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Bengaluru | Oct 14, 2019
Study shows how nurturing gut microbes can address malnutrition

The human gastrointestinal tract is inhabited by myriad microbes, which collectively form the gut microbiome. The interaction between the members of this internal 'ecosystem' can help us understand their organisation, growth, and how they react to what we eat. In summary, this tiny ecosystem in our gut determines our health. In a recent study, published in the journal Science, an international collaboration of researchers has investigated if these microbes hold a clue to the health of malnourished children.

 

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 11, 2019
Speaking a million words in a single gaze

Study finds how pet dogs, shelter dogs and free-ranging dogs react to human gaze.

General, Science, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 10, 2019
How did the iconic blackbuck evolve? IISc scientists find new insights

The blackbuck is an antelope species native to the Indian subcontinent. Although the term 'antelope' is loosely used to refer to many ruminating ungulates, the blackbuck is the only animal that belongs to the genus named Antilope. True antelopes belong to one of the four genera—Gazella, Nanger, Eudorcas and Antilope. Scientists are still debating the evolutionary relationships between these members. In a recent study, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, have traced the evolutionary relationships of the blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) using phylogenetics. The study was published in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 9, 2019
New Way to Determine Arrow of Time

One of the annoying side effects of being absorbed in a gripping novel is that the cup of tea on the table becomes cold! Unfortunately, the tea would not heat itself by absorbing the heat around it, just as pieces of a broken egg would not put themselves together or milk mixed in coffee would not separate by itself. Such things are irreversible, and define a fixed direction of time—that from the past towards the future. This apparent progression of time is called the ‘arrow of time’. In a recent study, Prof Mahendra Verma of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, suggests a way, different from any previous ones,  to determine the direction in which time is progressing. He uses the concept of energy cascade to define the arrow of time.

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 4, 2019
Healthcare on the backburner in Bengaluru’s slums

In a recent study, researchers from the Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Bengaluru, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands and the University of Sheffield, UK, have attempted to find what ailments plagued the residents of Devarajeevanahalli.

General, Science, Health, Society, Policy, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Oct 3, 2019
Indian research barely covered on social media, finds study

In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, researchers from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, South Asian University, New Delhi, and Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany, have studied how much attention Indian research gets on social media.

General, Science, Technology, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 2, 2019
Local information on disease outbreaks help in the success of voluntary vaccination programs, suggests study

Human decision-making is critical to voluntary vaccination programs. In a recent study, published in PLoS Computational Biology, researchers from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, have modelled the outcomes of such programs using game theory. Game theory is a branch of mathematics that studies how agents in an interaction make strategic decisions.

 

General, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Sep 30, 2019
Learning to read has added benefits to the brain, study finds

In the course of human evolution, our ability to read is a relatively newly acquired trait. Hence, it is highly unlikely that a region of the brain could have evolved specifically for reading, unlike much more ancient functions like seeing or hearing. But, how is it that we are capable of this unique feat that involves recognising words and interpreting their meaning? Reading requires the coordinated functions of several regions in the brain, particularly associated with visual sensory processing. In a recent study, an international team of researchers investigated the effects of reading on the visual system in the brain.This study was published in the journal Science Advances.

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Sep 27, 2019

During the years 2018-2019, India witnessed a few ‘Kisan Long Marches’, where thousands of farmers took to the streets. They marched against state and central governments to alleviate their suffering. Their demands included loan waivers, proper land ownership rights, access to insurance and other welfare schemes, and obtaining a justified price for their crops. The Indian farming community is facing a crisis and farmer suicides are increasing by the day. Does the country’s social and caste structure add to these woes of the farming community? A recent study by researchers has found some insights. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, explored if caste of the farmers played a role in them having access to agriculture-related information. 

General, Science, Society, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Sep 26, 2019
Fighting floods the 'expert' way

 During the fag end of 2015, Chennai experienced severe floods resulting in the death of about 500 people and economic losses of about INR 50,000 crores. The flooding stranded the city and was termed a 'man-made disaster' resulting from irresponsible water management and rapid urbanisation. The northeast monsoon of the year left most parts of South India marooned, exposing how vulnerable our cities are to such catastrophes. That's when the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor took a major initiative to develop a real-time, integrated, urban flood forecasting system that was non-existent in our country. Soon after, a team of scientists from various institutes across the country, swung into action to develop the first-ever expert system in India to forecast floods. In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, the researchers shed light on the development of the automated flood forecasting expert system. 

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Society, Policy, Deep-dive