Perception and Cognition Lab

IIT Bombay: Breakthrough in stem cell proliferation - The Hindu

Posted on 18th July, 2018

A major obstacle in using human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to treat a variety of diseases has been successfully overcome by a team of researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. The team led by Dr. Abhijit Majumder from the institute’s Department of Chemical Engineering found hydrogel plate made of polyacrylamide was a perfect replacement for conventionally used plastic culture plates. Unlike the plastic plates, the hydrogel ensured that stem cells multiplied and retained the stem cell-like nature (stemness) for up to 51 days (20 generations) and differentiated into bone, cartilage or fat cells. The pre-print findings are reported in bioRxiv. Read more...

How language shapes the way we think - TED talk by Lera Boroditsky

Posted on 16th July, 2018

There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world -- and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language -- from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian -- that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. "The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is," Boroditsky says. "Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000."