Nearly 50% of diabetics identified in 14 Indian States unaware of their condition

A large community-based study involving over 57,000 adults from 14 States and a Union Territory (Chandigarh) in the country has revealed that the average prevalence of diabetes in these States stands at 7.3%. The prevalence varied from 4.3% of the population in the case of Bihar, to 10.4% in Tamil Nadu; Chandigarh was found to... Continue Reading →

With GSLV Mark III launch, ISRO puts India in a new orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation has crossed a significant milestone with the successful developmental flight of the country’s heaviest Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle, the GSLV Mark-III. This is the first time a satellite weighing over 3.1 tonnes has been launched from India to reach the geostationary orbit about 36,000 km from Earth. With this, ISRO has... Continue Reading →

Bharat Biotech has begun chikungunya vaccine Phase I trial

The Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech has begun a Phase I human clinical trial of the indigenously developed chikungunya vaccine three months ago. The vaccine uses a killed virus. The Phase I trial will test mainly for safety and the ability of the vaccine to provoke an immune response in the body. The higher the immune response... Continue Reading →

Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes less capable of spreading Zika, chikunguya

With conventional vector controlling measures against dengue- and Zika-causing Aedes aegypti mosquitoes failing, several countries have started caged and even open field trials using genetically modified mosquitoes. India has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Monash University for using Wolbachia-infected A. aegypti mosquitoes for vector control. Dengue, Zika or chikunguya viruses cannot replicate when mosquitoes have been infected... Continue Reading →

Seventy-year journey of Zika virus

Zika is an arbovirus infection which occurs through the bite of several different species of Aedes mosquitoes, including the Aedes aegypti which is active during the day; it can also be transmitted sexually. The virus was first isolated from a rhesus monkey in Uganda in the Zika forest, near the western shore of Lake Victoria,... Continue Reading →

Improving access to mental health services in remote areas

While about 10% of the population in India suffers from common mental disorders, only about 15-25% of this receives mental health care. But a small-scale study carried out on approximately 5,000 people living in 30 tribal villages in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh was able to improve the practice of seeking out mental health... Continue Reading →

LIGO: Now, gravitational waves provide clues on how binary black holes form

On January 4, 2017, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detected gravitational waves — ripples in space and time — for the third time. The first success in observing gravitational waves was in September 2015 and the second detection was in December 2015. While the September 2015 detection became important as it was the first... Continue Reading →

Scientists are accidentally helping poachers drive rare species to extinction

Benjamin Scheele, Australian National University and David Lindenmayer, Australian National University If you open Google and start typing “Chinese cave gecko”, the text will auto-populate to “Chinese cave gecko for sale” – just US$150, with delivery. This extremely rare species is just one of an increasingly large number of animals being pushed to extinction in... Continue Reading →

Tissue-matched, unrelated donor transplants to aid thalassemics

Till recently, transplantation of haematopoietic stem cells found in the bone marrow has been the only curative option for patients with thalassemia major (genetic inability to produce normal, adult haemoglobin leading to severe anaemia). Since only 30-35% of such patients have a suitable tissue-matched donor in the family, a majority of them rely on regular... Continue Reading →

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