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Impact welcomes our students returning to the campus! Coordinated by the institute's COVID-19 Task Force, the return of students to the campus to conduct research work has been initiated in a phase-wise manner, beginning from the latter half of August 2020. As of mid-October, about 350 PhD students and a few BS-MS students doing their final year research projects are back on campus. A new academic semester, fully online, began in September 2020 for current BS-MS students and PhD students taking coursework. We welcome all, to the old campus and to the new online spaces!  

RESEARCH

The somersault movement in Hydra 
Researcher teams from the Physics and Biology departments at IISER Pune and from Weizmann Institute of Science uncover differential tissue stiffness as the reason behind Hydra's somersault. Find more about the intriguing biomechanics at play in this model organism. More
Fibulin-1 protein in cancer
In this work, led by Dr. Nagaraj Balasubramanian and Dr. Keerthi Harikrishnan, the team showed that matrix Fibulin-1 protein can interact with and regulate the activity of the epidermal growth factor receptor in lung cancer cells. More

Display of small molecules on gene targets 
A new technology developed using click chemistry and CRISPR-Cas will allow display of small molecules at specific gene targets. Read about this work from the research groups of Prof. S.G. Srivatsan and collaborators in this news article
 
A hybrid material to trap toxic water pollutants
A new material developed by Prof. Sujit Ghosh’s group is shown to remove a wide range of toxic ions from water, including arsenic, which is found to contaminate groundwater in several regions of the world. More
 
A new method to desalinate salty water
In a paper in the journal Joule, Dr. Musthafa’s group reported a method to desalinate salty water during electricity generation without contaminating the water. More
Estimating the volume of glaciers
Paper from Dr. Argha Banerjee's group on estimating the volume of glaciers and the correction factors to be considered in the case of glaciers with extensive debris cover More

COVID-19 UPDATES

Anosmia in COVID-19
In a paper in the journal EClinicalMedicine, faculty member Dr. Nixon Abraham and PhD student Anindya Bhattacharyay, along with collaborators, report that by accurately measuring the ability to smell, one could detect an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. More
Epidemiological and serological surveillance of COVID-19 in Pune
The first set of results from a serological survey of selected high-incidence prabhags of Pune city were released in August 2019. The study was conducted in collaboration with SPPU, THSTI, CMC Vellore, and Pune Municipal Corporation, with support from Persistent Foundation. More  
COVID-19 testing centre
Run with the help of volunteers, as of Oct 1, 2020, the COVID-19 testing centre has now tested over 25,000 samples arriving from hospitals in Pune. Kudos to all involved, for their service to the cause! 
10Q-10P series
Produced by the Science Media Centre at IISER Pune, in this new series, through 10 Questions, 10 Punekars share their professional and personal observations on negotiating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. More
MANAV, the Human Atlas Initiative 
Engaging with college students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the MANAV project team has conducted about 100 webinars since April 2020, reaching out to 17900+ students from 28 states and 6 union territories of India. An article in Research Matters highlights the team's work.

IISER PUNE IN THE MEDIA

Links to some of the recent articles in news and media outlets about research and researchers at IISER Pune.
  • On the building of an optical atomic clock by researchers at IISER Pune and IUCAA Pune The Wire
  • A recent paper from Dr. Siddhesh Kamat and team @KamatLab_IISER among those featured in this news bulletin by India Alliance
  • Dr. Devapriya Chattopadhyay shares her career story SheThePeople
  • IISER team maps evolutionary dispersal patterns The Hindu 
  • An interview with Dr. Aurnab Ghose explaining the recent serosurvey Rajya Sabha TV
  • A DIY solar water bottle distillery prepared by the Science Activity Centre at IISER Pune, by Ashok Rupner in the Online Student Edition of Times of India
  • Dr. Neelesh Dahanukar was part of a collaborative study that identified a new family of bony fish Indian Express
  • On the work undertaken by the team of students participating at the iGEM 2020 synthetic biology competition in SakalPune Mirror

PARTNERSHIPS AND ENDOWMENTS

Technology transfer MoU for low-cost ventilator
As part of a memorandum of understanding with IISER Pune, Accurate Gauging & Instruments Pvt. Ltd. will build prototypes of the ICU ventilator, developed at IISER Pune, for regulatory approvals. More

Contributions from ICICI Lombard and from IDeaS 
ICICI Lombard funded an RT-PCR machine for use at the COVID-19 testing centre at IISER Pune by contributing Rs. 20 lakh (More). Separately, Integrated Decisions and Systems (India) Pvt Ltd. Pune, endowed Rs. 2 lakh for the COVID-19 testing centre (More). This timely support from ICICI Lombard and from IDeaS have greatly contributed to the Centre's efforts.

Support for Smt. Indrani Balan Science Activity Centre 
The Science Activity Centre on the campus has been running educational programmes for school teachers and students since 2017.

By adapting to an online mode of engagement, in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, the Centre has reached out to several lakhs of participants over the past weeks. Read here about these programmes and find an opportunity to support if the cause resonates with you.

For an overview of activities at IISER Pune that you might like to support, visit this page on Giving to IISER Pune. 

WEBINARS AND WORKSHOPS

Webinar series on Indian democracy 
The Humanities and Social Sciences department has organised a webinar series on Indian democracy. The talks, planned as one per month until December so far, will facilitate a nuanced understanding of the ideas that shape our collective existence.
Financial management of projects
An online training session on financial management of projects was conducted by Dr. Vandana Gambhir and CA Vasundhara Laad from IISER Pune on Oct 6, 2020. The target audience for this open event was scientists, technologists, and professionals working in the domain.
Online science demo series
Smt. Indrani Balan Science Activity Centre continues to run the online demo series the team initiated in June this year, every Sunday at 11 am on YouTube. Additionally, in association with the Maharashtra State Council of Education Research and Training (MSCERT) Pune, the Centre has launched a series of online workshops in Marathi for school science and mathematics teachers.
Workshops on scientific illustration and science filmmaking
Organised by the Science Media Centre at IISER Pune, these two online 5-day workshops were conducted by science illustrator Dr. Ipsa Jain and film director Hari M. Mohanan, respectively. More here and here
Webinar series on teaching the next-gen
Organised in collaboration with the Royal Society of Chemistry, this webinar series aims to discuss key topics in education and to create a cohort of teachers that share the best practices in teaching and learning. More
30-30 STEM programme
IISER Pune is a partner in the 30-30 STEM online programme on concepts in science and math launched in August 2020 by the Central Board of Secondary Education and offered by the Center for Creative Learning at IIT Gandhinagar.

IISER PUNE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

LINKEDIN
Dr. Devapriya Chattopadhyay, Chair and Associate Professor from the Earth and Climate Sciences department at IISER Pune, shares her career story on SheThePeople channel.
TWITTER
Honourable Minister of Education Shri Ramesh Pokhriyal on the efforts by researchers from IISER Pune and IUCAA Pune to build India’s first optical atomic clocks. More
 
FACEBOOK
In a video produced by the Science Media Centre, researchers from the Biology department at IISER Pune highlight the role of bats in our ecosystem and urge that bats not be persecuted during the current pandemic.
TWITTER
Work done from Prof. Sutirth Dey's PhD days at JNCASR featured in the book Conceptual Breakthroughs in Evolutionary Ecology by Laurence Mueller that traces the history of evolutionary ecology. (ImageMore  
 
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The Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune is an autonomous research and teaching organisation of the Ministry of Education, Government of India. 

This newsletter is produced by the Research Communications Office in association with the Partnerships and Outreach Office of IISER Pune. You can reach us on rescomm@acads.iiserpune.ac.in

Mailing Address: IISER Pune, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pune 411 008, Maharashtra, India 

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