Science realises its complete potential when it is applied for the betterment of our lives. As a testimony to this, a group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science have developed innovative technologies that benefit milk producers and silk growers. Their innovations, which recently won the prestigious Gandhian Young Technological Innovation award, uses nanotechnology to detect melamine, an adulterant, in milk and image processing techniques to detect the quality of silk.
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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.
Graphene, also called a “wonder material” is increasingly being used in the field of electronics due to its lightweight and electrical properties. Now, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have identified a potential drawback in graphene transistors that have metal contact leads. The metal atoms in the contacts react with graphene atoms, creating an unwanted disturbance or noise in the electronic circuit. This discovery may have major implications on using graphene for futuristic electronic applications.
In a pathbreaking research on anencephaly, a fatal birth defect where a baby is born without a major part of the brain and the skull, researchers from IISc and BMCRI have identified a genetic mutation that is responsible behind this condition. Technically called Tripartite Motif Containing 36 (TRIM36), this gene is responsible for the development of the nerve cells in a foetus. A modification to this, the scientists say, is to be blamed for anencephaly.
This 22nd of March, on the occasion of World Water Day, Research Matters caught up with Prof MS Mohan Kumar, a Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. He is also the Chairman of the Indo-French Cell for Water Resources and an Associate Faculty at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Water Research (ICWaR) at IISc and an ex-Secretary of the Karnataka State Council for Science & Technology. Apart from his role at the institute, Prof. Kumar has also extensively worked with government bodies such as the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB), Karnataka Urban Water Supply and Drainage Board (KUWSDB) and Bangalore Development Authority (BDA).
Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, have conducted a study analyzing the influence of socio-demographic factors on the commuting habits of people in Bengaluru. The findings of the team, led by Prof. Ashish Verma from the Centre for Infrastructure, Sustainable Transportation and Urban Planning (CiSTUP), can be implemented in metropolitan cities to ease traffic congestion and pollution by opting for alternative and eco-friendly modes of transport.
A new study has now revealed how knowing beforehand what to look for, helps in our visual search process. Previews – bits of information available in advance, are shown to accelerate our search process as the brain can differentiate and identify the object we are looking for, even among a large set of identical objects. This discovery throws some light on the neurological process responsible for visual search and recognition.
If you have read Malcolm Gladwell’s ‘Outliers,' then you might be well acquainted with the ‘10,000-hour rule’, which states that to master a new skill, such as playing the piano or knitting, one needs 10,000 hours of practice to become world-class. This long practice, studies show, facilitates ‘motor learning’ - a set of complex processes that occur in the brain in response to practice or experience of a certain skill, resulting in changes in the central nervous system.
Technology has revolutionised medicine in the past century. We now have imaging methodologies like X-rays, Computed Tomography (CT) scans and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) allowing us a look inside the body without cutting it open. Nanotechnology seems poised to write the next chapter of this revolution, with various applications in biomedical imaging, diagnosis and effective treatment of diseases. In yet another advancement in this direction, an interdisciplinary team of scientists from Materials Engineering Department and Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, have synthesised iron nanoparticles without any oxide cover that could be used to enhance the sensitivity of MRI by producing images with better contrast. They have also demonstrated the potential application of this research in the targeted delivery of medicines and other biological molecules to specific organs in the body.
A recent report by the World Health Organization estimates that about two million deaths occur every year due to tuberculosis (TB). An alarming dimension to this problem is the fact that some strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the causative agent of TB, have developed resistance to some antibiotics used to kill them, leading to the emergence of ‘drug resistant TB’ and causing a global threat. Drug resistance is a way by which bacteria respond to the drug stress they face. Due to improper and irregular use of antibiotics by patients, not all bacteria may be killed, leading to the emergence of drug resistant strains that survive even when further doses of the drug are administered. Now, a team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, led by Prof. Nagasuma Chandra and Prof. Amit Singh, have explored the mechanism behind the development of resistance to a front-line anti-tubercular drug called isoniazid, used widely in the clinic.