market in National and International market. As a bottom line good quality flowers ensure handful profit for cultivator. On an average cut flowers are sold at Rs 10 per piece and loose flowers at Rs 2000 per kilogram. Hybrid Tea yields around 80 flowers per plant per year and Floribunda yields 90 flowers per plant per year. Roses being perennial plants draw a handsome amount of profit to the cultivator.

Is Non Carbon Based life Possible?

Answers
Why life is possible due to carbon is here:
  1. Carbon is most abundant and perfect atom to be fitted in any biomolecule.
  2. Although there are lot of similar atoms which have same valencies like Silicon, lead, Germanium, and Tin but they have larger electron cloud size than carbon due to which they do not fit in aby biomolecule perfectly as carbon exist. Even many times in a same molecule.
  3. Carbon forms toxic as well as non-toxic components in a cellular system. Since they are all madeup of Carbon so they are easily transformed but when it comes for silicon, they form toxic elements.
There are some possibilities that life without carbon is possible:
  1. Perfect replacement of carbon which act like it and have same physio and chemical properties like carbon.
  2. If not then any atom have four valencies but an replacement of oxygen atom because the atoms known either degrade or form toxic components when comes in contact with oxygen, so an alternative atom must be present if you are expecting Silicon, Germanium, or Lead.
  3. Second most thing it should be abundant biologically and form approx 90% or more than of biomass.
How far I know or the current research is depicting :- that Carbon and its derivatives are found in other planets. Methane is also found on some places which is a good indicator of life.
If any of the molecule satisfies these points then yes It is possible
All I want to conclude is that the life evolved on earth 4.5 billion years ago (records says) and through this long time only capable and molecules have bioactivity are able to form a living system. Those who are not are still harmfull for us either in small amounts or in any other way..

Human Gene Editing Could be a key to immortality!


Question for you





Human Gene editing for becoming immortal or other experimentation is not ethical as per the human perspective and safety. This is because the technology was invented to cure and treat the genetic inborn diseases which increases the lofe expectancy, not to become immortal. Gene Therapy | Medical Evolution read this article for more information.

As Humans are most intelligent and can take their decisions own they can do this. But humanity doesn't allow this. Because wvery species posses wild genome aka its original genome content. If any change occurs the species become polluted however they are beneficial for us but they are unnatural. Second thing nature restricts these unnatural things for example mules and transgenders whjch have genetic alterations they naturally become infertile so they can nkt comtinue their generation, hence naturally eliminated from the nature.
The next question is Should Humans Become Immortal?
So, its upon the human population that what is wants. However nature has their own rules and regulations to run the ecosystem and limited resources. So doing yhis humanity will face a lot.
So, you should conclude here what you got! Please comment.
I concluded that gene wditing is a good technique to eradicate the genetic diseases and improve the life expectancy of patients. However if this technology may bring immortality than human beings grow tremendously and humanity will face a lot in terms of resources. Environmental Pollution caused by human over past decades.[1]
Think, At this population level we are harming our environment at alarming rate if we will become immortal than what else we can do?
Footnotes


  

Wednesday

Water | Nutrient or Not!

Nutrients are the biological molecules or chemical compounds which are required for the growth and development of an individual or cell.  The nutrients are classified in to two categories based on the carbon content,  Organic and Inorganic nutrients. 
The nutrients which have hydrocarbons as their backbone are Organic nutrients and those who doesn't lacks hydrocarbons as backbone are inorganic nutrients. 
Do you consider water as nutrient?
Do You Consider Water As Nutrient? 

Broadly, in terms of food nutrients are proteins, vitamins, minerals and  carbohydrates. These my be organic or inorganic. 

Any chemical compound is considered as nutrient when it is essential for the organism or cell or have significance in the bio-chemical pathway of the cell. 

A nutrient must have following properties: 

  • It should be bio-active and bio-available. 
  • It must contain hydrogen or carbon in its chemical structure.
  • It should be metabolized.
  • It should be required in adequate manner. 
  • Nutrients must be a source of energy or any molecule which is responsible for energy or biological factors. 
Water is required by any cell because it is universal solvent and have unique properties.  It is metabolized by body and have significance in various biological pathways.  Water does not contributes in the production of energy or any other molecules but helps in the formation and packaging of several bio-molecules. 

Health And Nutrition

Saturday

Traditional Water Purification Techniques

Water pollution is the major problem which is being faced by every country and due to water pollution, it is not healthy to drink and doing any household activity.

Traditional Water purification techniques

Traditional purification techniques of water now being shifted to Modern purification techniques
  • Boiling
  • Sunlight Exposure
  • Chlorination
  • Flocculation
  • Filtration-Straining
  • Three-Pot Treatment

Thursday

AN OVERVIEW OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

Biotechnology deals with the field of bio-sciences with technology to generate efficient and better biological assays and applications. In biotechnology living systems are introduced or modified with the high-throughput techniques to amplify the results and lowering the cost and time. 
For example, Modern breads and cheese are manufactured by using microbes which are genetically modified and targeted for specific biological pathways to give suitable or desired products. Modern biotechnology is totally different from the conventional biotechnology. In conventional biotechnology the techniques and results are very poor and very much labour intensive, but in modern biotechnology the desired ones are only harvested by using modern technology of gene transfer and gene editing.  

Recent advancements in biotechnology are helping modern technologies and sciences to deal with the social needs: 

Cure and Heal the World

There are 250+ vaccines and medicines are developed with the help of biotechnology to cure and prevent the disease. It also includes detection and its techniques to cure or diagnose any disease at early stage.

Fuel the World

Modern biotechnology has grown so far, Bio-fuels like Ethanol and Methane are produced by using yeast and other micro-organisms. The fuels produced by biotechnology are eco-friendly and said to be next generation fuels.

Production of High quality Foods

Today the available foods are having multiple qualities and have greater amount of nutrition with long lasting lifespan. This is done by using modern biotechnology. Green revolution was the first step towards the modern biotechnology which focused on high yielding crops.


Applications of Biotechnology:


In Agriculture 

Modern agriculture is totally based on the biotechnology, and biotechnology has modified and upgraded several crop species to increase the yield these include:
Tomatoes: Their shelf life is increased by introducing the hybrid RNA which slower downs the process of its peel degradation.
Sugarcane: The length of the plant is modified by making hybrids of two sugarcane species to stand for more time.
Wheat: length of the plants is lowered down by gene editing due to which their stems become strong and don’t fell down in blowing air.
Rice: The varieties are improved or can be said to be fortified in higher nutritional content.  
And many more are modified for different environmental and character needs. So far biotechnology is also used in making plants resistance from pest making pest resistance. Some other biological products and their production are facilitated by biotechnologies which are essential oils and secondary metabolites which are being used in medical and other industry.
Biofortified mustard plant... Biotechnology

 In Medicine 

When Biotechnology deals with medical science it becomes medical biotechnology. Role of biotechnology in the medical science speeded up the treatment and diagnosis process of the diseases. However biotechnology is still young and evolving, new efficient techniques are yet to be discovered.
Gene therapy and DNA fingerprinting began a revolution in medical sciences; DNA fingerprinting is widely used in early diagnosis of the hereditary diseases while Gene therapy corrects the genes which are defective. However Gene therapy is most costly and available for very few diseases. 
Biotechnology uses transgenic techniques to obtain several biological molecules which are used in medicines called as bio-pharmaceuticals. Transgenic animals and plants are made to obtain these desired products.     
   

In Environment

Modern biotechnology is dealing in to protect and restore the environment. Biotechnology contributes to pollution control and ways to reduce the pollution. Also alternatives are developed and tested regularly to for better implementation. It also focuses on reducing the environmental hazards like harmful chemicals and their extraction from environment etc. 
Today’s major problem is environmental pollution and the main causes are plastics. Biotechnology is developing the bio-plastics can be a great alternative to plastics. This bio-plastic is more eco-friendly with environment and less harmful.
Conservation of natural resources and Plants are also taken care by biotechnology. New ways and techniques are also developed by biotechnologists to save the plants and natural resources.  


ROLE OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN DISEASE DIAGNOSIS 


In order to treat any disease it is most important to identify and diagnose the disease first. The early stage and causes of the disease are diagnosed for this several techniques are developed like ELISA- Enzyme Linked Immunosorbant Assay Which is used to diagnose HIV and other viral infections. Blotting techniques are used to diagnose various disease and hereditary disorders.

TRANGENIC ANIMALS – greatest achievement of biotechnology  


Transgenic animals are the genetically modified animals which have been introduced by the gene of interest. They are also called as GMO (Genetically modifies Organisms).  Examples: Rats, Mouse, Sheep, Goat etc.

Importance of Transgenic animals:

They are used as model organisms in the pre-clinical trials.
Used to study the effects of drugs.
Used to study and development of gene regulations.
Study of toxicology

INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS OF BIOTECHNOLOGY 

Modern food, medical and agriculture industries completely rely on the biotechnology. It is obvious to use cheaper products than costly ones, which is done by biotechnology. Several biotechnological techniques reduced the production costs and time by using natural or modified machinery called as bio-reactors or carried out in-vivo. You can monitor your daily stuffs available in the market and reach to the conclusion. 

DISADVANTAGES OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

No doubt biotechnology has very much importance in modern science, but due to an adverse impact it has some limits: 
Through the transgene experiments, the wild gnomes are getting disappeared or you can say it as gene pollution. Alterations in one’s gene over long time causes in the deletion of wild genome.