Masks are one of our simplest, cheapest and most effective allies in the war against COVID-19. In this article, Madhuri looks back at the hundred-year-old history of using masks to prevent plagues and pandemics and the science behind what makes them so strategically important as a public health tool.
In order to find a potential cure or vaccine for COVID-19, it is necessary to grow the novel coronavirus in large quantities in safe and contained laboratory settings. In the last few months, institutes around the country, including CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, and National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune, have joined the effort to grow the virus. Somdatta Karak from CCMB provides us with a first-hand peek inside one such laboratory.
While over a million people worldwide are now confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, we do not yet have an empirical cure or a vaccine for this potentially fatal disease. In this article, Deepak Kumar Sinha, Professor at Institute of Biological Sciences, SAGE University, Indore, discusses some of the approaches being taken by researchers around the world to come up with treatment strategies and vaccines for COVID-19.
Contrary to popular belief, mathematics can be an important ally in our battle against pandemics. Here, we discuss some of the early mathematical models of disease transmission, as well as more modern versions that rely on computer-based simulations and factor in complex parameters. Insights gained from such approaches can be used to inform policy decisions related to novel diseases like COVID-19.
Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Neural Networks - these words have become a part of our day-to-day lexicon over the last few years. Scientists throughout India have started employing machine learning techniques in fields as diverse as biomedical diagnostics and wildlife conservation. In this article, we explore the critical question - Why now? Why has the machine learning boom waited until this last decade to come into its own?