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Camera captures night sky spiral after SpaceX rocket launch – Times of India

HONOLULU: A camera atop Hawaii's tallest mountain has captured what looks like a spiral swirling through the night sky. Researchers believe it was from the launch of a military GPS satellite that lifted off earlier on a SpaceX rocket in Florida. The images were captured on Jan. 18 by a camera at the summit of Mauna Kea outside the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan's Subaru telescope. A time-lapse video shows a white orb spreading out and forming a spiral as it moves across the sky. It then fades and disappears. Ichi Tanaka, a researcher at the Subaru telescope, said he was doing other work that night and didn't immediately see it. Then a stargazer watching the camera's livestream on YouTube sent him a screenshot of the spiral using an online messaging platform. "When I opene...
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Study finds how gum infection is linked with risk of heart disease – Times of India

HIROSHIMA: A gum disease called periodontitis can cause a wide range of dental problems, including bleeding gums and tooth loss. The heart, according to Hiroshima University experts, may be involved in far more serious issues elsewhere in the body.In a study published on October 31 in JACC: Clinical Electrophysiology, the team found a significant correlation between periodontitis and fibrosis - scarring to an appendage of the heart's left atrium that can lead to an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation - in a sample of 76 patients with cardiac disease."Periodontitis is associated with a long-standing inflammation, and inflammation plays a key role in atrial fibrosis progression and atrial fibrillation pathogenesis," said first author Shunsuke Miyauchi, assistant professor with ...
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Green comet zooming our way, last visited 50,000 years ago – Times of India

CAPE CANAVERAL: A comet is streaking back our way after 50,000 years. The dirty snowball last visited during Neanderthal times, according to NASA. It will come within 26 million miles (42 million kilometers) of Earth Wednesday before speeding away again, unlikely to return for millions of years. So do look up, contrary to the title of the killer-comet movie "Don't Look Up." Discovered less than a year ago, this harmless green comet already is visible in the northern night sky with binoculars and small telescopes, and possibly the naked eye in the darkest corners of the Northern Hemisphere. It's expected to brighten as it draws closer and rises higher over the horizon through the end of January, best seen in the predawn hours. By Feb. 10, it will be near Mars, a good landmark. Skygazers...
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Poor literacy linked to worse mental health problems: Study – Times of India

LONDON: People with poor literacy face more mental health problems such as loneliness, depression and anxiety, according to a review of studies which used data from nine countries, including India.The research, published in the journal Mental Health and Social Inclusion, is the first to look at the global picture of literacy and mental health.The researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK found that little or no literacy disproportionately affect women, who account for two thirds of the world's illiterate."Despite rising literacy rates over the past 50 years, there are still an estimated 773 million adults globally who can't read or write," said Bonnie Teague from UEA's Norwich Medical School."Literacy rates are lower in developing countries and those with a history ...
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Antibodies against coronavirus ‘coldspots’ discovered, may fight future coronaviruses: Study – Times of India

LONDON: Scientists have discovered regions on the coronavirus which do not change, or 'coldspots', and that antibodies specific for these coldspots may help fight future coronaviruses, according to a new study.The coronavirus keeps evolving, and in so doing it evades our immune defenses. But does the entire coronavirus evolve, or do some portions remain unchanged?According to the study, sieving through over 10 million coronavirus sequences, two PhD students at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), Switzerland and affiliated with the Università della Svizzera italiana, discovered that some portions of the virus spike, or the molecule on the virus that is key to infect human cells, were remarkably conserved."We call these 'coldspots', most of the virus is rapidly changing, but ...
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Pests Are Often A Making of Our Own Actions – The Wire Science

A rat drinking out of a Starbucks cup. Photo: Mert Guller/Unsplash In Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains, Bethany Brookshire unpacks our complex relationships with some of the world’s most irksome and irritating creatures. Examining 10 vertebrate species that are generally regarded as pests, she finds the reasoning behind the label to be wildly subjective, determined by culture, context, and personal preference. Respecting animals is a first step toward building tolerance and moving toward coexistence. This is not a new idea – Brookshire points out that many Indigenous groups have adhered to it for millennia. Lots of people find squirrels to be charming and adorable. Science journalist Bethany Brookshire is not one of them. For her, squirrels – in partic...
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‘Today, Science Is a Weapon To Celebrate a Romantic Past’ – The Wire Science

File photo of former ISRO chief K. Sivan at Tirupati temple. Photo: PTI Social anthropologist Renny Thomas’s book Science and Religion in India: Beyond Disenchantment, released in December 2021, received much attention from different parts of the world. The renowned social historian of science and the author of Nucleus and Nation: Scientists, International Networks and Power in India (2010), Robert S. Anderson in his review of Thomas’s book in the journal Tapuya: Latin American Science, Technology and Society (2022), wrote, ‘‘Thomas wisely allows his subjects to speak at length concerning the relation between their cultural belief systems and their own ideas about their role as scientists. The book is rich in detail and stimulates questions… Beyond Disenchantm...
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How Saliva Changes the Flavour of Food – The Wire Science

Representative image. Photo: Vale Arellano/UnsplashAt first glance, saliva seems like pretty boring stuff, merely a convenient way to moisten our food. But the reality is quite different, as scientists are beginning to understand. The fluid interacts with everything that enters the mouth, and even though it is 99% water, it has a profound influence on the flavours – and our enjoyment – of what we eat and drink. “It is a liquid, but it’s not just a liquid,” says oral biologist Guy Carpenter of King’s College London. Scientists have long understood some of saliva’s functions: It protects the teeth, makes speech easier and establishes a welcoming environment for foods to enter the mouth. But researchers are now finding that saliva is also a mediator and a translator, influencing how food m...