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Reportage and analysis on the latest developments in the world of science.

Chandrayaan-2 lifts off onboard GSLV Mk III-M1 launch vehicle from Satish Dhawan Space Center at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, on 22 July 2019 | File photo | Photo: ISRO

Chandrayaan-2 completes over 9,000 orbits around moon since launch in 2019, ISRO says

As the spacecraft completed two years around the lunar orbit, ISRO released data product, documents & data from Chandrayaan-2 orbiter payloads for analysis by academia and institutes.

Texas abortion law shows when human life begins is a question of politics – not biology

As a biologist and philosopher, I have been watching players in the US abortion debate make claims about biology for many years.
Representational image of the novel coronavirus | Flickr

Mu — the latest SARS-CoV-2 ‘variant of interest’ first found in Colombia

Among notable characteristics of Mu are mutations previously associated with immune escape properties. No samples detected in India yet. WHO says it is monitoring variant.
Richard Branson

Pilots saw red warning light during Branson’s spaceflight, probe on for off-course descent

Branson’s spaceflight was a success for the company with safe landing of the crew, but a new report says the agency is under investigation for veering out of its designated air space.
Representational image. | A school in New Delhi. | Photo: ANI

Asthma, obesity more likely in Delhi kids than in Mysuru, Kottayam, says study, blames pollution

Led by NGOs Lung Care Foundation and Pulmocare Research & Education Foundation, study compares respiratory health of school children in Delhi with those in cities with cleaner air.
A cube of uranium from a failed German World War II-era nuclear reactor | John T. Consoli | University of Maryland

Where are Nazi Germany’s uranium cubes? New tracking method could reveal its missing trail

Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory develop forensic tracking techniques to locate parts of atom bomb & nuclear reactor Nazi scientists worked on during WW2.
Representational image | Pixabay

Scientists have found a ‘second brain’. And it’s in your gut

The enteric nervous system can do what most neural networks in our bodies cannot — function independently of the brain and spinal cord.

Mushrooms are the next big thing in the meat-free protein market

Mycoprotein, found by fermenting spores of mushrooms, has a meat-like structure that gives both a cost and texture advantage over plant-based proteins.
The launch of Chandrayaan-2 | Twitter

​Moon lander, GSLV, end of PSLV’s 24-yr streak — what ISRO’s 3 ‘failures’ in 4 yrs mean

ISRO is hailed for its track record of impressive launches but a series of unsuccessful missions seem to have cast a shadow on its reputation.
Representational image | Flickr

Coronavirus mutated same amount during pandemic as humans since Homo habilis walked earth

Mutations are the ultimate engine of evolution and provide the raw material for natural selection to act.

On Camera

YourTurn

Underage girls have been kidnapped, raped and prostituted by UN and NATO personnel in Kosovo

Here’s why sexual violence by humanitarians and peacekeepers keeps happening

Peacekeeping operations have a long history of predatory sexual culture. And the UN’s database shows that abusers come from all continents.
File photo of Mukesh Ambani (L) and Manish Malhotra

Mukesh Ambani buys 40% stake in Manish Malhotra’s fashion brand in widening luxury retail push

Investment in Manish Malhotra, stylist to the biggest stars, speaks of Ambani’s wider aim of transforming Reliance Industries Ltd, lessening its dependence on oil-refining and petrochemicals businesses.

Defence

A BSF Jawan stands guard at border | Representational image | ANI

Move to increase BSF jurisdiction is to ‘curb crime’, Opposition cries ‘attack on federalism’

Home ministry has amended a 2014 notification extending BSF jurisdiction from 15 km to 50 km along Punjab, West Bengal and Assam border.
Illustration by Soham Sen

Mohan Bhagwat is right, China is the big threat. But his prescription to counter it is flawed

India can fight China, but it needs peace & stability at home. It can't take on Beijing while re-lighting old fires like NRC or polarising Hindus & Muslims to win elections.
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