In a recent study, researchers at the National Centre for Cell Science (NCCS), Pune have used Cryo-Electronic microscopy to figure out the structure of an "orphan" receptor expressed in the central nervous system. The study provides important insights into the mechanisms via which this receptor functions, and sets a precedent for using Cryo-EM as a powerful tool for molecular investigation.
Maternal health is one of the major thrusts of India's healthcare strategy moving into the next decade, and new research has been shedding light onto important problems that need to be addressed in this sector. One of these is Gestational Diabetes Mellitus, a condition which can increase the risk of metabolic disorders for the newborn as well as the mother. A study by the Diabetes in Pregnancy Study group India recommends a simple screening procedure to help identify such patients and provide them with the necessary care.
One of the reasons why viral infections can be difficult to treat is the high mutation rate displayed by many viruses, which can sometimes allow them to evade our immune systems and develop resistance to drugs. In this article, Shivani looks into the evidence gathered by scientists around the world on mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has set off a wave of research activities across the world, aimed at finding clues that would allow us to design effective therapeutics and vaccines. In one such effort, a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, have initiated a study into the molecular dynamics of the process via which the novel coronavirus attaches to cells of the human respiratory system.
A new collaborative study by researchers at University of Calcutta and University of Kalyani has found that a close symbiotic relationship between three species - a plant, a fungus, and bacteria - can be harnessed to promote the growth of rice plants by allowing them to take up more nitrogen from the environment.
The Genome Asia 100K Project, launched in 2016, aims to sequence the genomes of 100,000 Asian individuals to address the underrepresentation of non-European populations in most published genomics studies. The first pilot phase of the project was completed recently, with the publication of 1739 genome sequences from samples spread across 64 different Asian countries.
Complex neurodegenerative disorders present a challenge to researchers who attempt to study them using model systems in the lab. Precisely measuring the behavioural defects which are hallmarks of such diseases in model organisms like the fruitfly can be difficult. Now, a team of researchers have come up with a new assay which can help assess movement-related impairments in fly models of Parkinson's disease.