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According to the researchers, one of the most urgent tasks is to understand all the molecular interactions between the virus and the cells it infects.
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showing how the genetic material of the novel coronavirus interacts with the proteins in human cells, which may provide a starting point for the development of new treatments against COVID-19. <span>According to the researchers, one of the most urgent tasks is to understand all the molecular interactions between the virus and the cells it infects. They explained that a detailed understanding of these interactions will help identify the processes in host cells which favour the multiplication of the virus, and the ones which activa




While the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses host proteins to replicate, the scientists said until now, there has been no detailed understanding of all the proteins occurring in human cells which interact with the viral genetic material – its RNA.
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t a detailed understanding of these interactions will help identify the processes in host cells which favour the multiplication of the virus, and the ones which activate the host immune system. <span>While the SARS-CoV-2 virus uses host proteins to replicate, the scientists said until now, there has been no detailed understanding of all the proteins occurring in human cells which interact with the viral genetic material – its RNA. In the research, published in the journal Nature Microbiology, the scientists created the first global atlas of direct interactions between the SARS-CoV-2 RNA and the proteins present i




From the results, the scientists identified 18 host proteins that play an important role during SARS-CoV-2 infection, and found 20 small molecules that may inhibit these proteins.
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infections, enabling the systematic breakdown of factors influencing the replication of the virus, and host defense strategies – a crucial prerequisite for the development of new therapeutics. <span>From the results, the scientists identified 18 host proteins that play an important role during SARS-CoV-2 infection, and found 20 small molecules that may inhibit these proteins. They believe the two proteins CNBP and LARP1 are particularly interesting. The researchers also identified target sites in these proteins that could be used to inhibit its replication.




They believe the two proteins CNBP and LARP1
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therapeutics. From the results, the scientists identified 18 host proteins that play an important role during SARS-CoV-2 infection, and found 20 small molecules that may inhibit these proteins. <span>They believe the two proteins CNBP and LARP1 are particularly interesting. The researchers also identified target sites in these proteins that could be used to inhibit its replication. According to Munschauer, the characterization




"The way LARP1 binds to viral RNA is very interesting, because it is similar to the way LARP1 regulates certain cellular messenger RNAs that we already know.
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s also identified target sites in these proteins that could be used to inhibit its replication. According to Munschauer, the characterization of LARP1 as an antiviral factor is a major finding. <span>"The way LARP1 binds to viral RNA is very interesting, because it is similar to the way LARP1 regulates certain cellular messenger RNAs that we already know. This in turn provides insights into possible mechanisms of action," he added. According to the scientists, three out of four small molecules they tested inhibited viral replication in d




The world’s largest radio telescope, the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope or FAST has been installed in Pingtang in China's Guizhou province.
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of Bengaluru-Airport train service Watch | Meet Arya Rajendran, India's youngest Mayor Close X A video on China's FAST telescope which will be available for foreign scientists to use from 2021 <span>The world’s largest radio telescope, the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope or FAST has been installed in Pingtang in China's Guizhou province. FAST started full operations in January 2020 and is about to open its doors for foreign astronomers. Work on FAST began in 2011. It cost 1.1 billion yuan to build. FAST boasts of a 500-




The data collected should help understand of the origins of the universe. It could also aid in the search for alien life.
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usands of villagers were displaced to make room for this telescope. FAST mainly captures radio signals emitted by celestial bodies. In particular, pulsars which are rapidly rotating dead stars. <span>The data collected should help understand of the origins of the universe. It could also aid in the search for alien life. China has said it will accept requests in 2021 from foreign scientists wishing to carry out measurements. A letter from the Editor Dear reader, We have been keeping you up-to-date with




FAST is surrounded by a five-kilometre “radio silence” zone where mobile phones and computers are not allowed.
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began in 2011. It cost 1.1 billion yuan to build. FAST boasts of a 500-metre giant satellite dish, the size of which can cover the area of 30 football pitches. This is also the world's largest. <span>FAST is surrounded by a five-kilometre “radio silence” zone where mobile phones and computers are not allowed. Thousands of villagers were displaced to make room for this telescope. FAST mainly captures radio signals emitted by celestial bodies. In particular, pulsars which are rapidly rotating




Work on FAST began in 2011. It cost 1.1 billion yuan to build.

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ture Spherical Telescope or FAST has been installed in Pingtang in China's Guizhou province. FAST started full operations in January 2020 and is about to open its doors for foreign astronomers. <span>Work on FAST began in 2011. It cost 1.1 billion yuan to build. FAST boasts of a 500-metre giant satellite dish, the size of which can cover the area of 30 football pitches. This is also the world's largest. FAST is surrounded by a five-kilometre “r




A new class of antibiotics

Published in Nature

New molecules that can kill difficult-to-treat bacterial infections and also enhance our natural immune response have been developed by researchers from the U.S. The molecules target a metabolic pathway that is essential for most bacteria but absent in humans. The team writes that these molecules can help in the fight against the rising multidrug-resistant bacteria.

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esearch to have appeared in top science journals last week. (Subscribe to Science For All, our weekly newsletter, where we aim to take the jargon out of science and put the fun in. Click here.) <span>A new class of antibiotics Published in Nature New molecules that can kill difficult-to-treat bacterial infections and also enhance our natural immune response have been developed by researchers from the U.S. The molecules target a metabolic pathway that is essential for most bacteria but absent in humans. The team writes that these molecules can help in the fight against the rising multidrug-resistant bacteria. Big smart bumblebees Published in Current Biology Trajectory showing bee’s position and body orientation in every 20-ms frame of the recorded flight. Gray disks represent cylinders that




A new study has shown that big bumblebees learn where the best flowers are located, remember the spot and visit them repeatedly. Since they can carry more nectar, they explore areas away from the nest and spend energy to find the best flower. But smaller ones that have a short flight range don’t make the effort to learn about the best flowers and visit many flowers near the nest.
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ks represent cylinders that help bees locate the 5-cm-diameter flower | Photo Credit: © 2020 Elsevier Inc. If you thought bumblebees only visit random flowers and collect nectar, you are wrong. <span>A new study has shown that big bumblebees learn where the best flowers are located, remember the spot and visit them repeatedly. Since they can carry more nectar, they explore areas away from the nest and spend energy to find the best flower. But smaller ones that have a short flight range don’t make the effort to learn about the best flowers and visit many flowers near the nest. Moon craters map Published in Nature Communications Using data from Chang’E-1 and Chang’E-2 lunar orbiters researchers have identified 1,09,956 new craters on the Moon and also tried to




Using data from Chang’E-1 and Chang’E-2 lunar orbiters researchers have identified 1,09,956 new craters on the Moon and also tried to estimate their ages using artificial intelligence
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. But smaller ones that have a short flight range don’t make the effort to learn about the best flowers and visit many flowers near the nest. Moon craters map Published in Nature Communications <span>Using data from Chang’E-1 and Chang’E-2 lunar orbiters researchers have identified 1,09,956 new craters on the Moon and also tried to estimate their ages using artificial intelligence. The computer was taught to identify not just round craters but also look at irregular and even degraded craters that can give clues about the history of the Moon. The team was able to




A new study has shown that the brain not just looks at your movements and surroundings but also calculates other’s movements. “Our results support the idea that, under certain mental states, this pattern of brain waves may help us recognise boundaries,” said first author Matthias Stangl in a release.
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gates an empty room. | Photo Credit: https://www.uclahealth.org/ How does your brain help you navigate in a crowded space, find the perfect parking spot or even the shortest route to a counter? <span>A new study has shown that the brain not just looks at your movements and surroundings but also calculates other’s movements. “Our results support the idea that, under certain mental states, this pattern of brain waves may help us recognise boundaries,” said first author Matthias Stangl in a release. Microplastic pollution Published in Environmental Health Perspectives By looking at 50 studies between 2014 and 2020 researchers have found that mussels, oysters and scallops have the h




researchers have found that mussels, oysters and scallops have the highest levels of microplastic contamination among seafood.
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lp us recognise boundaries,” said first author Matthias Stangl in a release. Microplastic pollution Published in Environmental Health Perspectives By looking at 50 studies between 2014 and 2020 <span>researchers have found that mussels, oysters and scallops have the highest levels of microplastic contamination among seafood. Study author, Evangelos Danopoulos said in a release: “No-one yet fully understands the full impact of microplastics on the human body, but early evidence from other studies suggest the




A possible case of reinfection was considered if a PCR test was positive before 90 days of a previous infection with SARS-COV-2 virus. While only two reinfections were caused by the new variant, there were three reinfections in the other group.
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difference in case fatality between the two groups is “not significant”, the report says. Reinfection studied Scientists also studied whether the new variant caused increased reinfection rates. <span>A possible case of reinfection was considered if a PCR test was positive before 90 days of a previous infection with SARS-COV-2 virus. While only two reinfections were caused by the new variant, there were three reinfections in the other group. Also read: Six U.K. returnees test positive for new coronavirus variant Variant name Following risk assessment, the nomenclature of the new variant has been changed. While the variant w




Quick sequencing of the whole genome of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) helped develop various test kits.
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the year of research at breakneck speed. Virologists, immunologists, computational biologists, epidemiologists, and medical professionals across the globe turned into superheroes without capes. <span>Quick sequencing of the whole genome of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) helped develop various test kits. We now have not one or two, but multiple COVID-19 vaccines that have succeeded in human clinical trials. Moderna's and Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccines that use messenger RNA have reported ef




Water on the Moon

In October, NASA confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit side of the Moon indicating that water may be distributed across the moon’s surface, and not limited to the cold and shadowed side.

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nations. Apart from new findings on coronavirus every single day, the year was also filled with stories from outer space, archeology and anatomy. Here is a list of a few of them in random order <span>Water on the Moon In October, NASA confirmed, for the first time, water on the sunlit side of the Moon indicating that water may be distributed across the moon’s surface, and not limited to the cold and shadowed side. A new gland in humans Researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute announced in October that they have discovered a new pair of salivary glands hidden between the nasal cavity and




a new pair of salivary glands hidden between the nasal cavity and throat. The team proposed the name “tubarial glands” and noted that this identification “could help to explain and avoid radiation-induced side-effects” such as trouble during eating, swallowing, and speaking.
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across the moon’s surface, and not limited to the cold and shadowed side. A new gland in humans Researchers from the Netherlands Cancer Institute announced in October that they have discovered <span>a new pair of salivary glands hidden between the nasal cavity and throat. The team proposed the name “tubarial glands” and noted that this identification “could help to explain and avoid radiation-induced side-effects” such as trouble during eating, swallowing, and speaking. Microbes on Venus? Also Read Understanding the discovery of phosphine gas on Venus | The Hindu In Focus podcast In September, an international scientific team announced that they have s




spotted phosphine gas on Venus. On Earth, microorganisms that live in “anaerobic” (with no oxygen) environments produce phosphine.
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speaking. Microbes on Venus? Also Read Understanding the discovery of phosphine gas on Venus | The Hindu In Focus podcast In September, an international scientific team announced that they have <span>spotted phosphine gas on Venus. On Earth, microorganisms that live in “anaerobic” (with no oxygen) environments produce phosphine. Massachusetts Institute of Technology molecular astrophysicist and study co-author Clara Sousa-Silva said in a release, “This is important because, if it is phosphine, and if it is life




This is important because, if it is phosphine, and if it is life, it means that we are not alone.
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hat live in “anaerobic” (with no oxygen) environments produce phosphine. Massachusetts Institute of Technology molecular astrophysicist and study co-author Clara Sousa-Silva said in a release, “<span>This is important because, if it is phosphine, and if it is life, it means that we are not alone. It also means that life itself must be very common, and there must be many other inhabited planets throughout our galaxy.” Read our detailed explainer here. Watch | Scientists discover




In March, a person suffering from Leber congenital amaurosis, a rare inherited disease that leads to blindness, became the first to have CRISPR/Cas-9-based therapy directly injected into the body.
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80p Live 00:00 01:59 01:58 CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors in tackling diseases Also Read Explaining the science behind the 2020 Nobel Prizes for Chemistry and Physics | The Hindu In Focus podcast <span>In March, a person suffering from Leber congenital amaurosis, a rare inherited disease that leads to blindness, became the first to have CRISPR/Cas-9-based therapy directly injected into the body. In June, two patients with beta-thalassemia and one with sickle cell disease had their bone marrow stem cells edited using CRISPR techniques. Click here to read our explainer on the gen




Stories from Indus Valley vessels

The year 2020 marks 100 years of discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation, and a new study showed that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE.

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sickle cell disease had their bone marrow stem cells edited using CRISPR techniques. Click here to read our explainer on the genome-editing tool that won this year’s Nobel Prize for Chemistry. <span>Stories from Indus Valley vessels The year 2020 marks 100 years of discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation, and a new study showed that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE. Another study found the presence of animal products, including cattle and buffalo meat, in ceramic vessels dating back about 4,600 years. Samples from the Moon and an asteroid China’s C




found the presence of animal products, including cattle and buffalo meat, in ceramic vessels dating back about 4,600 years.
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s The year 2020 marks 100 years of discovery of Indus Valley Civilisation, and a new study showed that dairy products were being produced by the Harappans as far back as 2500 BCE. Another study <span>found the presence of animal products, including cattle and buffalo meat, in ceramic vessels dating back about 4,600 years. Samples from the Moon and an asteroid China’s Chang’e-5 probe brought back about 1,731 grams of samples from the moon becoming the third country to bring moon samples after the U.S and




NASA launches Mars rover Perseverance

Mars rover Perseverance blasted off for the red planet on July 30 to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth. If all goes well, the rover will descend to the Martian surface on February 18, 2021.

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asteroid. The spacecraft, launched from Japan's Tanegashima space centre in 2014, took four years to reach the asteroid Ryugu before taking a sample and heading back to Earth in November 2019. <span>NASA launches Mars rover Perseverance Mars rover Perseverance blasted off for the red planet on July 30 to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth. If all goes well, the rover will descend to the Martian surface on February 18, 2021. A letter from the Editor Dear reader, We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, ou




Scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier bagged the Nobel Prize for Chemistry “for the development of a method for genome editing”. The discovery of “one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors”
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there a possibility of the tool being misused? The story so far: The 2020 Nobel Prizes for sciences announced this week made history of sorts when one of it was exclusively shared by two women. <span>Scientists Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier bagged the Nobel Prize for Chemistry “for the development of a method for genome editing”. The discovery of “one of gene technology’s sharpest tools: the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors” will lead to the emergence of novel biological applications by making it easier to edit genes, and “may make the dream of curing inherited diseases come true”. What is CRISPR/Cas9? Much




Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) are pieces of DNA that bacteria snip off from viruses that once attacked them, much like file names used to store various documents we write in MS Word.
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diseases come true”. What is CRISPR/Cas9? Much like what Microsoft (MS) Word does for writing, the CRISPR/Cas9 system allows for adding, altering and deleting the genomic code in living beings. <span>Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) are pieces of DNA that bacteria snip off from viruses that once attacked them, much like file names used to store various documents we write in MS Word. Watch | 2020 Chemistry Nobel for developing CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors 2020 Chemistry Nobel for developing CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors 00:00 of 01:54Volume 0% Press shift question ma




Similarly, the CRISPR are a part of bacteria’s immunological systems that help them in recognising threatening viruses. When they sense a lurking virus, the bacteria produce customised RNA, which is necessary to translate DNA into protein, gleaned from the CRISPR libraries. This also contains Cas (CRISPR-associated) genes that are used to produce enzymes such as Cas-9. These enzymes — the Cas-9 being a particularly popular one — can be used to chop the DNA of the virus and destroy them.
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Live 01:37 00:17 01:54 The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the importance of ‘memory cells’, which can quickly produce relevant antibodies to neutralise a repeat infection by a virus. <span>Similarly, the CRISPR are a part of bacteria’s immunological systems that help them in recognising threatening viruses. When they sense a lurking virus, the bacteria produce customised RNA, which is necessary to translate DNA into protein, gleaned from the CRISPR libraries. This also contains Cas (CRISPR-associated) genes that are used to produce enzymes such as Cas-9. These enzymes — the Cas-9 being a particularly popular one — can be used to chop the DNA of the virus and destroy them. Podcast: Also Read Explaining the science behind this year’s Nobel Prizes for Chemistry and Physics | The Hindu In Focus podcast How can this be used to edit genomes? Using the tool, re




Using the tool, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms
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he virus and destroy them. Podcast: Also Read Explaining the science behind this year’s Nobel Prizes for Chemistry and Physics | The Hindu In Focus podcast How can this be used to edit genomes? <span>Using the tool, researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with precision. Emmanuelle Charpentier, who is now director, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, had studied Streptococcus pyogenes, a species of bacteria known to be as




Streptococcus pyogenes, a species of bacteria known to be associated with a range of illnesses such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis and scarlet fever.
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researchers can change the DNA of animals, plants and microorganisms with precision. Emmanuelle Charpentier, who is now director, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Berlin, had studied <span>Streptococcus pyogenes, a species of bacteria known to be associated with a range of illnesses such as pharyngitis, tonsillitis and scarlet fever. While studying this, she discovered a previously unknown molecule, tracrRNA. Her work showed that tracrRNA is part of bacteria’s ancient immune system, CRISPR/Cas, that disarms viruses




In their natural form, the scissors recognise DNA from viruses, but Charpentier and Doudna proved that they could be controlled so that they can cut any DNA molecule at a predetermined site. Where the DNA is cut it is then easy to rewrite the code of life,” the note adds.
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he scissors’ molecular components so they were easier to use,” says an explainer on the Nobel Prizes website on their work. In a significant experiment, they reprogrammed the genetic scissors. “<span>In their natural form, the scissors recognise DNA from viruses, but Charpentier and Doudna proved that they could be controlled so that they can cut any DNA molecule at a predetermined site. Where the DNA is cut it is then easy to rewrite the code of life,” the note adds. Also read | What is genome editing How is the tool different from other editing systems? Other genome editing systems like TALENs and Zinc-Finger Nucleases can do similar jobs, but seve




Earlier this year, a person with hereditary blindness became the first to have a CRISPR/Cas-9-based therapy directly injected into her body.
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nging potential. In the last five years, both Dr. Doudna and Dr. Charpentier have been recipients of several important prizes in sciences. To what uses has the CRISPR/Cas9 been deployed so far? <span>Earlier this year, a person with hereditary blindness became the first to have a CRISPR/Cas-9-based therapy directly injected into her body. Gene-editing company CRISPR Therapeutics announced in June that two patients with beta thalassemia and one with sickle cell disease would no longer require blood transfusions after thei




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es, mental illnesses, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Is there a possibility of the tool being misused? The most controversial application of CRISPR/Cas9 was in 2018, when <span>Chinese researcher He Jiankui announced that he had used it to create ‘gene-edited twins’ Lula and Nana via in-vitro fertilisation. He used the gene scissors on the children when they were embryos to edit a gene, CCR5, that in its modified form would ostensibly protect the babies from HIV. The HIV uses the CCR5 to i




He used the gene scissors on the children when they were embryos to edit a gene, CCR5, that in its modified form would ostensibly protect the babies from HIV. The HIV uses the CCR5 to infect cells and the modified gene would shut the door against such an entry.
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st controversial application of CRISPR/Cas9 was in 2018, when Chinese researcher He Jiankui announced that he had used it to create ‘gene-edited twins’ Lula and Nana via in-vitro fertilisation. <span>He used the gene scissors on the children when they were embryos to edit a gene, CCR5, that in its modified form would ostensibly protect the babies from HIV. The HIV uses the CCR5 to infect cells and the modified gene would shut the door against such an entry. He was widely condemned and sentenced to three years in jail, and stripped of his position at Shenzhen University, where he worked. Also read | How safe is CRISPR? While he broke a numb




Thus, even though the CRISPR/Cas-9 system allows a democratic usage in labs across the world to tinker with genomes, it still has not reached the level of precision required to be sure that it does not cause unintentional side effects.
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st of other unintended mutations too. It is not known how these mutations are going to play out over the children's lifetimes and whether they will spread to humanity more widely in due course. <span>Thus, even though the CRISPR/Cas-9 system allows a democratic usage in labs across the world to tinker with genomes, it still has not reached the level of precision required to be sure that it does not cause unintentional side effects. How often have women been awarded Nobel Prizes? This year has seen a remarkable representation of women. Four women have been named Nobel Laureates in 2020 against five men so far. The




Only one woman, Marie Curie, has been honoured twice, with the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
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The 2001-2019 interval has seen the maximum number of women Laureates — 24 — compared to just 11 from 1981 to 2000 and 7 from 1961 to 1980. There were only 12 women Laureates from 1901 to 1960. <span>Only one woman, Marie Curie, has been honoured twice, with the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. “Many women think that no matter what they do, their work will never be recognized the way it would be if they were a man,” Al Jazeera quoted Dr. Doudna as saying. “And I think (this pr




he 2001-2019 interval has seen the maximum number of women Laureates — 24 — compared to just 11 from 1981 to 2000 and 7 from 1961 to 1980.
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omen have been named Nobel Laureates in 2020 against five men so far. The Sveriges Riksbank (Sweden’s national bank) Prize for economics, or the 'economics Nobel', will be announced next week. T<span>he 2001-2019 interval has seen the maximum number of women Laureates — 24 — compared to just 11 from 1981 to 2000 and 7 from 1961 to 1980. There were only 12 women Laureates from 1901 to 1960. Only one woman, Marie Curie, has been honoured twice, with the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. “




“Our study in asymptomatic and mild cases gives a positive insight into the durability of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after four months of infection,
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while new variants are appearing, the changes to the virus don''t necessarily occur within these epitopes so it is hoped the vast majority of immune recognition can likely continue unperturbed. <span>“Our study in asymptomatic and mild cases gives a positive insight into the durability of immunity to SARS-CoV-2 after four months of infection,” Corinna Pade, a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Queen Mary, said. “Such abundant immune responses also give hope for the long-lasting efficacy of vaccines.” The researchers noted th




variant of SAR-COV-2, genome sequencing of two samples was conducted at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad. Of the two, one sample is from Telangana and another from Andhra Pradesh.
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ent to CCMB for genome sequencing to know if they are carrying new variant of coronavirus. Out of six samples collected from United Kingdom (UK) returnees which have been found positive for new <span>variant of SAR-COV-2, genome sequencing of two samples was conducted at Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad. Of the two, one sample is from Telangana and another from Andhra Pradesh. From December 9, 1216 people who have come to Telangana from UK from December 9, and 21 have tested positive for coronavirus till Monday evening. Besides, three immediate contacts of at




It has been 30 years since the Hubble telescope was launched.
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ress for the Telescope on its European page, spacetelescope.org. She works closely with NASA and the Space Telescope Science Institute to highlight European contributions to the Hubble mission. <span>It has been 30 years since the Hubble telescope was launched. The BBC film, Hubble: The Wonders Of Space Revealed, tells the story of how it revealed the awe and wonder of our universe. “Hubble has contributed significantly to science and astronom




‘FELUDA’ is billed as a cheaper, faster and simpler alternative to the standard RT-PCR diagnosis.
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for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, gathering all the intelligence and reagents along the way,” Chakraborty told PTI. And so in January itself, the team started working on a CRISPR-based COVID-19 test – <span>‘FELUDA’ is billed as a cheaper, faster and simpler alternative to the standard RT-PCR diagnosis. Named after Satyajit Ray's famed detective, the test is priced at an affordable Rs 500 and can deliver a result in 45 minutes. It is able to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 from other coronavi




‘FELUDA’ is billed as a cheaper, faster and simpler alternative to the standard RT-PCR diagnosis.
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for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, gathering all the intelligence and reagents along the way,” Chakraborty told PTI. And so in January itself, the team started working on a CRISPR-based COVID-19 test – <span>‘FELUDA’ is billed as a cheaper, faster and simpler alternative to the standard RT-PCR diagnosis. Named after Satyajit Ray's famed detective, the test is priced at an affordable Rs 500 and can deliver a result in 45 minutes. It is able to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 from other coronavi




Archaeologists have unearthed new sections of a famous Aztec tower of human skulls dating back to the 1400s beneath the center of Mexico City, authorities said on Friday.
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aising questions about human sacrifice in the Aztec Empire. (Subscribe to Science For All, our weekly newsletter, where we aim to take the jargon out of science and put the fun in. Click here.) <span>Archaeologists have unearthed new sections of a famous Aztec tower of human skulls dating back to the 1400s beneath the center of Mexico City, authorities said on Friday. The team uncovered in March the facade and eastern side of the tower, as well as 119 human skulls of men, women and children, adding to hundreds previously found, according to the Natio




The team uncovered in March the facade and eastern side of the tower, as well as 119 human skulls of men, women and children, adding to hundreds previously found
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e fun in. Click here.) Archaeologists have unearthed new sections of a famous Aztec tower of human skulls dating back to the 1400s beneath the center of Mexico City, authorities said on Friday. <span>The team uncovered in March the facade and eastern side of the tower, as well as 119 human skulls of men, women and children, adding to hundreds previously found, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The tower, approximately five meters (16.4 feet) in diameter, was first discovered five years ago. It is believe




Huey Tzompantli, a huge array of skulls that struck fear into the Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city under Hernan Cortes in 1521.
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to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The tower, approximately five meters (16.4 feet) in diameter, was first discovered five years ago. It is believed to be part of the <span>Huey Tzompantli, a huge array of skulls that struck fear into the Spanish conquistadores when they captured the city under Hernan Cortes in 1521. The cylindrical structure is near the huge Metropolitan Cathedral built over the Templo Mayor, one of the main temples of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan, now modern day Mexico City. A p




The world’s highest mountain is now officially a little higher. After years of debate, China and Nepal finally agreed on a precise elevation for Mount Everest. The new agreed height of 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet) was announced at a virtual ceremony.
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dian bird-watchers' paradise Watch: Boston Dynamics dancing robots Watch | First look of Bengaluru-Airport train service Close X A video on the new height Mount Everest as being 8,848.86 meters <span>The world’s highest mountain is now officially a little higher. After years of debate, China and Nepal finally agreed on a precise elevation for Mount Everest. The new agreed height of 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet) was announced at a virtual ceremony. This is 86 centimeters higher than the measurement previously recognised by Nepal. It is more than four meters above China's official figure. Also read | Explained: Why did Mount Everes




This is 86 centimeters higher than the measurement previously recognised by Nepal. It is more than four meters above China's official figure.
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r. After years of debate, China and Nepal finally agreed on a precise elevation for Mount Everest. The new agreed height of 8,848.86 meters (29,031.69 feet) was announced at a virtual ceremony. <span>This is 86 centimeters higher than the measurement previously recognised by Nepal. It is more than four meters above China's official figure. Also read | Explained: Why did Mount Everest’s height change? A letter from the Editor Dear reader, We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and




Obesity is one of the major cancer risk factors. But how are they related? A new study has noted that a diet containing high fat impels the immune system’s T-cells which accelerates tumour growth. “We now know there is a metabolic tug-of-war between T-cells and tumor cells that changes with obesity,”
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ce journals last week (Subscribe to Science For All, our weekly newsletter, where we aim to take the jargon out of science and put the fun in. Click here.) Obesity and tumours Published in Cell <span>Obesity is one of the major cancer risk factors. But how are they related? A new study has noted that a diet containing high fat impels the immune system’s T-cells which accelerates tumour growth. “We now know there is a metabolic tug-of-war between T-cells and tumor cells that changes with obesity,” says co-senior author Arlene Sharpe from Blavatnik Institute. So there is a high chance that a person with a high fat diet is at more risk of getting diagnosed with tumours than a perso




A recent study conducted by an international team of researchers showed that a Neanderthal child (two-year old) was buried, possibly some 41,000 years ago.
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were identified. © Antoine Balzeau – CNRS/MNHN When and how did funerary practices start? Were human beings the first? Or did Neanderthals, our closest extinct relatives, also bury their dead? <span>A recent study conducted by an international team of researchers showed that a Neanderthal child (two-year old) was buried, possibly some 41,000 years ago. The skeleton was found at the La Ferrassie rock shelter, in Dordogne, which had been a popular Neanderthal site in Europe. The team writes that more detailed multidisciplinary studies a




La Ferrassie rock shelter, in Dordogne, which had been a popular Neanderthal site in Europe.
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r dead? A recent study conducted by an international team of researchers showed that a Neanderthal child (two-year old) was buried, possibly some 41,000 years ago. The skeleton was found at the <span>La Ferrassie rock shelter, in Dordogne, which had been a popular Neanderthal site in Europe. The team writes that more detailed multidisciplinary studies are needed to help advance our understanding of Neanderthal behaviour. Mobile app to sequence DNA Published in GigaScience R




Researchers have developed a new app named iGenomics, which helps you to study DNA through smartphones. This app currently works in iPhone only.
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n Europe. The team writes that more detailed multidisciplinary studies are needed to help advance our understanding of Neanderthal behaviour. Mobile app to sequence DNA Published in GigaScience <span>Researchers have developed a new app named iGenomics, which helps you to study DNA through smartphones. This app currently works in iPhone only. “Today, we all carry professional cameras in our pockets, so it’s not that hard to imagine in the next couple years, all of us carrying our own DNA sequencers on our smartphones, as wel




A new genus and species of ichthyosauru, which probably lived 150 million years ago, has been discovered near the Kimmeridge Bay, in Dorset, United Kingdom. It has been named Thalassodraco etchesi and is two-metre long. This finding is the fifth known ichthyosaur, and the smallest so far discovered in the U.K.
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and the Departments of Computer Science and Biology at Johns Hopkins University. New ichthyosaurus discovered Published in PLOS ONE Thalassodraco etchesi | Photo Credit: https://www.port.ac.uk/ <span>A new genus and species of ichthyosauru, which probably lived 150 million years ago, has been discovered near the Kimmeridge Bay, in Dorset, United Kingdom. It has been named Thalassodraco etchesi and is two-metre long. This finding is the fifth known ichthyosaur, and the smallest so far discovered in the U.K. How horse manure helps wild giant pandas Published in PNAS It is quite rare to observe any species roll in fecal matter but wild pandas residing at low habitat temperature were found to




It is quite rare to observe any species roll in fecal matter but wild pandas residing at low habitat temperature were found to sniff, roll and cover their whole body with horse excreta.
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alassodraco etchesi and is two-metre long. This finding is the fifth known ichthyosaur, and the smallest so far discovered in the U.K. How horse manure helps wild giant pandas Published in PNAS <span>It is quite rare to observe any species roll in fecal matter but wild pandas residing at low habitat temperature were found to sniff, roll and cover their whole body with horse excreta. Based on animal behaviour analysis, molecular assays and climate data, the paper notes that this rolling was “found as a temperature-chemical-related behaviour that may contribute to pa




China has published a plan to become by 2035 a world leader in artificial intelligence, space, clean energy and robotics.
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ve-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) is seen on its first day of operation in Pingtang, in southwestern China's Guizhou province on September 25, 2016. | Photo Credit: AFP <span>China has published a plan to become by 2035 a world leader in artificial intelligence, space, clean energy and robotics. Nestled among the mountains in southwest China, the world’s largest radio telescope signals Beijing’s ambitions as a global centre for scientific research. The Five-hundred-metre Apertu




The world’s second-largest radio telescope, at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, was destroyed when its suspended 900-tonne receiver platform came loose and plunged 140 metres (450 feet) onto the radio dish below.
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t of its kind after the collapse of another telescope in Puerto Rico this month — is about to open its doors for foreign astronomers to use, hoping to attract the world’s top scientific talent. <span>The world’s second-largest radio telescope, at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, was destroyed when its suspended 900-tonne receiver platform came loose and plunged 140 metres (450 feet) onto the radio dish below. Wang Qiming, chief inspector of FAST’s operations and development centre, told AFP during a rare visit by the foreign press last week that he had visited Arecibo. “We drew a lot of insp




The world’s most populous country has so far only won one scientific Nobel Prize — awarded in 2015 to chemist Tu Youyou.
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175 million) to build, as well as displacing thousands of villagers to make room for it. China has been rapidly boosting its scientific credentials to become less reliant on foreign technology. <span>The world’s most populous country has so far only won one scientific Nobel Prize — awarded in 2015 to chemist Tu Youyou. But in the past two decades, China has built the largest high-speed train network in the world, finalised its Beidou geolocation system — a competitor of the American GPS — and is now i




Beidou geolocation system — a competitor of the American GPS
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so far only won one scientific Nobel Prize — awarded in 2015 to chemist Tu Youyou. But in the past two decades, China has built the largest high-speed train network in the world, finalised its <span>Beidou geolocation system — a competitor of the American GPS — and is now in the process of bringing lunar samples back to Earth. China is pouring billions into its military-run space programme and has published a plan to become by 2035 a world l




Chang’e 4, became the first probe to land on the moon’s little-explored far side and continues to send back data on conditions that could affect a future extended stay by humans on the moon.
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sland province of Hainan on November 23 on a mission expected to last 23 days. It marks China’s third successful lunar landing but the only one to lift off again from the moon. Its predecessor, <span>Chang’e 4, became the first probe to land on the moon’s little-explored far side and continues to send back data on conditions that could affect a future extended stay by humans on the moon. The moon has been a particular focus of the Chinese space program, which says it plans to land humans there and possibly construct a permanent base. No timeline or other details have be




China also has joined the effort to explore Mars. In July, it launched the Tianwen 1 probe, which was carrying a lander and a robot rover to search for water.

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oon has been a particular focus of the Chinese space program, which says it plans to land humans there and possibly construct a permanent base. No timeline or other details have been announced. <span>China also has joined the effort to explore Mars. In July, it launched the Tianwen 1 probe, which was carrying a lander and a robot rover to search for water. China’s space program has proceeded more cautiously than the U.S.-Soviet space race of the 1960s, which was marked by fatalities and launch failures. In 2003, China became the third cou




In 2003, China became the third country to send an astronaut into orbit on its own after the Soviet Union and the United States.

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nder and a robot rover to search for water. China’s space program has proceeded more cautiously than the U.S.-Soviet space race of the 1960s, which was marked by fatalities and launch failures. <span>In 2003, China became the third country to send an astronaut into orbit on its own after the Soviet Union and the United States. The latest flight includes collaboration with the European Space Agency, which is helping to monitor the mission. Amid concerns over the Chinese space program’s secrecy and close milita




That has prevented China from taking part in the International Space Station, something it has sought to compensate for with the launching of an experimental space station and plans to complete a permanent orbiting outpost within the next two years
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or the mission. Amid concerns over the Chinese space program’s secrecy and close military connections, the U.S. forbids cooperation between NASA and the CNSA unless Congress gives its approval. <span>That has prevented China from taking part in the International Space Station, something it has sought to compensate for with the launching of an experimental space station and plans to complete a permanent orbiting outpost within the next two years. The rocks and debris brought back by Chang’e 5 are thought to be billions of years younger than those obtained by the U.S. and former Soviet Union, offering new insights into the histo




part of the moon known as the Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms, near a site called the Mons Rumker that was believed to have been volcanic in ancient times.
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o be billions of years younger than those obtained by the U.S. and former Soviet Union, offering new insights into the history of the moon and other bodies in the solar system. They come from a <span>part of the moon known as the Oceanus Procellarum, or Ocean of Storms, near a site called the Mons Rumker that was believed to have been volcanic in ancient times. As with the 382 kilograms (842 pounds) of lunar samples brought back by U.S. astronauts from 1969 to 1972, they will be analyzed for age and composition and likely shared with other cou




A new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has been spreading rapidly in Britain. The strain is referred to by some experts as the B.1.1.7 lineage. They say it is not the first new variant of the pandemic virus. But it is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the previously dominant strain.
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on Dynamics dancing robots Watch | First look of Bengaluru-Airport train service Watch | Meet Arya Rajendran, India's youngest Mayor Close X A video explainer on the new virus strain in Britain <span>A new variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has been spreading rapidly in Britain. The strain is referred to by some experts as the B.1.1.7 lineage. They say it is not the first new variant of the pandemic virus. But it is said to be up to 70% more transmissible than the previously dominant strain. A letter from the Editor Dear reader, We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, ou




If confirmed, this detection provides a novel way to examine alien worlds

An international team of scientists has collected the first possible radio signal from a planet beyond our solar system, emanating from an exoplanet system about 51 light-years away.

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1 IST PRESS TRUST OF INDIA December 19, 2020 19:01 IST Updated: December 19, 2020 19:01 IST If confirmed, this detection provides a novel way to examine alien worlds Share Article 0 PRINT A A A <span>If confirmed, this detection provides a novel way to examine alien worlds An international team of scientists has collected the first possible radio signal from a planet beyond our solar system, emanating from an exoplanet system about 51 light-years away. Using the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), a radio telescope in the Netherlands, the researchers uncovered emission bursts from the Tau Bootes star-system hosting a so-called hot Jupiter, a




“The signal is from the Tau Bootes system, which contains a binary star system and an exoplanet. We make the case for an emission by the planet itself,” adds Dr. Turner.
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ed a significant radio signature. “We present one of the first hints of detecting an exoplanet in the radio realm,” said Cornell postdoctoral researcher Jake D. Turner. New window on exoplanets <span>“The signal is from the Tau Bootes system, which contains a binary star system and an exoplanet. We make the case for an emission by the planet itself,” adds Dr. Turner. If confirmed through follow-up observations, the researchers said, this radio detection opens up a new window on exoplanets and provides a novel way to examine alien worlds that are ten