Grade 8 student's antibiotics work earns science fair gold

Abstract:This project is about isolation of filamentous bacteria from soil and experimented how they are useful to humans. We isolated 10 bacteria and tested for bacterial killing activity and protease enzyme production. Four isolates were killing test bacteria, the chemical produced from this isolate can be further developed as an antibiotic. Few isolates were also found producing protease enzyme, can be used in detergent industries.

A P.E.I. national science fair winner has found that some micro-organisms in soil can help fight against two common infections.
Shruthi Bandi
Shruthi Bandi of Queen Charlotte School in Charlottetown won gold at the Canada-Wide Science Fair for her project on antibiotics. (Lindsay Carroll)
Shruthi Bandi, a grade 8 student from Queen Charlotte Intermediate, recently won gold in the junior division of the national science fair. Bandi tested a number of bacteria found in soil against Staph infections and Candida infections, and found some to be effective at fighting them.
"Everyone thinks micro-organisms are bad and they cause diseases, but I wanted to prove that micro-organisms are actually really good and they help fight diseases," said Bandi.
"I found that one of my isolates was able to fight against Staphylococcus aureus and two of my other isolates were able to fight against Candida albicans. I want to continue this experiment further because the results are really intriguing. So it would be cool to develop a drug or medicine that could fight against Staphylococcus aureus."
The bacteria Staphylococcus aureus causes what is commonly known as a staph infection. Candida albicans is a yeast infection.
Bandi also took home $4,000 along with her gold medal from the National science fair.

He's a cold-blooded mass-murdering clown

It was his greatest role that came at the greatest personal cost.
And now fans have been given insight into just how Heath Ledger became immersed into the dark world of the Joker.
While his official cause of death was an accidental overdose many have always believed the Australian actor struggled after he created his Batman villain.

It’s been five years since his tragic death, but Heath Ledger’s performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight” remains one of Hollywood’s most memorable, chilling villains ever to hit the big screen. Ledger prepared for the role by “reading all the comic books I could that were relevant to the script and then just closing my eyes and meditating on it,” he told Empire in 2007. “I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices — it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath — someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts. He’s just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown, and Chris has given me free rein. Which is fun, because there are no real boundaries to what The Joker would say or do. Nothing intimidates him, and everything is a big joke
Video footage of that diary has emerged, thanks to Reddit, from a German documentary show called “Too Young To Die.” The show interviewed the actor’s father, Kim Ledger, on an episode about the late star, who shared the diary.
The diary provides a disturbing glimpse into the psyche of the Joker, holding clippings from Batman comics, pictures from Stanley Kubrick’s “A Clockwork Orange,” playing cards, pictures of clowns and more. The video, in French, has been translated to English via YouTube:
This is the Joker’s diary. In order to inhabit his character, he locked himself up in a hotel room for weeks. He would do that. He liked to dive into his characters, but this time he really took it up a notch.
The hospital scene is interesting because when he was a kid, his sister Kate liked to dress him up as a nurse. He was really funny like that. He also was in the movie. This is a make-up test which was done eight months before. Before the end of the shooting he wrote ‘bye bye’ on the back of the page. It was hard to see this.


Heath Ledger's father reveals dead actor's 'Joker diary' written during The Dark Knight

via Dailymail

Scientists have confirmed today that Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, has a watery ocean

Earth is not the only orb with oceans. In 2005 Cassini, an American spacecraft, saw plumes of water shooting into space from cracks in the icy surface of Enceladus, one of Saturn’s moons (see picture).
Enceladus is the sixth-largest of the moons of Saturn, with a mean radius of 252 km (156 miles). In 2005, the Cassini spacecraft spotted what appeared to be plumes of water shooting into space from cracks in the icy surface of Enceladus. The only reasonable explanation would be that the moon has an ocean of liquid water under the ice. Now, a team led by Luciano Iess of theUniversity of Rome confirmed that the ocean exists, and also showed that, like Earth’s, it doesn’t cover the entire surface.
But how could a salty liquid ocean exist, under ice, in Saturn’s area – so far away from the Sun? The likely cause is gravity: as the moon moves around Saturn, tidal forces from the planet and the other moons flex and bend the core of the planet, creating friction – therefore heat. This melts the ice, maintaining a liquid ocean.
Gravitational measurements made by the Cassini spacecraft revealed that a 10km-deep ocean of water, larger than Lake Superior, lurks beneath the icy surface of Enceladus at the moon’s south pole; the liquid ocean reduces the volume of the southern hemisphere, so judging by the larger volume of the northern hemisphere, it’s likely that the ocean can only be found in the southern areas.
David Stevenson, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, said the body of water was so large it “may extend halfway or more towards the equator in every direction. It might even extend all the way to the north.”
So what does this mean? Is it far fetched to think that Enceladus could host life? No, not really. There are clear indications that it is habitable – the temperature is right, you get liquid water, and you get some important chemical elements for life, so Enceladus might be the perfect place to look for life (probably microscopic life).
“The question is what conditions do you need to form life and, of course, we don’t know what temperature the ocean is today, nor do we know what it was back in the geological past. But it’s conceivable that it was warm enough, with circulation of water coming from the silicate core as well, to allow life to form even if today that ocean is maintained by antifreeze and is slightly below the freezing point,” said Jonathan Lunine, a member of the team at Cornell University in New York. The antifreeze in question is salt, which reduces the temperature at which water freezes.
Enceladus is not the only moon which sports a liquid water the ice: we’ve written several articles about Europa, a moon of Saturn, and how promising it is. Europa has a more extensive, global ocean under the surface – it is regarded by many as the most likely place to host life in our solar system (bar Earth). But Enceladus also has researchers rubbing their hands due to its vapour plumesfrom the south pole which also contain organic molecules – possible, but not clear signs of life.
To me, the next step here is to establish permanent satellites around Europa and Enceladus, and gather as much geological information as possible, and in time (why not?) land a rover there. The main problem, is, of course, the funding.
Chris McKay, an astrobiologist at Nasa’s Ames Research Centre in California, said:
“There are now several lines of evidence – the geysers, the plume chemistry, and now gravity – that indicate a substantial body of liquid water. For astrobiology this is confirmation of what we expected and is good news. My one view is that Enceladus should be the priority.”
An artist’s impression of the interior of Saturn’s moon Enceladus. Credits: Nasa/JPL-Caltech.

Dr Iess describes, in a paper in Science, how his team mapped Enceladus’s gravity by tracking Cassini’s orbit. The moon’s southern hemisphere is less massive than it would be were there no ocean, but its northern hemisphere is not. So the ocean covers only the southern part of the moon.

Reference: Underground Ocean Makes This Saturn Moon a Top Bet for Extraterrestrial Life
                    Scientists have confirmed today that Enceladus, one of Saturn's moons, has a watery ocean

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