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Bengaluru | Jan 20, 2020
Study cautions about the use of designer receptors to control the brain

Chemogenetics is a technique that uses chemicals to understand how neurons are activated. It manipulates genes to place the neurons under the control of special receptors called DREADDS. Short for Designer Receptors Activated by Designer Drugs, these receptors only bind to an inert chemical called Clozapine-N-Oxide (CNO). In a recent study, researchers from the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, and Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, point out specific flaws in this technique.

General, Science, Technology, Health, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jan 15, 2020
IISc researchers show that Indian monsoon has a 67-year cycle, link it to the global sea surface temperature cycle

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore; Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune; and Florida State University, USA; have mathematically computed a multidecadal variability in the Indian summer monsoon rainfall and the global sea surface temperature. They have established that Indian monsoon rainfall exhibits a 67-year oscillation and is closely linked to the sea surface temperature cycle, which also shows a similar 67-year swing. The study also shows that 80% of all droughts have occurred in the rainfall cycle’s ‘negative phase’, associated with a below-average rainfall; whereas 60% of all floods have occurred in the positive phase, marked with above-average precipitation. Their findings have been published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society.

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jan 8, 2020
Seawater intrusion threatens drinking water source along India's coast

The impacts of climate change on coastal areas are severe than inland as they are vulnerable to flooding and extreme weather phenomena like cyclones, tornadoes etc. As the climate crisis deepens, a quarter of India's population, who live along the coasts, have another issue to worry about – availability of freshwater. Due to unchecked pumping of groundwater for daily use and rainfall variation, freshwater sources are being depleted. Besides, saltwater from the sea is unwittingly finding its way into local aquifers through a process called seawater intrusion. Although many independent studies, conducted at different locations, have observed depletion in freshwater sources along India's coasts, there is no comprehensive study yet. Now, researchers at Anna University, Chennai, have tried to address the extent of seawater intrusion in the Indian coastal regions in a study published in journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research. The study was funded by the National Centre for Earth Sciences Studies, Earth System Science Organisation, and the Ministry of Earth Sciences.

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Jan 6, 2020
An Inexpensive Approach to Patterning Cells in a Lab

Researchers from IIT Bombay propose cost-effective techniques of making microcontact printing stamps to print protein and grow cells.

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Dec 31, 2019
A journey through the year for science in 2019

As Newton’s famous quote, “standing on the shoulders of giants”, this year, science has made considerable advances, building on many feats achieved in the past years. New discoveries, insights and inventions in the areas of astronomy, biology, medicine, paleontology and physics marked the year. Here is a selected pick of ten such breakthroughs in science witnessed in 2019.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Ecology, Health, Society, Policy, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Dec 30, 2019
India's year in Science 2019 - Editor's Picks

While looking forward to 2020, the editorial team at Research Matters looks back on some of the interesting stories that we published during 2019. There were many interesting ones ranging from the first photograph of a black hole to air pollution in Delhi to using vibrations for painless injections. Here is a list to highlight India's year in science during 2019. This is in no way ranked and the order is just incidental.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Ecology, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Dec 30, 2019
Popular articles on Research Matters for 2019

2019 was an exciting year for science as ever. We have collated the top ten stories that was popular on Research Matters in 2019. These were the ones that garnered most views because of readers like you. We would like to thank you for patronage and look forward to your support in the years to come.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Ecology, Health, Society, Policy, Deep-dive, Featured
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
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