Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Class 10 English Footprints Without Feet Chapter 6 The Making of a Scientist by ROBERT W. PETERSON

Richard Ebright has received the Searle Scholar Award and the Schering Plough Award for

Monarch Butterfly

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. It was his fascination for butterflies that opened the world of science to him.


(Page 32)

Question 1. 
How did a book become a turning point in Richard Ebright’s life?

Richard Ebright's mother gave him a book title: "The Travels of Monarch X". This book helped young Richard develop his scientific curiosity. He got interested in the migration of Monarch butterflies which led him to other scientific experiments which established him as a great scientist. That is why the book is regarded as a turning point in Richard Ebright's life.

Question 2.
How did his mother help him?

Richard Ebright's mother looked after him well. She ensured that Richard was busy in curricular and co-curricular activities. She spent time with him playing and helping in his studies. She took him to places and bought scientific equipment and books for him. In fact the woman behind Richard Ebright's success was her mother.

(Page 34)

Question 1.
What lesson does Ebright learn when he does not win anything at a science fair?

When Ebright does not win anything at the science fair he realizes that the winners tried to do real experiments unlike Ebright who just showed frog tissues under the microscope.

Question 2.
 What experiments and projects does he then undertake?

He undertook many projects and experiments. He worked on viceroy butterflies to show that they copied monarch butterflies. He studied bright spots on the monarch pupa and discovered a new hormone. Also, he found out how cells read their DNA.

Question 3.
What are the qualities that go into the making of a scientist?

There are three qualities that go in the making of a scientist. First rate mind, curiosity and will to win. Ebright possessed all these which made him a great scientist.


Question 1.
How can one become a scientist, an economist, a historian... ? Does it simply involve reading many books on the subject? Does it involve observing, thinking and doing experiments?

Becoming a scientist typically requires a combination of education and experience. Here are some steps you can take to become a scientist:

Choose a field of study: Scientists work in a wide range of fields, including biology, physics, chemistry, and psychology. Decide which field you are interested in pursuing and focus your studies on that subject.

Earn a bachelor's degree: Most scientists have at least a bachelor's degree in their field of study. A bachelor's degree typically takes four years to complete and includes coursework in math, science, and the specific field of study you have chosen.

Gain practical experience: Many scientists gain practical experience by participating in internships or research assistantships while they are in school. These opportunities allow you to work alongside experienced scientists and learn about the day-to-day work of a scientist.

Earn a graduate degree: Many scientists pursue a graduate degree, such as a master's degree or a PhD, in order to advance their careers and conduct more advanced research. A graduate degree usually takes two to six years to complete, depending on the program.

Find a job: Scientists often work in research and development for companies, government agencies, or universities. You can find job openings by networking with other scientists, attending job fairs, or searching online job boards.

It's important to note that becoming a scientist requires a strong foundation in math and science and a passion for learning and discovery. It can be a challenging career path, but it can also be extremely rewarding for those who are interested in advancing our understanding of the world and solving complex problems.

Question 2.
You must have read about cells and DNA in your science books. Discuss Richard Ebright’s work in the light of what you have studied. If you get an opportunity to work like Richard Ebright on projects
and experiments, which field would you like to work on and why?

Richard Ebright is a biochemist and molecular geneticist who has made significant contributions to the field of molecular biology. One of his most notable works is the discovery of the mechanism behind transcriptional regulation, which is the process by which genetic information is transcribed into proteins.

Ebright's research has focused on understanding the mechanisms behind gene expression and regulation in bacteria. He has studied the proteins and enzymes that control transcription, as well as the transcriptional activators and repressors that bind to specific DNA sequences and regulate gene expression.

Ebright has also made significant contributions to the field of antibiotic resistance. He has studied the mechanisms behind bacterial resistance to antibiotics and has developed methods for identifying new antibiotics and for improving the efficacy of existing ones.

Ebright's work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Alan T. Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation, the ASM/AAAS Inventor of the Year Award, and the Franklin Institute's Bower Award for Achievement in Science. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

If I get a chance to work I would like to work on antibiotic resistance because mankind is suffering a lot due to this. Drugs are proving ineffective and a solution should be sought as soon as possible.


 Children everywhere wonder about the world around them. The questions they ask are the beginning of scientific inquiry. Given below are some questions that children in India have asked Professor Yash Pal and Dr Rahul Pal as reported in their book, Discovered Questions (NCERT, 2006).
(i) What is DNA fingerprinting? What are its uses?
(ii) How do honeybees identify their own honeycombs?
(iii) Why does rain fall in drops?
Can you answer these questions? You will find Professor Yash Pal’s and
Dr Rahul Pal’s answers (as given in Discovered Questions) on page 75.

Answer (i)
DNA fingerprinting is a method used to identify an individual's unique DNA profile. It involves analyzing specific sequences of DNA called "short tandem repeats" (STRs), which are found at specific locations on a person's chromosomes. These sequences are unique to each individual, making them useful for identifying individuals through genetic testing.

There are many uses for DNA fingerprinting, including:

Criminal investigations: DNA fingerprinting is often used to identify suspects in criminal cases. It can help determine whether a suspect's DNA matches DNA found at a crime scene.

Paternity testing: DNA fingerprinting can be used to determine whether an individual is the biological parent of a child.

Identification of missing persons: DNA fingerprinting can be used to identify missing persons by comparing their DNA to DNA samples taken from family members.

Identification of human remains: DNA fingerprinting can be used to identify human remains, particularly in cases where the body has been decomposed or mutilated.

Immigration and citizenship: DNA fingerprinting can be used to verify family relationships in immigration and citizenship cases.

Medical research: DNA fingerprinting can be used to study genetic disorders and to identify genetic risk factors for certain diseases.

Answer (ii)
Honeybees use a combination of scent, shape, and location to identify their own honeycombs.

First, honeybees secrete a special scent, called the "brood scent," onto the cells of the honeycomb that contain eggs, larvae, or pupae. This scent is unique to the hive and serves as a marker for the bees to recognize their own brood cells.

Secondly, honeybees also use the shape and size of the cells on the honeycomb to identify their own. Each hive has a specific pattern of cell shapes and sizes, and the bees are able to recognize this pattern as unique to their own hive.

Finally, honeybees use the location of the honeycomb within the hive as a way to identify it. Each hive has a specific layout, with the queen's cells located in a central location, and the honey and pollen stores located in a different area. The bees are able to navigate the hive and locate their own honeycombs based on their knowledge of the hive's layout.

Rain falls in drops because of the way that water vapor condenses into liquid form in the atmosphere. When the air becomes saturated with water vapor, the excess vapor begins to condense onto tiny particles, such as dust or salt, in the air. As these particles accumulate more and more water, they become heavier and begin to fall towards the ground.

As the droplets fall, they also collide with other droplets, merging and growing in size. Eventually, the droplets become large enough to be visible as raindrops. The shape of the raindrop is influenced by the size of the droplet and the rate at which it is falling. Generally, smaller droplets fall more slowly and are more spherical in shape, while larger droplets fall more quickly and have a more tear-drop shape.

Overall, the reason rain falls in drops is due to the process of condensation and the gravitational force pulling the droplets towards the ground.

Question 2.
You also must have wondered about certain things around you. Share these questions with your class, and try and answer them.

These are the things I wonder about:
  • The way the leaves on the trees rustle in the breeze
  • The intricate patterns on a butterfly's wings
  • The clouds in the sky, constantly shifting and changing
  • The diversity of plants and animals in my environment
  • The way the sun casts shadows on objects
  • The way different materials feel and look
  • The sounds of nature, such as birds singing or the rush of a stream
  • The technology and systems that make everyday life possible, such as electricity and transportation
  • The cultural and social norms of my community
  • The mysteries of the universe and the mysteries of the human mind.

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