Bacterial transformation experimentTo illustrate this, he describes how a British group had an experiment in which they showed bacterial transformation. In the lab, with two types (A, smooth and virulent, and B, rough and non-virulent strains) of the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae, they saw Strain B developing a smooth capsule like Strain A and becoming virulent. [Not knowing the mechanism at work, they concluded Strain B was turning into Strain A.] It was published in an important journal, but hardly anyone paid attention to this. “It was a important result, but because it was just bacteria, no one paid attention. Then along comes [Oswald T.] Avery. He showed that you don’t even need to incubate them together. He just took the juice [extract] from one species and incubated the other strain with the same, and he showed that the species would transform, laying the foundation of molecular genetics.” … [Read more...] about Visual perception is not just making a replica, says neuroscientist Vilayanur S. Ramachandran
Deforestation why does it matter
Your provocatively titled 2013 book Is Indian Civilization a Myth? touches on a hotly contested topic in the current political climate. How does the book approach the concept of “Indian civilisation”? In the book, I argued that an obsession with the idea of a “civilisation” in India (or for that matter, in any part of the world) quickly becomes a claim about the fixity of certain relationships and cultural values. The rhetoric of “clash of civilisations” used by Samuel Huntington and others stemmed directly from this conception. And as such, it is ahistorical or not useful for the purposes of the historian most of the time. I was especially influenced by an essay by the American historian David Ludden, called ‘History outside Civilization’, about the importance of mobility for South Asia. Basically, my point is that when people talk of “civilisation” they immediately fall into the trap of constructing a Golden Age from which … [Read more...] about Too many historians in India have obsessed about who is properly nationalist: Sanjay Subrahmanyam
Billionaire investor Howard Marks says investors might not be able to predict the future, but that does not mean they are powerless to deal with it. Citing a memo titled You Can’t Predict. You Can Prepare that he wrote in 2001, Marks said he raised the question about how one can prepare for something that he can’t predict exactly 19 years ago. His answer: “We can do so by recognising that they will inevitably occur, and by making our portfolios more cautious when economic developments and investor behaviour render markets more vulnerable to damage from untoward events." That reasoning, Marks says, suggests a glimmer of good news in the ongoing environment. The co-founder and co-chairman of Oaktree Capital Management said he is bombarded these days with conflicting views regarding the wisdom of rapidly reopening the US economy. Marks says while his view on that topic is of little value, he also does not possess the expertise required to know for sure whose opinion … [Read more...] about What gives Howard Marks glimmer of hope in this tough environment?
MUMBAI: The fundamental feature of tax treaty — a bilateral pact between two countries to resolve issues of double taxation — has come under question. According to a ruling by the Federal Court of Australia, the payments received by an Indian company from its clients in Australia will be taxed in Australia. The Australian superior court has treated such payments as ‘royalty’ — which can be taxed, even though such proceeds cannot be taxed under local Australian laws. The verdict — relating to one of India’s leading companies Tech Mahindra — goes against the underlying tenet of tax treaties which, as is widely accepted, should be used as shield for the taxpayer and not as sword by the taxman. A tax treaty is used to provide relief and not aimed at imposing tax. “It’s an accepted principle that standalone provision in a treaty does not give the power to impose tax. On the other hand, whenever treaty provisions are beneficial … [Read more...] about Tax treaties under scanner as Australia court says Tech Mahindra to be taxed
By Bipul Chatterjee and Kishan S Rana Connectivity enables trade. While this is an ancient story, we sometimes tend to forget this simple logic. Our penchant for looking at the whole tree, as against the eye of a parrot, tends to push us towards debating trade issues in technical and esoteric language, at times far removed from ground realties. We have to first grasp the basics of trade and also keep in mind that talking about trade possibilities is rather different from making trade possible. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on cross-border trade between India and Bangladesh has, once again, underlined this simple fact. For a large number of basic necessities, including commodities such as onions or salt, Bangladesh is dependent on India. Nothing wrong with that as nobody can or should produce everything. However, due to legitimate health-related concerns, during this global pandemic, land borders, through which bulk of Indo-Bangla cross-border trade takes place, are firmly … [Read more...] about View: Fostering Indo-Bangla trade relations, connectivity is the ‘mantra’