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News in Short

News in Short - 03-October-2020

EU to take legal action against UK over Brexit bill

Date: 03 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The European Union has taken legal action against the United Kingdom over its plans to pass legislation that would breach parts of the legally binding divorce agreement the two sides reached late last year.
  • Both sides are trying to forge a rudimentary free trade agreement before the end of the year, but the fight over the controversial UK internal market bill has soured relations this month.
  • The EU had given London time to withdraw the bill but instead, UK politicians voted to push the legislation past House of Commons hurdle. It must also be approved by the House of Lords, where it is sure to meet strong opposition because it breaches international law.

AI helps scientists discover craters on Mars

Date: 03 October 2020 Tags: Space
  • Artificial intelligence has helped scientists to discover new craters that were previously not visible on Mars' surface.
  • Scientists spend hours each day studying images captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), looking for changing surface phenomena like dust devils, avalanches, and shifting dunes.
  • In the orbiter’s 14 years at Mars, scientists have relied on MRO data to find over 1,000 new craters. They’re usually first detected with the spacecraft’s Context Camera, which takes low-resolution images covering hundreds of miles at a time.
  • Only the blast marks around an impact will stand out in these images, not the individual craters, so the next step is to take a closer look with the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment, or HiRISE.

Moderna's Covid vaccine shows promise of protecting older adults from infection

Date: 03 October 2020 Tags: Biotechnology
  • US-based biotech company Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine candidate has shown signs of working in older adults, new results from an early stage trial have revealed.
  • This study evaluated a two-dose vaccination schedule of Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine candidate mRNA-1273 given 28 days apart in 40 healthy adult participants across two dose levels -- 25 and 100 microgramin two age cohorts --ages 56-70 and ages 71+.
  • These results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that both the 25 microgram and 100 microgram dose levels were generally well-tolerated in both age cohorts, with no serious adverse events reported one month after the second dose.

Selection for National butterfly for India

Date: 03 October 2020 Tags: Biodiversity
  • Common jezebel, five-bar swordtail, Krishna peacock, yellow gorgon are names of some butterflies which can be seen in different parts of India, have been shortlisted for India’s National butterfly status.
  • A group of 50 butterfly enthusiasts, researchers, writers, experts from all states of India have got together to elect a national butterfly of India, just like national bird and national animal.
  • Butterflies are biological indicators. Changes in the environment, like global warming and increasing pollution, reflect first in smaller creatures like butterflies.

Oman establishes Air bubble with India

Date: 03 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • India has established a separate bilateral air bubble arrangement with Oman for operation of special international passenger flights between the two countries.
  • Till 30 September, India had formed such arrangements with 15 countries, including Afghanistan, Bahrain, Canada, France, Germany, Iraq, Japan, the Maldives, Nigeria, Qatar, the UAE, Kenya, Bhutan, the UK, and the USA.
  • Under an air bubble pact between two countries, special international passenger flights can be operated by their airlines into each other’s territories under restrictive conditions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.