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.
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Foodborne diseases, caused by Salmonella, are responsible for 1 in 10 illnesses globally. Treating Salmonella infections using traditional antibiotics is turning to be a challenge because of the development of drug resistant strains. Now, a new study at IISc has developed nanotechnology based nanocarries using silica that can deliver very small dosage of antibiotics to the affected cells, thus hitting the right target. Using laboratory experiments, the researchers found that these nanocarries performed much better than conventional antibiotics in all stages of the infection. The design of these nanocarries are generic, and can be used for delivering different antibiotics, they claim.
Gelatin, commonly used in jellys and ice creams, is a flavorless food additive derived from collagen, a protein, obtained from various animal body parts. Now, scientists at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad, may have found another novel application of gelatin -- as nanoparticles that could help in drug release. Through a process called protein desolvation, they have generated homogeneous nanoparticles of gelatin whose surface could undergo ‘erosion’ in the body due to other enzymes, thus releasing an entrapped drug or gene in the process.
Indian Institute of Science (IISc) is regarded as the premier research institution in the country and a place where most of the cutting edge research happens. But have you wondered how the institution got to where it is today? Dr. Surja Datta, a senior lecturer at Oxford Brookes Business School, tries to answer this question through the lens of history.
Our lifestyles influence our behaviour in a big way -- or so we think. But did you know our activities have a major influence on other creatures living around us? In an interesting study, scientists have uncovered how urbanization has influenced the courtship behaviour among south Indian rock agamas and their escape strategies. The study found that these agamas use change of colour of their body as communication signal during courtship and aggression and human activities and urbanization have a great influence in the everyday lives of these lizards.
Figs and wasps have a give and take relationship where figs need wasps to pollinate while wasps lay their eggs inside the fig fruits. However, not all fig-wasp relationships are this cordial. There are a set of parasitic wasps that cause more harm to the fig plant than good! A new study has uncovered some of the fascinating abilities of such wasps, especially their ability to sense smell. Ovipositors, specialized organs developed to lay eggs in wasps, have been found to act as a ‘nose’ in sniffing out the best position to lay their eggs, say the researchers. These organs can also detect many chemicals, potentially inspiring new kind of sensors, they claim.
Yoga is considered to be India’s gift of goodness and health to the world. With millions of people around the world having benefitted by regular practice, yoga indeed has changed several lives for the good. On this International Day of Yoga, here is all you need to know about the history, the scientific basis for Yoga and some of the benefits realised by those who practice Yoga regularly.
Technology has provided the best solutions for many of our problems. One such day-to-day problem faced by civic authorities is estimating the number of people in a crowd or a gathering so that they can manage the crowd better without any incidents. A new study by researchers has proposed a novel crowd counting technique using the concepts of neural networks. This algorithm, the researchers claim, can count crowds that swell in a short period or those that have varying number of people spread out.
The problem of waste management is ubiquitous. With growing cities and exploding populations, the amount of waste that today’s cities generate is at unprecedented levels. Since most of urban waste ends up in open landfills, there is a need to relook and contemplate on better, greener ways of handling waste. In a new study, researchers explore alternatives to disposing domestic waste and utilizing their by-products. By doing so, we could also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help keep the Earth green, the researchers claim
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.