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Swabs need to be soft, flexible, the structures on the tip need to be very intricate. That's what we do. Pixabay

A Q-tip cotton swab inserted into your nose to gauge the presence of Covid-19 infections is a pain and not a pleasant experience. Now, that can soon become history with a new swab made of thin, hairlike structures that may be easy not only on the nose but also for faster absorbing and releasing samples.

The new swab, called the InstaSwab, was developed by Jifei Ou, a doctoral researcher at 3D printing systems in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab in the US. It is developed using a flexible polymer structure and a highly absorbent tip made from a tiny woven lattice.


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InstaSwab contains porous microstructures within their heads that are tuned to collect and retain fluid. It can quickly release the fluid when it enters a test vial — 20 times the amount of bacteria compared to traditional Q-tip-like cotton swabs.


InstaSwab contains porous microstructures within their heads that are tuned to collect and retain fluid. Pixabay

That’s important because more specimens increase the sensitivity of tests, particularly rapid tests, according to Ou. Traditional nasal swabs are made from cotton, polyester, or foam and a handle made from wood-rolled paper, or even plastic. While they are easy and cheap to manufacture but not comfortable when used.

“Swabs need to be soft, flexible, the structures on the tip need to be very intricate. That’s what we do,” Ou said. The tiny woven lattices within the InstaSwab helps in the easy absorption and releasing of more fluid than the conventional swabs.

ALSO READ: House To House COVID Testing Beginning in Delhi This Weekend

The InstaSwabs are manufactured by OPT Industries, founded by Ou, using an additive manufacturing process. The company currently is producing 80,000 swabs a day, and it is building newer versions of its machines that can produce products even more quickly, Ou said. (IANS/JC)


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Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries as both have completed 30 years of partnership.

The event will coincide with India's celebrations of the 75th year of Independence from the colonial regime, he added.

While participating in the 18th edition of the India-ASEAN Summit, Modi said, "India is committed to deepening its relations with the next presidency, Cambodia and country-coordinator Singapore."

"History is witness to the fact that India and ASEAN have had relations for thousands of years. India-ASEAN relations are reflected in everything, including in our shared values, traditions, languages, scriptures, architecture, culture, food," the Prime Minister noted.

Speaking about the Covid pandemic which engulfed the whole world, he further said that the Covid period was also a test of India-ASEAN friendship. "Our mutual ties in the Covid time will keep strengthening our corporations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people," Modi added.

He further said that the unity and centrality of ASEAN have always been a priority for India and history has witnessed the fact that "we have had ties since thousands of years," he said.

The Prime Minister also said that India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN's Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for their shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.

During the Summit, the head of the member states will review the progress of India and ASEAN Strategic Partnerships which was signed in 2012. They will also review the progress achieved in the sectors like Covid-19, health, trade and investment, connectivity, education among others, the officials of India's Ministry of External Affairs said. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, and ASEAN partnership, COVID-19, India, and ASEAN, India, and history, Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.


Saroj Fabrics

English grey Chanderi silk with sequins

Light, airy, and silky, Chanderi silk is to the standards of Indian royals. Some believe it resembles muslin because of its texture, but recently, it has been incorporated with silk threads which adds an additional sheen.

Madhya Pradesh's Chanderi town is where the silk fabric was born. Handwoven sarees were famous here, as it was the primary textile centre in between the 7th and 2nd century BC. Because of its transparency, lightness, and rich look, royals began to patronize this fabric. From the 11th century AD, Chanderi silk became well-known across the country.

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Placing a Yama Deep in the evening of Trayodashi of the dark fortnight of Kartik prevent untimely death

Each year Diwali is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi, the 14th lunar day of the dark fortnight in the Tamil month of Aippasi. Ancient scriptures of India advise people to worship Yama, the deity of death on the days of Dhantrayodashi, Narak Chaturdashi and Yamadwitiya. People light an oil Diya or 13 oil diyas made of wet wheat flour in the evening. They are kept facing southwards just outside people's residences. These lamps which are traditionally dedicated to Lord Yama are known as Yama Deepam.

It is believed that placing a Yama Deep in the evening of Trayodashi of the dark fortnight of Kartik month prevents any untimely death in the family. The legend of Skanda Purana says that the lighting of Yama Deepams with faith and devotion by the devotees can get the lord to bless them with grace and long and healthy life. Yamadev, the lord of death himself gave assurance to his attendants that even though death is inevitable and cannot be avoided those who perform this Deepdan on Dhantrayodashi will not suffer an early death.

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