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Workers in protective suits disinfect a vehicle at a checkpoint on a road leading to a farm owned by Hebei Dawu Group where African swine fever was detected, in Xushui district of Baoding (Photo: Reuters)
Workers in protective suits disinfect a vehicle at a checkpoint on a road leading to a farm owned by Hebei Dawu Group where African swine fever was detected, in Xushui district of Baoding (Photo: Reuters)

Variants of African swine fever virus found in China

New variants of the African swine fever virus circulating in China appear to cause a milder form of the disease, making it less deadly but harder to detect and to get under control

The study also suggests the vaccine, developed by U.S drugmaker Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech, is effective against the coronavirus variant first identified in the UK (REUTERS)
Johnson & Johnson (REUTERS)
The longer a virus stays in the population and spreads, the more the mutations and hence more variants, say scientists (Photo: Reuters)
The longer a virus stays in the population and spreads, the more the mutations and hence more variants, say scientists (Photo: Reuters)

Mutants different from variants, appropriate behaviour vital to stop spread

If safety protocols are not followed, new versions that can spread faster or dominate the previous version could emerge, they warned as worries mounted over a recent study showing 7,684 mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome in India

People have samples taken at a coronavirus sample collection centre. (HT)
This illustration provided by NASA shows a diagram added over the parachute deployed during the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover as it approaches the surface of the planet  (AP)
This illustration provided by NASA shows a diagram added over the parachute deployed during the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover as it approaches the surface of the planet (AP)

Mars rover's giant parachute carried secret message

Systems engineer Ian Clark used a binary code to spell out 'Dare Mighty Things' in the orange and white strips of the 70-foot (21-metre) parachute

Antibody tests from Abbott Laboratories, Roche Holding and other manufacturers are inexpensive and plentiful, but face questions about accuracy in long-past infections (Photo: AP)
Antibody tests from Abbott Laboratories, Roche Holding and other manufacturers are inexpensive and plentiful, but face questions about accuracy in long-past infections (Photo: AP)

T-Cell screening launched to detect prior Covid infections

Adaptive Biotechnologies Corp. launched a test that uses machine-learning technology from Microsoft Corp. to detect prior Covid-19 infections, aiming to fill an important gap left by standard antibody screening.

Tocilizumab is sold under the brand name Actemra by Genentech, a unit of Roche Holding AG (REUTERS)
Tocilizumab is sold under the brand name Actemra by Genentech, a unit of Roche Holding AG (REUTERS)
wsj

Rheumatoid arthritis drug shows promise in fighting Covid-19

A new study shows an anti-inflammatory drug can help treat certain severe symptoms of Covid-19, and adds a tool for helping the sickest patients

A portion of a panorama made up of individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover shows the Martian landscape  (via REUTERS)
A portion of a panorama made up of individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover shows the Martian landscape (via REUTERS)

Perseverance rover : NASA releases first audio from Mars, video of landing

NASA also presented a brief audio clip captured by microphones on the rover after its arrival that included the murmur of a light wind gust

This combination of images from video made available by NASA shows steps in the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover. (AP)
This combination of images from video made available by NASA shows steps in the descent of the Mars Perseverance rover. (AP)

NASA releases Mars landing video: 'Stuff of our dreams'

  • The quality was so good — and the images so breathtaking — that members of the rover team said they felt like they were riding along
  • 'It gives me goosebumps every time I see it, just amazing,' said Dave Gruel, head of the entry and descent camera team

The immunity afforded by the presence of antibodies might be expected to last only several months. (REUTERS)
India is at the forefront in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. (Reuters)
The union health ministry said that over the last two decades global burden of NASH has more than doubled. (Mint)
A healthcare worker prepares to administer a dose of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine, marketed by the Serum Institute of India (SII) as COVISHIELD. (REUTERS)
A view shows Mars in this handout picture taken after UAE's Hope Probe (Photo: Reuters)
A view shows Mars in this handout picture taken after UAE's Hope Probe (Photo: Reuters)

Microbes from Earth could temporarily survive on Mars: Study 

The researchers from NASA and German Aerospace Center tested the endurance of microorganisms to Martian conditions by launching them into stratosphere, the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere which closely represents key conditions on Mars

This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19.  (AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19. (AP)

Kochi firm PNB Vesper Life completes phase 2 clinical trial of Covid drug

  • The company, which has its labs in England, had in early September 2020 received approval from the Drug Controller General (DCGI) to conduct the phase 2 clinical trial of GPP-Baladol in patients with moderate infection of the pandemic with oxygen support

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19. (AP)
This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19. (AP)

Covid variants with 2 specific mutations may evade antibodies: Shahid Jameel

Variants of the Covid-19 carrying 2 specific mutations in their spike protein may evade antibodies and make vaccines less effective, according to eminent virologist Shahid Jameel, who says the need of the hour is to improve surveillance for 'homegrown' lineages of the virus

Adar Poonawalla, CEO of Serum Institute of India.
Chandrayaan-3 is critical for ISRO as it will demonstrate India's capabilities to make landing for further interplanetary missions (Photo: Hindustan Times)
Chandrayaan-3 is critical for ISRO as it will demonstrate India's capabilities to make landing for further interplanetary missions (Photo: Hindustan Times)

Chandrayaan-3 launch delayed further to 2022

'We are working on it. It has the same configuration like Chandrayaan-2 but it will not have an orbiter. The orbiter launched during Chandrayaan-2 will be used for Chandrayaan-3. With that we are working on a system and mostly the launch will be next year in 2022', ISRO chief K Sivan said

The image made with a fluorescent microscope, shows C4 proteins (green), located at the synapses in a culture of human neurons.  (Photo: Heather de Rivera/McCarroll Lab/Harvard/AP)
The image made with a fluorescent microscope, shows C4 proteins (green), located at the synapses in a culture of human neurons. (Photo: Heather de Rivera/McCarroll Lab/Harvard/AP)

New method of analysing mass data generated from firing neurons: Study

The paper develops methods to quickly approximate the complex dynamics of neural network models that capture how real neurons observed in the lab behave, how they are connected and how they process information

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