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Showing posts from July, 2014

RotM: Interview with Dr. Justin Boddey

As part of our continuing effort to bring to you the latest developments in the field of science, we are proud to introduce a new section to our blog, Researcher of the Month (RotM), where we will speak about ground breaking research findings and to the researchers behind the work. 
In our first RotM interview, we spoke to Dr. Justin Boddey, a researcher at the Infection and Immunity Division at the Walter and Eliza Hill Institute, Australia. Dr. Justin recently published his findings regarding Plasmepsin V in PLoS Biology, which has shed new light on our understanding of malarial parasite, Plasmodium, and how we can prevent its spread. 
Here's Dr. Justin telling us more about his findings. 

CTS: For the benefit of our readers, please tell us about the fresh perspective that your recent findings have provided to tackling malaria.
JB: Malaria parasites are very clever; they invade red blood cells and change them by delivering more than 300 proteins into them. This is required for the…

Living with malaria

Everyone in India, at some point in their lives, may have been infected with malaria. Now this may sound a little out there, but may not be something far away from reality. Just recently, Times of India reported that 67 people died in Tripura of malaria in the last month alone, and 55 among them, were children. The north eastern state of our country is amongst one of the most gravely hit regions when it comes to malarial outbreaks, along with the other red zone regions, Andaman and Nicobar islands and Pondicherry. 
Malaria has been around in India for quite a while now. In fact, the discovery of its vector- the mosquito was done here in India by Sir Ronald Ross who bagged the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his discovery. There are about 250 million people affected every year with the malarial parasite, out of which nearly 2 million succumb to the disease. In India, alone we face a daunting number of around 30,000- 50,000 deaths caused due to malaria each year, most of them …

Fish on Wheels

For all those who pet lovers, who would love their pet fish to be with them at all times, Studio Diip, a Netherlands based startup lets you buy a unique aquarium that will let your fish steer in any direction it wants.

By using advanced computer vision technology, entrepreneurs at Studio Diip, were able to design an aquarium with wheels which moves in the same direction as the fish moves in the tank.

Here is the video of how the technology works!




Unfortunately, the company could not find enough investors for this crazy idea and the project has been stalled for a while. But in case you have deep pockets and the zeal to let your fish drive around the house, do contact the team at Studio Diip to get this project started once again!

Can you hear a caterpillar munching on leaves? Well, plants can!

How often have we seen a caterpillar silently eat away an entire leaf of a plant to feed its hungry stomach. What if we told you that every time you thought the plant was helpless against the over-eating caterpillar, you were wrong? A recently published study in the journal Oecologia tells us that plants can actually hear the tiny vibrations that the caterpillar emits whilst feeding and prepare themselves for a similar event if it occurs in the future. Sounds interesting? Read on!!! 
We have all heard of tales where listening to soothing music (acoustic energy or sound) has helped plants grow. But researchers, Heidi Appel and Reginald Cocroft at the University of Missouri, set out to investigate how plants responded to sounds that were relevant to their survival. To test this, the researchers allowed caterpillars to feed on Arabidopsis plant, while they recorded the vibrations of the leaf during the process of feeding with the help of a laser. 

Video source: MU News Bureau
The recordings…