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Mumbai | Oct 18, 2019
Prof Subimal Ghosh of IIT Bombay awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019

Prof Subimal Ghosh, Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), has been awarded the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize 2019 by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). This award recognises his significant contributions to our understanding of how land surface processes influence the Indian monsoon, as well as for improving regional monsoon simulations and predictions. 

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Society, News
Bengaluru | Oct 9, 2019
New Way to Determine Arrow of Time

One of the annoying side effects of being absorbed in a gripping novel is that the cup of tea on the table becomes cold! Unfortunately, the tea would not heat itself by absorbing the heat around it, just as pieces of a broken egg would not put themselves together or milk mixed in coffee would not separate by itself. Such things are irreversible, and define a fixed direction of time—that from the past towards the future. This apparent progression of time is called the ‘arrow of time’. In a recent study, Prof Mahendra Verma of the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur, suggests a way, different from any previous ones,  to determine the direction in which time is progressing. He uses the concept of energy cascade to define the arrow of time.

General, Science, Technology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Oct 3, 2019
Indian research barely covered on social media, finds study

In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, researchers from Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi, South Asian University, New Delhi, and Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Germany, have studied how much attention Indian research gets on social media.

General, Science, Technology, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Sep 26, 2019
Fighting floods the 'expert' way

 During the fag end of 2015, Chennai experienced severe floods resulting in the death of about 500 people and economic losses of about INR 50,000 crores. The flooding stranded the city and was termed a 'man-made disaster' resulting from irresponsible water management and rapid urbanisation. The northeast monsoon of the year left most parts of South India marooned, exposing how vulnerable our cities are to such catastrophes. That's when the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor took a major initiative to develop a real-time, integrated, urban flood forecasting system that was non-existent in our country. Soon after, a team of scientists from various institutes across the country, swung into action to develop the first-ever expert system in India to forecast floods. In a recent study, published in the journal Current Science, the researchers shed light on the development of the automated flood forecasting expert system. 

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Society, Policy, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Sep 24, 2019
When mechanics comes to the rescue of biology

The nucleus of the cell holds our genetic material and is a vital part of our cell. Apart from what they carry, how they look also plays a crucial role in diagnosing many diseases. In a recent study, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, have developed a mechanical model to quantify the shape of the nucleus and predict the biochemistry within a cell. They have used this model to show how Hepatitis C virus changes the nuclear mechanics of cells affected by it. This study is published in the Biophysical Journal.

General, Science, Technology, Health, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Sep 20, 2019
India, an emerging hotspot for antimicrobial resistance in farm animals, finds study

Antimicrobials, a class of drugs used in humans and animals to treat diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, and parasites serve as a proxy for good hygiene and make up for the poor husbandry practices in animal farms in low and middle-income countries around the world. However, this dereliction comes with a considerable cost wherein, the overuse of these drugs has led to these microbes developing resistance against the very same drugs used to kill them.  Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in humans is linked to several animals, especially those that are raised for food. Despite this knowledge, it has received little attention in the world of animal science. A new study, published in the journal Science, has mapped the global trends of antimicrobial resistance in farm animals, with particular focus on developing countries, including India. 

General, Science, Technology, Ecology, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Sep 17, 2019
 Bacterial remedy for the toxic pesticide Carbaryl

Carbaryl is one of the commonly used pesticides for agricultural as well as non-agricultural use. But like any other insecticide, higher concentrations of Carbaryl in the soil can have adverse effects on humans and other organisms. The need to completely remove it from the environment or break it down into less harmful substances is of primary importance. Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT Bombay), and Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB), Delhi, have achieved a significant breakthrough in identifying bacteria which can clean up this pesticide from the environment and understanding exactly how the breakdown occurs.

General, Science, Technology, Engineering, Health, Society, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Sep 13, 2019
India now part of a global effort in research on antimicrobial resistance

In a press announcement released yesterday, India has now joined 16 other countries as a Member of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Research and Development (R&D) Hub. For a country that ranks the highest in antibacterial resistance, this move expands global partnership opportunities to address challenges and improve collaboration in addressing the growing epidemic of antimicrobial resistance.

Science, Technology, Health, Friday Features, News
Bengaluru | Sep 4, 2019
Researchers design salt-tolerant varieties of Indian rice

In a country that predominantly depends on rain for irrigation, loss of crops due to disruptive weather continues to be a source of distress to farmers, and approaches to make crops tolerant to the vagaries of weather are necessary. In a recent study, researchers have shown that, by modifying particular genes, rice plants can be kept alive through periods of acute salinity in their water supply. 

General, Science, Technology, Ecology, Deep-dive
Bengaluru | Aug 23, 2019
Scientists pave the way for diabetes medicines made from Indian herb extract

Researchers from Singapore, Thailand and the USA, have created an antidiabetic medicine using extracts from Withania coagulans, commonly known as the Indian Rennet or paneer dodi.

General, Science, Technology, Health, Deep-dive