• The rise of the complex modern cell

    Complex modern cells - the ones that you and I are made up of - may be the result of a long-drawn courtship, rather than a hasty marriage between two types of structurally simple cells.

    Every modern eukaryotic cell is distinct from prokaryotic cells in two striking ways. One, eukaryotes possess mitochondria or 'powerhouses' that generate energy, and two, every eukaryotic cell is elaborately divided into dynamic compartments with distinct functions. The origin of these compartments has been a source of intense debate.

  • The late effects of stress: New insights into how the brain responds to trauma

    Mrs. M would never forget that day. She was walking along a busy road next to the vegetable market when two goons zipped past on a bike. One man’s hand shot out and grabbed the chain around her neck. The next instant, she had stumbled to her knees, and was dragged along in the wake of the bike. Thankfully, the chain snapped, and she got away with a mildly bruised neck. Though dazed by the incident, Mrs. M was fine until a week after the incident.

    Then, the nightmares began.

  • The balancing act in membrane turnover: an enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

    Blink. When you wake up, the first thing you do is open your eyes and see.

  • How did the modern eukaryotic cell acquire its transport system?

    The inside of a present day plant or animal cell quite closely resembles a busy city. Like an urban metropolis with different districts interlinked by a traffic network, a cell has distinct compartments connected to each other by a dynamic transport system.

    One set of such interlinked compartments - the Golgi complex - is essential for many cellular functions, and a question that has long puzzled scientists is: how did such a complex compartment and traffic system arise within a cell?

  • A tail of gene expression

    Imagine trying to fly a kite without a tail. It swoops and loops and wiggles and finally crashes down into the ground. A kite without a tail is unstable, but add a tail at the right place, and your kite will fly steady.

  • NCBS faculty members awarded Max Planck-DST partner group awards

    The National Centre for Biological Sciences is pleased to announce that faculty member Radhika Venkatesan has been awarded a Max Planck-DST Partner group award!

  • A brain circuit to push past nutritional stress

    The researchers have discovered an integrative circuit of nerve cells in fruit fly brains that allows them to ignore the lack of proteins in their food to enter the pupal stage.

  • Dolna – The crèche

    "Grrrrrrrrrr," says a chorus of young voices, followed by a burst of laughter. On the screen is a smiling man cheerily reading out a story about a lonely bear who loses his growl and finds it again. The children are from the on-campus crèche Dolna, and the man on the screen is Rob Biddulph, an award-winning children's story book writer from the UK. This summer, Dolna has organised an innovative new activity for the children in the form of a live book-reading session via video conferencing.

  • Can a brain scan early in stress predict eventual memory loss?

    New research now shows that even a brief period of stress can cause the hippocampus to start shrinking.

  • Moving objects and flowing air: How bees position their antennae during flight

    Researchers from the National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Bangalore propose that airflow measured by bee antennae could be critical for their ability to gauge flight speed. And to do this, they must be able to position their antennae correctly.

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