Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Brush Your Teeth!


 ... and reduce the risk of heart attack!





We already knew that maintaining a high level of oral hygiene is good for your teeth.

But at Columbia University in America, they have discovered that brushing your teeth also helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. 








Researchers analysed  














in


of 657 
Also noted the thickness of  

Carries blood from the 
 
to the 
The width of this artery is a good indication of arteriosclerosis when cholesterol or other substances nestle in the walls of the carotid artery. 
When this happens, the blood flow can be affected and even stop.

So, did the researchers find a connection between oral hygiene and healthy arteries?

The more bacteria a gum infection creates, the thicker the carotid artery. 

That means the increase in stroke or heart attack. 

The researchers suspect that the bacteria travel through the body from the mouth via the blood and cause infections which close the arteries. 

How to avoid this?

1. Good brushing
2. Flossing

References


Rik Kuiper and Tony Mudde. 2010. Summersdale Publishers Ltd.


https://www.webmd.com/heart/picture-of-the-carotid-artery 



Shared by Norhidayah Alias
Guest Blogger

How To Make Eco-Enzymes Out of Garbage?





Shared by Asma Azmi
Guest Blogger

Friday, 3 November 2017

Are There Dinosaurs in Malaysia?


What are dinosaurs?

Dinosaurs are a diverse group of reptiles that lived from about 243 million years ago to 65 million years ago, during a time on earth we call the Mesozoic era. The clade Dinosauria consists of non-avian dinosaurs and avian (feathered)-dinosaurs that are birds that continued to exist past the K-T extinction event, but for this science fact, we will be referring to the non-avian dinosaurs only.

How do we know they existed?

Fossils of dinosaurs had been discovered around the globe, to an extent that a dinosaur discovery revolution started in the 70’s. In February 2014, a 145-75 m.y.o. spinosaurid tooth fossil was found in an undisclosed dig site in Pahang by a team of University Malaya and Japanese scientists.

Paleontology teams from UM, UKM, University Malaya Kelantan and Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS had discovered dinosaur tooth fossil of a dinosaur from the Ornithischian order, dinosaur tracks (of possible sauropods) and bone fossils from Sungai Cicir, Gunung Gagau and Tasik Kenyir in Terengganu.

Which period is significant in Malaysia?

Rocks from the Mesozoic era, which spanned 252 to 66 million years ago and cover the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods are all available in Malaysia, though not in all states. It is easier to discover fossils from the Cretaceous periods because newer fossils are more well-preserved.

Why is This Science Important / Relevant to Us

The science of dinosaurs is a worldwide cultural phenomenon. It is a field of study that intrigues a lot of public interest towards certain sciences. Its popularity allowed the awareness of dinosaur sciences be raised among the public and can be used in movies, theme parks, museums and many other forms of public attractions and entertainment. 

The study of dinosaurs helps us to understand the history of our planet earth: allowing us to predict the circumstances of future events on the planet in comparison to past events. This study allows us to understand living things in the present better. For example, the study of dinosaurs allows us to question the function of feathers on modern-day birds, because most feathered dinosaurs did not have their feathers functioned for flight. The study of dinosaurs also allows us to compare the magnitude of today’s extinctions (whereby every year some species of animals go extinct) with that of the dinosaurs’ since the dinosaurs were involved in the K-T extinction event.

Aside from that, a lot of fresh discoveries were carried out in untapped locations. For example, the some largest dinosaurs to ever walked the earth (such as Argentinosaurus) were uncovered in South America. Discoveries in India helped us understand the hazardous environmental conditions and natural disasters during the Cretaceous period. Madagascar’s discoveries helped us understand cannibalistic dinosaurs. Antarctica was where dinosaurs that could survive extreme cold were discovered. In China, dinosaurs with feathers were abundantly discovered. Who knows what kind of new discoveries we can get in Malaysia.

Dinosaur discovery in Malaysia is yet to be classified, therefore here are some pictures of dinosaurs from similar groups to get a rough idea what kinds of dinosaurs had been discovered in Malaysia.

 Spinosaurid tooth found in Pahang in 2014.

 Example of a fish-eating spinosaur: Suchomimus from Africa.

Ornithischian tooth found in Terengganu in late 2014.

 Example of a plant-eating dinosaur from the Ornithischian order: Zalmoxes from Romania

 (Possibly) Sauropod track fossil found in Terengganu in 2014.

 Example of a plant-eating sauropod: Argentinosaurus from Argentina.

Map of Late Cretaceous (~66 mya).

Similar dinosaurs were distributed in the southern regions i.e. South America, Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia such as sauropods, spinosaurids, and abelisaurs. Ornithischians were widely distributed around the globe, though the crested hadrosaurs, thick-headed pachycephalosaurs, and ceratopsians were more commonly distributed around the northern regions i.e. China, Russia and North America, along with the famous tyrannosaurs.

Today, distribution in animal species can be seen around the globe, e.g. marsupials can only be found in Australia.

References

1. SBS News (2014, February 19): A team of Malaysian and Japanese paleontologists has found a darkened tooth fossil after a nearly two-year dig in the central state of Pahang. Retrieved from http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/02/19/first-malaysian-dinosaur-fossil-found

2. Dusty Drawers (2014, November 15): Dinosaur fossils from Terengganu. Retrieved from https://malayanoplia.wordpress.com/2014/11/15/dinosaur-fossils-from-terengganu/



Shared by Rizal Lai
Guest Blogger

Monday, 9 October 2017

Breakout EDU Digital


An Immersive Learning Game Platform


Ever heard of Escape Room, a physical adventure game where players are required to solve a series of puzzles in a given time to get out of an area they are locked in? 

Breakout EDU Digital is another similar version of Escape Room but it focuses more on the educational value received by players upon completing the game. 

A prevalent difference between Breakout EDU Digital and Escape Room is that it mainly operates on a digital platform which in this case using G Suite for Education apps and tools (For e.g. Google Sites, Google Forms, YouTube). 

Innovative Way To Promote High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) 


All Breakout EDU Games are designed to not only encourage players to apply their knowledge and problem-solving skills but require them to use the Four Cs; critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and communication. 

The gameplay is specifically designed to fit the needs of learners or students with an array of interesting clues, mysteries and also storylines which contains elements that capture the interest of today’s younger audience. 

What is needed to conduct a Breakout EDU Digital?

In order to conduct a Breakout EDU Digital, you need:
Stable WIFI connection
Laptops
Smart devices
Teamwork

How is the game played?


Players are required to collaborate with each other to solve a series of digital puzzle problems in order to unlock a locked box which manifests in this game as a Google Form. Before starting the game, players are provided with a one-page Google Site which contains text, images and clues. 

Screenshot of one of the games featured on https://www.breakoutedu.com/digital

As you can see from the above screenshot, there is a story followed by a Google Form with the locks and an image. Clues are also hidden among the words in the story.

These text, images and clues are mainly deployed to players using G Suite for Education apps and tools; mainly using Google Forms, Google Drawings, Google Drive and YouTube. Answers are submitted on the Google Form embedded in the site through a series of ‘lock’ questions. Players will be unable to ‘breakout’ unless all locks have been unlocked. 

Saving Nasi Lemak Breakout EDU Digital Game


A Malaysian-inspired Breakout EDU Digital Game has been created! 

Featuring Malaysia’s national dish and sweetheart, Nasi Lemak, the game is set to quiz players’ minds with its mind-boggling mathematics questions. Each question is specifically and creatively designed to fit the Nasi Lemak theme. The questions are of Malaysian secondary school students level and can also be answered by adults. 


Upon access to the Google Site, players will be greeted with a mouth-watering banner of Saving Nasi Lemak Game. A story and a Powtoon video usher players further into the game. 


As players explore the Google Site, there will be several images with each leading to a certain stage of the game and contain clues.Players are required to click according to the numbers at each image. 


By clicking on the images, players will be led to the challenges which operate on Google Forms. 



Players will also encounter questions that require them to apply their knowledge into daily life. 

Interested?

If you would like to learn more about Breakout EDU Digital, feel free to e-mail me at celinewoon97@gmail.com

We would also like to invite enthusiastic readers to be one of our players for our Malaysian-themed Saving Nasi Lemak game! 

Click on the link below and jump on the bandwagon to save Nasi Lemak from the clutches of the evil! 


Come forth, brave soul and test your might in solving the puzzles of the game. Can you save Nasi Lemak in time? 




Shared by Celine Woon
Guest Blogger

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Reshuffling Molecules


Ever broken an egg before? Notice the soft, transparent, slimy part? This is called the albumen, which contains a lot of proteins; in fact, it has over 10 different kinds of proteins that are very beneficial to our bodies. But what happens when you heat egg in a pan? 

The molecules of proteins can be arranged in different forms. The arrangements of these molecules are determined by the type of bonds that hold them up together. Imagine weaving or bonding pieces of thread into cloth. And then, this piece of cloth can be turned into a shirt with more stitching or bonding. 


What happens when you heat up the egg white is that some bonds are broken, and the molecules are rearranged. This new structure is more stable than the raw egg white. 

The same thing also happens when you heat up butter. Butter is in solid form because of bonds that hold them close together. But these bonds are broken when given heat and the molecules rearrange themselves in the form of oil, which is a liquid form. When you introduce hydrogen molecules into peanut oil, the molecules of the oil will be rearranged, and you get peanut butter! 

Water in its solid form is called ice. The molecules are packed tightly together and are held by many bonds. These bonds, however, will be broken by heat and the water molecules start to become loose. The ice will eventually lose its shape and turn into a liquid form.

When you heat up lemon juice, it will turn brown because the molecules are rearranged with oxygen molecules. This is the explanation for the experiment below. 


       
  
               




Experiment: To make invisible ink

Materials: 
lemons, cotton buds or paintbrush, white paper, electric iron, ironing board.

Steps:
1.    Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice out into a container.
2.    Dip the cotton bud or paintbrush into the lemon juice and use it to write your name on a piece of clean white paper. Repeat this 3 times.
3.    Allow the paper to dry.
4.    Once dried, iron over the paper until you see your name appear in brown. 

Glossary of Terms:
Albumen [al-byoo-muhn] the white of an egg.
Bond [bond] something that binds, fastens, confines, or holds together.
Molecule [mol-uh-kyool] the smallest unit of an element or compound.

                     
Shared by Surain A. Victor
Guest Blogger

Digital Citizenship





Shared by Celine Woon
Guest Blogger

A Prison Invited Event - 'Di Belakang Tirai Besi'


It was not a normal Wednesday for us, me and Jai. It's not like Iraq invitation to where the barren land of the desert meets the eyes…and war.

This is a different kind of war. A war in oneself to refrain from making mistakes.. again and lives normally as a ‘free’ person.

On the 26th July, we got an invitation from a prison in Sungai Petani. Calls and e mails are the contacts that I made with them, the prison personnel. Until we went there.


Probably many of us are not aware the presence of schools in prison. As a means of giving them… the second chance in life. The teachers that are assigned will teach the prison kids. We met the teachers who shared with us the challenges and stories of the students.
The many backgrounds and the mistakes that cost them their precious ‘freedom’. The schools in are called Sekolah Integriti and Sekolah Henry Gurney. All are age below 21. 

Some are involved in heavy cases, some are light cases. Once in.. they realized the price you pay for crime is heavy. 

We walked past the single wooden door upon entry, then it was locked. After body check, all our belongings (including cameras, handphones) are left in a locker and entry to the prison area was allowed. Passing through a double gated mesh wire door, we passed a young boys group of red attired jail uniform squatting down. We were told it's one way to easily react should one of them be aggressive. I gulp at the thought.

We passed in an area where many uniformed prison staff holding batons standing. It is the main area of officiating this occasion where they had invited us earlier. A collaboration with their education sector – ours is the science show as judges.

We were escorted with four prison staff to the school compound. Passing another gate (locked again) we reached the school compound. High walls surrounding was very prominent. The feeling and ambiance of being locked are everywhere. 

We went to a hall like room and the door is locked again. The windows are covered with mesh wires. Then the Science Show begins, and we are the judges along with a science teacher from a prison school in Sabah. 5 teams presented and the winner is from Sekolah Integriti Kajang.
The winner was good at explaining the science concepts with the demos. Looking at them, one will just wonder what crime has been committed. 

We stayed until the prize giving ceremony finished with the VIP, the Director of Prison Malaysia, Dato Sri Haji Zulkifli bin Omar.

Before the prize giving, a 9 A students age 19, winning Champion in the Speech Competition,  gave a heart tugging speech…. Part of it is this… “Now I realize my mom has sacrificed so much for me, keeping my spirit high even in prison.. she was there when I did well in my studies..and she was there when I am at my lowest... I want to thank you mom..for all your support..for all your sacrifices.. even though I am not sure whether .. I 'll be set free or face the gallows…”

I asked the person next to me..why is he in..the reply was, he was a drug dealer during his first year as a student in the university.

We headed out through many doors.. emerging out to see ‘freedom’. So different from being inside many mesh wires, many locked doors, and high walls…My thoughts were we have to help these kids from getting into the wrong ways. And also to remind all of us, if we know anyone heading that wrong direction if there is a way to help.. we should. 


Shared by Fozi Wazir
Guest Blogger




Thursday, 17 August 2017

Mother Nature’s Abundance


Let’s take a walk down the aisles of the fresh produce section of a supermarket. There are fruits; such as apples, oranges, watermelons, mangoes, tomatoes, grapes, bananas, papayas, - vegetables; such as spinach, mustard, convolvulus, cabbage, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, - mushrooms; such as shiitake, button, oyster, Portobello, - bulbs and tubers; such as carrots, horseradish, potatoes, onions, turnip, tapioca, ginger, galangal, - and nuts, grains and seeds such as; rice, barley, wheat, green peas, soybeans, dhal, cashew nuts, almonds, chickpeas, lentils. They come in a variety of shapes, textures, sizes, and colors!



These types of fresh produce are enough to feed the mouths of the seven billion people on planet Earth today. And what do they have in common? They need soil to grow.































The soil is found on the upper most layer of the Earth. The soil consists of a mixture of weathered rock, finely ground into powder, minerals, and a variety of living and dead life forms. This nutrient rich layer typically only extends downward a few feet, about as deep as plant roots extend.

Soil contains all the nutrients needed by plants to survive. Some areas, such as deserts, have very poor soils; in these locations, it is difficult for complex plant life to take hold. An important part of soil is the part that is alive. Many different bacteria, algae, and fungi do important jobs that make life possible. Without these basic life forms performing these important roles, more complex life forms could not survive.

And earthworms are a farmer’s best friend because they make soil healthier by fertilizing and aerating it. Only 3% of the Earth’s landmass is available for growing food; therefore soil needs to be conserved to continue to support life.


Experiment: 
To learn about the small fraction of the planet available for growing food

Materials: 
an apple and a knife.

Steps:
1. Cut an apple in half lengthwise, then half again.

2. Take one of the four 1/4th of a piece and cut it in half lengthwise so that you have 1/8th.
3. Next, slice the 1/8th lengthwise into
four equal parts to give you four 1/32 sections of apple.
4. Take one of the 1/32 section and peel the skin.
5. This skin represents all the soil on the planet where food can be grown.


Glossary of Terms:
Fertilize [fur-tl-ahyz] to make productive; enrich.
Nutrient [noo-tree-uh nt] nourishing; providing nourishment or nutrient.


Shared by Surain A. Victor
Guest Blogger

The Little Engine in Us


Did you know that the heart of a blue whale is about 450 kilograms? That’s the weight of an average dairy cow!!

The heart is a bag-like structure in the chest region made completely of muscles. These muscles contract and relax from the time you were just a fetus in your mother’s uterus. 


The heart is made up of four chambers each with its own blood vessel. In these blood vessels are valves that make sure that blood flows in the right direction. The opening and closing of these valves are what gives the ‘lub-dub’ sound of your heartbeat. 

The heart pumps thousands of liters of blood through your body every day. First, it sends blood without any oxygen to the lungs to get oxygen. It then pumps the blood containing oxygen around all the other parts of the body. After delivering its oxygen, the blood returns to the heart to start the process of getting oxygen all over again.

During exercise, more oxygen and nutrients are needed by the muscles so blood must be delivered faster than when the body is resting. To meet these demands, the heartbeat increases. 


Generally, stethoscopes are used to listen to the heart, lungs, and intestinal tract but can also be used to listen to blood flow through vessels. The stethoscope is a very important tool used by medical professionals and health care workers to listen to your heartbeat.

If you want your heart to be healthy for the rest of your life, get plenty of exercise, follow a good diet and keep your heart clean and drug-free.


Experiment: Make your own stethoscope


Materials: 

60cm-long rubber hose, plastic funnel and masking tape.

Steps:
1.    Insert the nozzle of the plastic funnel into the opening of one end of the 60cm-long rubber hose. 

2.    Wrap the neck of the plastic funnel where it joins the rubber hose with masking tape to ensure it is airtight.
3.    Place the mouth of the plastic funnel on your chest and place the opening end of the rubber hose to your ear.
4.    Listen closely to your heartbeat.


Glossary of terms:

Muscle [muhs-uhl] tissues in the body that produce movement
Uterus [yoo-ter-uhs] the organ in a woman’s body where a fetus develops
Blood vessel [bluhd ves-uhl] tubes that circulate blood throughout the body
Valve [valv] a structure that allows fluid to flow in one direction only
Oxygen [ok-si-juhn] a colorless, odorless gas in the atmosphere that is used in respiration



Shared by Surain A. Victor
Guest Blogger