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.
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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.
The public transport system of Bengaluru is plagued by delays and inefficiencies that have resulted in huge losses to BMTC, the operator, and lack of quality services to the common people. Now, scientists from the Indian Institute of Science have proposed a new model of transport that aims to increase bus efficiency, reduce or eliminate delays and save money for both the transport corporation and its users - the people. The new model, researchers claim, could be a win-win situation for both and could revive the appeal of public transportation.
Science realises its complete potential when it is applied for the betterment of our lives. As a testimony to this, a group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science have developed innovative technologies that benefit milk producers and silk growers. Their innovations, which recently won the prestigious Gandhian Young Technological Innovation award, uses nanotechnology to detect melamine, an adulterant, in milk and image processing techniques to detect the quality of silk.
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.
This year’s World Health Day focuses on Depression, a serious mental health condition that can damage a person’s quality of life, productivity, relationships, and worse - make them suicidal. India is one of the countries with the largest number of depressed people. Here is all you need to know about depression and the severity of the disease in the Indian context. With social awareness and timely help, there is hope to bring some cheer on the face of people with this mental condition.
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.
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.