CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology: In a first, an all-women team wins the Nobel Prize

That scientists who pioneered the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology, the biggest game-changer in biology in recent years, will win the Nobel Prize was never in doubt; it was only a question of when and who would get recognised for the work done to develop the tool.

Plants emit ultrasonic distress screams when stressed

Researchers at Tel-Aviv University have found plants making airborne emission of ultrasound screams when subjected to stress. They suspect that the sounds are generated by a process called cavitation. The sound may be alerting other plants nearby. Researchers have for the first time found evidence of plants making airborne emission of ultrasound screams when subjected … Continue reading Plants emit ultrasonic distress screams when stressed

Aflatoxin in milk raises safety concerns

Of the over 6,400 samples collected from 1,100 towns/cities in India, 93% were found to be safe. But 5.7% had aflatoxin M1 residues beyond the permissible limit. The highest levels of aflatoxin M1 residue in milk were seen in three States — Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Kerala. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has … Continue reading Aflatoxin in milk raises safety concerns

IIT Bombay’s sensor detects zinc in sweat, soil

IIT Bombay researchers have fabricated a sensor that can detect zinc over a wide concentration range — 0.1-500 ppm. The electrochemical sensor can be used for detecting zinc in the soil even in the presence of other elements and also at minute levels as seen in human sweat. A highly sensitive sensor that can detect … Continue reading IIT Bombay’s sensor detects zinc in sweat, soil

Climate change may reduce banana yield in India

Continued global warming may adversely affect banana yield in India by 2050. With 29% of the world's production, India is the world's biggest producer of banana. But the decline in yield can be mitigated by strong, technology-driven measures. Global warming in the last about 60 years had helped increase banana yield at annual rate of … Continue reading Climate change may reduce banana yield in India

Irrigation, agriculture shift rainfall to northwest India, IIT Bombay finds

IIT Bombay researchers have found the reason why the summer monsoon rainfall has shifted towards northwest India and intensification of extreme rainfall is seen over central India during the month of September. They have developed a land-surface model that takes into account the Indian conditions. For the first time, researchers from the Indian Institute of … Continue reading Irrigation, agriculture shift rainfall to northwest India, IIT Bombay finds

Recognising Anthropocene as an epoch is a caution to humanity

The overwhelming vote by the Anthropocene Working Group to recognise Anthropocene as a new epoch is a grim reminder to humanity that failure to end destructive activities will irrevocably change the face of the earth and make it uninhabitable. The pervasive and long-lasting signatures of modern human activity on earth have been so striking, that … Continue reading Recognising Anthropocene as an epoch is a caution to humanity

Surveillance from the sky using RISAT-2B satellite

RISAT-2B satellite launched on May 22 will use microwave radiation for crop monitoring, forestry and flood mapping. The satellite can image during day and night and under almost all weather conditions including cloud cover. It can detect objects with dimensions of as little as a metre, making it ideal for military surveillance. With the successful … Continue reading Surveillance from the sky using RISAT-2B satellite

India develops new groundnut lines with desirable oil quality

A team of scientists from ICAR, ICRISAT and State Agriculture Universities has developed new groundnut lines that have up to 82% of oleic acid content, which is highly desirable for health as well as prolonging the shelf-life. Linoleic and palmitic acid, which are highly undesirable for health, have been decreased up to 89% and 39%, … Continue reading India develops new groundnut lines with desirable oil quality

ICRISAT: Genes for producing climate-resistant chickpea varieties identified

An international team led by ICRISAT researchers has identified genes that can help produce chickpea varieties that can tolerate both drought and temperature up to 38 degree C. The time taken to develop varieties with these markers can be halved to four years. An international team led by the Hyderabad-based International Crops Research Institute for … Continue reading ICRISAT: Genes for producing climate-resistant chickpea varieties identified