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Nobel Prize in Medicine awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi

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The 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Yoshinori Ohsumi “for his discoveries of mechanisms for autophagy.” The professor is currently at the Tokyo Institute of Technology. Announcing the Prize in Stockholm, the Nobel Committee said in a statement that the cell biologist “discovered and elucidated mechanisms underlying autophagy, a fundamental […]

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Two IIT alumni get MacArthur Fellowships for 2016

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Two alumni of the IITs have been given the ‘Genius Grant’ this year. The John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation has announced the names of its ‘Class of 2016’ which consist of twenty-three exceptionally creative people. Among the recipients of the fellowship — dubbed the “genius grant” — are Subhash Khot, now at New […]

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Emerging signs of mass extinction?

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Large-sized marine animals, more than the smaller ones, face a greater threat of extinction, says a study published in Science on 16 September. The authors base the analysis on comparisons with fossil records and similar situations that were encountered during the five massive extinction events that have taken place in the last 55 million years. […]

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A dinosaur that had camouflage

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Colour patterns, known as countershading, in Psittacosaurus — a kind of dinosaur — protected it from predators, finds a new study. Psittacosaurus was light on its underside and darker on top and most likely lived in an environment with diffuse light, such as in a forest. Psittacosaurus had horns on either side of its head […]

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Europe’s Rosetta probe finds lost Philae lander on comet 67P

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Europe’s Rosetta space probe has located its lost Philae lander, wedged in a “dark crack” on a comet, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Monday. Rosetta’s camera finally captured images on September 2, 2016, of the lander on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, weeks before the probe’s own mission ends, the agency said . The pictures showing […]

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NASA’s Juno space probe completes first Jupiter flyby

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NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft has successfully executed its first flyby of Jupiter, passing just 4,200 kilometres above the gas giant’s swirling clouds – the closest contact ever achieved by a man-made probe with the king of planets. The flyby on August 27 was the first time Juno had its entire suite of science instruments activated […]

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Air-breather propulsion test on Aug. 28: ISRO

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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is set to conduct air-breathing propulsion experiment using its RH-560 rocket fitted with a supersonic combustion ramjet (Scramjet) engine on August 28 from Sriharikota. According to ISRO Chairman A.S. Kiran Kumar, while the test would take place on August 28, the GSLV-F05 rocket with an indigenous cryogenic engine would […]

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Star system next door may host habitable planet

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Just over four light years away, a planet orbits its cool red-dwarf star – Proxima Centauri, the sun’s closest star neighbour. What is special about this planet is that after years of tracking it, astronomers have come to the conclusion that it is in the habitable zone of its star. This milestone discovery is to […]

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New evidence for northern movement of eastern Himalayan syntaxis

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The eastern Himalayan syntaxis (convergence of mountain ranges, or geological folds), a gorge along the Parlung river in Tibet, is tectonically active. The coincidence of high mountains and strong rivers that cause erosion makes it a good place to study the role of surface activity, such as erosion, in controlling tectonics. A recent study, published […]

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Greenland shark now oldest living animal with backbone

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In the cold waters of the Arctic, a denizen of the deep lurked for centuries. Now scientists calculate that this female Greenland shark was the Earth’s oldest living animal with a backbone. They estimated that the gray shark, part of the species named after Greenland, was born in the icy waters roughly 400 years ago, […]

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