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News in Short

News in Short - 15-December-2019

Exports contract in November

Date: 15 December 2019 Tags: Reports & Indices
  • India’s trade deficit narrowed to $12.12 billion in November from $17.58 billion a year ago, according to commerce ministry figures released on Friday.
  • Merchandise exports contracted for the fourth consecutive month in November to $25.98 billion, while imports fell to $38.11 billion.
  • Exports of cashew fell 33.9% and oil meals by 54.59%. Electronic goods exports, however, grew by 46.13%, drugs and pharmaceuticals by 20.60%, engineering goods 6.32% and marine products by 9%.
  • Among major imports, coal fell 23.6%, petroleum 18.6%, chemicals 15.11%, newsprint by 43.3%, non-ferrous metals by 12.3%, iron and steel 26.5%, and electronic goods shrank by 4.5%. However, gold imports picked up by 6%.

Railways issues fog device to improve safety

Date: 15 December 2019 Tags: Railways
  • The South Central Railway (SCR) has started supplying Fog Pass devices, a GPS-based portable equipment, to loco pilots.
  • The device helps in alerting the crew about upcoming landmarks or structures, during foggy weather, through audio and visual indications.
  • The entire data of a particular section such as location of signals, stations, level-crossing gates, warning boards, curves and gradients, are mapped with GPS and fed into the device.

Maven spacecraft maps Mars' winds in upper atmosphere

Date: 15 December 2019 Tags: Space
  • Using data from NASA's MAVEN spacecraft, researchers have created the first-ever map of wind circulation in the upper atmosphere of Mars.
  • The new map of Mars winds helps scientists to better understand the workings of the Martian climate, giving them a more accurate picture of its ancient past and its ongoing evolution.
  • The observed global circulation provides critical inputs needed to constrain global atmospheric models

Scientists discover deepest point on land below Antarctic

Date: 15 December 2019 Tags: Geography & Environment
  • Researchers have found the deepest point on continental earth from latest topographical map of Antarctica.
  • The lowest exposed point on land is located at the Dead Sea shore which is 413 metersbelow sea level.
  • But the lowest point on land goes even deeper, at about 3500 meters below sea-level, which is the world's deepest canyon on land and was found beneath Denman Glacier in East Antarctica.
  • The canyon was thought to be shallow in previous studies, but the new data has revealed the true depth. 

Saliva test that detects mouth and throat cancer early

Date: 15 December 2019 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A non-invasive saliva test can detect human papilloma virus-16, the strain associated with oropharyngeal cancer (OPC), showing promise for earlier and easier detection of mouth and throat cancer.
  • The novel technique detected OPC in whole saliva in 40 per cent of patients tested and 80 per cent of confirmed OPC patients.
  • According to the researchers, this technology can also be used to analyse other biofluids such as blood, urine and plasma.