Anirban Mahapatra
Science and society
Created 14 Sep 2020
  • There are small rocks in your ears that keep you balanced
    06 Nov 2021 • 4 min read • 6 2
    Hello! I want to first take this opportunity to wish you and your family a happy Diwali from mine. May you find the way to light through your metaphorical darkness. I have a couple of things in the ho...
  • Cracking the enigma of bird migration
    26 Oct 2021 • 5 min read • 4 0
    Hello. How have you been? It’s been a little over a year since I started this newsletter. I started by writing about COVID-19 vaccine trials and by dispelling vaccine myths. Since then, I’ve covered a...
  • How a cosmonaut used a tea bag to save the $100 billion International Space Station
    15 Oct 2021 • 4 min read • 11 3
    Wherever you are in the world, I hope you are well. If you are in the northern hemisphere, you are probably celebrating some form of fall festival. For me, this Durga Puja has been one of the most bor...
  • The truth about salt
    08 Oct 2021 • 3 min read • 4 2
    Hello! I want to wish everyone a happy festive season first. My best wishes to you and yours. I will keep the newsletter this week short and focus on one topic. It is the subject of my column this wee...
  • Did you know that cigarettes are radioactive?
    02 Oct 2021 • 3 min read • 3 0
    You already know cigarettes are bad for you. But did you know they are radioactive? Cigarettes contain radioactive polonium. Researchers have estimated that the radiation exposure from a pack of cigar...
  • How an ibuprofen-like chemical was discovered in olive oil
    28 Sep 2021 • 4 min read • 4 0
    Millions of people use olive oil. It's one of my favorite oils for drizzling over food, putting in salads, and used in cooking. But there was one scientist who made a spectacular discovery because he ...
  • The secret behind the poison in a fish considered a delicacy
    17 Sep 2021 • 2 min read • 3 2
    Pufferfish (fugu) is a delicacy in Japan. But it has to be prepared carefully since some species accumulate a deadly poison in their livers. The compound in pufferfish (tetrodotoxin) is about 100 time...
  • How to make an insect the size of a bird.
    10 Sep 2021 • 4 min read • 2 0
    In biology, the answer to “how” and “why” are often not very clear-cut. Size matters. In biology, size plays a huge role in the relationship of an animal to its environment and to other animals in the...
  • Why do giraffes have long necks?
    02 Sep 2021 • 3 min read • 18 6
    Hello! How have you been? First some boring stuff. It’s been nearly a year! I started this newsletter to share critical information about COVID-19 with friends. Over the course of 37 newsletters, I’ve...
  • How weird looking fish are helping research on organ transplantation
    26 Aug 2021 • 3 min read • 5 2
    How anglerfish fuse is spawning research on organ transplantation Your immune system is constantly looking out for attackers. Such attackers can be viruses, bacteria, and parasites. Over the course of...
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