Novel coronavirus lineage circulated unnoticed in bats for decades, study says

SARS-CoV-2 virus diverged from closely related bat viruses 40-70 years ago. Novel coronavirus had not arisen from recombination of any sarbecoviruses, and the ability of the spike protein in the virus to bind to ACE2 human receptors had emerged within bats. There is no evidence that pangolins facilitated adaptation to humans by being an intermediate … Continue reading Novel coronavirus lineage circulated unnoticed in bats for decades, study says

‘Tenure track system: Incentivising performance better than making insecurity as a model’

MHRD has called for a meeting of all seven IISER directors to discuss the merits of tenure track system and alternative systems for evaluating the performance of new faculty members before they are made permanent. The directors have been asked to send their views prior to the meeting. A meeting of all seven directors of … Continue reading ‘Tenure track system: Incentivising performance better than making insecurity as a model’

inStem team finds how colour-blind flatworms choose colours

When flatworms (planarians) choose one colour over the other, they are not truly sensing colour. They are comparing the two lights and converting the difference in effective intensity of light into clear behavioural choices. In a seminal work, Bengaluru-based researchers have found that flatworms (Schmidtea mediterranea), which are highly averse to light and move away … Continue reading inStem team finds how colour-blind flatworms choose colours

IISc: Annapoorni Rangarajan is on a quest to understand how breast cancer spreads

By Deepika Sarma Annapoorni Rangarajan, Associate Professor at the Centre for Molecular Reproduction and Developmental Genetics, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Begaluru 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 how a normal cell in our body could convert … Continue reading IISc: Annapoorni Rangarajan is on a quest to understand how breast cancer spreads

NCBS researchers find a biomarker for stress-induced memory loss

Timely intervention to prevent or delay hippocampus-linked memory loss that occurs as a result of chronic stress may now be possible, thanks to the discovery of a biomarker — a reduction in hippocampal volume at an early time point after the onset of chronic stress. The reduction in the hippocampal volume is not only linked … Continue reading NCBS researchers find a biomarker for stress-induced memory loss

Medicinal properties of tulsi unravelled

For the first time, a draft genome covering 374 million bases (61 per cent coverage) of the tulsi herb has been sequenced and the main enzymes responsible for the synthesis of secondary metabolites which have medicinal properties have been unravelled by a team of nearly 30 scientists at the Bengaluru-based National Centre for Biological Sciences … Continue reading Medicinal properties of tulsi unravelled

The secret behind speed throwing

Humans are distinct from chimpanzees when it comes to throwing objects at high speed and with great accuracy. This ability, which first evolved in humans some two million years ago, helped while hunting animals. Humans do not have any of the characteristics so essential for hunting — speed, strength, agility, claws or sharp canines to … Continue reading The secret behind speed throwing