Kolkata: Researchers from Assam have invented a simple technology that together removes arsenic and iron from contaminated water at less than one paisa per litre. The technique has recently been granted an Indian patent. Christened 'Arsiron Nilogon', the filtration method uses three easily available low-cost chemicals to eliminate arsenic and iron. The set up is simple: two containers for two stages of the process. One for the chemical action on the contaminated water and the next for sand and gravel to extract clean water.

New York: The preliminary results of an experiment confirm what the 2015 Hollywood science fiction film "The Martian" showed: potatoes can grow on Mars. The International Potato Centre (CIP) in Lima, Peru, launched a series of experiments to discover if potatoes can grow under Mars atmospheric conditions and thereby prove they are also able to grow in extreme climates on Earth.  The new phase of CIP's experiment to grow potatoes in simulated Martian conditions began on February 14 last year.

Kochi: A study on coconut flour by two academics has revealed that it is a promising substitute for all purpose flour for baking besides having healthy properties on account of its high fibre content. The study was conducted for over a year by Lalitha Ramaswamy, Head of the Nutrition Department at the PSG College of Arts and Sciences, Coimbatore, along with S.R. Priya.

New Delhi: With a surge in gynaecological issues, robotic surgery done through a minimally invasive method can offer women a better outcome to various problems -- from fibroids to cancer -- than traditional methods, experts suggest. Any kind of open surgery gives rise to many post-operative complications like pain, blood loss and, often, due to poor visualisation, the outcome is not as optimal as desired. But when treated with robotics, "it allows for better control and reduces complications".

Sydney: Girls who start their first period at age 11 or younger are 50 per cent more likely to develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy than those who experienced it at the age of 13, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, say. Gestational diabetes is an increasingly common pregnancy complication and can have long-lasting health consequences for mothers and their children.

New York: A team of researchers from India and the US has identified several gene variants which may predispose individuals to develop gallbladder cancer. Although gallbladder cancer is rare in most parts of the world, it is far more common among some ethnic groups, such as Native Americans in North America, and in certain geographic regions, including Central and South America and East and Southeast Asia. The 178,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide each year are centered primarily in these high-risk regions.

London: Frogs have the unique ability to see colour even when it is so dark that we are not able to see anything at all, new research has found. The findings, published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, suggest that the night vision of frogs and toads may be superior to that of all other animals. 

New Delhi: Initially, 62-year-old Ram Mathur did not feel any symptoms. When he started feeling some difficulty during urination, he chose to ignore it. The problem took an extreme turn when he started noticing swellings in the pelvic region, followed by blood in semen, decreased flow of urine and loss of bladder control. Mathur was shattered to know he had fourth stage prostate cancer.

People in India these days want greater control over the food they consume. There is also increased attention to choosing the ingredients. Preferred are food items with enriching and nourishing features and properties which prevent diseases and empower the body to gain immunity. There are a few food items which Indians consume on a daily basis like salt, sugar, milk and oil. Oil is the first element and base for almost all Indian recipes. It is the major component which contributes to the body's fat requirements. So, the oil we choose decides the fats we consume.

 A computer-assisted-design work on the Mars 2020 rover. (Photo: Courtesy, NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Los Angeles: As the US space agency NASA prepares to send its next Mars 2020 mission in search of signs of life on the Red Planet, a Pasadena-based company is busy developing the rover's robotic arm which, it says, will be more efficient than the one currently deployed on the Curiosity rover.

Beijing: China is planning to develop a floating nuclear power platform in five years in a bid to provide stable power to offshore projects and promote ocean gas exploitation, it was reported on Tuesday. Wang Yiren, vice director of the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence, made the announcement, the People's Daily reported. 

Bengaluru: For the last two years, 13-year-old Twinkle of Lucknow has had a problem. Blood flows out of her eyes like tears do. Despite treatment by experts, the tears of blood from the have not stopped. Because of the strange condition, Twinkle has not been able to attend school. Occasionally blood also oozes out of other parts of Twinkle’s body. The girl’s condition has the family deeply worried about her future. The curiosity of the people about the girl’s condition makes the family feel that stigmatized.

A moderate 5.8 magnitude earthquake hit Uttarakhand on the night of February 6. As usual, there was the news rush -- breaking news, specialists' comments and the like. But the earthquake news was somewhat eclipsed by the current charged election environment. An earthquake's effects are all-pervasive and every sector needs to account for it. Earthquake mitigation efforts during the post-seismic period require large amounts of financial aid. However, in most of the states, the disaster management offices are normally headed by the Revenue Secretary.

In a room laden with glass jars, tubes and chemicals, air rich with the intoxicating aroma of several chemical substances, a few men relentlessly toiling away in excitement in an effort to obtain something that would gift humans with the power to generate riches: a formula that can convert copper to gold. This is a typical scene from the stories set in medieval times depicting the life of an alchemist. 

Mumbai: Stem cell treatments can lead to great improvement in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, extreme pain in the groin and other neurological issues as it helps in the regeneration of tissues -- a new treatment option, said doctors on Friday. The doctors said they reached the conclusion after two patients suffering from Parkinson's along with cervical spine issues and extreme groin pain, respectively, showed improvement to a great extent.


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