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Teaching a plate of brain cells to control a robot

A group of researchers at IISc have managed to "teach" the brain cells taken from a rat and cultured on a glass plate, to help navigate a robot through an arena—while avoiding obstacles.
The researchers took the brain cells of a rat, and allowed them to grow on a specialized tiny glass plate covered with multiple electrodes. They flooded it with a special liquid medium to keep it alive. In a few weeks, the cells grow specialised structures called dendrites, which connect to other cells, thus forming a network. This network starts showing spontaneous electrical activity with generation and transmission of tiny voltage spikes – much like within the brain.

Incentivize the Individual: A Strategy for Campaigns over Social Networks

A study in Indian Institute of Science has yielded an algorithm that can allow companies to advertize their products, or political parties to campaign over social networks within a fixed budget. The algorithm ensures that the campaign reaches maximum people, through an optimal combination of mass media broadcasts and providing incentives to people having good social contact.
Social media has become part and parcel of life over the last decade. Most of us use it not only as a tool to get in touch with friends, relatives and colleagues, but also as a source of information. It is not surprising that companies are increasingly taking to social media to advertise their products; recently, politicians have been using it for election campaigns.

New material to protect organic electronics from moisture

Protecting organic devices against water vapour is a concern for many scientists. Organic devices are known to be highly reactive to atmospheric water vapour, a significant cause for their premature degradation. A successful solution was generated by a team of four researchers at the Department of Chemical Engineering in IISc. Using a polymeric nanocomposite, they have devised an efficient and economical barrier to protect organic devices.

Protecting telephone exchanges from lightning surges

Researchers from the IISc have developed new equipment that can ensure better safety of the digital telecom exchanges against lightning surges. The study is carried out by the researchers from the Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Scientists find a way to remote control tiny nanostructures

IISc researchers have successfully found a way to navigate tiny, geometrically identical filaments, and subsequently place them at predefined positions with respect to each other. The method works without any physical contact with the filaments, and this can have important applications in nanomedicine.

Small should be beautiful for India suggests new research on SMEs

Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a flagship campaign of the government, “Make In India” was launched on September 25, 2014, with a mandate to ‘put India on the world map as a manufacturing hub’. Covering 25 industry sectors, Make in India is seen as a global call for companies to manufacture in India. The action plan includes interfacing with global investors, grievance redressal through dedicated business facilitation channels and resolve policy issues in ease of doing business in India.

A new circuit that could help batteries last longer

Miniaturisation of VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) devices has allowed for their usage in versatile applications such as baby monitors and heart rate monitors. One drawback to such miniaturisation of integrated circuits is the reduced capacity and lack of accessibility of the batteries used as power sources. This requires that the power consumed by the device be reduced as much as possible. To address this problem, Sagar Gubbi and Bharadwaj Amrutur of the department of Electrical and Communication Engineering at Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have developed a novel method which manages power better. The new method more efficient, reliable, and produces a hundred-fold improvement for certain operating conditions.

Dr Aditya Kanade: Making hand-held computation and computer education accessible to all

The current age is called the “Information Age”. People want “information” on their fingertips. Information here may mean a variety of things: mails and messages, news, financial transactions, railway bookings and more. Some people may also need more specialized or personalized forms of information. However, in a developing country like India, not everyone can afford a personal computer with internet access. On the other hand, India has also seen a remarkable proliferation of mobile phones across much of the society, and across most age groups. The new generation of such phones, called smartphones, not only provide regular internet access, but also a platform for users to create new programs (popularly called “App”s) for specialized and personalized services. Dr. Aditya Kanade, Scientist and Assistant Professor of Computer Science in Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore is working on the design and implementation issues of smartphone apps. In his words, the widespread adoption of smartphones is a step at democratizing information access.

Nano-micro Systems Laboratory, IISc

Anyone who has stepped into the IISc campus is aware of its enormous expanse that is comparable to the area of a small city; however, it is not quite as simple to judge the scope of scientific work done at this institute. It is the uniqueness of each laboratory that makes the work done at IISc so valuable. Some researchers here work on things as large as satellites and ships while others work with the thinnest known material, called graphene. The Nano-micro Systems Laboratory, headed by Assistant Professor Dr. Abha Misra, is busy with cutting-edge research involving materials which are classified into the lowest physical size scale.

It is a battery if it moves

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have now devised a technology which can efficiently extract energy from vibrations that are almost always present around us. Though not from thin air, this development has a wide scope of applications and could power smalls LED lights, fire and smoke alarms, biomedical devices to name a few.