05 February 2016

Monthly science current affairs January 2016

Science News For The Month Jan and Year 2016

New weapon to fight Zika: The mosquito

Mosquitoes, genetically engineered to pass a lethal gene to their offsprings, could become one of the newest weapons in the battle between humans and mosquitoes, which kill hundreds of thousands of people a year by transmitting malaria, dengue fever and other diseases.

Male mice without Y chromosome can father offsprings

Scientists have created male mice without a Y chromosome - a symbol of maleness - that are still able to sire offspring with assisted reproduction.

Antarctic fungi survive Martian conditions on ISS

Tiny fungi from Antarctica have survived hostile conditions similar to those on Mars simulated on the International Space Station, scientists including one of Indian-origin have found. The results provide new information for the search for life on the red planet, researchers said.

London to New York in 11 minutes

Charles Bombardier, the man behind concept aircraft Skreemr which could travel at Mach 10, has now unveiled the Antipode. It is a hypersonic jet that he claims will cover the distance between London and New York in a mind-boggling 11 minutes. In theory, Bombardier claims it can carry 10 people up to 20,000km in less than an hour.

Schizophrenia may be linked to gene flaw

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history. People with the disorder may hear voices other people don't hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them.
Scientists reported that they have taken a significant step toward understanding the cause of schizophrenia, in a landmark study that provides the first rigorously tested insight into the biology behind any common psychiatric disorder.

Neuroticism predicts depression disorders: Study

Young people who are high on the personality trait of neuroticism are more likely to develop both anxiety and depression disorders, researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have found.

Alzheimer's may get transmitted through ‘medical accidents

Fears are growing that Alzheimer's may be passed from person to person after researchers reported a 2nd case suggesting the disease could be transmitted by "medical accidents". Swiss doctors found signs of Alzheimer's in brains of people who died of the rare, brain-wasting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

New IVF tech promises to help older women conceive

Fertility doctors have applied for permission to use an controversial IVF procedure that promises to dramatically improve the chances of women older than 30 having babies by rejuvenating their eggs.

Genetic pattern in womb linked to IVF failure, study finds

Scientists have identified a genetic pattern in the womb that could predict whether or not IVF treatment is likely to be successful. The discovery would help clinicians understand why in vitro fertilization fails repeatedly in some women.

Forget the jab: Tiny current to deliver anaesthesia

Scientists have found a new method to deliver anaesthesia using a tiny electric current instead of a needle. The advance could help improve dental procedures and avoid contamination and infection, researchers said.

Diamonds throw up Earth's secrets

Diamonds dug up from ancient rock formations in South Africa between 1890 and 1930 have unveiled secrets of how the Earth was shaped more than 3.5 billion years ago, a new study has found.

All 5 visible planets dazzle sky for a fortnight

End of January has brought a sky show for the star gazers as all five planets visible to the naked eye Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have aligned in southern sky for nearly a fortnight starting January 22 before the sunrise.

Unearthed: Oldest dinosaur species in UK

A new carnivorous dinosaur species unearthed in the Wales, dating back 200 million-years, is possibly the oldest known Jurassic dinosaur from the UK, according to a new study.

Researchers find possible ninth planet beyond Neptune

The solar system may host a ninth planet that is about 10 times bigger than earth and orbiting far beyond Neptune, according to research published on Wednesday.

2^74,207,281 - 1 is the largest prime number

A computer has helped scientists find the largest prime number ever with over 22 million digits, breaking the previous record by around 5 million digits.

Found: Lost ancient city in Honduras

Archaeologists have begun excavations in what they believe to be the legendary lost city of Ciudad Blanca, or White City, in the Honduran jungle.

Tree frogs thought extinct rediscovered in India

A new genus of tree frogs that was thought to have died out more than a century ago has been rediscovered in India

After funding for brain research, Infosys's Kris Gopalakrishnan now turns eye on stem cell research

After having donated a little over Rs 250 crore in two years (Rs 225 crore for the setting up of a brain research centre and Rs 30 crore to set up brain research chairs) to the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Infosys Co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan has turned his eye on stem cell research.

Water ice found on comet's surface

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have identified two large patches of water ice on the surface of comet 67P, perhaps the most studied comet in history.

Stage set for launch of IRNSS-1E satellite on January 20

IRNSS-1E, the fifth satellite of the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System 'IRNSS-1E', will be launched on board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle PSLV-C31 from the spaceport of Sriharikota on January 20.

Diabetes drug may slow growth of pancreatic cancer: Study

Researchers including those of Indian-origin may have uncovered a novel mechanism behind the ability of the diabetes drug metformin to inhibit the progression of pancreatic cancer.

Diabetes drug may slow growth of pancreatic cancer: Study

Researchers including those of Indian-origin may have uncovered a novel mechanism behind the ability of the diabetes drug metformin to inhibit the progression of pancreatic cancer.

Zinnia is first flower grown in space

The first flower has finally bloomed in outer space. Nasa astronaut Scott Kelly has tweeted a photo of the first ever flower grown in space on Saturday. The flower was grown as part of an experiment astronauts are conducting on how plants grow in microgravity.

Second largest black hole detected in Milky Way

Astronomers have detected signs of a black hole with a mass 100,000 times that of Sun around the centre of our galaxy Milky Way. The team assumes that this possible "intermediate mass" black hole is a key to understanding the birth of the supermassive black holes located in the centres of galaxies.

An example of egg-freezing

Former Miss World Diana Hayden recently gave birth to a healthy baby girl at the age of 42, having frozen 16 of her eggs eight years ago.

Nasa's Jupiter probe breaks distance record

Nasa's Juno mission to Jupiter on Wednesday broke the record to become humanity's most distant solar-powered emissary, when the spacecraft reached about 793 million kilometres from the Sun.

'Spermbots to aid fertility treatments

Scientists have developed motorised spermbots by attaching tiny metal helices to sperm cells that can aid poor swimmers to reach an egg, an advance that could improve fertility treatments.

Largest canyon lies under Antarctica?

Move over, Grand Canyon! The world's largest canyon over 1,000 kilometre long and up to one kilometre deep may lie under the Antarctic ice sheet, scientists, including those from India have claimed.

WHO declares end to Ebola epidemic after 11,300 deaths

World Health Organization declared an end to the deadliest Ebola outbreak ever on Thursday after no new cases emerged in Liberia, though health officials warn that it will be several more months before the world is considered free of the disease that claimed more than 11,300 lives over two years.

NASA's Juno spacecraft breaks solar-powered travel record of 792 million kms

In the early hours of January 14, a new record for the farthest distance travelled by a solar-powered vehicle emerged when NASA's Juno spacecraft to Jupiter reached a mind-boggling 793 million kilometres from the Sun.

Most energetic light ever observed from neutron star

Scientists have discovered the most energetic pulsed-emission radiation ever detected from a neutron star called Crab Pulsar located 6,500 light years away from Earth. It has 1.5 times the mass of our Sun, concentrated in about just 10km diameter and rotates 30 times per second.

India to join ocean energy systems association

The central government approved the country's entry into the 'International Energy Agency - Ocean Energy Systems' (IEA-OES).

Anti-HIV drugs can be used to treat Ebola

Drugs normally used to treat HIV may also be effective at inhibiting the Ebola virus that is transmitted from human to human by infectious body fluids, a new study has claimed.

Country's first Vascular surgery within the womb performed in Lucknow

Country's first vascular surgery within the womb was performed by team of doctors at Sanjay Gandhi's Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science's department of maternal and reproductive health.

Government institutions develop healthier variety of mustard using conventional breeding method

India's public research institutions the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) have jointly developed a low erucic acid mustard variety namely Pusa Mustard-30 (PM-30) which will not only be beneficial for health but also increase the productivity.

Teenager invents system to stop germs travelling around planes

SARs outbreak is estimated to have cost the aviation industry $40 million, and according to WHO a flu outbreak could cost three trillion pounds to resolve.

SpaceX to retry ocean rocket landing after success on land

Technology entrepreneur Elon Musk's SpaceX will attempt to land its next Falcon 9 rocket on a barge in the Pacific Ocean. The Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a Nasa ocean-monitoring satellite, is slated to blast off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on January 17. SpaceX has tried ocean landings twice without success.

'Moon villages' could be a reality by 2030

Villages on the Moon, constructed through coopera ion between astronauts and robotic systems on the lunar surface, may become a reality as early as 2030, scientists say.

90% of phone users suffer from 'phantom vibration syndrome'

Nine of 10 people suffer from phantom vibration syndrome where they mistakenly think their mobile phone is vibrating in their pocket it has been claimed.

Heart put on hold for 40 minutes in rare surgery at BHU hospital

Doctors at the department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University conducted a rare surgery for the first time during which heart was stopped for around 40 minutes. A team of 20 medical and paramedical personnel was involved in this four-hour-long surgery.

Last chance for comet lander Philae to respond before it's goes away forever

In a last desperate throw of dice, scientists from the European Space Agency have sent a signal to Philae, the tiny lander sitting on Comet 67P some 237 million kilometers away from Earth.

High sugar intake tied to cancer

Higher sugar intake not only increases the risks of diabetes and obesity but can also cause breast and lung cancer, according to a new study.

Biggest galaxy cluster from early Universe found, 10 billion light years away

A massive, churning galaxy cluster 1,000 times more massive than the Milky Way galaxy has been discovered by astronomers, some 10 billion light years away. What makes this cluster unique is that it formed when the Universe was just 3.8 billion years old.

US scientists create efficient hydrogen biofuel

Scientists at a US university have created a highly efficient biomaterial that catalyses the formation of hydrogen one half of the "holy grail" of splitting H2O to make hydrogen and oxygen for fuelling cheap and efficient cars that run on water.

Whitefly can be killed by kaolin spray, finds Colombian study

Researchers from the National University of Colombia have found that Kaolin or China clay can be effectively used to eliminate whitefly, a dangerous pest that can wipe out thousands of hectares of crops.

Largest blue star sapphire worth $100m found in Lanka

The world's largest blue star sapphire, weighing 1404.49 carats and valued at $100 million, has been found in a mine in Sri Lanka.

Periodic table gets four new elements

The periodic table has been given four new elements. Elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 will now be added to the table's seventh row, after they were verified by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry on 30 December. But they are yet to receive their final names or symbols.

Scientists sequence first ancient Irish human genomes

A team of scientists in Ireland has sequenced the first genomes from ancient Irish humans, which is now being used to answer pivotal questions about the origins of the country's people and their culture.

Rare space radio waves to test Einstein's theory

Scientists have developed a new way to test one of the basic principles of Einstein's theory of general relativity using brief blasts of rare radio signals from space.

Source: Times of India News

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