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Acrobatics of the Indian Roller: A birdbrained ballet! 

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September 12, 2021

What in the brains of male Indian roller birds make them fly so high only to shriek and fall rolling while in flight? Researchers from Allahabad University provide an answer: the seasonal changes in a part of the hippocampus in the bird’s brain.

Black Hole Eats Neutron Star: Gravitational wave ripples through laser beams on earth

Within the last five years, gravitational observatories have reported detecting a few dozen gravitational wave events in the universe. Here is a report on two such events caused by coalescing of black hole and neutron star.

Tobacco Smoking: Death and disease burden

Cigarette smoking is injurious to health. But how many people actually die due to smoking related diseases? What is the magnitude of disability caused by smoking? Researchers from India collaborate with researchers worldwide to inquire.

Heat loving Bacteria from the Himalayas: Breaking cellulose

Researchers from the CSIR-Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology have isolated a heat loving bacteria from the cold Pangi Valley of the Himalayas. The ability of the strain to break down cellulose very rapidly will find many industrial applications.

Protecting Rubberwood Furniture: Bio-synthesized nanoparticles

Protecting furniture from fungal attacks, especially in monsoon, is a problem. It becomes more acute if the wood used is from the rubber tree. Scientists from the Institute of Wood Science and Technology now offer a solution.

Biological Control of Aphids: ladybird beetle

Aphids suck the sap out of our crops. The zigzag ladybird is a natural predator that can control the pest. Researchers from IARI find that the ladybirds do not even have to eat the pests: the mere presence of the predator is adequate to drive away the pestilence. Read more.

Nanoparticles for Pain Relief

Injections are painful. But what if drugs and vaccines that can’t be taken orally are administered nasally? Especially those that need to be delivered to the brain? How do we make such nanocapsules for nasal spray?

Malaria-Parasite Hijacks Mosquito Gut Microbiota and Immunity

Mosquitoes suffer because of Plasmodium, the malarial parasite. The parasite undermines the normal gut microbiota and weakens its immune system, makes it ill. Probiotics for mosquitoes may reduce malarial transmission, say researchers

Why don’t ants have traffic jams?

Army ants are blind. Yet a few thousands of them behave coherently to create large scale patterns of fast paced raids. Physicists from IIT Kanpur investigate the biosocial phenomenon.

Circular RNAs as Colorectal Cancer Biomarkers

Rajabrata Bhuyan from the Banasthali Vidyapith and Angshuman Bagchi from the University of Kalyani have identified circular non-coding RNAs involved in colorectal cancers. This type of RNAs may one day become a part of cancer diagnostics and perhaps will even play a role in therapeutics.

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