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IISc student wins award for his work on Photodynamic therapy for Cancer

Aditya Garai, a PhD student at IISc, has won the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award in category of biotechnological/medical/ health care innovation. Aditya has been awarded BIRAC-SRISTI Award, one of the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Awards, for his work on light based cancer therapies. The award was presented on March 13, in Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi.

Anticancer molecules that get activated by light

Scientists at IISc have discovered that certain iron containing chemical compounds can be used to kill cancerous cells. Light acts as a switch that turns these compounds on and off. The compound is also unusual because it targets the powerhouse of the cell, the mitochondria.

A nanomaterial that can help degrading nerve damaging chemicals

A team from IISc has found a material which can be used to degrade the toxic chemicals that inhibit the function of an enzyme, Acetylcholinesterase, which is involved in the breakdown of the nerve transmitter acetylcholine. This in turn can lead to nerve damage, paralysis and even death. Antidotes are available for nerve agent poisoning, but they do not act on the nerve agent itself – they act either on Acetylcholinesterase enzyme or its receptor.

A novel non-invasive method to detect brain disorders

A new non-invasive method to detect oxidative stress in the brain may help in early detection of brain disorders like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. The new technique, developed by the researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, is based on Raman spectroscopy.

Curcumin based Cancer Therapy

Indian spices are renowned for their medicinal properties and have been used to cure several ailments since time immemorial. Turmeric or haldi as it is commonly known is a common inhabitant in most Indian kitchens. It is a potent anti-inflammatory compound and has been used to cure diseases like jaundice and stomach ache. Turmeric is an age-old antiseptic and can effectively treat wounds and cuts. The medicinal properties of turmeric come from its active principle: Curcumin.

A breakthrough in treatment of hypothyroidism

Thyroid hormones act on every cell in the body. They are responsible for maintaining body temperature, growth, heart rate, and also for modulating our bodies’ responses to other hormones. Therefore, they are important regulators of metabolism, and are crucial to the proper development and function of most body organs including the brain.

A supercapacitor with improved performance

Researchers from the IISc have developed a graphene-based 'supercapacitor' with superior performance.
Capacitors are everywhere: from mobile phones to FM radios to computer mother boards. In fact, it is hard to imagine a useful electronic circuit without a capacitor. Supercapacitors, as the name indicates, are capacitors that can store a lot of energy in the form of electric charge.
“Supercapacitors can be used to construct portable electronics, digital communications, electric vehicles, hybrid electric vehicles devices and other renewable energy systems. We could also use for regenerative braking, short-term energy storage in applications requiring many rapid charge/discharge cycles”, explains Dr S Shivakumara, who is part of the team that carried out the study.

Antioxidant panaceas: Novel compounds protect cells from oxidative stress

Panacea, the Greek goddess of universal remedies, is also the name given to any chemical that can supposedly cure all ailments – for example, antioxidants. Since many diseases are either caused by or exacerbated by oxidative stress, the use of antioxidants as therapeutic agents is logical, and may well be successful. Swelling the ranks of known useful antioxidants, are several more compounds called diselenides and isoselenazoles (organic compounds containing one or more selenium atoms) that have been synthesised and characterised by a team of scientists from the Indian Institute of Science.

Lab Story: Strong Effects of Weak Interactions

A lot of us know that one molecule of water is made of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, joined together by two covalent bonds. How are water molecules bound together in forming liquid/solid water? The scientific community has spent decades coming up with ways to find out and define interactions between atoms within a molecule and also intermolecular interactions. Prof Elangannan Arunan of the department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (IPC) in the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore has highly rated work in this field to his credit.