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US space agency NASA on Thursday launched its new X-ray Mission to unlock the secrets of extreme cosmic objects. The first space observatory of its kind, the Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer, or IXPE, is built to study some of the most energetic objects in the universe -- the remnants of exploded stars, powerful particle jets spewing from feeding black holes, and much more.
The mission lifted off at 1:00 a.m. EST (11.30 am IST) aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket from historic Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The project is a collaboration between NASA and the Italian Space Agency.
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"Go #IXPE! Our newest X-ray observatory blasted off at 1:00am EST," NASA shared in a tweet. "This begins a new quest to unlock the secrets of some of the most energetic objects in our universe, from black holes to neutron stars," it added.
IXPE is not as big and strong as the Chandra X-ray Observatory -- NASA's flagship X-ray telescope. While IXPE lacks in imaging power, it makes up by seeing an aspect of cosmic X-ray sources that has gone largely unexplored until now -- polarization.
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"The launch of IXPE marks a bold and unique step forward for X-ray astronomy," said Dr. Martin Weisskopf, IXPE's principal investigator, in a statement.
"IXPE will tell us more about the precise nature of cosmic X-ray sources than we can learn by studying their brightness and color spectrum alone," he added. IXPE is NASA's first mission to explore the polarization signatures of a variety of X-ray sources.
The spacecraft includes three identical space telescopes with sensitive detectors capable of measuring the polarization of cosmic X-rays. Each has a set of nested, cylinder-shaped mirrors that collect X-rays and feed them to a detector, which takes a picture of incoming X-rays and measures both the amount and direction of polarization.
Scientists can learn more about the structure and behaviour of celestial objects, their surrounding environments.Unsplash
By analyzing polarized X-rays with IXPE, scientists can learn more about the structure and behaviour of celestial objects, their surrounding environments, and the physics of how X-rays come to be. It will also allow scientists to answer fundamental questions about extremely complex environments in space where gravitational, electric, and magnetic fields are at their limits.
"IXPE will help us test and refine our theories of how the universe works," Weisskopf said. "There may be even more exciting answers ahead than the ones we've hypothesized. Better yet, we may find whole lists of new questions to ask!"
For Weisskopf, who is also the project scientist for Chandra, adding polarization to the X-ray mix has long been a goal. Making such measurements is difficult. It requires sensitive instruments, a rocket ride into space, and long observing times.
"This is going to be groundbreaking in terms of X-ray data acquisition," Weisskopf said. "We'll be analyzing the results for decades to come." (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : NASA, space, USA, observatory, Italy, polarized, X-ray, scientist, astronomy, universe.)
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There will be no chief guest at the Republic Day parade this year also as the plan to host state heads of five Central Asian countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan -- seems to have been cancelled due to the Covid situation in India as well as in the respective nations. Though the Ministry of External Affairs is yet to confirm this officially.
If the guests arrive, then this would be the second time when India hosts a group of state heads as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2018, state heads of ASEAN countries graced the occasion with their presence. Apart from Kazakhstan, none of these countries' state heads had been invited as the chief guests on the Republic Day. In 2009, Kazakhstan's then president Nursultan Nazarbayev was the Chief Guest.
The Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest. Mitul Gajera / Unsplash
As per sources, due to the corona situation, the Government of India is in no mood to take any risk to invite any foreign guest, so the plan seems to have been cancelled. Last year, British Prime minister Boris Johnson was invited for the same, but later cancelled due to rising corona cases in the UK.
In the past, there have been occasions when the Republic Day ceremony was celebrated without any foreign guest. In 1966, there was no foreign chief guest in the Republic Day parade ceremony as the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri had passed away in Tashkent in January, and Indira Gandhi took oath as Prime Minister on January 24. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : chief, guest, Republic Day, parade, India, January, pandemic, 2022, host, nation, guest, invite, foreign, occasion, presence, celebrate.)
A team of scientists from the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) have found a cure for those suffering from chronic wounds, particularly with diabetic foot ulcers. The team led by Prof Gopal Nath of the department of Microbiology, Institute of Medical Sciences, said that wounds that took months and years to heal, could now be cured in days or months. The findings of study have been published in the National Centre for Biotechnology Information, National Institutes of Health, US.
Prof Nath said that a wound is defined as a breach in the skin or body tissues due to injury. An acute wound is defined as a "recent break that is yet to progress through sequential stages of healing". The wounds where normal healing process is stalled due to underlying pathology (vascular and diabetes) or infection beyond three months is defined as chronic wound. While chronic wounds always get infected, the contaminated wounds are reasonably susceptible to infection.
A significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelization within a few weeks.Towfiqu barbhuiya / Unsplash
Infection with antibiotic-resistant bacteria and biofilm formation halt healing progress. These wounds cause significant psychological and physical morbidity. The traditional treatment strategies often succeed in healing wounds, he said adding that many wounds have been observed recalcitrant to them, leading to persistence and recurrent infections. Search for alternatives to antibiotics has now become a compulsion. Fortunately, bacteriophage therapy is a re-emerging solution to antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Prof Nath's team carried out phage therapy of acute and chronic infected wounds in animals and clinical studies. It showed efficacy against Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a mice wound model. Furthermore, they evaluated the efficacy of phage cocktails in animal models' acute and chronic osteomyelitis caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. They also observed biofilm eradication from K wire in rabbits' wound infection model. Clinical trials of phage therapy initiated by the BHU have reported the efficacy of topical phage in healing chronic wounds in three prospective exploratory studies and no adverse events mimicking the results in vivo animal models.
Scientists have found a cure for those suffering from diabetic foot ulcers. Unsplash
A clinical study by Gupta demonstrated the significant role of bacteriophage therapy in the chronic wounds associated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The study employed a total of twenty patients with chronic non-healing ulcers for more than six weeks duration. A significant improvement could be achieved in the form of complete wound epithelization within a few weeks. Another study, employing 48 patients having a minimum of one eligible full-thickness wound that did not heal in six weeks with convention wound management, showed the promising result, and significant improvement was observed in the wound healing.
The study projected that specific phage therapy is equally effective regardless of the diabetic or non-diabetic status of the patient though the healing was relatively delayed in diabetic patients. Another successful study has shown encouraging results on healing process of infected acute traumatic wounds. The average number of days required for complete granulation of wounds and attaining sterility and healing was half compared to conventional therapy. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : scientists, cure, chronic, wound, suffer, ulcer, diabetes, healing, pathology, health, infection, bacteria, study, patient, therapy, successful.)
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By Anna Melnikova
The Indian cricket lovers have been waiting for a ton from Virat Kohli for a long time, and he finally has made it. However, not in the batting as most fans expect, but in catching balls.
The second day of the 3rd Test in Capetown between local Proteas and the Men in Blue was rich for interesting occasions. Thus, South Africa was waiting for a good scoring result after stopping all Indian batters on the first day. Their opponents, however, have been looking for nice bowling not to lose the game just in the first innings. And while Bumrah added five wickets to his score, one of the dismissals should go to Virat Kohli. By the way, if you want more cricket news in India, we recommend subscribing to the specified site using the link.
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The legendary captain was great in batting but now can not score a ton for more than two years. But the three-digit result came from another side, where he is also quite successful. And while most of his catches came from opponents' misses, he proved he can be effective in the outfield parts of the pitch. According to experts, Kohli has a unique ability to be energetic on the pitch and still be concentrated for long shots by opponents, which rarely come in Test format.
Kohli has a unique ability to be energetic on the pitch. Unsplash
Even a legendary Gavaskar, who was the first Indian with such a result, praised the ability of the recent captain to catch. He admitted the ability to grab slipping balls, which are hard to cope with. Interestingly, Virat became only the sixth Indian to achieve a milestone in this component in the Test format. Kohli needed 99 games to find the needed number, although he is focused on making the 28th century first of all.
Another three-digit achievement can happen just today. He opened the 3rd day of the Test in Capetown along with Pujara and stayed alive at the moment of writing this article. If you are fond of sports betting, we recommend that you go to the rating of sports betting sites in India and choose a reliable bookmaker.
(Disclaimer: This is a sponsored article and includes some commercial links.)
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