Sci/Tech http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech.rss en Mon Dec 27 16:40:37 IST 2021 https://www.theweek.in/privacy-an-settlement.html instagram-faces-penalty-of-405-million-euros-for-privacy-breach <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/06/instagram-faces-penalty-of-405-million-euros-for-privacy-breach.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/world/2022/01/07/instagram-social-media-shut.jpg" /> <p>Irish regulators are slapping Instagram with a big fine after an investigation found the social media platform mishandled teenagers' personal data.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ireland's Data Protection Commission said by email Monday that it made a final decision last week to fine the company 405 million euros ($402 million), though the full details won't be released until next week.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The penalty is the second-biggest issued under the European Union's stringent privacy rules, after Luxembourg's regulators fined Amazon 746 million euros last year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Instagram parent Meta, which also owns Facebook and can appeal the decision, didn't respond to a request for comment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Irish watchdog's investigation centred on how Instagram exposed the personal details of users aged 13 to 17, including email addresses and phone numbers. The minimum age for Instagram users is 13.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Under the EU's data privacy rules, the Irish watchdog is the lead regulator for many US tech companies with European headquarters in Dublin.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The watchdog has a raft of other inquiries into Meta-owned companies. Last year, it fined WhatsApp 225 million euros for breaching rules on transparency about sharing people's data with other Meta companies.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/06/instagram-faces-penalty-of-405-million-euros-for-privacy-breach.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/06/instagram-faces-penalty-of-405-million-euros-for-privacy-breach.html Tue Sep 06 09:57:13 IST 2022 australian-and-indian-commercial-space-links-take-flight <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/05/australian-and-indian-commercial-space-links-take-flight.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/images/2022/4/3/India-Australia-India-Vs-Australia-Aus-flags-business-trade-shut.jpg" /> <p>India and Australia elevated their space relationship as six new industry-to-industry memorandums for collaboration between the two countries were signed at the seventh 'Bengaluru Space Expo 2022&quot; on Monday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Australia continues to look at new ways to enhance its space collaboration with India, said the Head of the Australian Space Agency (ASA), Enrico Palermo, in his address to the international conference and exhibition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The establishment of a Consulate-General in Bengaluru from 2023 will allow us to further develop the space relationship, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also recognise the significance of India's national space programme and are glad to be supporting the inspirational 'Gaganyaan' human space flight mission, Palermo added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Highlighting the strong commercial links in space between Australia and India, six separate Australia-India space industry memorandums were exchanged at the inauguration of the space summit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Australia's Space Machines Company will collaborate with Bengaluru-based aerospace and defence manufacturer Ananth Technologies on product integration, testing, technology development and joint-space missions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Australian startup HEX20 will work with Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace to provide launch services, spacecraft avionics and components to Australian Space Initiatives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Perth-headquartered QL Space will also partner with Skyroot Aerospace to further develop launch facilities in Australia and support joint mineral exploration missions in space. Perth is known as Australia's resources, mining and mining technology capital.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>QL Space will partner with Chennai-based GalaxEye to develop a hybrid optic and Radar payload to reduce the adverse environmental impact of critical mineral exploration in Australia and beyond.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>QL Space and Bengaluru-based SatSure will work together to build satellite and AI-based solutions to support the agriculture, mining and defence industries, and apply this technology to the outer space environment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Australia's SABRN Health, Altdata and India's DCube will work together on the development and integration of hardware, sensor technology and software to provide health support to astronauts, it was stated.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;They (Australia) were able to attract (Indian) startups to work together. This shows that Australia is also open to launching our satellites from their land sometime, and vice versa&quot;, Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation, S Somanath said.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/05/australian-and-indian-commercial-space-links-take-flight.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/05/australian-and-indian-commercial-space-links-take-flight.html Tue Sep 06 15:32:12 IST 2022 india-to-design--build-reusable-rocket-for-global-market--isro <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/05/india-to-design--build-reusable-rocket-for-global-market--isro.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/ISRO-Small-Satellite-Launch-Vehicle-SSLV--Sathish-Dhawan-Space-Centre-Sriharikota-Aug-7-2022-pti.jpg" /> <p>India has plans to design and build a new reusable rocket for the global market that would significantly cut the cost of launching satellites, a top government official said on Monday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;...all of us want launches to be much cheaper than what we do today,&quot; Secretary in the Department of Space and Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) S Somanath said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Addressing the seventh 'Bengaluru Space Expo 2022' and later talking to reporters, he noted that at present it takes about USD 10,000 to USD 15,000 to put a one-kg payload into orbit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;We have to bring it down to USD 5,000 or even USD 1,000 per kg. Only way to do that is to make the rocket reusable. Today in India we don't have reusable technology yet in launch vehicles (rockets),&quot; Somanath said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;So, the idea is the next rocket that we are going to build after GSLV Mk III should be a reusable rocket,&quot; he added at the inaugural session of the international conference and exhibition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ISRO, Somanath said, has been working on various technologies, including the one demonstrated with Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (IAD), last week. &quot;We will have to have a retro-propulsion to land it (rocket back on earth)&quot;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Combining these technologies, ISRO would like to design and build a new rocket which will be reusable, in partnership with industry, startups and its commercial arm NewSpace India Limited (NSIL).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;This is the idea and we are working on that idea. That idea cannot be ISRO's alone. It has to be an industry's idea. So, we will have to work with them in designing a new rocket, not only designing it, engineering it, manufacturing it and launching it as a commercial product and operating it in a commercial manner,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;So, it's a big shift from what we do today,&quot; he pointed out. &quot;I would like to see this (proposal) taking shape in the next few months.&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;We would like to see such a rocket, a rocket which will be competitive-enough, a rocket that will be cost-conscious, production-friendly which will be built in India but operated globally for the services of the space sector. This should happen in the next few years so that we can retire all those operating launch vehicles (in India) at appropriate time,&quot; he said.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/05/india-to-design--build-reusable-rocket-for-global-market--isro.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/05/india-to-design--build-reusable-rocket-for-global-market--isro.html Mon Sep 05 17:07:42 IST 2022 fuel-leak-ruins-nasa-s-2nd-attempt-at-launching-moon-rocket <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/fuel-leak-ruins-nasa-s-2nd-attempt-at-launching-moon-rocket.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/images/2022/4/3/NASA-next-generation-moon-rocket,-the-Space-Launch-System-SLS--Artemis-1-Kennedy-Space-Center-in-Cape-Canaveral-Florida-reu.jpg" /> <p>NASA's new moon rocket sprang another dangerous fuel leak Saturday, forcing launch controllers to call off their second attempt to send a crew capsule into lunar orbit with test dummies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The first attempt earlier in the week was also marred by escaping hydrogen, but those leaks were elsewhere on the 322-foot rocket, the most powerful ever built by NASA.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There was no immediate word on when NASA might try again.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After Tuesday, a two-week launch blackout period kicks in.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Extensive fuel leak repairs could require that the rocket be hauled off the pad and back into its hangar, possibly pushing the flight into October.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and her team tried to plug Saturday's leak the way they did the last time: stopping and restarting the flow of super-cold liquid hydrogen in hopes of removing the gap around a seal in the supply line.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They tried that twice, in fact, and also flushed helium through the line. But the leak persisted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Blackwell-Thompson finally halted the countdown after three to four hours of futile effort.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We have a scrub for the day, announced NASA's launch commentator, Derrol Nail.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>NASA wants to send the crew capsule atop the rocket around the moon, pushing it to the limit before astronauts get on the next flight.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If the five-week demo with test dummies succeeds, astronauts could fly around the moon in 2024 and land on it in 2025.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>People last walked on the moon 50 years ago.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After days of stormy weather, the weather cooperated early Saturday as the launch team began loading nearly 1 million gallons of fuel into the Space Launch System rocket.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But minutes into the operation, hydrogen fuel began seeping from the engine section at the bottom of the rocket, violating safety rules.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During Monday's launch attempt, hydrogen fuel escaped from elsewhere in the rocket.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Technicians tightened up the fittings over the past week, but Blackwell-Thompson cautioned that she wouldn't know whether everything was tight until Saturday's fueling.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even more of a problem on Monday, a sensor indicated one of the rocket's four engines was too warm, but engineers later verified it actually was cold enough.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The launch team planned to ignore the faulty sensor this time around and rely on other instruments to ensure each main engine was properly chilled.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mission managers accepted the additional risk posed by the engine issue as well as a separate problem: cracks in the rocket's insulating foam.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But they acknowledged other problems like fuel leaks could prompt yet another delay.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That didn't stop thousands from jamming the coast to see the Space Launch System rocket soar.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Local authorities expected massive crowds because of the long Labour Day holiday weekend.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The $4.1 billion test flight is the first step in NASA's Artemis programme of renewed lunar exploration, named after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Twelve astronauts walked on the moon during NASA's Apollo programme, the last time in 1972.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Artemis years behind schedule and billions over budget aims to establish a sustained human presence on the moon, with crews eventually spending weeks at a time there.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It's considered a training ground for Mars.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>—AP</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/fuel-leak-ruins-nasa-s-2nd-attempt-at-launching-moon-rocket.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/fuel-leak-ruins-nasa-s-2nd-attempt-at-launching-moon-rocket.html Sat Sep 03 22:49:56 IST 2022 birds-migrate-along-ancient-routes- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/birds-migrate-along-ancient-routes-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/images/2022/4/3/Bar-tailed-godwit-Limosa-lapponica-in-flight-in-its-natural-enviroment-in-Denmark.jpg" /> <p>Although it still feels like beach weather across much of North America, billions of birds have started taking wing for one of nature's great spectacles: fall migration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Birds fly south from the northern U.S. and Canada to wintering grounds in the southern U.S., Caribbean and Latin America, sometimes covering thousands of miles. Other birds leave temperate Eurasia for Africa, tropical Asia or Australia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Using observation records and data collected through bird banding, 20th-century ornithologists roughly mapped general migration routes and timing for most migratory species. Later, using radar at airports and weather stations, they discovered how weather and other factors affect when birds migrate and how high they fly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, technological advances are providing new insights into bird migration and showing that it is more complex and wonderful than scientists ever imagined. These new and constantly improving technologies are key aids for protecting migratory birds in the face of habitat loss and other threats.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Birding across borders</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The power of the internet has greatly aided migratory bird research. Using the popular eBird network, birders all over the world can upload sightings to a central database, creating a real-time record of the ebb and flow of migration. Ornithologists have also learned to use NEXRAD, a national network of Doppler weather radars, to visualize birds migrating down the North American continent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Now, scientists are setting up a global network of receiver stations called the Motus Network, which currently has 1,500 receivers in 31 countries. Each receiver constantly records the presence of any birds or other animals within a nine-mile (15-kilometer) radius that scientists have fitted with small, lightweight radio transmitters, and shares the data online. The network will become increasingly useful for understanding bird migration as more receiver stations become active along migration tracks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tracking individual birds via satellite</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Three new technologies are rapidly expanding what we know about bird migration. The first is satellite telemetry of bird movement. Researchers fit birds with small solar-powered transmitters, which send data on the birds' locations to a satellite and then on to a scientist's office computer. The scientist can learn where a bird is, the route it took to get there and how fast it travels.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, the bar-tailed godwit, a pigeon-sized shorebird, breeds in Alaska and then migrates to New Zealand. Satellite transmitters show that godwits often fly nonstop from Alaska to New Zealand. Recently, a godwit set the record for the longest nonstop flight by a land bird: 8,100 miles (13,000 kilometers) in 10 days, from Alaska to Australia.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Satellite telemetry studies show how much individual birds, even those from the same breeding location, vary in their migratory behavior. Individual differences in migratory behavior are probably due to differences in physical condition, learning, experience and personal preferences.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another shorebird, the whimbrel, also makes a phenomenally long journey over the ocean. Satellite telemetry has shown that some whimbrels travel from northwest Canada, across the North American continent to Canada's east coast, then set off over the Atlantic Ocean on a 3,400-mile (5,400-kilometer), six-day nonstop flight to the coast of Brazil. In total, they may travel 6,800 miles (11,000 kilometers).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sadly, hunters kill some of these birds when they land to rest on islands in the Lesser Antilles. The unfortunate fate of two satellite-tracked whimbrels has catalyzed a campaign to tighten regulations on shorebird hunting in the Caribbean.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Geotagging small birds</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Many birds are too small to carry a satellite transmitter. Given the energetic effort required for migration, a device must weigh less than 5% of a bird's body weight, and many migratory songbirds weigh under 0.7 ounces (20 grams).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An ingenious solution for small birds is a geolocator tag, or geologger a tiny device that simply records time, location and presence or absence of sunlight. Scientists know the timing of sunrise and sunset on a given date, so they can calculate a bird's location on that date to within about 125 miles (200 kilometers).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Birds carrying geologgers must be recaptured to download the data. That means the bird must survive a migration round trip and return to the same place where it was first captured and tagged. Amazingly, many geologger-tagged small birds do.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Geologgers have shown that Blackpoll warblers small songbirds that breed in the boreal forests of North America fly long distances over the Atlantic in fall, heading to the Amazon basin. Birds breeding in eastern North America head out over the Atlantic in maritime Canada or the northeastern U.S. and make a 60-hour, nonstop, 1,500-mile (2,500-kilometer) flight to the Greater Antilles. There they rest and recuperate, then continue across the Caribbean to South America.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Blackpolls breeding in Alaska fly across the North American continent before leaving shore on the Atlantic coast and flying to South America. In total, they journey 6,600 miles (10,700 kilometers) over 60 days.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even more amazing, geologgers show that another small songbird, the northern wheatear, migrates from North America to sub-Saharan Africa. Wheatears that breed in Alaska fly 9,100 miles (14,600 kilometers) across Asia to East Africa, taking three months to do so. Those breeding in eastern Canada journey 4,600 miles (7,400 kilometers) across the Atlantic to Europe and then on to West Africa including a 2,100-mile (3,400-kilometer), four-day nonstop overwater flight.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Recording birds' night migration calls</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Two hours after sunset in fall, I like to sit outside and listen to birds migrating overhead. Most birds migrate at night, and many give a species-specific chit, zeep or other call-note while in flight. The calls may serve to keep migrating flocks together, including different species heading to the same destination.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ornithologists are using automated passive acoustic recording to study these nocturnal calls and identify the species or group of related species that make each sound. The technology is a microphone directed at the sky, connected to a computer that continuously records the sound stream and is aided by sound recognition software. Sometimes it reveals migrants overhead that are rarely seen on the ground.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nick Kachala, an honors student in my lab, set up recording units on three university properties in the fall of 2021. One of the most common migrants recorded was the gray-cheeked thrush, a shy bird of the northern boreal forest that is rarely seen in the northeast U.S. during fall migration. He also detected the dickcissel, a grassland bird that I have never seen in our area.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Many birdwatchers are now building do-it-yourself backyard recording units to identify the birds flying over their homes during migration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Conserving migratory birds Radar monitoring indicates that the number of North American migratory birds declined by 14% between 2007 and 2017. There probably are multiple causes, but habitat loss is likely the principal culprit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Satellite telemetry and geologgers show that there are special stopover sites along migration routes where migrants rest and refuel, such as the Texas Gulf Coast, the Florida Panhandle and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Conservation experts widely agree that to protect migratory birds, it is critical to conserve these sites.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Effective conservation measures require knowing where and how birds migrate, and what dangers they face during migration. Ornithologists, using these new technologies, are learning things that will help to stop and reverse the global decline in migratory birds.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(The Conversation: By Tom Langen: Professor of Biology, Clarkson University)&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/birds-migrate-along-ancient-routes-.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/birds-migrate-along-ancient-routes-.html Sat Sep 03 15:07:47 IST 2022 satellite-players-suggest-govt-to-adopt-international-best-pract <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/satellite-players-suggest-govt-to-adopt-international-best-pract.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/5G-telecom-mobile-internet-5G-shut.jpg" /> <p>Satellite industry body SIA-India on Friday said that it has suggested the Department of Telecom (Dot) to adopt international best practices for spectrum allocation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SatCom Industry Association of India has made a submission in response to the DoT's decision to bring out a new legal framework for the telecom sector.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The DoT has done a great job of trying to bring in amendments to keep pace with the technological developments and business trends. However, at some point, the amendments become too unwieldy and there could not be a better time to consider a new legal framework in the telecom sector,&quot; SIA-India President and Ananth Technologies chairman and managing director Subba Rao Pavuluri said in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SIA-India has submitted six points for consideration of the DoT that includes &quot;Spectrum allocation must be based on International best practices&quot;; encouraging all digital communication technologies without a preference for limited technologies; connectivity to the remotest corner of the country at affordable prices, for personal, enterprise and government use; flexibility and agility of regulatory framework to adapt to changing technology and services trend etc.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Hauling up the regulatory framework that is based on acts more than 100 years old to a newer version that relates to the latest technology, business and governance trends will, however, need a much more serious effort than the time allocated,&quot; SIA-India director general Anil Prakash said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The DoT floated a consultation paper in July on the revamping of telecom rules mainly to keep pace with the change in technology like 5G, simplify laws and promote investments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new rules will not be applicable with retrospective effect to cause any adverse impact on the relevant entity, according to the consultation paper.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The last date for comments on the consultation paper was September 1.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/satellite-players-suggest-govt-to-adopt-international-best-pract.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/03/satellite-players-suggest-govt-to-adopt-international-best-pract.html Sat Sep 03 12:02:07 IST 2022 twitter-readies-edit-feature-for-premium-users <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/01/twitter-readies-edit-feature-for-premium-users.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2018/february/twitter-logo-2018-ap.jpg" /> <p>Permanently misspelled tweets might soon be a thing of the past.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Twitter said Thursday it's working on allowing users to edit their tweets, which it said is one of the most requested features to date.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The social media company said in a blog post that it's testing the Edit Tweet feature internally with plans to roll it out later this month to subscribers of its premium Twitter Blue service.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The edit function will give users 30 minutes to make changes such as fixing typos or adding hashtags after first publishing a tweet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To make it clear that a tweet has been modified, they'll be labelled and appear with an icon and timestamp. Users can look up past versions of the tweet by tapping the label.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Twitter said it's testing the edit feature with a small group of users so it can identify and resolve potential issues.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This includes how people might misuse the feature, the company said in a blog post. You can never be too careful.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The time limit and version history play an important role, Twitter said. They help protect the integrity of the conversation and create a publicly accessible record of what was said.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/01/twitter-readies-edit-feature-for-premium-users.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/01/twitter-readies-edit-feature-for-premium-users.html Thu Sep 01 19:41:05 IST 2022 uae--nasa-missions-find--patchy--auroras-in-mars-atmosphere <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/01/uae--nasa-missions-find--patchy--auroras-in-mars-atmosphere.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/images/2022/4/3/MAVEN-spacecraft-limb-of-Mars-credit-NASA-Goddard-Space-Flight-Center.jpg" /> <p>The United Arab Emirate's Mars Mission (EMM) and NASA's MAVEN probe have found &quot;patchy&quot; proton auroras in Mars' skies, providing new insights into the red planet's atmosphere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An aurora is a natural light display in a planet's sky, predominantly seen in high-latitude regions such as the northern lights, or the aurora borealis, seen from the Earth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new aurora found by the team is formed when the solar wind directly impacts Mars' upper atmosphere and emits ultraviolet light as it slows down.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It was discovered in snapshots of the dayside disk obtained by the Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS), which observes the planet's upper atmosphere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When the aurora occurs, small regions of the planet become much brighter, signifying intense localised energy in the atmosphere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Our discovery of these patchy proton aurora adds a new kind of event to the long list of those currently studied by EMM and challenges our existing views of how the proton aurora on Mars' dayside are formed,&quot; said Hessa Al Matroushi, EMM's Science Lead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The EMM Hope probe has so far uncovered many unexpected phenomena that extend our understanding of Mars' atmospheric and magnetospheric dynamics.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;These new observations, combined with MAVEN data, have lifted the lid on entirely new possibilities for scientific research,&quot; Matroushi said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new images represent the first time scientists had a global view of spatial variability in proton aurora at Mars, and the first time they been able to unambiguously observe this patchy structure, said EMM science team member Mike Chaffin, lead author of the study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We know that these wavelengths are only emitted by the hydrogen atom, which tells us that super energetic hydrogen atoms must be present in the atmosphere in order to produce the auroral emission, Chaffin said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A data sharing agreement between EMM and MAVEN has enabled analysis of the new EMM images using plasma observations made by MAVEN, which has been characterising the Mars atmosphere since 2014.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the new study, EMM discovered fine-scale structures in proton aurora that spanned the full day side of Mars.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Typical proton aurora observations made by MAVEN and ESA's (the European Space Agency) Mars Express mission show these aurora appearing smooth and evenly distributed across the hemisphere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By contrast, EMM observed proton aurora that appeared highly dynamic and variable, the researchers said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These &quot;patchy proton aurora&quot; form when turbulent conditions around Mars allow the charged particles to flood directly into the atmosphere and glow as they slow down, they said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>UAE's Hope mission has observed patchy aurora multiple times over the course of its mission so far, and the shape of the aurora is not always the same.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Whether we will see anything as spectacular as what we've already got is anyone's guess, but I am hopeful. Hope continues to far exceed our expectations for scientific discovery, and I can't wait to see what we learn next,&quot; Chaffin added.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/01/uae--nasa-missions-find--patchy--auroras-in-mars-atmosphere.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/01/uae--nasa-missions-find--patchy--auroras-in-mars-atmosphere.html Thu Sep 01 17:04:23 IST 2022 iisc-s-virus-like-particle-may-lead-to-new-covid-19-vaccine <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/31/iisc-s-virus-like-particle-may-lead-to-new-covid-19-vaccine.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/2021/March/electron-microscope-CDC-SARS-CoV-2-virus-which-cause-Covid-19.jpg" /> <p>Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore have developed and tested a novel SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particle that can potentially be developed into a Covid-19 vaccine candidate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To study the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the researchers need to isolate the virus from the samples, create multiple copies of it, and analyse its transmissibility and efficiency at entering living cells.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, working with such a highly infectious virus is dangerous and requires a Bio Safety Level-3 (BSL-3) lab, only a handful of which across the country are equipped to handle such viruses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To address this problem, the team developed and tested a novel virus-like particle (VLP) -- a non-infectious nanoscale molecule that resembles and behaves like the SARS-CoV-2 virus but does not contain its native genetic material.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Such VLPs can not only be used to safely study the effect of mutations that may arise in SARS-CoV-2, but can also potentially be developed into a vaccine candidate that can trigger an immune response in our bodies, the researchers said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These VLPs can also be used to cut down the time taken to screen drugs that can fight the virus, they said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Saumitra Das, Professor at the Department of Microbiology and Cell Biology (MCB), IISc and his lab has previously shown that VLPs can be used as vaccine candidates to trigger an immune response.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When the pandemic hit, Das and his team began working on a VLP for SARS-CoV-2. They first had to artificially synthesise a VLP with all the four structural proteins -- spike, envelope, membrane and nucleocapsid -- seen in the actual virus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The main challenge was to express all four structural proteins together,&quot; said Harsha Raheja, PhD student at MCB and first author of the study published in the journal Microbiology Spectrum.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SARS-CoV-2 replicates by producing each structural protein separately and then assembling them into a shell containing the genetic material inside to form an active virus particle.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To recreate this, the team chose a baculovirus -- a virus that affects insects but not humans - as the carrier to synthesise the VLPs, since it has the ability to produce and assemble all these proteins, and replicate quickly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers then analysed the VLPs under a transmission electron microscope and found that they were just as stable as the native SARS-CoV-2.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At 4 degrees Celsius, the VLP could attach itself to the host cell surface and at 37 degrees Celsius (normal human body temperature), it was able to enter the cell. When the team injected a high dose of VLPs into mice in the lab, it did not affect the liver, lung, or kidney tissues, according to the researchers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To test its immune response, they gave one primary shot and two booster shots to mice models with a gap of 15 days, after which they found a large number of antibodies generated in the blood serum of the mice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These antibodies were also capable of neutralising the live virus, the team found.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This means that they are protecting the animals, explained Raheja.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers have applied for a patent for their VLP and hope to develop it into a vaccine candidate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They also plan to study the effect of the VLP on other animal models, and eventually humans.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers said that they have also developed VLPs that might be able to offer protection against the more recent variants like Omicron and other sub-lineages.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/31/iisc-s-virus-like-particle-may-lead-to-new-covid-19-vaccine.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/31/iisc-s-virus-like-particle-may-lead-to-new-covid-19-vaccine.html Wed Aug 31 18:01:41 IST 2022 nasa-to-reattempt-launch-of-new-moon-rocket-on-saturday <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/31/nasa-to-reattempt-launch-of-new-moon-rocket-on-saturday.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/images/2022/4/3/NASA--next-generation-moon-rocket-reu.jpg" /> <p>NASA will try again on Saturday to launch its new moon rocket on a test flight after engine trouble halted the first countdown this week.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Managers said Tuesday they are changing fuelling procedures to deal with the issue. The 322-foot (98-meter) rocket remains on its pad at Kennedy Space Centre, with an empty crew capsule on top. It's the most powerful rocket ever built by NASA.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Space Launch System rocket, or SLS, will attempt to send the capsule around the moon and back. No one will be aboard, just three test dummies. If successful, it will be the first capsule to fly to the moon since NASA's Apollo programme 50 years ago.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During Monday's launch attempt, one of the four main engines in the rocket's core stage could not be chilled sufficiently prior to planned ignition moments before lift-off. The three others came up just a little short.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The chilling operation will be conducted a half-hour earlier for Saturday afternoon's try, once fuelling is underway at the pad, officials said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>John Honeycutt, NASA's programme manager for the rocket, told reporters that the timing of this engine chill-down was earlier during successful testing last year, and so moving it sooner may do the trick.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Honeycutt also questioned the integrity of one engine sensor, saying it might have provided inaccurate data Monday. To change that sensor, he noted, would mean hauling the rocket back into the hangar, which would mean weeks of delay.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The $4.1 billion test flight is the opening shot in NASA's Artemis moon-exploration programme, named after the twin sister of Apollo in Greek mythology. Astronauts could strap in as soon as 2024 for a lap around the moon and actually attempt a lunar landing in 2025.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/31/nasa-to-reattempt-launch-of-new-moon-rocket-on-saturday.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/31/nasa-to-reattempt-launch-of-new-moon-rocket-on-saturday.html Wed Aug 31 09:37:22 IST 2022 despite-lightning-hits-nasa-moon-rocket-ready-for-launch <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/29/despite-lightning-hits-nasa-moon-rocket-ready-for-launch.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/images/2022/4/3/NASA-Artemis-rocket-with-the-Orion-spacecraft-aboard-is-seen-on-pad-39B-during-sunset-at-the-Kennedy-Space-Center-ap.jpg" /> <p>NASA's new moon rocket remained on track to blast off on a crucial test flight Monday, despite a series of lightning strikes at the launch pad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 322-foot (98-metre) Space Launch System rocket is the most powerful ever built by NASA. It's poised to send an empty crew capsule into lunar orbit, a half-century after NASA's Apollo programme, which landed 12 astronauts on the moon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Astronauts could return to the moon in a few years, if this six-week test flight goes well. NASA officials caution, however, that the risks are high and the flight could be cut short.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In lieu of astronauts, three test dummies are strapped into the Orion capsule to measure vibration, acceleration and radiation, one of the biggest hazards to humans in deep space. The capsule alone has more than 1,000 sensors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Officials said Sunday that neither the rocket nor capsule suffered any damage during Saturday's thunderstorm; ground equipment also was unaffected. Five lightning strikes were confirmed, hitting the 600-foot towers surrounding the rocket at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre. The strikes weren't strong enough to warrant major retesting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Clearly, the system worked as designed, said Jeff Spaulding, NASA's senior test director.</p> <p>More storms were expected. Although forecasters gave 80 per cent odds of acceptable weather Monday morning, conditions were expected to deteriorate during the two-hour launch window.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>On the technical side, Spaulding said the team did its best over the past several months to eliminate any lingering fuel leaks. A pair of countdown tests earlier this year prompted repairs to leaking valves and other faulty equipment; engineers won't know if all the fixes are good until just a few hours before the planned liftoff.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After so many years of delays and setbacks, the launch team was thrilled to finally be so close to the inaugural flight of the Artemis moon-exploration programme, named after Apollo's twin sister in Greek mythology.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We're within 24 hours of launch right now, which is pretty amazing for where we've been on this journey, Spaulding told reporters.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The follow-on Artemis flight, as early as 2024, would see four astronauts flying around the moon. A landing could follow in 2025. NASA is targeting the moon's unexplored south pole, where permanently shadowed craters are believed to hold ice that could be used by future crews.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/29/despite-lightning-hits-nasa-moon-rocket-ready-for-launch.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/29/despite-lightning-hits-nasa-moon-rocket-ready-for-launch.html Mon Aug 29 09:53:13 IST 2022 innovative-solutions-to-access-safe-drinking-water <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/innovative-solutions-to-access-safe-drinking-water.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2018/february/water-glass-drinking-pour-water-shut.jpg" /> <p>Access to clean drinking water is fundamental to our health and wellbeing, and a universal human right. But almost 200,000 Australians are still forced to use water contaminated with unsafe levels of various chemicals and bacteria. The situation is especially dire in remote areas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To tackle this issue, we have developed an integrated rainwater harvesting unit at Western Sydney University (WSU).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This simple system can produce safe drinking water for households and communities in remote areas. It's cheap, easy to use, and could improve the lives of thousands of people.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Far from city life</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In large Australian cities, we are used to turning on the tap clean, plentiful water is always there, coming from the central water supply. We also take for granted the use of potable water for other uses, such as car washing, gardening and laundry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But in rural and remote Australia, communities must develop private water supply systems to get safe drinking water from other sources. These can be rainwater, groundwater, surface water and carted water treated water from a supplier.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Among these sources, harvested rainwater is considered to be the second-safest option after mains supply, according to the private water supply risk hierarchy chart. So, many residents in rural and remote Australia are using rainwater for their needs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But rainwater isn't always safe to drink without adequate treatment, as it can be contaminated from various sources, including air pollution, runoff chemicals, animal droppings, and more.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Unknown water quality</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Australia, roughly 400 remote or regional communities don't have access to good quality drinking water, and 40% of those are Indigenous communities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to a 2022 drinking water quality report by Australian National University researchers, at least 627,736 people in 408 rural locations have drinking water that doesn't meet at least one of the standards set by the Australian Drinking Water Guidelines.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although the 2022 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals progress report declares that 100% of the Australian population has access to safe and affordable drinking water, it seems this report excluded about 8% of the population living in regional and remote areas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The issue could be even more widespread due to lack of adequate testing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Better options are available</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our low-cost rainwater harvesting unit can produce safe drinking water that meets Australian guidelines, particularly maintaining Escherichia coli and nitrate levels below the recommended limits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Most importantly, the system is integrated, which means it both collects rainwater, and treats it to be safe for household use.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The system is sustainable, uses locally available materials (such as gravel, sand, charcoal, limestone and stainless steel wire mesh or even cheesecloth), needs minimal maintenance, and is simple to operate. Communities can be trained to use these water systems regardless of technological skill level.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It's also affordable. The cost of the drinking water produced through this system would be just over 1 cent per litre, according to a recent technical and financial feasibility analysis.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Ready to use, with improvements on the way</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite their simplicity, these rainwater filter systems don't even have to be confined to individual households we can scale them up so entire communities can benefit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A case study has proved this in both developed and developing countries. Our collaborators in Bangladesh made the first move to adopt this technology, supplying safe drinking water to student accommodation at the Khulna University of Engineering &amp; Technology.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are also working on improvements. For example, we are building an automated system that can monitor the water quality from the unit regularly and adjust disinfectant dosing to keep it safe for drinking. We're also developing a method for the system to sense when the filter materials need cleaning, and even start this process automatically.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Australia, there is a clear need to improve water quality in remote communities. Adopting our simple rainwater filtering system would help communities to produce safe drinking water at minimum cost, and the WSU team is ready to work with local shire councils and groups from different remote communities to transfer the knowledge.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(The Conversation: By Md Abdul Alim, Ataur Rahman and Zhong Tao, Western Sydney University)&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/innovative-solutions-to-access-safe-drinking-water.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/innovative-solutions-to-access-safe-drinking-water.html Fri Aug 26 16:11:01 IST 2022 volvo-created-history-by-launching-xc40-recharge-on-metaverse <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/06/volvo-created-history-by-launching-xc40-recharge-on-metaverse.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/9/6/volvo-XC40.jpg" /> <p>When Volvo decided to launch its all electric offering the XC40 Recharge they decided on a platform that was as futuristic and tech advanced as the car itself – a platform that would&nbsp;be remembered as a major milestone in the Indian automotive sector. &nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The XC40 recharge was launched on metaverse and it created history both in terms of execution and consumer response. A hundred and fifty XC40 Recharge cars were sold within two hours of the online booking opening post the launch. This was adequate proof of a well-executed launch and trust in Volvo as a brand to always give state of the art in automotive technology.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;The XC40 Recharge has great offerings and perhaps the most important that has found favour with the India consumer is its range on a single charge. The XC40 Recharge gives a phenomenal four hundred kilometres plus on a single charge. This feature has firmly dispelled consumer misconceptions about EV range. Customers are now convinced that they can safely undertake long journeys and with the growing public charging infrastructure even undertake interstate journeys. The battery itself, in the XC40 Recharge comes with an amazing 8 years warranty.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Volvo Cars are known for their high standards of safety. This is a feature that holds good for those in the car as well as others who may be on the road. This is a commitment that is found in the XC40 Recharge that has six airbags as an inbuilt standard, as are modern driver assistance systems such as a 360-degree camera, adaptive cruise control, pilot assist, lane keeping assist, collision mitigation support, and a blind spot warning system.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Volvo has leveraged the power of Artificial Intelligence in the form of Intelligent Driver Information System or IDIS as it is called to give a highly superior and stress free drive. IDIS takes into consideration the road and traffic conditions, steering wheel movement, speed variations and the turn signal indicators. Using AI analytics the IDIS helps the driver to prioritize the information that the driver may be seeking. If necessary, IDIS steps in and delays incoming phone calls and other information until the driving situation is calmer and the driver can comfortably take calls. IDIS ensures that information vital to safety is never delayed. A key feature of IDIS is that the driver ever loses any information – it is only presented a few seconds later in a driving environment conducive to the driver.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Indian highways and national expressways now have realistic speed limits. The XC40 Recharge is adequately powered to achieve these speed limits. The XC40 Recharge's ability to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The XC40 Recharge has an infotainment and telematics systems which incorporates a sharper set of digital dials and the new Android-based infotainment system. With the help of an onboard e-SIM, the driver has direct access to Google Maps and Assistant, as well as a selection of apps from the PlayStore. This is a significant bonus for Indian customers who mostly use Android phones and almost everyone uses Google Maps. And, because Google Maps is connected with the car's software, navigating to a specific location will also forecast and display the amount of battery charge remaining on the way to the destination, as well as the usual time taken and arrival time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A panoramic sunroof, wireless phone charging, a comprehensive suite of sensor-based ADAS tech with Level 2 Autonomous driving, linked car tech, powered front seats with driver-side memory, and a premium Harman Kardon sound system are all available on the XC40 Recharge. All of these characteristics combine to make this electric SUV a complete and excellent choice for customers at an enviable price of Rs. 55.90 Lakh.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/06/volvo-created-history-by-launching-xc40-recharge-on-metaverse.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/06/volvo-created-history-by-launching-xc40-recharge-on-metaverse.html Tue Sep 06 15:32:14 IST 2022 research-and-innovation-should-be-made-a--way-of-living---pm-mod <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/research-and-innovation-should-be-made-a--way-of-living---pm-mod.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/india/images/2019/2/25/research-result-work-pixabay.jpg" /> <p>Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday batted for research and innovation, saying it has to be made a &quot;way of living&quot; with increasing acceptance for it in society. Addressing students at the grand finale of the Smart India Hackathon, he said social and institutional support will boost innovation and new ideas and original thinking should be respected.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Modi said India is making rapid strides by keeping its faith in the young population and noted that its innovation index ranking has gone up.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The number of patents in the last eight years has gone up by seven times and the count of unicorns has gone beyond 100, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Smart India Hackathon has become an excellent example of public participation, and the young innovators are the flag-bearers of the &quot;Jai Anusandhan&quot; call made by him on Independence Day, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SIH, which started in 2017, is a nationwide initiative to provide students a platform to solve the pressing problems of society, organisations, and government. It aims to inculcate the culture of product innovation, problem-solving and out-of-the-box thinking among students.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/research-and-innovation-should-be-made-a--way-of-living---pm-mod.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/research-and-innovation-should-be-made-a--way-of-living---pm-mod.html Fri Aug 26 15:00:06 IST 2022 nasa-tests-new-moon-rocket--50-years-after-apollo <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/25/nasa-tests-new-moon-rocket--50-years-after-apollo.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/images/2022/4/3/NASA--next-generation-moon-rocket-reu.jpg" /> <p>Years late and billions over budget, NASA's new moon rocket makes its debut next week in a high-stakes test flight before astronauts get on top.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 322-foot rocket will attempt to send an empty crew capsule into a far-flung lunar orbit, 50 years after NASA's famed Apollo moonshots.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If all goes well, astronauts could strap in as soon as 2024 for a lap around the moon, with NASA aiming to land two people on the lunar surface by the end of 2025.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Liftoff is set for Monday morning from NASA's Kennedy Space Center.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The six-week test flight is risky and could be cut short if something fails, NASA officials warn.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We're going to stress it and test it. We're going make it do things that we would never do with a crew on it in order to try to make it as safe as possible, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told The Associated Press on Wednesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The retired founder of George Washington University's space policy institute said a lot is riding on this trial run. Spiraling costs and long gaps between missions will make for a tough comeback if things go south, he noted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is supposed to be the first step in a sustained program of human exploration of the moon, Mars, and beyond,&quot; said John Logsdon. Will the United States have the will to push forward in the face of a major malfunction?&quot;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The price tag for this single mission: more than $4 billion. Add everything up since the program's inception a decade ago until a 2025 lunar landing, and there's even more sticker shock: $93 billion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here's a rundown of the first flight of the Artemis programme, named after Apollo's mythological twin sister.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ROCKET POWER</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new rocket is shorter and slimmer than the Saturn V rockets that hurled 24 Apollo astronauts to the moon a half-century ago. But it's mightier, packing 4 million kilograms of thrust.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It's called the Space Launch System rocket, SLS for short, but a less clunky name is under discussion, according to Nelson.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unlike the streamlined Saturn V, the new rocket has a pair of strap-on boosters refashioned from NASA's space shuttles.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The boosters will peel away after two minutes, just like the shuttle boosters did, but won't be fished from the Atlantic for reuse.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The core stage will keep firing before separating and crashing into the Pacific in pieces. Two hours after liftoff, an upper stage will send the capsule, Orion, racing toward the moon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MOONSHIP</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>NASA's high-tech, automated Orion capsule is named after the constellation, among the night sky's brightest. At 11 feet tall, it's roomier than Apollo's capsule, seating four astronauts instead of three. For this test flight, a full-size dummy in an orange flight suit will occupy the commander's seat, rigged with vibration and acceleration sensors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Two other mannequins made of material simulating human tissue heads and female torsos, but no limbs will measure cosmic radiation, one of the biggest risks of spaceflight. One torso is testing a protective vest from Israel.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unlike the rocket, Orion has launched before, making two laps around Earth in 2014.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This time, the European Space Agency's service module will be attached for propulsion and solar power via four wings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>FLIGHT PLAN</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Orion's flight is supposed to last six weeks from its Florida liftoff to Pacific splashdown, twice as long as astronaut trips in order to tax the systems.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It will take nearly a week to reach the moon, 386,000 kilometers away. After whipping closely around the moon, the capsule will enter a distant orbit with a far point of 61,000 kilometers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That will put Orion 450,000 kilometers from Earth, farther than Apollo. The big test comes at mission's end, as Orion hits the atmosphere at 40,000 kph on its way to a splashdown in the Pacific.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The heat shield uses the same material as the Apollo capsules to withstand reentry temperatures of 2,750 degrees Celsius.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But the advanced design anticipates the faster, hotter returns by future Mars crews.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>HITCHHIKERS</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Besides three test dummies, the flight has a slew of stowaways for deep space research. Ten shoebox-size satellites will pop off once Orion is hurtling toward the moon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The problem is these so-called CubeSats were installed in the rocket a year ago, and the batteries for half of them couldn't be recharged as the launch kept getting delayed. NASA expects some to fail, given the low-cost, high-risk nature of these mini satellites.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The radiation-measuring CubeSats should be OK. Also in the clear: a solar sail demo targeting an asteroid.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a back-to-the-future salute, Orion will carry a few slivers of moon rocks collected by Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin in 1969, and a bolt from one of their rocket engines, salvaged from the sea a decade ago. Aldrin isn't attending the launch, according to NASA, but three of his former colleagues will be there: Apollo 7's Walter Cunningham, Apollo 10's Tom Stafford and Apollo 17's Harrison Schmitt, the next-to-last man to walk on the moon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>APOLLO VS. ARTEMIS</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>More than 50 years later, Apollo still stands as NASA's greatest achievement. Using 1960s technology, NASA took just eight years to go from launching its first astronaut, Alan Shepard, and landing Armstrong and Aldrin on the moon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By contrast, Artemis already has dragged on for more than a decade, despite building on the short-lived moon exploration programme Constellation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Twelve Apollo astronauts walked on the moon from 1969 through 1972, staying no longer than three days at a time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For Artemis, NASA will be drawing from a diverse astronaut pool currently numbering 42 and is extending the time crews will spend on the moon to at least a week.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The goal is to create a long-term lunar presence that will grease the skids for sending people to Mars. NASA's Nelson, promises to announce the first Artemis moon crews once Orion is back on Earth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>WHAT'S NEXT</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There's a lot more to be done before astronauts step on the moon again. A second test flight will send four astronauts around the moon and back, perhaps as early as 2024.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A year or so later, NASA aims to send another four up, with two of them touching down at the lunar south pole. Orion doesn't come with its own lunar lander like the Apollo spacecraft did, so NASA has hired Elon Musk's SpaceX to provide its Starship spacecraft for the first Artemis moon landing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Two other private companies are developing moonwalking suits.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The sci-fi-looking Starship would link up with Orion at the moon and take a pair of astronauts to the surface and back to the capsule for the ride home. So far, Starship has only soared 10 kilometers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Musk wants to launch Starship around Earth on SpaceX's Super Heavy Booster before attempting a moon landing without a crew.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One hitch: Starship will need a fill-up at an Earth-orbiting fuel depot, before heading to the moon.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(AP)</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/25/nasa-tests-new-moon-rocket--50-years-after-apollo.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/25/nasa-tests-new-moon-rocket--50-years-after-apollo.html Thu Aug 25 14:20:38 IST 2022 north-india-most-polluted-delhi-ncr-hotspot <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/north-india-most-polluted-delhi-ncr-hotspot.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/india/images/2019/11/4/delhi-pollution-india-gate-ap.jpg" /> <p>North India is most polluted with the Delhi-NCR region being a hotspot according to new data.</p> <p>A national assessment by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has put forth that the Particulate Matter2.5 average in the northern capital region is almost three times the average of cities in southern India.</p> <p>While pollution this summer has been higher than pollution last summer; the highest daily peak of pollution has been recorded in cities of Bihar.</p> <p>It is also interesting to note that it is not the mega cities which are most polluted but smaller cities have become pollution hotspots. Bhiwandi in Rajasthan tops the list.</p> <p>The high level of summer pollution is the result of a combination of pollution from vehicles, industry, power plants, waste burning, and dust sources and wind-blown dust, aggravated by heat and arid conditions.</p> <p>For the study, data from March 1 to May 31 has been considered. Besides the fact that Delhi-NCR is the most polluted, other major findings are that daily peak pollution was the highest in east India, with cities of Bihar recording the highest levels: Summer daily peak PM2.5 levels for east India stood at 168 µg/m³, the highest among all the regions. North India with 142 µg/m³ summer peak was the second worst. West India (106 µg/m³), central India (89 µg/m³), cortheast India (81 µg/m³) and south India (65 µg/m³) also recorded summer peak in excess of 60 µg/m. Within north India, Delhi NCR was found to be most polluted sub-region.</p> <p>The cities of Bihar recorded very high summer PM2.5 averages, with Bihar Sharif reporting the highest summer peak of 285 µg/m³. Katihar (245 µg/m³) and Patna (200 µg/m³) also recorded peak level in excess of 200 µg/m³. Rohtak recorded the highest peak pollution in north India with a 258 µg/m³ daily peak.</p> <p>Another key finding is that north India has recorded a staggering 23 per cent increase in seasonal PM2.5 level compared to the previous summer. Within north India, NCR was the worst performing sub-region with 25.8 per cent increase in seasonal PM2.5 level. Central India registered increase of 15.6 per cent while west India (4.2 per cent) and east India (1.8 per cent) registered increase under five per cent. South India showed no change in the seasonal average but saw a decline of 22 per cent in seasonal peak. Northeast India registered drop in both seasonal average (-12.8 per cent) and seasonal peak (-18.3 per cent). East India was the only region which registered an increase in its seasonal peak compared to last summer.</p> <p>In south India, eight cities show an increasing trend. Kozhikode saw a jump of 76 per cent in summer average and 17 per cent increase in peak. Kochi has the most divergent trend with 55 per cent increase in the summer average but its peak increase by 145 per cent. Other cities with increasing trend in the region are Madikeri, Bengaluru, Puducherry, Amravati, Chikkaballapur, and Thiruvananthapuram.</p> <p>“This analysis identifies the unique patterns of pollution across all regions and puts a spotlight on a large number of towns and cities that do not get policy attention. Summer particulate pollution spikes due to arid conditions, high summer heat and temperature, and more airborne dust particles that travel long distances compounding the problem from local sources,” said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director, research and advocacy, CSE.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/north-india-most-polluted-delhi-ncr-hotspot.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/north-india-most-polluted-delhi-ncr-hotspot.html Wed Aug 24 16:24:15 IST 2022 iit--aiims-discover-factors-behind-virulence-of-bacteria-that-ca <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/iit--aiims-discover-factors-behind-virulence-of-bacteria-that-ca.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2021/1/13/Covid-19-patients-being-treated-at-Gandhi-Hospital-Hyderabad-pti.jpg" /> <p>Researchers at Jodhpur's IIT and AIIMS have been studying a dangerous bacteria called Klebsiella pneumoniae, a major cause of hospital-acquired infection, and found it develops a viscous protective covering around itself which is one of major factors behind its high virulence and antibiotic resistance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study, being performed in collaboration with Vellore Institute of Technology, uses genomics and molecular biology approaches to identify new genes responsible for the bacteria's potency. The research has been published in the journal &quot;Microbiology Spectrum&quot;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Klebsiella pneumoniae is one of the pathogens on the World Health Organization's priority list and is a significant cause of hospital-acquired diseases such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and infections among ICU patients and newborns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>According to officials, because of its high virulence and antibiotic resistance, the management and treatment of Klebsiella pneumoniae have challenged the medical and scientific community worldwide.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;One of the ways in which Klebsiella pneumoniae escapes the body's immune system, and antibiotics is by producing an extremely sticky and viscous protective covering (hypermucoviscosity) around itself,&quot; said Shankar Manoharan, Assistant Professor, Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering, IIT Jodhpur.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hypermucoviscosity can be identified by the string test, in which a bacterial colony growing in laboratory media is touched using an applicator, which is then slowly lifted off the colony. If a sticky string of 5 mm or more extends from the colony to the applicator, the bacteria is hypermucoviscous and highly virulent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;We are currently studying these mutants and disrupted genes to explain the potentially new mechanisms behind this unusual sticky and viscous covering of Klebsiella pneumoniae P-34. Such understanding will enable the development of methodologies to effectively control the spread of such strains and treat infections caused by them,&quot; Manoharan said.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/iit--aiims-discover-factors-behind-virulence-of-bacteria-that-ca.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/iit--aiims-discover-factors-behind-virulence-of-bacteria-that-ca.html Wed Aug 24 17:20:22 IST 2022 human-evolution--revelations-from-17-million-year-old-ape-teeth- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/human-evolution--revelations-from-17-million-year-old-ape-teeth-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2019/1/3/human-evolution-modern-man-shut.jpg" /> <p>The timing and intensity of the seasons shapes life all around us, including tool use by birds, the evolutionary diversification of giraffes, and the behaviour of our close primate relatives. Some scientists suggest early humans and their ancestors also evolved due to rapid changes in their environment, but the physical evidence to test this idea has been elusive until now.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After more than a decade of work, we've developed an approach that leverages tooth chemistry and growth to extract information about seasonal rainfall patterns from the jaws of living and fossil primates.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We share our findings in a collaborative study just published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Teeth are environmental time machines</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During childhood our teeth grow in microscopic layers similar to the growth rings found in trees. Seasonal changes in the world around us, such as droughts and monsoons, influence our body chemistry. The evidence of such changes is recorded in our teeth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That's because the oxygen isotope composition of drinking water naturally varies with temperature and precipitation cycles. During warm or dry weather, surface waters accumulate more heavy isotopes of oxygen. During cool or wet periods, lighter isotopes become more common.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These temporal and climatic records remain locked inside fossilised tooth enamel, which can maintain chemical stability for millions of years. But the growth layers are generally so small that most chemical techniques can't measure them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To get around this problem, we teamed up with geochemist Ian Williams at the Australian National University, who runs the world-leading Sensitive High Resolution Ion Microprobe (SHRIMP) facilities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In our study, we collected detailed records of tooth formation and enamel chemistry from slices of more than two dozen wild primate teeth from equatorial Africa.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also analysed two fossil molars from an unusual large-bodied ape called Afropithecus turkanensis that lived in Kenya 17 million years ago. Diverse groups of apes inhabited Africa during this period, roughly 10 million years before the evolution of our early ancestors, the hominins.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Diving into an ancient African landscape</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Several aspects of our research are helpful for understanding the link between environmental patterns and primate evolution.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>First, we observe a direct relationship between historic African rainfall patterns and primate tooth chemistry. This is the first test of a highly influential idea in archaeological and earth sciences applied to wild primates: that teeth can record fine details of seasonal environmental change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are able to document annual west African rainy seasons and identify the end of east African droughts. In other words, we can see the storms and seasons that occur during an individual's early life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And this leads into another important aspect. We provide the largest record of primate oxygen isotope measurements collected so far, from diverse environments in Africa that may have resembled those of ancestral hominins.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lastly, we've been able to reconstruct annual and semi-annual climate cycles, and marked environmental variation, from information held within the teeth of the two fossil apes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our observations support the hypothesis that Afropithecus developed certain features to adapt to a seasonal climate and challenging landscape. For example, it had specialised dental traits for hard object feeding, as well as a longer period of molar growth compared with earlier apes and monkeys consistent with the idea that it consumed more seasonally varied foods.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We conclude our work by comparing data from Afropithecus to earlier studies of fossil hominins and monkeys from the same region in Kenya. Our detailed microsampling shows just how sensitive tooth chemistry is to fine-scale climate variation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Previous studies of more than 100 fossil teeth have missed the most interesting part of oxygen isotope compositions in teeth: the huge seasonal variation on the landscape.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Research potential closer to home</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This novel research approach, coupled with our fossil ape findings and modern primate data, will be crucial for future studies of hominin evolution especially in Kenya's famous Turkana Basin.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, some researchers have suggested that seasonal differences in foraging and stone tool use helped hominins evolve and coexist in Africa. This idea has been hard to prove or disprove, in part because seasonal climatic processes have been hard to tease out of the fossil record.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our approach could also be extended to animal remains from rural Australia to gain further insight into historic climate conditions, as well as the prehistoric environmental changes that shaped Australia's unique modern landscapes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(The Conversation: By Tanya M. Smith, Griffith University and Daniel Green, Columbia University)</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/human-evolution--revelations-from-17-million-year-old-ape-teeth-.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/24/human-evolution--revelations-from-17-million-year-old-ape-teeth-.html Wed Aug 24 12:24:08 IST 2022 will-the-persystic-token-last-the-test-of-time-like-crypto-frontrunner-ethereum <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/02/will-the-persystic-token-last-the-test-of-time-like-crypto-frontrunner-ethereum.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/9/2/persystic.jpg" /> <p>Market growth in the cryptocurrency space is being driven by innovation. Every day, new projects are released onto the market. Examining a crypto token's utility is the greatest approach to determine what you stand to benefit from. It has the potential to succeed if it has a compelling use case.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The act of sharing content or expressing an opinion is intrinsic to the human experience, and the growth of social networks has created chances for this previously unthinkable activity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The need for communication among people and the development of digital technology have both contributed to social media's evolution. Social media has undergone significant transformation in less than a generation, going from being a direct electronic information exchange to being a virtual community, an e-commerce platform, and an essential 21st-century marketing tool.</p> <p><b>Persystic Token (PSYS)</b><a href="http://persystic.io/"></a></p> <p><a href="https://join.persystic.io/register">&nbsp;</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The first decentralised social network in the world, with the main objective of assisting its users in making money. The Persystic governance structure is based on the principles of Swiss democracy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our platform has pioneering privacy regulations and not only incorporates ideas from the most well-known social networks, but it has also developed a new business model. Blockchain, which enables users to share and sell their material in a way that is transparent, safe, and verifiable, further supports this.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Persystic ecosystem will be propelled primarily by the Persystic coin. These tokens can be used by users to send and receive payments for the unique content they have produced. The&nbsp;<u>Persystic Token's</u>&nbsp;goal is to boost social media network accessibility so that content creators and consumers may take advantage of more lucrative commercial opportunities.<a href="http://persystic.io/"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By carrying out the following activities, we will move this vision closer to realisation:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1. &nbsp;giving artists the freedom to own their creations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. &nbsp;encouraging content producers to provide genuine content</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3. &nbsp;the prevention and control of fake news through the implementation of producing and consuming content that is vetted and open to public assessment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>4. &nbsp;implementing a &quot;right to be forgotten&quot; law that allows users to decide whether or not they want their content to be kept on Persystic.</p> <p><a href="https://join.persystic.io/register">&nbsp;</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Ethereum (ETH)</b></p> <p>Since its inception in 2015, Ethereum has demonstrated stability and uses in real-world situations. The Ethereum blockchain, which is home to many decentralised projects, paved the way for decentralisation in the cryptocurrency world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The second-most valued cryptocurrency is Ethereum, which as of this writing has a market capitalization of just over $200 billion. Most significant metaverse projects, Apps, smart contracts, and decentralised ecosystems are hosted on Ethereum. Its native ETH token has been used for so many things as a result that it reached an all-time high of $4,878.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Many developers prefer the Ethereum network because of its top-notch security and scalability. With the release of Ethereum 2.0, which will increase scalability, many cryptocurrency analysts expect that the Ethereum network will be used more frequently. Major cryptocurrency specialists anticipated that Ethereum would soon reach another all-time high of $8,000 or more, despite the fact that the cryptocurrency sector is now experiencing a bear market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Website:&nbsp;<a href="https://persystic.io"></a><a href="https://persystic.io"><u>https://persystic.io</u></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Buy Persystic Now:&nbsp;<a href="https://join.persystic.io/register"></a><a href="https://join.persystic.io/register"><u>https://join.persystic.io/register</u></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/02/will-the-persystic-token-last-the-test-of-time-like-crypto-frontrunner-ethereum.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/02/will-the-persystic-token-last-the-test-of-time-like-crypto-frontrunner-ethereum.html Fri Sep 02 11:41:30 IST 2022 african-migratory-birds-threatened-by-hot--dry-weather <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/20/african-migratory-birds-threatened-by-hot--dry-weather.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/biztech/2018/April/climate-drought-weather-water-afp.jpg" /> <p>Africa's migratory birds are threatened by changing weather patterns in the centre and east of the continent that have depleted natural water systems and caused a devastating drought.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hotter and drier conditions due to climate change make it difficult for travelling species who are losing their water sources and breeding grounds, with many now endangered or forced to alter their migration patterns entirely by settling in cooler northern areas.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Roughly 10% of Africa's more than 2,000 bird species, including dozens of migratory birds, are threatened, with 28 species such as the Madagascar fish eagle, the Taita falcon and hooded vultures classed as critically endangered.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Over one-third of them are especially vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather, an analysis by environmental group BirdLife International said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Birds are being affected by climate change just like any other species,&quot; BirdLife policy coordinator Ken Mwathe said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Migratory birds are affected more than other groups of birds because they must keep on moving, which makes it more likely that a site they rely on during their journey has degraded in some way.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The African-Eurasian flyway, the flight corridor for birds that travel south through the Mediterranean Sea and Sahara Desert for the winter, harbours over 2,600 sites for migrating birds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An estimated 87% of African sites are at risk from climate change, a greater proportion than in Europe or Asia, a study by the United Nations environment agency and conservation group Wetlands International found.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Africa is more vulnerable to climate change because it is less able to adapt, said Evans Mukolwe, a retired meteorologist and science director at the World Meteorological Organization.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Poverty, biodiversity degradation, extreme weather events, lack of capital and access to new technologies&quot; make it more difficult for the continent to protect habitats for wild species, Mukolwe said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hotter temperatures due to human-caused climate change and less rainfall shrink key wetland areas and water sources, which birds rely on during migratory journeys.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lake Chad is an example,&quot; Mwathe said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Before birds cross the Sahara, they stop by Lake Chad, and then move to the Northern or Southern hemisphere. But Lake Chad has been shrinking over the years,&quot; which compromises its ability to support birds, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Parched birds means tougher journeys, which has an impact on their ability to breed, said Paul Matiku, executive director of Nature Kenya.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Flamingoes, for example, which normally breed in Lake Natron in Tanzania are unlikely to be able to if the migration journey is too rough,&quot; Matiku said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He added that not having water in those wetlands means breeding will not take place&quot; since flamingoes need water to create mud nests that keep their eggs away from the intense heat of dry ground.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Non-migratory birds are also struggling with the changing climate. African fish eagles, found throughout sub-Saharan Africa, are now forced to travel further in search of food.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The number of South African Cape Rockjumpers and Protea canaries is severely declining.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bird species living in the hottest and driest areas, like in the Kalahari Desert that spans Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, are approaching their physiological limits, the most recent assessment by the U.N.'s expert climate panel said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It added that birds are less able to find food and are losing body mass, causing large-scale deaths for those living in extreme heat.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Forest habitats get hotter with climate change and ... dryland habitats get drier and savannah birds lack food because grass never seeds, flowers never fruit, and insects never emerge as they do when it rains, Matiku said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Other threats, such as the illegal wildlife trade, agriculture, the growth of urban areas and pollution are also stunting bird populations like African fish eagles and vultures, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Better land management projects that help restore degraded wetlands and forests and protect areas from infrastructure, poaching or logging will help preserve the most vulnerable species, the U.N. environmental agency said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Birds and other species would benefit from concerted efforts to improve water access and food security, especially as sea level rise and extreme weather events are set to continue, said Amos Makarau, the Africa regional director of the U.N. weather agency.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Scientists say that curbing emissions of planet-warming gasses, especially in high-emitting nations, could also limit future weather-related catastrophes.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(AP)&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/20/african-migratory-birds-threatened-by-hot--dry-weather.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/20/african-migratory-birds-threatened-by-hot--dry-weather.html Sat Aug 20 14:57:41 IST 2022 pinduoduo-remodels-small-holder-farming-supply-chains-in-tech-for-agri-push <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/02/pinduoduo-remodels-small-holder-farming-supply-chains-in-tech-for-agri-push.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/9/2/Pinduoduo-Remodels.jpg" /> <p>Before agricultural e-commerce took root, the peach farmers of Li Yang Village had to wait each summer for wholesale buyers to make their rounds of the rural outskirts of Beijing and buy their harvests. The farmers had no visibility of consumer demand and had little choice but to accept whatever pricing the wholesalers offered.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even though their village was renowned for producing top-grade peaches, the farmers sometimes sold their fruit for as little as 10 cents a kilogram when times were bad. They typically made a few hundred dollars a year for their labour.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>Things began to pick up after a local village official roped the villagers into forming an agricultural cooperative and began marketing their peaches on&nbsp;<a href="https://stories.pinduoduo-global.com/"></a><a href="https://stories.pinduoduo-global.com/"><u>Pinduoduo’s</u></a>&nbsp;agricultural e-commerce platform in 2019. Consumers soon recognized the quality of their peaches, and the cooperative quickly topped Pinduoduo’s quality rankings, ensuring a steadily increasing stream of orders. The cooperative also participated in various marketing promotions and campaigns by Pinduoduo to promote local agricultural specialities to its more than 800 million active consumers.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Li Yang Village is one example of traditional agricultural producers who have benefited from embracing agricultural e-commerce and participating in the digital economy. Across China, hundreds of villages renowned for their hometown specialities, from peaches to avocados to ham, are discovering the reach of platforms like Pinduoduo to deliver new customers for their products.<br> </p> <p>Founded in 2015, Pinduoduo&nbsp;operates a digital platform connecting millions of farmers and consumers and devoted itself to using technology to bring positive change to the age-old agricultural sector. The company’s “Tech for Agri” approach is centred on increasing market accessibility, improving digital inclusion and literacy, and fostering innovation as key enablers for agricultural modernization.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Pinduoduo is the first major internet company to use its e-commerce platform to improve the efficiency of moving agricultural products from rural areas to cities. By providing farmers with direct access to buyers, Pinduoduo has given agricultural producers a viable alternative to selling to wholesalers for the very first time.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The company has estimated it was able to reduce distribution costs by 40% by cutting the number of intermediaries between farm and table. More than 16 million farmers have connected to the digital economy through Pinduoduo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The direct connection between farmer and consumer has benefits beyond an increase in sales. Farmers are gaining immediate consumer feedback about their products with the help of e-commerce. The consumers also benefit from the increased transparency and can interact with the farmers through the platform.&nbsp;</p> <p>For Li Yang Village, the increased income from agricultural e-commerce and interaction with consumers has enabled the farmers to develop their agricultural businesses.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Armed with customer feedback, the cooperative worked on improving the sweetness and mouthfeel of their peaches. They developed new varieties to suit the tastes of consumers. The cooperative also developed varieties of sweetcorn and cultivated mushrooms after spotting market opportunities, creating additional sources of income for the village.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By reducing the number of intermediaries that stand between producer and consumer, digital platforms like Pinduoduohave helped to reduce costs, improve transparency and efficiency, and contribute to higher incomes for smallholder farmers.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/02/pinduoduo-remodels-small-holder-farming-supply-chains-in-tech-for-agri-push.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/09/02/pinduoduo-remodels-small-holder-farming-supply-chains-in-tech-for-agri-push.html Fri Sep 02 13:01:59 IST 2022 india-s-solar--wind-energy-potential-likely-to-dip-due-to-climat <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/19/india-s-solar--wind-energy-potential-likely-to-dip-due-to-climat.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2018/5/1/renewable-energy-wind-reu.jpg" /> <p>Solar and wind potential in India are likely to face a negative trend in the future due to climate change, according to a new study by Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers used state-of-the-art climate models devised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to analyse the wind and solar projections for the renewable energy sector over the Indian subcontinent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The seasonal and annual wind speed is likely to decrease over North India and increase along South India. The southern coast of Odisha and the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu show promising potential for wind energy in the climate change scenario, said the study titled 'Analysis of future wind and solar potential over India using climate models'.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Current Science recently.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Regional analysis of wind potential indicates that the frequency of high energy producing wind speeds will decrease, whereas low energy producing wind speeds are likely to increase in the future.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Solar projections for the future indicate that solar radiation will decrease during all seasons over most of the Indian landmass. For future investments in the solar power sector, central and south-central India must be considered during pre-monsoon months, as the potential loss is minimal in these regions,&quot; it said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The present study shows that the renewable energy fields of solar and wind potential in India are likely to face a negative trend in the future... Expanded and more efficient networks of wind and solar farms are needed to increase renewable energy production,&quot; the report read.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Parthasarathi Mukhopadhyay, one of the researchers who conducted the study, said, Our industry must adapt to the changing climate, and our technologies must keep pace. Such predictions should not be taken as facts, but as possibilities.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The efficiency of renewable energy may be impacted by climate change in the Indo-Gangetic plains. The study emphasises the importance of being prepared for scenarios of this kind and addressing it, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The forecasts are important since India has updated its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to fight climate change, incorporating two of the promises made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Glasgow conference -- reducing emissions intensity of GDP by 45 per cent by 2030, from 2005 level, and achieving about 50 per cent cumulative electric power installed capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources by 2030.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/19/india-s-solar--wind-energy-potential-likely-to-dip-due-to-climat.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/19/india-s-solar--wind-energy-potential-likely-to-dip-due-to-climat.html Fri Aug 19 16:02:31 IST 2022 it-takes-commitment-to-preserve-a-language <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/18/it-takes-commitment-to-preserve-a-language.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/languages-speech-words-communication-language-shut.jpg" /> <p>Malaysia's Indigenous language Bidayuh is declining in use and it will take a concerted effort to ensure competing languages don't cause its demise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bidayuh, a language spoken by people living in East Malaysia's Sarawak state, is at risk of disappearing outside its traditional heartland.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ethnically diverse Sarawak is home to more than 26 indigenous groups and 47 language varieties and while some of these languages remain popular, Bidayuh is declining. Researchers set out to find out why.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Bidayuhs, often referred to as Land Dayak, meaning people of the land', are the second largest indigenous ethnic group in the region, behind the Iban. And while the Iban make up nearly 30 percent of the Sarawak population, the Bidayuh account for just 7.7 percent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Malay and English are already competing with the Bidayuh language, and as mixed marriages grow in the region, Iban and Sarawak Malay dialects are proving more attractive and dominant means of communication.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Government agencies and non-government organisations in Malaysia support the retention of Indigenous languages, helping to preserve customary laws and culture. But the researchers found even among the Bidayuhs, upholding the vitality of their language tends to be attributed to others rather than self.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The increase in mixed marriages in Malaysia means there is a growing number of children with partial Bidayuh parentage and this doesn't appear to be supporting greater use of the language.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An ongoing study from Universiti Malaysia Sarawak involving 467 Bidayuhs found 67 percent spoke Bidayuh almost every day but 11 percent did not speak the language at all during the week.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Asked how to help preserve the language, only 56 percent believed speaking it at home was the way forward. Nearly half of the participants believed community activities, media broadcasts, printed materials, and education are better revitalisation initiatives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the Bidayuh community in Sarawak, the diversity of dialects is also a challenge. Even some Bidayuh couples may not be able to speak Bidayuh with each other or their children because of the mutual unintelligibility of Bidayuh dialects, and this affects the intergenerational transmission of the Bidayuh language.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Bidayuh language is the number one identity marker but language is not the be-all and end-all of Bidayuh culture. Bidayuh couples living in cosmopolitan centres compensate for the displacement of the Bidayuh language by entrenching their children in the Bidayuh culture (for example the Gawai or harvest celebration), living among Bidayuh people, eating Bidayuh food, and making frequent visits to the village where their grandparents live.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Teaching the language in schools may seem like one obvious solution, already the case for Iban and Kadazandusun, the latter first taught in primary schools in 1997 and in secondary school in 2006.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But in the case of Bidayuh, work on standardising and developing an orthography has been stymied by the great dialectal variations. Even in the mother tongue education programme initiated by Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) and SIL International and implemented in some playschools and preschools, the teachers sometimes used their own spelling because they speak a different Bidayuh dialect than the teaching materials. There is tension over whether the standard Bidayuh language should comprise elements taken from various dialects or be based on Biatah, which is the largest group and somewhat easier to speak.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One preservation option could be making it prestigious to speak Bidayuh, mimicking successful efforts to preserve languages in Singapore and Ecuador.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Descriptions of the Bidayuh language in glowing terms through songs, speeches, printed materials, and the media could uplift the image of Bidayuh and strengthen pride in the language. If social elites, the influential, and the politically powerful among the Bidayuh were to speak the language to their children and grandchildren it could serve as a reference point for the community to follow.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(360info.org: By Ting Su Hie, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS)&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/18/it-takes-commitment-to-preserve-a-language.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/18/it-takes-commitment-to-preserve-a-language.html Thu Aug 18 17:31:53 IST 2022 scientists-hope-to-revive-the-tasmanian-tiger-from-extinction <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/scientists-hope-to-revive-the-tasmanian-tiger-from-extinction.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/17/thylacinef.jpg" /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Tasmanian tiger has been extinct since 1936. But, chances are, it won't remain extinct for too long. Scientists from the US are Australia are embarking&nbsp;on a multi-million dollar project to bring&nbsp;the animal back. The researchers say that the tiger can be brought back using stem cells and gene-editing technology. According to them, the creature officially known as a thylacine could be reintroduced to the wild in 10 years.&nbsp;<br> </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Other experts have dismissed it saying that revival from extinction is just science fiction. The creature was called the Tasmanian tiger because of the stripes on its back, but it was a marsupial or a type of mammal that carries its young in a pouch.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The scientists plan to recreate the creature by taking stem cells from a living marsupial species with similar DNA and then using gene-editing technology to &quot;bring back&quot; the extinct species. If successful, they will create an animal of extremely close approximation of the thylacine. The revival of the Tasmanian tiger would mark the first de-extinction event in history.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Tasmanian tiger started declining in numbers when humans arrived in Australia tens of thousands of years ago. And later, when dingoes, a species of a wild dog appeared.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/scientists-hope-to-revive-the-tasmanian-tiger-from-extinction.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/scientists-hope-to-revive-the-tasmanian-tiger-from-extinction.html Wed Aug 17 13:19:26 IST 2022 does-entitlement-make-you-more-likely-to-cheat-- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/does-entitlement-make-you-more-likely-to-cheat--.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/cheating--test-student-hiding-cheat-note-while-taking-exam-examination-shut.jpg" /> <p>Why do people cheat? An intriguing study by two Israeli researchers in 2016 put forward a possible reason that has since become well established in the scientific literature and popular media.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers reported a series of experiments apparently showing that people told they have won a skill-based competition, such as a visual task, subsequently cheat more than others in games of chance, such as dice games. The proposed explanation was that winners experienced a sense of entitlement that induced them to cheat.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The paper has been highly cited by other researchers. One scientific comment paper even pointed out its significance in the light of tax evasion costing governments US$3.1 trillion (2.6 trillion) annually.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But does the finding hold up to scientific scrutiny? We decided to replicate the study and investigate more closely the reasons why people do or don't cheat.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Our new study, published in Royal Society Open Science, failed twice to replicate the original finding. We found that the original experiments were statistically underpowered, meaning they used far too few experimental participants (43 in their main experiment) to sustain the conclusions that were drawn.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There were also problems of experimental design and methodology, notably a failure to randomly decide which participants were winners, losers, or part of a control group that weren't told how they had done in the skill-based competition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We began by replicating the original research as closely as possible, but in a large-scale experiment (252 participants) to achieve adequate statistical power. We also assigned participants randomly to conditions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To assign winners and losers, we used the perceptual judgement test used in the original experiment. The test involves the difficult task of estimating which of several different symbols is the most numerous in briefly displayed slides similar to the one shown below.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We put the participants in pairs and told them whether they had a better or worse score than their partner in the skill task. They were then put in new pairs and played a game of chance. The pairs then played a game of chance, also identical to the game in the original research. This involved rolling two dice under an inverted cup and then peeking through a spyhole in its base to see the result.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The players were told to help themselves to money from an envelope provided depending on what numbers the dice showed 25 pence for each dice spot. While it was impossible to tell who in particular cheated, collecting much significantly more than the average amount was evidence of cheating.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also assigned one-third of the participants to a control group. They were not told whether or not they had beaten their partner in the visual task before playing the the dice game.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Comparing the results to what we'd expect to happen by chance, a small but statistically significant amount of cheating seemed to have occurred, as in the original Israeli experiment. But our results showed no evidence that winning (or losing) had any statistically significant effect whatsoever on cheating, as can be seen in the graph below, where the dotted line shows the value expected by chance, without cheating.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We also ran an even larger online experiment (275 participants) in which we assigned participants randomly to be winners, losers or control participants using the same perceptual test as before.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In this experiment, each participant tossed a coin ten times and claimed rewards (Amazon gift vouchers) depending on how many heads they tossed. The results were almost identical to our first experiment: we found a similar level of cheating and no evidence of any effect of winning or losing on subsequent cheating.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We used standardised psychometric tests designed to measure differences between people that might influence cheating, including a sense of entitlement, self-confidence, belief in personal luck, and a few other factors. But only one, turned out to be statistically significant in all treatment conditions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Participants who dislike inequality cheated less than others. This is presumably because they had a stronger sense of fairness and considered cheating unfair. A sense of entitlement, on the other hand, was not significantly associated with cheating in any condition.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ultimately, what makes some people cheat more than others is not fully understood. But our research suggests people's feelings about inequality is one part of the explanation. There are also momentary circumstantial factors that encourage some people, but not others, to cheat.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Psychology in crisis</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The original Israeli experiment does not replicate, and it should be viewed in the context of what's known as the replication or reproducibility crisis in psychology. This refers to the fact that many recorded scientific findings are impossible to reproduce when experiments are repeated.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the principal drivers of the crisis is inadequate statistical power, meaning the use of sample sizes that are too small to yield trustworthy results. Our two experiments had extremely high (95%) statistical power, as required by the publisher of our registered report.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another driver of the crisis is publication bias, which is when articles with a positive result are more likely to be published than those with a negative one. Factors such as p-hacking (performing multiple different statistical tests on data until one of them turns out to be significant) and harking (creating a hypothesis after results are known) are also to blame.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Registered reports, in which investigators submit research proposals, including hypotheses and planned statistical tests before the research is undertaken, can ultimately help eliminate most of the drivers of the replication crisis. Such an approach will no doubt one day help us uncover other reasons why people cheat.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(The Conversation: By Andrew Colman, University of Leicester and Marta Mangiarulo, University of Leicester)&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/does-entitlement-make-you-more-likely-to-cheat--.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/does-entitlement-make-you-more-likely-to-cheat--.html Wed Aug 17 11:56:43 IST 2022 -the-covid-lab-leak-theory-is-dead <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/16/-the-covid-lab-leak-theory-is-dead.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/2019-nCoV-Corona-virus-blood-test-sample-Protective-suits-respiratory-syndrome-Wuhan-shut.jpg" /> <p>My colleagues and I published the most detailed studies of the earliest events in the Covid-19 pandemic last month in the journal Science.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Together, these papers paint a coherent evidence-based picture of what took place in the city of Wuhan during the latter part of 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The take-home message is the Covid pandemic probably did begin where the first cases were detected at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the same time this lays to rest the idea that the virus escaped from a laboratory.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Huanan market was the pandemic epicentre</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An analysis of the geographic locations of the earliest known Covid cases dating to December 2019 revealed a strong clustering around the Huanan market. This was true not only for people who worked at or visited the market, but also for those who had no links to it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Although there will be many missing cases, there's no evidence of widespread sampling bias: the first Covid cases were not identified simply because they were linked to the Huanan market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Huanan market was the pandemic epicentre. From its origin there, the SARS-CoV-2 virus rapidly spread to other locations in Wuhan in early 2020 and then to the rest of the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Huanan market is an indoor space about the size of two soccer fields. The word seafood in its name leaves a misleading impression of its function. When I visited the market in 2014, a variety of live wildlife was for sale including raccoon dogs and muskrats.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the time I suggested to my Chinese colleagues that we sample these market animals for viruses. Instead, they set up a virological surveillance study at the nearby Wuhan Central Hospital, which later cared for many of the earliest Covid patients.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wildlife were also on sale in the Huanan market in 2019. After the Chinese authorities closed the market on January 1 2020, investigative teams swabbed surfaces, door handles, drains, frozen animals and so on.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of the samples that later tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were from the south-western corner of the market. The wildlife I saw for sale on my visit in 2014 were in the south-western corner.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This establishes a simple and plausible pathway for the virus to jump from animals to humans.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Animal spillover</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SARS-CoV-2 has evolved into an array of lineages, some familiar to us as the variants of concern (what we call Delta, Omicron and so on). The first split in the SARS-CoV-2 family tree between the A and B lineages occurred very early in the pandemic. Both lineages have an epicentre at the market and both were detected there.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Further analyses suggest the A and B lineages were the products of separate jumps from animals. This simply means there was a pool of infected animals in the Huanan market, fuelling multiple exposure events.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Reconstructing the history of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome sequence through time showed the B lineage was the first to jump to humans. It was followed, perhaps a few weeks later, by the A lineage.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>All these events are estimated to have occurred no earlier than late October 2019. Claims that the virus was spreading before this date can be dismissed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What's missing, of course, is that we don't yet know exactly which animals were involved in the transfer of SARS-CoV-2 to humans. Live wildlife were removed from the Huanan market before the investigative team entered, increasing public safety but hampering origin hunting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The opportunity to find the direct animal host has probably passed. As the virus likely rapidly spread through its animal reservoir, it's overly optimistic to think it would still be circulating in these animals today.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The absence of a definitive animal source has been taken as tacit support for counter claims that SARS-CoV-2 in fact leaked from a scientific laboratory the Wuhan Institute of Virology.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Death knell for the lab leak theory</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The lab leak theory rests on an unfortunate coincidence: that SARS-CoV-2 emerged in a city with a laboratory that works on bat coronaviruses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some of these bat coronaviruses are closely related to SARS-CoV-2. But not close enough to be direct ancestors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sadly, the focus on the Wuhan Institute of Virology has distracted us from a far more important connection: that, like SARS-CoV-1 (which emerged in late 2002) before it, there's a direct link between a coronavirus outbreak and a live animal market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Consider the odds that a virus that leaked from a lab was first detected at the very place where you would expect it to emerge if it in fact had a natural animal origin vanishingly low. And these odds drop further as we need to link both the A and B lineages to the market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Was the market just the location of a super-spreading event? Nothing says so. It wasn't a crowded location in the bustling and globally connected metropolis of Wuhan. It's not even close to being the busiest market or shopping mall in the city.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the lab leak theory to be true, SARS-CoV-2 must have been present in the Wuhan Institute of Virology before the pandemic started. This would convince me.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But the inconvenient truth is there's not a single piece of data suggesting this. There's no evidence for a genome sequence or isolate of a precursor virus at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Not from gene sequence databases, scientific publications, annual reports, student theses, social media, or emails.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Even the intelligence community has found nothing. Nothing. And there was no reason to keep any work on a SARS-CoV-2 ancestor secret before the pandemic.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To assign the origin of SARS-CoV-2 to the Wuhan Institute of Virology requires a set of increasingly implausible what if? scenarios. These eventually lead to preposterous suggestions of clandestine bioweapon research.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The lab leak theory stands as an unfalsifiable allegation. If an investigation of the lab found no evidence of a leak, the scientists involved would simply be accused of hiding the relevant material. If not a conspiracy theory, it's a theory requiring a conspiracy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It provides a convenient vehicle for calls to limit, if not ban outright, gain-of-function research in which viruses with greatly different properties are created in labs. Whether or not SARS-CoV-2 originated in this manner is incidental.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wounds that may never be healed</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The acrid stench of xenophobia lingers over much of this discussion. Fervent dismissals by the Chinese scientists of anything untoward are blithely cast as lies.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Yet during this crucial period these same scientists were going to international conferences and welcoming visitors. Do we honestly believe they would have such a pathological disdain for the consequences of their actions?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The debate over the origins of Covid has opened wounds that may never be healed. It has armed a distrust in science and fuelled divisive political opinion. Individual scientists have been assigned the sins of their governments.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The incessant blame game and finger pointing has reduced the chances of finding viral origins even further. History won't judge this period kindly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Global collaboration is the bedrock of effective pandemic prevention, but we're in danger of destroying rather than building relationships. We may even be less prepared for a pandemic than in 2019. Despite political barriers and a salivating media, the evidence for a natural animal origin for SARS-CoV-2 has increased over the past two years. To deny it puts us all at risk.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;(The Conversation: By Edward C Holmes, University of Sydney)&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/16/-the-covid-lab-leak-theory-is-dead.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/16/-the-covid-lab-leak-theory-is-dead.html Tue Aug 16 14:45:54 IST 2022 how-wranga-is-facilitating-a-safe-digital-space-for-kids <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/how-wranga-is-facilitating-a-safe-digital-space-for-kids.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/26/wranga.jpg" /> <p>The recent times witnessed a massive surge in the digital consumption by children, which often made parents felt pressured and clueless on finding a digital balance in their child's life. This has highligted the dire need to have a platform that can help parents provide mentorship to their children in today’s digital age. Wranga is one such didgital digital parenting app, which provides an online platform of content ratings, reviews, parenting advice and recommendation, and promoting positive digital consumption. It is a unique ecosystem providing parents the opportunity to not just control but help align the children in the right direction and teach them to use the internet for the good.</p> <p>Let’s find out how Wranga as a digital parenting app is enabling today’s parents to keep a track of the content their children consume online, in a conversation with&nbsp;<b>Amitabh Kumar, co-founder at Wranga</b>.</p> <p><b>How did you conceive the idea to start this venture?&nbsp;</b></p> <p>The founding team has experience of over 4 decades in using technology for sustainable development &amp; positivity. I serve on the safety advisory board of large tech firms such as Byte dance, Meta, Twitter, and Netflix. During my course of work over the last decade whenever I met a parent their only question to me would be: How can we decrease the phone usage of our child, they are constantly hooked to the screen. So, this problem stuck with me &amp; the more we dug deeper we realised that it’s a problem faced by every parent on the planet. Problematic interactive media use or Pimu is a global pandemic, to solve this problem Wranga, India &amp; probably the world’s first digital parenting platform was created.</p> <p><b>Please elaborate on the technological intervention by Wranga to safeguard children's online safety.</b></p> <p>Wranga is a unique company which is developing technology in India and providing it to the world. Our patented rating, review and advisory algorithm, use NLP natural language processing, Computer vision &amp; GAN generative adversarial network technology. To provide age-appropriate guidance to parents on what content/app/game is positive for their child’s growth. For products &amp; services, we do a digital safety audit to ensure they are safe for children to use. In addition, we provide advisory to platforms on minor online safety. We have an interactive app solving all needs of a digital parent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What has helped the brand to grow, what would be the USP, and what is the current competitive landscape?</b></p> <p>Currently, we are the only platform dedicated to child online safety, we are working hard on creating awareness of the need for informed digital parenting. Our USP is the fact that we are mission-driven, super focused and have relevant niche field experience. Understanding the need of parents and children makes us champions of the cause. Also having the most cutting-edge developers helps us create great technology.</p> <p><b>How does Wranga enable the parents to monitor their children's internet consumption?</b></p> <p>Wranga is building state-of-the-art device control technology, where a parent will be aware of every action their child takes on their smartphone, laptop, or tab. With features like screen time control, the ability to set healthy limits, to allow access to only age-appropriate content, games and apps. Get notified when the child strays, also have real-time advisory on the emerging online trends</p> <p><b>Please provide a few tips to the parents on 'How to keep a track of the content their children consume online'?</b></p> <p>It all starts with trust in parenting. Trust your child to follow your lead, and be very well informed about the tech options you provide your child. Have an open conversation with them, it’s ok to say No. Be friendly to your child, but remember they lack the experience to make rational decisions, you need to guide them. Wranga is there to provide the information you need, ensure you refer to the app, it will answer all your questions. Children tend to copy their habits and keep their phones away as often as possible. Make sure you focus on them while talking to them &amp; spend focused time. Talk to them about what they like online don’t judge, the more open the conversation the easier it is to help your child interpret the information they have got, in the end, it’s not about what they consume, it’s about how they understand it. You want to build healthy habits towards, positive, informational and growth-oriented experiences.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Wranga also</b>&nbsp;launched a&nbsp;<b>&quot;Responsible Digital Citizenship and Online Safety&quot;</b>&nbsp;report in collabpration with&nbsp;<b>Disney Star India</b>&nbsp; with the key objective of building a safe digital space for the country &amp; youth. The report seeks to bridge a key pedagogical gap in Indian education that stems from an absence of interactive and useful course material to guide students (and their parents) on the meaning, importance and implications of responsible digital citizenship.</p> <p><b>What was the objective behind the survey?</b></p> <p>To understand the current awareness on topics of Digital citizenship amongst school children. Also, to identify curriculum gaps that can be upgraded to help children become positive digital citizens.</p> <p><b>What are the 3 major trends established through this survey about the online safety of children?</b></p> <p>Three major trends identified were&nbsp;</p> <p>1. Children in schools would like to be informed about laws governing the internet.</p> <p>2. They would like to have more information about emerging internet trends to include in the curriculum&nbsp;</p> <p>3. They prefer interactive workshops as the most interesting way to study digital citizenship</p> <p><b>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; How can we make the upcoming generations responsible digital citizens?</b></p> <p>We need to encourage ownership &amp; accountability towards the Internet amongst school children. For this, we need to involve them in the Digital India movement, by raising awareness amongst them &amp; giving them platforms to express themselves</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/how-wranga-is-facilitating-a-safe-digital-space-for-kids.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/26/how-wranga-is-facilitating-a-safe-digital-space-for-kids.html Fri Aug 26 17:58:19 IST 2022 which-diet-will-help-save-our-planet--climatarian--flexitarian-- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/which-diet-will-help-save-our-planet--climatarian--flexitarian--.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2019/October/red-meat-with-rosemary-shut.jpg" /> <p>The food we consume has a massive impact on our planet. Agriculture takes up half the habitable land on Earth, destroys forests and other ecosystems and produces a quarter of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Meat and dairy specifically accounts for around 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So changing what we eat can help reduce carbon emissions and promote sustainable farming. But there are several climate-friendly diets to choose from. The best known are the completely plant-based vegan diet, the vegetarian diet, which also allows eggs and dairy, and the pescetarian diet, which also allows seafood.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are also flexitarian diets, where three quarters of meat and dairy is replaced by plant-based food, or the Mediterranean diet which allows moderate amounts of poultry, pork, lamb and beef. Deciding which diet to choose is not as simple as you might expect.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Let us start with a new fad: the climatarian diet. One version was created by the not-for-profit organisation Climates Network, which says this diet is healthy, climate friendly and nature friendly. According to the publicity with a simple diet shift you can save a tonne of CO2 equivalents per person per year (equivalents just means methane and other greenhouse gases are factored in alongside carbon dioxide).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sounds great, but the diet still allows you to eat meat and other high emission foods such as pork, poultry, fish, dairy products and eggs. So this is just a newer version of the climate carnivore diet except followers are encouraged to switch as much red meat (beef, lamb, pork, veal and venison) as possible to other meats and fish.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The diet does, however, encourage you to cut down on meat overall and to choose high-welfare and local meat where possible, while avoiding food waste and choosing seasonal, local foods.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So saving a tonne of carbon dioxide is great but switching to vegetarianism or veganism can save even more. A western standard meat-based diet produces about 7.2 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per day, while a vegetarian diet produces 3.8 kg and a vegan diet 2.9 kg. If the whole world went vegan it would save nearly 8 billion tonnes CO2e while even a switch to the Mediterranean diet would still save 3 billion tonnes. That is a saving of between 60% and 20% of all food emissions as which are currently at 13.7 billion tonnes of CO2e a year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Water and land use</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To save our planet, we must also consider both water and land usage. Beef, for instance, needs about 15,000 litres of water per kilo.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some vegetarian or vegan foods like avocados and almonds also have a huge water footprint, but overall a plant-based diet has about half the water consumption of a standard meat-based diet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A global move away from meat would also free up a huge amount of land, since billions of animals would no longer have to be fed. Soya, for instance, is one of the world's most common crops yet almost 80% of the world's soybeans are fed to livestock.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The reduced need for agricultural land would help stop deforestation and help protect biodiversity. The land could also be used to reforest and rewild large areas which would become a natural store of carbon dioxide.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(Mostly) healthier</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A plant based diet is also generally healthier. Meat, especially highly processed meat, has been linked to a string of major health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, meat, dairy and fish are the main sources of some essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, zinc, iodine and vitamin B12. A strict vegan diet can put people at risk of deficiencies unless they can have access to particular foods or take supplements. Yet both specialist food and supplements are too expensive for many people around the world and it would be hard to scale up supplements production to provide for billions of extra people.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So a climatarian or flexitarian approach means there are fewer health risks and also allows people to still exercise choice. One study suggests a move to a global plant-based diet could reduce global mortality by up to 10% by 2050.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Nine animals per person per year</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the issues that seems to be lacking in many food discussions is the ethical dimension. Every year we slaughter 69 billion chickens, 1.5 billion pigs, 0.65 billion turkeys, 0.57 billion sheep, 0.45 billion goats, and 0.3 billion cattle. That is over nine animals killed for every person on the planet per year all for nutrition and protein which we know can come from a plant-based diet.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So what is the ideal global diet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce habitat destruction and help you live longer? Well I suggest being an ultra-flexitarian a diet of mostly plant-based foods but one that allows meat and dairy products in extreme moderation, but red and processed meat are completely banned. This would save at least 5.5 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year (40% of all food emissions), decrease global mortality by 10% and prevent the slaughter of billions of innocent animals.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(The Conversation)&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/which-diet-will-help-save-our-planet--climatarian--flexitarian--.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/which-diet-will-help-save-our-planet--climatarian--flexitarian--.html Sat Aug 13 14:16:10 IST 2022 first-synthetic-embryos--the-scientific-breakthrough-raises-seri <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/first-synthetic-embryos--the-scientific-breakthrough-raises-seri.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/creation-artificial-baby-synthetic-embryo-human-shut.jpg" /> <p>Children, even some who are too young for school, know you can't make a baby without sperm and an egg. But a team of researchers in Israel have called into question the basics of what we teach children about the birds and the bees, and created a mouse embryo using just stem cells.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It lived for eight days, about half a mouse's gestation period, inside a bioreactor in the lab.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2021 the research team used the same artificial womb to grow natural mouse embryos (fertilised from sperm and eggs), which lived for 11 days. The lab-created womb, or external uterus, was a breakthrough in itself as embryos could not survive in petri dishes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>If you're picturing a kind of silicone womb, think again. The external uterus is a rotating device filled with glass bottles of nutrients. This movement simulates how blood and nutrients flow to the placenta. The device also replicates the atmospheric pressure of a mouse uterus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some of the cells were treated with chemicals, which switched on genetic programmes to develop into placenta or yolk sac. Others developed into organs and other tissues without intervention. While most of the stem cells failed, about 0.5% were very similar to a natural eight-day-old embryo with a beating heart, basic nervous system and a yolk-sac.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These new technologies raise several ethical and legal concerns.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Artificial wombs</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the latest study, the scientists started with collections of stem cells. The conditions created by the external uterus triggered the developmental process that makes a fetus. Although the scientists said we are a long way off synthetic human embryos, the experiment brings us closer to a future where some humans gestate their babies artificially.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Each year over 300,000 women worldwide die in childbirth or as a result of pregnancy complications, many because they lack basic care. Even in wealthy countries, pregnancy and childbirth is risky and healthcare providers are criticised for failing mothers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is an urgent need to make healthcare more accessible across the planet, provide better mental health support for mothers and make pregnancy and childbirth safer. In an ideal world every parent should expect excellent care in all aspects of motherhood. This technology could help treat premature babies and give at least some women a different option: a choice of whether to carry their child or use an external uterus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some philosophers say there is a moral imperative to develop artificial wombs to help remedy the unfairness of parenting roles. But other researchers say artificial wombs would threaten a women's legal right to terminate a pregnancy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Synthetic embryos and organs</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the last few years, scientists have learned more about how to coax stem cells to develop into increasingly sophisticated structures, including ones that mimic the structure and function of human organs (organoids). Artificial human kidneys, brains, hearts and more have all been created in a lab, though they are still too rudimentary for medical use.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The issue of whether there are moral differences between using stem cells to produce models of human organs for research and using stem cells to create a synthetic embryo are already playing out in law courts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the key differences between organoids and synthetic embryos is their potential. If a synthetic embryo can develop into a living creature, it should have more protection than those which don't.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Synthetic embryos do not currently have potential to actually create a living mouse. If scientists did make human synthetic embryos, but without the potential to form a living being, they should arguably be treated similarly to organoids.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some countries (for example Australia) have taken the position that synthetic embryos such as blastoids (which resemble five-to-six-day-old embryos) should be treated like natural embryos, because of similarities in structure. Other countries (such as the UK, the US, Japan) treat synthetic embryos as different from embryos because they can't currently produce a live baby.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Another important legal issue is the source of stem cells and consent. The synthetic mouse embryo creators used stem cells from early embryos.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, in the future it might be possible to make synthetic embryos from induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS). The worst case scenario would be a person donates a skin cell to research into producing organs to cure disease but this is used without their knowledge or consent to produce synthetic embryos.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Cloning</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>IPS cells are created by taking a mature cell (such as a skin cell) from a living or dead person and applying treatments which drive it backwards to a more immature state. If the cell could be driven all the way back to an embryonic stem cell, it may one day be possible to use IPS cells to make viable embryos.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That embryo would be a clone of the cell donor. The public and scientists have huge concerns about human cloning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it has been possible to clone a human being using a different process called nuclear transfer, for 25 years. Nuclear transfer created Dolly the Sheep in 1997 and a monkey in 2018. In the late 90s and early 2000s, a flurry of laws introduced around the world successfully banned human cloning.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We should not let our fears about cloning stand in the way of crucial research. The benefits could make organ donor waiting lists a thing of the past, save premature babies and give women an option to have children a different way. Cloning, or any other unethical use of the technology, can be prevented by regulation.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(The Conversation:By Julian Savulescu, University of Oxford, Christopher Gyngell, The University of Melbourne and Tsutomu Sawai, Hiroshima University)&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/first-synthetic-embryos--the-scientific-breakthrough-raises-seri.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/first-synthetic-embryos--the-scientific-breakthrough-raises-seri.html Sat Aug 13 11:58:11 IST 2022 the-organic-world-launches-osh-a-plant-based-home-care-label <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/25/the-organic-world-launches-osh-a-plant-based-home-care-label.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/25/osh.jpg" /> <p><i>India’s largest organic and natural groceries retail store chain to make significant inroads in the household cleaners’ segment, valued at Rs 48,000 crore and expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.6% in the next five years.</i></p> <p><b>Bengaluru, 25, August 2022:</b>&nbsp;<a href="https://www.theorganicworld.com/"></a><a href="https://www.theorganicworld.com/">&nbsp;<u>The Organic World</u></a>&nbsp;(TOW), India’s largest organic and natural retailer recently launched Osh, the brand’s plant-based home care label – with a range of&nbsp;effective and safe cleaning solutions. This marks the latest milestone in the Bengaluru-based company’s endeavour toward empowering a growing number of Indian consumers with clean, chemical-free choices for a healthier lifestyle.</p> <p>The new range is expected to see TOW make significant inroads in India’s household cleaners’ segment, a Rs 48,000-crore market, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 19.6% in the next five years. Osh is made with 99% natural and plant-derived ingredients. It is completely free of harsh toxins such as sulphates, phosphates, bleach, parabens, ammonia and others that are commonly found in popular household cleaning products.</p> <p>The home care brand’s name draws from nature - Osh means dewdrop in Sanskrit – in its most pristine form, in keeping with the range’s plant-based, toxin-free compositions. All the products are vegan and cruelty-free and the fragrances used are all certified-allergen free by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). The first three products launched as part of the Osh range – laundry detergent, dish wash liquid, and floor cleaner – will be available across TOW’s omnichannel points of purchase, including 13 physical stores and online channels.</p> <p>Osh products are also specifically designed to address the lifestyle needs of Indian consumers; its laundry detergent offers effective results even when used with hard water, while the liquid dishwash can tackle stuck grease &amp; food even after 24 hours. In keeping with TOW’s commitment to being a sustainability-focused grocer, all the products are plastic negative, with Osh recycling twice the amount of plastic it uses.</p> <p>Talking about the company’s decision to foray into the segment,&nbsp;<b>Gaurav Manchanda, Founder and Managing Director, The Organic World,&nbsp;</b>said, “As India’s leading Responsible Retailer who is consistently working to empower our consumers with more ‘better choices’ across categories, we perceived a huge unmet demand in the household cleaners vertical. We realised that there is a massive gap when it comes to natural, plant-based cleaners that are effective and safe, thereby triggering repeat purchases and a sustained shift in consumer habits. With the launch of Osh, we are looking to offer the level of performance, safety, and quality that we believe our conscious consumers truly deserve.”</p> <p>The decision to enter the home cleaners’ category is in alignment with TOW’s strategy to establish end-to-end traceability and evolve the value chain to get closer to minimal environmental impact goals. Accordingly, the grocer, which already has more than 2000+ groceries on its shelves from a range of brands that meets its stringent quality standards, is already present in the organic staples, packaged foods and healthy snacks segment with its own brand WellBe. All the fruits &amp; vegetables at TOW are sourced from its organic farm network which includes its own organic farm, Happy Harvest Farms.</p> <p>Following its launch, Osh will further the parent company Nimida Group’s vision to create sustainable value by gaining consumers across urban Indian households. It will add to TOW’s portfolio, which currently includes organic-certified, pesticide-free fruits and vegetables, wholesome chemical-free everyday staples, homecare products free of toxins to safe and natural personal care essentials free of parabens and sulphates, health and wellness products, lovingly curated childcare products, and nutritious snacking alternatives – to offer more variety when it comes to making ‘better choices’.</p> <p><i>Osh laundry detergent (900 ml) is priced at Rs 350, floor cleaner (1000 ml) @ Rs 330, and the dish wash liquid (750 ml) costs Rs 330.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/25/the-organic-world-launches-osh-a-plant-based-home-care-label.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/25/the-organic-world-launches-osh-a-plant-based-home-care-label.html Thu Aug 25 15:08:09 IST 2022 india-75-how-science-helped-india-solve-these-10-problems <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/india-75-how-science-helped-india-solve-these-10-problems.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/india/images/2019/1/21/evm-machines.jpg" /> <p>“In 1947, when India got independence, there were only a few scientific institutes like the Indian Institute of Science and Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and 17 universities. The new country had many problems,” says Shekhar Mande, former director general of the CSIR.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, it is only fair that we look at India's development story from the perspective of science. “Our priority was to identify areas of research and develop places where these researches could be conducted. The government began by setting up Indian Institutes of Technology, and a string of national laboratories,” he says.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mande put together for THE WEEK some of the top solutions that Indian scientists found for specific Indian challenges, often where even western scientists gave up.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Implementing democracy</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When India went to polls for the first time, the Election Commission was stumped. How could it ensure that there was only one vote per voter, and that people didn't go to multiple booths and vote?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>CSIR's National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi came up with the solution. It developed the indelible ink, which is put on the finger of every voter after the vote is cast. The ink, silver nitrate, stains the skin, and remains on it for several days. The technology was transferred to Mysore Ink and Varnish Limited, and it still manufactures the ink for every election in India. This ink is even exported to other countries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>By the 1990s, as the size of the population grew, the paper ballots became cumbersome. There needed to be a system which would record votes and count them quickly, and more efficiently. Two scientists from IIT Bombay, A.G. Rao and Ravi Poovaiah, developed the electronic voting machine or EVM, which has transformed the electoral process. These machines, too, have been exported.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Indian national calendar</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In a country with such diversity, there was bound to be diversity in fixing dates of festivals. Almost every community had its own local calendar. While the Gregorian calendar is used, India needed an accurate calendar for fixing dates for festivals like Diwali and Holi. The Calendar Reform Committee under astrophysicist Meghnad Saha studied around 30 regional calendars after which they scientifically updated the Saka calendar, integrating a myriad local sentiments. Usage started officially at 1 Chaitra 1879, Saka Era, or March 22, 1957. The Indian national calendar is a national identity symbol, just like the Indian national bird( peacock), national animal (tiger) and flower (lotus).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Staving off hunger</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Most of us know that the Green Revolution, started in the 1960s under the scientific leadership of M.S. Swaminathan, finally made India food sufficient. Developing high-yield variety crops was one part of the challenge to become food sufficient. However, agriculture was revolutionised by two other inputs, too.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>India needed low-cost tractors to mechanise farming. So far, it was importing such farm machinery from the UK. CSIR's Central Mechanical Engineering Research Institute developed these tractors, which were famously called the Swaraj tractors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the same time, Hindustan Insecticide Ltd began manufacturing a host of agri pesticides, without which the green revolution may not have taken off.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Atomic energy</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course, we know of the two big blasts at Pokhran which told the world we have the N-bomb. That is one aspect of our nuclear energy; the other is powering the needs of India. From generating electricity to developing nuclear medicine treatment, there is a lot that Indian nuclear scientists, following the trail blazed by Homi Bhabha, have achieved.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Saving children</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At the time of independence, the infant and child mortality rates were very high (164 and 258 per 1,000 live births respectively). A major cause for this was malnutrition. Indian children needed milk. While milk production was slowly rising, the problem was maintaining the cold chain for transport, without which the milk would go bad. The best way was to serve powdered milk. However, top scientists from leading dairy nations like Switzerland and New Zealand said it was impossible to turn buffalo milk (the primary milk source in India) into powdered form because of its high fat content. Indian scientists took up the challenge. Scientists at Central Food Technology Research Institute in Mysore were leaders in developing technology to separate the fat from the milk and convert the rest into powder, which was an excellent baby food. The fat was converted into butter. The technology was transferred to Amul. This breakthrough happened a few years before Operation Flood was launched and it went a long way in adding value to the milk collection through cooperatives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>More to hide</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When India became independent, it had no leather industry. All it produced was raw hide and skin, almost all of which was exported to the UK, where it was the raw material for a thriving leather industry. In 1947, there were 25,000 Indians working in the hide and skin sector. The Central Leather Research Institute in Chennai has worked diligently in developing indigenous technology for processing leather and scaling up production on the value chain. Today, the leather industry in India employs 45 lakh people, and rakes in six billion dollars in exports annually.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Pharmacy of the world</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>India needed cheap drugs to save its people. It was a poor country, where the need for medicines was great and the supply restricted by cost. The chemical industry and pharma sectors got working, and the focus was on generic drugs. Today, India has reached a stage where it exports generic drugs to the whole world, including developed countries like the USA. The speed with which India developed the low cost rapid antigen Covid test, or the Feluda test, again was a gamechanger in the battle against Covid-19.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Vaccinator of the world</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This, again, was a developmental need in a country where preventable illnesses were very high, leaving children dead or debilitated. The BCG was the first programme for mass immunisation against TB, and as more diseases came under the universal vaccination programme, the need for vaccines rose majorly. The pharma sector has surpassed itself, and now, over 60 per cent children across the world are vaccinated with a Made in India vaccine. Covaxin is the latest example of an indigenously developed vaccine which is saving lives.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Off to space</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>India needed to harness space technology for its myriad developmental needs, and this outlook, crafted by Vikram Sarabhai, remains central to India's space mission. Whether it is weather watching, railway gates or traffic monitoring, the list of space applications is only growing. Though funding has never been a problem with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the scientists began developing low cost technology. Left isolated after its nuclear tests, India developed much of its space technology itself. Its workhorse, the PSLV, put a probe into the distant Martian orbit. India continues to be a leader in frugal space technology, and is the go-to country for launching small satellites now.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Biojet fuel</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In August 2018, Spicejet flew the country's first biojet fuel flight from Dehradun to Delhi. Biojet fuel is a green aviation fuel, developed from plant sources like biomass, jatropha and other non-edible plant oils. It is the fuel of the future, and India is among the few to have developed this technology. The technology was developed in Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum. The Indian Air Force is likely to use this fuel in its flight, too.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><i>Now, as India begins its march towards its centenary, what are the challenges for the next 25 years? Mande lists these, too.</i></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Transforming healthcare</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We need to digitise healthcare. We need to sync healthcare services with automation. We need to develop low cost biomedical instrumentation (like robotic arm for surgeries) to reduce cost of providing healthcare.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Aligning with Industry 4.0</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new industrial revolution is afoot. India has to align its industries to the new technologies like automated manufacturing, advanced robotics and artificial intelligence.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Urban mobility</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Indian science has to come up with solutions for affordable, mass urban mobility that eases commuting, reduces pollution and traffic congestions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Climate change mitigation</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>With climate change events occurring rapidly and having disastrous impacts, scientists have to focus on mitigation and management of these events.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Back to villages</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We need technological solutions to improve rural life and livelihood, so that the urban migration can be slowed, if not reversed.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/india-75-how-science-helped-india-solve-these-10-problems.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/india-75-how-science-helped-india-solve-these-10-problems.html Sat Aug 13 22:29:16 IST 2022 indian-researchers-use-fish-ear-bones-to-estimate-seawater-tempe <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/12/indian-researchers-use-fish-ear-bones-to-estimate-seawater-tempe.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2018/february/sea-fish-marine-life-fish-sea-shut.jpg" /> <p>Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru have identified a way to estimate ancient seawater temperature by probing tiny bones in the ears of fish. Oceans cover three quarters of the Earth's surface and host many remarkable life forms. Earth scientists have been attempting to reconstruct the seawater temperature over time, but it is not easy to do so.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;When you go back in time, you don't have any fossilised seawater, explains Ramananda Chakrabarti, Associate Professor at the Centre for Earth Sciences (CEaS), IISc, and corresponding author of the study published in 'Chemical Geology', in a press release issued by IISc on Wednesday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Therefore, he and his PhD student, Surajit Mondal, in collaboration with Prosenjit Ghosh, Professor at CEaS, turned to 'otoliths' tiny bones found in the inner ear of fish.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Like corals, otoliths are made of calcium carbonate and grow throughout a fish's lifetime by accumulating minerals from seawater. Similar to tree rings, these otoliths also hold clues to the fish's age, migration patterns, and the type of water that the fish lived in.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For several years, Chakrabarti and his team have been tracking calcium carbonate deposits found in tiny animals like corals or foraminifera.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the current study, they chose otoliths as scientists have discovered fossilised otolith samples dating as far back as the Jurassic period (172 million years ago).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers used six present-day otolith samples collected from different geographical locations along the east coast of North America.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They analysed the ratio of different calcium isotopes in these otoliths with a Thermal Ionisation Mass Spectrometer (TIMS). By measuring the ratios of calcium isotopes in the sample, they were able to correlate it with the seawater temperatures from which the fish were collected.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;We demonstrated that calcium isotopes are a powerful tracer of water temperature, and Surajit's efforts make our lab the only lab in the country that can actually measure these isotopic variations,&quot; says Chakrabarti.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition to calcium isotopes, the team also analysed the concentration of other elements like strontium, magnesium, and barium, and their ratios in the same sample, and collated the data together to tease out a more accurate value for seawater temperature within a range of plus or minus one degree Celsius when compared to the actual value.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Organisms that live in the ocean are extremely sensitive to temperatures. A two-degree temperature rise could lead to the extinction of several species, the release noted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition, because the atmosphere and the ocean are &quot;on talking terms&quot;, says Chakrabarti, a lot of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually dissolves into the ocean, and this ability to dissolve carbon dioxide is also linked to seawater temperature the lower the temperature, the more carbon dioxide is trapped.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Just like a carbonated drink that loses its fizz as it warms up, the ocean loses its ability to hold carbon dioxide as it gets warmer.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Because of the close correlation they found between calcium isotope ratios and temperatures, the authors are confident that their approach can now be used on fossilised samples.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mapping early seawater temperatures is important to better understand Earth's history, they say.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;What happened back in time,&quot; says Chakrabarti, &quot;is key to our understanding of what will happen in the future.&quot;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/12/indian-researchers-use-fish-ear-bones-to-estimate-seawater-tempe.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/12/indian-researchers-use-fish-ear-bones-to-estimate-seawater-tempe.html Fri Aug 12 12:33:30 IST 2022 quarter-of-methane-emissions-in-mumbai--6-percent-in-delhi-origi <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/12/quarter-of-methane-emissions-in-mumbai--6-percent-in-delhi-origi.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/methane-ch4-greenhouse-gas-shut.jpg" /> <p>More than a quarter of methane emission in Mumbai and six per cent of the planet-warming gas in Delhi originates from landfills, according to a study that used satellite data from four major cities worldwide.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The research, published in the journal Science Advances on Wednesday, used satellite data from Delhi and Mumbai in India, Lahore in Pakistan and Buenos Aires in Argentina.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers from the Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Leiden, found that emissions from landfills in 2018 and 2019 were 1.4 to 2.6 times higher than earlier estimates.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;In Buenos Aires and Mumbai, the individual landfills account for more than a quarter of total urban emissions,&quot; the authors of the study said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For Delhi and Lahore, the figure was 6 per cent and 13 per cent respectively, they noted.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The finding may help officials to carry out targeted efforts to limit global warming by pinpointing hot spots of major concern.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers noted that emissions from the oil and gas sector have received considerable attention, but there are also major opportunities for emission mitigation in the waste sector, which accounts for roughly 18 per cent of global human-caused emissions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Solid waste emissions are caused by the decay of organic material in landfills, they said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers leveraged the synergy between satellite instruments with different spatiotemporal coverage and resolution to detect and quantify emissions from individual landfills.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They used the global surveying Tropospheric Monitoring Instrument (TROPOMI) to identify large emission hot spots and then zoom in with high-resolution target-mode observations from the GHGSat instrument suite to identify the responsible facilities and characterise their emissions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Using TROPOMI data... we find that city-level emissions are 1.4 to 2.6 times larger than reported in commonly used emission inventories and that the landfills contribute 6 to 50 per cent of those emissions,&quot; the authors of the study said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Our work demonstrates how complementary satellites enable global detection, identification, and monitoring of methane superemitters at the facility level,&quot; they said.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/12/quarter-of-methane-emissions-in-mumbai--6-percent-in-delhi-origi.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/12/quarter-of-methane-emissions-in-mumbai--6-percent-in-delhi-origi.html Fri Aug 12 16:34:13 IST 2022 indian-researchers-win-awards-at-global-astronomy-meet-in-south- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/11/indian-researchers-win-awards-at-global-astronomy-meet-in-south-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2021/1/13/image-from-Hubble-Space-stars-nasa.jpg" /> <p>Indian astronomers have won awards for their studies on various aspects of the sun at the ongoing International Astronomical Union General Assembly in Busan in South Korea.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Prantika Bhowmik of the Center of Excellence in Space Sciences India at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Kolkata won the PhD at Large Prize of the International Astronomical Union for her thesis predicting the future activity of the sun based on novel computational methods.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Reetika Joshi of Kumaun University and Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital won a best thesis award for her observations of plasma jets in the sun's atmosphere which sustain the surprisingly hot million degree solar outer atmosphere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gopal Hazra of the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science (IISc) won a best PhD thesis award for his work on the development of three dimensional computational models of the solar sunspot cycle.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Souvik Bose, who did his MTech thesis at Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bengaluru and subsequently his PhD at University of Oslo, won the best thesis award for his contributions to understanding the origin of chromospheric spicules which play a role in driving the sun's plasma winds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is proof of the high quality work coming out from India in recent years in understanding the sun and its impact on our space environment, said Dipankar Banerjee, the president of the Astronomical Society of India.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The IAUGA which began in Busan, South Korea on August 2 concludes on Thursday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Publications in many internationally acclaimed journals following years of hard work were one of the most satisfactory feelings as a young researcher. But when I was informed that I have won the PhD at Large Prize, I felt ecstatic to be recognised by the international community, Bhowmik said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Being from a small town and after passing through a lot of hurdles, it feels amazing when I see that my thesis work got recognised internationally from experts in the astrophysics community, said Hazra, who hails from Berhampore in West Bengal.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Joshi was overwhelmed to get an award for her PhD thesis at IAUGA.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This award not only gives me recognition around the world, but it also provides me with an extraordinary platform for my scientific future, she said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>India had for the first time set up a booth at the IAUGA showcasing opportunities to pursue research in astronomy in different parts of the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The India pavilion brings focus of the world community to major homegrown Indian facilities like the Giant Metre-wave Radio Telescope near Pune, the Indian Astronomical Observatory in Hanle, Ladakh, the Devasthal Optical Telescope, the Kodaikanal and Udaipur Solar Observatories, said Dibyendu Nandi, the chairperson of IISER's Public Outreach and Education Committee.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The fruits of the investments in astronomy by the government and the major impact it has had on human resource development in astronomy and astrophysics is becoming apparent in the globally competitive research work by Indian students, Nandi said in a statement.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/11/indian-researchers-win-awards-at-global-astronomy-meet-in-south-.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/11/indian-researchers-win-awards-at-global-astronomy-meet-in-south-.html Thu Aug 11 17:21:00 IST 2022 tamadoge-raises-dollar4-million-as-presale-almost-sells-out-big-eyes-to-hit-dollar50-million <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/22/tamadoge-raises-dollar4-million-as-presale-almost-sells-out-big-eyes-to-hit-dollar50-million.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/22/big-eyes.jpg" /> <p><u>Tamadoge (TAMA)</u>&nbsp;is currently in presale, raising funds for its play-to-earn (P2E) game. The P2E game will include Tamadoge pets as NFTs. You can then visit these Tamadoge pets on the augmented reality app like they’re in the same room as you! Additional P2E mechanics will be built on this version compared to the web-based game in V1.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So, how can&nbsp;<u>Big Eyes (BIG)</u>&nbsp;replicate the success of Tamadoge in its early stages? Big Eyes has a well-structured plan on how to become a successful cryptocurrency with its launch on Friday the 19th of August. The utility of a token is overlooked with meme cryptos that often focus on FOMO to gain traders. While this might attract traders in the short term, it is open to volatility in the long term. That is why Big Eyes has brought utility to meme tokens.</p> <p><b>No Lies With Big Eyes (BIG)</b><a href="https://bigeyes.space/"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Big Eyes has a dynamic ecosystem that has attracted many crypto enthusiasts. The meme coin has ambitious plans to hit $50 million in its presale, overpassing Tamadoge’s $4 million. The goal is attainable when you look at the Big Eyes ecosystem. From charity to NFTs, Big Eyes does it all.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Big Eyes believes in protecting our ecosystem as well as funding the DeFi ecosystem. That is why Big Eyes has a dedicated charity wallet holding 5% of its tokens. These tokens will then be donated to ocean sanctuaries to save the oceans.</p> <p><a href="https://bigeyes.space/">&nbsp;</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Users can immerse themselves in the NFT collections created by Big Eyes. Big Eyes plans to have an NFT collection in the top ten projects and holders can use them to access exclusive events. Additionally, the Big Eyes Sushi Crew, an exclusive club on the Big Eyes platform, will open its doors to NFT holders!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As mentioned above, Big Eyes is set to release on the 19th of August. The last days of the presale are here and you can pick up BIG tokens for a small price before they potentially explode after launch.</p> <p><b>Tamadoge (TAMA) - Best Meme P2E Platform</b><a href="https://unsplash.com/photos/p0j-mE6mGo4"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tamadoge has grabbed the headlines with its successful presale. It is currently on the road to hitting $5 million with an Instagram post claiming that the tokens could sell out in the next 48 hours! Tamadoge has seen success because of its innovative ecosystem that prioritises community over profit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The P2E game will allow users to collect the Tamadoge NFTs to battle, train and even walk them in real life. Tamadoge will also look into partnerships once the token launches so you can walk your Tamadoge NFTs in the metaverse. Tamadoge even has plans to launch a metaverse of its own, the Tamaverse.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tamadoge wants to be community-driven, so any suggestions its users have will be taken on board as they let you shape the Tamaverse they build. The augmented reality section of the app will launch in Q4 of 2023 with P2E arcade games coming in Q3 of 2023.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Tamadoge burns 5% of any transaction made on the platform. The deflationary mechanic reduces the tokens in circulation over time. It often results in a price increase for the token over time, so those holding TAMA could make passive income.</p> <p><b>Final Thoughts</b></p> <p>Tamadoge has undoubtedly taken the crypto market by storm. They have capitalised on the two things people love most, dogs and games. If the presale continues with the level of success it has seen thus far, Tamadoge will achieve great things in the crypto sphere.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, Big Eyes has made a great case for why it will succeed in the crypto market, surpassing Tamadoge. The innovative platform has its community’s best interests at heart while focusing on protecting our ecosystem and the DeFi ecosystem at the same time. Will you join Big Eyes’ journey in becoming the next biggest meme coin?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For more information on Big Eyes (BIG), please visit this article:&nbsp;<u>The Cat Coin Big Eyes (BIG) versus the Dog token Shiba Inu (SHIB) – Which animal wins in feasibility?</u></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Big Eyes (BIG) Links:</b></p> <p><b>Website:&nbsp;</b><a href="https://bigeyes.space/"></a><a href="https://bigeyes.space/"><b><u>https://bigeyes.space/</u></b></a>&nbsp;<b></b></p> <p><b>Telegram:&nbsp;</b><a href="https://t.me/BIGEYESOFFICIAL"></a><a href="https://t.me/BIGEYESOFFICIAL"><b><u>https://t.me/BIGEYESOFFICIAL</u></b></a>&nbsp;<b>&nbsp;</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/22/tamadoge-raises-dollar4-million-as-presale-almost-sells-out-big-eyes-to-hit-dollar50-million.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/22/tamadoge-raises-dollar4-million-as-presale-almost-sells-out-big-eyes-to-hit-dollar50-million.html Mon Aug 22 15:14:07 IST 2022 the-pesky-problem-of-offshoring-pollution- <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/10/the-pesky-problem-of-offshoring-pollution-.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2018/5/1/compressed-plastic-recyclable-afp.jpg" /> <p>A turn to sustainable development could help stop rich countries offshoring their pollution to poorer countries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Every July, Singapore prepares to see its greenery vanish beneath a mantle of smoke. The haze from land-clearing fires drifts from Indonesia and Malaysia each dry season. But a recent study has revealed another source of air pollution from Singapore's neighbours: heavy metals, such as chromium, from heavy industry.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That pollution lasts all year round, posing a chronic risk to human health. It comes from what experts have described as 'pollution havens': developing Southeast Asian economies such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand that are rapidly industrialising. They house the industries Singapore and other rich countries can afford to outsource.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Singapore has received an increasing amount of transboundary industrial pollution over the past two decades. Dry chromium deposits into the island nation's oldest reservoir have doubled.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An industrial pollutant, chromium is emitted mostly from steel and cement manufacturing and fossil-fuel burning. As of 2017, 70 percent of Singapore's non-biomass (non-vegetation-burning) pollution came from sources in neighbouring countries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it is unfair to say these countries should simply clean up their act. A large amount of foreign direct investment in developing Southeast Asian countries supports industries such as coal-fired power plants and steel and cement manufacturing, all of which are pillar industries with low investment risks and high rates of return. The more investment they attract, the more they grow and the more pollution they produce.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Singapore has been able to keep its local pollution low since the 1990s partly because of ever-growing international trade, according to a study. Put simply, Singapore can afford to import pollution-intensive products such as cement and steel instead of producing them locally.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pollution caused by manufacturing these products is offshored to surrounding countries in urgent economic need of industrial development. This offshored pollution is not unique to Singapore: the practice is quite common between economically more advanced areas and less advanced areas across the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Textile-industry pollution began to be sent offshore during the global industrial transfer from the United Kingdom and the United States to Japan after World War II and then moved to the four Asian tigers', including Singapore, in the 1970s.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After that, the industry and its pollution moved to China in the 1990s and then to developing countries in Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa after the 2000s.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is difficult for developing economies to turn away from these offers. They need foreign investment and the profitable industries it supports. So it is principally the investors' responsibility to choose a pathway of green development via responsible financing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>China is among the largest foreign investors in Southeast Asia. In 2021, China announced that its Belt and Road Initiative had stopped financing any new coal-fired power-plant projects overseas. It followed this with a US$15 billion investment in Indonesia that could help ease pollution from dirty coal in the region as well as in other developing economies across the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Singapore is the largest intra-ASEAN investor in the region. In the same year, Singapore's largest bank said it would stop financing coal-related projects, but only by 2039. These contrasting reactions highlight the different levels of awareness about responsible financing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>To solve the problem of transboundary air pollution, developed economies could provide green technologies to countries exporting pollution-laden goods, promote sustainable and responsible financing, and reduce investment in pollutive industries.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Developing economies will need determination as they choose a path of sustainable development and actively improve their local environmental quality by upgrading emission standards, promoting green manufacturing and improving their people's environmental awareness.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Every country deserves an equal opportunity to develop, but it is also a universal human right to breathe clean air. The conflict could be resolved if all parties set aside differences and pooled their efforts to build a sustainable future.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(360info: By Chen Qinqin, postdoctoral researcher, Tsinghua University, Beijing)&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/10/the-pesky-problem-of-offshoring-pollution-.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/10/the-pesky-problem-of-offshoring-pollution-.html Wed Aug 10 17:19:42 IST 2022 how-your-brain-will-help-you-save-during-the-cost-of-living-cris <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/10/how-your-brain-will-help-you-save-during-the-cost-of-living-cris.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/magazine/health/more/images/2022/5/27/38-Bolster-your-brain.jpg" /> <p>The cost-of-living crisis continues. The UK rate of inflation is up yet again, and expected to rise further.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And as energy, transport, fuel and groceries all get more expensive, there are fears that over 4 million British households are experiencing financial difficulties.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A recent survey suggests, perhaps unsurprisingly, that low prices will become increasingly important to consumers in the coming month.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Some will still take perceptions of good value and customer service into account, but for the majority, price will be the key factor when it comes to deciding where to shop and what to buy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Research in neuroscience suggests that our brains are extremely well suited to helping achieve this. Making difficult decisions involves different parts of the brain working together towards a conclusion.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Typically, when people make decisions about buying something, they engage in one of two processes, using what psychologists call a valuation system or a choice system.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The valuation system involves the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (which processes notions of risk and fear) and the reward system of the basal forebrain, and ranks options based on their perceived worth and possible reward.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So imagine you're at the supermarket shopping for food, with a limited budget. You could either buy a box of eggs from chickens housed in crowded barns for 1.20 euro, or a box from from free range chickens which costs 2.20 euro.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You may well end up buying the cheaper eggs, even though you know that it is ethically preferable for chickens to roam freely.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In this instance, you based the choice entirely on the price, because the valuation system nudges people towards the option that will give them the best and most immediate reward in this case, saving money.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The choice system meanwhile, is part of the work of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which (putting it very broadly) is concerned with reasoning, memory and making decisions as well as the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, and parietal regions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>So if you're still at the supermarket, with the eggs in your basket, you consider buying a new sugar bowl, to replace a broken one. You find one that appeals, but it is also rather expensive, making you hesitate.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What happens in such situations is that when faced with uncertainty, the prefrontal cortex becomes increasingly active and inhibits impulsive decisions, which in turn enforces a natural aversion to loss in this case losing money.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Meanwhile, another part of the brain, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, helps to improve decision making by delaying your response to give you time to process alternative options, such as looking for a more affordable bowl.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Risk aversion</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Both systems demonstrate that when we are thinking about prices and costs, our brain biology has ways of ensuring we look for an alternative that we can afford or at least gives us better value for money.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A natural aversion to risk helps consumers facing financial uncertainty to choose the cheaper of two similar products rather than being persuaded by a fancy label or by habit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Paying more becomes an avoidable risk. Other values such as brand loyalty of customer service, become almost obsolete as price dominates.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But it is worth remembering that our brain functions don't always get it right. Having financial worries can be stressful, and research shows that stress can have a negative effect on the way people make decisions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They can, for instance, become risk-seeking in the face of loss, meaning that they may take unnecessary risks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Partially this is because elevated dopamine responses make people focus on immediate and potentially high rewards.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Someone who is feeling stressed and looking for a loan could easily end up clicking on a deal that could end up making their financial situation far worse.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is also evidence that stress causes people to factor completely irrelevant information (like comparing random numbers to an interest rate) into their decision making process.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Overall then, decision making is a complex process, and as everything gets more expensive, price is likely to become an increasingly dominant factor.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But while politicians argue, and the companies we rely on raise their prices, at least our brains are hard-wired to help us make decisions that go some way to protect us from the ravages of the current economic climate.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>(The Conversation:&nbsp; By Cathrine Jansson-Boyd, Reader in Consumer Psychology, Anglia Ruskin University)&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/10/how-your-brain-will-help-you-save-during-the-cost-of-living-cris.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/10/how-your-brain-will-help-you-save-during-the-cost-of-living-cris.html Wed Aug 10 12:35:36 IST 2022 roboape-elrond-and-decentraland-coins-that-will-finance-your-portfolio <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/22/roboape-elrond-and-decentraland-coins-that-will-finance-your-portfolio.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/22/roboape.jpg" /> <p>In this blog post, we will take a look at three different cryptocurrencies: RoboApe (RBA), Elrond (EGLD), and Decentraland (MANA). Each of these coins has unique features that could appeal to investors. So let's dive in and learn more about them.<a href="https://roboapetoken.io/"></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Meme That Could Finance You: RoboApe (RBA)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u>RoboApe (RBA)</u>&nbsp;is a meme token on the Ethereum (ETH) network, produced with the ERC-20 protocol. The project aims to bring the meme token and NFT cultures together. By including many applications on the platform, external dependency is eliminated. The total supply of RBA tokens is 270 million units. All users who want to own the token currently on pre-sale must complete the KYC process on the RBA's website. The pre-sale price of the RBA token is $0.006173. In particular, the project, which focuses on developing users in the crypto field, aims to educate everyone, thanks to RoboApe Academy. The goal here is to prepare users for the DAO process by making them crypto-conscious individuals.</p> <p>RoboAape (RBA) managers, who believe in the power of DAO, will hand over the management of the ecosystem to users. All token holders can vote on the project’s development with RBA coins. RoboAape (RBA) has an area where NFT printing can be made and for trading. The team has also allocated some token supplies for charitable investments.</p> <p>Full of Potential: Elrond (EGLD)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u>Elrond (EGLD)</u>&nbsp;aims to offer high-speed and secure asset transfer with its sharding algorithm. The project, which entered the market in full functionality in the third quarter of 2022, has attracted investors’ attention by showing its potential since the first day.</p> <p>The Elrond (EGLD) project aims to involve asset transfers, decentralized finance, and IoT projects. Its algorithm can perform up to 15,000 transfers per second, keeping costs very low. The developers state that the algorithm has a latency of six seconds. Likewise, the ecosystem of Elrond (EGLD) has a fixed transaction cost of $0.001.</p> <p>The Address for Long-Term Investments: Decentraland (MANA)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><u>Decentraland (MANA)</u>&nbsp;has a suitable market for medium and long-term investments rather than day-trading investments. It offers an average price deviation of $0.10 to $0.13 for day trading. Decentraland (MANA), which has been gaining more stable price bias lately, may not meet the expectations of day traders.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>When the one-month price charts are analyzed, Decentraland (MANA), which has lost its value to $ 0.6307, has recently entered the recovery process. Its value, which has risen to the $2.22 band in one month, highlights that the coin still has a robust investment portfolio.</p> <p>RoboApe (RBA) is a coin that has been flying under the radar for some time now. However, it is starting to make its way into the limelight as it gains attention from retail and institutional investors. If you are looking for a coin to finance your portfolio, RBA should be at the top of your list. Elrond (EGLD) is another coin with a lot of potentials. Finally, Decentraland (MANA), while not currently in the Top 10 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, shows great promise for future growth. Investing in these three coins seems like a good idea at this point.</p> <p>Presale:&nbsp;<a href="https://ape.roboapetoken.io/register"></a><a href="https://ape.roboapetoken.io/register"><u>https://ape.roboapetoken.io/register</u></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>Website:&nbsp;<a href="https://roboapetoken.io/"></a><a href="https://roboapetoken.io/"><u>https://roboapetoken.io/</u></a>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/22/roboape-elrond-and-decentraland-coins-that-will-finance-your-portfolio.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/22/roboape-elrond-and-decentraland-coins-that-will-finance-your-portfolio.html Mon Aug 22 15:19:47 IST 2022 another-sslv-flight-soon--space-commission-member <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/09/another-sslv-flight-soon--space-commission-member.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/ISRO-Small-Satellite-Launch-Vehicle-SSLV--Sathish-Dhawan-Space-Centre-Sriharikota-Aug-7-2022-pti.jpg" /> <p>The failure of India's newest rocket to put small satellites in orbit was not a setback and the space agency will soon attempt another flight, Space Commission member A S Kiran Kumar has said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kumar was commenting on the failure of the first demonstration flight of Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) to put an earth observation satellite (EOS2) and AzaadiSat, built by girl students from across the country, into the desired orbit on Sunday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;No, no, no. It is not a setback. We were only marginally short in the end,&quot; Kumar, a former Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) told PTI on the sidelines of the Kalaari-Indian Space Association Networking Meet here.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kumar, who was present at the Sriharikota spaceport for the Sunday launch, said all the three stages of ISRO's newest rocket performed well and the primary objectives of the launch vehicle were demonstrated well.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;It is a question of tweaking certain parts, the way it is operated and the way decisions are made. Very soon they will be attempting the next flight,&quot; he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kumar said the SSLV was significant because satellites were now becoming smaller and the new rocket could help India get a share of the small satellite launch market.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;All the stages performed well. We were only marginally short in the end. The satellites were placed in an orbit of 350 km x 70 km instead of a circular orbit of 350 km. It is a marginal fault, but then it is a lesson for understanding,&quot; Kumar said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ISRO scientists have said that the velocity trimming module, the liquid propulsion based terminal stage of the launch vehicle, failed to ignite due to sensor failure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>ISRO Chairman S Somanath had said on Sunday that an expert committee has been formed to identify the 'specific' problem and undertake a detailed evaluation in days to come.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SSLV placed the 135-kg EOS-02 and the co-passenger satellite AzaadiSAT, a 8U Cubesat weighing around eight kg into an highly unstable elliptical orbit. Both the satellites crashed into the sea soon after being placed in orbit.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/09/another-sslv-flight-soon--space-commission-member.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/09/another-sslv-flight-soon--space-commission-member.html Tue Aug 09 16:50:27 IST 2022 world-s-first--synthetic-embryo---why-this-research-is-more-impo <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/world-s-first--synthetic-embryo---why-this-research-is-more-impo.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2019/May/science-research-study-biology-lab-chemistry-scientific-shut.jpg" /> <p>In what's reported as a world-first achievement, biologists have grown mouse embryo models in the lab without the need for fertilised eggs, embryos, or even a mouse using only stem cells and a special incubator.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This achievement, published in the journal Cell by a team led by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, is a very sophisticated model of what happens during early mouse embryo development in the stage just after implantation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is a crucial stage: in humans, many pregnancies are lost around this stage, and we don't really know why.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Having models provides a way to better understand what can go wrong, and possibly insights into what we may be able to do about it.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The tiniest cluster</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>What's particularly interesting about the newly published model is its very complex structure; not only does it mimic the cell specification and layout of an early-stage body plan including precursors of heart, blood, brain and other organs but also the support cells like those found in the placenta and other tissues required to establish and maintain a pregnancy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The earliest stages of pregnancy are difficult to study in most animals. The embryos are microscopic, tiny clusters of cells, difficult to locate and observe within the uterus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>But we do know that at this stage of development, things can go awry; for example, environmental factors can influence and interfere with development, or cells fail to receive the right signals to fully form the spinal cord, such as in spina bifida. Using models like this, we can start to ask why.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, even though these models are a powerful research tool, it is important to understand they are not embryos.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>They replicate only some aspects of development, but not fully reproduce the cellular architecture and developmental potential of embryos derived after fertilisation of eggs by sperm so-called natural embryos.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The team behind this work emphasises they were unable to develop these models beyond eight days, while a normal mouse pregnancy is 20 days long.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Are synthetic embryos' of humans on the horizon?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The field of embryo modelling is progressing rapidly, with new advances emerging every year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2021, several teams managed to get human pluripotent stem cells (cells that can turn into any other type of cell) to self-aggregate in a Petri dish, mimicking the blastocyst.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This is the earliest stage of embryonic development just before the complex process of implantation, when a mass of cells attach to the wall of the uterus.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Researchers using these human embryo models, often called blastoids, have even been able to start to explore implantation in a dish, but this process is much more challenging in humans than it is in mice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Growing human embryo models of the same complexity that has now been achieved with a mouse model remains a distant proposition, but one we should still consider.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Importantly, we need to be aware of how representative such a model would be; a so-called synthetic embryo in a Petri dish will have its limitations on what it can teach us about human development, and we need to be conscious of that.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Ethical pitfalls</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>No embryonic modelling can happen without a source of stem cells, so when it comes to thinking about the future use of this technology, it is vital to ask where are these cells coming from? Are they human embryonic stem cells (derived from a blastocyst), or are they induced pluripotent stem cells?</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The latter can be made in the lab from skin, or blood cells, for example, or even derived from frozen samples.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>An important consideration is whether using cells for this particular type of research trying to mimic an embryo in a dish requires any specific consent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We should be thinking more about how this area of research will be governed, when should it be used, and by whom.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, it is important to recognise that there are existing laws and international stem cell research guidelines that provide a framework to regulate this area of research.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Australia, research involving human stem cell embryo models would require licensing, similar to that required for the use of natural human embryos under law that has been in place since 2002.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, unlike other jurisdictions, Australian law also dictates how long researchers can grow human embryo models, a restriction that some researchers would like to see changed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Regardless of these or other changes to how and when human embryo research is conducted, there needs to be greater community discourse around this subject before a decision is made.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There is a distinction between banning the use of this technology and technologies like cloning in humans for reproductive use, and allowing research using embryo models to advance our understanding of human development and developmental disorders that we can't answer by any other means.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The science is rapidly advancing. While mostly in mice at this stage, now is the time to discuss what this means for humans, and consider where and how we draw the line in the sand as the science evolves.&nbsp;</p> <p>(The Conversation: By Megan Munsie, Professor Emerging Technologies (Stem Cells), The University of Melbourne)&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/world-s-first--synthetic-embryo---why-this-research-is-more-impo.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/world-s-first--synthetic-embryo---why-this-research-is-more-impo.html Mon Aug 08 17:03:44 IST 2022 indias-celebrated-astrologer-dr-sohini-sastri-talks-about-the-impact-of-astrology-on-business-and-finance <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/indias-celebrated-astrologer-dr-sohini-sastri-talks-about-the-impact-of-astrology-on-business-and-finance.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/17/Sohini-Sastri.jpg" /> <p>India’s finest and most celebrated astrologer Dr Sohini Sastri writes about the impact and importance of astrology&nbsp;<b>on Business and Finance.</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Introduction:</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Today, money means status and there is an intense competition to demonstrate one's financial dominance. Your search for money can occasionally lead to offers to invest or borrow money, which may or may not be the best course of action for you. However, if a choice we make turns out to be the wrong one, we might have to make a permanent repentance. But once we make a decision and it turns out to be wrong, we may repent for the rest of our lives. Losing a small chunk of money is different from getting your whole financial planning going totally haywire.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The Planets that make you rich: -</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Many people feel pampered seeing positive planets in different houses in the birth chart. Some start feeling dejected seeing negative planets, which is absolutely wrong, if you have faith in Vedic astrology, respect your horoscope, and understand that handling negative planets properly ultimately produces good results.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1. Planets do not automatically generate guaranteed results. But the way you exercise your will to achieve the outcome rests entirely on you. Your own will determines whether you achieve good or terrible consequences. You typically hear that having a few favourable planets in your birth chart's second, ninth, tenth, and eleventh houses will increase your financial fortune.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. Many people continue to work but are not wealthy, instead experiencing the worst financial situation possible. It only occurs because they neglect the planets or houses that produce losses. Do not worry about whether house or planets will make you wealthy; instead, let's concentrate on which planets cause losses.</p> <p>If you cannot control these planets giving money loss, you are allowing a strong hole/eyelet to drain whatever you earn.&nbsp; </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The House that makes you poor: -</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The negative impact of the eight Lord on second/ eleventh houses/ their lords and Moon &amp; Jupiter (Signifying wealth) can cause financial problems through poverty, sudden financial setbacks, bankruptcy, obstructions in earning/blockage of income, litigation, accidents, etc.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1. The sixth lord's adverse influence on the second, eleventh, and their respective lords, as well as on the Moon and Jupiter, can result in financial difficulties due to disputes, illnesses, injuries, debts, enemies, and losses from theft, fire, deception, litigation, etc.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. The negative effects of the twelfth lord on the second, eleventh, and their respective lords, as well as the moon and jupiter, can result in severe financial losses, excessive spending, an inability to save money, as well as hospitalisation and imprisonment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The Planets that makes you poor: -</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1. Through dishonesty, greed, lust, overindulgence, and speculative tendencies, Rahu can cause financial difficulties. Remember the tales of those who, after attaining financial success, are now suffering the worst hardships of their lives as a result of unchecked Rahu: these include former stock market titans, lustful Babas (so-called spiritual Gurus), and powerful bureaucrats and politicians.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. Because Ketu is a non-materialistic planet, it can obstruct the flow of money or income.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3. Saturn can give financial losses through poverty, diseases, obstacles in earning, and efforts in the wrong direction or wrong karma.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>The House makes you rich: -</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1. A person's financial situation and capacity for accumulating wealth are indicated by the second house in their horoscope. The second house of our birth chart indicates how effectively we would amass wealth in life. Another Arth Trikona home is this one (2nd, 6th, and 10th houses are the Arth trikona houses). As a result, the second house in a horoscope represents financial prosperity for the native if the second Lord, and karaka Jupiter are all in strong positions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. An individual's primary house of income is the eleventh. In a birth chart, the 11th house represents several sources of gains or advantages. For us, this is a place where our desires can be fulfilled. Today, everyone aspires to financial success and prosperity.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3. Information about our karmas, or deeds and line of work, is revealed by the tenth house. Which task will result in financial gain, prosperity, or benefits for us? This information is indicated by this home. The ninth house also represents our efforts and the accolades we have received as a result of them. According to astrology, the native's high status, respect, recognition, and fame are represented by the 9th house.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Can you take loan according to birth chart?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>No matter what we do, the fructification of our actions' effects depends greatly on our intentions. Borrowing for legitimate reasons and borrowing with ill motives have radically different perspectives. Your tendency to employ loans for honest or dishonest means is indicated by the benefic and malefic influences at your ascendant.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rahu, Mars, and Saturn are the key planets that indicate loans and debts in a horoscope, while the 6th, 8th, 11th, and 12th Houses are the main houses that signify financial problems. The planet Mars has a significant influence on debt. The problem will get worse because of Rahu and Saturn.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1. Mars, if he has any links with Dusthana, brings passion, arrogance, and the desire to engage in bad behaviour that one would later regret.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2. Saturn denotes patience and slow motion. It makes it difficult for the person to solve the issue and causes them to suffer long-term dissatisfaction and misery.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3. Rahu is a planet of illusions, mystery, and greater materialistic attachments. A Negative Rahu promotes indulgence in illegitimate activities, giving extreme consequences later in life.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Conclusion:</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Every day, the impact of the planet’s changes, so you can't make decisions based on this solely or suddenly. However, checking your daily financial horoscope can be incredibly helpful if you need to make a decision regarding your finances. Simply choose your sign to read your financial horoscope for the day according to the planets. However, you can always change your lucky day and time for such financial decisions. You should not and cannot base important decisions on daily horoscope predictions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Dr Sohini Sastri is available for consultations at&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sohinisastri.com"></a><a href="http://www.sohinisastri.com"><u>www.sohinisastri.com</u></a>&nbsp;and at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:sohini.sastri@gmail.com"><u>sohini.sastri@gmail.com</u></a>&nbsp;and on 9163532538/9038136660 to provide solutions to critical issues of people seeking help and her youtube channel&nbsp;<a href="https://m.youtube.com/c/DrsohinisastriIn-Best-Astrologer-in-Kolkata-India"></a><a href="https://m.youtube.com/c/DrsohinisastriIn-Best-Astrologer-in-Kolkata-India"><u>https://m.youtube.com/c/DrsohinisastriIn-Best-Astrologer-in-Kolkata-India</u></a>&nbsp;features her regular interactions with celebrities and people of eminence, she also offers her guidance through her informative talk shows.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/indias-celebrated-astrologer-dr-sohini-sastri-talks-about-the-impact-of-astrology-on-business-and-finance.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/indias-celebrated-astrologer-dr-sohini-sastri-talks-about-the-impact-of-astrology-on-business-and-finance.html Wed Aug 17 18:19:59 IST 2022 social-media-is-a-game-changer--nav-brar <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/social-media-is-a-game-changer--nav-brar.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/17/social-media.jpg" /> <p>So many of her clients ask about her story. The story of how she got into Makeup Artistry and the success she has got. She has discovered in life that everybody has a tale to tell. Whether grand or humble, we’ve all had experiences that have shaped us into the people that we are today. Nav Brar is a professional makeup artist who has combined elegance, a sense of timelessness and sophistication in her skills.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Her success story can be traced from her social media. A picture of how we want our lives to be. She has certainly changed the aspects of increasing the beauty standards with her makeovers. All her posts and timeline scream for the hard work she has put into. A picture indeed speaks louder than words and her portfolio is inevitably making it audible and apparent.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A makeup artist puts her mind and soul into imaginativeness. It exhibits a more accurate representation of who we are or wish to be. Nav has shared her perspective that the considerably famous social media personalities, with considerable followers, are beauty influencers and make-up artists. Although the number of followers matters, the ability to widen the clientele basis differs. Nonetheless, it is not as candid as it appears to be. It's a slow and steady process that requires your energy and time to build your name and use social media to its fullest.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While your talent speaks for you in the industry, you need to give your business an extra push to showcase your work to the world. Nav suggests that your makeup portfolio displays your best work, and you need a stellar portfolio as part of your makeup artist marketing.</p> <p>A collection of the absolute best pictures of your work on yourself, or others, is what you want to include in your portfolio. This will give you a great way to build your portfolio to show to potential clients.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She suggests being more consistent on social media. Posting on social media once a day is perfect. If that is too much you can post once in 2 days. Being uniform online is important because you will be continually showing up for your clients and followers. This indicates to them that you are someone that is credible and they can count on you. This also puts you in the front of mind when they are needing their makeup done for their next event or referring you to a friend. And this is how you will win new and young followers. Instagram's algorithm favours accounts that post often and have outstanding engagement. So try to post good content as much as you can.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/social-media-is-a-game-changer--nav-brar.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/17/social-media-is-a-game-changer--nav-brar.html Wed Aug 17 18:12:40 IST 2022 mg-university-signs-mou-for-avocado-research-centre-in-kerala <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/mg-university-signs-mou-for-avocado-research-centre-in-kerala.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/avacado-fruit-shut.jpg" /> <p>Mahatma Gandhi University and the Fruits Valley Farmers Producers Company has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop an avocado research centre at Adimali in Kerala.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The MoU was signed by University Registrar Prakash Kumar and company chairman Biju Parayannilam on Sunday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Vice-Chancellor Sabu Thomas, who spoke at the event, said the commercial production of imported fruits like avocado was necessary for the survival of the agriculture sector in the state.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;Farmers should come forward and try to produce foreign fruits in a commercial manner as these days rubber and pepper farming are facing a downward trend,&quot; Thomas said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He said the research department will provide all necessary support to produce avocado fruit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Parayannilam said his company will encourage the avocado, rambutan, mangosteen, and passion fruit production and will export the same to other countries and ensure a stable price for such fruits.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/mg-university-signs-mou-for-avocado-research-centre-in-kerala.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/mg-university-signs-mou-for-avocado-research-centre-in-kerala.html Mon Aug 08 14:30:08 IST 2022 csir-gets-its-first-woman-director-general-in-nallathamby-kalais <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/csir-gets-its-first-woman-director-general-in-nallathamby-kalais.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/2020/images/2022/7/2/Kalaiselvi-DG-CSIR-Secretary-DSIR-Nallathamby-Kalaiselvi-first-woman-Director-General-of-CSIR-pti.jpg" /> <p>Senior electrochemical scientist Nallathamby Kalaiselvi has become the first woman director general of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, a consortium of 38 state-run research institutes across the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Her appointment is for a period of two years with effect from the date of assumption of charge of the post or until further orders, whichever is earlier, an order of the personnel ministry said on Saturday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kalaiselvi succeeds Shekhar Mande, who superannuated in April. Rajesh Gokhale, secretary, Department of Biotechnology was given the additional charge of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) upon Mande's retirement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Known for her work in the field of lithium ion batteries, Kalaiselvi is at present director of the CSIR-Central Electrochemical Research Institute at Karaikudi in Tamil Nadu.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She will also hold the charge as secretary, Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kalaiselvi has risen through the ranks in CSIR and had broken the proverbial glass ceiling by becoming the first woman scientist to head the Central Electrochemical Research Institute (CSIR-CECRI) in February 2019.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Congratulations poured in from across the scientific community and science administrators on her appointment to the key post.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Heartiest congratulations and best wishes to Dr N Kalaiselvi, Ajay Sood, principal scientific adviser to the government said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sood's predecessor K VijayRaghavan, former Department of Biotechnology secretary Renu Swarup, former Earth Sciences secretary Madhavan Rajeevan and fellow scientists also greeted Kalaiselvi.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Former Union health minister Anbumani Ramadoss said he was proud that Kalaiselvi hailed from Tamil Nadu.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ramadoss said he was confident that as the first woman director general of CSIR, Kalaiselvi will take India to great heights in scientific innovations.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kalaiselvi started her career in research as an entry-level scientist at CSIR-CECRI.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hailing from Ambasamudhram, a small town in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, Kalaiselvi did her schooling in Tamil medium, which, she said, helped her grasp the concepts of sciences in college.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kalaiselvi's research work of more than 25 years is primarily focused on electrochemical power systems and in particular, development of electrode materials, and electrochemical evaluation of in-house prepared electrode materials for their suitability in energy storage device assembly.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Her research interests include lithium and beyond lithium batteries, supercapacitors and waste-to-wealth driven electrodes and electrolytes for energy storage and electrocatalytic applications.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>She is currently involved in the development of practically viable Sodium-ion/Lithium-sulfur batteries and supercapacitors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Kalaiselvi also made key contributions to the National Mission for Electric Mobility. She has more than 125 research papers and six patents to her credit.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/csir-gets-its-first-woman-director-general-in-nallathamby-kalais.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/08/csir-gets-its-first-woman-director-general-in-nallathamby-kalais.html Mon Aug 08 12:29:12 IST 2022 prodentim-reviews-us-ca-uk-ie-au-nz-scam-does-prodentim-work-is-it-scam-and-legitimate <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/16/prodentim-reviews-us-ca-uk-ie-au-nz-scam-does-prodentim-work-is-it-scam-and-legitimate.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/16/prodentim.jpg" /> <p>Over half of adults suffer from multiple dental issues.&nbsp;Many children are born with weak teeth.&nbsp;Effective solutions are required for dental problems like bad breath, harmful bacteria, and mouth infections. 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The space organisation has embarked on a mission to place satellites that weigh up to 500kg into the 500km low earth orbit (LEO), as it aims for a bigger share of the small satellite vehicle market.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>However, as the space organisation tweeted, some data loss has been observed in the terminal stage. &quot;SSLV-D1 performed as expected at all stages. In the terminal phase of the mission, some data loss is occurring. We are analysing the data to conclude the final outcome of the mission with respect to achieving a stable orbit,&quot; ISRO chairman S. Somanath said, <i><a href="https://www.ndtv.com/india-news/maiden-launch-of-new-isro-rocket-runs-into-trouble-data-loss-in-final-phase-3232793#pfrom=home-ndtv_topscroll">NDTV</a></i> reported.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>What is SSLV?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 34-metre Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) is 10 metres shorter than ISRO's warhorse rocket Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and can put payloads up to 500kg into 500km planar orbit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Unlike the PSLV, the SSLV uses solid fuel hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene to fire the three stages of the rocket which takes the payloads to the desired altitude. The liquid-propelled Velocity Trimming Module (VTM) then inserts the satellite into orbit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The SSLV has a low turnaround time and can be assembled within a fortnight, allowing the space agency to provide launch on demand service in the fast growing low earth orbit launch sector.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The SSLV is 34 metres in height with a vehicle diametre of two metres and a lift off mass of 120 tonnes. The PSLV, on the other hand, is 44 metres tall, 2.8 metres in diametre and a lift-off mass of 320 tonnes. It has the capacity to put up to 1,800kg payloads into orbit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>How to watch live</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can watch the launch live here.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>You can also watch it on the ISRO Twitter channel.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/07/isro-to-launch-sslv-all-you-need-to-know.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/07/isro-to-launch-sslv-all-you-need-to-know.html Sun Aug 07 11:34:12 IST 2022 high-uranium-in-groundwater-in-bihar-leaves-authorities-worried <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/06/high-uranium-in-groundwater-in-bihar-leaves-authorities-worried.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/india/images/2018/4/19/water-shortage-kid-reuters.jpg" /> <p>The high concentration of uranium in groundwater in certain districts in Bihar has left the authorities worried and 100 water samples from ten districts have been sent to Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) center in Lucknow for scientific analysis, a top official said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Presence of uranium in drinking water is a matter of great concern in respect of public health, CGWB (Middle-East region) regional director Thakur Brahmanand Singh said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The water samples have been sent for isotopic uranium analysis through Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) method which measures isotopic ratios at a reasonably high accuracy. The future course of action will be decided only after getting the report, he told PTI here.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Districts from where the groundwater samples have been recently collected are Nalanda, Nawada, Katihar, Madhepura, Vaishali, Supaul, Aurangabad, Gaya, Saran and Jehanabad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;The CGWB, publc health engineering department of Bihar Government and the Geological Survey of India are jointly working towards quantifying uranium concentration in groundwater in the state and also preparing a comprehensive action plan to deal with the situation, Singh said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The uranium concentration reported in previous studies in the state will be compared with the new findings.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Bureau of Indian Standard has not mentioned any standard for uranium in drinking water, while the World Health Organisation have set drinking the water standards for uranium in drinking water as 30 g/L.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>During 2019-20 the CGWB had collected a total 14377 groundwater samples from shallow wells water sources across the country for the quantification of presence of uranium. From Bihar 634 samples were analysed and it was found that concentration of the heavy metal in 11 samples was beyond the permissible limit set by WHO, Singh said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The analysis found that districts where groundwater had high uranium are Saran, Bhabhua, Khagaria, Madhepura, Nawada, Sheikhpura, Purnea, Kishanganj and Begusarai, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Explaining its detrimental impact of the heavy metal, chairman of Bihar State Pollution Control Board Ashok Kumar Ghosh told PTI, Uranium contamination in groundwater is a matter of serious concern as it is hazardous to the health of those exposed. High exposure may cause bone toxicity and impaired renal function and cancer&quot;.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Board's study too found uranium contamination in the groundwater in Bihar, he added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It took one and a half years for the researchers to come to the conclusion. Studies show that uranium is a chemo-toxic and nephrotoxic heavy metal. This chemotoxicity affects the kidneys and bones in particular, Ghosh said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Uranium concentrations are elevated mostly in the north west-south east band along and to the east of Gandak river and south of the Ganga river towards Jharkhand, particularly in Gopalganj Siwan, Saran, Patna, Nalanda and Nawada districts, the study said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The study, which was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in April, 2020, was conducted by David Polya and Laura A Richards of the University of Manchester (UK), Ashok Kumar Ghosh and Arun Kumar of Mahavir Cancer Sansthan, Patna.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/06/high-uranium-in-groundwater-in-bihar-leaves-authorities-worried.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/06/high-uranium-in-groundwater-in-bihar-leaves-authorities-worried.html Sun Aug 07 12:32:56 IST 2022 why-isros-maiden-sslv-mission-failed <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/07/why-isros-maiden-sslv-mission-failed.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/india/images/2022/8/7/isro-sslv-pti.jpg" /> <p>It was challenging day for the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) with its maiden SSLV mission running into rough weather. The mission was carrying an earth observation satellite and a student satellite. After a few hours of the launch from Sriharikota, the newly developed small satellite launch vehicle suffered certain data loss in the final stage of the flight. The space agency announced that the satellites were no longer usable due to the SSLV D1 placing them into 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of 356 km circular orbit.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The new rocket was equipped with an earth observation satellite EOS-02 weighing 145 kg along with the AzaadiSat, weighing approx 8 kg, developed by 750 school girls in order to celebrate the 75 years of Independence under Space Kidz India. “It is a traumatic day for all of us space lovers. I think ISRO will get back to their drawing board and come back strong,” Srimathy Kesan, the founder and CEO of SpaceKidz India told THE WEEK.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SSLV, which reportedly makes use of three solid fuel-based stages and a liquid fuel-based velocity trimming module (VTM) for placing the satellite into orbit, was designed keeping in mind the quick turnaround time needed for commercial launch. It weighs a little over 120 tonnes and stands 34 metres tall.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“The problem appeared to be the SSLV’s terminal stage, called the velocity trimming module (VTM). According to the launch profile, the VTM was supposed to have burnt for 20 seconds at 653 seconds after launch. However, it burnt for only 0.1 seconds, denying the rocket of the requisite altitude boost. Two satellites onboard the rocket – the primary EOS-2 Earth-observing satellite and the secondary AzaadiSAT student satellite – separated from the vehicle after the VTM burnt. This means they are likely to have missed their intended orbital trajectories as well, and entered an elliptical orbit instead. This is not the first time for the space agency to witness a setback on its maiden launch missions. PSLV that was dubbed as one of the trusted workhorses for the space agency, was not successful in its first flight way back on September 20, 1993,” said space expert Girish Linganna.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Space experts say that since this was SSLVs first flight, minor hiccups were expected. “It wasn’t a major trouble. As far as the first flights go, it was almost perfect with a minor hiccup at the end. Next launch should go much more smoothly. We at Pixxel look forward to using the SSLV as well very soon for some satellites in our constellation,” said Awais Ahmed, Founder and CEO, Pixxel. He says that it was a failure of a sensor and the software logic that is supposed to figure out that the sensor failed. “Due to this the fourth burn for the fourth stage couldn’t happen properly and the satellites were deployed in a 356x76 km orbit rather than a 356x356 circular orbit. Since 76 km is very low the atmospheric friction would have burnt up the satellites deployed making them unusable,” added Ahmed.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As per ISRO, a committee would analyse the issue and following its recommendations it will come back with SSLV-D2 soon.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/07/why-isros-maiden-sslv-mission-failed.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/07/why-isros-maiden-sslv-mission-failed.html Sun Aug 07 17:50:51 IST 2022 scientists-restore-cell--organ-function-in-pigs-after-death <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/05/scientists-restore-cell--organ-function-in-pigs-after-death.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/magazine/theweek/more/images/2021/7/22/18-The-liver-from-a-transgenic-pig-being.jpg" /> <p>In a potential organ transplant breakthrough, scientists in the US have developed a new technology that restored cell and organ function in pigs after death.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The technology delivered a specially designed cell-protective fluid to organs and tissues, restoring blood circulation and other cellular functions in pigs a full hour after their deaths.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The findings, published recently in the journal Nature, may help extend the health of human organs during surgery and expand the availability of donor organs.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;All cells do not die immediately, there is a more protracted series of events, said David Andrijevic, associate research scientist at Yale School of Medicine and co-lead author of the study.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&quot;It is a process in which you can intervene, stop, and restore some cellular function,&quot; Andrijevic said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The research builds upon an earlier Yale-led project that restored circulation and certain cellular functions in the brain of a dead pig with technology dubbed BrainEx.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In the new study, the scientists applied a modified version of BrainEx called OrganEx to the whole pig.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The technology consists of a perfusion device similar to heart-lung machines -- which do the work of the heart and lungs during surgery -- and an experimental fluid containing compounds that can promote cellular health and suppress inflammation throughout the pig's body.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Cardiac arrest was induced in anesthetised pigs, which were treated with OrganEx an hour after death.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Six hours after treatment with OrganEx, the researchers found that certain key cellular functions were active in many areas of the pigs' bodies -- including the heart, liver, and kidneys.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Also, some organ functions had been restored. For instance, they found evidence of electrical activity in the heart, which retained the ability to contract.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The team was especially surprised to observe involuntary and spontaneous muscular movements in the head and neck areas when they evaluated the treated animals, which remained anaesthetised through the entire six-hour experiment.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>These movements indicate the preservation of some motor functions, the researchers said. Additional studies are necessary to understand the apparently restored motor functions in the animals, they said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The researchers also called for rigorous ethical review from other scientists and bioethicists. The OrganEx technology could eventually have several potential applications, according to the researchers.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For example, it could extend the life of organs in human patients and expand the availability of donor organs for transplant. It might also be able to help treat organs or tissue damaged by ischemia during heart attacks or strokes, they added.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/05/scientists-restore-cell--organ-function-in-pigs-after-death.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/05/scientists-restore-cell--organ-function-in-pigs-after-death.html Fri Aug 05 16:02:16 IST 2022 exposed-shark-tank-keto-gummies-reviews-shark-tank-gummy-bears-exposed-what-real-price <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sci-tech/2022/08/13/exposed-shark-tank-keto-gummies-reviews-shark-tank-gummy-bears-exposed-what-real-price.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/images/2022/8/13/Shark-Tank-Keto-Gummies.jpg" /> <p>Body image can be a big concern for the obese or overweight population. 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