Taking on TB

India is the world’s tuberculosis capital, accounting for 27 percent of the 10 million patients globally. Understanding how drug resistance emerges and improving vaccine efficacy are key to fighting this disease. Macrophage (red) engulfing tuberculosis bacteria (yellow), taken with ZEISS FE-SEM (Image courtesy: Volker Brinkmann)   In 1890, Robert Koch believed he was going to […]

MONTBLEX: India’s First Major Monsoon Experiment

The first national effort to understand the meteorological phenomenon For about four months from May to September 1990, the Indian summer monsoon was the subject of unprecedented nationwide attention. While the monsoon winds raced from Kerala to the northwest of India in 35 days, less than its usual 45, researchers on land, air and sea […]

‘Ours was a small group, like one family’

Syed Ameenulla, who joined IISc as a lab assistant and went on to be a scientific officer, recalls his involvement in the Institute’s monsoon experiments In the monsoon of 1979, Chandipur beach in Balasore, Odisha was host to a small group of researchers from Bangalore. The team, from IISc and the National Aeronautical Laboratory (NAL), […]

Decoding the Signatures of Monsoons Past in Fossils and Genes

Studying how a changing monsoon could affect our biodiversity Scientists predict that the current bout of climate change, induced by human activities, will severely impact the monsoon. How will the expected change in this weather system affect India’s rich biological diversity? Given the complexity of both the monsoon and anthropogenic climate change, the answer is […]

What is Cryptography and Why do we Need it?

A look at an evolving technology that has been changing how we communicate It was February 2009. A 560 kg satellite named Iridium 33, whirling around the planet in the low earth orbit 789 km above the Taymyr Peninsula in Serbia, met a fatal end. It clashed with the defunct 900-kg Russian satellite, Kosmos 2251. […]

Why You Should Work Out for a Healthy Brain

American neuroscientist Michael Zigmond’s research shows that physical exercise could go a long way in fighting Parkinson’s disease Michael Zigmond is a believer. “I don’t know why anybody wouldn’t want to be a neuroscientist,” quips the IISc-DST Centenary Chair Professor. Notwithstanding his evangelism about the virtues of a career in neuroscience, Zigmond found his own […]

Satish Dhawan: The Father of Experimental Fluid Dynamics in India

It was in 1946 that Dhawan arrived at the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology (GALCIT, now Graduate Aerospace Laboratories), wanting to work with Hans Liepmann. But the Indian students Liepmann had worked with until then had given him the impression that “perhaps the select group that came to Caltech from India […]