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Society

Bengaluru | Nov 14, 2019
IISc researchers use an anti-malarial drug to increase the effectiveness of anti-tuberculosis drugs

In 2018, around 1.5 million people died from tuberculosis (TB) — an infectious disease that mainly affects the lungs. A major obstacle in the clinical treatment of TB is the long therapy time required to clear the infection. An infected patient needs to take antibiotics for over 6 to 9 months to prevent a relapse — a duration so long that many discontinue their medications.

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Nov 13, 2019
Would deliberations at the IISF 2019 Science and Technology Media Conclave lead to traction in India’s science communication scene?

From the 5th of November 2019 to the 8th, India saw one of its extravagant science events, the India International Science Festival, organised in Kolkata. The event was organised by the Ministry of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences, Government of India, in association with Vijnana Bharati (VIBHA) and hosted many conferences, conclaves and exhibitions aimed at anyone enthusiastic about science. Although this was the fifth edition of the science festival, it was the first time a dedicated Science and Technology Media Conclave was held as a part of IISF—a move that had many science communicators, writers and journalists enthused. It was spread over two days, the 6th and 7th of November, at the legendary Bose Institute.

General, Science, Society, Policy, News, Op-ed, Featured
Bengaluru | Nov 7, 2019
The Infosys Prize winners for 2019. Top (L–R): Manu V. Devadevan, G Mugesh, and Majula Reddy. Bottom (L–R): Siddhartha Mishra, Anand Pandian, and Sunita Sarawagi.

The Trustees of the Infosys Science Foundation (ISF) announced the winners of the Infosys Prize 2019 at an event held today at the Infosys campus in Electronic City, Bengaluru. The winners include Dr. Manu V. Devadevan, Dr. G Mugesh, Dr. Majula Reddy, Dr. Siddhartha Mishra, Dr. Anand Pandian and Dr. Sunita Sarawagi.

General, Science, Society, News
Bengaluru | Nov 5, 2019
India's new heat wave prediction system could be our first line of defence against the scorching heat

A recent assessment by the World Meteorological Organisation has declared heat waves as the deadliest extreme weather event in the years 2015–2019, causing more than 8,900 deaths globally. In May 2015, temperatures crossed 45°C in Odisha and Telangana in the fifth deadliest heat wave in history, with a death toll of 2,300. With 30% of the global population living in regions susceptible to 20 heat wave days in a year and the rising global temperatures, one can conclude that its toll will only increase in the years to come. In such situations, warnings about impending heat waves can be lifesavers. However, very few studies have focused on such a prediction system to date, with none looking at real-time predictions. Now, researchers have developed a prediction system to predict heat waves a couple of weeks in advance. The study, funded by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Govt. of India, was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

General, Science, Technology, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Nov 4, 2019
Two-decade-long study links lack of vitamin B3 to schizophrenia among Indians

Schizophrenia is used to describe a set of conditions that represent a fragmented psyche. People with schizophrenia often hear strange voices or see unreal visions. They may even start believing these hallucinations and have trouble expressing their emotions or rational thought in real-life situations. Schizophrenia manifests in early adulthood and may persist throughout the lifetime of an individual.

General, Science, Health, Society, Policy, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Nov 1, 2019
On the edge: Bats in northeast India found to carry filoviruses that could spread to humans

Sometime in the middle of October each year, the Bomrr clan in Nagaland rush to the caves in Mimi village. With a good stock of burning firewood, men and women are ready for the bat harvest festival—an annual ritual where anywhere between 7,000 to 25,000 bats are suffocated or smashed to their deaths. These bats, the clan believes, have medicinal properties and can cure diseases like diarrhoea and body ache, and increase vigour. Now, a new study has shown that these bats, rather than being a cure to diseases, carry deadly filoviruses that could infect humans.

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive, Friday Features
Bengaluru | Oct 30, 2019
Where are the women patients in Indian hospitals?

Study explores the factors behind missing women in India’s healthcare.

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 22, 2019
Studies show vaccines have unexpected benefits — better cognition, school grades and child growth

The use of vaccination for preventing diseases has had the most profound effect on human health and quality of life. Despite this, anti-vaccination movements are gaining popularity in recent years, especially in high income countries with historically near universal vaccine coverage, like the USA. Consequently, cases of diseases like measles have seen a 30% rise globally. Vaccine hesitancy has been declared one of the top ten threats to global health by the WHO in 2019. In times like these, what if science showed some added benefits of vaccination besides the obvious? A recent set of studies by a team of international researchers, led by those at the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP), Washington DC and New Delhi, have shown that vaccines can have other unintentional positive effects.

General, Science, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Mumbai | Oct 18, 2019
Prof Subimal Ghosh of IIT Bombay awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019

Prof Subimal Ghosh, Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), has been awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). This award recognises his significant contributions to our understanding of how land surface processes influence the Indian monsoon, as well as for improving regional monsoon simulations and predictions. 

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Society, News
Bengaluru | Oct 17, 2019
Living in Bengaluru not 'cool' anymore, shows study

Projected to be the third fastest-growing city in the world, Bengaluru's transformation from being the 'Garden City' to the 'Silicon Valley of India' has made it the modern face of the Indian economy. But all this development has come at a cost with the city losing 89% of its green cover in just forty years. Once known for its cool climate, it is now infamous for its horrible traffic and concrete buildings. Middle-class ghettos and affluent gated communities have replaced the famed lakes, and the gardens have been cleared for IT parks. Thanks to the exponential growth, poor urban planning and corruption, experts believe that the city is going to be unlivable in a few years. In a recent study, published in the journal Remote Sensing Application: Society and Environment, researchers at the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences, University of Albany, State University of New York, have explored the impact of increased urbanisation on Bengaluru. 

General, Science, Ecology, Health, Society, Deep-dive
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