Thursday, August 04, 2005

nano, nano

Today's Hindu had two really nice articles on nanoscience and technology.

Ram Sasisekharan grew up in Bangalore. His father, Prof. V. Sasisekharan, is a reputed biophysicist; after a thriving career in the Department of Biophysics in IISc, he retired a few years ago, and is currently a visiting scientist in the Harvard-MIT Health Sciences & Technology program. Since the elder Sasisekharan is from a different era, his web footprint is small, indeed; here are two links in which he makes an appearance; the articles are actually about the younger one!

The first, by R. Prasad, describes a novel and promising way to treat cancer using 'nanocells'. This work was reported in a recent issue of Nature by Prof. Ram Sasisekharan's group. Nature's own commentary (technically more sophisticated than Prasad's piece) on this work is here.

The second piece is by Anand Parthasarathy. Titled 'harnessing science of the very small', it recounts India's efforts at sprucing up its research in this promising field through the creation of a 'national mission in nanotechnology'. In this really wonderful piece, he weaves in all kinds of interesting details about nanoscience, nanotechnology, nanodevices, nanotubes, and yes, nanowarfare! This story has a nice hook at the beginning [update: see this page about the colours of a peacock feather; link via Selva], and ends with a refreshingly new metaphor for the double-edged nature of nanoscience (or, for that matter, all of science):

Warriors skilled in the ancient Malabar art of Kalaripayattu, use one weapon with care and respect: the coiled flexible sword, or `urumi'.

Handled carefully, it can dispatch dozens of opponents, but one false move and you could end up chopping your own limbs. Nanotechnology may well turn out to be 21st century's `urumi'. A powerful tool — but only if used right.

See this post by Uma for an award-winning ad for the Hindu.

Two smart writer-reporters, one great newspaper.


  1. Anonymous said...

    abi, that is so cool how you put that small box inside your post!

  2. Abi said...

    Thanks, Uma. A little bit of CSS is all it takes, and it allows me to put in extra stuff in the sidebars without force-fitting it into the main post.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Right. What is CSS?

  4. Abi said...

    Cascading Style Sheet, which allows you to separate the content from the final form in which it appears. Some introductory info here, here and here.