Wednesday, 14 April, 2021
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Reportage and analysis on the latest developments in the world of science.

Representational image | Novel coronavirus | Pixabay

Study shows how tapeworm infestation drug Niclosamide can help treat Covid

In India, Modi govt has already given a go-ahead to conduct Phase 2 clinical trials of Niclosamide for treatment of Covid. 
A health worker arranges slides while conducting Covid-19 testing at DDCA in New Delhi, in December 2020 | Manvender Vashist | PTI

Can AI tell us how severe patient’s Covid infection will be? Study finds promising results

Hungarian scientists use Artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict Covid severity in patients, manage a prediction accuracy of 87 per cent.
Representational Image| That stress causes hair loss is well known. A new study reveals why.

Why does hair fall when stress levels are high? New Harvard study on mice could hold clue

New study on mice decodes how stress hormones function and possibly cause hair loss. Question remains though if findings can help humans retain a full head of hair.
GMRT

Why global body of engineers picked Pune radio telescope for rare honour

GMRT is one of the largest radio telescopes in the world and has been operating since 1996. Located near Pune, it consists of an array of 30 antennas installed over an area of 30 sq km.
Russell’s viper, a venomous snake responsible for half the deaths due to snakebites in India

Scientists find first direct evidence that venom glands evolved from salivary glands

The study sheds light on how oral venom systems evolved and proposes that mammalian salivary glands could be repurposed to produce venom under the right evolutionary circumstances.
Picrorhiza kurroa

How a bacteria is helping revive an endangered ayurvedic herb in CSIR labs

In Ayurveda, Picrorhiza kurroa or kutki is used for treatment of digestive disorders & for improving immunity. The herb was listed as rare and endangered in 1997.
An artist's impression of the discovery | Credit: Carl Knox, OzGrav | Via @ARC_OzGrav/Twitter

Early universe explosion reveals hidden ‘Goldilocks’ black hole that few believed existed

Studying a gamma-ray burst from 3 billion years ago, Australian researchers discover mysterious intermediate-mass black hole, whose existence was doubted by many until a few years ago.

Covid possibly came from bats to humans via another animal, WHO-China joint study says

The scientists suggested future studies take a wider geographical approach, including Southeast Asia, and investigate susceptible animal species more closely.
A view of the M87* supermassive black hole in polarised light. This is the first time astronomers have been able to measure polarisation, a signature of magnetic fields, this close to the edge of a black hole. Image: EHT Collaboration

This fiery bright spot in space is Earth’s first ever image of a black hole’s magnetic fields

Over 300 researchers working with data from 11 telescopes that make up the Event Horizon Telescope are piecing together how magnetic fields around a black hole function. 
A microscopic cross-section of the newly discovered type of basalt | Credits: Exp. 351 Science Team

Scientists discover new type of basalt rock, formed nearly 50 million years ago, on ocean floor

The basaltic rock found beneath the ocean floor of the Amami Sankaku Basin in the Japanese Sea is distinct from other known rocks both in its chemical and mineral makeup.

On Camera

Deserted road at Marine drive as Maharashtra govt announced weekend lockdown due to surge in Covid cases in Mumbai on 10 April, 2021 | PTI

Deserted roads bring back nightmare of demand slump for Indian fuel companies

It’s an ominous sign for India, where fuel consumption still hasn’t fully recovered from last year’s national lockdown that saw oil demand fall to the lowest since 2007.

Defence

Representational image of an Indian Army convoy moving through Ladakh | Photo: ANI

China changes stance, wants de-escalation before disengagement in Ladakh. India disagrees

De-escalation before disengagement could give China an advantage as it can move troops back much faster than India due to its better infrastructure.

Why mosques in rear view mirror, like Kashi’s Gyanvapi, can crash India’s drive into future

Court’s order to ASI to survey Gyanvapi Mosque for remains of old Kashi Vishwanath Temple questions the optimism that Ayodhya wouldn’t be repeated.