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From bits to boluses: How do termites build strong mounds?

Termites are renowned architects whose mounds have inspired many building designs around the world. But did you know how termites build their mud castles? A new study has tried to understand how termites use boluses -- a combination of mud and saliva acting as bricks -- to build their mounds. The study also throws light on the properties of materials the termites prefer to use to build mounds and discusses reasons behind the same. This study, the researchers claim, is a first towards understand the unique procedure followed by nature’s best architects in building some of the finest castles. 

Scientists design antibacterial surface that can poke bacteria to death

In you childhood days, you might have killed an ant by squeezing or poking it. Or may be smashed a pest like cockroach. But how about killing bacteria by poking them? What if that means a bacteria-free world? A new study by scientists has tried to exactly that using nanoscale surface undulations on titanium surface to kill bacteria by rupturing their cells. This innovation, the scientists say, serves as a great alternative to getting rid of bacteria instead of using antibacterial drugs.

How did Bengaluru evolve into a global hub of technology start-ups?

Bengaluru is today famous for the number of technology companies that have sprung up, be it domestic or multinational. A new addition to this list are the home-grown technology start-ups who have transformed Bengaluru into a hub of technology start-ups. But what factors led to this transformation of a city that was once a ‘pensioner’s paradise’ into one that is bustling with the energy of the youth? A new study has now tried to identify those factors and analyse how each of them helped Bengaluru transform into what it is today. Read on to learn about this exciting journey.

Denoising images in a jiffy

Images with low quality spell doom not only for your photographic skills, but also for the numerous medical diagnosis that doctors do using scanned images of your body. Now, researchers have developed a new algorithm that can denoise  such bad quality images in a few seconds. Running on advanced processing units called graphical processing units, the algorithm promises to be a new hope in the rising field medical imaging, satellite imaging and other fields dealing with high resolution images. 

Which colours do you choose? A study on why the superb fan throated lizard (Sarada superba) is so colourful

Have you ever wondered how animals communicate with each other? While some might use sound by howling, chirping or roaring, others, like the resplendent superb fan throated lizards have evolved a unique form of communication using colors. In a new study, researchers have understood the complex system these lizards use to signal to each other using their colorful dewlaps. Using colors like orange, blue and black, these lizards signal differently to males and females of their own, say the researchers.  

A cancer therapeutic molecule from India: Indian researchers have discovered possibly the best BCL2 inhibitor yet

As cancer, a deadly disease, evolves, our fight against it does so too. Today, there are multiple therapies and drugs available that fight different types of cancer. Now, researchers have added a new drug called Disarib to this list that acts against a particular protein called BCL2. By killing cells that overproduce this protein, the researchers claim that Disarib can act effectively against most types of cancers. A first kind of its drug made completely in India, Disarib heralds a new breakthrough in Indian pharmaceutical research.

Holding the fort against Mycobacterium: Scientists discover how our body fights back

Though our fight against tuberculosis has a long history, we have not been able to wipe off this bacterial infection from the face of the planet. Even to this day, there are numerous studies all over the world that are trying to find the ‘best’ drug against this killer disease. In a new approach to fight tuberculosis, a recent study has now shone some light on how our body fights Mycobacterium, the causative bacteria of TB. Understanding this mechanism, the researchers say, could open up new vaccines and drugs against TB and help us win the seemingly never ending battle. 

Scientists leverage the power of accelerator processors to speed up Climate modelling

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.

Redrawing the Bus Routes of Bangalore City

The public transport system of Bengaluru is plagued by delays and inefficiencies that have resulted in huge losses to BMTC, the operator, and lack of quality services to the common people. Now, scientists from the Indian Institute of Science have proposed a new model of transport that aims to increase bus efficiency, reduce or eliminate delays and save money for both the transport corporation and its users - the people. The new model, researchers claim, could be a win-win situation for both and could revive the appeal of public transportation. 

Vitamin C hits hard when bacteria is under stress, finds study

Vitamin C, present is citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, is known to boost immunity and prevent our body from bacterial infections. But how does it do it? A new study by researchers from the Indian Institute of Science has now elucidated the mechanism behind why Vitamin C inhibits bacterial infections. This research also opens up possibilities for using Vitamin C in various therapeutic applications.

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