(To Separate words use + sign)
December 13, 2017(New Delhi)
While working on an 18th-century statue of Jesus Christ in the Spanish town of Sotillo de la Ribera, restorers have unearthed a mysterious note hidden inside the statue's backside.
Restorers from the Da Vinci Restauro restoration company were in the process of refurbishing the statue, which resides in the church of Santa Águeda around 180 kilometers from Madrid, when they found the note.
The note consisted of two carefully hand-written pages dating back to 1777 and is signed by Joaquin Minguez, who was the chaplain of the cathedral at Burgo de Osma at the time.
Da Vinci Restauro released a video showing how the secret message was uncovered. Check it out!
The note discusses key facts about the statue, such as who carved it and that it is made from wood. Interestingly it also provides economic, religious, political and cultural information about the area at the time.
"The Court is in Madrid, there is a Mail and Gazette for the news, there is an Inquisition, for which no errors are experienced against the Church of God," Minguez says.
In the two pages, which are both filled with writing on the front and the back, he also discusses common diseases and people?s favourite forms of entertainment.
Historian Efrén Arroyo told Spanish news agency Efe that the priest meant for the message to be discovered hundreds of years after he penned it and for it to act as a kind of "time capsule."
The Met department is currently involved in calibrating temperature and pressure sensors, transmissometers (for visibility) and plans to procure instruments required for up to 70 airports, given the newer airports being planned. airports in the country, including at Juhu airport, Mumbai, where instruments were mounted on masts measuring 6m in height.
IN A first, the Surface Instruments (SI) division of the India Meteorological Department (IMD), Pune, has installed an ingenuously developed Automatic Weather Observation System (AWOS) at Mangalore airport on a 10-metre tall mast. This is a part of upgrading and facilitating real-time weather updates directly to the pilots. Presently, all information pertaining to visibility, temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity prevailing at the location and the runway area of the airport is first sent to Air Traffic Control (ATC), from where it is relayed to pilots. Until now, only a handful of AWOS were installed at select airports in the country, including at Juhu airport, Mumbai, where instruments were mounted on masts measuring 6m in height. It was sometime last year that World Meteorological Organsiation (WMO) revised guidelines internationally for installing AWOS on masts ranging from 6 metre to 10 metre, after which a joint venture with CSIR-National Aerospace
Laboratories (NAL) was planned. This is being carried out on a trial basis at Mangalore airport, which is located on hilly terrain, also known as a table-top airport. The trials have been on for over three months now and will continue for a year,? informed a senior official from the division involved in the project. The challenge, however, remains in designing a mast that is frangible, so that it not only remains light in weight, just enough to support the on board AWOS instruments along with simultaneously being able to withstand wind speeds ranging from 50 to 60 m/sec, the official explained. " With the scaling up of the height, work is presently on to design the mast in such a manner that it can be either lowered or bend, for installation, maintenance or calibration purposes of sensors and other instruments, all of which is being led by experts at CSIR-NAL," the official added.
Besides, the SI division is also working on procuring and installing instruments for the newer proposed airports in India. nder the UDAN project, launched in October 2016, the instrumentation team will be additionally responsible for calibration, installation and maintenance of these instruments, presently being purchased for 52 airports, including Shirdi, Aurangabad and Kolhapur airports in Maharashtra.
"These are airports having limited operations, that is, most of them only during the day time, thereby having specific requirements. In addition, the requirements can also vary according to the geographical locations and local weather conditions," the authority informed.
The Met department is currently involved in calibrating temperature and pressure sensors, transmissometers (for visibility) and plans to procure instruments required for up to 70 airports, given the newer airports being planned.
December 12, 2017
The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched 'LaQshya' Initiative and mHealth: Safe Delivery Application on the occasion of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Day. Moreover, Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units and Intensive Care Units were also released.
UHC Day is observed every year on 12 December to commemorate first unanimous United Nations resolution calling for countries to provide affordable, quality health care to every person, everywhere. UHC aims at ensuring equitable access for all to affordable, accountable, appropriate health services of assured quality.
Laqshya- A Labour Room Quality Improvement Initiative
It is safe delivery mobile application for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in the peripheral area. It objective is to improve quality of care provided to pregnant mother in Labour Room and Maternity Operation Theatres (OTs), thereby preventing undesirable adverse outcomes associated with childbirth.
It aims to reduce preventable maternal and new-born mortality, morbidity and stillbirths associated with care around delivery in Labour room and Maternity OTs. It will be implemented in government Medical Colleges (MCs), District Hospitals (DHs), high delivery load Sub- District Hospitals (SDHs) and Community Health Centres (CHCs). It plans to conduct quality certification of labour rooms and provide facilities to achieve outlined targets.
mHealth: Safe Delivery Application
It was launched for health workers who manage normal and complicated deliveries in peripheral areas. The app has Clinical Instruction films on key obstetric procedures to help health workers translate their learnt skills into actual practice. It has been field tested in few districts and found to be useful for health workers providing maternity care.
Operational Guidelines for Obstetric High Dependency Units and Intensive Care Units
These guidelines will complement already existing national guidelines. It will also help states and state level policy makers in setting up and operationalising critical care units dedicated to pregnant women.
December 07, 2017
India and Cuba sign MoU for enhanced cooperation in the health sector
India and Cuba signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for enhanced cooperation in the health sector, here today. Shri J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare and Dr Roberto Tomas Morales Ojeda, Public Health Minister of Cuba signed the MoU in the presence of senior officers from the Health Ministry and a high level delegation from Cuba.
Terming it historic, Shri J P Nadda stated that the relations between Cuba and India are historical and based on shared values of equality and justice, common aspirations and convergence of interests on global issues.
Shri Nadda further stated that the MOU on cooperation in the field of health and medicine between India and Cuba is important for exchanges in the health sector and to develop institutional framework for cooperation in the health sector between the two countries. One potential area is pharmaceutical and biotechnology. Cuba has made remarkable strides in the field of bio-technology and pharmaceuticals. We need to encourage greater institutional collaborations for joint production of medicines on commercial basis,? Shri Nadda elaborated. He also suggested that a Joint Working Group be formed for implementation of the MoU.
The objective of this MoU is to establish comprehensive inter-ministerial and inter-institutional cooperation between the two countries in the field of health by pooling technical, scientific, financial and human resources with the ultimate goal of upgrading the quality and reach of human, material and infrastructural resources involved in health care, medical education & training, and research in both countries.
The main areas of cooperation include:
December 07, (New Delhi )
Bangalore, often referred to as science and technology hub of India, is all set to host a unique science gallery where science and the arts will interact.
Called Science Gallery Bengaluru (SGB), the unique venture is a partnership between the Dublin-based Global Science Gallery Network and the Karnataka government as well as leading scientific institutions.
The global network has Trinity College Dublin, King's College London and University of Melbourne among its members. The gallery in Bangalore will be the first one in Asia. The Indian Institute of Science, the National Centre for Biological Sciences, and Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology are partners for the Bangalore gallery.
The Science Gallery Bengaluru is not going to be another science museum as such as "we do not and will not have our own collections," insists Jahnavi Phalkey, a historian of science and technology, who has been appointed Director of the gallery.
"You can think of it as a participatory laboratory where artists and experts from across disciplines engage with each other and with students to come up with interesting questions, and interesting solutions to them in the long run. This engagement will produce material that will become part of the exhibitions at SGB," Phalkey told India Science Wire.
The gallery will promote cross-linking of disciplines and social issues in novel ways, and will try to engage young people in the age group of 15 to 25. "We will not only change how we view often-disparate areas but also see how we might work together. I am particularly keen on students learning alongside scholars through tinkering and experiments," said Phalkey.
She said the galley activities will engage young people - higher secondary school onwards into the last university years. "The goal is one of engagement with science and not science communication alone."
"Activities in our own building will start in 2021. In the meanwhile, we hope to use public and institutional spaces in the city to begin with our programming," Phalkey said. "We will produce events and exhibitions to nurture a creative and critical appreciation of science ? and its relationship to nature and culture ? in Indian public life."
The gallery would also serve as a year-round public engagement platform for research carried out in the three participating research institutions, around key research themes of local interest.
Science Gallery International (SGI), the charity established to develop the Global Science Gallery Network, hopes to establish eight university-linked galleries worldwide by 2020.
December 06, 2017(New Delhi)
As the national capital and some north Indian states battle severe air pollution, a team of researchers will use tiny sensors attached to the body to find out the amount of pollutant a Delhiite inhales everyday. The multidisciplinary team of researchers, including computer scientists, doctors and exposure scientists from nine institutes in the UK and India - led by the University of Edinburgh ? will examine links between long-term exposure to air pollution and health over a four-year period.
"The Delhi Air Pollution: Health and Effects (DAPHNE) project brings together best-in-class researchers from India and the UK to address the pressing problem of the health effects of sustained exposure to high levels of air pollution," Professor DK Arvind of the University of Edinburgh, who is leading the study, said. "We believe this innovative research, funded by the UK research councils over the past 15 years, could eventually help millions of people in Delhi and countless other global cities," the professor said.
According to a statement by the University of Edinburgh, air pollution levels in Delhi reached more than 16 times the safe limit, prompting the local government to declare an emergency situation. The DAPHNE project involves 760 pregnant women, who will wear the air pollution monitors attached as adhesive patches and scientists will record the health of the mothers and their children following birth. The researchers will also focus on 360 young people with asthma in order to examine the level of exercise they can tolerate amid air pollution.
The researchers would use battery-powered respiratory monitors, known as 'RESpecks' and the air pollution monitors, called 'AIRSpecks', utilise 'Speckled Computing', a technology being pioneered by scientists at the University of Edinburgh. " 'Specks' are tiny devices that can be placed on everyday objects, and people, in order to sense, compute and communicate data. In the DAPHNE project, these sensors transmit each person?s data wireless to their mobile phone, enabling the user to monitor their individual exposure to pollution," the statement said.
The project will also provide for larger versions of the same types of monitors, with additional sensors to measure concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and ozone, it said, adding, "These will be attached to lamp posts in order to create a network of monitors to measure air pollution levels across Delhi." The data from the solar-powered lamp post monitors will then be uploaded via cellular network and shared with those taking part in the study. The information will enable users find the cleanest and shortest route between places in the city based on up-to-date information, personalised to their condition./
The devices have been developed at the Centre for Speckled Computing in the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. According to the statement, the project was awarded 1,165,209 pounds by the UK?s Medical Research Council and Natural Environment Research Council, and is funded in India by the Department of Biotechnology and the Ministry of Earth Sciences. The Indian partners include Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, AIIMS, Delhi, Delhi University College of Medical Sciences, IIT Delhi, IIT Kanpur and INCLEN, which is a ?not for profit? research organisation conducting multi-disciplinary studies on high priority global health issues.
The UK Partners include the University of Edinburgh (Centre for Speckled Computing, School of Informatics and Centre for Cardiovascular Science), Imperial College (National Chest and Heart Institute) and the Institute for Occupational Medicine.
December 05, 2017
Earthquakes hitting densely populated mountainous regions, such as the Himalaya, are bigger in magnitude because of a fast tectonic-plate collision, according to a study.
The finding by researchers from ETH Zurich in Switzerland provides a more complete view of the risk of earthquakes in mountainous regions.
The study shows that the frequency and magnitude of large earthquakes in the densely populated regions close to mountain chains - such as the Alps, Apennines, Himalaya and Zagros - depend on the collision rate of the smaller tectonic plates.
In 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Gorkha-Nepal, and a year later, Norcia, Italy suffered a magnitude 6.2 earthquake.
Previous research has attempted to explain the physical causes of earthquakes like these, but with ambiguous results.
For the first time, researchers show that the rate at which tectonic plates collide controls the magnitude of earthquakes in mountainous regions.
This is because the faster they collide, the cooler the temperatures and the larger the areas that generate earthquakes. This increases the relative number of large earthquakes, they said.
"The impact of large earthquakes in mountain belts is devastating," said Luca Dal Zilio from ETH Zurich.
"Understanding the physical parameters behind the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes is important to improve the seismic hazard assessment," said Zilio, lead author of the study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters..
There are seven large tectonic plates and several smaller ones in the Earth's lithosphere - its outermost layers.
These plates move, sliding and colliding, and that movement causes mountains and volcanoes to form, and earthquakes to happen.
The researchers developed 2D models that simulate the way the tectonic plates move and collide.
The seismo-thermo-mechanical (STM) modelling approach utilises long-time scale processes to explain short time scale problems, replicating the results observed from the historical earthquake catalogues.
It shows graphically the distribution of earthquakes by their magnitude and frequency that are caused by movement in the orogeny - a belt of the Earth's crust involved in the formation of mountains.
The simulations suggest that the magnitude and frequency of the earthquakes in mountainous regions are directly related to the rate at which the tectonic plates collide.
December 6, 2017(New Delhi)
The world's most complex machine, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a project in which India is a scientific partner to prove that fusion power can be produced on a commercial scale, is now 50 per cent built, it was announced on Wednesday.
Carbon-free and environmentally sustainable fusion is the same energy source from the sun that gives the earth its light and warmth.
ITER, the most complex science project in human history, will use hydrogen fusion, controlled by superconducting magnets, to produce massive heat energy.
In the commercial machines that will follow, this heat will drive turbines to produce electricity.
Scientists say a pineapple-sized amount of hydrogen offers as much fusion energy as 10,000 tonnes of fossil fuel coal.
The ITER facility is being built in southern France by a scientific partnership of 35 countries.
ITER's specialised components, roughly 10 million parts in total, are being manufactured in industrial facilities all over the world.
They are subsequently shipped to the ITER worksite, where they must be assembled, piece-by-piece, into the final machine.
Each of the seven ITER members - the European Union, China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the US -- is fabricating a significant portion of the machine. This adds to ITER's complexity.
In a message on December 1 to top-level officials in ITER member-governments, the project reported it had completed 50 per cent of the "total construction work scope through First Plasma".
First Plasma, scheduled for December 2025, will be the first stage of operation for ITER as a functional machine.
"The stakes are very high for ITER," writes ITER Director-General Bernard Bigot.
"When we prove that fusion is a viable energy source, it will eventually replace burning fossil fuels, which are non-renewable and non-sustainable. Fusion will be complementary with wind, solar, and other renewable energies."
"Our design has taken advantage of the best expertise of every member's scientific and industrial base. No country could do this alone. We are all learning from each other, for the world's mutual benefit."
The ITER 50 per cent milestone is getting significant attention.
The concept of the project was conceived at the 1985 Geneva Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.
When the ITER Agreement was signed in 2006, it was supported by leaders like French President Jacques Chirac, US President George W. Bush and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
More than 80 per cent of the cost of the ITER, about $22 billion, is contributed in the form of components manufactured by the partners.
Many of these massive components of the ITER machine must be precisely fitted, for example, 17-meter-high magnets with less than a millimetre of tolerance.
Each component must be ready on time to fit into the master schedule for machine assembly.
The European Union is paying 45 per cent of the cost; China, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and the US each contribute 9 per cent equally.
All members share in ITER's technology; they receive equal access to the intellectual property and innovation that comes from building the ITER.
When will commercial fusion plants be ready?
ITER scientists predict that fusion plants will start to come on line as soon as 2040.
The exact timing, according to fusion experts, will depend on the level of public urgency and political will that translates to financial investment.
The ITER will produce 500 megawatts of thermal power.
This size of the plant is suitable for studying "burning" or largely self-heating plasma, a state of matter that has never been produced in a controlled environment on earth.
In "burning" plasma, most of the plasma heating comes from the fusion reaction itself. Studying the fusion science and technology at ITER's scale will enable optimization of the plants that follow.
A commercial fusion plant will be designed with a slightly larger plasma chamber, for 10-15 times more electrical power.
A 2,000-megawatt fusion electricity plant, for example, would supply two million homes.
December 05, 2017
Both operating units of the Russian-aided Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP) generated electricity to their full capacity of 1,000 MW each for the first time on Tuesday, according to a statement from Russia's atomic energy corporation Rosatom. The Russian equipment supplier and technical consultant of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL)-operated KNPP said, in a statement, that the Kudankulam units recorded the highest ever production since the start of operations.
"Unit 2 of the Kudankulam nuclear plant in Tamil Nadu reached full capacity of 1,000 MW today (Tuesday). For the first time both units 1 and 2 attained full generation capacity and KNPP and became the first nuclear plant in India to generate 2,000 MW of power," a Rosatom release said. While unit 1 was synchronised with the grid in October 2013, unit 2 completed the same function in August this year.
"The Kudankulam nuclear power plant has so far generated more than 20,000 million units of electricity, which helped to avoid around 17,083,874 tonnes of CO2 emissions," the statement said. The maximum generation attained at KNPP early on Tuesday morning was confirmed by NPCIL sources at the site.
Kudankulam, around 650 km from here, has two 1,000 MW nuclear power plants, built with Russian equipment. Two more units - third and fourth ? of similar size are being built with Russian collaboration at Kudankulam located in Tirunelveli district of the state.