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ಬೆಂಗಳೂರು Thursday, 21 June, 2018 - 09:04

ಭಾರತದ ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಪ್ರವಾಸಿ ತಾಣಗಳಲ್ಲೆಲ್ಲಾ ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಕಂಡುಬರುವ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳೆಂದರೆ, ಅವು ಕೋತಿಗಳೇ! ಸಾಮಾನ್ಯವಾಗಿ ಗುಂಪುಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡುಬರುವ ಈ ಸಸ್ತನಿಗಳು, ತಮ್ಮದೇ ಧ್ಯಾಸದಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗರಿಂದ ಆಹಾರವನ್ನು ಲಪಟಾಯಿಸುತ್ತವೆ; ಯಾರಾದರೂ ಅಪ್ಪಿತಪ್ಪಿ ಕಾರುಗಳ ಕಿಟಕಿಗಳನ್ನು ತೆರೆದಿಟ್ಟಿದ್ದರೆ ಅಥವಾ ಆಹಾರದ ಪೊಟ್ಟಣವನ್ನು ಕೈಯಲ್ಲಿ ಹಿಡಿದಿದ್ದರೆ, ಅವರಿಗೆ ಅರಿವಾಗದಂತೆ ಕ್ಷಣಮಾತ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಅದನ್ನು ಅಪಹರಿಸುವುದರಲ್ಲಿ ಕೋತಿಗಳು ನಿಸ್ಸೀಮರೇ ಸೈ. ಕೆಲವೊಮ್ಮೆ, ಈ ಆಕ್ರಮಣಕಾರಿ ವ್ಯವಹಾರದಲ್ಲಿ, ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗರಿಗೆ ಹಾನಿಯಾಗಬಹುದು ಕೂಡ. ಇದಕ್ಕೆ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಸಿದಂತೆ, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಉನ್ನತ ಅಧ್ಯಯನ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಯ ಸಂಶೋಧಕರು ನಡೆಸಿದ ಇತ್ತೀಚಿನ ಅಧ್ಯಯನವೊಂದರಲ್ಲಿ, ಬಾನೆಟ್ ಮಕಾಕ್ (ಮಕಾಕಾ ರೇಡಿಯೇಟಾ) ಎಂಬ ದಕ್ಷಿಣ ಭಾರತದ ಸ್ಥಳೀಯ ಜಾತಿಯ ಕೋತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ, ಒಂದು ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಕಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ಬಂಡೀಪುರ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಉದ್ಯಾನವನದಲ್ಲಿ ನಡೆಸಿದ ದೀರ್ಘಾವಧಿಯ ಅಧ್ಯಯನದಲ್ಲಿ, ತರುಣ 'ಬಾನೆಟ್ ಮಕಾಕ್'ಗಳು ಆಹಾರಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಪ್ರವಾಸಿಗರನ್ನು ವಿನಂತಿಸಲು, ಶ್ರವಣೇಂದ್ರಿಯ ಮತ್ತು ದೃಶ್ಯ ಸಂಕೇತಗಳ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯನ್ನು ಬಳಸುತ್ತವೆ ಎಂದು ಸಂಶೋಧಕರು ಅರಿತುಕೊಂಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ.

ನೀವು ಯಾವುದಾದರೂ ಸಾಕುಪ್ರಾಣಿಯನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿದ್ದರೆ, ನಿಮಗಿದು ಆಶ್ಚರ್ಯಕರ ಎನಿಸುವುದಿಲ್ಲವೇನೋ; ಏಕೆಂದರೆ ಇಂತಹ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯು ಸೆರೆಯಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಅಥವಾ ಸಾಕುಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡುಬರುವುದು ಈಗಾಗಲೇ ವರದಿಯಾಗಿದೆ. ಆದರೆ, ಇಂತಹ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯು ಕಾಡಿನಲ್ಲಿರುವ ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಇದೆ ಎಂಬುದಕ್ಕೆ ಮೊದಲ ಪುರಾವೆಗಳನ್ನು ಈ ಸಂಶೋಧನೆಯು ಒದಗಿಸುತ್ತದೆ. ಅಚ್ಚರಿಯೆಂದರೆ, ಈ ಕೋತಿಗಳು ಇಂತಹ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಮನುಷ್ಯರಿಂದ ಕಲಿತೂ ಇಲ್ಲ ಮತ್ತು ಆಹಾರಕ್ಕಾಗಿ ಮಾನವರ ಮೇಲೆ ಇವು ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ಅವಲಂಬಿತವಾಗಿಲ್ಲ ಕೂಡ. ಈ ವರ್ತನೆಯನ್ನು ಅವು ತನ್ನಂತಾನೆ ಕಲಿತಿವೆ ಎಂಬುದು ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಮುಖಾಂಶ. ನಿರ್ದಿಷ್ಟ ಫಲಿತಾಂಶವನ್ನು ಪಡೆಯಲು ನಿರ್ದಿಷ್ಟ ರೀತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಮಾನವರ ಜೊತೆ ಸಂವಹನ ನಡೆಸಬೇಕೆಂಬುದು ಕೋತಿಗಳ ಉದ್ದೇಶ ಎಂದು ಈ  ಅಧ್ಯಯನವು ಎತ್ತಿ ತೋರುತ್ತದೆ.

"ಉದ್ದೇಶಿತ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯು ಮಾನವನ ಅರಿವಿನ ಸಾಮರ್ಥ್ಯವಾಗಿದ್ದು, ನಮ್ಮ ಉದ್ದೇಶಗಳು ಮತ್ತು ಅಪೇಕ್ಷೆಗಳನ್ನು ಇತರರಿಗೆ ಯಶಸ್ವಿಯಾಗಿ ಸಂವಹನ ಮಾಡುವುದು ಕೂಡ ನಮ್ಮ ಗುರಿ-ನಿರ್ದೇಶಿತ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಗಳ ಮುಖ್ಯ ಭಾಗವಾಗಿದೆ" ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ 'ನೇಚರ್ ಸೈನ್ಟಿಫಿಕ್ ರಿಪೋರ್ಟ್ಸ್' ಎಂಬ ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕ ನಿಯತಕಾಲಿಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರಕಟವಾದ ಅಧ್ಯಯನದ ಪ್ರಮುಖ ಲೇಖಕ ಶ್ರೀ ಅದ್ವೈತ್ ದೇಶಪಾಂಡೆ.

ಈ ಅಧ್ಯಯನದಲ್ಲಿ  ಸಂಶೋಧಕರು ಕೋತಿಗಳ ಎರಡು ವಿನೂತನ ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಗಳನ್ನು ಗಮನಿಸಿದರು; ಕೋತಿಗಳು ಹೊರಡಿಸಿದ ಒಂದು ವಿಶೇಷವಾದ ಕರೆ ಮತ್ತು ಒಂದು ಕೈಯನ್ನು ಮುಂದೆ ಒಡ್ಡಿ ಮಾಡುವ ಸನ್ನೆ - ಇವೆರಡೂ ವಿನೂತನವಾಗಿ ಕಂಡುಬಂದಿದೆ. ಈ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯು ಕೋತಿಗಳ ವಿಭಿನ್ನ ಪ್ರಭೇದಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರತ್ಯೇಕವಾಗಿ ಕಂಡುಬಂದಿದೆಯಾದರೂ, ಈ ಅಧ್ಯಯನದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡುಬಂದಂತೆ, ಈ ಕರೆ ಹಾಗೂ ಸನ್ನೆಯ ಸಮ್ಮಿಲನ ಹೊಸತು ಮತ್ತು ವಿಶೇಷವಾದದ್ದು.

"ಕಾಡು ಮಂಗಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಹೀಗೆ ಕೈಯೊಡ್ಡಿ ಸನ್ನೆ ಮಾಡುವುದು ಸಂಪೂರ್ಣವಾಗಿ ವಿನೂತನವಾದ ಸಂಕೇತ ಎನ್ನಬಹುದು. ಉತ್ತರ ಭಾರತದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡುಬರುವ 'ರೀಸಸ್ ಮಕಾಕ್' ಕೋತಿಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಇದನ್ನು ಹೋಲುವ ನಡವಳಿಕೆ ಕಂಡುಬಂದಿದೆಯಾದರೂ, ಈ ಹಿಂದೆ ಎಂದೂ ಕಾಡು ಮಂಗಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂತಹ ವರ್ತನೆ ಕಂಡುಬಂದಿಲ್ಲ ಮತ್ತು ನೈಸರ್ಗಿಕ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಬಳಸಲ್ಪಟ್ಟಿಲ್ಲ. ಈ ಅರ್ಥದಲ್ಲಿ, ಇದು ಖಂಡಿತವಾಗಿಯೂ ಹೊಸ ನಡವಳಿಕಾ ಸಂಜ್ಞೆಯಾಗಿದೆ" ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಾರೆ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರೀಯ ಉನ್ನತ ಅಧ್ಯಯನ ಸಂಸ್ಥೆಯ ಪ್ರಾಧ್ಯಾಪಕರು ಮತ್ತು ಈ ಅಧ್ಯಯನದ ಸಹಲೇಖಕರಾದ ಡಾ.ಅನಿಂದ್ಯ ಸಿನ್ಹಾ.

ಮೊದಲು, ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ಕೃಷಿ ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ ವಿಶ್ವವಿದ್ಯಾನಿಲಯದ ಆವರಣದಲ್ಲಿನ ಕೋತಿಗಳು ಈ ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ಕರೆ ಬಳಸುವುದನ್ನು ಸಂಶೋಧಕರು ಗಮನಿಸಿದ್ದರು. ಆದಾಗ್ಯೂ, ಬಂಡೀಪುರದಲ್ಲಿನ ಕೋತಿಗಳು ಹೊರಡಿಸಿದ ಕರೆಯು ಈ ಕೋತಿಗಳ ಕರೆಗಿಂತಾ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಜೋರಾಗಿದ್ದುದು ಕಂಡುಬಂದಿದೆ. ಮಾನವರ ಗಮನವನ್ನು ತಮ್ಮತ್ತ ಸೆಳೆಯಲು ಈ ಕರೆಗಳನ್ನು ಕೋತಿಗಳು ಬಳಸುತ್ತವೆ. ತಮ್ಮ ಗುಂಪಿನಿಂದ ಬೇರ್ಪಟ್ಟಾಗ ಹೊರಡಿಸುವ ಕರೆಯನ್ನು ಸ್ವಲ್ಪವೇ ಮಾರ್ಪಡಿಸಿ ಈ ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ಕರೆಯನ್ನು ರೂಪಿಸಿರಬಹುದು ಎಂಬುದು ಸಂಶೋಧಕರ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆ.

ಈ ಅಧ್ಯಯನದ ಪ್ರಕಾರ, ತರುಣ ಮಂಗಗಳು ಆಹಾರವನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ಮಾನವರನ್ನು ಕಂಡಾಗಲೇ ಈ ವಿಶಿಷ್ಟ ಕರೆಯನ್ನು ಹೊರಡಿಸುತ್ತವೆ ಮತ್ತು ಕೈಯೊಡ್ಡುವ ಸನ್ನೆಗಳನ್ನು ಹೆಚ್ಚಾಗಿ ಮಾಡುತ್ತವೆ. ಮೊದಲು ಮಾನವರ ಗಮನವನ್ನು ತಮ್ಮೆಡೆ ಸೆಳೆಯಲು ಈ ಕರೆಯನ್ನು ಹೊರಡಿಸಿ, ನಂತರ, ಮಂಗಗಳು ಮಾನವರ ಜೊತೆ ನೋಟವನ್ನು ಬೆರೆಸಿದಾಗ ಮಾತ್ರ, ಆಹಾರವನ್ನು ಬೇಡುವಂತೆ ಕೈಯೊಡ್ಡುತ್ತವೆ ಎಂಬುದು ಅಚ್ಚರಿದಾಯಕವೇ ಸರಿ. ಆಹಾರವನ್ನು ಹೊಂದಿರುವ ಮನುಷ್ಯರು ತಮ್ಮೆಡೆಗೆ ಗಮನ ಹರಿಸಲಿ ಎಂಬ ಆಶಯದಿಂದ ಕೋತಿಗಳು ತಮ್ಮ ಸ್ಥಳಗಳನ್ನು ಬದಲಿಸುತ್ತಲೇ, ಈ ಹೊಸ ಕರೆ ಹೊರಡಿಸಿ, ಮನುಷ್ಯರೊಂದಿಗೆ ನೇರ ನೋಟದಲ್ಲಿ ಸಂವಹನ ಸಾಧಿಸಿ, ಕೈಯೊಡ್ದುತ್ತಾ ತಮ್ಮ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯನ್ನು ಪುನರಾವರ್ತಿಸುತ್ತವೆ.

"ಇದು, ಯಾವುದೇ ಉದ್ದೇಶಪೂರ್ವಕ ಸಂವಹನದ ಸಾಕ್ಷ್ಯವನ್ನು ಒದಗಿಸುವ ಮತ್ತು ಕಾಡು ಮಂಗಗಳ ಪ್ರಭೇದಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಇಂತಹ ಉದ್ದೇಶಪೂರ್ವಕ ಸಂವಹನದ ಸಕ್ರಿಯವಾದ ಬಳಕೆಯನ್ನು ಸಾಬೀತು ಪಡಿಸಲು ಸಾಕ್ಷ್ಯವನ್ನು ವರದಿ ಮಾಡುವ ಮೊದಲ ಅಧ್ಯಯನವಾಗಿದೆ" ಎಂದು ಈ ಅಧ್ಯಯನದ ಪ್ರಾಮುಖ್ಯತೆಯನ್ನು ವಿವರಿಸುತ್ತಾರೆ ಶ್ರೀ ದೇಶಪಾಂಡೆ. 'ಏಪ್'ಗಳಲ್ಲದ ಮಂಗಗಳಲ್ಲಿ ಕಂಡುಬಂದ ಈ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯು, ಮನುಷ್ಯನ ಉಪಸ್ಥಿತಿಯ ಕಾರಣದಿಂದಾಗಿ ಬದಲಾದ ಪರಿಸರ ವ್ಯವಸ್ಥೆಯನ್ನು ಯಶಸ್ವಿಯಾಗಿ ಅರಿತುಕೊಂಡು, ಹೊಂದಿಕೊಳ್ಳುವ ಸಲುವಾಗಿ, ಪ್ರಾಣಿಗಳು ತಮ್ಮ ನಡವಳಿಕೆಯ ವಿಧಾನಗಳನ್ನು ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿಪಡಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳಲು ಮತ್ತು ವಿಕಸನಗೊಳಿಸಲು ಹೇಗೆ ತಮ್ಮ ಆಂತರಿಕ ಜ್ಞಾನಗ್ರಹಣ ಸಾಮರ್ಥ್ಯಗಳನ್ನು ಬಳಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳುತ್ತವೆ ಎಂಬುದರ ಮೇಲೆ ಬೆಳಕು ಚೆಲ್ಲುತ್ತದೆ.

"ನಮ್ಮ ಅಧ್ಯಯನವು ನೈಸರ್ಗಿಕ ಸನ್ನಿವೇಶದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಡು ಕೋತಿಗಳ ಮತ್ತು ಮನುಷ್ಯರ ನಡುವಿನ ಉದ್ದೇಶಪೂರ್ವಕ ಸಂವಹನವನ್ನು ಅನ್ವೇಷಿಸುವ ಮೊದಲ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನವಾಗಿದೆ; ಇದರಿಂದ ನಮಗೆ ಅರಿವಾಗುವುದೆಂದರೆ, ಮಾನವನ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಸಂಕೀರ್ಣವಾದ ಉದ್ದೇಶಪೂರ್ವಕ ಅಭಿವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಶೀಲ ಭಾಷೆಯು, ನಾವೆಣಿಸಿದ್ದಕ್ಕೂ ಹಳೆಯದಿದ್ದು, ಪ್ರಾಯಶಃ ವಿಕಸನೀಯವಾಗಿ, ಮಾನವನಿಗೆ ಹತ್ತಿರದ ಸಂಬಂಧಿಯೆನಿಸುವ ಚಿಂಪಾಂಜಿಯಂತಹ ಮಂಗಗಳ ಸಂವಹನ ರೀತಿಗೂ ಬಹಳ ಮುಂಚೆಯೇ ಅಭಿವೃದ್ಧಿಗೊಂಡಿದೆ" ಎಂದು ಶ್ರೀ ದೇಶಪಾಂಡೆಯವರು ತಮ್ಮ ಸಂಶೋಧನೆಯಿಂದ ಅರಿವಾದ ಅಚ್ಚರಿಯನ್ನು ಬಿಚ್ಚಿಡುತ್ತಾರೆ.

Section: General, Science, Deep-dive Source:
Pune Thursday, 21 June, 2018 - 08:00

What makes you move? Though this is a philosophical question, science tells us that most organisms move throughout their life due to many factors. They could move in search of food or a mate, or towards new surroundings and habitats to live in. Often, their movement is influenced by the existing numbers of their own kind and affects their distribution in an area. This phenomenon is called ‘density-dependent dispersal’. But, what roles do different environmental factors play in this dispersal? In a recent study, scientists from the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, have identified factors that affect the dispersal patterns of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster).

"One way in which species cope with environmental stress, like a drought or climate change, is by moving away to a more suitable habitat. This process of movement is not only shaped by the various stresses that the organisms face, but also by their physiology", explains Prof. Sutirth Dey, an Associate Professor at IISER Pune, and an author of the study.

The researchers of this study, published in the ecological journal, Oikos, have tried to understand the consistency of the dispersal patterns of species across different environments, as well as how males and females react differently to crowding or increase of population in the area that they reside in. The study was supported by funding from Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB).

Previous studies have found that the pre-dispersal context, i.e. the environment an individual faces before dispersal, can affect its migration pattern. But its effects on density-dependent dispersal are poorly understood, and therefore an investigation was carried out to see how pre-dispersal context could alter the dispersal of the fruit flies. It is also known that pre-dispersal context can generate a different impact on males and females, which prompted the researchers of this study to find out whether the dispersal rate was affected by the sex of the individual and presence of the opposite gender.

The scientists carried out three experiments in their lab using about 34,000 fruit flies.  They introduced the fruit flies in a conical flask and allowed them to disperse for 4 hours into a transparent plastic tube that was attached to a plastic bottle. The plastic bottle served as the destination for the flies, and it was replaced after every 30 minutes to record the number and the sex of the fruit flies that were collected in the bottle.

The first and second experiments were performed to record the proportion of flies that left the source, also called the dispersal propensity, using two types of groups—one where the number of individuals before dispersal in a group varied, and the other where it was constant. In the third experiment, they separated the males and the females to calculate the dispersal propensity and to observe the dispersal behaviour when the opposite sex was missing. Statistical analysis was carried out to determine if the dispersal was sex-biased.

The results of the first two experiments showed that the dispersal of the fruit flies decreased with an increase in their population size. The researchers observed this phenomenon for both sexes. Also, the female fruit flies were found to be less likely to migrate as compared to their male counterparts, and perhaps are more likely to become victims of overcrowding. Overall, the results showed that the sex of the fruit fly could affect its dispersal pattern.

The researchers also observed a unique phenomenon from the third experiment—there was no density-dependent dispersal at all! Since the sexes were segregated, the scientists established that the presence of the other sex was necessary to enable density-dependent dispersal.

What do all these results mean to the field of ecology?

"Our findings highlight that a detailed understanding of the local environment is necessary before dispersal data from field studies are adopted for modelling or conservation applications. Because over/under crowding of habitats is a commonly faced problem during conservation management, the response of species (including movement) to this issue needs significant attention", says Dr. Dey.

His team is currently trying to examine dispersal patterns in depth and understand the evolution of traits favourable for movement in organisms.

Section: General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive Source:
Bhopal, India Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 - 15:58

Scientists from Indian Institute of Soil Science, Bhopal, and Indian Institute of Agricultural Research, New Delhi, both part of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), have been studying the effects of climate factors and use of insecticides on the ability of soil to consume methane.  Their study reveals one of the harmful effects of the insecticide- Chlorpyrifos, and a way to tackle the issue.

Chlorpyrifos is a common pesticide used to control pests, like insects and worms. It has been used in agriculture, residential and commercial settings, being extensively used in cotton cultivation. As the planet continues warming due to climate change; pest infestation is also set to increase, according to earlier studies. With the increased infestation, the use of insecticides also increases, leading to deteriorated soil conditions. As safe alternatives to tackle an infestation still remains a challenge, indiscriminate use of pesticides are starting to take a toll on agricultural farms and biodiversity around the globe.

In the new study, scientists set out to determine the effects of pesticides and climate factors on the ability of a soil to consume methane. Working in a Vertisol (soil with high content clay) in central India, the team studied the effects of temperature, moisture holding capacity, and chlorpyrifos on the ability of a soil to consume methane and abundance of microbes in the soil. The team also studied the effects of adding biochar or charcoal to the soil.

The results of the study reveal a connection between the levels of chlorpyrifos and methane consumption of the soil. The rate and amount of methane consumption of the soil was at a lowest at 15o Celsius temperature, 60% moisture holding capacity, 10ppm chlorpyrifos and no biochar, and highest at  35o C, 100% moisture holding capacity, 1% biochar and no chlorpyrifos. The results also showed that, while chlorpyrifos inhibited the abundance of some types of microbes, like heterotrophic bacteria and methanotrophs,   it stimulated the growth of another type of bacteria—Actinomycetes. Importantly, the study also revealed that biochar could stimulate methane consumption of the soil and abundance of microbes. This could provide us a way to tackle some of the harmful effects of chlorpyrifos.

“Study highlighted that use of chlorpyrifos under climate change factors may inhibit CH4 consumption but the use of biochar may alleviate the negative effect of the chlorpyrifos” conclude the authors about the results of the study.

Section: General, Science, Ecology, News Source:
Mumbai Wednesday, 20 June, 2018 - 07:21

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have developed a new life-saving device that can detect heart attacks early on using a smartphone. The innovative sensor, conceptualised by students Debasmita Mondal and Sourabh Agrawal, and guided by Prof. Soumyo Mukherji, won the recently presented 2018 Gandhian Young Technological Innovation award recently

The device can detect cardiac biomarkers—chemicals released during a heart attack—using a tiny sensor, whose values can be read with a smartphone. The researchers hope that this breakthrough could potentially save many lives in our country where cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death.

In India, the number of deaths from heart-related diseases has jumped from 17% to 23% in just a decade (between 2003 and 2013) and is predicted to increase in the coming years. While an early diagnosis of heart-related ailments can help, it is difficult as symptoms of chest pain are qualitative. Devices like electrocardiograms, though are promising, are not sensitive enough to measure small changes in the heartbeat. Hence, testing for biomarker proteins like myoglobin and myeloperoxidase in patient’s blood is thought to be the more reliable.

Myoglobin is an iron-containing protein released into the bloodstream soon after myocardial infarction—the sudden reduction or blockage of blood flow to the heart that leads to cardiac arrest. While a healthy person has about 25-72 ng/mL of myoglobin in blood, this level could shoot up 4-8 times (to 200 ng/ml), and sometimes as high as 100 times (to 900 ng/ml), within an hour of myocardial infarction, thus indicating a cardiac arrest.

Myeloperoxidase is an enzyme produced in our white blood cells and released when blood vessels are injured or become inflamed. It is now recognised as an indicator of an acute coronary syndrome (ACS)—a condition where there is decreased blood flow to the heart.  Higher levels of this enzyme indicate a higher risk of cardiac diseases.

The device developed by the researchers contains a filter paper sensor coated with a conducting polymer called polyaniline. Antibodies that can bind to myoglobin and myeloperoxidase are embedded on its surface. When the blood of a patient who has suffered a cardiac arrest comes in contact with the sensor, these two proteins bind to the sensor, they hinder the flow of current through the sensor, and the impedance is measured across different frequencies of the input voltage.

The best part about the device is that the sensor connects to a module in the smartphone through the audio jack (where you put in the headphones) that stores the measured impedance data on the phone. It is powered by the phone, making it portable and small enough to be carried in the pocket for use. It sends the impedance data as a function of frequency from the sensor to the smartphone in the audio range of 10Hz to 10kHz. These results are then displayed on the smartphone screen, making the device easy to use without the help of a trained technician.

“The motivation to make a smartphone-based device came from the fact that nowadays everyone owns one and it enables easy accessibility of the device to all the users. A disposable sensor would enable cost-effectiveness and ease of use as well”, says Ms. Mondal.

So how does one use this device? The device needs only the sensor cartridge to be changed after every use. A small needle-prick extracts a drop of blood (a few microliters) which is then used for testing. The device can detect the concentration of the two cardiac biomarkers within a time span of twenty minutes and can also accurately diagnose cardiac disease in an early stage. It might end the queues at the ECG machines in hospitals and increase the survival chances of cardiac arrest patients by speeding up the prognosis time, say the researchers.

“A quick measurement of the myeloperoxidase levels in a person’s blood would provide them with ample time for taking precautionary steps regarding their lifestyle, medications, etc. to prevent suffering from myocardial infarction in future. Chances of having a heart attack can be predicted almost 3 to 6 months in advance. Increased levels of myoglobin indicate the onset of a heart attack and early diagnosis would help in contacting a professional for the proper course of treatment”, explains Ms. Mondal.

Since the researchers have used inexpensive materials, the device costs about INR 5,500 at the research level. The researchers hope that when the device is produced at a commercial scale, the cost could come down to just Rs 1500, making it affordable for countries where access to medical amenities is challenging to come by and medical aid hard to reach. Also, since the sensor is biodegradable, it can also be disposed of without harming the environment.

“Owing to its low price, the device along with the sensor would be affordable by the majority of people who can use it at home and thus avoiding visits to pathology labs frequently for testing of these markers”, remarks Ms. Mondal.

So, how long would it take before you can see this device in action? “Currently, we are working towards the testing of the sensor using spiked human serum samples. We are also developing a sensor holder to be integrated with the portable device so that one single module can be used. We are planning a timeline of 6 – 12 months for initiating clinical trials”, signs off Ms. Mondal.

Section: General, Science, Technology, Health, Deep-dive Source:
Bengaluru Monday, 18 June, 2018 - 17:04

The animated movie Ice Age, released in 2002, features a motley crew of animals surviving the Paleolithic ice age. The vastly diverse characters—an accident-prone sloth, a condescending mammoth and a slightly dubious sabertooth tiger—come together to boost their chances of survival, and help each other in their journey. Before you brush this plot aside as a figment of imagination and creativity, did you know that there exist many examples of ‘friendship’ between animals belonging to different species? In a new study, researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, have shed some light on what drives such unusual friendships.

The dynamics of animal society is intriguing. On the one hand, animals of the same species form ‘groups’, like a herd of elephants or a swarm of bees, to gather food, reproduce or rear the young ones. On the other hand, there are unusual ‘bonds’ between animals of different species—like the one between the Drongos and Babblers. Drongos follow Babblers to feed on insects that the Babblers flush out as they move. They cannot get this benefit by following other Drongos since they are a ‘sit and wait’ predator, perching and catching the incoming prey.

“Our understanding of animal sociality is almost entirely based on single species groups. Although mixed species groups are widely documented in different animal taxa, it is rarely studied with relation to single species groups”, says Dr. Hari Sridhar, a Research Scholar at IISc and an author of the study, in an interview with Research Matters. The study is published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and supported by the Indian National Science Academy (INSA), Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the DBT-IISc partnership program.

In the study, Dr. Hari Sridhar and Dr. Vishwesha Guttal have analysed previous studies on heterospecific social interactions—interactions between animals of different species. They have tried to understand how widespread the behaviour is regarding diversity in their taxa and the benefits that the relationship provides. They have also studied when and why an organism chooses to live in a mixed-species group and the factors that influence their choice.

Previously, scientists believed that groups with different species of animals (heterospecific social groups) and those with the same species (conspecific social groups) are two qualitatively different entities. They thought that heterospecific social groups were formed when animals of one species need benefits that cannot be obtained from individuals of their kind. However, recent studies have shown that this may not be true all the time. “A review of literature shows that most documented cases of heterospecific social groups are qualitatively similar to conspecific social groups, in terms of the mechanisms underlying social benefits”, says Dr. Sridhar.

The researchers say that the grouping occurs between species often for benefits very similar to what are obtained from conspecifics. For example, different species of fish that are similar in size and behaviour usually form a school to dilute the risk of getting caught. Though they are of different species, they manage to coexist since a larger group lowers the chance of becoming prey. There are about 200 such known cases of heterospecific sociality in different taxa, contexts and for different benefits, say the researchers, who have compared the similarities between them to throw some light on why they occur.

“In nature, the fates of different species are likely to be linked. When we think of a network in nature, we usually think about interactions between predators and prey, or a plant and a disperser. These interactions occur across trophic levels—the position of the organism in the food chain. However, in heterospecific social groups, these networks are found among species of the same trophic level that use the same resources. Their fates are linked as they depend on each other for social benefits”, remarks Dr. Sridhar, talking about the differences observed during the study.

The finding that there is a strong linkage between species makes the study ecologically significant. Certain group participants are called ‘nuclear species’, which are likely to provide benefits to other participants and is responsible for group formation and cohesion. If these species go extinct, many others will be affected since these nuclear species provide the most benefits. One such nuclear species is the small bird Fulvetta, which forms groups with other birds and warns them of predators. If the bird goes extinct, perhaps the group would not be the same as its role is hard to replace.

The study also highlights how changes in the environment could affect heterospecific social grouping. If a species of fish is introduced into a new environment, its survival depends on how well it fits in with a heterospecific group. In ecology, there is an understanding of how communities as a whole respond to fragmentation and disturbance. But, not how social systems—like mixed-species groups—respond to changes in the habitat and what happens to the gathering. Thus, the study also has implications for conserving biodiversity.

What lies in the future for the researchers? “Another postdoc in our lab, Anindita Das, is working on a mathematical model for this paper, which will hopefully, help further understand the choices made by an organism in picking a heterospecific social partner or a conspecific one”, signs off Dr. Sridhar.

Section: General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive Source:
Bhopal Monday, 18 June, 2018 - 07:23

Cancer is a condition where cells in our body go rogue, multiply rapidly, defy death and disobey space and nutrient constraints. But how do cancerous cells derive the extra nutrition necessary to grow and reproduce quickly? It turns out that, they coerce the healthy cells by rewiring the metabolic networks of these cells. Now, a new study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Bhopal, has revealed an intricate molecular relationship scripted by cancerous cells to alter the healthy metabolism of healthy cells.

In the study, the researchers have unearthed a nexus of three cellular processes--the Warburg effect, alternative splicing and epigenetics-- employed by cancerous cells to devour the required nutrition to quench the ever-growing thirst for more resources. The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) and funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) and the Wellcome Trust/ Department of Biotechnology (DBT) India Alliance.

The first process called the ‘Warburg effect’, is an alternative mechanism of glucose metabolism seen in cancerous cells. Typically, in a healthy cell, glucose from the food is oxidised to produce Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules that fuel all the processes inside the cell. Since cancerous cells have a humongous appetite for rapid energy production from glucose they employ fermentation of glucose, something that happens in our muscle cells when they are working full steam. Cancer cells re-engineer the glucose metabolic network to convert glucose into lactate to meet the energy demand.

The second process, called ‘alternative splicing’, is a genetic mechanism that impairs the genetic sequence in some instances. The DNA of all higher organisms are interrupted by non-coding chunks called introns, which do not contain any information about producing a protein. These introns are located between exons—fragments which carry information for the protein. The pre-mRNA, which helps to copy the protein recipe from the DNA, contains both introns and exons. In a process called splicing, the introns in the pre-mRNA are removed, and the exons are joined. However, in the case of alternate splicing, one or more exons are either retained or deleted to add or delete sequence information for the protein, resulting in the production of two different proteins from a single gene under different circumstances.

The third piece of the puzzle is epigenetics- heritable changes in gene function that do not involve changes in the DNA sequence. Individual genes can either be switched ‘on’ or ‘off’ by tagging small methyl groups on the DNA in which the genes reside. The addition of such methyl groups control gene expression. Some cancerous cells exploit this mechanism to selectively turn on the genes that rewire the metabolic activities of the cell.

The researchers of the study have discovered how cancerous cells induce the Warburg effect by studying many molecular interactions of the breast cancer cells. “For the first time, we have provided a functional link between epigenetics, alternative splicing, Warburg effect and growth of breast cancer cells,” says Prof. Sanjeev Shukla from IISER, Bhopal, who is an author of the study.

The researchers found out that a specific pyruvate kinase gene (PKM) contains two mutually exclusive alternative exons called exon 9 and exon 10. The version of the mRNA that contains exon 9 produces the PKM1 transcript, which is involved in the normal glucose metabolism. However, in breast cancer cells, exon 9 is replaced by exon 10 through alternative splicing to produce the PKM2 transcript. This gene assists in the conversion of glucose into lactate, bringing about the Warburg effect.

The first finding of the study was that exon 10 of the PKM gene in breast cancer cells, responsible for inducing the Warburg effect, was heavily methylated. The methylated exon 10 attracts a protein called BORIS (Brother of Regulator of Imprinted Sites), which is again an aberrantly expressed protein in breast cancer cells. The presence of BORIS on exon 10 enriches the enzyme called RNA polymerase II, which is involved in copying the DNA to mRNA. Once RNA polymerase II accumulates near exon 10, the protein complex needed for splicing this gene also gets gathered near exon 10 and results in the addition of exon 10 into the final mRNA. Hence, exon 10 is preferentially spliced into the PKM2 transcript that sets off the Warburg effect.

The researchers also studied the process through the genome editing tool called CRISPR. They unfolded a sequence of significant interactions in cancerous cells, which can improve our understanding of the molecular basis of the disease.

The researchers have also shown that if some molecular tools inhibit important proteins like BORIS, the Warburg effect reverses in cultured cancer cells. This finding is exciting since it could provide new molecular targets for the development of anti-cancer drugs. If any of these drugs work on cultured cancer cells, they may potentially be developed further to work in human patients, say the researchers.

“Though this will be the subject of future investigations using animal models, the DNA methylation inhibitors are already approved for some blood malignancies and are under active investigation for solid tumours but the exact mechanism by which these drugs work is not clear”, signs off Prof Shukla, raising hopes of possible new drugs against cancer. 

Section: General, Science, Health, Deep-dive Source:
Delhi Friday, 15 June, 2018 - 07:45

In thirty years, the global population of 7 billion will increase by 30% to a staggering 9.1 billion people. Feeding everyone with the same amount of land that is available today will undoubtedly be a challenge. Along with expanding cities gobbling up agricultural and forest land, changing climatic conditions with frequent spells of droughts also spell doom for food production. Hence, researchers around the world are developing drought-resistant varieties of food grains. In one such attempt, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, offer critical insights into the intrinsic nature of certain types of rice that can resist drought.

Rice, a water-intensive crop grown by humans for thousands of years, is a staple in many countries and the Asian rice, Oryza sativa, is the most widely cultivated rice of the genus Oryza. The crop fails during a drought, and water scarcity affects more than 23 million hectares of rainfed rice production areas in South and Southeast Asia. While some varieties have the potential for drought adaptations, the researchers of the study are exploring the mechanism behind this through phenomics—the study of interactions of genes with changes in the environment.

“India has 34.5% of total irrigated area, which indicates that the rest of the farming area depends mostly on rain. Even after constructing 91 major reservoirs, only 162 billion cubic meters of water can be stored. Recently in India, eleven states out of twenty-nine were affected by drought, resulting in a 40% yield loss, amounting to $800 million. Therefore, our work aims at exploring the traits that can be used in selecting drought-resistant crop”, says Prof. Archana Chugh, from IIT Delhi and an author of the study published in the journal Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. The study was supported by the National Agricultural Science Fund (NASF) under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).

The researchers of the study investigated three varieties of rice; Sahabhagidhan—a local drought-tolerant variety, and two drought-sensitive varieties: IR64 and MTU-1010. The researchers simulated the drought condition by cutting off water supply to these plants for five consecutive days. They then explored the genetic factors that help these varieties tolerate drought and correlated them with the plant’s response to the applied stress with the aim of developing a reliable 'marker' for drought resistance, which indicates the plant's ability to survive periods of extreme water scarcity.

“A successful marker can be helpful in selection of drought-tolerant varieties at different levels like morphological, anatomical, biochemical, physiological and molecular. They should be easily detectable and stable. Secondary traits such as root attributes, xylem diameter, stomatal aperture,  proline, and malondialdehyde can be used as selection criteria by plant breeders for high yield production and drought tolerance in rice”, explains Prof. Chugh in an interview with Research Matters.

But, what exactly happens to a plant during a drought? Lack of adequate water limits its growth and affects its morphology, physiology, and biochemistry. Leaves reduce in size, the stem and roots elongate, there is a reduction in photosynthesis, transpiration and biomass, and an imbalance in nutrients. The roots are the first to experience stress due to drought as they grow beneath the soil. Hence, to survive, they either become more dense, holding the soil together and maintaining the water potential or grow deeper to access more water.

The authors found that Sahabhagidhan, the drought-tolerant variety, continued to grow its roots during the stress, while the drought sensitive varieties showed a reduction in the rate of growth. Also, they observed that in Sahabhagidhan, the xylem vessel, which carries water in plants, had reduced its area and its numbers to survive the stress. This modification maintains water supply by avoiding the formation of air bubbles, known as cavitation.

The study also found a significant correlation between the morphological traits in these roots and the expression of aquaporin genes. Aquaporins are proteins that form pores in cell membranes. They regulate water uptake along with other small molecules. The researchers investigated two aquaporins, OsPIP2;5 and OsNIP2;1, and found that the drought tolerant variety showed an increase in OsPIP2;5, which may be useful to increase the intake of water and thus supply to aerial organs. A decrease of OsNIP2;1 in the same plant indicates another method of drought avoidance—decreasing the membrane permeability to avoid excess water loss.

Correspondingly, the drought sensitive variety showed a significantly lower content of proline—an amino acid used to synthesise proteins, than the drought-resistant variety. The researchers believe this is because the proline proteins assist in maintaining the stiffness of cell membrane during water deficient periods, enabling the cell to carry on functioning. As a result of drought, plants produce malondialdehyde (MDA), a known marker of oxidative damage, a condition wherein due to chemical imbalances, the plant is unable to detoxify itself of damaging elements. Oxidative damage can eventually lead to cell death. A 1.5 fold reduction in MDA content in Sahabhagidhan, as compared to the drought sensitive variety, implies the former’s superior resistance to drought.

“Improvement of drought tolerance in rice is a challenging task due to the high complexity of the traits and poor understanding of plant response against drought. Wide knowledge of various attributes can achieve yield stability under most devastating drought stress. Our study contributes more towards selectively breeding from the thousands of cultivars available,” says Dr. Chugh when probed about the potential for findings of the study. Marker-assisted selection (MAS), discussed in this research, can help feed the millions by intelligently selecting plants with desired traits.

Section: General, Science, Deep-dive Source:
Mumbai Thursday, 14 June, 2018 - 16:24

A team of researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, Netherlands, and the Department of Harbour, Coastal and Offshore engineering, Netherlands have come up with a cost effective and efficient method to measure the depth of shallow water. Combining satellite imagery and echo-sounding data, along with a machine learning technique, the team has produced an economical solution to the depth measurement challenge.

Oceans cover around 70 percent of the surface of our planet and hold around 90 percent of its water. They also play a major role in human survival, not only providing a constant source of food but also means for cheaper transportation. Ocean floors, however are yet to be completely mapped, making charting trade routes or exploring oceans a challenge. Bathymetry—the study of underwater depths of water bodies like lakes and oceans, conducted using sonar techniques are the preferred methods for mapping lake beds and ocean floors. Mapping the entire bed of rock under the oceans using methods like echolocation and sonar, would require an enormous investment that no single country could afford by itself. An alternative would be to use images from satellites orbiting over the oceans. This has been a preferred method to map the ocean floors and to measure the depth of water, but lacks the precision of measurements done using sonar methods.

To overcome the shortcomings of both the methods, the new study proposes a combination of the two methods. The study uses a machine learning technique called Support Vector Machine (SVM), and data from echo-sounding (a type of sonar) measurements and satellites, to successfully measure the depths of Sint Maarten Island and Ameland Inlet in Netherlands.

Researchers used Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (Landsat 7 ETM+) and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) imagery with 30 m spatial resolution for the study. Of the echo-sounding measurements obtained, 80% of the data was used to train the machine learning algorithm, SVM, while 20% was used to test.

The results are encouraging, with a very low error rate of around 8.26% and 14.43% for Sint Maarten Island and Ameland Inlet respectively. The results were also comparable, and in some cases better, than conventionally used methods linear transform model and ratio transform model.

“Based on the results, it is evident that SVM provides a comparable or better performance for shallow depth ranges and can be used effectively for deriving accurate and updated medium resolution bathymetric maps” remark the authors about the results of the study.

Section: General, Science, Technology, News Source:
Bengaluru Thursday, 14 June, 2018 - 08:28

Our body is principally made up of carbon and oxygen, while also containing small quantities of nearly 30 other elements. It might come as a surprise to learn that all the atoms that make up our body were once in stars! In fact, all of them, other than the lightest three (hydrogen, helium and lithium), were made by nuclear reactions in stars, and during many supernovae which are exploding stars. In a new collaborative study, scientists from the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, University of Notre Dame, USA and Universidad de La Laguna, Spain have attempted to trace out how these elements form by analysing the spectra of ancient stars to determine their chemical composition.

Astronomers study the chemical composition of stars by analysing the light originating from these stars. They examine the spectrum of light using a spectrograph—an instrument which splits light into its constituent colours or wavelengths. Each element produces a characteristic feature in this spectrum, as an increase or decrease in the light put out at a specific wavelength. The strength of each feature tells us how much of the element there is.

Previously, scientists believed that all stars have a similar chemical composition as the Sun. However, in the 1940s, astronomers were able to obtain spectra of a large number of stars and found that many of them had minimal quantities of metals compared to the Sun; metals in this context refers to all elements other than hydrogen and helium.

Since metals are created in stars and supernovae, the stars that formed the earliest have smaller quantities of metals compared to stars like the Sun that formed much later from gas that had already been processed by previous generations of stars. Hence, these metal-poor stars are a relic from the early Universe. Determination of their chemical composition sheds light on how they were formed, the nature of the environment in the early Universe when they formed and various other related questions in the theory of galaxy formation.

In this study, published in the Astrophysical Journal, the researchers have used data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) dataset, which contains data from 15 years of observations made by an automated telescope that scans the sky, to identify exciting candidates that could be metal-poor stars. They then took spectra using the High-Resolution Spectrograph (HESP) at the Indian Astronomical Observatory at Hanle in Ladakh.

“These are the first scientific results from HESP. We have undertaken a study of the most ancient population of stars in the Universe. This could lead us to the knowledge of the physical processes of the early Universe like the births, deaths and evolution of the first stars,” explains Mr. Avrajit Bandyopadhyay, a doctoral student at IIA who is the lead author of the study.

The researchers analysed the spectra of two classes of stars—Carbon enhanced metal poor (CEMP) stars and extremely metal poor (EMP) stars. CEMP stars are low-metallicity stars that have a high carbon content for reasons that are not well understood. EMP stars, on the other hand, are thought to be the immediate successors of the very first stars in the Universe that formed when the Universe was only a few hundred million years old, a hundredth of its current age.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that these two types of stars have a strikingly similar chemical composition. However, the CEMP and EMP stars they observed have different levels of iron-peak elements—elements close to iron in the periodic table that are only produced during supernovae. This evidence allows the researchers to conclude that these two classes of stars must have different types of ancestors.

While this study sheds some light on the question of where the elements come from, many puzzles remain. Mr. Bandopadhyay’s team intends to step up the effort to unravel them. “Nucleosynthesis (formation of elements) in the primordial and subsequent population of stars is also being investigated. We plan to do subsequent studies in the future with additional details,” signs off Prof. Bandyopadhyay.

 

Section: General, Science, Deep-dive Source:
Indore Wednesday, 13 June, 2018 - 15:45

Researchers from Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology, Indore, Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Delhi, and Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Facility, Visakhapatnam are studying speckle variance optical coherence tomography—a new method of microscopy used to study biological materials. Their recent study checked for the possibility of using the method to microscopically monitor wound healing in real time.

Most of us, if not all, have been bruised or wounded at some point in our lives. After the initial pain as the skin is torn up and a trickle of blood, starts the, sometimes months long process of healing. As the blood clots, old and damaged cells and tissues are replaced with newer ones, eventually leaving nothing but a scar behind. This process of self-healing of wounds and ailments is not only a wonderful part of life, but also an important process to learn. Insights into the healing process could help us come up with effective treatments for the same.

Microscopes are a great tool, allowing us to view the damaged cells and tissues. However, conventional microscopes cannot be used to get details of the vascular system, the circulatory system of the body consisting of veins, arteries etc, as these lie below the cells and tissues. Several methods have been devised to overcome the limitation- one of which is the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) method. OCT uses a beam of coherent light, which is incident on a material. The light scattered off of the biological material is used to construct a high resolution 2D or 3D image of the subject. It is comparable to an MRI or ultrasound techniques, which uses magnetic fields and sound waves respectively. However, since OCT uses visible light, in the form of laser pulses, the method allows of very high resolution of the subject.

Speckle variance OCT utilizes the speckles of light (minute details in the reflected or scattered light) to create a detailed image of the subject.

In their new study, the researchers looked at the feasibility of speckle variance OCT in imaging cutaneous microvasculature—including the skin and microvessels. Diabetic mice were selected as test subject for the study. The research studied punch wounds created in the ear pinnae of the mice. The wounds “were monitored at different times post wounding to assess the structural and vascular changes” report the authors.

The study shows the thickness of the skin increased post wounding and continued to remain thick even thick even after the wound healed. “The results show that the developed speckle variance optical coherence tomography system can be used to monitor vascular regeneration during wound healing in diabetic mice” remark the authors about the result of the study.

More importantly, the study also established the feasibility of the speckle variance OCT method at imaging vascular regeneration of a living organism, opening newer avenues to understanding the process of wound healing.

 

Section: General, Science, Health, News Source:

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