Bangalore of the yesteryears was a city of gardens; cool, pleasant and green. In addition to the 2000+ species of trees -- some natural and some specifically planted -- individual gardens in small households contributed to the large biodiversity here. The undulating terrain of the city allowed formation of lakes -- natural and manmade – that were interconnected. As the ‘Garden City’ transformed into the ‘Silicon Valley of India’, the city’s rapid, uncontrolled growth turned this biodiversity haven to a concrete jungle.
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Humans are not the only organisms under threat by the malarial parasite Plasmodium. These parasites are known to infect a range of animals from primate to reptiles, theis list also includes birds. In their recent study Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have collected these parasites from the blood of various species of birds in the Himalayan foothills. Through their study the team was to show the burden of infection in birds and the seasonality of the infection.
If pictures say a thousand words, what would a collection of hundreds of pictures say? A fascinating chronicle indeed! That’s what Dr. Navendu Page’s newly launched book is.
Unicellular microalgae cells living in freshwater sources are constantly exposed to stimuli and stresses of all kinds, be it changes in temperature, salinity, drought or pathogenic attacks. With climate change and rapid diminishing glaciers, these variations of the environment will continue to get worse. Sensing, reacting and mitigating the harmful impacts of such drastic environmental alterations becomes a matter of survival for these algal cells.
Organic farming, a method of farming that uses no artificial pesticides or fertilisers, is a re-emerging practice in agriculture and is seen as a new hope in times where our lands are ravaged by chemical fertilizers. Following this method has multiple benefits among which maintaining soil health is one. But how much of ‘good’ does it do to soil? A new research has now studies the various long and short term effects of organic farming on soil health and has found that in comparison with conventional farming methods, organic farming results in better soil health as indicated by its physical, chemical and biological properties
The Western Ghats in India has been a hotspot for many a diverse and unique forms of life. The dense rainforests and tropical climate have assisted in the diversification of species, many of which are yet to be found. The latest addition to this growing list is Nasikabatrachus bhupathi, an underground dwelling frog that surface only for a few days every year, to mate. The species was found along the eastern slopes of the Western Ghats, which receives rainfall during the northeast monsoon unlike the other parts of the ghats, and could be a primary reason for the differences in the species found in the different places.
Chlorella pyrenoidosa is a type of freshwater algae found around the world. It has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for a long time, and in recent times, emerged as a leading candidate for the production of biodiesels. Toxic algal blooms, can be seen covering ponds and lakes, and happens due to a rapid growth of algae in the waterbody. Since some of these algae produce toxins harmful to humans and other animals, toxic algal blooms generally lead to a decrease in the amount of fish in the water and amount of life surrounding it.
Captivity and confinement has had devastating effects on humans and the same can be true in the case of wild animals, especially the big cats. In this new study, scientists observe the hormones produced by captive big cats, like the Bengal Tiger or Leopard, to measure the amount of stress they endure during captivity. The study also throws light on stereotypy - a coping mechanism developed by captive animals, and its relation to the amount of stress they experience.
When on a beach or by a large water body, many of us would have seen a handful of crab species. It is an absolute delight to see these decapod (ten-footed) crustaceans dart across open patches of sand side ways, then stop abruptly only to dash away again! While many might associate crabs with the marine environment, there are approximately 13,000 known species of freshwater crabs in the world. In India, the state of Kerala boasts of the highest number of freshwater crab species, providing a home to 28 of the 94 known freshwater crab species.
In nature, survival and reproduction are the two of the most effective drivers that shape animal behavior. In evolutionary biology, the individual who makes a larger contribution to the gene pool of the next generation is said to be ‘fitter’ than other individuals. When reproduction plays such an important role in the life cycle of an animal, it is obvious that a lot of energy goes into attracting and securing mates.