The Curse of Dementia: Diagnosis, Causes and Coping with Cognitive Decline

Doctors and scientists are on a mission to understand this complex neurodegenerative disorder One morning, Ragini, a resident of Chennai, caught a glimpse of her 67-year-old mother, Lakshmi, using a toothbrush on her own reflection in the mirror. Ragini was taken aback by what she saw – her mother was in good mental health and […]

Graphene and Its Superlative Properties

Amogh Kinikar, who did his Master’s in Physics at IISc, on why graphene is a fascinating material​ In 2012, I found myself in the Department of Physics at IISc, holding a five-and-a-half feet tall, extremely top-heavy object called a dip stick. It was a long narrow vacuum chamber that could be inserted into vessels containing […]

‘The Aerospace Department, Like the Whole of IISc, Was a Quieter Place Then’: Rama Govindarajan

Rama Govindarajan is a renowned scientist whose work lies in the area of fluid dynamics. The recipient of several awards, in 2007 she received the Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar Prize for her “original contributions to the understanding of instabilities in shear and non-parallel flows, flow entrainment, turbulent transition and small-scale hydraulic jumps.” She remains the only […]

Institute Colloquium: Jayant Modak on How Modelling Can Benefit Industrial Biotechnology

It can help make the best use of available resources, says IISc’s Deputy Director Microorganisms, often described as protein-producing factories, are widely used by industrial biotechnologists to produce human proteins of therapeutic interest. One such example is human insulin, produced by the bacterium Escherichia coli (better known as E. coli) and more recently, by the […]

Annapoorni Rangarajan is on a Quest to Understand How Breast Cancer Spreads

Learning what activates cancer stem cells, which can lead to metastasis, may hold the key to fighting other cancers too Annapoorni Rangarajan, Associate Professor at the Centre for Molecular Reproduction and Developmental Genetics, was bitten by what she calls the “cancer keeda” over two decades ago as a Master’s student at Nagpur University. “What really interested me was […]

AG Samuelson studies the anti-cancer properties of copper complexes (Photo: Karthik Ramaswamy)

Ashoka G Samuelson Tells us How Chemistry Permits Endless Creativity

Samuelson gave an Institute Colloquium recently in which he discussed his work on copper complexes, and why they matter Ashoka G Samuelson is a professor at the Department of Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, IISc. He joined the Institute after completing his PhD from Cornell University, USA, in 1983. His research is centred on understanding how […]

What are Field Stations and Why do Ecologists Need Them?

A peek into the challenges of working in the wild “Field stations are absolutely crucial to the success of ecological research,” says Professor Rohini Balakrishnan, head of the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES). They form so vital a part of ecologists’ work that Kartik Shanker, Associate Professor at CES, says they’ve “internalised it”. “They are […]

Mandyam Srinivasan Reveals How Honeybees Find their Way Home

And how the flight behaviour of bees and birds is revolutionising robotics Mandyam Srinivasan is a professor of visual neuroscience at the Queensland Brain Institute and the School of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering of the University of Queensland. Famous for his distinctive studies on the visual systems of bees and, more recently, birds as well, […]


Simplifying Mathematical Models to Predict Credit Risk

Mrinal K Ghosh and his collaborators came up with an easy-to-use model to calculate loan defaults A major challenge that banks face is the non-payment of loans by defaulters. It is therefore in the interest of the banks to be able to predict the likelihood of loan default by companies which borrow money, called credit […]

Navakanta Bhat on Bringing Diagnostic Devices for Diabetes to Patients

When Navakanta Bhat, the current Chairperson of the Centre for Nanoscience and Engineering (CeNSE), joined IISc, he was interested in using his expertise in nanotechnology to develop biological sensors. This interest took shape when he developed novel electrochemical methods to quantify diabetic markers in pathological specimens. But more remarkably, he has now manufactured a complete […]