For three years, Jaya Narah canvassed the mercifully untouched, but criminally under-researched eastern Himalayas with little more than a sweep net, airtight containers and Boroplus. The ointment offered some respite from bumblebee stings—which she insists weren’t that bad anyway. One, the pain subsides in a day or two. Two, bumblebees aren’t as aggressive as their honeybee cousins. Three, Narah had greater obstacles to contend with: unforgiving weather, landslides, transport bottlenecks.
Force of nature
When chemistry meets life: Searching for signals in elephant dung
From pachyderm stress levels to plants hiring insect bodyguards, nature's mysteries often have molecular answers
A five-year project funded by the Department of Biotechnology, SCENIC's objective is to advance scientific research and capacity building in northeast India, through the interdisciplinary science of chemical ecology
Now in its penultimate year, this collaboration between three Bangalore institutes and seven in the northeast has unearthed several findings whose applications can range from medical science to wildlife conservation
There's the discovery of 13 bumblebee species for the first time in Arunachal Pradesh, research on heat and salt-tolerant fungi, and a possible way to protect the region's endangered rice varieties
Chemical ecology, which combines biology, chemistry, and ecology, shows us the fascinating ways in which flora and fauna - including bacteria - communicate with each other to preserve local ecosystems