Sex determination in animals is an interesting topic. While the X and Y chromosomes decide the sex of an unborn baby in humans and most other mammals, external factors like temperature and humidity decide it for the crocodiles and turtles. But what decides the sex of a young zebrafish? Research now shows that a combination of internal and external factors play a role in determining sex in zebrafish. Understanding the process in depth can throw light on some of the intricate workings of nature, say the researchers.
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Humans are not the only organisms under threat by the malarial parasite Plasmodium. These parasites are known to infect a range of animals from primate to reptiles, theis list also includes birds. In their recent study Scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have collected these parasites from the blood of various species of birds in the Himalayan foothills. Through their study the team was to show the burden of infection in birds and the seasonality of the infection.
Kala azar or more specifically visceral leishmaniasis is a disease endemic to india. It is caused by protozoan parasites belonging to the genus Leishmania. In India, the organism Leishmania donovani is responsible for the majority of kala - azar infections. Sandflies are the insect vectors through which the parasite spreads in the population. Blackening of skin, enlargement of the liver and spleen with fever are the common symptoms of the disease. After malaria, Leishmania are the second largest parasitic killers in the world.
What can a large company learn from a marriage? In this new study researchers show that different social systems, be it a marriage between two individuals or a firm with thousands of employees, show similarities in the way they fail. When the reasons for failure are plotted on a graph, the curves obtained for the different social systems turned out to show similar distribution. For example,willingness of the individuals that make a system, to make sacrifices for the greater good of the system was found to be a key factor in keeping social systems alive.
It was a routine practice in India to give infants a sunbath. But now, many kids remain indoors for a major part of their day, owing to a changing lifestyle. A recent study from Delhi has recommended that infants must be given a sunbath for 30 minutes in a week to attain sufficient levels of vitamin D, that is, 20 nanograms per ml. More than 50% of the Indian population is vitamin D deficient, according to some studies, which is a health concern especially for infants. This is because its deficiency leads to rickets, a malformation of leg bones.
With the increasing use of electrical and electronic devices, the amount of ‘electronic waste’ that we generate is quickly filling up our landfills. Recycling electronic waste or e-waste is a challenge due to the emission of poisonous gases in the process. Now, a new study has designed various adsorbents to be used in the process of recycling by burning the e-waste. By using these adsorbents, the researchers hope, could make the whole process less toxic for the air and for ourselves.
Batteries come in all shapes and sizes, and power the modern world, from the tiny hearing aid and gadgets like wrist watches, smartphones, laptops and camera, to large entities like cars and trucks! Irrespective of their shape, size and function, the working principle behind all batteries is pretty much uniform: two electrodes – an ‘anode’ attracting negative ions and a ‘cathode’ attracting positive ions – connected by an electrolyte, undergo redox reactions to help convert other forms of energy into electrical energy.
If pictures say a thousand words, what would a collection of hundreds of pictures say? A fascinating chronicle indeed! That’s what Dr. Navendu Page’s newly launched book is.
Riboflavin or vitamin B2 is a water-soluble vitamin that acts a co-enzyme and is required for cellular respiration. Riboflavin can neither be synthesized by the human body, nor be stored in the body, owing to its water-soluble nature. Thus, we need to regularly supplement the levels of riboflavin in our body through dietary intake. Today, although found in various foods like eggs, green vegetables, milk and meat, there are numerous cases of riboflavin deficiency occurring on a regular basis.