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Hitchhiking Parasites: A Cautionary Tale

Blyth's Reed Warbler

Migration of birds is a fascinating story. Many birds across the world travel to different locations in search of food and a warm place to breed. A new study has now found a dark side of the fascinating tale of migration -- the risk of spread of diseases. The researchers have studied two species of migratory birds and have identified the presence of two strains of parasites in them that could potentially spread the disease to the local bird population, which do not have the required immunity to fight against them. The researchers warn that their finding could put the entire local bird population at the risk of contracting the diseases.

The rise of IT service clusters in India: Growth by replication rather than innovation?

India’s Information and Technology industry has served as a great success story for the outsourcing model. However, in order to sustain the growing competition and provide increasing value proposition, the industry must innovate and carve a niche for domestic talent too. In the recent past, the rise of IT clusters - geographical aggregation of related companies in IT -- have emerged as a ray of hope that not only provides jobs, but also enhances the value proposition, thanks to the ample talent pool. A new study has now identified factors that have led to the growth of these IT clusters in the metropolitan cities of India and the model followed by these clusters to spread to other cities.

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.

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. 

Can your hair save lives? Yes, says new research by scientists at IISc

Human hair has become all the more valuable, according to a spate of recent studies finding diverse applications of keratin, a protein found in our hair, in tissue engineering and stem cell research. Gone are the days when discarded hair was used for wigs, making fertilizers or in construction materials. Now, researchers have demonstrated the use of keratin derived from human hair as a scaffold to grow cells in bioengineering. The easy availability o f human hair and keratin makes research in tissue engineering very inexpensive, claim the researchers.

A Novel MEMS Gas Sensor For Trace Level Carbon Monoxide Detection

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. 

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.

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