Brain and immunity

by Hinal Kharva : In the time of the pandemic, we are hearing a lot about immunity. I was wondering whether our brain plays any role in the modulation of immunity.  How do emotions affect our immunity? The interdisciplinary field of science that studies interactions among brain, behavior, and the immune system, is called “Psychoneuroimmunology”.   To understand the link between…

In Awe of Ambush Predators

by Aditi Mishra and Jagath V : Behold the tiny antlion larva. It is small and some would say, ugly. But, what it lacks in looks, it makes up in cunning. So who are the antlions and why have they earned this name?   Antlions are a group of at least 2000 insect species. Wherever there is sand, there is…

Feeling through your feet

by Pavan Kaushik : The few silver linings of the pandemic have been the slight reduction in the destruction of nature. I was walking alone in the woody patches of my campus, whose leaf litter is now left undisturbed due to the pandemic. I saw a mango fruit fallen on the ground. It was half eaten, likely by a squirrel,…

Aggression: what about it ?

by Aditi Mishra – I write this on the twenty fourth week of a year that continues to keep getting worse.  There is aggression everywhere and social stability is currently looking like a magician’s trick. A rapidly devolving trick. In times like these, it is sometimes comforting to see what science has to offer. That’s why over these last few weeks…

Urban wildlife

by Gauri Gharpure – With the rise of city life, we have lost touch with nature. Elders in the family often talk about how they used to pick fruit from the trees directly, or how they used to cycle on roads lined with such tall shady trees on both sides that the road remained dry even in the heavy monsoon…

Plastic- A black mirror to Earth’s grim reality

by Mohammed Haseeb Nawaz : A marvel technology was introduced for its versatility during World War II and was a major boon to the Allied Forces in the form of plexiglass and lightweight nylon parachutes. This technology soon became a major part of our day to day lives post-1950. Yes, we are talking about PLASTICS (1). Made of synthetic organic polymers…

The NICE Group learns what it’s really like to be a fly on the wall

Our insect virtual reality study, built by Pavan Kumar Kaushik for his PhD research, was released this morning in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. See the VR in action in this lovely article by Harini Barath in NCBS News! Pavan’s research caused quite a “buzz” in the media, being picked up by several news outlets across the…

Life during Lockdown

Here is a message and some links from our campus counselors at Parivarthan for all of you out there.  Most importantly, remember you are not alone. The prevailing Public Health situation has affected all of us in so many ways and disrupted life as we knew it. With the directive on social distancing, our work life has been constricted and…

Compassion in the Time of Coronavirus

by Shannon – Hi everyone. Like many of you reading this right now, I am writing from my living room where I am doing my best to prevent social transmission of COVID-19.  I’m not here to give you medical advice – I’m not that kind of doctor (badam ching!). If you want the best information, check out ICMR or WHO.…