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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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.
Conserving wildlife seems to be the biggest concern for most ecologists who think habitat destruction, coupled with climate change, can spell doom for many animals on earth. The first step to know how badly a particular species is affected is by counting them. As simple as it sounds, counting populations, especially in the wild, is a daunting task. In addition to the sheer physical strain, social structures of certain animals like the elephants could result in errors in such population estimations. Now, a new study has leveraged the power of computer simulations to accurately estimate wild populations at the comfort of your desk.
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.
Micro electro-mechanical Systems (MEMS), the technology of microscopic devices with moving parts, are finding new range of applications in the recent past due to the trend of ‘miniaturization’. They are increasingly being applied to an array of sensor technologies, including gas sensors. However, for MEMS based gas sensors to detect small traces of gases, they need to operate at higher temperatures. Now, researchers have designed a microheater made of molybdenum, which can successful provide the required range of temperature for the sensor to operate.
India’s film industry is the world’s largest with about 1000 films produced each year. As we know, not all of them make in into the list of “blockbusters” and some fail miserably. While choosing the right script, director, actors and music make an impact, a new research shows that timing the release of the movie is equally important. Using the concept of complex systems, the researchers have found that circumstances at the time of the release of a movie could make or break its revenues.
Researchers at the Center for Nanoscience and Engineering (CeNSE) at IISc, in collaboration with Iowa State University and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, have developed a novel device that can simultaneously measure the electrical and mechanical properties of a cell. Using a technique called Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS), they have successfully measured the electrical properties of a cell by passing it through two electrodes while applying an external electric field. They then calculated the the resistance offered by the cell.
Technology has revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives - from healthcare to doing business. The field of meteorology is not far behind. In a recent study, scientists have leveraged the computing power of a new series of processors from Intel, to improve existing climate models and simulations. The new models, the researchers claim, have better accuracy and increased speeds and also free up meteorologists from the hassles of computer science.
Can insects help us decipher how molecules behave? Yes, say scientists from Department of Chemistry of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IIT Guwahati and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, Kolkata. In a recent study, they have described how the concept of ‘swarm intelligence’ can be used to determine the most stable configuration of a molecule and its electronic structure. With this knowledge as base, scientists can design molecules such as drugs, vaccines and polymers with targeted properties.