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Apr 7

Several studies in the recent years have focused on the health hazards of chemicals and pesticides used by farmers to protect their crops and improve their yields. Among the cocktail of poison, a controversial herbicide paraquat dichloride, marketed as Gramoxone, is infamous for its link to  accidental poisoning and suicides. Now, researchers have developed a new sensor using nanotechnology that not only detects paraquat, but also estimates its amount. This innovation can help save many innocent lives that grow our food.

General, Science, Technology, Society
Apr 6

Zika virus wreaked havoc in 2015 when it spread like wildfire in parts of South America, causing microcephaly in babies born to infected mothers, neurological disorders, and poor pregnancy. Though discovered in 1947, no vaccine is yet available against Zika. Now, a collaboration of Indo-American researchers from the Indian Institute of Science and University of California, have unearthed the protein evolution of the genes of Zika virus which may throw some light on how the virus evolves and adapts to new environments.

Apr 6

Presence of abnormally high amount of serum uric acid in our cells have been associated with several disease conditions including gout and kidney stones. But how do we measure uric acid in live cells? Researchers from Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology, Howrah and University of Calcutta, Kolkata, have synthesized a new fluorescent compound made from Naphthyridine, which reacts with uric acid and forms intermolecular hydrogen bonds and produces “turn-off” fluorescence.

Apr 5

Our nervous system is one of the most complex systems in our body. It consists of billions of nerve cells that work in tandem and processes billions and billions of calculations per second. But how are these neurons formed in our body and what controls them? In a recent study, scientists have discovered a molecule that they claim controls the mechanism in which nerve cells are formed. This study may help uncover some of the key aspects that can treat neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s.

Science, Health
Apr 4

A new study by researchers have now discovered the mechanism behind how statins, drugs used to treat high cholesterol in blood, could trigger insulin resistance and hence, diabetes. This study shows that statins increase the amount of fat stored in our cells that interferes with the functioning of insulin, the hormone responsible for absorbing glucose from food. The research opens up avenues for developing “super statins” without undesirable side effects.

General, Science, Health, Society
Apr 3

Nature has bestowed each organism the ability to adapt and evolve with time and each such adaptations strengthens the ability of the organism to flourish. The story of carpenter bees, a close relative of honey bees and bumblebees, is no different. In a research study, scientist have observed how different adaptations of males of three different species of carpenter bees influence their ability to find a mate.

General, Science, Ecology
Mar 31

Corruption and bribe is a social evil in our society and needs to be weeded out  to achieve progress. Though giving and taking bribe are illegal, instances of both are rampant. What can be done to address this? A new study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research may provide some clues towards this. Using game theory, they have shown how legalizing the act of giving bribe can help victims to blow the whistle on corrupt officers and thus, help reduce corruption. 

General, Science, Society, Policy
Mar 30

Vitamin C, present is citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, is known to boost immunity and prevent our body from bacterial infections. But how does it do it? A new study by researchers from the Indian Institute of Science has now elucidated the mechanism behind why Vitamin C inhibits bacterial infections. This research also opens up possibilities for using Vitamin C in various therapeutic applications.

General, Science, Health
Mar 29

A team of scientists from Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) have discovered a new species of plant – Reissantia (Celastraceae). Members belonging to Reissantia family are usually found in Old World tropics of Africa and the Indo- Malaya regions.  The plants are found as a climbing, scandent or erect shrub and are characterized by small flowers. The discovery is the latest in a string of new species being discovered in the Western Ghats, including the Narrow Mouthed Laterite Frog and the Karaavali Skittering Frog.

Science, Ecology
Mar 29

Graphene, also called a “wonder material” is increasingly being used in the field of electronics due to its lightweight and electrical properties. Now, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have identified a potential drawback in graphene transistors that have metal contact leads. The metal atoms in the contacts react with graphene atoms, creating an unwanted disturbance or noise in the electronic circuit. This discovery may have major implications on using graphene for futuristic electronic applications.  

General, Science, Technology