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Kolkata: The week-long National Theatre Festival in Kolkata kicked off on Thursday at the Minerva Theatre with state social welfare minister Sashi Panja inaugurating the event. Besides a plethora of luminaries, veteran theatre artist Rudra Prasad Sengupta and minister Bratya Basu also graced the occasion.

Speaking on the importance of theatre and its role in shaping the Indian society, Bratya Basu said, “theatre has always played a significant role in portraying the true image of the society.”

“I have no right to criticise other forms of art, but modern cinemas are influenced by western cultures. This influence is greatly disrupting the growth of Indian culture. On the other hand, theatre highlights the true essence of traditional Indian cultures”, said Basu.

He also recalled the contribution of ‘Gano Natyo Sanghtan’ (People’s Theatre) for providing the perfect platform for theatres to thrive on.

Rudra prasad Sengupta said, “theatre is the most powerful medium of communication and celebrates the richness of Indian culture.” He regretted that professionals are poorly paid in the theatre industry and mentioned cinema did give theatre a run for the money.

However, gradually people in Bengal are pouring in for theatre performance and reviving the lost glory of the theatre, Sengupta added.

Gadha aur Gadda‘ by Nasiruddin Shah and ‘Raju, Rajaram aur Mai‘ by Saman Joshi are expected to woo in lots of audiences.

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When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades.

The US researchers have discovered a class of immune cells that plays a role in miscarriage, which affects about a quarter of pregnancies.

Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that the recently discovered subset of cells known as extrathymic Aire-expressing cells in the immune system may prevent the mother's immune system from attacking the placenta and fetus.

The researchers showed that pregnant mice who did not have this subset of cells were twice as likely to miscarry, and in many of these pregnancies fetal growth was severely restricted.

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"When you're pregnant, the immune system is seeing the placenta for the first time in decades -- not since the mother made a placenta when she herself was a fetus," said Eva Gillis-Buck, from UCSF.

"Our research suggests that this subset of immune cells is carrying out a sort of 'secondary education' -- sometimes many years after the better-known population of the educator cells have carried out the primary education in the thymus -- teaching T cells not to attack the fetus, the placenta and other tissues involved in pregnancy," she added. The findings are published in the journal Science Immunology.

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It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.

The tiny emojis being shared on billions of devices worldwide can play a major role in digital communication, with most people saying that emoji compels them to feel more empathy towards others, according to an Adobe report.

Adobe's global emoji study found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.

"We were surprised and delighted by the discoveries made in the survey, most notably how enthusiastic respondents were for emoji as a means to express themselves," the company said in a statement.

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Emojis sometimes get criticized for being overly saccharine, but this sweetness is key when it comes to diffusing some of the heaviness of online communication.

"Many of the emoji are focused on positive emotions, so it's easy to insert them into our conversations and lighten the mood," the Adobe study said.

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Jeff Bezos at the ENCORE awards.

Following the grand Richard Branson show where he carried Andhra Pradesh-born Sirisha Bandla and fellow space travelers on his shoulders after successfully flying to the edge of space, it is time for Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos to applaud Sanjal Gavande, one of the key engineers who designed the New Shephard rocket set to take Bezos and the crew to space on July 20.

Billionaire Bezos is set to fly to the edge of space aboard what is touted as the world's first unpiloted suborbital flight. Born in Kalyan, Maharashtra, Gavande is a systems engineer at Blue Origin who always dreamt of designing aerospace rockets.

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After completing Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the University of Mumbai, she flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University. She also applied for an engineering job at the US space agency NASA but finally landed her dream job at Blue Origin

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