WITH the first sunrays in the morning, mouse-ear cress raises its leaves and then lets them droop as the sun sets. Just like honeybees know when to set out to collect nectar. Most organisms have a built-in clock that regulates their biological functions on a roughly 12-hour schedule. Though researchers have identified genes that follow the circadian clock, what gears the clock remained unknown, until now.

Nirbhai Singh, an undertrial, wrote a letter from Ludhiana’s Central Jail five years ago and stirred industry and government into action. Addressed to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana, the letter expressed concern over pollution in the city. The court then began to look into the state of environment, in particular the Buddha Nallah. The government took up the matter in earnest and as a result, Ludhiana now has a Rs 650 crore remedial action plan. It aims to treat all its wastewater by March 2012.

Yellow pigment clue to evolution

Bilirubin, responsible for the yellowish tinge in the skin, eyes and nails of jaundice patients, has for the first time been identified in plants. The pigment was discovered in Strelitzia reginae Aiton, commonly know as the Bird of Paradise plant. It is indigenous to South Africa and known for its orange and blue inflorescence.

Every year, during monsoon, it is the same story for roads across India. Potholes, potholes and more potholes. It requires a small intervention to not only help reduce costs incurred in repairing a damaged stretch but also increase groundwater levels. Yet, the government has failed to do so.

The glitz and glamour at the biggest auto show in Delhi drew the highest number of footfalls ever.

The show unveiled dreams and many of them had a green wrap this time.

From July people in Belarus will not be allowed to enter Internet cafes without passports or other identification proofs.

Deciding  between a friend and foe can become challenging. In plants, this dilemma takes a worse dimension because both the friend and foe are the same sometimes.

It is popular in periods of Hindu religious fasting like Navratri. It is also commonly found on the shelves of health food stores. But for the tribals in the Sahyadri hills in Maharashtra, buckwheat is a way of life.

Ever wondered what it is that makes a glass of liquid as mundane as water the most satisfying of all drinks? Which part of the tongue senses this as the irreplaceable quencher on a hot and thirsty day?


An innovative programme has given the hearing impaired greater access to the historical and cultural wealth of Havana. A sign language interpreter would accompany tourists to Old Havana, the historic part of the Cuban capital, if the group included hearing impaired.