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New studies publised in Nature reveal, Indus era is 8,000 year-old and older than Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilization

According to this study Egyptian civilization began in 7000bc-3000bc and Mesopotamian began in 6500bc-3100bc which much later than Indus Valley Civilization

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Harappan Civilization Site. Image Source - Wikipedia
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  • Indus Valley civilization is 5000 years older than previously thought
  • The study is done using a new carbon dating technique
  • Scientists from IIT-Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) conducted the study, published in journal ‘Nature’ last week (May 2016)

A study -published last week (May of 2016) in the reputed journal ‘Nature’ by a group of researchers in India shows that the Indus valley civilization is 5000 years older than what we previously perceived. This study was done using a new carbon dating technique on animal fragment and pottery fragments.

According to this study, Indus valley civilization is even older than Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations.

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The study was conducted by scientists from IIT-Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The study shows that the mature Indus valley civilization began in 8000bc to 2000bc and not 2600bc to 1600 and it pushes pre harappan civilization to 9000bc to 8000c. Egyptian civilization began in 7000bc to 3000bc and Mesopotamian began in 6500bc to 3100bc which much later then Indus Valley Civilization according to this study.

Indus Valley Civilization map. Image Source - Wikipedia
Indus Valley Civilization map. Image Source – Wikipedia

“Our study pushes back the antiquity to as old as 8th millennium before present and will have major implications to the evolution of human settlements in Indian sub-continent,” Anindya Sarkar, a professor at the department of geology and geophysics at IIT-Kharagpur, said in a statement.

Sankar .who also worked with the researcher from ASI in the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad and Pune’s Deccan College. They even used a technique known Optically Stimulated Luminescence in this study. In this technique the amount of light emitted from mineral grains to date past events can be measured.

This study has also given a new theory as to how Harappan civilization must have declined. Earlier it was believed that the civilization got declined because of climate change.

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But according to the new theory climate change did play a role but it is not the main reason behind the declination harappan civilization. It had more to do with the change in cropping patterns and storage of grains.

“Our study suggests that the climate was probably not the sole cause of Harappan decline. Despite the monsoon decline, the civilisation did not disappear. The people changed their farming practices.

“They switched from water-intensive crops when monsoon was stronger to drought-resistant crops when it was weaker. Our work shows they did not give up despite the change in climate conditions,” said Anindya Sarkar of the Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur and the lead investigator.

“Our study suggests that other causes, like change in subsistence strategy, by shifting crop patterns rather than climate change was responsible for the Harappan collapse,” Sarkar said.

-by Bhaskar Raghavendran

Bhaskar is a graduate in Journalism and mass communication and a reporter at NewsGram. Twitter handle: bhaskar_ragha

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Cepheid to Establish Manufacturing Unit for TB Diagnostics in India

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment

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The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.
The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach. (IANS)

Expanding its footprint in India, US-based molecular diagnostics company Cepheid Inc on Thursday announced its plans to establish a manufacturing unit in the country to improve Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics.

Cepheid’s GeneXpert MTB/RIF test is a closed-cartridge-based system that is easy to operate by minimally trained staff and gives results in approximately two hours, speeding the conventional backlog that used to exist in traditional diagnostic methods.

The new manufacturing unit would produce MTB/RIF test cartridges, contribute to the government’s “Make in India” initiative and thus bringing the company’s global expertise in TB diagnostics to India, the company said in a statement.

As part of the plan, Cepheid also unveiled its latest portable, easy-to-use TB-testing system — the GeneXpert Edge — which is expected to be available in India later this year, the company said.

The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.

“Cepheid recognises the need for technological advancement and is committed to contributing significantly to India’s goal of TB eradication,” said Peter Farrell, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Operations, Cepheid.

Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB)
Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB).

“We are hopeful that GeneXpert Edge will help eliminate delays in TB diagnostics by providing definitive results within hours and facilitating fast and easy last-mile delivery even in the remote villages of India,” he added.

India has nearly one-fourth of the global TB patients and an estimated 4.8 lakh lives are lost every year due to delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment and there are above 2.5 million new cases of TB every year. The country aims to eradicate TB by 2025.

Approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010, more than 1,200 Cepheid’s GeneXpert Systems have been installed in the last two years at various Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) sites in the country and more than 2.5 million cartridges were supplied last year at various centres of Central TB Division (CTD).

Also Read: Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala

Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB) and rifampicin-resistance mutations, which are markers for MDR-TB strains in under two hours.

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment.

Xpert MTB/RIF tests also have excellent negative predictive value, which allows clinicians to manage TB-negative patients more effectively to prevent unnecessary and costly respiratory isolations. (IANS)