Plasmodium, the malaria parasite, is believed to be of simian origin. Non-human primates can act as a reservoir for this parasite, and in certain cases the parasite has been shown to be transmissible between humans and apes. Researchers led by Praveen Karanth from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru recently profiled Plasmodium in multiple Indian non-human primate species, in an effort to better understand the spread of this parasite in monkey populations.
Several lines of evidence suggest that males and females differ in their biological response to stressful situations. A new study from researchers at IICT and CCMB, Hyderabad, explores one mechanism for this, demonstrating that the heterochromatin region of the Y-chromosome may contribute to the regulation of anxiety-like behaviour and stress response in male mice.
The gut microbiome plays a critical role in regulating human metabolism and health. Bug Speaks, a new initiative by the bioinformatics company Leucine Rich Bio, aims to utilize information gleaned from assessing the gut microbiome to predict disease susceptibility and provide personalized health recommendations.
Researchers from the University of Mysore have recently found that an enzyme extracted from the leaves of a medicinal plant, Tricosanthus tricuspidata, can counter the tissue damage caused by the bite of the venomous saw-scaled viper. This is the first scientific report of the anti-snake venom properties of this plant, which is known to be used by local tribal communities to treat snakebites.
It has long been known that diet can dynamically regulate lifespan in animals. In a new study using the nematode worm C. elegans as a model system, researchers from the National Institute of Immunology (NII) describe a new gene-diet pair which helps these worms maintain and preserve their lifespans while on diverse diets.
Sex-selection drugs are indigenous herbal concoctions sold to expectant mothers with the claim of favouring the birth of a male child. Research from the Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH), Delhi - Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) reveals the presence of heavy metals and harmful chemicals in these preparations, which pose a severe risk to the health of both newborns and mothers.
For plants, choosing to fight against a pathogen often comes at the cost of compromised growth and development. Now, scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Delhi and the Indian Institute of Science, Education & Research, Thiruvananthapuram (IISER-TVM) find a new molecular player that helps maintain this delicate balance.