Humans would be ‘pretty upbeat’ to news of alien life: Study

Have you wondered how would people react if scientists ever detect alien life in the universe’ Humans would be “pretty upbeat” and welcome the news, finds a study. Various studies have in the past speculated about how humans might respond to this kind of news, but until now, there has been almost no systematic empirical …

Hubble captures Neptune’s foul-smelling storm as it dies

NASA’s Hubble space telescope has captured Neptune’s mysterious dark storm, that probably smells like rotten eggs, shrinking out of existence. “It looks like we’re capturing the demise of this dark vortex, and it’s different from what well-known studies led us to expect,” said Michael Wong of the University of California at Berkeley in the US, …

Convergence of talents: Modi must join hands with Musk for a shot at Mars (Comment: Special to IANS)

“A one-km auto rickshaw ride in Ahmedabad takes Rs 10 and India reached Mars at Rs 7 per km, which is really amazing,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the achievement in his speech in New York in September 2014. He was speaking about the inter-planetary plan of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) that has …

Launch of Russian cargo mission to space station aborted

The planned launch of a Russian Progress cargo spacecraft from Kazakhstan to the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday has been scrubbed, NASA said. The launch was scheduled to take place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2.58 pm local time. “The launch of Russia’s Progress 69 resupply ship to the space station today …

Trump signs budget deal, bringing end to second shutdown of 2018

United States President Donald Trump on Friday signed a combined funding and budget bill that was passed by Congress hours earlier and will increase federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars, bringing an end to the second government shutdown this year. Friday’s shutdown lasted just a few hours, while an earlier partial government shutdown …

NASA’s 3-D printable tools could test blood samples on ISS

To enable astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) to analyse biological samples without sending them back to Earth, NASA researchers, including one of Indian-origin, are developing 3-D printable tools that could handle liquids like blood samples without spilling in microgravity. Learning how bacteria affect crew health, or how genes affect aging and disease, can …

NASA’s Juno probe completes 10th science orbit of Jupiter

NASA said its Juno spacecraft accomplished a close flyby over Jupiter’s churning atmosphere this week, successfully completing its 10th science orbit. The closest approach was at 6.36 a.m. PST on February 7, NASA said in a statement on Thursday. All of Juno’s science instruments and the spacecraft’s JunoCam were in operation during the flyby, collecting …

India test fires Prithvi-II missile off Odisha

India on Wednesday test-fired surface-to-surface ballistic missile Prithvi-II off the Odisha coast. The indigenous missile, which has the capability to strike 350 km away, was test-fired from the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at the Abdul Kalam Island in Balasore district. The Strategic Forces Command (SFC) of the Indian Army conducted the trial as part of …

Massive reserves of mercury found in Arctic permafrost

Scientists have discovered that permafrost in the northern hemisphere stores massive amounts of natural mercury and a warming climate could release large amounts of this dangerous toxin that may cause neurological effects in humans and animals, ranging from motor impairment to birth defects. The scientists measured mercury concentrations in permafrost cores from Alaska and estimated …

Our science efforts need to have shared sense of purpose: Kovind

To become successful in the field of research and innovation, Indian scientists need to have a “shared sense of purpose” and bring their individual efforts into a concerted whole, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday. Addressing the inaugural session of a gathering of Nobel laureates hosted at Rashtrapti Bhavan, he emphasised that individual efforts …

Scientists solve mystery of when flowers originated

A team of scientists from Britain and China has claimed to have solved what Charles Darwin called the “abominable mystery” of when flowers originated. Flowering plants likely originated between 149 and 256 million years ago, said the study published in the journal New Phytologist. The study shows that flowering plants are neither as old as …

Cosmonauts break record of longest Russian spacewalk

With a spacewalk lasting eight hours and 13 minutes, two cosmonauts have broken the previous record for longest Russian spacewalk of eight hours and seven minutes. To upgrade a high gain antenna system, Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin and Flight Engineer Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos began the spacewalk from the International …

Sweden commits record $370m of aid to UN World Food Programme

Sweden and the United Nations World Food Programme on Friday signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement committing an unprecedented $370 million dollars to WFP over the next four years, the agency said, hailing the Scandinavian nation as a global leader in aid. The contribution for the period 2018-2021 is the biggest ever made by a donor …

Safexpress announces Rs 100 cr investment in northeast

Ahead of the much hyped Global Investment Summit, Safexpress, India’s largest Supply Chain and Logistics company on Friday announced an investment of Rs 100 crore in the northeastern region. Safexpress, which has the largest Logistics Network in the northeast, is representing the Logistics industry at the Global Summit, which will be held in Guwahati from …

Italian minister slams Amazon’s rumoured plan to tag workers

Italy’s Economic Development Minister Carlo Calenda on Friday slammed US online retail giant Amazon’s move to patent electronic wristbands for its workforce, saying this would “never happen” in Italy. “The only bracelets we make in Italy are the ones produced by jewellers,” said Calenda, who summoned Amazon representatives to a meeting on Friday. “I told …

Safexpress announces Rs 100 cr investment in northeast

Ahead of the much hyped Global Investment Summit, Safexpress, India’s largest Supply Chain and Logistics company on Friday announced an investment of Rs 100 crore in the northeastern region. Safexpress, which has the largest Logistics Network in the northeast, is representing the Logistics industry at the Global Summit, which will be held in Guwahati from …

Sweden commits record $370m of aid to UN World Food Programme

Sweden and the United Nations World Food Programme on Friday signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement committing an unprecedented $370 million dollars to WFP over the next four years, the agency said, hailing the Scandinavian nation as a global leader in aid. The contribution for the period 2018-2021 is the biggest ever made by a donor …

Sweden commits record $370m of aid to UN World Food Programme

Sweden and the United Nations World Food Programme on Friday signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement committing an unprecedented $370 million dollars to WFP over the next four years, the agency said, hailing the Scandinavian nation as a global leader in aid. The contribution for the period 2018-2021 is the biggest ever made by a donor …

International students asked to solve Taj Mahal’s yellowing

Finding a new and improved method of removing the yellow stains off the Taj Mahal may be devised in the coming days as university students from India and elsewhere have been posed this problem at an international science contest underway in the Taj city. The eighth International Natural Sciences Tournament (INST) of Russia is underway …

Rs 100 cr in Budget for development of 800 MW advanced boiler

The development of 800 MW advanced ultra super critical thermal power plant project got Rs 100 crore for next year from the Department of Heavy Industry with a target to finalise the turbine design, as per 2018-19 budget papers. According the Union Budget, the project target for next fiscal includes finalisatio of turbine design, completion …

Ordered dwarf galaxies defy dark matter-based cosmology model

Deepening the mystery around dark matter, new research has found that the small satellite dwarf galaxies orbiting around the much larger galaxy Centaurus A are rotating in synchrony around their host. These observations do not fit with the standard model of cosmology that assumes the existence of dark matter, said the study published in the …

Amendments moved to give more teeth to anti-money laundering act

The government on Thursday sought to amend the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), 2002 aiming to widen its scope by providing for action against property, equivalent to proceeds of crime, held outside the country. So far, the government could only proceed against property held within the country. The amendments made through the Finance Act, …

Airport capacity to be expanded five-fold: Jaitley (Lead)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday proposed to expand the country’s airport capacity by more than five times to handle a billion trips a year under a new “NABH (NextGen Airports for Bharat) Nirman” initiative. According to Jaitley, the balance sheet of Airports Authority of India (AAI) will be “leveraged to raise more resources for …

Budget focuses on structural issues, not populism: Debroy

Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council Chairman Bibek Debroy on Thursday welcomed the announcements made in the Union Budget 2018-19, saying it focuses on agriculture, rural economy, healthcare and employment generation instead of following economic populism. He emphasised that the government was committed to following the path of significant structural reforms and the budget is a …