The story of the river Saraswati has captivated scholars and academicians alike. With no physical evidence, the memory of the extinct river has survived centuries, starting from its first mention in the Rigveda, through poems and stories. The river is said to have originated in the Himalayas and emptied in the Arabian sea near present day, Rann of Kachchh. Now a new study in the Rann of Kachchh has revealed some interesting evidence which could help us establish the story of Saraswati as myth or fact.
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Indigenous people throughout the world from the Amazon to the Andamans are caught in a tricky devastating situation. On the one side, their habitats are being continuously destroyed and the resources that they once depended upon -- like water and forests are being snatched away from them. On the other side there is a pressure of ‘modernization’ pushing them to everlasting poverty. Without a sustainable solution to these challenges that they face, they always remain left out from the mainstream unable to fend for themselves. On this International Day of World’s Indigenous People, let us take a look at the Todas of Nilgiri and understand what it is like to be a tribesman in the 21st century.
Space missions come with an unprecedented excitement of open a Pandora’s box of unknown facts, mysteries and phenomenons. It is hardly a surprise that New Horizons, NASA’s mission to explore Pluto and beyond has caused a great excitement in the field of planetary science. Launched in 2006, New Horizons has already provided mankind with the most intimate images of Pluto till date and is now cruising towards the Kuiper Belt beyond our Solar System. Read all that you should know about this space mission, its latest findings and its future stops as it progresses toward new horizons of space in an interview with Prof. Henry Throop.
Tigers, a well-known member of the cat family and India’s national animal is unique in many ways. Once found abundantly in the tropics of Asia, tigers today have little to call home or family. Their numbers have seen a sharp fall in the recent years, thanks to habitat destruction and poaching. While conservation efforts are on to protect this endangered species, there is still a long way to go before these shy cats can roam the jungles as kings. Today, on the event of International Tiger Day, here is a snapshot on what’s troubling them and how we know about it.
On 31 May 2017, three space-based observatories – India’s Astrosat, NASA’s Chandra and NASA’s and ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope, along with a ground-based observatory High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (HARPS), participated in this exciting exercise and have detected a coronal explosion -- an unusually large release of plasma and magnetic field from a star – in Proxima Centauri.
The Education and Research Network or better known as the ERNET project was initiated in 1986 by the central government with the aim of connecting the different academic institutions across the country and introducing research in networking in the country. By 1992, ERNET had become the country’s first internet service provider. In January 2016 it was mutually decided to end the agreement between ERNET and IISc, thus bringing to an end a three-decade long effort in data networking.
The body’s immune system is one of the robust defense mechanisms. Now, scientists are exploring to use our immune system to fight some of the deadliest diseases including cancer by understanding how immunotherapy works and how drugs that are based on immunotherapy help our body fight cancers. In a recent study, researchers are working on understanding how Yervoy, a common immunotherapy drug against cancer, works in fighting against the disease. They are also looking at manufacturing similar cost-effective drugs that promise to bring down the cost of cancer drugs.
Have you ever wondered what billions of years of evolution has left us with? Incredible answers to some of the toughest questions, say scientists. In fact, it has given rise to a new field called biomimicry that aims to provide some of the incredible solutions to design problems inspired by nature. Think of the aeroplanes, super fast bullet trains, artificial glues for bones, climate controlled buildings -- all these are a result of us looking close into nature’s way of dealing with problems and drawing an inspiration from them. But there are more such examples that are gamechangers. Read more to know how biomimicry is all set to influence our lives more than ever.
The Research Matters team caught up with Nobel Laureate Professor Brian Schmidt, Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, when he was in Bengaluru in June, 2017. Having won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2011 for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae, our team wanted to know his views about the recent discovery of gravitational waves by LIGO and the Virgo Observatory. Read on to know more about his work on type 1A supernovae and share his excitement for the future of cosmology, after the discovery of gravitational waves.
Asteroids bring an image of shooting stars streaking across the sky. But did you know, they were the reason behind one of the biggest mass extinction events in the history of life? Often harmless, asteroids have been striking the earth for millions of years and there are still millions out there, wandering in outer space. On the occasion of International Asteroid Day, let us learn about these incredible space rocks and why it is important to track and study them.