Feature Articles

Snake venom study reveals troubling shortcomings in antivenom therapy in India

Commercially available antivenoms in India can be ineffective in treating bites from certain medically important yet neglected snakes, a study conducted by the Evolutionary Venomics Lab (www.venomicslab.com), has shown. These so called the ‘neglected many’, are snakes whose bites are harmful to humans, yet remain poorly studied.

New publication: Past climate change and the diversification of geckos from Peninsular India.

geckos

Around 33.5 million years ago, during the Eocene–Oligocene period, there was an abrupt shift towards a cooler drier climate. This resulted in a corresponding shift in biological diversity globally. In Peninsular India, the study of fossil pollens suggests a shift from wet rainforest vegetation to dry and seasonal species during this period. However, the grassland and open habitats that dominate the region today expanded relatively recently as a result of the Late Miocene aridification ~ 11 million years ago.

New species of tree crickets from Mexico named after CES alumna Natasha Mhatre

tree cricket

The Otomi tree cricket (Oecanthus mhatreae sp. nov.) which was recently described from the tropical deciduous forests of central Mexico has been named after a former CES student – Dr. Natasha Mhatre.  

Natasha gives us a behind-the scenes peek into how a part of the natural world came to bear her name. Read the full story here: https://twitter.com/NatashaMhatre/status/1167118606125195264

New publication: Morphological diversification of geckos from Peninsular India

Morphology

Studying adaptive radiations, such as Darwin's finches from the Galápagos Islands, can give us key insights into generalities of ecomorphological diversification. This paper from the Karanth lab examines morphological diversification in Hemidactylus geckos from Peninsular India that occur in a wide range of microhabitats. 

Launch of the 'Digital Flora of Peninsular India'

Flora of Peninsular India

The Centre for Ecological Sciences at IISc has a herbarium with a large collection of over 16000 species of plants from Karnataka, Western and Eastern Ghats and other parts of peninsular India. Over the past twelve years, Prof. Sankara Rao, a retired professor from the Biochemistry department of IISc and an expert botanist, and his small team of volunteers, have been digitizing the entire collection and produced a Digital Flora of Karnataka that is freely available online (http://florakarnataka.ces.iisc.ac.in).

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