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Now, scientists design colourful solar collectors to decorate your roofs

Black coloured rooftops have become the norm of many of the cities’ landscape with increasing number of houses switching over to sustainable, efficient and clean energy source – solar energy. Solar-thermal power systems that convert solar energy to heat or electricity are becoming ubiquitous. These systems typically consist of a flat plate collector that utilizes solar absorber coatings to get maximum conversion efficiency from incident solar radiation to heat. These collectors are coated black to enhance the absorptance- the effectiveness of absorbing radiant energy. Now, a group of researchers, led by Prof. Bikramjit Basu from the Material Research Centre at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and Dr. Harish C Barshilia from CSIR-National Aerospace Laboratories, has developed a new, colourful coating for flat plate collectors, thereby increasing its absorptance without compromising the aesthetic appearance of the roofs where they are installed.


Computer Scientists Develop Methods to Make Video Search Less Tedious

The Internet is a bottomless mine of information in various forms – text, videos and images. Organizing this information for easy search and retrieval is very beneficial to internet users, and poses challenges to computer scientists. While lot of research progress has been made about categorizing textual data, the same cannot be said about images and videos. A group of researchers at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, has been attempting to make video search on the Internet user-friendly. In a recent paper, Prof. Chiranjib Bhattacharyya and a Ph.D. scholar Dr. Adway Mitra, at the Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA), and Prof. Soma Biswas from the Department of Electrical Engineering, have presented techniques to this end.

A Statistical Solution for the Water Management Predicament

Global Climate Models (GCMs) are mathematical models to understand and predict the Earth’s climate by projecting the real-world processes over time. These simulation tools help to predict future climate variables that will be useful to develop sustainable long, medium and short-term water resource planning strategies. A new study by a team of scientists - Prof. D. Nagesh Kumar from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Prof. K. Srinivasa Raju from BITS-Pilani, Hyderabad campus, has analyzed numerous available GCMs to choose the best that would be applicable in the Indian context. Such analysis helps in developing the best resource planning strategies and the best climate models that can be used for localized needs.

Prof. Prabeer Barpanda – A positively charged academician

Not many young professors are as driven as Professor Prabeer Barpanda who has been donned with an unbelievable streak of academic awards. A professor at the Materials Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Prof. Barpanda is the winner of the Indian National Science Academy Young Scientist Award, 2016. He became the first Indian to receive the Energy Technology Division Supramaniam Srinivasan Young Investigator Award – an annual award given by the Electrochemical Society (ECS), USA, for 2016. In addition, he is also the first Indian to receive the American Ceramics Society’s Ross Coffin Purdy Award, 2016 awarded in October.

Synthetic arabinomannans – A novel weapon against the century old mycobacterial threat

Considered as mankind’s greatest killer, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, has indeed become one group of bacteria which has challenged microbiologists and medical researchers for decades. Since the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in 1882, many scientists and researchers have employed different strategies to handle and treat mycobacterial infections. Longtreatment regime, the emergence of multiple drug resistance and chronic infections are the serious challenges associated with tuberculosis control. Now scientists from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore have tried out an interdisciplinary approach for fighting these killer bacteria.

Life, the Universe and Everything!

Scientists estimate that our Solar System is 4.567 billion years old. But, have you ever wondered how it was formed? How did the planets take shape from the initial gas and dust of the solar nebula and eventually, how did life evolve on Earth? What processes shaped the initial evolution of our Solar System? These fundamental questions drive Prof. Ramananda Chakrabarti and the researchers in his lab at the Center for Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, to study rocks on Earth and from space.

Researchers Develop Automation Tools to Help Treatment of Tumors

Tumors are often linked to cancer when they become malignant and start to spread. Doctors and researchers throughout the world are continuously seeking better ways to diagnose and treat tumors early on, thus preventing severe damage. In a rare interdisciplinary study, engineers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have stepped up to help doctors in treating tumors. Prof. Radhakant Padhi from the Department of Aerospace Engineering and his team has designed an automation tool for slow and controlled drug release. It is an intelligent feedback algorithm that can be embedded in a micro-controller and effective in treating solid tumors with minimal side effects.

Yeasts on a protein diet: Scientists decode the mechanism behind this

Many organisms, including yeast, obtain Carbon and energy from carbohydrates and Nitrogen from other nutrients like amino acids. But some types of yeast, like Pichia pastoris, can use amino acids not only as sources of Nitrogen, but also as sources of Carbon too finds a new study at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. The team, consisting of Mr. Umakant Sahu and Prof. P N Rangarajan from the Department of Biochemistry, have studied the mechanism behind how P. pastoris can grow happily in a medium that does not contain glucose but only amino acids like glutamate, aspartate, proline, etc.

Scientists design better techniques to grow crystals that imitate the hues of Nature

The vivid and myriad colours of the natural world captivate our eyes and benefit life on earth. Learning how nature colours its palette advances our understanding of the world around us and hence scientists ubiquitously are trying to imitate designs inspired by nature, to fabricate better devices. Now, a collaborative study between researchers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has proposed a novel technique to build better display devices that imitate naturally occurring colours.