Transposons : The jumping genes

Transposons literally jump from one gene to another

Transposons literally jump from one place to another

What if I tell you that about 50% of your DNA literally jumps from one position to  another in your cell. It may sound a little abrupt but transposons actually are the jumping genes. Genes, as we know, are nothing but short stretches of DNA sequence coding for specific amino acids that organize together to form particular proteins.

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The Ninth Planet of the Solar System and Why We Haven’t Seen it Yet

The ninth planet is thought to resemble Neptune and Uranus in size and composition.

The ninth planet is thought to resemble Neptune and Uranus in size and composition.

There is a Ninth Planet! It’s here to fill the missing space that Pluto’s demotion from planet status left in the solar system and our hearts. But the real question is, if it was there this whole time, why hasn’t it been seen yet? Why is this news to astronomers, who’ve observing the cosmos, sweeping through huge collections of astronomical data for ages.

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Wait…The Aliens Are Dead?

Looking for alien life may be wasted effort after all. Aliens become extinct before they ever attain intelligence.

Aliens become extinct before they ever attain intelligence.

The number of stars and planets in the universe is baffling and even if the habitable ones are weeded out, that still leaves a staggering number. There’s no question of life not existing in those uncharted depths. But that leaves the question, why aren’t the habitable planets, well…inhabited? Are we just not looking far enough? Possibly. But we might also be more special than we imagined. Research shows that maybe we outlived the aliens. Continue Reading

3D Printing Getting Easier

A geometrical 3D printed pot.

A geometrical 3D printed pot.

Needless to say, 3D printing changing the way anything, ever, is produced. You wouldn’t need factories to lay out a complex system of specialised machines doing parts of the job, if everything can be done in one. It’ll change the way things are sold, too, transporting ideas into materialised things as easy as printing. No, really.  Continue Reading

Homo naledi: Another Step in the Staircase of Human Evolution

Homo Naledi Hand

Homo Naledi Hand

Human evolution has always been a set example of development of a hunter to a gatherer and finally to a cultivar. Human race, is the smartest as said. But how did we reach here? What all we faced and what all we changed? From ardipithecus to Australopithecus and eventually to genera- homo. Homo naledi is another link from the same course, recently discovered. Continue Reading

2015 in Review: MERS, a budding epidemic

MERS Virus

MERS Virus

Just over 1000 cases of the disease have been reported as of May 2015 and about 40% of those who become infected, died. In the long list of interspread diseases as rabies and AIDS, MERS or the camel flu, as masses call it, has been one recent addition. The first identified case occurred in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and most cases have occurred in the Arabian Peninsula with a spread gaining attention early this year.  Continue Reading

AIDS: Why Are We Still Fighting?

HIV-1 AIDS Virus

AIDS HIV-I Budding. Source: CDC PHIL

A thousand campaigns, numerous awareness programmes and so much more. AIDS has always grabbed your attention. The deadly disease. People who lack knowledge about the issue in remote areas of the world are easy prey, while the urban population has neglected its consequences on a large scale until it turned into a havoc. Most of us are now partially aware of it, in bits and pieces, so that we know it’s infectious and dangerous with more than one means of spread. But, why don’t we still have a cure? Why are we still fighting for its eradication?  Continue Reading

Biography: Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay

Dr Subash

Dr. Subhash Mukhopadhyay

The idea of “test tube babies” has always grabbed attention. Here is a glimpse of how it started in India and in rest of the world not many years behind. Test tube babies are produced by in vitro fertilisation (in vitro means inside the lab). The egg of mother is fused with sperm and post fertilisation the embryo is transplanted in mother for further development as regular pregnancy. Continue Reading

The Ethical Concerns Around Gene Editing

When is it okay to meddle with DNA?

When is it okay to meddle with DNA?

Gene Editing creates a science-fiction like reality in which genes can be modified to create practically anything. In the myriad of possibilities like better, faster growing crops, how much power is too much? Where exactly should a line be drawn? The answer lies somewhere in the unregistered territory of human gene editing. Continue Reading

Cloaked Assassins: Nanoparticles to Fight Diseases

Cloaked Assasins

Just like cloaked assassins, nanoparticles made to look like cell fragments try to evade detection and complete their mission

The most common and presently prevailing way of fighting with pathogens is through various drugs that are taken as pills. Another way that we know of is inducing the medicine in the body via injections. These drug delivery systems are used extensively nowadays. As everything evolves and advancement in medicine is no exception, we have now encountered the latest drug delivery system with a lot of potential. Researchers have recently found a way to smuggle drug carrying nanoparticles past the body’s immune system.  Continue Reading