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Bengaluru | Oct 3, 2019
Indian research barely covered on social media, finds study

In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, researchers from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, South Asian University, New Delhi, and Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany, have studied how much attention Indian research gets on social media.

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Bengaluru | Oct 2, 2019
Local information on disease outbreaks help in the success of voluntary vaccination programs, suggests study

Human decision-making is critical to voluntary vaccination programs. In a recent study, published in PLoS Computational Biology, researchers from the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, have modelled the outcomes of such programs using game theory. Game theory is a branch of mathematics that studies how agents in an interaction make strategic decisions.

 

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Hyderabad | Oct 1, 2019
Prajval Shasti and Megan Urry release the book 31 adventures in Indian Science with authors Nandita Jayaraj and Aashima Freidog

An Indian scientific conference pressed for progress towards gender equity in science. The recommendations, which emerged from the discussions, have been forwarded to the Department of Science, Government of India.

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Bengaluru | Sep 30, 2019
Learning to read has added benefits to the brain, study finds

In the course of human evolution, our ability to read is a relatively newly acquired trait. Hence, it is highly unlikely that a region of the brain could have evolved specifically for reading, unlike much more ancient functions like seeing or hearing. But, how is it that we are capable of this unique feat that involves recognising words and interpreting their meaning? Reading requires the coordinated functions of several regions in the brain, particularly associated with visual sensory processing. In a recent study, an international team of researchers investigated the effects of reading on the visual system in the brain.This study was published in the journal Science Advances.

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Bengaluru | Sep 27, 2019
Recipients of the 2019 Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize by CSIR

In an announcement made yesterday, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has published a list of the recipients of the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for 2019. The list includes twelve eminent scientists from various research institutions across the country, with only one woman scientist from the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.

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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. 

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Bengaluru | Sep 26, 2019
Fighting floods the 'expert' way

 During the fag end of 2015, Chennai experienced severe floods resulting in the death of about 500 people and economic losses of about INR 50,000 crores. The flooding stranded the city and was termed a 'man-made disaster' resulting from irresponsible water management and rapid urbanisation. The northeast monsoon of the year left most parts of South India marooned, exposing how vulnerable our cities are to such catastrophes. That's when the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor took a major initiative to develop a real-time, integrated, urban flood forecasting system that was non-existent in our country. Soon after, a team of scientists from various institutes across the country, swung into action to develop the first-ever expert system in India to forecast floods. In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, the researchers shed light on the development of the automated flood forecasting expert system. 

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Bengaluru | Sep 25, 2019
Have policies to conserve groundwater in Haryana and Punjab worsened Delhi's air?

The city of Delhi has been consistently ranked as one of the world's most polluted cities. As the monsoon ends, haze sets in, with Deepawali around the corner, bringing the entire city to a standstill with low visibility. Besides vehicular emissions, smoke from diesel generators and construction dust, a significant contributor to this problem is the practice of crop residue burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana. A recent study, published in the journal Nature Sustainability, suggests that groundwater conservation policies, adopted by Punjab and Haryana, have changed the patterns of rice production. These policies, the researchers argue, have led to the concentration of crop residue burning into a narrower period, later in the season.

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Bengaluru | Sep 24, 2019
When mechanics comes to the rescue of biology

The nucleus of the cell holds our genetic material and is a vital part of our cell. Apart from what they carry, how they look also plays a crucial role in diagnosing many diseases. In a recent study, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, have developed a mechanical model to quantify the shape of the nucleus and predict the biochemistry within a cell. They have used this model to show how Hepatitis C virus changes the nuclear mechanics of cells affected by it. This study is published in the Biophysical Journal.

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Bengaluru | Sep 23, 2019
High up the Himalayas, study finds, flowers get smaller and nectar gets concentrated to suit tiny pollinators

The flowers in the Himalaya, a favourite among mountaineers, may have borrowed a lesson or two from the adrenaline-high visitors. As they climb higher, mountaineers carry only essential things, shedding any extra baggage. Likewise, the flowers here shrink in their size and hold less nectar to suit their tiny pollinators, finds a recent study on Rhododendrons, a type of woody flowering plants. The study was conducted by researchers at the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, Bengaluru and is published in the journal Alpine Botany. 

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