Life Science Research

(An Online Journal of Kannur University)

AIMS AND SCOPE

LIFE SCIENCE RESEARCH is an annual peer reviewed online journal of Kannur University, publishing original and significant research findings on all areas of biological sciences and is intended as a medium for communication and discussion of important issues that concern various branches of biosciences. 


Editorial

“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow.” Edward Teller

Science, in the modern world, has been facing unprecedented challenges. The pandemic has affected us in almost every aspect of our lives, at least temporarily and in most cases permanently, and continues to do so. It's during these times that we've been witnessing how people from different walks of life came together to fight against the deadly pandemic COVID19. A single-stranded RNA (+ssRNA virus) now decides our actions. Mere words cannot express the hope given to us by the timely development of vaccines. What was dealt with by leaving the affected to die during the Black Death, was now being dealt with a planned course of action backed by proper scientific analysis of the situation. Although we lost millions of precious lives during the past year, we cannot deny the fact that timely selfless actions of the scientific community, especially the medical community has saved millions more from their fate.

Over the past one year or so, a major section of the scientific community has been focusing on getting over the dreaded pandemic, forcing research in other fields of science to decline, and in a rare few cases, be neglected. With a major share of funding being diverted to COVID research, clinical trials and research on other major conditions were withheld. This diversion of funds, combined with the collapse of the economy in several parts, severely affected the progress of the whole world, especially in the developing and underdeveloped nations, and among the minorities within the scientific community. This led to several projects being dropped halfway, in many cases depriving them of their source of income.

The current rate of recovery brings us new hopes of normalcy in the near future. The increased scientific awareness of the common man adds to this hope. This newfound confidence has translated to a responsibility to bring the scientific community back to its past glory, giving due credit to the role of student researchers. It has taught us that basic research is as important as advanced research for the progress of mankind. Knowledge shared is knowledge gained. While pondering over the cause and location of the origin of the deadly SARS-CoV-2, what glares at our face is the evident need for strict guidelines regarding the handling of microbes and an urgent need for basic research into the same. More funds need to be alloted towards research in these fields where a simple slip of hand might result in a global mishap.

In this opening issue of Life Science Research, we intend to focus on research ethics along with research papers dealing with phytochemistry, parasitology, environmental biology and cancer biology among others. This journal is an attempt, on our part, to bring together various different branches of life sciences under a single name, to cater to the interests of readers across the wide spectrum of research into life.

Prof Prasadan P. K.,

Chief Editor



Special Article

Science Communication

Science is the study of Nature, in all its manifestations, living and non-living, plants and animals on the one hand and soil and rocks on the other. What is Nature? The German poet, von Goethe said it best in an essay written in the middle of the 18th century, famously translated into English by Thomas Huxley: :“Nature! We are surrounded and embraced by her: powerless to penetrate beyond her and powerless to separate ourselves from her.” Why is the communication of science, to enhance public understanding, important? It is because we live in a world which enjoys the fruits of two centuries of uninterrupted progress in science and the technologies that it has spawned. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated that two of our favorite subjects, politics and religion have proved ineffective when confronted with a rapidly spreading, microscopic virus. We can ask ourselves a question: “How has a spherical chemical object, with a diameter of 100 nanometers, brought the world to its knees? What are governments the world over looking for? They are hunting for vaccines, diagnostics and, hopefully in the future, therapeutics. All these are possible only by sustained scientific research. The study of science and research in science can only be supported by public funding if there is widespread realization of its utility. Research is usually a slow process and investments in science often do not yield quick dividends. It is therefore important to promote the public understanding of the processes and past successes of science, in a manner that can be easily understood and appreciated. Science communication can most simply be done by writing in an easy style and by means of popular lectures. Both are difficult. Cultivating an effective writing style and an engaging speaking style require practice, hard work and most importantly wide reading. Very few people are naturally gifted writers and speakers. The most celebrated of science popularisers work exceedingly hard at their craft. In our country the problem of science communication is magnified by the number of diverse and rich languages. Multilingual science communicators are a very rare species. Are there any benefits for the communicators? If they are practicing scientists or teachers, they will soon learn that their own understanding of their chosen subjects constantly improves. Can there be a better reward? How does onebecome a communicator of science? For budding writers,J.B.S. Haldane put it succinctly: “Literary synthesis is like organic chemical synthesis. The method to be adopted depend on product required, the raw materials and apparatus available. As my brain is my apparatus, and different from yours, my methods will also differ from yours. The first thing to remember is your task is not easy, and will be impossible if you despise technique. For literature has its technique, like science, and unless you set yourself a fairly high standard you will get nowhere. So don’t expect to succeed at your first or even second attempt.”

P.Balaram

Prof.(Dr.) Padmanabhan Balaram,
former Director of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
currently serves as National Chair Professor at NCBS, Bangalore.
Recipient of Padma Bhushan (2014), TWAS prize (1994) and R Bruce Merrifield award (2021).



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