The rhythmic contraction and relaxation of muscles of the food-pipe or the oesophagus, called peristalsis, pushes the food to the stomach. Researchers from Indian Institute of Technology, Varanasi have developed a mathematical model of the human oesophagus that could explain the pressure variation in the oesophagus. A detailed understanding of how food is pushed to the stomach can help develop an artificial food-pipe or prosthetic oesophagus, a lifesaving treatment for oesophageal cancer and certain oesophageal disorders.
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We live in an era of medical advancements where sequencing of the human genome and its subsequent applications in personalised medicine, offer to completely revolutionise the diagnosis, treatment and even prevention of various diseases. Personalised or precision medicine is an approach that strives to move away from the ‘one-size-fits-all’ philosophy of Western medicine. It tries to cater to an individual’s disease condition, genetic predispositions as well as local environmental factors. Surprisingly, the concept of personalised medicine isn’t a brand new one.
Transistors are the backbone of the zillion electronic devices that we use today. While development of these semiconductor devices dates back to four decades, it's applications are ever increasing. Internet of Things is the new application that is transforming the development of transistors. In view of this, scientists at IIT Bombay and SCL ISRO have developed a new kind of Bipolar Junction Transistor that is completely indigenous. The researchers believe a home made technology can see its application in strategic sectors like space and defence.
Medical advancements and modern scientific techniques strive to solve challenges posed to human communities, especially healthcare threats. Viruses are one of the major threats and tend to make themselves resistant to drugs and evolve new mechanisms for survival by making subtle changes in their DNA called as mutations. Today among the many viruses, Dengue virus has been a serious problem causing mortality in widespread areas. Although treatments and drugs have been developed, it is essential to make sure that we’re ready to face worse cases in future.
Human beings, in their brief history, started off as hunter–gatherers hunting animals and birds, or collecting fruits and nuts to eat. They then invented agriculture, a revolutionary transformation from ‘collecting’ food to ‘growing’ it. Suddenly, acquiring food, which was one of the most important task of the early man, became a breeze. Today, in the era of technology, food production has reached new levels and so have our ways of handling the produce.
In July this year, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Aqua satellite photographed a major chunk of glacial ice shelf (5,800 sq. km) breaking off from one of Antarctica’s floating ice platforms, called Larsen C, shrinking its size by at least 10 percent.
In the present time, with increasing demand for transportation fuels coupled with declining reserves of crude oil, scientific communities are forced to focus on renewable fuels. Although biofuels obtained from energy crops such as food and non-food energy crops act as renewable fuels, various issues such as food versus fuel debate, biodiversity loss and their effect on the land has shifted the idea of energy production towards other alternative biofuel producers like waste materials and microorganisms.
For over a century, India has nutured a host of science and technology based institutions. We capture the timeline of these institutions as they were established.
Cancer, as a disease, is a puzzle on its own and scientists across the world are looking for hints from all sides to crack it. Now, what if previous research on cancer itself acts as a hint and guides new developments? That is exactly what scientists have done using bioinformatics. By scouting previous research on circulating tumour cells, scientists have identified the molecules responsible for metastasis in cancer. This discovery, they believe, can help not only in understanding the spread of cancer, but also in identifying new drug targets against the killer disease.
The need for effective and rapid bone regeneration treatments is crucial now more than ever, due to the ever-rising number of bone defects and fractures. Conventional bone regeneration like grafts suffer from a shortage of available donors as well as added complications due to the immune rejection of the grafts.