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Deep-dive

Bengaluru | Nov 1, 2019
On the edge: Bats in northeast India found to carry filoviruses that could spread to humans

Sometime in the middle of October each year, the Bomrr clan in Nagaland rush to the caves in Mimi village. With a good stock of burning firewood, men and women are ready for the bat harvest festival—an annual ritual where anywhere between 7,000 to 25,000 bats are suffocated or smashed to their deaths. These bats, the clan believes, have medicinal properties and can cure diseases like diarrhoea and body ache, and increase vigour. Now, a new study has shown that these bats, rather than being a cure to diseases, carry deadly filoviruses that could infect humans.

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Nov 1, 2019
Understanding the Riemann Hypothesis—the most crucial unsolved problem in mathematics

In the last one hundred and sixty years, in spite of hundreds of claims, some of them from first-class mathematicians, the Riemann Hypothesis, or the holy grail of mathematics, remains as elusive as ever. The conjecture, which originated from the work of Bernhard Riemann on the distribution of prime numbers, has now been extended and generalised into a monstrous beast. Its cunning and long arms now encompass almost all areas of mathematics, far beyond its site of origin.

General, Science, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Oct 31, 2019
Establishing an order within chaos

Study shows how paper wasps use the space in their nests to feed their larvae and fend off diseases.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 30, 2019
Where are the women patients in Indian hospitals?

Study explores the factors behind missing women in India’s healthcare.

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 28, 2019
New insight into genetic mutation may revolutionise bladder cancer treatment

Among the various types of cancer, Urothelial Bladder Cancer (UBC) is responsible for around 2 lakh deaths per year around the world. This cancer affects the inner lining of the bladder and is the most common form of bladder cancer. It usually affects aged individuals, with blood in urine and painful urination as the first sign of its manifestation. Conventional methods of treatment involve surgical removal of cancerous tissue in the bladder and chemotherapy.

General, Science, Technology, Health, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 25, 2019
Weaving a web of wonder

In a study, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Rupnagar, have explored how prey is caught and retained by a healthy spider web when compared with a damaged one. The study, published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, was featured under the theme 'Bioinspired materials and surfaces for green science and technology'. The researchers studied the webs of St Andrew's Cross spider (Argiope aetherea), which builds orb-webs and belongs to the Araneidae family.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 24, 2019
What flies can teach us about achieving the perfect landing, albeit upside down!

In a new study, researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bengaluru, and the Pennsylvania State University and Colorado State University in the USA, have studied how flies land on ceilings. The researchers have also explored how the fly’s brain integrates visual and balance-related inputs from the surroundings to generate appropriate movement in the wings and legs to achieve a perfect landing.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 23, 2019
Looking through 'living glass', researchers discover a new genus of diatoms from India and China

In a recent study, researchers from Agharkar Research Institute, India, Harbin Normal University, China and the University of Colorado, USA, have described a new genus of diatoms called Kulikovskiyia. Diatoms belonging to this genus are currently found only in the Western Ghats of India and Hainan Province of China. The study, funded by the Science and Engineering Research Board, was published in the journal Phycological Research.

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 22, 2019
Studies show vaccines have unexpected benefits — better cognition, school grades and child growth

The use of vaccination for preventing diseases has had the most profound effect on human health and quality of life. Despite this, anti-vaccination movements are gaining popularity in recent years, especially in high income countries with historically near universal vaccine coverage, like the USA. Consequently, cases of diseases like measles have seen a 30% rise globally. Vaccine hesitancy has been declared one of the top ten threats to global health by the WHO in 2019. In times like these, what if science showed some added benefits of vaccination besides the obvious? A recent set of studies by a team of international researchers, led by those at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), Washington DC and New Delhi, have shown that vaccines can have other unintentional positive effects.

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 21, 2019
New Possibilities for Nano-sized Optical Filters

Prof Bhaskaran Muralidharan and Dr Alestin Mawrie of the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay have researched a specific category of two-dimensional nanomaterials, called semi-Dirac materials. Their theoretical studies show that it is possible to engineer semi-Dirac materials to make optical filters and efficient thermoelectric nanodevices.

 

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Deep-dive
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