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Gut Feelings: Dissecting the molecular basis of chronic non-infectious diarrhoea

A healthy gut is a prerequisite for a healthy life. However, when things go wrong in the bowels, diarrhoea or leaky bowels are often the result – with the condition ranging from being merely irritating or embarrassing to life-threatening. Recently, novel mutations have been discovered to be responsible for causing distinct gastro-intestinal disorders of hitherto unknown causes. The work was carried out by scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in collaboration with international teams from Austria and Norway.

The Batman among Bacteria genes

Imagine a set of genes that lie quiet and then come into their own when needed. Something like Batman rising when Gotham needs him, if you want a popular parallel. Cool, eh ? In Prof Mahadevan’s lab at IISc, the “Batman” among bacterial genes has been under the radar.

The SAInI Lab: Understanding Signalling networks in living cells

The department of MRDG, Indian Institute of Science, houses the SAInI lab, a clever acronym that stands for Signalling in Ageing, Inflammation and Infection, the three paradigms that Dr. Deepak Saini and his group work on. It is within an intricate meshwork of signals and responses that the lab searches for answers to problems that plague current healthcare. Ageing, alon
g with its spectrum of age-related disorders like Alzheimer’s, heart disease and a weakening immune system to name a few, is now known to be regulated by specific signalling events inside cells. The SAInI lab focuses on a class of receptors known as GPCRs and their roles in the cascade of events which occur when a single cell grows old.

A novel function for a protein in Mycobacteria

In this study, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science and the University of Bayreuth, Germany have identified a novel cAMP binding protein, using biochemical approaches. This protein is a Universal Stress Protein known as USP Rv1636. It has been shown to bind cAMP with high affinity and binds to Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP, the energy currency of the cell) with lower affinity.

Spectroscopy to detect muscular weakness at an early stage

Myopathies are muscular diseases where muscle fibres do not function optimally, resulting in muscular weaknesses. Scientists from IISc have shown for the first time that a technique generally used to analyse atomic structure of chemicals, Raman spectroscopy, can be utilized as a diagnostic tool to differentiate between different types of myopathies.

Pomegranate juice increases lifespan in flies

Fruit flies fed with pomegranate juice lived longer, were resistant to some diseases and produced more offspring, finds a collaborative study between Indian Institute of Science (IISc), the Trans-disciplinary University (TDU) and Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions (FRLHT), Bangalore.