Celebrating India’s National Science Day

Today is National Science Day in India, celebrated in honor of Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman’s discovery on February 28, 1928 of the eponymous Raman effect, which relates to the way that light is scattered when it passes through different materials. Raman earned a Nobel Prize for his work in 1930.

In just the past two months, PLOS ONE has published over 100 papers with authors from India, in subjects as varied as molecular biology, ecology, and medicine. For example, various Indian research groups are working with the wildlife in their country, determining non-invasive methods to photographically identify and “tag” Indian gliding lizards based on their blotch patterns and studying the feasibility of human-lion coexistence in the Indian forest.

On the other end of the spectrum, “Systems Biology Approach Reveals Genome to Phenome Correlation in Type 2 Diabetes” illustrates how coordinated analysis of data from various sources, including patient genetic material and databases about known drug interactions and genetic interactions, can be more powerful than considering each individually.  The results provide further evidence that some previously identified genes are involved in the disease, and also help refine the understanding of how these factors are involved.

The theme of this year’s celebration is “Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security,” so the final article I’d like to highlight is a genetic analysis of the apple scab pathogen, a fungus that can wreak havoc on orchards. This study provides primary information about the pathogen that will be crucial for future research investigating how farmers can overcome it.

These four papers are just a tiny sample of the rich and varied research coming out of India. Happy National Science Day, and feel free to add your own favorite Indian research in the comments.


Jain P, Vig S, Datta M, Jindel D, Mathur AK, et al. (2013) Systems Biology Approach Reveals Genome to Phenome Correlation in Type 2 Diabetes. PLoS ONE 8(1): e53522. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053522

Sreekar R, Purushotham CB, Saini K, Rao SN, Pelletier S, et al. (2013) Photographic Capture-Recapture Sampling for Assessing Populations of the Indian Gliding Lizard Draco dussumieri. PLoS ONE 8(2): e55935. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055935

Banerjee K, Jhala YV, Chauhan KS, Dave CV (2013) Living with Lions: The Economics of Coexistence in the Gir Forests, India. PLoS ONE 8(1): e49457. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049457

Thakur K, Chawla V, Bhatti S, Swarnkar MK, Kaur J, et al. (2013) De NovoTranscriptome Sequencing and Analysis for Venturia inaequalis, the Devastating Apple Scab Pathogen. PLoS ONE 8(1): e53937. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053937