It is a connected world that we all live in. Technology around is changing everything and making life ‘smarter’ and better for us. The new wave hitting all of us today is Big Data that is changing how we look at a piece of information and make decisions. How have our lives changed with Big Data being around? What are its impacts? What are some concerns? On World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, we look at how Big Data is making big impacts to our lives.
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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.
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.
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!
In a world revolutionised by technology, education is not far behind. In fact, pundits predict moder education, delivered online, will be the great equalizer in days to come. In our own backyard, looks like this is already in action in the form of virtual labs developed to better understand plant biochemistry. By giving free and online access to students across the country, the recently developed virtual labs take education to a whole new level benefiting students from all corners of the country.
In a country like India, dealing with disability can be a challenge on its own. A strong social stigma and discrimination can play havoc in one’s life leading to suicidal thoughts and depression. In a recent study, researchers have tried to understand how people with hearing loss cope with their life and if assistive technologies like hearing aids are making their lives better. By interacting with people in Kannada, a local language, the study has unearthed some of the often overlooked emotions and challenges faced by people using hearing aids to deal with their hearing loss.
Malaria, the biggest killer of all time, has a long association with humans. As we develop new strategies to combat the fatal disease, the parasite causing the disease gets stronger than ever. In this seemingly never-ending tussle, who ultimately wins the battle? The judgement, it seems, is not an easy one! On World Malaria Day, here is a brief insight into the details of this deadly disease.
Most methods that farmers follow today to control pests and save their crop are mostly reactive, which is done ‘after’ the damage has started. In addition, these methods either destroy other crops, or cause harm to animals that feed on them, or pollute the soil or air. Researchers have now found a ‘green’ and ‘clean’ way to detect crop pests before they start the damage. They have built a highly sensitive sensor that detects pheromones or chemicals released by insects for mating, which signal the presence of pests and thus prompt the farmers to take remedial measures.
Today is World Bicycle Day, a day celebrated to commemorate the joy of cycling. In a country like Netherlands, almost every person owns a cycle, and 99.1% are cyclists! But a city like Bengaluru -- almost thrice as big and with 12 times more population -- loses hands down to Amsterdam, in citizens choosing to cycle. Why is that so? And what can be done to make people here fall in love with their bikes? The Research Matters team caught up with Prof. Ashish Verma, an Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
What is the price of development? It is a tricky question to answer, especially for a country that is growing at its fastest pace with ambitious goals. But who actually pays this price and how? A recent study has tried to answer this touchy question in the context of small-scale hydropower projects that are increasing their presence in one of the ecologically sensitive area - the Western Ghats and points out how local communities are losing this one-sided game.