Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

ISRO IRNSS 1H Satellite Launch from the second launch pad of Sriharikota Space Port

isro irnss 1h satellite launch

Countdown count has been started for the launch of the satellite “IRNSS-1H” from Sriharikota this evening and the entire process is going on well. ISRO sources said that the process before the ISRO IRNSS 1H Satellite launch of 29 hours countdown started yesterday at two o’clock in the afternoon. At the moment, are busy filling scientific propellants.

isro irnss 1h satellite launch

The “Mission Readiness Review” (MRR) committee and the ISRO IRNSS 1H Satellite launch authorization board (LAB) had approved the countdown on August 29.

PSLV-C39, the launch vehicle, will use PSLV’s “XL” type for the launch of this ISRO IRNSS 1H Satellite, which has six strap-ons. Each strap-on is carrying 12 tons propellant with itself.

ISRO IRNSS 1H Satellite Launch

This is the 41st flight of 44.4 meters long PSLV-C39. It will take with him a satellite weighing 1,425 kg at seven in the evening today. ISRO IRNSS 1H Satellite will be launched from the second launch pad of Sriharikota Space Port.

ISRO has teamed up with a group of six small and medium enterprises to build and test this satellite.

One of the seven satellites in the constellation, IRNSS-1A, will play a backup of IRNSS-1A because its three rubidium atomic clocks have stopped working.

“Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System” (IRNSS) is an independent regional system developed by India in accordance with the GPS of America, GLONASS of Russia and Galileo developed by Europe.

This system offers services such as earthquake and maritime shipping, disaster management, monitoring of vehicles, fleet management, shifting of hikers and for navigation and visual and audio navigators for drivers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi named it “navigator” (NAVIC Navigation with Indian Constellation).

ISRO has launched seven satellites. Of these, IRNSS-1G was launched on April 28, 2016. IRNSS-1F was launched on March 10, 2016. IRNSS-1E was launched on January 20, 2016. IRNSS-1D was launched on March 28, 2015. IRNSS-1C was launched on October 16, 2014. IRNSS-1B was launched on April 4, 2014 and the IRNSS-1A was launched on July 1, 2013.

According to ISRO officials, the cost of all seven satellites is Rs 1,420 crore.

India’s communications satellite GSAT-17 successfully launches through the Arian 5 rocket from the French Guiana

India's communications satellite GSAT-17

Describing this campaign as a special mission for ISRO, Sivan said, “GSAT-17 is needed for ISRO and India as it provides continuity in the service of two old satellites.

India's communications satellite GSAT-17

India’s communications satellite GSAT-17

Apart from this, it enhances our transponder capacity and extends our reach to mobile satellite services as well as to the Antarctic areas. HALSAT SAT (Member of the Arab Sat Group) is a major satellite operator and offers services in Europe, West Asia, and South Africa. INMAR SAT is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services.

The total weight of payloads with rockets is approximately 10,177 kg.

GSAT-17 is the 21st satellite of ISRO, which was launched by ArianSpace. Its lifespan is about 15 years.

The Indian Space Agency said that after entering the class, the master control facility at Hassan of ISRO took control of GSAT-17.

Marriage makes you less stressed, more healthy, says study

marriage secrets

People who are married have lower levels of stress hormone – which can in turn decrease risk of heart diseases as well as cancer – according to a new study that offers more reasons to take your relationship beyond Valentine’s Day.

marriage secretsStudies have suggested that married people are healthier than those who are single, divorced or widowed.

The new study provides the first biological evidence to explain how marriage impacts health.

Researchers found that married individuals had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than those who never married or were previously married.

These findings support the belief that unmarried people face more psychological stress than married individuals.

Prolonged stress is associated with increased levels of cortisol which can interfere with the body’s ability to regulate inflammation, which in turn promotes the development and progression of many diseases.

“It’s is exciting to discover a physiological pathway that may explain how relationships influence health and disease,” said Brian Chin, a PhD student at Carnegie Mellon University in the US.

Over three days, researchers collected saliva samples from 572 healthy adults aged 21-55. Multiple samples were taken during each 24-hour period and tested for cortisol.

The results showed that the married participants had lower cortisol levels than the never married or previously married people across the three day period.

The researchers also compared each person’s daily cortisol rhythm – typically, cortisol levels peak when a person wakes up and decline during the day.

Those who were married showed a faster decline, a pattern that has been associated with less heart disease, and longer survival among cancer patients.

“These data provide important insight into the way in which our intimate social relationships can get under the skin to influence our health,” said Sheldon Cohen, professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

The research was published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology.

Mysterious alien signals came from distant dwarf galaxy

mysterious alien signals

Rare, short bursts of ‘alien’ cosmic radio waves that puzzled astronomers since there detection nearly 10 years ago may have originated from a dwarf galaxy more than three billion light years from Earth, scientists including one of Indian origin have found.

mysterious alien signalsFast radio bursts, which flash for just a few milliseconds, created a stir among astronomers because they seemed to be coming from outside our galaxy, which means they would have to be very powerful to be seen from Earth, and because none of those first observed were ever seen again.

A repeating burst was discovered in 2012, providing an opportunity for researchers to repeatedly monitor its area of the sky with the Very Large Array (VLA) in New Mexico and the Arecibo radio dish in Puerto Rico.

The VLA last year detected a total of nine bursts over a period of a month, sufficient to locate it within a tenth of an arcsecond.

Larger European and American radio interferometer arrays pinpointed it to within one-hundredth of an arcsecond, within a region about 100 light years in diameter.

Deep imaging of that region by the Gemini North Telescope in Hawaii turned up an optically faint dwarf galaxy that the VLA subsequently discovered also continuously emits low-level radio waves, typical of a galaxy with an active nucleus perhaps indicative of a central supermassive black hole.

The galaxy has a low abundance of elements other than hydrogen and helium, suggestive of a galaxy that formed during the universe’s middle age.

The origin of a fast radio burst in this type of dwarf galaxy suggests a connection to other energetic events that occur in similar dwarf galaxies, said Casey Law, an astronomer University of California, Berkeley in the US.

Extremely bright exploding stars, called superluminous supernovae and long gamma ray bursts also occur in this type of galaxy, he said.

Both are hypothesised to be associated with massive, highly magnetic and rapidly rotating neutron stars called magnetars.

Neutron stars are dense, compact objects created in supernova explosions, seen mostly as pulsars, because they emit periodic radio pulses as they spin.

“All these threads point to the idea that in this environment, something generates these magnetars,” Law said.

“It could be created by a superluminous supernova or a long gamma ray burst, and then later on, as it evolves and its rotation slows down a bit, it produces these fast radio bursts as well as continuous radio emission powered by that spindown,” he said.

“Finding the host galaxy of this FRB, and its distance, is a big step forward, but we still have much more to do before we fully understand what these things are,” said team leader Shami Chatterjee of Cornell University.

The research was published in the journal Nature and the Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Virtual reality may help restore movement in damaged limbs

virtual reality to repair damaged limbs

Scientists have developed a novel training regime that combines virtual reality and traditional physical therapy to help rehabilitate damaged limbs by allowing the healthy ones to ‘lead by example.’

virtual reality to repair damaged limbsResearchers from Tel Aviv University (TAU) in Israel said that the research might be applied to patients in physical therapy programs who have lost the strength or control of one hand.

“Patients suffering from hemiparesis – the weakness or paralysis of one of two paired limbs – undergo physical therapy, but this treatment is challenging, exhausting, and usually has a relatively limited effect,” said lead investigator Roy Mukamel of TAU.

“Our results suggest that training with a healthy hand through a virtual reality intervention provides a promising way to repair mobility and motor skills in an impaired limb,” said Mukamel.

As many as 53 healthy participants completed baseline tests to assess the motor skills of their hands, then strapped on virtual reality headsets that showed simulated versions of their hands.

The virtual reality technology presented the participants with a “mirror image” of their hands – when they moved their real right hand, their virtual left hand would move.

In the first experiment, participants completed a series of finger movements with their right hands, while the screen showed their “virtual” left hands moving instead.

In the next, participants placed motorized gloves on their left hands, which moved their fingers to match the motions of their right hands.

Again, the headsets presented the virtual left hands moving instead of their right hands.

The research team found that when subjects practiced finger movements with their right hands while watching their left hands on 3D virtual reality headsets, they could use their left hands more efficiently after the exercise.

However, the most notable improvements occurred when the virtual reality screen showed the left hand moving while in reality, the motorized glove moved the hand.

“We need to show a way to obtain high-performance gains relative to other, more traditional types of therapies,” said Mukamel.

“If we can train one hand without voluntarily moving it and still show significant improvements in the motor skills of that hand, we have achieved the ideal,” Mukamel added.

The researchers are currently examining the applicability of their novel VR training scheme to stroke patients. The research was published in the journal Cell Reports.

Arunachal to get Rs 150-200 crore for science and technology

arunachal pradesh science technology

Union Minister Harsh Vardhan today announced that a sum of Rs 150 to 200 crore would be provided to Arunachal Pradesh for developing science and technology in the state.

arunachal pradesh science technology“The fund will be made available to the state by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), Polymer Science and technology (PST), Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Earth Science (ES) for a period of five years,” he told reporters at Naharlagun helipad before leaving for New Delhi.

The Union Minister of Science and Technology and Earth Science said his visit to the Himalayan state was “meaningful, fruitful” and that he gained a firsthand experience.

The climatic condition of the region, he said, was congenial for growing medicinal plants.

“Programme for medicinal plants cultivation in the state could be taken up under DBT, Indian Council of Medicinal Research (ICMR), CSIR, nutrition institutes like Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) and North East Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST),” he said.

Vardhan, who arrived here on Wednesday, visited Kimin in Papum Pare district yesterday and laid the foundation stone for Center for Bioresearches and Rural Technology Centre, to be implemented under DBT and DST (Department of Science & Technology).

He called for promoting traditional natural dyes in the state and setting up of Banana fibre extraction and processing cum-training unit for local entrepreneurs.

The BJP leader focused on implementation of Biotechnology projects like natural dyes, banana fibre extraction processing units, fruit processing units, mushroom production, medicinal and aromatic plant cultivation, orchid cultivation and vermi culture for rapid socio-economic development, besides creating facilities for marketing of their produce, particularly of rural people.

Vardhan added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking special care for the development of Arunachal Pradesh.

World’s oldest water found, may hold clues to alien life

world oldest water

Scientists have discovered the oldest water samples on Earth that date back to about two billion years and may hold clues to life forms living far beneath the surface of Mars or other alien planets.

world oldest waterResearchers have known that water exists far below the ground-water that has been isolated from the water table – unseen and untouched for billions of years.

To learn more about such water, scientists from University of Toronto in Canada have been working with mining companies. As miners go deeper, the researchers gain access to ever deeper sources of water.

In 2013, the researchers had found a water sample from mine in at about 2.4 kilometres that was subsequently dated to 1.5 billion years ago.

The new record holder was found at three kilometres deep. The researchers determined the age of the water samples by studying dissolved gasses, ‘Phys.org’ reported.

They also reported that the samples they obtained came from a large source that was flowing out of the ground at a rate of several litres per minute – much larger than has been predicted.

They discovered that sulphate in the water had come from interactions between the water and the rocks around it, rather than from another source, which suggests that the water was capable of sustaining life.

If such microbial life does exist somewhere deep below the surface, it would represent a form of life that has evolved separately from all other life on Earth.

It would also suggest that space scientists might have to consider the possibility of similar forms of life living far beneath the surface of Mars or other planets.

These tips can boost your creative thinking and ideas

boostyourcreativethinking

Parents, take note! Encouraging children to use gestures as they think can help them come up with more creative thinking and creative ideas, according to new research.

boostyourcreativethinking

Boost Your Creative Thinking | Image Courtesy: The Mind Unleashed

“Our findings show that children naturally gesture when they think of novel ways to use everyday items, and the more they gesture the more ideas they come up with,” said Elizabeth Kirk from the University of York in the UK.

“When we then asked children to move their hands, children were able to come up with even more creative ideas,” said Kirk.

“Gesturing may allow us to explore the properties of the items – for example, how the item could be held, its size, its shape, etc – and doing so can trigger ideas for creative uses,” Kirk added.

In their first study, researchers compared the creativity of children who spontaneously gestured with those who either did not or could not gesture.

A total of 78 children, ranging from nine to 11 years old, saw a series of images depicting ordinary household items, including a newspaper, a tin can and a kettle.

The researchers asked the children to look at each image and list as many novel uses as they could think of.

The children could take as much time as they needed; when they paused, researchers prompted them by saying “What else could you do with it?”

A subset of participants completed the task twice – on one version of the task, they wore mittens that limited their ability to gesture.

Researchers transcribed and coded each session, measuring the number of valid novel uses generated by each participant, as well as the originality of those responses and the diversity of categories that the responses fell under.

The data showed that children spontaneously gestured and that greater gesturing was associated with a greater number of creative ideas.

Restricting children’s ability to gesture did not impact their ability to come up with creative uses for the objects.

Children who were free to gesture produced about the same number of ideas as those who wore the mittens and could not gesture.

This may be because children still had many other idea-generating strategies at their disposal when their hands were restricted.

In a second experiment, 54 children, ranging from 8 to 11 years old, completed the same alternative uses task.

In some cases, children gestured normally; in other cases, researchers instructed them to “use your hands to show me how you could use the object in different ways.”

Children who gestured normally produced 13 gestures, on average, while those who were specifically prompted to gesture produced about 53 gestures, on average.

Children who were encouraged to gesture generated a greater number of novel uses for the everyday objects than did the children who were not given any special instruction.

The research appears in the journal Psychological Science.

Early humans began cooking food over 800k yrs ago

earlyhumancooking

Early humans may have started cooking their food at some point between 800,000 and 1.2 million years ago, according to scientists who have found the earliest evidence of raw food eaten by our prehistoric ancestors.

earlyhumancookingArchaeologists extracted microfossils from dental plaque dating back to 1.2 million years.

These microfossils included traces of raw animal tissue, uncooked starch granules indicating consumption of grasses, pollen grains from a species of pine, insect fragments and a possible fragment of a toothpick.

All detected fibres were uncharred, and there was also no evidence showing inhalation of microcharcoal – normally a clear indicator of proximity to fire.

The timing of the earliest use of fire for cooking is hotly contested, with some researchers arguing habitual use started around 1.8 million years ago while others suggest it was as late as 300,000-400,000 years ago.

Possible evidence for fire has been found at some very early sites in Africa. However, the lack of evidence for fire at Sima del Elefante suggests that this knowledge was not carried with the earliest humans when they left Africa.

The earliest definitive evidence in Europe for use of fire is 800,000 years ago at the Spanish site of Cueva Negra and at Gesher Benot Ya’aqov in Israel, a short time later.

Taken together, this evidence suggests the development of fire technology occurred at some point between 800,000 and 1.2 million years ago, revealing a new timeline for when the earliest humans started to cook food.

“Obtaining evidence for any aspect of hominin life at this extremely early date is very challenging,” said Karen Hardy, from the University of York in the UK.

“Here, we have been able to demonstrate that these earliest Europeans understood and exploited their forested environment to obtain a balanced diet 1.2 million years ago, by eating a range of different foods and combining starchy plant food with meat,” said Hardy.

“This new timeline has significant implications in helping us to understand this period of human evolution – cooked food provides greater energy, and cooking may be linked to the rapid increases in brain size that occurred from 800,000 years ago onwards,” he said.

“It also correlates well with previous research hypothesising that the timing of cooking is linked to the development of salivary amylase, needed to process cooked starchy food,” Hardy added.

“Starchy food was an essential element in facilitating brain development, and contrary to popular belief about the ‘Paleodiet’, the role of starchy food in the Palaeolithic diet was significant,” he said.

“These results are very exciting, as they highlight the potential of dental calculus to store environmental and dietary information from deep in the human evolutionary past,” said Anita Radini, PhD student at the University of York.

“It is also interesting to see that pollen remains are preserved often in better conditions than in the soil of the same age,” said Radini.

PM Modi hails successful launch of RESOURCESAT-2A satellite

isro-remote-sensing-satellite-resourcesat-2a

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday hailed the successful launch of RESOURCESAT-2A satellite, saying it was a remarkable feat.

isro-remote-sensing-satellite-resourcesat-2a“Successful launch of PSLV-C36 / RESOURCESAT-2A is an accomplishment we all are very proud of. Congratulations @isro on the remarkable feat,” he tweeted.

RESOURCESAT-2A, the latest remote sensing satellite which would be useful for agricultural applications like crop area and production estimation, drought monitoring, soil mapping, cropping system analysis and farm advisories generation was launched earlier in the day from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh.

“It has been a perfect launch,” ISRO Chairman Kiran Kumar said.

The satellite, once brought to its final operational configuration, will begin to provide imagery from its three cameras and the data will be useful for agricultural applications.

The 1,235-kg RESOURCESAT-2A is a follow on mission to RESOURCESAT-1 and RESOURCESAT-2, launched in 2003 and 2011 respectively.