Like a handful of other viruses, the novel coronavirus may also be capable of crossing the placental barrier in pregnant women and infecting the fetus. A recent study from researchers at ICMR-National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health (ICMR-NIRRH) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has examined molecular players in the placenta which may be responsible for allowing the virus to access the developing fetus.
Our brains are quite proficient at recognizing jumbled words and reading them correctly. Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, studied this fascinating phenomenon and came up with a computational model that uses artificial neurons to simulate the way the brain processes jumbled words.
In a virtual ceremony on 2 December 2020, the Infosys Science Foundation announced the winners of the twelfth Infosys Prize awards. The awardees represented a diversity of fields and research areas, spread across six categories: Engineering and Computer Science, Humanities, Life Sciences, Mathematical Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Social Sciences
Protecting India's rich biodiversity has usually taken the form of designating protected areas like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. Several of these are contiguous with larger landscapes that lack such protection status and that form continuous habitat ranges for many animals. In a recent study, a team of Indian researchers have highlighted the need for more focused conservation strategies in the Bhagirathi basin in Uttarakhand.
The bacterial world contains a treasure trove of potent compounds with biological activities that can be harnessed for human benefit. Researchers from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune and the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, have recently found that Urdamycin, a compound produced by Streptomyces bacteria, has the ability to induce cell death in cancer cells.
A positive highlight of the COVID-19 situation has been the large number of grassroots-level innovations brought forth by Indian start-ups, entrepreneurs, and researchers to counter the pandemic. A thriving culture of innovation and entrepreneurship is necessary to nurture this spirit. In this regard, the fourth edition of the National Bio Entrepreneurship Competition (NBEC) is currently open for applications.
Macrophages are an important category of immune cells that patrol our body to find and destroy pathogens, often by swallowing them whole - a process known as phagocytosis. A recent study by researchers at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science (IACS), Kolkata, has discovered how the physical properties of macrophages change in response to phagocytosis and how this, in turn, affects their function.