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News in Short

News in Short - 21-May-2020

COVID-19 relapse patients not infectious

Date: 21 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Researchers are finding evidence that patients who test positive for the coronavirus after recovering aren't capable of transmitting the infection, and could have the antibodies that prevent them from falling sick again.
  • Scientists studied 285 Covid-19 survivors who had tested positive for the coronavirus after their illness had apparently resolved, as indicated by a previous negative test result.
  • The so-called re-positive patients weren't found to have spread any lingering infection, and virus samples collected from them couldn't be grown in culture, indicating the patients were shedding non-infectious or dead virus particles.

Rare toothless dinosaur species unearthed

Date: 21 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

A fossil that was dug out in 2015 in Australia, has been identified as an unusually long necked, rare toothless dinosaur that may have walked the earth 110 million years ago.

  • The fossil was discovered as part of an annual dig led by the Melbourne Museum had earlier thought to be a fossil of a flying reptile. However, on further inspection it was realized to be a "delicately-built dinosaur".
  • Although the fossil indicated that the animal might be about 2 metres (6.5ft) long, previously found fossils of the same animal in Tanzania, China and Argentina show that they could have attained a height of even 6 metres.

NASA human spaceflight chief resigns

Date: 21 May 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • NASA's human spaceflight chief Doug Loverro has resigned,just a week before the agency is scheduled to launch two astronauts into space from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.
  • The resignation capped Loverro's brief role at the agency overseeing future astronaut launches and landing humans on the moon by 2024.
  • Loverro took the post last October to helm NASA's efforts to return humans to the lunar surface by 2024, a hastened time line set by the Trump administration in 2019.

World carbon pollution falls during lockdown

Date: 21 May 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The world cut its daily carbon dioxide emissions by 17% at the peak of the pandemic shutdown last month, a new study found.
  • In their study of carbon dioxide emissions during the coronavirus pandemic, an international team of scientists calculated that pollution levels are heading back up, and for the year will end up between 4% and 7% lower than 2019 levels. That’s still the biggest annual drop in carbon emissions since World War II.
  • Nearly half the emission reductions came from less transportation pollution, mostly involving cars and trucks, the authors said. The study found that drastic reductions in air travel only accounted for 10% of the overall pollution drop.

Harsh Vardhan set to be chairman of WHO Executive Board

Date: 21 May 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who is at the forefront of India's battle against COVID-19, is set to take charge as the chairman of the WHO Executive Board on May 22.
  • Harsh Vardhan would succeed Dr Hiroki Nakatani of Japan, currently the Chairman of the 34-member WHO Executive Board.
  • Harsh Vardhan’s taking over the WHO post seems to be a formality after the decision that he will be India's nominee as the WHO's South-East Asia group had unanimously decided last year that India would be elected to the executive board for a three-year-term beginning May.