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.
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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.
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.
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.