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Concept: Jawaharlal Nehru

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Arun Shukla received his master’s degree in Biotechnology from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, and joined the lab of Nobel laureate Hartmut Michel at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany, for his PhD. He then moved to the United States for his postdoctoral work with Robert Lefkowitz at Duke University (Durham, NC) in a very close collaboration with Brian Kobilka (Stanford University, CA). Arun became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine at Duke University in 2011, before returning to India in April 2014 as an Assistant Professor at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur as a Wellcome Trust DBT India Alliance Intermediate Fellow. His research is centred on G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), and he applies molecular, cellular and structural biology methods to understand the signalling and activation pathways of GPCRs.

Concepts: University, India, Academic degree, North Carolina, Doctorate, Indian National Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru, Max Planck Society

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Chilli (Capsicum sp.) is one of the economically important spice and vegetable crops grown in India and suffers great losses due to the infection of begomoviruses. Conventional breeding approaches have resulted in development of a few cultivars of chilli resistant to begomoviruses. A severe leaf curl disease was observed on one such resistant chilli cultivar (Capsicum annuum cv. Kalyanpur Chanchal) grown in the experimental field of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Four different viral genomic components namely, Chilli leaf curl virus (DNA A), Tomato leaf curl Bangladesh betasatellite (DNA β), Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus (DNA A), and Tomato leaf curl Gujarat virus (DNA B) were associated with the severe leaf curl disease. Further, frequent association of these four genomic components was also observed in symptomatic plants of other chilli cultivars (Capsicum annuum cv. Kashi Anmol and Capsicum chinense cv. Bhut Jolokia) grown in the experimental field. Interaction studies among the isolated viral components revealed that Nicotiana benthamiana and chilli plants inoculated with four genomic components of begomoviruses exhibited severe leaf curl disease symptoms. In addition, this synergistic interaction resulted in increased viral DNA accumulation in infected plants. Resistant chilli plants co-inoculated with four genomic components of begomoviruses showed drastic reduction of host basal (ascorbate peroxidase, thionin, polyphenol oxidase) and specific defense-related gene (NBS-LRR) expression. Our results suggested that synergistic interaction among begomoviruses created permissive cellular environment in the resistant chilli plants which leads to breakdown of natural resistance, a phenomenon observed for the first time in chilli.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Genetics, Organism, India, Capsicum annuum, Capsicum, Jawaharlal Nehru

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Group photo of the participants at the chromosome stability meeting in Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore, India. The meeting brought together the Indian scientific community and investigators from other countries working on various aspects of chromosome stability.

Concepts: Scientific method, Research, India, Indian National Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indian independence movement, Sino-Indian War, Manchanahalli Rangaswamy Satyanarayana Rao

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*Work attributed to Department of Pediatric Orthopaedics, Chacha Nehru Bal Chikitsalaya, Geeta Colony, Delhi-110031(India)This study tested the hypothesis whether the lymphocyte/monocyte ratio (L/M ratio) altered significantly during treatment of paediatric osteoarticular tuberculosis (OATB) for it to be a useful monitor of the response to therapy.

Concepts: Medicine, Pediatrics, Specialty, Jawaharlal Nehru

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Abundance of CaCO3 rich soil dust is a typical feature of atmospheric environment in the Indian region. During prevailing dry weather conditions, dustfall is deposited onto the foliar surfaces of plant affecting their morphology, stomata and the levels of biochemical constituents. This study reports the chemical characteristics of dustfall, its effect on foliar morphology and biochemical constituents of a medicinal plant (Morus alba) at two sites which are differentiated on the basis of landuse pattern, viz., (i) residential, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), and (ii) industrial, Sahibabad (SB), located in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi. Dustfall was characterized for major anions (F(-), Cl(-), NO3 (-) and SO4 (–)) and cations (Na(+), NH4 (+), K(+), Mg(++) and Ca(++)). Biochemical parameters such as chlorophyll a, chlorophyll b, total chlorophyll, carotenoid, proline and ascorbic acid were determined in foliar samples. The results showed that the dustfall fluxes of all the major ions were found to be higher at the industrial site (SB) as compared to the residential site (JNU). Foliar analysis revealed that the levels of biochemical parameters were more affected at SB site due to higher levels of dust SO4 (–) contributed by various anthropogenic sources resulting in more stressful conditions affecting the biochemistry of the plant. The possible entry pathways for dust SO4 (–) into foliar cells are also discussed in the paper. It was noticed that the deposition of urban dust was responsible for the damage of trichome, epidermis, cuticle and stomatal guard cells significantly affecting foliar morphology. SB exhibited more damage to these morphological parts suggesting that industrial dust is harmful to the plants.

Concepts: Photosynthesis, Ion, Leaf, Chlorophyll, Stoma, Indian National Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru University

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An indirect estimation method was followed to derive exposure levels of fifteen phthalate congeners in urban population of Delhi, India. The exposure media samples were collected from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) campus and Okhla industrial area. GC-MS analysis of the samples indicated di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) to be the most abundant congener and its estimated total daily intake level reached upto 70 μg kg(-1) d(-1). Out of the studied congeners, intake doses for di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP) and DEHP, reached levels near or above the established exposure limit. In JNU, DEHP, dimethyl phthalate (DMP) and butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) had 69% share in combined daily intake of Σ15 phthalates (CDI15); whereas, in Okhla, DEHP, diethyl phthalate (DEP), diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), DnBP and DMP shared 64% of the CDI15. Food was found to be the major source of exposure contributing 67% and 74% of the estimated CDI15 at JNU and Okhla respectively.

Concepts: India, Phthalates, Phthalate, Plasticizers, Indian National Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sino-Indian War, Jawaharlal Nehru University

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Abstract Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Karnataka, India, is established by an Act of Karnataka State Legislature in the year 1996. Its mandate is to provide training and development in health sciences sector. This University has done pioneering work in the field of curriculum designing for all the health sciences courses offered by the affiliated institutions. In this regard, it has taken lead among all the health sciences universities in India. With student strength of more than one lakh, it has now become a necessity to explore all the possible technological options, so as to provide a comprehensive education to the students. In this context, a proposal has been submitted to the executive head of the University to implement the Blended Learning Program.

Concepts: Education, Law, University, College, Student, Jawaharlal Nehru, Karnataka, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences

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The present work investigated the levels of total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, m/p-xylene, and o-xylene (BTEX) in different microenvironments in the library of Jawaharlal Nehru University in summer and winter during 2011-2012. Carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic health risks due to organic compounds were also evaluated using US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) conventional approaches. Real-time monitoring was done for TVOC using a data-logging photo-ionization detector. For BTEX measurements, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) standard method which consists of active sampling of air through activated charcoal, followed by analysis with gas chromatography, was performed. Simultaneously, outdoor measurements for TVOC and BTEX were carried out. Indoor concentrations of TVOC and BTEX (except benzene) were higher as compared to the outdoor for both seasons. Toluene and m/p-xylene were the most abundant organic contaminant observed in this study. Indoor to outdoor (I/O) ratios of BTEX compounds were generally greater than unity and ranged from 0.2 to 8.7 and 0.2 to 4.3 in winter and summer, respectively. Statistical analysis and I/O ratios showed that the dominant pollution sources mainly came from indoors. The observed mean concentrations of TVOC lie within the second group of the Molhave criteria of indoor air quality, indicating a multifactorial exposure range. The estimated lifetime cancer risk (LCR) due to benzene in this study exceeded the value of 1 × 10(-6) recommended by USEPA, and the hazard quotient (HQ) of non-cancer risk came under an acceptable range.

Concepts: Gasoline, Benzene, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Smog, Volatile organic compound, Occupational safety and health, Air pollution, Jawaharlal Nehru

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Soft-bottom macrobenthic diversity and community structure were assessed at Mumbai and Jawaharlal Nehru ports during three different periods between 2001 and 2002 (November 2001 post-monsoon 1, April/May 2002 pre-monsoon, and October 2002 post-monsoon 2). A total of 43 macrobenthic invertebrate species belonging to five phyla were recorded. Macrofaunal abundance (PM1 186, PreM 106, and PM2 31 ind m(-2)) and species diversity index (PM1 0.87, PreM 0.73, and PM2 0.30) were very low in all the seasons. Polychaetes were the most dominant macrobenthic group (72.09%) followed by decapoda, amphipoda, and bivalves (4.56%). Canonical correspondence analysis showed that sediment texture, temperature, and suspended particulate matter were the most important environmental variables influencing polychaete species composition. Significant seasonal variations were observed, influenced by dissimilar monsoonal patterns. Macrobenthic population density during November 2001 was higher than that of October 2002 post-monsoon season. Pre-monsoon season recorded more carnivorous polychaete species than post-monsoon seasons. The present study showed lower values of polychaete diversity index in all the seasons compared to earlier studies. Out of 31 polychaete species, 19 have been reported for the first time from this area. Polychaete species and Glycera longipinnis, Paraprionospio pinnata, and Cossura coasta recorded from 1985 to 1986 were also observed in the present study. Species like Sigambra constricta, Perinereis cavifrons, Prionospio polybranchiata, and Parheteromastus tenuis were not recorded in the present study, although they were observed during earlier studies in this area.

Concepts: Biodiversity, India, Season, Particulate, Indian National Congress, Jawaharlal Nehru