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Communication of Coral Eating Starfish can save Coral Reefs: Scientists

This crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals

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Coral reefs can be prevented by understanding communication of starfish. VOA
  • The communication patterns of a species of starfish that feeds on coral
  • The crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals
  • The presence of this species, referred to by the locals as onihitode or demon starfish in Japan 

Tokyo, June 5, 2017: Japanese and Australian scientists have discovered the communication patterns of a species of starfish that feeds on coral.

This discovery, the scientists hope, will help in the preservation of the coral reefs as a single specimen of the crown-of-thorns starfish consumes up to 10 sq. metres of coral meat per year and is responsible for between 37 per cent to 99 per cent of the decrease in live coral cover, Efe news reported.

This crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals, Ken Baughman, one of the authors of the study by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, said on Monday.

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The presence of this species, referred to by the locals as onihitode or demon starfish, in the waters off the coast of the Japanese village of Onna in the Okinawa island was first reported in 1957.

A native of the Indo-Pacific region, this species is experiencing a boom in population that has resulted in tens of thousands to millions of starfish in population densities of 150,000 per sq.km.

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Normally, reefs only have a few, says Baughman, adding But in recent decades the population outbreaks have tripled.

Baughman’s team and Australian researchers analysed the starfish’s genome, which for the first time has been completely sequenced.

It is kind of like an instruction manual for how to build a starfish. We can better understand crown-of-thorns starfish biology and consequently its behaviour, Baughman explained. (IANS)

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Japanese Economy Officially in Recession Due to the Pandemic

Japan’s gross domestic product shrank by an annual 3.4% in the first three months of 2020

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Recession
A man looks at an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo, May 11, 2020. VOA

Japan’s economy fell into recession for the first time since 2015 as the coronavirus pandemic brought economic activity at home and abroad to a screeching halt.

Figures released Monday by the Cabinet Office show Japan’s gross domestic product shrank by an annual 3.4% in the first three months of 2020, following a contraction in the last quarter of 2019, putting the country in a technical recession with two consecutive quarters of contraction.

The COVID-19 outbreak aggravated an already challenging situation for the world’s third-largest economy, which was dealing with the impact of a sales tax hike and a powerful typhoon. The pandemic led to official quarantines across the globe as governments tried to blunt the spread of the virus.

lockdown led to Recession
The pandemic led to official quarantines and lockdowns across the globe as governments had to take steps for the safety of it’s citizens. Pixabay

Read More: India Extends Lockdown Till May End

Japan has been mildly affected by the coronavirus compared to the rest of the world, with more than 16,000 confirmed infections, including over 700 deaths.  But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe imposed a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures last month out of fear the outbreak would overwhelm Japan’s healthcare system, then briefly expanded it for the entire country.

The government has announced a $990-billion stimulus bill to blunt the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, including $55 billion in direct payments to households and small businesses. (VOA)

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Impossible to Host the Olympics Until Coronavirus is Contained, Says PM of Japan

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan says that hosting Olympics even next is impossible if the pandemic is not contained till then

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olympics Japan Prime Minister
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe believes that it will be impossible to host Olympics in 2021 if the pandemic is not contained. Wikimedia Commons

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated it will be impossible to host the Olympics even next year if the ongoing coronavirus pandemic cannot be contained till then. The 2020 edition of the multi-national event was pushed back to 2021 in wake of COVID-19 crisis that has hit the entire world.

Answering a question related to Olympics, Abe said it is important for all athletes and spectators to feel safe and for that to happen, the virus will have to be contained.

“We’ve been saying the Olympic and Paralympic Games must be held in a complete form, in that athletes and spectators can all participate safely. It would be impossible to hold the Games in such a complete form unless the coronavirus pandemic is contained,” Abe was quoted as saying by CNN.

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Olympics 2020 which were supposed to take place in Tokyo have already been postponed to 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak. VOA

Earlier, Tokyo Olympics chief had warned the event will have to be scrapped in case of further delay.

“In that case, the Olympics will be scrapped,” Yoshiro Mori told Nikkan Sports when quizzed about pushing the Games further if needed.

Tokyo Olympics was supposed to be held in July-August this year but had to to postponed due to COVID-19 crisis. The International Olympics Committee (IOC) set the new dates as July 23 till August 8 next year.

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The head of Japan Medical Association (JMA) had earlier said that hosting the event in the summer of 2021 remains difficult till the time an “effective vaccine’ is developed.

“Unless an effective vaccine is developed I think it will be difficult to hold the Olympics next year,” JMA President Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. “I’m not saying at this point that they shouldn’t be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan … it’s a worldwide issue.” (IANS)

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Apple Plans To Buy LCD Assets Worth $200 Million From Japan Display

The sale to both Apple and Sharp was reportedly delayed in the wake of new coronavirus pandemic

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Apple
According to a Nikkei Asian Review report, Japan Display (JDI) has been in negotiations with "Apple and Sharp to sell its Hakusan liquid crystal display plant" owing to "poor sales of iPhone panels". Pixabay

Apple is reportedly buying $200 million worth of assets like LCD equipment from troubled panel maker Japan Display, the media reported on Wednesday.

According to a Nikkei Asian Review report, Japan Display (JDI) has been in negotiations with “Apple and Sharp to sell its Hakusan liquid crystal display plant” owing to “poor sales of iPhone panels”.

The sale to both Apple and Sharp was reportedly delayed in the wake of new coronavirus pandemic.

“JDI decided to sell LCD production equipment to Apple first and real estate to Sharp later,” the report mentioned.

By offloading Hakusan, JDI would concentrate smartphone LCD panel production at the Mobara plant in Chiba Prefecture.

Apple
Apple is reportedly buying $200 million worth of assets like LCD equipment from troubled panel maker Japan Display, the media reported on Wednesday. Pixabay

JDI started its operation on April 1, 2012. As of March 2014, JDI was one of the major suppliers of displays for Apple’s iPhone.
It was also a major display supplier of Nintendo Switch along with Sharp Corporation until 2017.

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A newly-created entity INCJ, Ltd. had become the major shareholder of Japan Display with 25,29 per cent of total shareholdings since September 21, 2018 as a result of a corporate split of the old the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ). (IANS)