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Powers of Hearing: The Military Science of Sound Location – The Wire Science

War cinema crew working on the Western Front, World War I, 1917. Photo: Photographer unknown, Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1983-0323-501/CC-BY-SA 3.0 According to The End of the War: A Graphic Record, the frontispiece of a towering report commissioned by the US Assistant Secretary of War during WWI, the Great War ended not with a bang, but, as in the famous verse, a whimper. The image, which showed six horizontal lines on a filmstrip, depicted artillery activity at the American front near the Moselle River exactly one minute before and one minute after the time of armistice, 11:00 am on November 11, 1918. The left side depicted artillery activity at one minute before armistice and showed a flurry of jagged lines (“All guns firing”). On the right side, which depicted...
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Southeast Asian Countries Unlikely to Double Tiger Numbers by 2022, as Promised – The Wire Science

Illustration: Martina Bulkova/pixabay Tigers once roamed throughout the dense forested interior of mainland Southeast Asia and several islands of Indonesia. Positioned at the pinnacle of the food chain, tigers maintain ecosystem balance, and by protecting them, we can preserve entire biodiverse landscapes. However, the long-term survival of this flagship conservation species now hangs in the balance. In 2010, government ministers from the 13 countries that still had wild tiger populations committed to implementing measures to double the wild population of the big cats by 2022. In Southeast Asia, it is highly unlikely that this goal will be met. In fact, many countries in the region have fewer tigers now than when the pledge was made. Over the past few years,...
In-host mutations in Covid-19 virus reflecting in variants, finds study – Times of India
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In-host mutations in Covid-19 virus reflecting in variants, finds study – Times of India

NEW DELHI: Changes that happen in the genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in an infected person reflect at the population level as a variation, according to a study that researchers say will be “of enormous utility” in predicting the spread and infectivity of viral Covid strains. Tracking the changes that happen in the virus inside a host in individuals and populations might provide important leads to the viral sites that are favourable or disadvantageous for the survival of SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19, the researchers said. The team behind the recent study included researchers from the National Centre for Disease Control and the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) in Delhi, as well as the Institute of Life Sciences in Bhubaneswar, the Academy for Scientific an...
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Rockets Emit 100x More CO2 per Passenger Than Flights – Imagine a Whole Industry – The Wire Science

Jeff Bezos launches with three crew members aboard a New Shepard rocket on an unpiloted suborbital flight, Texas, July 20, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Joe Skipper The commercial race to get tourists to space is heating up between Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. On Sunday 11 July, Branson ascended 80 km to reach the edge of space in his piloted Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spaceplane. Bezos’ autonomous Blue Origin rocket is due to launch on July 20, coinciding with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Though Bezos loses to Branson in time, he is set to reach higher altitudes (about 120 km). The launch will demonstrate his offering to very wealthy tourists: the opportunity to truly reach outer space. Both tour packages ...
Science

Rockets Emit 100x More CO2 per Passenger Than Flights – Imagine a Whole Industry – The Wire Science

Jeff Bezos launches with three crew members aboard a New Shepard rocket on an unpiloted suborbital flight, Texas, July 20, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Joe Skipper The commercial race to get tourists to space is heating up between Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. On Sunday 11 July, Branson ascended 80 km to reach the edge of space in his piloted Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spaceplane. Bezos’ autonomous Blue Origin rocket is due to launch on July 20, coinciding with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Though Bezos loses to Branson in time, he is set to reach higher altitudes (about 120 km). The launch will demonstrate his offering to very wealthy tourists: the opportunity to truly reach outer space. Both tour packages ...
Science

Rockets Emit 100x More CO2 per Passenger Than Flights – Imagine a Whole Industry – The Wire Science

Jeff Bezos launches with three crew members aboard a New Shepard rocket on an unpiloted suborbital flight, Texas, July 20, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Joe Skipper The commercial race to get tourists to space is heating up between Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. On Sunday 11 July, Branson ascended 80 km to reach the edge of space in his piloted Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spaceplane. Bezos’ autonomous Blue Origin rocket is due to launch on July 20, coinciding with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Though Bezos loses to Branson in time, he is set to reach higher altitudes (about 120 km). The launch will demonstrate his offering to very wealthy tourists: the opportunity to truly reach outer space. Both tour packages ...
Science

Rockets Emit 100x More CO2 per Passenger Than Flights – Imagine a Whole Industry – The Wire Science

Jeff Bezos launches with three crew members aboard a New Shepard rocket on an unpiloted suborbital flight, Texas, July 20, 2021. Photo: Reuters/Joe Skipper The commercial race to get tourists to space is heating up between Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson and former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. On Sunday 11 July, Branson ascended 80 km to reach the edge of space in his piloted Virgin Galactic VSS Unity spaceplane. Bezos’ autonomous Blue Origin rocket is due to launch on July 20, coinciding with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. Though Bezos loses to Branson in time, he is set to reach higher altitudes (about 120 km). The launch will demonstrate his offering to very wealthy tourists: the opportunity to truly reach outer space. Both tour packages ...
Science

Reimagining a Post-COVID School for India – The Wire Science

Representative photo: students wearing protective masks at a government school in Hyderabad, March 2020. Photo: Reuters/Vinod Babu Debates are rife, for justifiable reasons, about how soon, at what level and in what manner schools need to be reopened in the aftermath of the second COVID-19 wave in India. In fact, in different parts of the globe this experience is hugely varied, ranging from total school closure to fairly uninterrupted schooling to partial and phased reopening. In our continent-like country too, the country-sized states are experimenting with different plans and actual steps to reopen schools, since a unified formula is inappropriate for this vastly divergent socio-economic, physical and even contagion topography. Remember when floods or other ...
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Air Pollution Patterns in the Hindu Kush Himalaya Are More Complex Than Thought – The Wire Science

When Trisha Mahajan was growing up in the northern Indian city of Amritsar, air pollution was never on her mind. By contrast, now as a mother to a two-year-old daughter living in one of the world’s most polluted cities, Gurgaon, in the outskirts of the capital Delhi, she is worried enough to be considering relocating to a smaller city with cleaner air. Mahajan’s concern for the health of her daughter has grown with the mounting evidence of the impact that air pollution has on the lungs of the region’s youngest citizens. Breathing polluted air could lead to serious long-term and permanent health issues that include reduction in lung capacity and the possibility of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. In recent years, research into the links between ...
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Second Case of Deadly Disease Prompts French Moratorium on Prion Research – The Wire Science

Prion protein, shown in red, can become infectious and cause neurodegenerative disease. Photo: NIAID/Flickr CC BY 2.0 New Delhi: Five French public research institutions have imposed a three-month moratorium on the study of prions – misfolded proteins – after a retired lab worker accidentally contracted a fatal brain disease. According to Science Magazine, an investigation is underway to determine if the individual, who worked at a lab run by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), contracted the disease on the job. The worker has handled prions in the past. Prions are misfolded, misshapen forms of normal proteins that can induce other proteins to misfold as well. According to Ars Technica, prion proteins are commonly f...
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Second Case of Fatal Disease Prompts French Moratorium on Prion Research – The Wire Science

Prion protein, shown in red, can become infectious and cause neurodegenerative disease. Photo: NIAID/Flickr CC BY 2.0 New Delhi: Five French public research institutions have imposed a three-month moratorium on the study of prions – misfolded proteins – after a retired lab worker accidentally contracted a fatal brain disease. According to Science Magazine, an investigation is underway to determine if the individual, who worked at a lab run by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), contracted the disease on the job. The worker has handled prions in the past. Prions are misfolded, misshapen forms of normal proteins that can induce other proteins to misfold as well. According to Ars Technica, prion proteins are commonly f...
Science

Second Case of Deadly Disease Prompts French Moratorium on Prion Research – The Wire Science

Prion protein, shown in red, can become infectious and cause neurodegenerative disease. Photo: NIAID/Flickr CC BY 2.0 New Delhi: Five French public research institutions have imposed a three-month moratorium on the study of prions – misfolded proteins – after a retired lab worker accidentally contracted a fatal brain disease. According to Science Magazine, an investigation is underway to determine if the individual, who worked at a lab run by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), contracted the disease on the job. The worker has handled prions in the past. Prions are misfolded, misshapen forms of normal proteins that can induce other proteins to misfold as well. According to Ars Technica, prion proteins are commonly f...
Science

Second Case of Deadly Disease Prompts French Moratorium on Prion Research – The Wire Science

Prion protein, shown in red, can become infectious and cause neurodegenerative disease. Photo: NIAID/Flickr CC BY 2.0 New Delhi: Five French public research institutions have imposed a three-month moratorium on the study of prions – misfolded proteins – after a retired lab worker accidentally contracted a fatal brain disease. According to Science Magazine, an investigation is underway to determine if the individual, who worked at a lab run by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), contracted the disease on the job. The worker has handled prions in the past. Prions are misfolded, misshapen forms of normal proteins that can induce other proteins to misfold as well. According to Ars Technica, prion proteins are commonly f...
Science

CDSCO Expert Panel Gives Nod to Study on Mixing Doses of Covaxin, Covishield – The Wire Science

Representative image of a vaccine. Photo: Mufid Majnun/Unsplash New Delhi: An expert panel of India’s central drug authority on Thursday recommended granting permission to the Christian Medical College (CMC) in Vellore for conducting a clinical trial of mixing of two COVID-19 vaccines – Covaxin and Covishield – official sources said. The panel also recommended giving approval to Bharat Biotech for carrying out a study on the interchangeability of Covaxin and the under-trial adenoviral intranasal vaccine candidate BBV154, but asked the Hyderabad-based firm to remove the word “interchangeability” from the study title and submit a revised protocol for approval. “The SEC (subject expert committee) after detailed deliberations recommended granting permission to C...
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India’s Forests, and Their Peoples, Are Caught Between Two Ministries – The Wire Science

Former environment ministry Prakash Javadekar. Photo: PTI Two recent developments could be a sign that the Union environment ministry could be on the verge of retaking its lost turf – at least some of what it ‘lost’ to forest dwellers, the Parliament and the Ministry of Tribal Affairs in 2006. On June 22, 2021, the environment ministry issued a tender calling for consultancy organisations to express interest in preparing a draft comprehensive amendment to the Indian Forest Act 1927. The government has used this draconian law of colonial vintage to constitute the forest and administer it. The ministry’s tender came after a short-lived attempt to push through an amendment to this Act in 2019. In March 2019, the same ministry circulated a draft amendment to the...
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Villagers Approached Court Against Hydel Projects. Court Fined the Villagers. – The Wire Science

Police personnel on a search and rescue operation near the damaged Tapovan hydel project tunnel after the flood in early February 2021, Uttarakhand. Photo: PT The Rishiganga river that flows near Raini village in Uttarakhand is no more the meek river it once was. The remains of damaged hydropower structures and the dead that remain buried in its vicinity, never to be found, bear witness to the flooded river that gushed through the valley and ravaged the area on February 7 this year. At least 204 people had died in the flood, and two hydropower projects – 13.2 MW Rishiganga near Raini, and 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad near Tapovan village – were completely damaged. The economic losses from damages to the projects alone exceed Rs 1,625 crore. On July 24, Saturday n...
Science

Villagers Approached Court Against Hydel Projects. Court Fined the Villagers. – The Wire Science

Police personnel on a search and rescue operation near the damaged Tapovan hydel project tunnel after the flood in early February 2021, Uttarakhand. Photo: PT The Rishiganga river that flows near Raini village in Uttarakhand is no more the meek river it once was. The remains of damaged hydropower structures and the dead that remain buried in its vicinity, never to be found, bear witness to the flooded river that gushed through the valley and ravaged the area on February 7 this year. At least 204 people had died in the flood, and two hydropower projects – 13.2 MW Rishiganga near Raini, and 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad near Tapovan village – were completely damaged. The economic losses from damages to the projects alone exceed Rs 1,625 crore. On July 24, Saturday n...
Science

Villagers Approached Court Against Hydel Projects. Court Fined the Villagers. – The Wire Science

Police personnel on a search and rescue operation near the damaged Tapovan hydel project tunnel after the flood in early February 2021, Uttarakhand. Photo: PT The Rishiganga river that flows near Raini village in Uttarakhand is no more the meek river it once was. The remains of damaged hydropower structures and the dead that remain buried in its vicinity, never to be found, bear witness to the flooded river that gushed through the valley and ravaged the area on February 7 this year. At least 204 people had died in the flood, and two hydropower projects – 13.2 MW Rishiganga near Raini, and 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad near Tapovan village – were completely damaged. The economic losses from damages to the projects alone exceed Rs 1,625 crore. On July 24, Saturday n...
Science

Villagers Approached Court Against Hydel Projects. Court Fined the Villagers. – The Wire Science

Police personnel on a search and rescue operation near the damaged Tapovan hydel project tunnel after the flood in early February 2021, Uttarakhand. Photo: PT The Rishiganga river that flows near Raini village in Uttarakhand is no more the meek river it once was. The remains of damaged hydropower structures and the dead that remain buried in its vicinity, never to be found, bear witness to the flooded river that gushed through the valley and ravaged the area on February 7 this year. At least 204 people had died in the flood, and two hydropower projects – 13.2 MW Rishiganga near Raini, and 520 MW Tapovan Vishnugad near Tapovan village – were completely damaged. The economic losses from damages to the projects alone exceed Rs 1,625 crore. On July 24, Saturday n...
Science

Antibody Prevalance Highest in MP’s Population, Lowest in Kerala: ICMR Serosurvey – The Wire Science

Representative image of test tubes with plasma and blood samples. Photo: Reuters/Marco Bello New Delhi: At least two-thirds of the population surveyed in 11 states were found to have developed coronavirus antibodies, according to the findings of a serosurvey by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) done between June 14 and July 6. Madhya Pradesh leads the chart with 79% seroprevalence, while Kerala is at the bottom with 44.4%. Seroprevalence in Assam is 50.3% and Maharashtra 58%. The findings of the fourth round of national serosurvey conducted by the ICMR across 70 districts of India was shared by the Union health ministry on Wednesday. Seroprevalence was found to be 76.2% among the surveyed population in Rajasthan, 75.9% in Bihar, 75.3% in Gujarat,...