The Earth is a planet we share with a billion of other living animals and plants. Often, we encounter them everyday, use them as food, shelter or clothes, and interact with them as pets or pests. A new term of such interactions, at times, is called ‘conflicts’ where sharing the area we live with wild animals becomes a bane. These animals are often dangerous, causing widespread damage to crops, livestock and lives. How do we prevent this? What can people do to minimise such conflicts? A study now attempts to look at ways of addressing human-animal conflicts in the fringes of the forests in India.
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Getting stuck in a huge traffic jam is a tragedy, especially if you live in cities like Bengaluru, Mumbai or Delhi. The rising number of vehicles are increasingly adding to this problem, depriving us of our time, money and health. A new research now attempts to reduce traffic pileups in cities by using videos of surveillance cameras. Using Artificial Intelligence and Convolutional Neural Networks, the researcher have built TraCount, a system that can count the number of vehicles in a traffic jam and help authorities manage the congestion in a smart and informed way.
A visit to a doctor for minor ailments may soon be a thing of the past, with rapid rise in medical technologies. Nowadays, a smartphone can help with disease diagnosis and contacting the relevant specialists from around the world, all from the comfort of one’s home. Mobile Healthcare or mHealth has been significantly advanced with the advent of Internet of Things, where sensors can feed live data to specialists, who can monitor patients from miles away. This rapid rise of mHealth has some worried about the security aspects of the software.
What if a shoe could save your life when you are stuck in a building that is burning down? Though it sounds like a science fiction, the OpenShoe project aims to do exactly that! Built on a novel navigation technology called Inertial Navigation System (INS), researchers have built a minute navigation module that can be plugged into a shoe to track every step to the accuracy of a centimeter! Such foot-mounted systems help in tracking objects in the absence of satellite based navigation and would complement the widely used satellite based navigation systems, say the researchers.
Ever since its emergence as a field of science in the 1980’s, Nanotechnology has seeped into every aspect of our lives. From embedded in toothpaste to materials space shuttles are made of, nanoparticles can be found on earth, on the surface and floating in the atmosphere. Accidentally consuming a few nanoparticles either while breathing or eating is all but unavoidable. But the effects of these nanoparticles on the human body haven’t yet been been fully understood.
Children often are labelled as ‘gifted’ and ‘talented’ in our education system owing to their academic or extracurricular activities. But what does it mean to say a child is ‘gifted’ and how ‘special’ are they really? Is there a particular age at which they develop the so called ‘giftedness’? If so, how should the teachers in the education system handle such students? A new study by Prof. Partha Pratim Roy from the South Point High School, Kolkata and University of Maryland College, USA, sheds some light on these questions.
Increasingly, today’s youth of the country are blowing up their childhood in smoke, quite literally! A new study has revealed some shocking reasons behind the addiction to tobacco based products among the youth. The study calls out that parents, especially mothers, play a great role in increasing the probability of their kids getting addicted to tobacco, as much as three times! In spite of the anti-tobacco laws introduced by the government, families play a great role in dissuading the children from using tobacco, claim the researchers.
Nanotechnology is the study of objects whose size varies in the range of nanometers--that is a billion times smaller than a meter. Although humans have been known to use nanotechnology since the ninth century, its role became prominent with the rise of information technology, with most of our current technologies like the smart phones, satellites and rovers on mars, depending on nanotechnology. We have just started uncovering the properties of the different elements and molecules at this scale, giving rise to new technologies as we do.
Science education opens up a new world of opportunities today across industry and academia. A career in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine (STEM) is rewarding for those minds that is inquisitive and wants to give back to the society in many different ways. In a recent conversation, the Research Matters team spoke to Prof. Brian Schmidt, a renowned cosmologist, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics and the Vice Chancellor at the Australian National University on what he thinks about a career in science. Here is a summary of what Prof. Schmidt thinks of science education in today’s world
The human body harbours around 100 trillion microbes (bacteria, virus and others). While some harm us, others help us in different ways. A new study has now analysed the microbes present in our blood and has found that from an evolutionary perspective, they are related to each other, and strangely, even related to humans. This discovery has implications in drug discovery and designing therapies against harmful microbial infections.