Do bacteria derive benefits by living in diverse communities? How is this important for ecological balance? Jithin Sunny, a PhD scholar in the Department of Biotechnology, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, Kattankulathur, Tamil Nadu, has often wondered about the philosophical takeaways from his research on bacterial population study. Together with Bins Sebastian, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy, Madras Christian College, Chennai, he discusses a vital question ‘Can an invisible yet significant group of living organisms give us lessons on our society and the interactions within?’
The levels of nucleic acids are enhanced in the blood of individuals affected by certain diseases. This understanding can be used for non-invasive diagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases, cancers, genetic conditions in the fetus, and neurological disorders. In this article, Ambika Kurbet gives an overview of the use of cell-free circulating DNA in diagnosis.
Glia are brain cells that have traditionally been believed to play supportive roles to neurons, their more glamorous cousins. However, new research is beginning to suggest that their function is more complex, even extending to information processing. This is information that both neurobiologists and computer scientists are ready to take advantage of, as Sukanya explores in this article.
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.