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    Recreating heritage: An artistic rendering of the temple with its soaring tower. At right is Adam Hardy, lead architect for the project.

    Recreating heritage: An artistic rendering of the temple with its soaring tower. At right is Adam Hardy, lead architect for the project.

    Cardiff architect revives 800-year-old tradition of building with soapstone in Karnataka

    An architectural style that goes back 800 years, a plan for an ornate 21st century temple built out of soapstone in an obscure village, and an architect from Wales to see it through.

    That is the story of the Hoysala-inspired Lord Venkateshwara temple at Venkatapura, a few km away from Mulbagal in Kolar district of Karnataka. The usually quiet hamlet hums with activity as people make a clearing, where the fields lead to a plateau.

    Funded by donations

    The temple, designed in the striking Hoysala style, will come up on seven acres of land here, funded by donations.

    The structure shuns modern-day cement. Floated by a public trust, it promises to be bigger than the Belur Chennakeshava temple. Leading the team is architect Adam Hardy, Professor of Asian Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University.

    The Vimana, or tower, will stand 108 feet tall.

    The temple has been commissioned by a public trust. “It was my father’s dream to have a temple in Venkatapura,” says Aravind Reddy, from the same village and treasurer of the Sri Kalyana Venkateshwara Hoysala Art Foundation. “I have always been fascinated by Hoysala architecture and wanted to revive the tradition. When we started, we planned a small temple with a budget of ₹15 to ₹20 lakh,” he says. The project is now estimated to cost at least ₹300 crore.

    Classic iconography

    Prof. Hardy says, “The Hoysala style is known for architectural planning, detailed iconography, beautifully carved pillars and use of soapstone instead of sandstone. To replicate it will be no easy job.”

    Quest for the architect

    The planners had no problem sourcing sculptors, artists and even the material. It was the search for an architect who could recreate the Hoysala magic that was the bigger challenge, one that took years to solve.

    A chance meeting with Yashaswini Sharma, architect and author of Bangalore: The Early City AD 1537-1799, in 2009 gave the project its first chance of success. “When I told her I wanted to build a Hoysala temple, She showed me the book written by Mr. Hardy. I found some 60 plans for a Hoysala temple in his book. I knew I had to meet him,” says Mr. Reddy.

    It so happened that the scholar was visiting India at the time. “It was after I met him that the scale of the project became mind-boggling,” says Mr. Reddy. It took eight years of designing and redesigning the plan before construction began a few days ago.

    The trust wants its creation to reflect the best of the three famous temples in Arsikere, Belur and Halebid.

    The foundation for the ambitious plan was laid on June 14, and the ceremony was attended by the erstwhile Maharaja of Mysore Yaduveera Chamaraja Wadiyar.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Sarumathi K  / Bengaluru – June 15th, 2017

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    Bengaluru :

    Bengalureans Santosh Chandrasekhar, 26, Aiman S, 24 and Sumit Dasgupta , 24 started working on their dream project Rangzen – a 39-minute-long documentary film on Tibetans, hardly did they know it will fetch this trio the award for best documentary in Bangalore Short Film Festival 2017.

    Not just that, this documentary film featuring lives of Tibetans who had escaped Chinese invasion and took refuge in India has made three Bengalureans proud by bagging a special jury award at International Film Festival of Prayag, Delhi and the audience award at Feel the Reel International Film Festival in the UK, this year.

    Santosh Chandrasekhar, assistant professor at a city college, “The movie is all about their struggle to hold on to their Tibetan identity in a foreign land and how they dream to go back to a nation that doesn’t exist anymore. The film has got answers to seeking their identities and their perpetual fight for freedom and a struggle to find their self.”

    “We, through this documentary, were trying to initiate discourses related to the Tibetan struggle for freedom and generate awareness about our ‘guests’ among our fellow Indians. Although in exile for over 56 years, we fail to recognise Tibetans. We ignorantly see them as either northeasterners or Chinese. The Tibetan freedom struggle being one of the longest after the exodus of the Jews can put this documentary film into major political articulation,” added Aiman S, a copy writer and another maker of this documentary. The documentary has also made an entry to official selection category at International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala and Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, 2017.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / by Sreemoyee Chatterjee / TNN / June 13th, 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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    Dr. Neeraj Patil who lost to Justine Greening in the British Parliamentary elections held on June 8.

    Dr. Neeraj Patil who lost to Justine Greening in the British Parliamentary elections held on June 8.

    The first Kannadiga ever to stand in the British Parliamentary elections, Neeraj Patil lost to Justine Greening, a Conservative Party candidate and the Education Minister of Britain, in the polls held on June 8. A native of Kamalapur in Kalaburagi district and former Mayor of London Borough of Lambeth, Dr. Neeraj was selected by the Labour Party to represent the constituency of Putney considering his service as an emergency doctor at St George’s Hospital in London, used by the residents of Putney.

    Dr. Patil lost by a narrow margin of 1,554 votes to Ms. Greening who secured 20,679 of 46,894 the votes polled. Though there were six candidates in the fray, the fight was between Mr. Patil and Ms. Greening. Liberal Democrats candidate Ryan Mercer polled 5448 votes followed by Green Party candidate Benjamin Joseph Fletcher (1,107), UK Independent Party candidate Patricia Mary Ward (447) and Independent candidate Catherine Jane Richardson (58). There were 112 invalid votes. The counting of the votes was held at Wandsworth council with James Maddan as returning officer of Putney constituency.

    Addressing the gathering after the vote-count, Dr. Patil congratulated Ms. Greening, who has been retaining the seat since 2005 and thanked the Labour Party for selecting him to run for the British Parliament. Mr. Keith Vaz, the longest serving Labour MP of Indian origin, campaigned for Dr. Patil in Putney constituency.

    Dr. Patil is attributed to have played an instrumental role in getting the statue of the 12th century philosopher and social reformer Basavanna installed at the Albert Embankment Gardens in the London Borough of Lambeth. He was honoured with “The Rajyotsava Award” by the Government of Karnataka in 2008.

    Labour Party had selected 14 Indians, Conservative party 13 and Liberal Democrats 9, respectively as their Parliamentary candidates. The general elections were called following the Brexit referendum by Prime Minister Theresa May.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> News> States> Karnataka / by Kumar Buradikatti / Kalaburagi – June 09th, 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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    Kartik Mandaville has wide experience working with start-ups

    Kartik Mandaville has wide experience working with start-ups

    Kartik, 26, spoke at RecTech 2017 in Barcelona, one-of-a-kind forum

    At 26, Kartik Mandaville, chief executive officer (CEO) and founder of SpringRole — a machine learning-based recruiting software in Bengaluru and Los Angeles — is the youngest to address the RecTech 2017, the only conference focused on innovation in recruitment advertising and technology outside of the US.

    The event offers a one-of-a-kind forum for senior executives in publishing and technology companies that offer talent acquisition solutions.

    The conference focussed on mobile transformations, “total candidate focus”, programmatic advertising, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

    Held from May 17-19, it played host to an impressive group of recruitment experts and influential speakers from around the world.

    Sharing his experience with Bangalore Mirror, Kartik Mandaville said it was a wonderful experience to share the stage with leaders from top companies in the USA and Europe. “Moreover, I was probably the youngest there. There was immense learning from the conference, being part of the panel and conducting the workshop. I must admit, I was nervous, but the workshop was well received and I was surprised to find a queue of people waiting to talk to me, which was humbling. Mostly we discussed about the future of recruitment – how artificial intelligence is going to help in the process and make it convenient for HR (human resources) managers,” he said.

    More than 100 high-level executives from recruitment advertising and tech companies attended the conference, mainly from Europe, the US, Latin America and Africa.

    Mandaville is a serial entrepreneur who also serves as senior technical advisor at Science in Santa Monica, California, and other companies.

    He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) with Masters from the Language Technologies Institute focussing on big data, machine learning, natural language processing and BioTech.

    Mandaville has wide experience working with start-ups. At Science, he worked with early-stage start-ups to architecting out their technology, building the team and scaling.

    He built the Science India team having 40-plus software engineers and product working across the portfolio companies.

    Before joining CMU, he was a full-stack developer working at Shareaholic on the product distribution channel and different web properties. As a student at Manipal University, he launched ‘Autobudder’ in 2010 for Facebook, an application that automatically wishes friends on their birthdays.

    The following year, he was part of the team that launched ‘Let Me Know’, a unique portal that helps students across India find opportunities of various kinds such as internships, workshops, seminars, conferences, tech-fests, literary events and much more.

    source: / Bangalore Mirror / Home> News> State / by Deepthi Sanjiv, Bangalore Mirror Bureau / May 23rd, 2017

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    Bengaluru doctor designs low-cost stereotactic head frame

    In brain surgeries, precision is everything — a shift of a few millimetres can make the difference between a successful surgery and putting a patient in coma. One device that improves the accuracy of neurosurgery is the stereotactic head frame, which provides a 3-dimensional coordinate system to help surgeons get the precise location of a nerve or tumour in the brain.

    However, the device currently used is prohibitively expensive, costing between ₹75 lakh to ₹1 crore. A city-based doctor has designed a low-cost stereotactic frame which can be used to operate on both sides of the brain at a time, unlike conventional frames currently used in hospitals.

    The frame designed by Murali Mohan, senior neurosurgeon with BRAINS Sparsh Hospitals, is made of medical grade titanium and costs one-third the current price. Engineers Sharath Bhat and Sadashiv Bhat of the Mahalasa Medical Technology, Bengaluru, developed the device.

    Dr. Mohan’s inspiration was the late Balasubramaniam Ramamurthi, known as the father of Indian neurosurgery.

    The frame which is CE marked (it conforms to European standards) and is pending patent, is currently being used by a doctors in around six to seven hospitals in Bengaluru and Hyderabad for biopsies and deep brain simulations.

    source: / The Hindu / Home> Sci-Tech> Health / by Cynthia Anand / Bengaluru – May23rd, 2017

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    Nikhiya Shamsher, who won the Diana Legacy Award, with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and Prince Harry

    Nikhiya Shamsher, who won the Diana Legacy Award, with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (R) and Prince Harry

    Her crusade for better education , especially for under-privileged children, has won 14-year-old Nikhiya Shamsher from Bengaluru the Diana Legacy Award. The award was given away last week by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry at the St Jame’s Palace, UK.

    In December 2015, Nikhiya realized there are many children who do not have access to basic school supplies.Often entire classrooms of children share a single textbook, and many walk barefoot to school. While more children were attending school, she heard stories of bright young students dropping out because of poor educational foundation.

    Yearn to Learn, the project spearheaded by Nikhiya, has, so far, set up 15 science laboratories which are benefiting 3,500 students from various schools. Nikhiya started her e-commerce website – -to raise funds for her laboratory projects. Recently , she also funded the education of 25 blind children.

    Inspired by Diana’s words -“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you” – the award, which marks 20 years since her death, recognizes young students who have socially impacted people through their actions. The award identified 20 winners as legacies of the princess.

    Nikhiya was the only Indian among 20 winners rep resenting countries like the United Arab Emirates, UK, US, Canada, Belize, among others. This year, 12,000 social changemakers were nominated for the award. “The award has strengthened my believe in my project, giving me the confidence that I am doing the right thing,” said Nikhiya.”The benefit of this recognition is that a lot more people would now be interested and serious about the cause I’m working towards.”

    Asked why she was so keen on bringing about a change in the education space, the teen said: “Because it is the single most important solution to all our issues.” Meeting the royal family was a unique experience for Nikhiya, who wasn’t quite expecting the award.

    “The royal family was extremely encouraging and gave us the confidence that we were doing the right thing and keeping alive Princess Diana’s tradition,” she said, adding, “None of this would have been possible without the support of my parents and my school (Greenwood High).”

    Her father Dr Shahid Shamsher, a trichologist, said: “We want her to follow the path she desires. She has this innate sense of responsibility and always keeps herself occupied and we know that she’ll go a long way.”

    Added Niru Agarwal, trustee, Greenwood High: “At a tender age like hers, to think about the welfare and education of the downtrodden and selflessly work for it is noteworthy . She is a role model to her peers. Her qualities of kindness, compassion and service are truly admirable.”

    In addition to the Diana Legacy Award, Nikhiya’s photo with information on her projects and services have been hosted at an exhibition at Althorp House, the final resting place of Princess Diana. Bengaluru

    The Global Inclusion Award

    Nikhiya was the sole winner from India at the Global Inclusion Awards, held in Berlin on May 3. She was chosen from among other contenders for the Global Winner of the Outstanding Youth Economic Citizenship Award 2017. The event was hosted by Germany’s G20 Presidency and Child and Youth Finance International, Germany.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / by Deepika Burli / May 25th, 2017

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    Bengaluru :

    City scientists have found a new molecule that can enhance the efficiency of the autophagy process in brain cells, that can significantly reduce their degeneration, which is the cause of diseases like Parkinson’s.

    The scientists have initiated procedures to patent the process of discovery and the molecule itself -a potential drug -both of which have already been peer reviewed by international scientists.

    Autophagy is our body’s housekeeping mechanism: a process where healthy cells clean up toxic proteins, preventing them from aggregating and killing the cells. While research on autophagy first emerged in the 1960s, a lot of serious work has happened in the past decade or so. In fact, the 2016 Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine went to Japan’s Yoshinori Ohsumi for his work in autophagy.

    A major reason for diseases like Parkinson’s -which don’t have a cure yet -is aggregation of toxic proteins and inefficient autophagy or the complete lack of it, thereby resulting in the death of brain cells (neurodegeneration).

    The new molecule, 6-Bio, discovered by scientists from the molecular biology and genetics unit (MBGU) at Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), acts an autophagy modulator.”It (6-Bio) is capable of restoring autophagy and aid clearance of toxic protein aggregates, which otherwise form clumps and kill neu rons (brain cells),” said Ravi Manjithaya from MBGU.

    Lead author of the paper S N Suresh

    Lead author of the paper S N Suresh

    Unlike most other cells in the body, neurons aren’t easily replaceable, which means that once they are lost, they cannot be recovered. The research was led by Manjithaya and the lead author of the scientific paper was S N Suresh, a PhD student at MBGU under Manjithaya. Aravinda Chavalmane and Shashank Rai also contributed to the research.

    What does 6-BIO do ?

    The molecule enables neuroprotection by autophagy. It augments the efficiency of the autophagy process by enhancing the basal level (the speed at which autophagy happens). “Simply put, it quickens the process of cells taking bad proteins, which have formed clumps, to the cleanroom,” Manjithaya said. The research found a popular protein called GSK-3 Beta (a glycogen synthase protein) doesn’t allow autophagy to take place at a fast pace in brains cells affected by Parkinson’s and other similar diseases. “Our molecule removes this and quickens the process of autophagy,” he said.

    Tests and publishing

    The findings were published in Autophagy, a scientific journal edited by autophagy scientist Daniel J Klionsky.”Before sending them for peer review and publishing, we conducted tests in our lab, which were positive,” Manjithaya said.
    Bad proteins which were found to cause neurodegenerative diseases were produced in yeast, which reacted in the same way as our brain cells. “The proteins began to form clumps and kill the yeast. We then introduced 6-Bio into the yeast and saw if it could prevent the death of the cells. It worked,” Manjithaya explained. A large part of Nobel laureate Ohsumi’s work on autophagy involved experiments on yeast.

    Following this, the team tested 6-Bio on a mouse whose brain cells behaved like those of patients with Parkinson’s, and the results were positive again.

    They teamed up with James Chelliah and Abhik Paul from JNCASR’s Chelliah Lab and Phalguni Alladi, Vidyadhara DJ and Yarreiphang Haorei from Nimhans. Researchers said the discovery is not a magical cure for Parkinson’s but a breakthrough that can help find a therapeutic solution.

    source: / The Times of India / News> City News> Bangalore News / Chethan Kumar / TNN / May 23rd, 2017

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    Mangaluru :

    UK-based orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Anand A  Shetty will start a clinical application of stem cell research in the city along with Nitte University. This will help in curing cancer and other related ailments.

    Dr Shetty, who hails from Asode near Koteshwara in Udupi district, was honoured with the ‘Outstanding Clinical Excellence’ award by the UK’s House of Lords this year. Dr Shetty is winner of a host of awards including the prestigious Hunterian Surgical Medal and Hunterian Professorship for 2017 awarded by the Royal College of Surgeons of England for his research on stem cells in particular cartilage repair. Only four Indians have received this award so far.

    A knee surgeon and director of stem cell research at Canterbury Christ Church University, Dr Shetty’s main interest lies in stem cell research, cartilage transplant, accelerated bone healing, and robotics in minimally invasive surgery.

    In an exclusive tete-a-tete with TOI, Shetty spoke about his future plans for India especially the coastal city. “I began my research on stem cells around three decades ago when it was still in its very nascent stage. I got into cartilage and bone repair area. The biggest breakthrough was in 2000, where we did the first bone transplant surgery in the UK. To get such facility to India, with help of Nitte University, we set-up a multi crore facility in Deralakatte campus three years ago and a similar lab set-up in Hubballi for Dharmasthala hospital,” explained Dr Shetty.

    He adds in the second phase his team wants go for cloning. “We want to clone high-milk yielding cow and pig for meat production. To start the process, we want to have clinical application in five years or by 2020 in Mangaluru,” he asserted.

    Indian physicians, Dr Shetty says are most respected and trusted in the UK. If a British citizen has a health issue, he first tries to see an Indian doctor. “Racism did exist when I first entered the profession the 1980s. It changed in 1996 when the Labour government came to power,” he adds.

    Apart from his surgical innovations, Dr Shetty is also the first surgeon to use robotics in arthroscopic knee surgery and gel-based cartilage repair surgery in the UK.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> News> City News> Mangalore News / by Kevin Mendonsa / TNN / May 20th, 2017

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