Kabir Firaque is a civil engineering graduate-turned-news journalist with an interest in recreational mathematics and cinema. His interactive blog on puzzles, 'Problematics', appears weekly.
Shakuntala Devi, the subject of a new film, was never formally educated, and her performance in cognitive tests was not exceptional. How then could she multiply 13-digit numbers in seconds, and extract cube roots instantly?
Yes, we will always have the films. But the stars are mostly gone — with due respect to the few who remain, de Havilland was our strongest surviving link to the Golden Age. The era has truly ended.
On her 100th birth anniversary, a look at Rosalind Franklin's DNA image that helped three men win the Nobel, and her research on viruses and coal
Freeze frames of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein show dramatic change of shape after it fuses with a human cell. Scientists suggest it may help distract our immune system; findings may matter in vaccine development
The researchers describe a new mathematical model that they say can be used to predict the early spread of respiratory viruses including Covid-19, and the role of respiratory droplets in that spread.
Among C S Seshadri's key contributions, the founding of Chennai Mathematical Institute and breakthrough research in algebraic geometry
In clinching evidence, scientists demonstrate that SARS-CoV-2 is unable to replicate in mosquitoes even when they are injected with it
The paper suggests that continued trends in female educational attainment and access to contraception will hasten declines in fertility and slow population growth.
New study provides a detailed picture of a monster dinosaur that had much in common with birds. A look at the history of its discovery, and how new findings differ from previous depictions.
When a star dies, it releases various elements including carbon into the surroundings. New study on white dwarfs sets size limits for the stars that enriched the Milky Way with carbon
What kind of masks works best, given that not everyone has access to an N-95? What material, and what shape can best arrest droplets from the mouth, and the smallest particles (aerosols)?
Do not multiply your dog’s age by 7, a thumb rule that researchers describe as a myth. In new formula, they track patterns in the genome over time, and show how a dog’s age corresponds to a human's age.
Ultraviolet radiation in the 200-300 nanometre range is known to destroy the virus, making it incapable of reproducing and infecting, according to Pennsylvania State University, which was involved in the new research.
Health Ministry has added it to the list of Covid-19 symptoms. But what is it about the novel coronavirus that causes some patients to lose their sense of smell? A look at recent research.
Studies over the years have sought to quantify the infection risk. Here, we look at two recent ones — neither study, however, looks specifically at the coronavirus pandemic.
A new concern has emerged around pregnant women who have Covid-19 — damaged placentas.
One antibody, called S309, taken from a SARS survivor from 2003, has been shown in the lab to neutralise SARS-CoV-2. The results were reported in Nature this week.
A group of molecules that should be fighting the virus are diminished with age and chronic health problems, researchers report in the journal Aging and Disease.
Meet Troglomyces twitteri, a fungus spotted on a Twitter image by a Denmark biologist. What is this species, and what is its relationship with millipedes?
How many lives have been saved as a result of reduced pollution? Here's what a new study has found in China.
The fact that cats can get infected by the coronavirus has been known for some time now; what do the latest findings add to existing knowledge?
From her stress on handwashing to the use of data to assess healthcare outcomes, the battle against the pandemic is a constant reminder of her work. Yet the same pandemic threatens to shut down a museum dedicated to her.
Researchers in France have put forward a hypothesis that the presence of nicotine actually equips the body to fight COVID-19.
Remdesivir is designed to obstruct the stage of replication, when the virus creates copies of itself, followed endlessly by the copies creating copies of themselves.
Researchers have reported that they have determined the 3D structure of this “copy machine”. This makes it possible to investigate how drugs such as remdesivir work, they note.