In a recently published study, scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, are addressing one of the biggest challenges faced by many appliances - wear and friction due to usage. Wear and friction affects the lifetime of industrial equipment, which directly correlates with the profitability of the business. The teams of researchers, led by Prof. M.S. Bobji at the Department of Mechanical Engineering are now experimenting with alumina based nanocomposite coating for wear resistance.
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Organisms with single cell mostly reproduce asexually through cell division by splitting into two or more cells and yeasts are no exception. They divide by fission or budding, a process where new daughter cells ‘bud’ off after receiving half of the nucleus and some cytoplasm from the mother cell. A recent collaborative study by scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), the Tata Memorial Centre, Advanced Centre for Treatment Research and Education in Cancer, Navi Mumbai and the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, has now thrown some insights into the mechanism of nuclear division in yeasts. The study, led by Prof. Kaustuv Sanyal from JNCASR and Prof. Raja Paul from IACS, has succeeded in generating a computational model that accurately predicts the nuclear division dynamics in two types of yeasts belonging to two phyla - Ascomycota and Basidiomycota.
When our body’s defensive immune responses end up injuring our own tissues and organs while fighting infections, it results in a clinical condition called sepsis. It is one of the leading causes of global mortality, with an estimated 90,000 deaths every year in India alone. Once it kicks off, sepsis or “septic shock”, commonly results in tissue damage, multiple organ failure and eventually death in high-risk patients. Fungal, viral and parasitic infections can all cause sepsis, with bacteria being the most common culprits. Conventionally, sepsis is treated using expensive antibiotics with poor shelf lives. Now, a new study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has proposed a cost-effective treatment for sepsis.
By sharing resources, mobile phone service providers can reduce call drop rates and make higher profits, is the conclusion of a study by researchers from the Indian Institute of Science and the University of Pennsylvania, USA. The research, though conducted a few years ago, assumes importance now, because the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently allowed different service providers to share spectrum.
The inconsistency between spatial development of Bengaluru and its urban planning has skyrocketed the cost of city development, says a new study by Ms. N S Nalini, a researcher from the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru. Considering the example of the water supply system in the city, the study confirms that it is inefficient with an overpriced production and supply of water. The study also suggests that planning water supply based on the natural terrain of the city could minimize these costs.
Trees hold a special place on the planet. Apart from being an important resource to us, they are also a generous host to many species of fungi and bacteria that spend parts of their life cycle inside the trees. These microorganisms, called endophytes, have a symbiotic relationship with trees, the nature of which depends on the genetic, environmental and geographical conditions. In a recent study, researchers at the Vivekananda Institute of Tropical Mycology (VINSTROM), Chennai, have surveyed about 100 trees from the forests in the Western Ghats to explore a particular endophyte species, Pestalotiopsis, and its interaction with trees within the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Paper, considered a symbol of knowledge, has been used indiscriminately in the past century causing severe environmental degradation. One study estimates that with all the paper we waste each year, we can build two 12-foot high wall of paper from New Delhi to Bangalore! Electronic storage is not a better alternative since it poses another challenge of handling e-waste that is generated. Now, a collaborative study by researchers headed by Prof. Sandeep Kumar and Dr. A.R Yuvaraj at Raman Research Institute (RRI), Bangalore, and the University of Malaysia, has developed a novel technology that could reduce the use of paper and the generation of e-waste by replacing the way we present information. The researchers have developed an optical storage device made of gold nanoparticles decorated with compounds called azobenzenes.
Evolutionary changes are manifested in natural populations over many generations, which makes it difficult to observe evolution in real-time. Nevertheless, there are many evolutionary biologists who are keen to understand the intricacies of this process and Prof. N G Prasad from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Mohali is one of them. Recently, Prof. Prasad and his colleagues published a study based on how fruit flies respond to crowding during larval stages of development.
Recruitment process is a time-consuming affair and a lot of research is underway in automating some of the aspects of this process. Computer-based tests that evaluate an individual’s knowledge are rampant. But can such tests be developed to measure the communication skills of a candidate, in place of a face-to-face interview? Prof. Dinesh Jayagopi and his team of researchers at the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT), Bengaluru, have now identified features and attributes that help in predicting the communication skills of candidates. Using Machine Learning, they have developed a prediction algorithm that can evaluate the communication skills of an individual. “The goal of the study is to put a candidate in both manual and automated test settings and compare their behavior and behavior perception across the two scenarios”, explains Prof. Jayagopi.
In an effort to make water resources sustainable, the Ministry of Earth Sciences, India and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), UK have funded a new project “Upscaling Catchment Processes for Sustainable Water Management in Peninsular India” (UPSCAPE). It is a 3-year £2 million research project that is one of the three projects in India initiated under the ambitious Newton-Bhabha Sustaining Water Resources Programme. Six institutes have come together as partners in this project, of which the prestigious Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, is the lead Institute from India. “The motivating factor of the Newton-Bhabha project is to ensure science reaches the society and benefits it”, says Prof. Pradeep Mujumdar, Chairman at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research, Indian Institute of Science. He also leads the team of Indian scientists working on the UPSCAPE project in the Cauvery river basin.