By Kanka Ghosh and Priya Khola The challenge of having to work with limited resources has been the driving force behind several technological innovations
For decades, researchers working on neurodegenerative disorders (like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s) focused on figuring out what happens in the neurons (brain cells). Brain research
Uncertainty is present all around us, from the change in climate around the world to the oscillations of nerves in the nerve-muscle junction. Observing
Human-built air vehicles glide, chop, or propel themselves through the air. Nature’s fliers, however, flap their wings. Flapping flight is a complicated phenomenon, and
What if somebody told you that learning a particular skill will only need a certain number of days or hours of practice until you became decently competent at it? What if you knew exactly which exercises to practice in order to learn a skill in the minimum possible time? These are the questions being posed and simultaneously answered by this project.
On the scorching afternoon of 29th July 2012, circuit breakers on the 400 kV Agra-Gwalior-Bina line flung open under the intense load. With 1000 MW power being drawn from this single line whose maximum capacity was near 700 MW, the lines were snapped open, instantly breaking the circuit.
The load then burdened the Agra-Bareilly line, which ran in parallel. It also snapped. With each line getting disengaged, the power deficit snowballed out of control and toppled every line connected in parallel. Within minutes the entire Northern Region Grid, which innervates half of India, collapsed under this cascading catastrophe. 22 states from Assam to Rajasthan and Odisha to Kashmir were plunged into darkness for 2 days. This was the world’s largest wide area blackout, with more than 62 crore people’s lives rattled for days as the engineers scrimmaged to get the grid back on its feet.
It’s data analysis, and not data dialysis!” The reason being that data analysis involves extraction of desired information from data, whereas dialysis involves removal of waste from data. When analysis is conducted incorrectly, one may end up with waste or meaningless information. Moreover, it is not just about removing unwanted information but making sense out of what the analyst is left with, which is nothing short of a challenge.
Caffeine is best known as a stimulant of the central nervous system in humans – in other words, it keeps us from falling asleep. One of the main methods by which it achieves that is by inhibiting the action of adenosine (by preventing it from bonding with its receptor). Adenosine is the chemical that induces feelings of drowsiness in humans. Existing literature has established that adenosine also plays a major role in the formation and motion of the slime mold aggregate. A natural question to ask, then, is whether caffeine could play a similar inhibitory role in slime molds – and this is precisely the question that Dr Baskar’s work answers.
“Do you see a lot of physics words here? That’s because there is a lot of physics involved, and the study of social physics brings together the two exciting fields of social media study and statistical mechanics. However, as with all theories and models involving human decision-making, this too is a slave to the sometimes arbitrary sensibility of people’s everyday decisions. A human may choose to drink Pepsi today and not Coca-Cola; there is no way this seemingly random and whimsical choice can be modeled by logical rules.”
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most common forms of dementia, affecting an estimated four million people in India. Researchers at IIT Madras are doing their bit to unravel the mechanisms behind this enigmatic disease.