Counting Our Blessings

This year, perhaps more than any year in our memories, we must strive to see the light in the darkness. In fact, despite being physically separated much of the year, the NICE lab has a number of blessings to count. Here is a small list of our blessings this year that we will hold on to as we enter 2021.…

A tale of a shrinking brain

by Hinal Kharva: Somewhere in Europe, winter is coming and a chipmunk is busy collecting nuts and berries to survive the harsh weather. Chipmunk (to Shrew friend): Hey buddy, all set for winter? Shrew: Yes, am I not looking slimmer to you? Chipmunk: Oh my god, yes you do. But why? Instead of putting on some extra fat for winter,…

The neighbourhood of green

by Aditi Mishra “We make our friends; we make our enemies; but God makes our next door neighbour.” – Gilbert K. Chesterton “You can be a good neighbour only if you have good neighbours.” – Howard E. Koch Neighbours don’t share homes, but they do share the entire environment nearby. And with that they share its public goods and nuisances. It is…

The giving tree (mother nature) and our consumerist attitude

An Opinion Piece by Anshika Singh: Recently, I was storytelling with my three-and-a-half year-old son. I felt sorry for our coming generation in so many ways. It was a very famous story known as “The giving tree” by Shel Silverstein, which describes beautifully how the consumerist attitude of human beings destroy not only our mother nature but also leaves us…

Beyond every scar, is an untold story of SURVIVAL ಪ್ರತಿ ಗಾಯದ ಗುರುತಿನ ಹಿಂದೆ ಒಂದು ಹೇಳಲಾಗದ ಕಥೆ ಇದೆ

By Geetha G T – As we know, holometabolous insects undergo four different life stages; egg, larva, pupa, and adult. The larva/caterpillar/maggot is the feeding stage. After feeding for a certain time, the larva enfolds itself into a pupal case where the larva undergoes an extreme transformation. The adult that develops from the pupa is completely different from the larva.…

What we didn’t know about lichen

by Gauri Gharpure – Lichen are one of the best known examples of mutualism (or symbiosis in scientific terms). They are organisms formed of a photosynthesizing partner (usually cyanobacteria or algae) and a “housing” and/or structural fungal partner (usually Ascomycota). Together they make intricate structures called thalli (sing. thallus) that can exist in many different forms: crustose, which adhere very…

NICE on TV

Recently, our research on the impacts of air pollution on pollinators was featured on Rajya Sabha TV, the official cable television network channel of the Upper House of the Parliament of India. Watch it here!

Woodpeckers of Western Ghats: The stem borer trackers

by Santosh Rajus – Woodpeckers have been one of my favorite birds from childhood since it was very rare to spot one and it was one of the first birds I saw making holes on huge and strong trees in search of food. 25 years later, I have gotten to observe so many different species of woodpeckers and I have…

The irony of “Bird Brain”

by Hinal Kharva – It’s high time that we don’t use the term “Bird Brain” for calling someone stupid. Well, a recent study in journal Science this week showed that birds like crows show higher intelligence and consciousness (awareness of one’s own existence and surroundings) like humans and monkeys. Ugh, I have been waiting to say “birds are so smart’’. …

How irresponsible is your shimmer?

by Aditi Mishra : Are you a fan of glitter, or how about cosmetics? The glimmer or radiant shimmer? How about a minty fresh toothpaste with crystals promising a pearly smile, or the paint of your SUV? Mica is the magic ingredient behind all of these. It is an element indispensable for modern life. It is present in electronics, in…