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      Volume 24, Issue 3

      March 2019,   pages  255-406

    • Editorial

      Riddhi Shah Sudeshna sinha

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    • Science Smiles

      Rupali Debamalya Dutta

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    • The Queen of Carbon! Mildred Dresselhaus (1930-2017)

      Jayeeta Lahiri

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      Mildred Dresselhaus was one of the most renowned physicists, material scientists, and electrical engineers of our time. She made vital contributions to research on graphite and graphite intercalation compounds, graphene, carbon fibers and nanotubes, fullerenes, and thermoelectric effects of nanostructures. Mildred Dresselhaus was considered the leading expert on carbon materials, and was popularly known in the scientific circles as the “Queen of Carbon”. Her immense contributions to the field of carbon materials ushered in the era of carbon nanoscience and technology.

    • The Mystery of Dark Energy and Some Revelations

      H K Jassal

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      Observational data has lead us to believe that the Universe is undergoing an accelerated expansion. This acceleration canonly be driven by a component which has a negative pres-sure, the cosmological constant or other exotic models suchas the ‘dark energy’. Understanding the nature of dark en-ergy is the focus of many current studies, and its origin being unknown, these studies are largely focused on model building and constraining its parameters. In this article, we discuss how the accelerated expansion of the Universe is driven by dark energy and how dark energy parameters are constrained by observations.

    • Cell Mechanosensing : Response of Living Cells to Their Mechanical Environment

      Rumi De

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      Mechanical forces are known to play important roles in determining cellular functions and behaviours such as growth, migration, wound healing and tissue regeneration, to name a few. It is quite intriguing how cells sense the mechanical forces and properties of the surrounding matrix in which the cells float or rest. The cells are known to build numerous ‘adhesion contacts’ at the cell-matrix interface to probe the surroundings. These adhesion contacts, known as ‘focal adhesions’ are highly dynamic and strongly force sensitive. In this article, we discuss about the focal adhesions which act as mechanosensors and, in turn, regulate cellular activity.

    • Enzyme Kinetics at the Molecular Level

      Arti Dua

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      The celebrated Michaelis–Menten (MM) expression providesa fundamental relation between the rate of enzyme catalysisand substrate concentration. The validity of this classicalexpression is, however, restricted to macroscopic amounts ofenzymes and substrates and, thus, to processes with negligiblefluctuations. Recent experiments have measured fluctuationsin the catalytic rate to reveal that the MM equation,though valid for bulk amounts, is not obeyed at the molecularlevel. In this review, we show how new statistical measuresof fluctuations in the catalytic rate identify a regime in whichthe MM equation is always violated. This regime, characterizedby temporal correlations between enzymatic turnovers,is absent for a single enzyme and is unobservably short in theclassical limit.

    • Mathematical Modelling and Avascular Tumour Growth: Interdisciplinary Research

      Jennifer A Flegg Neela Nataraj

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      Cancer is a global health burden; 1 in 2 people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime. In the Western world, 50% of cancer patients survive for 10 or more years after diagnosis, compared to 24% forty years earlier. Cancer can come in many different forms, but tissues affected by cancer tend to have common features such as abnormal cell growth rates. Cancer biology is incredibly complicated, as illustrated by the difficulties surrounding the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. However, mathematics has the potential to mediate this complexity by abstracting the system using simplifying assumptions into a mathematical framework that can be analysed and/or solved numerically to gain biological insight. This article is an introduction to the mathematical modelling of one of the important early stages of tumour growth – the avascular stage – where there is no blood supply to the tumour.

    • Protein Structure

      Lalitha Guruprasad

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      Proteins are essential biological macromolecules associated with a variety of physiological functions. In this article, the composition, conformational features, and general principles that govern protein folding are presented.

    • Investigating the Primes

      Kaneenika Sinha

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      The aim of this expository article is to introduce the reader to some of the fundamental milestones in the study of prime numbers across several centuries. Among the important developments in the study of prime numbers, we review the history of the prime number theorem, the Riemann zeta function (in relation to prime number theory), and some recent investigations into spacings between consecutive primes. We also present an important application of prime numbers in safe data transmission, namely the ‘RSA public key cryptosystem’.

    • (K)not So Abstract!

      Swatee Naik

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      This article is intended to give the reader a flavor of three dimensional topology in an informal setting.

    • Depth-2 Threshold Circuits: Provable Limitations

      Meena Mahajan

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      Circuits with linear threshold functions as primitives are a natural model for computation in the brain. Small threshold circuits of depth two cannot compute most functions, but how do we prove such a statement? And how do we lay our hands on explicit functions that they cannot compute? This article gives an overview of the landscape.

    • What the Mother Gives...

      Beena Pillai

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      Life starts from a single cell formed by the union of the spermand egg. Genes inherited from the parents influence many features of the offspring – from physical appearance and disease susceptibility to more complex traits like behavior and cognitive abilities. Inherited RNA, both protein-coding andnon-coding, transferred from the parents to the zygote canmodify the information in the genome of the offspring during the early stages of development. Emerging evidence supports the possibility that non-coding regulatory RNA inherited from the egg and sperm may shape the offsprings’ genome.The RNAs may mark positions in the genome that need to beactivated at a precise time during development. They may also demarcate genomic landmarks like telomeres and centromeres. Differences in the type and amount of inherited RNA can result in inter-individual variability. By holding together distant regions of the genome, they may shape the 3D genome organization. These direct regulatory roles during the early stages of development may have long term consequences on the expression of genes and eventually on the traits of the offspring.

    • Striking the Perfect Equlibrium!

      Supurna Sinha

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    • Women in News!

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    • Science Academies' Refresher Courses

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    • Statement about Ownership form

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    • Purple Sunbird

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