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Technology

Bengaluru | Dec 20, 2019
Indigenous Technology for Affordable Cancer Cure

An emerging way to treat cancer is immunotherapy, where the patient’s immune system is strengthened to attack cancer cells. It is less painful than surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and is known to lower the relapse of cancer. Now, researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay) have developed a patented technology to leverage the patient’s immune system to cure cancer.

General, Science, Technology, Health, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Dec 19, 2019
An ‘EChO Network’ for cross-disciplinary leadership in India

In an event today, Prof. K VijayRaghavan, Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, launched a national program to foster cross-disciplinary leadership in India. Named the EChO Network, it focuses on increasing research, knowledge, and awareness of Indian ecology and the environment. It is hoped that this program would develop a national network to catalyse a new generation of Indians who can solve real-world problems in medicine, agriculture, ecology, and technology.

General, Science, Technology, News
Bengaluru | Dec 18, 2019
Healing graphene: Scientists at IISc devise a way to reverse defects in graphene

Graphene, a sheet-like form of carbon, has been hailed as a wonder material owing to its many promising applications in electronics, drug delivery and more. In a recent study, a team of scientists from India and the USA, led by Prof Srinivasan Raghavan and Prof Rudra Pratap from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has paved the way for new applications of graphene by intentionally varying the defects formed during its production.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Dec 12, 2019
The second Indo-Swiss Meeting on Evolutionary Biology begins today

The Centre for Human Genetics, Bengaluru, is hosting the second edition of the Indo-Swiss Meeting Meeting on Evolutionary Biology, held in India this year. The meeting is jointly organised by the Indian Society of Evolutionary Biologists, Centre for Human Genetics, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) and Swissnex India. The gathering brings together faculty and students from India and Switzerland. The three day meeting begins on the 12th of December and continues until the 14th.

General, Science, Technology, Ecology, News
Bengaluru | Dec 10, 2019
ISRO scientists cotton on to North Korea’s nuclear test more accurately using satellites

Starting in 2006, North Korea has made a series of nuclear tests in its hidden backyard. The country’s latest one was conducted in 2017 at Punggye-ri, some 3.6 kilometres northwest of its first nuclear test site. Despite its success, the test results provided loose estimates of the source parameters like the energy produced and the depth of the explosion. Since this was the most extensive test conducted by North Korea, it has evoked special attention among the scientific community in the last two years. While many studies have tried to reckon these parameters, the results were shrouded in uncertainty. Besides, the country’s political abnegation of seismometers called for an exigent need for a more accurate means of estimating the blast site’s characteristics. In a recent study, published in the Geophysical International Journal, a team of scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) seems to have done just that.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Dec 9, 2019
Mathematician Dr Neena Gupta shines as the youngest Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar awardee

Dr Neena Gupta, Associate Professor at the Theoretical Statistics and Mathematics Unit of the Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, has been awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019, in the field of Mathematical Sciences. This prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the country for research in Science, honours scientists for significant and cumulative contribution to their area of research. Dr Gupta, the youngest person in Mathematical Sciences to receive this award till date, has been recognised for her contributions to affine algebraic geometry, especially in proposing a solution to the Zariski Cancellation Problem.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, News
Bengaluru | Nov 29, 2019
What cues do the root bridges of Meghalaya hold for futuristic architecture?

Since 2012, six bridges have collapsed in Mumbai, killing 28 people and injuring hundreds. Often, news of flyovers and pedestrian bridges tumbling down have made it to the headlines across the country. Although durable materials like steel and concrete are used in today’s structures, poor quality of construction and lack of maintenance are often blamed for such catastrophes. Contrast this with the rock-solid centuries-old root bridges found in Meghalaya—many as old as 250 years and still growing strong—built without modern tools or design. Could the structure of these bridges unravel architectural clues for urban construction? In a recent study, researchers from Germany and the USA have tried to understand the morphology and structure of these root bridges, built out of the aerial roots of strangler figs, and that have endured floods, earthquakes, landslides and fires.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Nov 28, 2019
Close Connections: Topoisomerase enzymes, which alleviate DNA stress, connect with critical cell functions

Our genetic material is a big molecule of DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid, whose structure is a double-stranded wound-up helix. It contains specific instructions that run a living cell, and these instructions are written on the strands. When cells divide, the DNA replicates too. In this process, the contents of the strands are read and copied carefully by unwinding the strands. But that's not as simple!

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Nov 27, 2019
Powered by Artificial Intelligence, smartphones can now ward off banana pests

Banana, a nutritionally-rich, delicious fruit, is a widely-cultivated crop across the world and is a staple diet of people living in parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Due to pests and diseases, only 13% of the global production is traded, and often, farmers in India experience severe loss due to fusarium wilt or Panama disease. A novel innovation now aims to change the fortunes of banana growers by helping them detect diseases and pests with their smartphone. In a recent study, researchers from the USA, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Ethiopia and India have developed a banana pest detection app powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

General, Science, Technology, Health, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Nov 22, 2019
Trading in virtual water: Time to rethink India’s exports?

In a recent study, researchers from Anna University, Chennai, quantified the volume of virtual water trade in India. The study, published in the journal Groundwater for Sustainable Development, focussed on the trade exchange of popular crop and livestock products during the years 2006–2016.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Ecology, Policy, Deep-dive
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