Plus, the hidden world of microscopic fungi found inside the world's biggest seed bank. Listen to episode 15 of The Conversation Weekly podcast.
The humanitarian disaster in India has been made worse by a lack of accountability at the highest level in government.
India is in the grips of a health and humanitarian catastrophe, in stark contrast to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's declaration of readiness to fight the pandemic.
Protesters are defying orders to disband and are helping distribute food to hospitals and other people in need.
The Indian government spends just US$38 per person on healthcare each year.
An imperfectly applied risk model led to the devastating situation India is facing today.
COVID-19 has overwhelmed India's hospitals partly because decades of under-investment in public health have left the country with one of the most privatised health systems in the world.
Both at home and internationally Modi is facing intense scrutiny and criticism as the COVID death toll mounts.
As cremation grounds struggle to keep up with the long line of people dying from COVID-19, age-old customs are being pushed aside.
The deep-rooted issues at the heart of the current crisis.
Stories of reaching herd immunity were certainly premature.
After a massive reduction in COVID case numbers and optimism about the vaccine rollout, India has seen a huge second wave of infections.