A notepad for the mind

Showers, snakes and Synapses

This, more or less, sums up my life now at Bangalore. In my previous article about Delhi, I talked about us being infinitesimal cogs in the huge clockwork of things around us. The biologist in me would compare this to unitary genes in an interaction profile or single nodes in a heavily populated network. But Bangalore, is quite the other way around. One would not usually expect from a metropolitan, such congenial and embracing acceptance.

I can go at length to talk about how awesome the city weather is, how it pours every time it gets hot and how pleasant this can make even a regular Wednesday evening, but I am sure this is spread all across the place. What I can say more, is about the relative packing density of metropolitans, which seems to be quite high for Delhi and Mumbai in general. However, here the overall place is usually not crowded, unless you go to a popular continental restaurant at Bell Road or the like which act like small hubs in this sparse network.


Photo courtesy: Anshul Sukhwal, NCBS Bangalore

At least at National Centre for Biological Sciences, I can surely say this is the case. For a person conditioned in Delhi, it can get gloomy at times to see so few people around. However, a glimpse of the central lawn and the swimming pool under the penumbra of the clouds, or a cup of tea under the terrace sheds when its raining, or just a quick game of Foosball – can refresh one after a day of rigorous lab work and talks.


Photo courtesy: Anshul Sukhwal, NCBS Bangalore

Moreover, it is not just humans who are totally fond of this place. A walk around the campus, and one is bound to discover a lot of variety in beautiful flowers, butterflies, and small reptiles. One special mention to the snakes here, which the M.Sc. Wildlife people at NCBS are very fond of handling and carrying away. I am not so sure how they make out the non poisonous from the otherwise, but they seem to be professional at it. Thus ecology and conservation thus, constitutes one big research area at NCBS. 

The work areas at NCBS vary across a length of sub-disciplines of Biology. One will find a Principal Investigator working in almost all areas which comes under the aegis of “Biological Sciences”. One of the more popular research areas being Neuroscience, the study of the nervous system or neurons and their connections (synapses). A hundred billion (1011) neurons with a hundred trillion (1014) synapses in the brain compose a much more complex network than the one we just talked about.


Source: Gigandet et al, Plos One

But nevertheless, I will talk about them some other day. Right now, I will go and enjoy my coffee at the terrace. But of course, after a Calvin and Hobbes strip :)

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Er... so, what do you think?

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