30

What is it? The number of Indian prisoners released by Pakistan, ahead of its Independence Day (14th August).

Why is it important? The news comes ahead of Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swearing-in, kindling hopes that peace talks between the two countries might restart. The last talks in 2013 came to an end after terrorist attacks.

Tell me more: There are over 470 Indians, including 418 fishermen, in Pakistani jails.

Pakistan had released 151 Indian prisoners ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony in 2014 where former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif was a guest.

30 micrometers a minute

What is it? The speed at which a cell dies, according to two Stanford scientists.
Why is it important?
This is the first time the speed of cell death has been measured. Understanding how fast cells die has important applications in medicine, including for cancer and Alzheimer’s research.
Tell me more:
The scientists from Stanford University, Xianrui Cheng and James Ferrell, calculated the “speed of death" at cellular level by measuring apoptosis, or the “programmed cell death", in the egg of a frog. Apoptosis is a process by which cells self-destruct responding to a trigger (such as injury to a cell).

$342 million

What is it? The estimated damage to the Indonesian island of Lombok caused by the 6.9-magnitude quake on 5 August.

Why is it important? Over 430 people died and over 350,000 have been displaced. The earthquake at Lombok is the most severe to hit the globe this year.

Tell me more: Meanwhile, two Indonesian cities, Jakarta and Palembang, are gearing up for hosting the 18th Asian Games, which begins on 18 August. Over 10,000 athletes are expected to participate in the event.

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