SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — There are many ways to answer this questions and to explain statements such as the ones found in Hadeeth Alkisa which suggest that the universe was created for Ahlul-Bayt. One of which is that they are the ones who manifest the perfections of Allah in the best way. Meaning that Allah's perfections are not known to his creation directly and therefore he must create some creations which manifest his attributes. Attributes such as strength, beauty, patience, wisdom, knowledge and power are manifested by the creation. If you see a strong man you think of the strength of the one who created him. If Allah did not create Ahlul-Bayt there would not have been such great examples of his attributes. Without these examples, the creation would not be able to know Allah in the way that they should. Then there would be no reason to create them, since Allah in the quran says "I did not create the Humans and Jinn except to worship me" and "worship me" here is explained as "know me" by the Hadeeths.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: Shia Answer
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Scientists have created a new slippery technology, named SLIPS (Slippery-Liquid-Infused Porous Surfaces), that prevents more than 99% of harmful bacterial slime from forming on surface. SLIPS was developed by a team of Harvard scientists. The scientists coated solid surfaces with an immobilized liquid film to trick the bacteria into thinking they had nowhere to attach and grow.
Joanna Aizenberg, Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) and a Core Faculty Member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, says, "People have tried all sorts of things to deter biofilm build-up - textured surfaces, chemical coatings, and antibiotics, for example. In all those cases, the solutions are short-lived at best. The surface treatments wear off, become covered with dirt, or the bacteria even deposit their own coatings on top of the coating intended to prevent them. In the end, bacteria manage to settle and grow on just about any solid surface we can come up with."
SLIPS creates a hybrid surface that is smooth and slippery due to the liquid layer that is immobilized on it. The super-slippery surfaces have been shown to repel both water- and oil-based liquids and even prevent ice or frost from forming.
Alexander Epstein, a recent Ph.D. graduate who worked in Aizenberg's lab at the time of the study, says, "By creating a liquid-infused structured surface, we deprive bacteria of the static interface they need to get a grip and grow together into biofilms."
Tak-Sing Wong, a researcher at SEAS and a Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Wyss Institute, says, "In essence, we turned a once bacteria-friendly solid surface into a liquid one. As a result, biofilms cannot cling to the material, and even if they do form, they easily 'slip' off under mild flow conditions."
Aizenberg and her collaborators report in a study published here in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), that SLIPS reduced by 96% the formation of three of the most notorious, disease-causing biofilms - Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus - over a 7-day period. The researchers say SLIPS is also nontoxic, scalable, and self-cleaning. The say it needs "nothing more than gravity or a gentle flow of liquid to stay unsoiled." —www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: Science Space Robots
SHAFAQNA (Shia international Association) — The great northwest of the U.S. is known for its natural beauty. It's also a high-tech region with a highly educated public - not exactly the kind of place one would expect to fall for the anti-science rhetoric of the anti-vaccine movement.
But it has. The anti-vaxxers have convinced a frighteningly high number of parents in Washington State to withhold vaccines from their children. A story in The Seattle Times last year reported that
"Washington [state] parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kindergartners at a rate higher than anywhere else in the country."
This despite the fact that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (formed by the founder of Microsoft, which is headquartered in Seattle) is one of the world's leading sponsors of vaccine research.
When the vaccination rates drop, everyone becomes more vulnerable to infectious diseases. When more than 90% of the population is vaccinated, we have "herd immunity" - this means the disease can't spread because there aren't enough susceptible people in the community. So the high rate of vaccine refusal in Washington makes it easier for whooping cough (and other diseases) to spread.
The media has been complicit in spreading some of anti-vaccine misinformation. Sometimes it comes straight from the media itself, such as the credulous, anti-science, anti-vax CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson. Other times it comes from talk shows, magazines, or even airline advertisements that provide a platform for anti-vax celebrity doctors such as Jay Gordon (who gained fame as Jenny McCarthy's son's doctor) and "Dr. Bob" Sears, who has published his own "alternative" vaccine schedule in a book filled with anti-vaccine nonsense. These characters continue to claim, at every chance they get, that vaccines cause autism (as Gordon has said, repeatedly), or that they cause other harms, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They use their medical degrees and their faux concern "for the children" to frighten parents into keeping their kids unvaccinated.
And now we learn that the U.S. is in the midst of the worst whooping cough epidemic in 70 years. One of the most hard-hit states is Washington, which the CDC just announced (on 20 July) has suffered 2,520 cases so far this year, a 1300% increase over last year. This is the highest number of cases reported in Washington since 1942. This plot of the number of cases this year compared to last year shows the dramatic rise in infections:
The figure above shows the number of confirmed and probable pertussis cases reported, by week of onset in Washington, during January 1, 2011-June 16, 2012. Source: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Making things worse, it seems, is an increase in cases among children aged 13-14. Children get a booster shot at age 11-12, but the new outbreak indicates that the effectiveness of the booster may not last very long. The dramatic increase in whooping cough this year also suggests that the bacterium that causes it, Bordetella pertussis, is mutating to make the vaccine less effective. Nevertheless, the CDC emphasizes:
"Vaccination continues to be the single most effective strategy to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by pertussis. Vaccination of pregnant women and contacts of infants is recommended to protect infants too young to be vaccinated."
This good advice is seriously undermined when misinformed doctors such as "Dr. Bob" Sears directly advise pregnant women not to get the whooping cough vaccine, as he did in the Huffington Post. (Hint: it's a good rule to be very skeptical of celebrity doctors who go by their first name.)
I should also point out that whooping cough is a national problem, not just Washington State's. The U.S. has had over 17,000 cases this year, putting it on track for the worst year since 1959. The highest rate of infection in the nation is in Wisconsin (which has also been hit hard by anti-vaccine effects), followed by Washington and Montana. 10 deaths have been reported, mostly in infants who were too young to be vaccinated. For all this, we can thank the anti-vaccination movement.—www.shafaqna.com/english
SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Scientists have just discovered a new molecule that will change dental care forever. The molecule will make your teeth cavity proof and has been named Keep 32 after your set of all 32 teeth. The molecule can kill the bacteria(Streptococcus Mutans) which produces cavities in a mere 60 seconds.
The makers of the molecule, Jose Cordoba from Yale University and Erich Astudillo from la Universidad de Santiago,Chile, have also noted that it can be added to almost any dental product and even candy or chewing gum as well. As long as the product with the molecule stays in your mouth for 60 seconds, it will eliminate the cavity bacteria and prevent it from returning for a number of hours.
Research began in 2005 and the two researchers are hoping to bring the molecule to products in a matter of 14-18 months. After going through human safety trials in the US, they would like to license the molecule to different dental care manufacturers such as Colgate or Proctor & Gamble and candy companies such as Hershey’s or Cadbury.
This is a revolutionary discovery and will definitely help reduce the amount of trips you take to the dentist each year. This is definitely up there with water fluoridation. We’ll keep you updated on the status of this molecule.— www.shafaqna.com/english/