ISRO earns six million euros from satellite launches in June

Indian Space Research Organisation, Jitendra Singh, Lok Sabha, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany

The ISRO has earned six million euros by launching 29 nano satellites from 14 countries in a PSLV rocket launch in June this year, the government told the Lok Sabha.

Jitendra Singh Union Minister, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said the Indian Space Research Organisation has launched 130 foreign satellites in the first six months of the current year. In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Singh said on June 23, the ISRO launched an Indian earth observation satellite ‘Cartosat-2 Series’ on-board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-38 with 30 nano satellites.

While one nano satellite belonged to Noorul Islam University from Tamil Nadu, the rest were from Austria, Chile, Belgium, France, Finland, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the USA, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the UK.

“Antrix (a PSU under the ISRO) has earned foreign exchange of about 6.1 million euros through launching of the 29 nano satellites,” he said. Singh said on February 15, the ISRO launched 104 satellites in a single launch.

NASA to upload historic flight videos on YouTube

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NASA will upload hundreds of historic videos of rare test flight launch and landing footage on YouTube and its website to better open access to the agency’s archives, according to media reports. NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center has begun uploading its entire historical archive to YouTube.

It is all part of a continued effort to better open access to NASA’s archives, as well as help inform the public about the types of research and record-setting milestones the agency achieves each year across various fields of aerospace engineering. About 300 out of a total 500 clips have been uploaded to YouTube so far, with some footage going back many decades. The clips include everything from the assembly of the D- 558 Skystreak aircraft back in 1947 to a 1991 takeoff of a Lockheed Martin SR-71 stealth jet to hypersonic test flights of the unmanned NASA X-43A in 2004, The Verge reported.

Though it was first uploaded back in March, people can also find the infamous ‘Controlled Impact Demonstration’ video in which NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration flew a Boeing 720 jet into a device that tore its wings off, resulting in a giant explosion and an hour-long fire.

Prior to today, the AFRC’s video library was available only through the Dryden Aircraft Movie Collection on the website of the Dryden Flight Research Center, which was the name of the Armstrong facility before a 2014 change. Now that it is all on YouTube, it will be indexed by Google and more easily available through the company’s search engine.

Medieval texts hidden inside bookbinding uncovered

United States, Analytica Chimica Acta, Roman Law, Canon Law

Scientists have unveiled 6th century texts hidden within bookbindings of manuscripts that were made by recycling medieval parchments.

By fusing two imaging techniques – visible hyperspectral imaging and X-ray fluorescence – researchers from the Northwestern University in the US developed a new, non- destructive technology that gives access to medieval texts hidden inside ancient bookbindings.

Between the 15th and 18th centuries, bookbinders recycled the bindings from medieval parchments into new binding materials for printed books. While scholars have long been aware that books from this time period often contain hidden fragments of earlier manuscripts, they never had the means to read them.

The book responsible for sparking the study is a copy of Greek poet Hesiod’s Work and Days from 1537. Purchased by Northwestern in 1870, the copy is the only remaining imprint retaining its original slotted parchment binding. Although it was this binding that originally caught the attention of Northwestern librarians, it was the suggestion of writing beneath the parchment on the book board which incited new questions.

When researchers studied the binding, they noticed that the bookbinder tried to remove the writing on the book board, likely through washing or scraping. The book board, however, retained two ghostly columns of writing surrounded by marginal comments, which were still visible through the parchment on book’s front and back covers.

“The ink beneath degraded the parchment, so you could start to see the writing. That is where the analytical study began,” said Emeline Pouyet, a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University-Art Institute of Chicago Center for Scientific Studies (NU-ACCESS). Researchers used bright X-ray source and fast detection system which allowed for a full imaging of the main text and marginalia comments in the entire bookbinding.

They recognised it as sixth-century Roman Law code, with interpretive notes referring to the Canon Law written in the margins. Researchers hypothesise that the parchment originally might have been used in a university setting where Roman Law was studied as a basis for understanding Canon Law, which was a common practice in the Middle Ages.

The legal writing was then possibly covered and recycled because it was outdated as society had already struck down the Roman laws to implement church code. The research was published in the journal Analytica Chimica Acta.

Scientists discover mechanism that may prevent death of cells

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Scientists in the UK have discovered a new mechanism that could help slow down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and neurological decline associated with ageing, according to a research published today.

The UK’s University of Sheffield scientists identified that tuning up the activity pathway of the DNA’s natural repair toolkit which normally helps to restore breakages in genetic material – could help to prevent the death of nerve cells which trigger neurological diseases.

The scientists examined the C9 or f72 gene which contains six DNA nucleotides the building blocks of DNA where all important cellular information is stored.

When this series of nucleotides is expanded and repeated multiple times, neurodegenerative diseases can occur. The expansions of the gene forms genetic material called ‘R-loops’ which make the DNA vulnerable to breakages.

They found that accumulation of R-loops and increased DNA breakage in neurons lead to neurodegenerative diseases. Human cells have their own repair toolkits specially designed to fix breaks in DNA, however, the products of the expansion over-activate a process called autophagy a process that gets rid of misfolded or “unwanted” proteins.

The new study, jointly directed by Professor Sherif El- Khamisy and Professor Mimoun Azzouz, published in Nature Neuroscience, shows that the expansion driven over-activation of this process can degrade some of the very precious DNA toolkits, meaning the cells will eventually die.

“We were able to shut down the out-of-control degradation process, which runs down the cell’s ability to fix genomic breaks, using genetic techniques. Even though the DNA was still damaged, the cells were able to cope and did not die” said El-Khamisy.

Discovering this new mechanism and its consequence is a significant step towards developing new therapies for motor neurone disease and other neurodegenerative conditions, El- Khamisy said.

The discovery based on work conducted in cellular and mouse models of the disease could pave the way for new therapies for devastating diseases such as Motor Neurone Disease (MND), which is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders affecting younger people in the middle of their active life.

There are currently no treatments to tackle the disease. “This discovery is addressing one of the major challenges of namely the poor understanding of how neurones die in these MND patients,” Azzouz said.

“The research paves the way for an exciting horizon to accelerate the pace of therapeutic development for MND. Our aim now is to identify targets that can preserve the DNA toolkits and rescue neurons from degeneration,” Azzouz said.

ISRO earns six million euros from satellite launches in June

Indian Space Research Organisation, Jitendra Singh, Lok Sabha, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany

The ISRO has earned six million euros by launching 29 nano satellites from 14 countries in a PSLV rocket launch in June this year, the government told the Lok Sabha.

Jitendra Singh Union Minister, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said the Indian Space Research Organisation has launched 130 foreign satellites in the first six months of the current year. In a written response to a question in the Lok Sabha, Singh said on June 23, the ISRO launched an Indian earth observation satellite ‘Cartosat-2 Series’ on-board the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle C-38 with 30 nano satellites.

While one nano satellite belonged to Noorul Islam University from Tamil Nadu, the rest were from Austria, Chile, Belgium, France, Finland, Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the USA, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and the UK.

“Antrix (a PSU under the ISRO) has earned foreign exchange of about 6.1 million euros through launching of the 29 nano satellites,” he said. Singh said on February 15, the ISRO launched 104 satellites in a single launch.

Truecaller introduces ‘Spam Tab’, ‘New App Themes’ for Android users

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Truecaller rolled out its newest update for Android 8.21 with interface changes for easier access to spam inbox.

The new design will allow users to experience a cleaner inbox and pay attention to the SMS that matter most with a spam tab segregating the unwanted messages.

Earlier, Truecaller revealed through their Truecaller Insights Special Report, that India receives an overwhelming majority of spam calls. In its strive towards protecting its users from unwanted calls and potential fraud, Truecaller continues its endeavour to ensure that users are better protected and more aware of incoming spam messages.

However, in this update, Truecaller has also included new app themes to match every user’s unique identity, which includes new color combinations like royal, coffee, grey, dark, and pitch black.

Apart from these upgrades, the new version 8.21 also includes reoccurring pro subscriptions, flash messaging themes, mark all as read in block view and the ability to save MMS. The new update also gives the users an option to block & view profile on incoming flash.

China blocked WhatsApp’s images, videos; censors texts too

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As the 19th congress of China’s ruling party is just months away, and the news of the death of Liu Xiaobo, a revolutionary in the Chinese prison has spread a certain furor across the country and the globe, which resulted to the Chinese authorities blocking image and video services sent through whatsapp.

Till now, WhatsApp, one of facebook’s very popular services were functioning properly in China, was disrupted by the government on Tuesday, CNN Money reported. WhatsApp was partly blocked by Chinese filters, leaving many unable to send videos and photos and some also unable to send text-based messages.

Quoting Nadim Kobeissi, an applied cryptographer at Paris-based startup Symbolic Software, the report said, “We realized that the servers that Whatsapp uses to exchange videos, photos and files were being blocked in the same way they would block Facebook, the BBC etc.”

The disruption of WhatsApp was the latest in a long line of big digital services running up against China’s “Great Firewall,” the country’s system of internet filters and controls.

Facebook, google, instagram, twitter, snapchat and YouTube are among the Western services blocked in China. According to the report, the disruption in the services of WhatsApp is because of a number of reasons. The death of Liu Xiaobo, a Nobel Laureate and a revolutionary, who died in the Chinese prison can be one of them. In addition to it, the 19th Party Congress – where top leadership positions are determined – is just months away.

The Chinese government’s emphasis on stability to the run up to the elections which led to heightening internet security. This week’s disruption suggests the risk of a full-fledged ban is rising. “A complete block is just a natural progression,” report said quoting Smith of Great FireWall as saying.

Isner, Karlovic advance, Mannarino out at Newport

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WASHINGTON: US top seed John Isner and second-seeded defending champion Ivo Karlovic advanced to the quarter-finals of the ATP Hall of Fame Championships with straight-set triumphs Wednesday at Newport, Rhode Island.

Isner, the 2011 and 2012 winner at the grass-court event, fired 13 aces in defeating Australian qualifier Sam Groth 6-2, 6-4. The hard-serving American improved to 3-0 all-time against Groth, who dropped prior meetings in Davis Cup ties this year and last year, with the 61-minute triumph.

Croatia’s Karlovic, 38, defeated American Denis Kudla 6-4, 6-4 to reach the final eight. Karlovic, seeking his ninth career ATP crown, lost the 2014 and 2015 Newport finals before downing Gilles Muller 14-12 in a third-set tie-breaker to win last year’s championship match.

 Isner advanced to a quarter-final matchup against fellow American Dennis Novikov, a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Canadian Frank Dancevic.

Karlovic booked a quarter-final meeting with Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk, who eliminated Russia’s Konstantin Kravchuk 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Germany’s Tobias Kamke pulled the biggest upset so far, ousting French third seed Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (7/5), 7-5. He will next face Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden, who defeated sixth-seeded Slovakian Lukas Lacko 6-1, 7-6 (7/2).

Also advancing was fourth-seeded Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who outlasted Spain’s Adrian Menendez-Maceiras 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. His next opponent American Bjorn Fratangelo, who ousted Australian Akira Santillan 7-6 (7/3), 3-6, 6-1.

Kashyap sends top seed Lee Hyun packing from US Open

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ANAHEIM (USA): Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap knocked out top seed Lee Hyun Il of Korea in the men’s singles opening round of the US Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament.

On a comeback trail after recovering from a shoulder injury, Kashyap dished out a gritty performance to stave off the challenge from World No. 15 Lee 21-16, 10-21, 21-19 in a match that lasted an hour and three minutes.

Fifth seed Sameer Verma, who also is making a comeback after recovering from a shoulder problem, made a positive start to his campaign by defeating Vietnam’s Hoang Nam Nguyen 21-5 21-10 in another men’s singles match.

Second seed H S Prannoy, who was in rampaging form at Indonesia Super Series Premier, also reached the second round after beating Austria’s Luka Wraber 21-12 21-16, while Harsheel Dani brushed aside Mexico’s Arturo Hernandez 21-13 21-9 in another match.

World No. 59 Kashyap will face Hungary’s Gergely Krausz, former National champion Sameer will take on Crotia’s Zvonimir Durkinjak, Prannoy will meet Ireland’s Joshua Magee and Dani will square off against Vietnam’s Tien Minh Nguyen.

In women’s singles, Rituparna Das defeated Canada’s Rachel Honderich 21-16 21-18 and Sri Krishna Priya Kudaravalli beat USA’s Maya Chen 21-13 21-16.

However, it was curtains for Lakhanee Sarang, Abhishek Yelegar, Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka, Reshma Karthik and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde.

Lakhanee lost 16-21 13-21 to Kenta Nishimoto of Japan, Abhishek suffered a narrow 17-21 21-16 13-21 loss to third seed Brice Leverdez of France and Netherlands’ Gayle Mahulette ended Sai Uttejitha Rao’s campaign 23-25 21-13 21-16.

Ruthvika also put up a gallant fight before losing 14-21 27-25 16-21 to Japan’s Aya Ohori and Reshma’s fight too ended with a heart-breaking 21-12 16-21 15-21 loss against Sofie Holmboe Dahl of Denmark in the opening round.

In men’s doubles, Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy defeated Canada’s Jason Anthony Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura 21-15 21-19, while Francis Alwin and Tarun Kona beat local combo of Yan Tuck Chan and Brian Chi Cheng 21-3 21-10.

Women’s doubles pair of Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram defeated Japan’s Rira Kawashima and Saori Ozaki 21-16 14-21 21-14, while Manu and Maneesha beat Canadian combo of Nyl Yakura and Brittney Tam 21-13 21-15 in mixed doubles competition.

Third seed Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy lost 21-19 19-21 17-21 to English pair of Ben Lane and Jessica Pugh in mixed doubles.

Women’s doubles pair of Kuhoo Garg and Ningshi Block Hazarika lost 12-21 10-21 to Russia pair of Anastasia Chervyakova and Olga Morozova.

Fourth seeds Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty too suffered a 21-8 19-21 19-21 loss to Kohei Gondo and Tatsuya Watanabe of Japan.

 Vietnam’s Tuan Duc Do and Nhu Thao Pham ended the campaign of Tarun and Meghana 21-15 21-17 in another mixed doubles match.

Pietersen eyes South Africa international return

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LONDON: Kevin Pietersensaid Wednesday he has not ruled out resurrecting his international career with his native South Africa even though he’ll be pushing 40 when he requalifies.

The 37-year-old batsman will become eligible to play for the Proteas in 2019 having not been selected for England after being sacked in the aftermath of the 2013-14 Ashes defeat in Australia.

“You are talking about in two years’ time. Would I? Who knows? We’ll have to wait and see where I am,” said Pietersen after smashing a thrilling half-century to lead Surrey to a 10-run win over Essex in front of almost 24,000 fans at the Oval in the Twenty20 Blast in an explosive return to English cricket.

“I’m going to be playing a lot of cricket in South Africa over the next two years, so we’ll see.

“I love batting: I will bat for as long as I love the art of batting. I do at the moment, but I’m an old man now, I’ve just hurt my calf, I didn’t field.

“Who knows where I’ll be in two years’ time? If I enjoy batting, we’ll see where I get to. I’m in a very happy place.”

Pietersen hit four sixes in an over on his way to 52 off 35 balls in a Surrey total of 150 for nine on Wednesday.