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News in Short

News in Short - 23-January-2020

Early magnetic field around Earth stronger than previously believed

Date: 23 January 2020 Tags: Geography & Environment
  • A new study has found that the magnetic field that first formed around Earth was even stronger than previously believed. This revelation could help scientists draw conclusions about the sustainability of Earth’s magnetic shield and whether or not there are other planets in the solar system with the conditions necessary to harbour life.
  • Earth’s magnetic field, also known as the geomagnetic field, is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth’s interior to where it meets the solar wind.
  • Earth’s magnetic field is generated by the motion of liquid iron in the planet’s core. Because of the location and extreme temperatures of materials in the core, scientists aren’t able to directly measure the magnetic field.

Immune cells that can kill cancer

Date: 23 January 2020 Tags: Biotechnology
  • A newly discovered immune cell could lead to the creation of a universal cancer treatment, a treatment that would work for all cancers, in all people.
  • The treatment leverages T-cells, a type of white blood cell that helps our bodies’ immune systems by scanning for and killing abnormal cells.
  • Scientists have recently started harnessing that ability in the fight against cancer through a therapy called CAR-T, which involves removing T-cells from a patient’s blood and genetically engineering them to seek out and destroy cancer cells.
  • CAR-T has certain limitations. It is patient-specific, works against only a small number of cancers, and isn’t effective against solid tumors, which comprise the majority of cancers.

Gut bacteria and child behaviour

Date: 23 January 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • A study of early school-aged children shows a connection between the bacteria in their gut and their behavior.
  • The analysis showed that children with behavioral problems and higher socioeconomic stress had different microbiome profiles than those who didn't.
  • The findings are important because they suggest the microbiome can shed light on which children are heading toward mental health challenges.

Ozone depleting substance reason for majority of Arctic warming

Date: 23 January 2020 Tags: Climate Change
  • A new study shows that half of all Arctic warming and corresponding sea-loss during the late 20th century was caused by ozone-depleting substances.
  • Although the ozone-destroying effects of these substances are now widely understood, there has been little research into their broader climate impacts.
  • Ozone-depleting substances, or ODS, were developed in the 1920s and '30s and became popularly used as refrigerants, solvents, and propellants. They are entirely manmade, and so did not exist in the atmosphere before this time.

SC refuses to stay CAA

Date: 23 January 2020 Tags: Judiciary & Judgments
  • The Supreme Court has said it will not grant any stay on CAA without hearing the Centre and that it will set up a five-judge Constitution bench to hear the pleas.
  • A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde gave four weeks to the government to file a reply. It also restrained all high courts from hearing pleas on CAA till it decides petitions.
  • The CAA seeks to grant citizenship to migrants belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian, Jain and Parsi communities who came to the country from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.