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ALIEN SIGNAL

A global rehearsal for alien contact by receiving signal from Mars

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On May 26th, the European Space Agency (ESA) announced an exciting development in space exploration. They reported that for the first time, an encoded message was beamed to Earth from Mars using the ESA’s ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO). The signal was received 16 minutes later by several radio telescopes around the world. 

The ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is a spacecraft developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with the Russian space agency, Roscosmos. It is a part of the ExoMars program, which aims to explore Mars and search for signs of past or present life on the planet.

But here’s the catch: The content of the message has not been disclosed and remains a mystery. The project now invites people to participate in decoding and interpreting the message.

This project is called ‘A Sign in Space,’ and was created by artist Daniela de Paulis, who collaborated with a team of international experts, space scientists, and artists. The purpose is to understand how people will decode and interpret an extraterrestrial message by engaging a worldwide community. It is like a global rehearsal, preparing us for the day we might actually communicate with beings from other worlds.

The significance of this experiment is that it provides an opportunity for the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) community to work together and understand the potential meaning of an extraterrestrial signal. The project aims to bring together a diverse community to tackle the challenge of communicating with extraterrestrial beings.

Anyone interested in decoding and interpreting the message can submit their ideas on the project’s website. This way, everyone can participate and share their thoughts on understanding the message.

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G7 2023

Decoding the Highlights of the G7 Summit

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G7 countries (G7 Group) include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, and the US. Russia got expelled from group G8 following its annexation of Crimea. In a way, we can say the G7 represents developed countries.

Annually, G7 countries discuss burning issues and form policies accordingly. Since the decision taken by these powers can have a significant impact, there exists criticism by protesters who claim that the interests of other countries are not raised as they are not represented in the group. Even if the decisions of the G7 are not binding in nature, reports claim that the group is making the fight against poverty difficult. According to some analysts, G7 is a product of the bygone era. 

The 49th G7 Summit 2023 was held in Hiroshima, Japan.

2023 – Key Takeaways

  1. To create a ministerial forum “Hiroshima AI process” to discuss issues around generative AI, such as copyrights, disinformation, and how the technology should be governed.
  2. Called upon the major economies to commit to attaining a net-zero emissions status by 2050 at the latest. The world as a whole must become net-zero by mid-century to meet the 1.5-degree Celsius target. China aims for net zero by 2060, while India has set 2070 as its target.
  3. Launched Coordination Platform on Economic Coercion to increase collective assessment, preparedness, deterrence, and response to economic coercion. Economic coercion is a threatened or actual imposition of economic costs on one state by another to extract a policy concession.
  4. Launched Hiroshima Action Statement for Resilient Global Food Security to address global food insecurity and to build more resilient, sustainable, and inclusive food systems. 
  5. Affirmed that G7 countries are not decoupling from China, but rather de-risking (reduction of reliance on China) based on a strategy of diversifying and deepening partnerships. 

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debt ceiling

What is the debt ceiling?

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The debt ceiling, also known as the debt limit, is a legal cap on the amount of money that the United States government is allowed to borrow. It is like a credit limit set by the government itself. The debt ceiling is determined by Congress, the legislative branch of the government.

When the government spends more money than it collects in revenue (through taxes, for example), it needs to borrow money to make up the difference. The government issues Treasury bonds, notes, and bills to borrow money from individuals, institutions, and other countries. These are essentially IOUs promising to repay the borrowed amount with interest in the future.

The debt ceiling sets the maximum amount of debt that the government can accumulate. It serves as a control mechanism to ensure that the government does not borrow excessively without congressional approval. If the debt reaches or is close to the debt ceiling, the government cannot borrow more money unless the debt ceiling is increased.

If the debt ceiling is not raised and the government exhausts its borrowing ability, it could face a situation known as a “debt default.” This means that the government would be unable to fulfill its financial obligations, such as paying its bills, interest on existing debt, and even the salaries of government employees.

To avoid a debt default, Congress typically needs to pass legislation to raise the debt ceiling and allow the government to continue borrowing beyond the previous limit. This is often a contentious and politically charged process, as lawmakers debate and negotiate the conditions under which the debt ceiling should be raised.

The origin of the debt ceiling?

The debt ceiling in the United States was created in 1917 during World War I to put a limit on how much money the government can borrow. It was meant to ensure that the government doesn’t borrow too much without proper approval. Since then, it has been adjusted over the years.

What is the present issue?

Currently, there is a disagreement between President Joe Biden (executive) and the Republican-controlled US Congress (Legislature) on raising the debt ceiling. The US Congress needs to vote on whether or not to raise the limit on how much the government can borrow.

What can be the impact?

  1. If the debt cap isn’t raised, the government could default, which would hurt the economy and lead to things like a weaker dollar, problems on the stock market, and job loss.
  2. In the past, failure to raise the debt ceiling has resulted in a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by credit agencies. This means that the government’s ability to borrow money in the future becomes more expensive, as it has to offer higher interest rates to attract investors.
  3. The debt ceiling has often become a political tool rather than a responsible fiscal mechanism. It can lead to short-term, politically motivated negotiations that may not adequately address the underlying fiscal issues.

The impact of the U.S. debt ceiling on developing nations?

  1. Financial markets around the world can become more volatile, making it challenging for developing nations to attract investment.
  2. It can result in reduced consumer spending and weaker demand for goods and services globally. Developing nations, particularly those reliant on exports, may experience a decline in demand for their products.
  3. It can affect global interest rates and borrowing costs. If investors become more risk-averse due to uncertainty, they may demand higher interest rates on loans to developing nations. This can make it more expensive for these countries to borrow money, hindering their ability to finance infrastructure projects, social programs, and other development initiatives.
  4. The United States is a significant provider of foreign aid and assistance to many developing nations. Any disruptions or uncertainties in the U.S. economy can have spill-over effects.

Any previous instance?

In 2011, the United States faced a significant near-default situation on its public debt due to delays in raising the debt ceiling. This led to the first downgrade in the US credit rating, a sharp drop in the stock market, and higher borrowing costs.

Suggestions and Reforms?

Automatic increase of the debt limit whenever legislation is passed or abolishing the debt limit altogether are potential reform options that have been suggested by some experts.

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Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy (MRT)

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A baby has been born in the UK using a technique called mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT) (popularly called ‘Three Parents Baby’), which involves using the DNA of three people in an effort to prevent children from inheriting incurable diseases.

People have two types of DNA in their cells: nuclear DNA, which is inherited from both parents and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), which is inherited only from the mother. In other words, mitochondria are small structures within cells that produce energy and have their own set of genes, separate from the nuclear DNA. When a woman has a mitochondrial disorder, MRT can be used to create embryos with healthy mitochondria.

The process of MRT involves removing the nucleus from the mother’s egg, which contains the majority of her genetic material, and transferring it into a donor egg that has had its own nucleus removed. The resulting egg contains the nuclear DNA from the mother and the healthy mitochondria from the donor. This technique ensures that the baby inherits healthy mitochondria while carrying the genetic material from both biological parents. The procedure is specifically intended for couples who wish to have their own genetic child but do not want to use a donor egg.

It’s important to note that while the resulting child would have genetic material from three individuals—the nuclear DNA from the mother and father and the mitochondrial DNA from the donor—the contribution of the mitochondrial DNA to an individual’s traits and characteristics is relatively limited compared to nuclear DNA. This reconstructed egg is then fertilized with the father’s sperm and implanted into the mother’s uterus for pregnancy.

By using MRT, the goal is to prevent the transmission of mitochondrial disorders, which can cause a wide range of medical conditions affecting various organs and systems in the body. Approximately 1 in 5,000–10,000 children are born each year with mitochondrial disease.

It’s important to note that MRT is a relatively new and highly regulated technique. It is currently only legally allowed in a few countries and is primarily used in cases where there is a significant risk of passing on severe mitochondrial disorders. Ethical, scientific, and legal considerations surround the use of MRT, and it continues to be a subject of debate and ongoing research.

What is in-vitro fertilisation (IVF)? In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a type of assisted reproductive technology (ART) that involves the fertilization of an egg with sperm outside the body in a laboratory setting.

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Indus Valley Civilization

The Indus Valley Civilisation, also known as the Harappan Civilisation, thrived in South Asia from 3300 BCE to 1300 BCE

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The Indus Valley civilization, which flourished around 4,000 years ago in modern-day India and Pakistan, was one of the world’s earliest and most mysterious civilizations. Some of its characteristics still captivate archaeologists and historians today.

Indus Valley Civilization
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The civilization boasted impressive urban planning, with grid-like street systems and advanced drainage systems, as well as intricate seals and artwork featuring animals and human-like figures. The society was also known for its sophisticated craftsmanship in pottery, metals, and textiles.

The people were likely peaceful, as there is no evidence of military fortifications or weapons. They had a system of writing, but it has not been deciphered, leaving much of their social and political structures a mystery.

But one of the biggest mysteries is the disappearance of the Indus Valley civilization. While climate change is considered a leading factor in the decline of civilization, it is not the only theory.

Some experts believe that the civilization’s downfall was due to internal conflicts, such as a class struggle or a revolt by the lower classes. Others suggest that it was due to invasion by nomadic tribes or foreign powers.

Another theory is that the Indus people may have suffered from an epidemic or disease that wiped out a large portion of their population, making it difficult to sustain the large urban centers that were a hallmark of the civilization. However, a recent study published uncovered some answers in the Dharamjali Cave in the Himalayas.

Researchers found a stalagmite in the cave with layered mineral deposits that allowed them to reconstruct historic rainfall patterns from 4,200 to 3,900 years ago. They discovered that there were not one, but three major dry periods lasting between 25 and 90 years each. These dry periods negatively impacted water access for Indus settlements, predictable rainfall, and river flooding for necessary crops.

During this time, the ancient inhabitants took various steps to adapt and remain sustainable, but eventually, the large Indus megacities began to decline as people moved to smaller and more flexible rural settlements. Craft activities, innovation, and long-distance exchange and trade also declined. About 300 years after the final dry period, the Indus Valley civilization disappeared entirely.

This raises a critical question: could droughts in the past affect us today? The answer is a resounding yes. The Indus Valley Civilization was a complex society that thrived for thousands of years, but environmental factors such as drought can have a devastating impact on even the most advanced civilizations. By studying the past, we can learn valuable lessons about how to adapt and survive in the face of environmental crises.

The Tasmanian government is taking a proactive approach to address climate change by building Earth’s very own “black box.” The black box is being built to record climate change data. The idea behind it is to create a repository of information about the state of the planet at a particular time, which can be studied and analyzed by future generations. This information will help people understand how the planet has changed over time and what factors have contributed to these changes, including human activities that have led to climate change. The hope is that by studying this data, future generations will be better equipped to make decisions that protect the planet and its inhabitants.

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Metastasis

What is Metastasis?

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Metastasis is a scary word when it comes to cancer. It means that the cancer has spread from where it started to other parts of the body. In metastasis, cancer cells break away from the original (primary) tumor, travel through the blood or lymph system, and form a new tumor in other organs or tissues of the body.

Doctors use the word “metastasized” to describe cancer that has spread. This is usually a sign that the cancer is more advanced and harder to treat. The new tumor that forms in another part of the body is the same kind of cancer as the original tumor. So, if breast cancer spreads to the lung, the cancer cells in the lung are still breast cancer cells, not lung cancer cells.

Recently, researchers developed a deep-learning model to predict metastatic potential in cancer cells. It’s really easy to use, just a simple microscope and a little bit of computing power. And it’s just as accurate as more complicated methods.

Knowing what kind of cancer cells are involved in metastasis can help doctors decide on the best course of treatment. This is really important because different types of cancer respond better to different treatments. Current methods to categorize cancer cells involve advanced instruments, time-consuming biological techniques, or chemical labels to track cancer cells.

When cancer cells spread to other parts of the body, the most common places for them to go are the lungs, liver, bones, and brain. It’s important for doctors to keep an eye out for metastases in these areas, especially if someone has already been diagnosed with cancer. By catching them early, they can hopefully be treated more effectively.

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Turning back the clock

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Did you know that scientists may have found a way to prevent aging or increase our lifespan? 

Human longevity is related to the aging of our individual cells. Researchers have found two different ways in which cells age and die. Either cells ages through a continuous decline in DNA stability or through a continuous decline in mitochondria (the energy producers of the cell).

Scientists have found a way to create a “gene oscillator” that acts like a clock and periodically switches between these two aging pathways, avoiding prolonged commitment to either. By oscillating between these two states, the gene circuit can potentially slow down the aging process and increase lifespan.

The research was published in the “Science” journal in 2023. By doing this, scientists have effectively increased the lifespan of yeast cells by 82%. Could this be a step towards making people live longer or have an average lifespan of 120 and beyond? It’s too early to tell, but this development is certainly promising and could lead to further advances in anti-aging research.

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Moon Exploration Revived

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In recent news, NASA and Chinese scientists have been making strides toward a sustainable human presence on the moon. NASA has successfully extracted oxygen from simulated lunar soil. The process they used could make a lot of oxygen, much more than the weight of the soil used. This could pave the way for the use of resources in a lunar environment and enable long-term human exploration. 

Meanwhile, China is developing a robot called the “Chinese Super Masons” to make bricks out of lunar soil for building infrastructure on the moon. China also aims to retrieve the world’s first soil sample from the far side of the moon by 2025.

There has been a renewed interest in lunar missions from countries such as India (Chandrayaan-3), Korea (Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter), Russia (Luna 25), Japan (SLIM), and NASA’s Artemis. One reason for this renewed interest is the potential economic benefits of the abundant helium-3 isotope on the moon, which could be a fuel for nuclear fusion. Additionally, the moon could serve as a base for future space exploration to test how life reacts to the harsh conditions of space. Also, as the moon and earth share a common past, studying the moon can help to better understand volcanic and seismic activities on Earth.

These developments are exciting and could open up new opportunities for human exploration and understanding of the universe. Who knows what discoveries await us on the moon? It’s a small step for humanity, but it could be a giant leap for the future of space exploration.

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quasar

What is a Quasar?

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As matter falls into the black hole, it emits massive energy, resulting in a very bright and luminous disc surrounding the black hole. The energy generated by materials swirling around a black hole just before being sucked into it creates quasars. In short, they are located in supermassive black holes, which sit in the centers of galaxies. Quasars are typically much larger than our solar system.

According to a new study, Quasars have a violent origin story. The research has revealed that the violent collision of galaxies can trigger the formation of quasars. When two galaxies merge, their supermassive black holes can also merge, leading to the formation of a much larger black hole at the center of the new galaxy. This newly formed black hole can then begin to accrete matter from its surroundings, producing a bright and energetic quasar.

Recently, using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers’ investigations have made an unexpected and rare discovery: a pair of gravitationally bound quasars inside two merging galaxies. This discovery is exciting because these quasars existed when the universe was just 3 billion years old. The catch is, since Hubble is looking so far back in time, those two quasars are no longer there. Over billions of years, their host galaxies have probably merged together to form a giant, elliptical galaxy like the ones we see around us today. So, this discovery tells us more about how black holes grow and evolve over time. There is increasing evidence now that large galaxies are built up through mergers.

Quasars are some of the brightest objects in the universe, and the most luminous ones can outshine entire galaxies, including all of the stars within them. This incredible brightness makes quasars visible from billions of light-years away, allowing us to study them in great detail despite their enormous distance. In fact, some of the most distant quasars ever discovered are so far away that their light has been traveling toward us for more than 13 billion years, which means we are seeing them as they appeared just a few hundred million years after the Big Bang.

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Sudan Conflict

What happened?

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There’s been a lot of fighting going on in Sudan lately, and it’s not good news. The military and paramilitary forces have been fighting each other, and hundreds of people have died as a result. Many people have had to flee their homes to escape the violence, which could cause even more problems for the country and the surrounding area.

So why are they fighting? It seems like there’s been a power struggle between two different factions of the military regime. One faction is loyal to the current ruler, Gen Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, while the other follows a former warlord named Gen Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who is also known as Hemedti. This rivalry goes back to before the 2019 uprising that removed the country’s dictator, Omar al-Bashir.

The Rapid Support Forces (RSF – also known by the name of Janjaweed), who follow Hemedti, is the main paramilitary group involved in the fighting. It was created by Bashir to put down a rebellion in Darfur over 20 years ago, and it has a reputation for committing atrocities. 

Backstory

The conflict can be broadly categorized into two main parts: the conflict between the government and rebel groups in the western region of Darfur and the conflict between the government and rebel groups in the southern region of the country.

The Darfur conflict started in 2003 when rebel groups, made up primarily of non-Arab ethnic groups, took up arms against the Sudanese government, which they accused of neglecting and marginalizing their communities. The government responded by supporting Arab militias known as Janjaweed, who committed atrocities against non-Arab communities, leading to a humanitarian crisis that saw thousands of people displaced and killed.

In the southern region of Sudan, the conflict was mainly a result of historical marginalization and discrimination against the region’s predominantly Christian and animist population. The Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) took up arms in 1983, leading to a prolonged civil war that lasted for over two decades. The conflict was eventually resolved in 2005, with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which granted autonomy to the southern region and paved the way for a referendum on independence. In 2011, South Sudan officially gained independence, becoming the world’s newest country.

When Bashir was ousted in 2019, the RSF, led by Hemedti, cooperated to remove him from power. However, the power-sharing deal that was supposed to bring about a democratic government was interrupted by a coup in 2021, which put the army back in charge. The reason for the coup was primarily due to a power struggle between the military and the civilian-led transitional government that came to power after the ousting of former dictator Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

Though Burhan and Hemedti worked together to get President Omar al-Bashir out of office, experts say that one reason for their fallout is Hemedti’s rising desire to be the leader of Sudan. In the past few years, he has made a lot of money, which has made his RSF bigger and more of a threat to Burhan’s army.

The civilians who led the protests against Bashir have been calling for more oversight of the military and the integration of the RSF into the regular armed forces. They also want the military to hand over its profitable agricultural and trade holdings and to face justice for alleged war crimes, including the killings of pro-democracy protesters in 2019.

Sudan is located in a volatile region of Africa that borders the Red Sea, the Sahel region, and the Horn of Africa. This has attracted regional power plays, which could make it difficult for Sudan to transition to a civilian-led government. Several of Sudan’s neighbors, including Ethiopia, Chad, and South Sudan, have been affected by political upheavals and conflict. Sudan’s relationship with Ethiopia has been particularly strained over disputed farmland along their border.

The international community is also concerned about what’s happening in Sudan. Major powers such as Russia, the US, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates are all trying to gain influence in the country. Western powers fear that Russia could establish a base on the Red Sea if Sudan’s military leaders become more open to this idea.

All in all, the situation in Sudan is very complex and dangerous. It’s important for the international community to find a peaceful solution to the conflict and to support efforts to bring about a democratic government in Sudan.

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climate tolerant

Space Experiment Paves the Way for Climate-Resilient Crops

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In a new development that could help ensure food security for the world’s growing population, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are working together to develop climate-tolerant crops. One exciting milestone in this effort was reached recently when two varieties of seeds were sent to space in order to make them more resilient to harsh environmental conditions.

The seeds in question were arabidopsis and sorghum. In order to expose the seeds to the harsh conditions of space, they were sent to the International Space Station (ISS) in November 2022. After spending several months in orbit, the seeds returned to Earth in March 2023.

The idea behind the space experiment was to expose the seeds to increased radiation, extreme temperatures, and other stresses in order to encourage them to evolve in a way that makes them more tolerant of harsh environmental conditions. Plants naturally evolve to thrive in their surroundings, but in the past few decades, they have been struggling to keep up with the current pace of climate change. 

This could be an important step forward in the development of crops that are better able to cope with climate change, which is expected to cause more frequent and severe droughts, heatwaves, and other weather events that can harm crops and reduce yields.

Food security is one of the most pressing issues of our time, as the world’s population continues to grow and climate change threatens global food production. In recent years, rising temperatures and weather disruptions have had a devastating impact on crops, reducing global food production by almost 13 percent since 1961, according to United Nations estimates. This is a serious concern, as it means that millions of people around the world are at risk of going hungry.

“This is a science that could have a real impact on people’s lives in the not-too-distant future, by helping us grow stronger crops and feed more people,” said IAEA director general Rafael Mariano Grossi in the press release.

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SpaceX Starship

The Game-Changing Starship Rocket by SpaceX

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SpaceX’s new rocket system – Starship – exploded mid-air during its first test flight. Despite the failure to complete the full 90-minute flight test and reach orbit, SpaceX and Musk, the founder and CEO of the private space company, declared it a success.

SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft and Super Heavy rocket – collectively referred to as Starship – represent a fully reusable transportation system. Once fully developed, it could be the most powerful launch vehicle with the capability to carry both crew and cargo to Earth orbit, the Moon, Mars, and beyond. 

NASA has selected Starship to be part of its Artemis program (Artemis III), which aims to return humans to the Moon in late 2025. The Starship’s large payload capacity and ability to carry astronauts make it a key component of NASA’s plans to establish a sustainable human presence on the Moon, conduct scientific research, and test technologies for future deep space missions.

One of the key innovations in SpaceX’s Starship rocket is the use of methane-based engines instead of traditional hydrogen-based engines. This decision has several advantages, making Starship more cost-effective and easier to work with. Also, the company has placed a strong emphasis on developing reusable rockets for multiple flights as a way to dramatically reduce the cost of space travel.

In the future, SpaceX envisions using the Starship for point-to-point transportation on Earth, allowing for ultra-fast intercontinental travel. The rocket’s high-speed capabilities could drastically reduce travel times, opening up new possibilities for global connectivity and transportation. Imagine most journeys taking less than 30 minutes, with access to anywhere in the world in an hour or less. e.g., from New York to Shanghai in less than 40 minutes. In a nutshell, the Starship rocket is not just about space exploration but also has the potential to reshape how we travel on Earth. 

While state-funded agencies like NASA and ISRO often face long timelines and funding constraints, private companies like SpaceX operate with ambitious timelines and clear commercial goals. Elon Musk once said, “We are at this brief moment in civilization where it is possible to become a multi-planet species. That’s our goal.”

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Loneliness

Japan’s Growing Concern: Hikikomori Phenomenon of Social Withdrawal on the Rise!

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Loneliness is a feeling that can strike even when you’re surrounded by people. It often arises from traumatic experiences or challenges such as family problems or financial struggles, leading some individuals to isolate themselves at home or struggle with socializing.

Speaking of which, there are reportedly around 300,000 young people in South Korea who are labeled as “lonely.” To support their well-being, the government is offering them a monthly allowance of $500 to help them reintegrate into society and promote their psychological, emotional stability, and healthy growth. The monthly allowance will be paid to ‘lonely’ people aged 9 to 24 who live in a household of four members. This is for those people whose families earn below the national income.

A recent report revealed that approximately 3.1% of Koreans between the ages of 19 and 39 are considered “reclusive lonely young people.” These individuals are defined as living in a limited space, disconnected from the outside world for an extended period, and facing notable difficulties in their daily lives. Alarmingly, 40% of these isolated individuals began their withdrawal from society during adolescence, and they often face challenges such as financial hardships, mental health issues, family problems, or health concerns.

The report also highlighted case studies of young people who have used seclusion as a coping mechanism in response to familial difficulties, such as domestic abuse. For example, one individual shared how domestic abuse had left them feeling deeply unhappy, leading them to live alone as a way of escaping the distress.

Interestingly, the term “Hikikomori,” borrowed from Japanese culture, is often used to describe this phenomenon among South Korean youth. Hikikomori loosely translates to “to pull back” and is used to describe individuals who have withdrawn from society for an extended period, often six months or longer. It is believed to be a response to the pressures of modern society, including high academic expectations, intense competition, and social isolation.

While Hikikomori is not recognized as a clinical diagnosis, it is considered a social phenomenon that sheds light on the challenges and complexities of modern lifestyle. 

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dark matter

What is Dark matter?

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Dark matter is a hypothetical invisible mass that is thought to be responsible for adding gravity to galaxies and other celestial bodies. Dark matter makes up about 27% of the universe, while visible matter (like stars and galaxies) only accounts for 5%. Dark matter is called “dark” because it doesn’t interact with electromagnetic force, making it very hard to detect. The only way it can be detected is through its gravitational effects.

The rest of the universe, about 68%, is made up of a mysterious substance called dark energy. Dark energy is also a hypothetical invisible force, much like dark matter, but it’s believed to be responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe. Like dark matter, dark energy cannot be directly detected, but its existence is inferred based on its effects on the motion of galaxies and other celestial bodies.

To detect dark matter, astronomers used a special type of radiation called the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). They observed how the CMB radiation interacts with the gravitational field of massive objects such as galaxy clusters and lumps of dark matter. The gravitational field of these objects bends and distorts the light that passes through them, and this bending of light helps in detecting dark matter. Essentially, by observing how the CMB radiation is distorted by these massive objects, astronomers can map out the distribution of dark matter in the universe.

Astronomers have recently created the most detailed map of dark matter to date, using data from the universe’s very first light (known as the CMB radiation). This new map shows the enormous tendrils of dark matter that formed soon after the Big Bang, and the shapes of these tendrils match those predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity/gravity.

This is a significant finding because it contradicts previous dark matter maps that suggested the cosmic web was less clumpy than Einstein’s theory predicted. Einstein’s theory of gravity, has been the subject of an ongoing debate in cosmology.

Some scientists have proposed alternative theories of gravity that might better explain the observed phenomena, while others argue that general relativity is still the best explanation we have.

One of the main challenges to general relativity is the phenomenon of dark matter. The theory of general relativity predicts the existence of dark matter, but it has been difficult to directly observe or detect. Previous maps of dark matter had suggested that it was less clumpy than predicted by general relativity, which led to some doubts about the theory’s validity.

The map was created using the Atacama Cosmology Telescope, located in the Atacama Desert of northern Chile. Its goal is to study how the universe began, what it is made of, and how it evolved to its current state.

The importance of dark matter lies in its gravitational force, which prevents stars in our Milky Way from flying apart. Understanding dark matter and its properties is key to understanding the universe’s formation and evolution

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What’s Happening?

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BRICS stands for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. They are working on creating their own currency to reduce the use of the US dollar in international trade and finance. This process is called de-dollarization and involves implementing policies to make the local currency more attractive in economic transactions and reducing the risks associated with currency fluctuations and interest rate changes.

The US dollar’s dominance means that most of the global trade is invoiced in dollars, even when the parties trading it have nothing to do with the US. This disproportionately large reliance on the US dollar makes other countries’ economies unstable and burdens them with dollar-denominated debt.

The US dollar became the official reserve currency of the world in 1944, but some countries believe that the US has been misusing its dominance by imposing sanctions as a tool to achieve foreign policy goals.

While Russia and China are individually ramping up their respective efforts to set up streams for trade in their own currencies, soon, BRICS nations may come up with a common currency mechanism for trade amongst themselves.

India has taken recent steps towards de-dollarization by signing trade agreements with 18 countries, including the UK, Germany, Russia, and the United Arab Emirates, and signing a currency swap agreement. Indian and Russian banks have also opened special Vostro accounts for trade in rupees.

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