Posts by Pratibha Gopalakrishna

Paving New Paths for Sustainable Construction

29 Mar 2024 under Focus

The construction sector today faces several challenges. Natural sand is fast becoming a scarce resource – we might run out of it by 2050. Carbon dioxide emissions, especially from manufacturing cement or fired clay bricks, are increasing every year. The amount of construction and demolition (C&D) waste is on the rise – about 150 million tonnes […]

Towards Greener Labs

01 Mar 2024 under Features

How research labs at IISc are trying to follow sustainable practices In 2015, three researchers from the University of Exeter, UK, called for action against the large amount of plastic waste generated in research labs. They estimated that around 5.5 million tonnes of plastic waste are generated in one year by scientists, who account for […]

Deciphering An Enigmatic Enzyme for Hydrocarbon Production

12 Jan 2024 under Highlights

There is an increasing demand for the sustainable production of molecules called hydrocarbons because they are the major components of fossil fuels and have utility in polymer, lubricant, and detergent industries. Hydrocarbons like terminal alkenes (1-alkenes) produced biologically using the cells of living organisms (biosynthetically) can serve as the next generation of hydrocarbon-based biofuels. Scientists […]

Enzyme Mimetic that Degrades Effluents under Sunlight

14 Oct 2023 under Focus

Scientists at the Materials Research Centre (MRC) have developed a new type of enzyme mimetic that can degrade toxic chemicals in industrial wastewater effectively in the presence of sunlight. Enzymes are proteins that catalyse a majority of biological reactions in living systems. However, the practical use of natural enzymes is greatly hindered by certain inherent […]

The Race to Remedy Endometriosis

29 Sep 2023 under Features

A team of undergrads is working on a solution for endometriosis as part of an international competition It is early in the morning. The biology lab nestled within the old physics building at IISc echoes with hushed footsteps as a team of undergraduate students drop in one by one. After exchanging pleasantries, they don their […]

Cutting-edge Imaging Technique Shines Light On How DNA Strands Stack Up

15 Sep 2023 under Focus

In a new study, researchers at the Department of Biochemistry, IISc, have used a novel imaging technique to pinpoint how strongly adjacent bases – the building blocks of DNA – stack up on top of each other in a single strand. The findings open up possibilities for building complex DNA nano devices and unravelling fundamental […]

Tinkering with Proteins

12 Jul 2023 under Features

Erode N Prabhakaran’s lab designs miniature protein models using organic chemistry to solve problems in biology  Erode N Prabhakaran had taken a liking to science right from his secondary school days at Gill Adarsh in Chennai. But it was his 11th grade teacher, Kaveri Padmanabhan, whose simple approach to chemistry solidified his interest in the […]

Novel Supercapacitor for Energy Storage Applications

18 May 2023 under Focus

Researchers at the Department of Instrumentation and Applied Physics (IAP), IISc, have designed a novel ultramicro supercapacitor, a tiny device capable of storing an enormous amount of electric charge. It is also much smaller and more compact than existing supercapacitors and can potentially be used in many devices ranging from streetlights to consumer electronics, electric cars and […]

Protein Complexes that Coordinate Essential Cellular Processes during Cell Division

22 Dec 2022 under Highlights

Cell division is fundamental for all life on Earth. One of the important steps in this process is anaphase. During anaphase, chromosomes that contain genes are equally distributed or segregated to two newly formed daughter cells. Chromosome segregation during anaphase is tightly coupled with cleavage furrow formation, bisecting the cells into two daughter cells. How […]

Using Fish Ear Bones to Estimate Seawater Temperature

11 Oct 2022 under Focus

Researchers at the Centre for Earth Sciences (CEaS), IISc have identified a way to estimate ancient seawater temperature by probing tiny bones in the ears of fish. Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth’s surface and host many remarkable life forms. Earth scientists have been attempting to reconstruct the seawater temperature over time, but it […]

Artificial Protein Shell to Combat COVID-19

11 Oct 2022 under Focus

During the first COVID-19 wave, when Saumitra Das and colleagues were sequencing thousands of samples every day to check for SARS-CoV-2 variants as part of INSACOG, they were racing against time to track mutations as they appeared. “If we wanted to predict whether one of these mutations was going to be dangerous from a public […]

A Quest for Quality Antivenoms

12 Aug 2022 under Features

New Centre aims to foster much-needed research on – and awareness about – these life-saving concoctions “Animal venoms are absolutely fascinating,” says Kartik Sunagar, Assistant Professor at the Centre for Ecological Sciences (CES), IISc. These protein cocktails produced by snakes and other creatures can both kill and save lives – in fact, antivenom is made […]