14 episodes

The podcast series 'Science and Us' explains how we understand science around us and how it impacts us every single day. It will demystify scientific concepts and explain the scientific logic behind them.

 'Science and Us' explains the understanding of scientific principles in history and culture and also help bust myths about commonly held beliefs in cultures.

Science & Us Suno India

    • Science

The podcast series 'Science and Us' explains how we understand science around us and how it impacts us every single day. It will demystify scientific concepts and explain the scientific logic behind them.

 'Science and Us' explains the understanding of scientific principles in history and culture and also help bust myths about commonly held beliefs in cultures.

    Can adding iron to rice reduce Anaemia in India?

    Can adding iron to rice reduce Anaemia in India?

    The National Family Health Survey (2019-20) shows that 57% of women and  67% of children are anaemic in the country. This Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the rice that will be distributed in the public distribution system and other government schemes such as Midday Meal will be fortified with iron, folic acid and vitamin B12. 

    In this episode, Suno India’s Menaka Rao tries to understand if the fortification of rice will help reduce the anaemia levels of people in this country. In the process, we try to demystify the biological mechanism of anaemia and how just pumping in iron in the bodies does not necessarily work. Menaka speaks with senior scientists Dr HN Mishra, the head of the Agricultural and Food Engineering department IIT Kharagpur, Dr Rajesh Kapur who worked as a scientist in the department of biotechnology now the Vice-Chancellor of People’s University in Bhopal, Dr Madhavan Nair, retired from National Institute of Nutrition and Dr Anura Kurpad, department of physiology, St John’s Hospital, Bengaluru.

    Shownotes

    Do we really know what goes into our food? - Suno India
    (PDF) Perspective: When the cure might become the malady: the layering of multiple interventions with mandatory micronutrient fortification of foods in India
    National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5)
    Inclusion of guava enhances non-heme iron bioavailability but not fractional zinc absorption from a rice-based meal in adolescents
    INTENSIFIED NATIONAL IRON PLUS INITIATIVE (I-NIPI)
    (PDF) Hemoglobin concentration and anemia diagnosis in venous and capillary blood: biological basis and policy implications: Venous and capillary anemia diagnosis
    Evaluation of haemoglobin cut-off for mild anaemia in Asians - analysis of multiple rounds of two national nutrition surveys
    WHO technical meeting on considerations to determine haemoglobin concentrations to define anaemia in the lifecycle
    Singrauli 1st MP district to supply fortified rice in PDS



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    • 40 min
    Gone to the dogs: Rabies control and street dog welfare in India

    Gone to the dogs: Rabies control and street dog welfare in India

    Street dogs are everywhere in India. From the highest mountain ranges to the harshest deserts, from densely crowded urban areas to rural fields. With around 60 million free-ranging dogs, India arguably has the biggest population of street dogs in the world. Most of these dogs aren’t vaccinated against rabies. 

    Rabies, one of the oldest zoonotic diseases known to humankind, kills 18,000-20,000 Indians every year. That’s a third of the world’s rabies burden. Nearly 97% of rabies cases are dog-mediated, as dogs are the major reservoirs of this neurotropic virus.  

    In this episode of Science and Us, Mahima Jain reports on the link between street dogs and India’s struggles with rabies elimination. From how India ended up with an overpopulation of street dogs, to the potential barriers in implementing the recently launched National Action Plan for Rabies Elimination by 2030, we take you through the many factors that complicate rabies control and dog welfare in India. 

    Show Notes: 

    Research:
    Rabies as a Public Health Concern in India—A Historical Perspective
    Overview of Animal Laws in India
    Centers For Disease Control and Prevention: Global Rabies
    US National Library of Medicine: Striking back against rabies
    Burden of illness of dog-mediated rabies in India: A systematic review
    Modelling the challenges of managing free-ranging dog populations
    WHO Rabies: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/rabies 



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    • 40 min
    Is the rise in temperatures causing 'mystery' fevers?

    Is the rise in temperatures causing 'mystery' fevers?

    In September 2021, many people in Western Uttar Pradesh were struck by “mystery” fevers. Some even succumbed to them. Later the Central team found out that the fevers were mostly dengue fevers, or caused by scrub typhus and leptospirosis. 

    The fevers are “mysterious” often because local governments are not able to detect the cause soon enough. This is also because some of these areas have never seen these kinds of diseases. Climate change, urbanisation and a change in ways of living are some of the reasons for such diseases surfacing. 

    In this episode of Science And Us, Suno India’s Menaka Rao speaks to Ramesh Dhiman, a senior scientist who retired from the National Institute of Malaria Research. Dhiman has been tracking the effects of climate change on vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, kala-azar among others for decades now.



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    • 32 min
    The evolution of superbug

    The evolution of superbug

    In 2010, scientists identified bacteria which were resistant to the strongest antibiotics in Delhi. The enzyme that makes the bacteria resistant was named after the city - New Delhi Metallo-beta Lactamase or NDM-1. Alexander Fleming who discovered the first antibiotic, penicillin predicted the evolution of smarter germs or superbugs way back in 1945.

    This episode of Science of Us traces the history of antibiotics, and how humans have been outwitted by the microbe time after time. We spoke to Dr Ponnari Gottipati, the lead for the initiative, Superheroes against Superbugs that aims to build a community to tackle the growing threat of antibiotic resistance in India. I asked her what drug resistance is.



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    • 29 min
    ‘Black Fungus’ Explained Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Cure

    ‘Black Fungus’ Explained Causes, Symptoms, Prevention & Cure

    There have been almost 12,000 cases of mucormycosis, commonly called ‘black fungus’, in India so far. Mucormycosis has a death rate of about 54% according to the The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Usually considered a rare disease, it is infecting those recovering from coronavirus at an unprecedented number, especially those who are diabetic. Gujarat and Maharashtra are the worst affected with almost 3,000 cases each of mucormycosis so far. 

    The Delhi High Court has ordered duty free import of mucormycosis medication Amphotericin B, while US-based Gilead Sciences is preparing to supply 1 million doses to India. But availability is not the only issue. The steep price of mucormycosis treatment is costing between five to fifteen lakhs per patient. Among the survivors of mucormycosis, some are losing their eyes due to the fungal infection.

    On this episode of The Suno India Show, our reporter Suryatapa Mukherjee speaks to Dr Akshay Nair, an oculoplastic surgeon in Mumbai. He has been treating several cases of mucormycosis in this pandemic. We explore causes, symptoms, preventive measures and treatment. So that if you encounter a mucormycosis infection, you’ll know exactly what to do. 

    Additional Reading:

    Mucormycosis Statistics | Mucormycosis | Fungal Diseases 
    National Diabetes and Diabetic Retinopathy Survey report 2015-2019



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    • 17 min
    Why has Maharashtra topped the number of COVID-19 cases in both waves?

    Why has Maharashtra topped the number of COVID-19 cases in both waves?

    India is experiencing the second wave of COVID-19 cases since the first week of February. India is recording about a lakh cases on an average daily. The wave started from Maharashtra and Punjab, and has now extended to Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu among others. Maharashtra still accounts for half the cases in the country on a daily basis.

    Suno India’s Menaka Rao spoke to Dr Subhash Salunke, the technical advisor to the Maharashtra Government on Covid-19. He is a public health official and has worked as the director of Health Services in the state before he retired.  He spoke about the challenges for the state government in the second wave. He also explained why the state is suffering a huge number of cases both in the first wave and the second wave.



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    • 20 min

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