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    The firm “was founded with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems.”

    Google has acquired Bengaluru-based artificial intelligence startup Halli Labs for an undisclosed sum. The firm said it was founded with the goal of applying modern artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to solve old problems.

    “Well, what better place than Google to help us achieve this goal,” said the company in a blog post on Medium. It said the company would be joining Google’s Next Billion Users team to help get technology and information into more people’s hands around the world. “We couldn’t be more excited,” said the company.

    Halli Labs was co-founded early this year by Pankaj Gupta, former chief technology officer of online homestay aggregator Stayzilla, which recently closed down its services. An alumnus of Stanford University, Mr.Gupta has also worked as a senior data scientist at Twitter.

    Caesar Sengupta, Google’s vice-president for product management tweeted about the acquisition on Wednesday on his Twitter handle.

    source: / The Hindu / Home>  Business> Industry / by Special Correspondent / Bengaluru – July 12th, 2017

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    July 11th, 2017adminEducation, Science & Technology
    Students taking part in the Young Innovator Hunt will be asked to devise innovative missile solutions to keep at bay the British forces surrounding Srirangapatna.

    Students taking part in the Young Innovator Hunt will be asked to devise innovative missile solutions to keep at bay the British forces surrounding Srirangapatna.

    Students of Class V to X in Mysuru and Bengaluru are being given an opportunity to come up with missile technology solutions as part an education startup’s Young Innovator Hunt.

    Those who register for the hunt, are expected to imagine themselves fighting against the British forces from the island town of Srirangapatna on behalf of the 18th Century warrior king Tipu Sultan, who pioneered missile technology.

    The participating students will be asked to devise an innovative missile solution to keep at bay the British forces surrounding Srirangapatna, an island town surrounded by two branches of the Cauvery.

    Anglo-Mysore War

    “We will narrate the story of the second Anglo-Mysore War in which Tipu Sultan scored a historic victory against the British with the help of missile technology, said Dhruva V. Rao, founder, Science Ashram, a science education centre, which believes in teaching concepts of science through experiments. Also, a painting of the battle scenario will be provided to the students.

    “The primary reason for Tipu’s victory in the battle was the scientific approach towards problem-solving and high order thinking skills. Students are also expected to think out of the box and provide missile solutions to prevent the British forces from crossing the Cauvery and entering Srirangapatnam,” Mr. Rao added.

    Necessary material

    Science Ashram will provide a set of tools and necessary materials for students to come up with missile solutions. “The solution can range from a catapult to a ballista to a trebuchet. The missile solution should be around 20 ft,” Mr. Rao added.

    Pointing out that the missile technology was born out of such high order reasoning skills displayed by Tipu Sultan, Mr. Rao said NASA had displayed a painting of this battle scene at its centre in USA. “This was recognised by the late President Dr. Abdul Kalam at Wallops Flight Facility, the base for NASA’s Sounding Rocket Programme,” Mr. Rao said.

    Students, who register for the programme, will be allotted a day on which they have to visit the Science Ashram either in Bengaluru or Mysuru to develop their missile solution. “We can accommodate about 30 students per day at each centre”, he said.

    Last year

    Mr Rao is hopeful of young minds coming up with innovative solutions during the exercise. During its first Young Innovator Hunt last year, hundreds of students participated in a contest to come up with a solution to propel a car without fossil fuel. “Participants came up with interesting solutions that included the use of solar energy and electric energy to propel the cars,” he said.

    Interested schools may contact Science Ashram at 9980878105 or While each participant, as a token of appreciation, is given a fidget spinner from the Science Ashram, the winners are given an opportunity to visit ISRO and HAL along with the Science Ashram team, Mr. Rao added.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Laiqh A. Khan / July 11th, 2017

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    July 11th, 2017adminEducation, Science & Technology


    • Suraj has converted Coke, Red Bull and beer cans into mini-satellites to create an open-source database on several city parameters.
    • The CanSat project was launched in 2014 to provide students an experience of smallscale space missions through several workshops .
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    Bengaluru :

    You don’t have to be a space scientist to launch a satellite. All you have to do is stock up some empty beverage cans and turn them into mini satellites .

    The satellite collects data on temperature and pollution levels

    The satellite collects data on temperature and pollution levels

    That’s exactly what a city based computer engineer has been doing for the past two years. He has converted Coke,  Red Bull and beer cans into mini-satellites to create an open-source database on several city parameters, including temperature and pollution levels. Suraj Kumar Jana, 22, founder of  Opencube Labs, is the mastermind behind the project monikered as CanSat Development Programme. CanSat is a sounding rocket balloon payload built of open hardware (Arduino, RaspberryPi) with the entire satellite components assembled inside a 350ml soda can.

    The mini-satellite, which is launched from the Air Force base at Yelahanka, does a controlled descent with the help of a parachute and transmits captured data to the ground station. “The data collected by these mini-satellites include temperature and pollution levels, quality of air and water, ultra-violet penetration and traffic congestion levels in the city. These data can help in research purposes and our civic bodies can even use them to implement better policies,” said Suraj, who is a computer engineer from BMS Institute of Technology .

    The CanSat project was aunched in 2014 to provide students an experience of smallscale space missions through several workshops conducted across the city.

    Suraj said: “Receiving a real-time experience of smallscale space missions isn’t that reasonable and goes beyond affordability of Indian, middleclass students. Through our workshops, we provide students a first-hand knowledge on making, operating and launching of satellites.”

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News> Schools & Colleges / by Sreemoyee Chatterjee / July 10th, 2017

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    Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar with Shrishti Kulkarni (third from the left in front row, wearing a brown shirt and trousers), Joel Tony (in blue jeans and white shirt, next to the minister) and other winners of a national-level science contest in New Delhi. PIB

    Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar with Shrishti Kulkarni (third from the left in front row, wearing a brown shirt and trousers), Joel Tony (in blue jeans and white shirt, next to the minister) and other winners of a national-level science contest in New Delhi. PIB

    Two students from Bengaluru have won a national-level science contest organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-backed outfit Vijnana Bharati in association with Central government institutions.

    Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Prakash Javadekar felicitated the winners — Shrishti Kulkarni, a student of Gear Innovative International School, Koramangala, and Joel Tony, a student of Inventure Academy, Whitefield – at a function here.

    The minister also felicitated 12 other winners of the ‘Vidyarthi Vigyan Manthan’ awards for 2016-17. Each of the winners of the contest was awarded a medal and certificate of merit.

    “Physics is my favourite subject. It just fascinates me because I feel Physics has answers to every problem,” Tony, who will now be a student of Class IX, told Javadekar, when the minister asked him about his academic interests.

    Tony, however, kept his cards close to his chest about future plans. “I wouldn’t mind,” he said, when Javadekar asked him if he wanted to become a physicist.

    Shrishti, who has been promoted to class VIII, told the minister she aspired to become a scientist. “I have interest in Mathematics and Science,” she said.

    Vigyan Bharati organised the nationwide contest in three stages in collaboration with the National Council of Educational Research and Training and Vigyan Prasar, an autonomous institution under the Centre’s department of science and technology.

    A total of 1.4 lakh students from 1,472 schools, including 264 Kendriya Vidyalayas, participated in the contest. Out of them, 14 students were declared winners. The contest was held for students of Classes VI to XI.

    source: / Deccan Herald / Home> City / DH News Service / New Delhi / June 15th, 2017

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    June 15th, 2017adminRecords, All, Science & Technology

    Group for CAH gets listed with international body

    When a 15-day-old baby, who had a bout of mild diarrhoea and vomiting became severely dehydrated, the parents, though worried, did not sense something could be seriously wrong. However, they were shocked when their doctor diagnosed the baby with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH).

    CAH is an inherited disorder that affects the adrenal glands where the glands cannot produce cortisol and aldosterone, and instead produce an unwanted excess amount of androgens.

    A child with CAH lacks enzymes the adrenal glands use to produce hormones that help regulate metabolism, the immune system, blood pressure, and other essential functions. Parents with children suffering from it often have great difficulty in the upbringing of the child, including treatment, getting school admission and other support issues.

    For the first time, Shyam Nair and Deepa Kannan, parents of a CAH child, have started a support group called ‘CAH Support India’ ( ) involving a community of parents, grandparents and caregivers of CAH children. The International Coalition for Endocrine Patient Support Organisations worldwide has listed this support group as the first such group for endocrine disorders in India.

    The couple has also created a closed Facebook group for parents and endocrinologists and a Facebook page called Omkar’s journey with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia to chronicle all possible events in the life of a child with CAH . The link is

    Shaila S. Bhattacharyya, paediatric endocrinologist at Manipal Hospitals, who is also part of the support group, said: “A CAH child gets severely dehydrated even with a mild episode of diarrhoea and needs hospitalisation, which is stressful both for the child and the caregivers.”

    Although about one in 10,000 children are born with CAH, awareness about the condition is low. It is either not detected early or is misdiagnosed and turns fatal in most children within months of their birth. A neonatal hormone test 17-OHP should be done to screen for CAH in children before symptoms appear. “However, not all hospitals do this test,” the doctor added.

    Ms. Deepa Kannan, a yoga teacher, said she and her husband are trying to spread awareness about the condition, which is not known even in educated circles. “Having experienced the challenges in bringing up our child, who is seven years old now, our aim is to support parents and help them in bringing up their children,” she told The Hindu.

    Narrating how difficult it is for CAH children to get admission in regular schools as the child needs continuous monitoring, she said the aim of the support group is to change this mindset of schools. “Such discrimination towards children for no fault of theirs is unfair,” she said.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Afshan Yasmeen / Bengaluru – June 14th, 2017

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    Manipal :

    Researchers from the School of Life Sciences (SOLS) and Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University , have identified cancer causing mutations in long standing ulcerative colitis subjects at risk of progressing into colorectal cancer. They have identified cancer causing mutations in new as well as previously identified oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.

    The mutations identified in the study can be used as marker for early diagnosis of ulcerative colitis associated colorectal cancer. The finding of the study is published in Nature Publishing Group journal British Journal of Cancer entitled “Targeted sequencing based analyses of candidate gene variants in ulcerative colitis-associated colorectal neoplasia”.

    SOLS has been working in the field of cancer biomarker discovery, disease modelling and targeted drug delivery for the past several years, says its Director, Dr K. Satyamoorthy. He said: As there is an increased incidence of ulcerative colitis in India due to altered food habits, increased awareness, surveillance and availability of better diagnosis, it is important that early diagnosis of patients who are at risk of developing colorectal cancer is of paramount interest”.

    Dr. Satyamoorthy who also led the investigations said the major challenge in the study was long-period of follow up required to monitor the patients with the ulcerative colitis and reluctance of the patients to undergo colonoscopy. Innovative discoveries such as this can lead to better management of individuals with the disease for early detection and personalized care”. While congratulating the researchers Dr. H. Vinod Bhat, Vice Chancellor, Manipal University said the University is supporting molecular genetics programme as there is plenty to discover to the benefit of patients. Manipal University is in unique environment that researchers, clinical practitioners and public health experts can work together to bring about change in the society on how the diseases are managed in individuals”.

    Ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel condition with clinical symptoms of ulceration and bleeding of inner lining of colon. The age of onset for ulcerative colitis varies between 30 to 50 years. Ulcerative colitis subjects with more than seven years of pancolitis or more than 10 years of left sided colitis, experience a higher incidence of colorectal cancer than the rest of the population.

    Dr. Sanjiban Chakrabarty, lead author of the manuscript said the DNA mutations discovered in the study could distinguish early dysplastic changes in high risk ulcerative colitis and has the potential to predict an adverse outcome.” Lead clinical investigator Dr. Ganesh Pai said the results of the studies are important in view of the rising incidence of both ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer in the Asia Pacific in recent years. The results can help to better understand the development of colorectal cancer in ulcerative colitis, to develop tests for early diagnosis and to possibly select the best treatment strategies for subgroups of patients in the future”.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Mangalore News / by Stanley Pinto, TNN / June 07th, 2017

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    Researching the specks of froth on our polluted lakes has led to a city girl getting her name etched in immortality on the night sky.

    Sahithi Pingali, a Class 12 student of Inventure Academy, Bengaluru, joins an elite league of people to have a minor planet in the Milky Way named after them. The honour comes after she excelled in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition. As one of the 2,000 finalists, Ms. Pingali presented her paper, — “An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies”— based on her experiences after having developed an integrated mobile phone app and lake monitoring kit that obtains data through crowdsourcing.

    It wasn’t just an award at ISEF that she won. The Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which has the right to name minor planets, decided to name a planet after her after she came within the top 3% of ISEF. While the Indian contingent took home 21 awards in all, Ms. Pingali won three special awards and was awarded “overall second place” in the Earth and Environment Sciences category. “I definitely didn’t see this coming. I was expecting one special award at most. I haven’t yet digested the fact that I have a planet named after me,” she told The Hindu.

    Currently, she is pursuing an internship at the Civil & Environmental Engineering Department of the University of Michigan to further improve her method to detect water pollution. “I want to make it more accurate and expand it to detect arsenic,” she said.

    Her work on Varthur Lake has already seen her get a Gold Medal at ISWEEEP (The International Sustainable World Engineering Energy Environment Project) Olympiad at Houston (U.S.), earlier this year.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Staff Reporter / Bengaluru – June 07th, 2017

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    Bengaluru :

    The scientific landscape in India must move in an organic way towards an environment that encourages multi-disciplinary research so as to address the challenges that the country and the world face, scientists say.

    G Mugesh from the department of inorganic and physical chemistry, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), said: “There is no doubt that people working with different interfaces need to be encouraged. The challenges before us have shown that just one discipline is not enough, for example, to tackle several diseases that the world at large and India face.”

    Mugesh was conferred the National Prizes for Interfaces between Chemistry and Biology (2017), instituted by the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, in collaboration with CNR Rao Education Foundation. The award is donated by AVRA Laboratories, Hyderabad.

    This year’s award is also being conferred on Sandeep Verma of Indian Institute of Technology – Kanpur.

    “Compared to 20 years ago, when I joined IIT-Kanpur after my PhD and postdoctoral research in the US, there is a lot of change. All my training in the US was on how to do multi-disciplinary research and when I returned I found that the scientific landscape in India was still very puritan. Researchers like working in their respective areas and seldom interacted with other disciplines.”

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City News> Bangalore News / TNN / June 06th, 2017

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    June 6th, 2017adminRecords, All, Science & Technology

    Available in K.C. General Hospital, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health in Bengaluru and Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru

    Working towards a ‘Deafness Free Karnataka’, the State Health Department will launch a Cochlear Implant Project under Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakrama (RSBK) in K.C. General Hospital on Tuesday.

    The project, announced by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the 2016-2017 budget, is aimed at identifying deafness in newborns and treating it. The project will be implemented through the Suvarna Arogya Suraksha Trust.

    As per the 2011 census of Karnataka, there are 1,939 children in the age group of 0-6 years effected with hearing impairment. Most of these children are deaf since birth. As per experts’ opinion, cochlear implant surgery offers the best results when the patient is between the ages of 8 months and 6 years.

    Apart from K.C. General Hospital, the Health Department has empanelled Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health and Wenlock Hospital in Mangaluru for the project. Expert surgeons will conduct the surgeries, said a release.

    Children aged between 8 months and 6 years, who have been screened and diagnosed with severe profound hearing loss (if hearing aids are of no help) will be eligible for surgeries under thus project. “RBSK teams will screen children enrolled in anganwadis, government and government aided schools for hearing problems and refer such children to the jurisdictional district hospital for further evaluation and management,” the release said.

    A District Cochlear Committee (set up in every district) headed by the District Surgeon and comprising a ENT surgeon, audiologist, pediatrician, speech therapist, psychiatrist and Reproductive Child Health Officer (RCHO) will evaluate the children referred by the RBSK teams. If the child is found eligible for surgery, it will be referred to the nearest empanelled hospital (K.C. General, Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health or Wenlock Hospital).

    “The pre-operative evaluation, implant surgery and post-operative audio verbal therapy for one year will be free of cost under this project. The total cost of the package is ₹5.1 lakhs per child,” the release added.

    What is cochlear implant?

    It is a small electronic device that helps children with profound hearing loss. It is placed behind the ear. Once the implant is in place, the hearing apparatus conveys audio signals to the brain.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> Cities> Bengaluru / by Special Correspondent / June 05th, 2017

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    Mangaluru :

    Dr Shashi Kant Tiwari, director, Dr Tiwari Homeo Clinic , Bejai will present a scientific paper in the largest homeopathic conference scheduled to be held in Leipzig, Germany on June 14 and 15. The conference is being organized by world’s largest organisation of Homoeopaths, Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis (lmhi).

    Dr Tiwari will deliver his lecture on strategies of prescription, wherein he will discuss the methodology of treating acute, chronic and pathological problems affecting different age group and demonstrate genuineness and efficacy of his methodology through treated cases in his own clinic at Mangalore.

    He is the only person from Karnataka to get this opportunity to present and discuss his views in world homoeopathic conference wherein the dais will be shared by other two well-known authors on this special topic (prescription strategies). Dr Tiwari is well known in homoeopathic circle of Germany because of his famous book on prescribing and a book on child care.

    Former principal of Fr Muller Homoeopathic Medical College, Dr Tiwari is also the former director of National Institute of Homoeopathy, Kolkata.

    source: / The Times of India / News > City News> Mangalore News / by Jaideep Shenoy, TNN / June 03rd, 2017

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