Widespread vaccination against COVID-19 began in India on 16 Jan 2021. However, it can be difficult to keep track of all the information related to the same, with several different vaccines being offered by different manufacturers, as well as the rise of new virus variants. Recently, Indian Scientists’ Response to COVID-19 (ISRC) collated publicly available information related to the vaccines globally in use in an easy-to-access format. We present an abridged version of some frequently asked questions answered in this document, reproduced here with permission.
A lot of emphasis is given on introducing research in undergraduate curricula. On the other hand, there is little to no discussion about how to introduce the students to reading primary literature critically, or how to assess their understanding of it. Can there be a structured way of getting a regular undergraduate, who may or may not be interested in a research career, enthused about reading a research paper? How to test whether they have understood what they have read? These were the questions dealt by the educators of the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education (HBCSE), Mumbai, while developing a three-day module for reading research papers. In this article, one of the facilitators of the module walks us through their process.
India produces approximately 1.88 million STEM graduates every year. This large prospective scientific workforce suffers from the absence of a streamlined process to access empirical work opportunities in the form of internships, volunteering, mentorship or entrepreneurship. Ritika Mukherji argues that by not tapping into this demographic dividend, the country’s academia and industry are losing out on a massive semi-skilled workforce.
What’s the measure of species diversity of a habitat? Is it the number of inhabitants? Is it the number of species? Or is it the presence of a rare species? In this article, field biologist Abhijeet Bayani throws light on how he approaches this question of species ‘diversity’ in his classroom (a.k.a nature), while ensuring that his undergraduate students do not confuse it with a very related concept of species ‘richness’.
Science writing is a skill that takes a lot of practice to hone. So why not start early? The faculty of Sophia College (Autonomous), Mumbai, decided to give their undergraduate and masters’ students the full experience of writing and publishing an article, by starting their very own scientific journal. Here's an article about their journey, in their own words.
2020 has been an exceptional year, one with unprecedented global events that left an indelible impact on our lives and forced us to reexamine our priorities. This was also a year of many new beginnings, innovations, and breakthroughs, aided by courageous efforts from across the scientific ecosystem. In this article, Smita Jain, Executive Director, IndiaBioscience, reflects on what this year has meant for IndiaBioscience.
This is the first article of the brand new series, the "Common Misconceptions in Biology". In this article, author Sushama Yermal delves into one of the topics in biology that often confounds undergraduate students - the difference in allele numbers between individuals and population. She provides insightful ways to identify misconceptions in students around this topic and offers solutions to resolve them. Yermal is an independent advisor in teacher education. She was formerly a faculty of the undergraduate programme at the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.