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Science

May 16

Our need for energy is growing at an unprecedented rate and we have tried every source of energy to quench our thirst. We have almost used up all our fossil fuels and have tried to harness as much as renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, water and nuclear power. Inefficiency and high cost involved in harnessing these renewable sources have now forced us to look at other approaches. In a recent study, scientists have tried to mimic what plants do best -- convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into food and oxygen! By building artificial photosynthetic systems, the researchers claim to have a unending flow of clean and green energy for the future.

General, Science, Engineering
May 15

Prof. Sathees C. Raghavan (right) along with Ms. Supriya V. Vartak, Dept. of Biochemistry, IISc

As cancer, a deadly disease, evolves, our fight against it does so too. Today, there are multiple therapies and drugs available that fight different types of cancer. Now, researchers have added a new drug called Disarib to this list that acts against a particular protein called BCL2. By killing cells that overproduce this protein, the researchers claim that Disarib can act effectively against most types of cancers. A first kind of its drug made completely in India, Disarib heralds a new breakthrough in Indian pharmaceutical research.

General, Science, Health
May 13

Migration of birds is a spectacular event in its own right. It is a rare chance to spot those uncommon feathered visitors who are on a massive journey, sometimes spanning thousands of kilometers. Have you ever wondered why birds migrate? What are some of the factors that trigger migration? And how about some amazing tales of migration? Read about all these and more in this feature on migration of birds on account of World Migratory Bird Day.

Science, Ecology
May 12

Fighting genetic disorders is a new frontier in the field of medicine today. While some of them can be managed by early interventions, most genetic disorders do not yet have a cure.  Scientists all over the world are trying new drugs and techniques to understand and rectify such disorders. In a recent study, scientists have used bone marrow stem cell transplant as a promising cure to Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD), a genetic disorder affecting one in 3000. The stem cell therapy, tested on mice, has yielded a positive result and the researchers hope this could be a new ray of hope for patients with AATD.

General, Science, Health
May 11

You could be a scientist too!

An education in science is a cherished dream for many. Unfortunately, it’s almost always limited to a few areas of study like engineering, medicine or dentistry. Thanks to the numerous avenues today, education in science has better career opportunities than ever, leaping beyond these traditional fields. So, what options does one have in the realm of science education? Here is a small effort to demystify the science education scene in the country.

General, Science, Society, Featured
May 10

Thunderstorms, coupled with torrential rains are a regular phenomenon in India. Each year, thunderstorms claim hundreds of lives and destroy crops and livestock worth crores of rupees. Although meteorologists predict them, it’s too late to warn the affected people to save the loss. Now, researchers have developed an accurate model to predict severe thunderstorms in the Indian Monsoon Region (IMR). By being able to accurately predict this weather phenomenon much in advance, we could save many lives, claim the researchers. 

General, Science, Technology, Society
May 9

Though our fight against tuberculosis has a long history, we have not been able to wipe off this bacterial infection from the face of the planet. Even to this day, there are numerous studies all over the world that are trying to find the ‘best’ drug against this killer disease. In a new approach to fight tuberculosis, a recent study has now shone some light on how our body fights Mycobacterium, the causative bacteria of TB. Understanding this mechanism, the researchers say, could open up new vaccines and drugs against TB and help us win the seemingly never ending battle. 

General, Science, Health
May 8

Conserving wildlife seems to be the biggest concern for most ecologists who think habitat destruction, coupled with climate change, can spell doom for many animals on earth. The first step to know how badly a particular species is affected is by counting them. As simple as it sounds, counting populations, especially in the wild, is a daunting task. In addition to the sheer physical strain, social structures of certain animals like the elephants could result in errors in such population estimations. Now, a new study has leveraged the power of computer simulations to accurately estimate wild populations at the comfort of your desk. 

General, Science, Technology, Ecology
May 5

Thanks to the white revolution of the 1970s, today India ranks first in milk production, accounting for 18.5 % of world production. While this was possible due to sustained efforts in dairy farming, a new wave of genetic engineering looks to disrupt these numbers very soon. Apart from increasing milk production, scientists are applying techniques of genetic engineering to modify cow’s milk to make it more nutritious, free of allergens and easy to digest. By genetically engineering milk, scientists also hope to keep the food security scare at bay.

General, Science, Health
May 4

Public transport in large Indian cities are often plagued with unforeseen delays, thanks to the traffic and inefficiency of the public transport system. Now, researchers have used the power of technology to make this a thing of past. Using concepts from data science, researchers have developed a simple web-based application that can accurately predict the arrival and travel times of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses in Chennai, based on historical data collected over a period of time. With such technologies, researchers say, the wait for a bus might soon be over for ever!

General, Science, Technology, Society

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