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Children shoot tough questions at Nobel laureates

Friday January 06, 2012 11:20:13 AM, IANS

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Bhubaneswar: Why does hair turn grey as we grow old? Why can't water available on the moon be brought to earth? These were some of the questions posed by children to Nobel laureates participating in the Indian Science Congress (ISC) here.

Some of the questions asked by the children participating in the Children Science Congress - running parallel to the ISC - left the Nobel winners speechless.

Manvendra Sharma, a Class 7 student from Haryana, asked scientist Richard R. Ernst - who won the prestigious prize for chemistry - why hair turns grey with age. Ernst had no logical answer to it and said: "It is a difficult question. It is a biological process and not a bad thing to happen. It is one of the unsolved questions still."

The 99th edition of the event at the Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology (KIIT) witnessed the participation of some of the brightest minds in the science world, including Nobel laureates like Rolf M. Zinkernagel, Kurt Wüthrich and Ernst.

Over 1,000 children are participating in the Children Science Congress - an event that brings science closer to the young generation of the country. The first Children Science Congress was held in 1993.

Every day children get to interact with a Nobel laureate as part of the event. Some innovative science projects are also being exhibited as part of the event.

Shivan Pandey from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jaipur, had another interesting question - why abundant water on moon could not be used on earth to meet the shortage of water?

"I don't think it is feasible to draw water from moon for usage on earth. Not all things can be used in the world and some are just for beauty," Ernst replied to the Class 5 student.

Bahar Stuti Dutt, who studies in Class 6 in the Andaman and Nicobar islands, asked how the impact of radiation from mobile phones could be reduced.

"The mobile phone has both positive and negative impacts but there are no studies to prove any significant health impact of radiation from it. It will have a harmful impact when we misuse it by using it for hours," he said.

Children attending the conference are enjoying these sessions.

"This is the best part of the Children Science Congress as we get to interact with Nobel laureates. It is really nice to get our queries answered by them," said Pulkit Singh, a Class 8 student.

The ISC is on from Jan 3-7.






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