Several studies in the recent years have focused on the health hazards of chemicals and pesticides used by farmers to protect their crops and improve their yields. Among the cocktail of poison, a controversial herbicide paraquat dichloride, marketed as Gramoxone, is infamous for its link to accidental poisoning and suicides. Now, researchers have developed a new sensor using nanotechnology that not only detects paraquat, but also estimates its amount. This innovation can help save many innocent lives that grow our food.
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Vitamin C, present is citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, is known to boost immunity and prevent our body from bacterial infections. But how does it do it? A new study by researchers from the Indian Institute of Science has now elucidated the mechanism behind why Vitamin C inhibits bacterial infections. This research also opens up possibilities for using Vitamin C in various therapeutic applications.
Graphene, also called a “wonder material” is increasingly being used in the field of electronics due to its lightweight and electrical properties. Now, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have identified a potential drawback in graphene transistors that have metal contact leads. The metal atoms in the contacts react with graphene atoms, creating an unwanted disturbance or noise in the electronic circuit. This discovery may have major implications on using graphene for futuristic electronic applications.
In a pathbreaking research on anencephaly, a fatal birth defect where a baby is born without a major part of the brain and the skull, researchers from IISc and BMCRI have identified a genetic mutation that is responsible behind this condition. Technically called Tripartite Motif Containing 36 (TRIM36), this gene is responsible for the development of the nerve cells in a foetus. A modification to this, the scientists say, is to be blamed for anencephaly.
Electronic waste or e-waste pose a serious challenge in their disposal. The printed circuit boards (PCBs) present in discarded electronic devices like smartphones and computers contain toxic chemicals and metals that can get into the soil or water if thrown in landfills or burnt. Now, scientists have designed a novel technique to dispose them by simply powdering them using a cryomill. This, they claim, can completely recover the polymers and metals for recycling in an eco-friendly way, ensuring zero waste.
What do a spell of rain, an overcast of clouds, a lovely breeze, a scorching sun or a thunderstorm tell about the future? Today, on the occasion of World Meteorological Day, here is an insight into humanity’s journey towards understanding the dynamics of weather. It’s never been an easy one. As we uncover factors that spill some clues on what to expect, Nature throws a grand surprise and yet another difficult challenge, making weather forecasting meteorology more exciting than ever.
Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, have conducted a study analyzing the influence of socio-demographic factors on the commuting habits of people in Bengaluru. The findings of the team, led by Prof. Ashish Verma from the Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), can be implemented in metropolitan cities to ease traffic congestion and pollution by opting for alternative and eco-friendly modes of transport.
A new study has now revealed how knowing beforehand what to look for, helps in our visual search process. Previews – bits of information available in advance, are shown to accelerate our search process as the brain can differentiate and identify the object we are looking for, even among a large set of identical objects. This discovery throws some light on the neurological process responsible for visual search and recognition.
How do stars and star clusters influence their neighbourhood? How does the birth of stars affect their neighbours? let us start with the birth of a star. It begins with gasses, mostly hydrogen, accumulating under gravity until it gets hot and dense enough to start nuclear fusion, where the lighter Hydrogen atoms merge to form heavier helium atoms, with an enormous outburst of energy. This energy moves in the form of a shockwave, pushing all the excess gas away from the newborn star. For a million years after its birth, high energy radiation from the star continues to push the surrounding gas away. From here the picture gets a little murky as we hadn’t quite understood what happened around a star or a cluster of stars, after the million year mark. Now a new study by researchers from Raman Research Institute (RRI), the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and P.N Lebedev Physical Institute, Moscow, Russia could throw more light on this issue. They have successfully developed a model to simulate the interaction of a star cluster with its surroundings. The model was then tested for accuracy by comparing it with observations from Tarantula Nebula, a nearby star cluster, where the observations matched closely to the predictions made by the model. Maybe now we can better understand the processes that guide the formation of stars, nebulae and galaxies!
If you have read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers,' then you might be well acquainted with the ‘10,000-hour rule’, which states that to master a new skill, such as playing the piano or knitting, one needs 10,000 hours of practice to become world-class. This long practice, studies show, facilitates ‘motor learning’ - a set of complex processes that occur in the brain in response to practice or experience of a certain skill, resulting in changes in the central nervous system.