Science

Bengaluru: In the wake of 15 schoolchildren dying in a tragic bus accident in Uttar Pradesh, reportedly due to foggy conditions, a renowned atmospheric scientist has called for an immediate end to practices that include the operation of traditional brick kilns in the region and the burning of crop residue in Punjab. The accident at Etah, in which 16 schoolchildren were also injured, reportedly took place under bad weather conditions and poor visibility.

London: A new research in cognitive science suggests that our memory also records physical sensations as part of the words stored. According to a study published in research journal 'PLOS One', similar to an entry in a reference book, the brain records a word like 'whisk', associating it with concepts such as 'inanimate' and 'kitchen device'. "In addition to this, the brain connects the word to one's own experience -- how a whisk feels, for instance, and that a spinning motion is related to it," the researchers said.

Mumbai: A study by Indian researchers suggests that a population of neutron stars can generate gravitational waves continuously, a finding that could provide an opportunity to study these waves almost permanently. The study by Professor Sudip Bhattacharyya of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR), Mumbai, and Professor Deepto Chakrabarty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US found that a population of neutron stars should spin around their axes much faster than the highest observed spin rate of any neutron star. 

Washington: In its latest close flyby of Jupiter, NASA's Juno spacecraft captured the seventh of eight features forming a ‘string of pearls -- massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the gas giant's southern hemisphere, the US space agency said on Wednesday. The image was taken by the JunoCam imager on December 11 as the Juno spacecraft performed its third close flyby of Jupiter, NASA said. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 24,600 kilometres from the planet.

London:  Regular use of antipsychotic drugs may increase the risk of mortality by 60 per cent among individuals with Alzheimer's disease, a study has shown. Antipsychotics -- also known as neuroleptics or major tranquilisers -- are a class of medication primarily used to manage psychosis including delusions, hallucinations, paranoia or disordered thought.

Kolkata: Mass genetic screenings that track populations vulnerable to arsenic poisoning -- much before cancerous symptoms start showing -- can help tackle its scourge in Bengal and across South Asia, researchers say. In a recent study, researchers from the University of Calcutta and CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (CSIR-IICB) have corralled evidence of genetic links to heightened arsenic damage risk.

Washington:  Monkeys have the vocal tracts to produce human speech sounds, but what they lack is a speech-ready brain, a new study has found. The study, conducted by researchers from the US and Europe and published this week in the US journal Science Advances, used X-ray video to see within the mouth and throat of macaque monkeys induced to vocalise, eat food or make facial expressions, Xinhua news agency reported.

Kolkata: Indian researchers have for the first time hunted down the elusive hematopoietic stem cells (that give rise to all other blood cells) in fruit flies. The discovery in fruit fly has far-reaching implications for stem cell-based therapies for humans, they said. Published recently in the journal eLife, the research also paves the way for understanding mechanisms of human diseases linked to development of blood cells.

Washington: NASA said its Curiosity Mars rover is not currently using its arm for science as it has detected an issue with a motor that moves the rover's drill. Curiosity is at a site on lower Mount Sharp selected for what would be the mission's seventh sample collection drilling of 2016. 

New Delhi: Most premature babies can become perfectly healthy and evolve normally in both body and mind -- but only if they get specialised medical care after birth, health experts suggest. Premature babies are those born before 37 weeks of gestation. Although some premature babies show normal growth, some may have continuing problems that adversely effect their growth and development.

Image: NASA

Washington: NASA said its Cassini mission is set to begin on November 30 a daring set of "ring-grazing" orbits, during which it will fly closer to Saturns rings than it has since its 2004 arrival. On November 30, following a gravitational nudge from Saturn's moon Titan, Cassini will enter the first phase of the mission's dramatic endgame, NASA said.

Canberra: Australian scientists have taken a step in the "right direction" to creating a vaccine for the deadly HIV virus. Researchers from South Australia's University of Adelaide and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital have used a common cold virus to introduce their DNA-based vaccine into the immune system of laboratory mice, Xinhua news agency reported.

Image: NASA

Washington: To help learn more about the primitive building blocks of the solar system and answer questions about Earths neighbours like the moon and Mars, three federal entities in the US, including NASA, are reaffirming their commitment to search for Antarctic meteorites.

Image: NASA

London: Mars is a primary target in the search for life outside Earth, and liquid water is the most important pre-requisite for life. But a team of international researchers has found that Mars is incredibly dry, and has been that way for millions of years. "Evidence shows that more than three billion years ago Mars was wet and habitable. However, this latest research reaffirms just how dry the environment is today," said Christian Schroder, Lecturer at the University of Stirling in Britain

New Delhi: Apart from obesity, birth control pills and additional factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes may put women at increased risk for the most common type of stroke, health experts suggest. Oral contraceptives increase the risk of ischemic strokes, caused by a blood clot that blocks or plugs a blood vessel in the brain.

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