It is hard to live without a good night’s sleep. However, 22% of the people in industrialised countries do that regularly, when they work in shifts, including those during the night. Working in different shifts disrupts the body’s circadian rhythm—a natural process in our body that regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
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Jack: That, my dear Algy, is the whole truth pure and simple.
Algernon: The truth is rarely pure and never simple.
— Oscar Wilde in The Importance of Being Earnest
In a series of articles, Research Matters tries to explain the commonly accepted process of scientific methodology, the interpretation of scientific studies and the obvious pitfalls. It is hoped that this series will help lay public in analysing any understanding published scientific studies for what they are, instead of believing just because ‘scientists say so’. This article is the first in the series.
About five earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 or higher on the Ritcher scale occur on our planet every day. Researchers from the IISc, Bengaluru, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia, and BARC, Mumbai, have reported a method to better identify building sites with soil that could be susceptible to damage from earthquakes.
Every year, the 5th of June is observed as the World Environment Day to “encourage worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment”. For 2019, the theme is ‘Air Pollution’, and the host country is China. On this occasion, Research Matters caught up with three leading scientists from the country that are actively pursuing research on different aspects of air pollution. The three researchers, Prof. A R Ravishankara, Prof. S K Satheesh and Prof. Navakanta Bhat shared their work and thoughts on the ‘burning’ problem of air pollution.
Bengaluru’s decreasing tree cover and expanding concrete jungle in recent decades paints a grim picture of the city’s biodiversity. The tales of sparrows nesting on the roofs, parakeets pecking on the juiciest fruit in the backyard tree or the myriad coloured butterflies dancing in the garden are now fragments of imagination! So where have all the birds, animals and insects gone?
Researchers at the Karnataka Health Promotion Trust, Bengaluru, have assessed the cost effectiveness of a self-help group program, called Parivartan, in Bihar. They studied the economics of implementing maternal health programs through self-help groups.
Researchers at the Indian Institutes of Technology at Kharagpur and Kanpur, and also from Princeton University, USA, have designed a model, based on social networks of voters, to make reliable predictions on the ‘surprise’ element of election results and suggest possibilities of decreasing it.
Bureaucracy and political interests hinder the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, finds study
Researchers study how fishermen respond to extreme weather warnings and adapt to ill-effects of climate change.