Scientists identify environmental factors that constrain Mudumalai forest fires.

In the month of May, over 6000 personnel from the National Disaster Relief Force were deployed for rescue operations in Garwhal and Kumaon districts in Uttarakhand. A rather uncommon, unappreciated disaster had struck that region – forest fires. A recent study by researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore is a significant step towards understanding the cause of devastating forest fires.

Scientists Study Himalayan Snow for Insights on its Climate

To most of us, the Himalayas is a snow clad, dry and cold mountain range. But trained eyes see through this apparent homogeneity and interpret the observed variations to understand the local climate and its implications. As a testimony to this, scientists from the Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), Him Parisar, Chandigarh and the Divecha Center for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have recently published a study on the variations in the 'whiteness of snow' across the Himalayas and its relationship with the mean winter air temperature and glacial stability.

Putting Bacteria to Work: Scientists Design Micro Heat Engine Using Bacterial Reservoirs

Can the omnipresent bacteria work for us, run our cars, refrigerate our food or fuel our aeroplanes? Yes, say scientists from the Indian Institute of Science and the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore. In a ground-breaking interdisciplinary experiment, the team have built a micro heat engine that works using bacterial reservoirs. This study was the result of a collaborative effort between Prof. Ajay Sood and his graduate student Sudheesh Krishnamoorthy from the Department of Physics, IISc, Dr. Rajesh Ganapathy from JNCASR and Prof. Dipankar Chatterji and his student Subho Ghosh from the Molecular Biophysics Unit, IISc.

Scientists Design a Cooling System for Spacecraft Entering the Martian Atmosphere

With the invention of telescopes in the 17th century, astronomers around the globe started studying the planets of the Solar system. Several spacecraft have been sent to the planet for exploration including orbiters, landers and rovers, with the recent ones being NASA’s MAVEN and Indian Space Research Organization’s MOM. The biggest challenge faced by the spacecraft on such expeditions is the heat generated due to its speed. Now, scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, are experimenting with a new technology that can help in faster dissipation of the heat in spacecraft entering the Martian atmosphere.

Understanding Volatile Communication in the Plant Kingdom

Do plants talk? Contrary to popular beliefs, plants are as equally adept in the art of signalling and communication as their animal counterparts. Prof. Renee M. Borges from the Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has spent many years delving on the many aspects of plants communication and their language.

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