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Friday Features

Bengaluru | Nov 8, 2019
Studying fruit flies: A sneak peek into their lives in the lab

Disgusting, annoying or beneficial? What would you call these pestering fruit flies that don’t miss an opportunity to sit on your favourite cut fruit or visit your kitchen a few times? Whatever you call them, did you know we owe a great deal of our knowledge on evolution to these pesky flies? Ever wondered what’s the lifestyle of Drosophila melanogaster, as they are scientifically called, within the four walls of a laboratory where they are experimented upon? Here is a sneak peek.

General, Science, Ecology, Friday Features, Joy of Science
Bengaluru | Nov 8, 2019

Imagine just switching on your lights and downloading a movie in a second. The world demands high-speed internet connectivity at a lower price. This increasing clamour for speed and bandwidth is opening up new avenues, and one such evolving domain is LiFi - a wireless technology that makes use of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to transmit data. Light waves are 10,000 times denser than WiFi signals, so there is vast untapped potential here.

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive, Friday Features
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 4, 2019
Healthcare on the backburner in Bengaluru’s slums

In a recent study, researchers from the Bangalore Baptist Hospital, Bengaluru, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands and the University of Sheffield, UK, have attempted to find what ailments plagued the residents of Devarajeevanahalli.

General, Science, Health, Society, Policy, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Sep 27, 2019

During the years 2018-2019, India witnessed a few ‘Kisan Long Marches’, where thousands of farmers took to the streets. They marched against state and central governments to alleviate their suffering. Their demands included loan waivers, proper land ownership rights, access to insurance and other welfare schemes, and obtaining a justified price for their crops. The Indian farming community is facing a crisis and farmer suicides are increasing by the day. Does the country’s social and caste structure add to these woes of the farming community? A recent study by researchers has found some insights. The study, published in the journal PLOS One, explored if caste of the farmers played a role in them having access to agriculture-related information. 

General, Science, Society, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Sep 13, 2019
India now part of a global effort in research on antimicrobial resistance

In a press announcement released yesterday, India has now joined 16 other countries as a Member of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R&D) Hub. For a country that ranks the highest in antibacterial resistance, this move expands global partnership opportunities to address challenges and improve collaboration in addressing the growing epidemic of antimicrobial resistance.

Science, Technology, Health, Friday Features, News
Bengaluru | Sep 13, 2019
Study finds monkeys use gestures to communicate, just like apes.

Humans have evolved a complex system of communication expressed through language and primates are perhaps not far behind. Basic signals like facial expressions, gestures and vocalisations, used to share information, are used by humans and other primates. In a new study, researchers from the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, have investigated and compared gestural communication in wild bonnet macaques (Macaca radiata), to those in other apes. 

General, Science, Ecology, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Sep 6, 2019
Where did we Indians come from?

We have all heard of the Indus Valley Civilisation.It is well known for its granaries, drainage systems and systematically planned cities like Harappa and Mohenjodaro. However, not much is known about its rise and fall; although there are various theories. In a pair of new studies published in the journals Science and Cell, a consortium of international researchers, including those from India, have tried to decipher the origins of present-day Central and South Asian people. They have used recent advances in genetics to extract and analyse genetic material (DNA) from the remains of several ancient populations, including people from the Indus Valley Civilisation.

General, Science, Society, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Jul 26, 2019
The How and the Why: Interpreting Scientific Studies - The Answer in the Jigsaw

This article is the second part of the series ‘The How and the Why: Interpreting Scientific Studies’, brought to you by Research Matters. The series focuses on the method of scientific studies, including emphasising the importance of meta-analyses, the repercussions of the replication crisis and the inclusion of ethics in experimental biology. We hope this series will better enable our readers to understand and evaluate scientific research they are interested in and those that could impact their lives.

General, Science, Deep-dive, Friday Features, Joy of Science
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