Leopards are one of the majestic cats in the wild who are in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. There are increasing reports of them mauling people, killing livestock and posing a danger in human dominated areas. In many cases, the leopards are unfortunately killed out of panic among people. In an interview with Mr. Nikit Surve, we present the reasons behind the rising human-leopard conflicts and how they must be handled in order for both to coexists peacefully in the same planet we both call home.
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The oceans make up 75% of our Earth and is home to a wide range of plants and animals that thrive in marine ecosystems around the world. Thanks to human actions, these ecosystems face a mounting threat, far too inconspicuous, for us to observe. Ocean pollution, raise in its temperature and rampant overfishing have threatened many species and have pushed them to the brink of extinction. On World Oceans Day, perhaps it is time to reflect what roles these oceans play in helping life on the land and think about how our activities have disturbed the fragile balance nature maintains in the deep blue seas.
Dogs are long considered our best friends. Since the days of our civilizations, it is thought that dogs have started to share the cities that we build and have lived in them - eating up our wastes, protecting our livestocks, guarding us and sometimes irking us with their behaviour. Stray dogs are now seen as a menace more than as loving inhabitants of our cities. An increasing number of huma-dog conflicts are a testimony to that. A new research has thrown some insights into the behavioural aspects of stray dogs and has identified factors and measures that can help us make peace with the strays. By being aware and understanding of the behaviours of strays, a lot of such conflicts can be avoided, say the researchers.
The 22nd of May is celebrated around the world as International Day for Biodiversity -- a day to celebrate the existence of that little sparrow on the tree, the colourful caterpillar on the leaf, the gigantic Blue whale in the ocean and the majestic elephant in our forests. It is a day to appreciate that our planet is blessed with so many life forms and understand each one’s role in maintaining this ecosystem. A small imbalance in this ecosystem can spell doom for all of us. On this day, here is a brief look at how we have understood biodiversity throughout our history and some important takeaways in the process.
It is a connected world that we all live in. Technology around is changing everything and making life ‘smarter’ and better for us. The new wave hitting all of us today is Big Data that is changing how we look at a piece of information and make decisions. How have our lives changed with Big Data being around? What are its impacts? What are some concerns? On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, we look at how Big Data is making big impacts to our lives.
An education in science is a cherished dream for many. Unfortunately, it’s almost always limited to a few areas of study like engineering, medicine or dentistry. Thanks to the numerous avenues today, education in science has better career opportunities than ever, leaping beyond these traditional fields. So, what options does one have in the realm of science education? Here is a small effort to demystify the science education scene in the country.
Missions to the outer space always bring a sense of excitement in the scientific community and hope to find answers to one haunting question - do aliens exist? The Cassini-Huygens mission, launched to orbit Saturn and study its moon - Titan, is no different. Although it has not yet found a convincing answer to the question, it has revealed various facets about the majestic planet, its spectacular rings and the splendid moons. And of course, the possibility of finding life based on many earth-like conditions in the atmosphere of one of Saturn’s moons. Come September, the glorious journey of this spacecraft comes to an end after two eventful decades. Here is a wishing Cassini-Huygens a long goodbye.
Malaria, the biggest killer of all time, has a long association with humans. As we develop new strategies to combat the fatal disease, the parasite causing the disease gets stronger than ever. In this seemingly never-ending tussle, who ultimately wins the battle? The judgement, it seems, is not an easy one! On World Malaria Day, here is a brief insight into the details of this deadly disease.
Today is World Bicycle Day, a day celebrated to commemorate the joy of cycling. In a country like Netherlands, almost every person owns a cycle, and 99.1% are cyclists! But a city like Bengaluru -- almost thrice as big and with 12 times more population -- loses hands down to Amsterdam, in citizens choosing to cycle. Why is that so? And what can be done to make people here fall in love with their bikes? The Research Matters team caught up with Prof. Ashish Verma, an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
Can insects help us decipher how molecules behave? Yes, say scientists from Department of Chemistry of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata. In a recent study, they have described how the concept of ‘swarm intelligence’ can be used to determine the most stable configuration of a molecule and its electronic structure. With this knowledge as base, scientists can design molecules such as drugs, vaccines and polymers with targeted properties.