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Bihar: Rajdhani reservoir becomes new camp for indigenous and foreign birds. IANS

Hundreds of native and migratory birds are flocking the reservoir in Bihar capital Patna nowadays, making nature lovers and birdwatchers make a beeline to see the winged visitors that fly in from places as far as Siberia, Europe, and even Africa.

The water body spread over 7 acres was opened to schoolchildren from January 4, enabling the ebullient youngsters to watch with interest rafts of Gadwall, Northern Shoveller, Lesser Whistling Duck, Comb Duck, Lalsar or Red-crested Pochard, Moorhen, Cormorant, and Pintail Duck.

Forest officials said that 73 species of trees, mostly with medicinal value, have been planted around the water body to give a forest-like feel to the ambiance, which is sure to warm the hearts of nature lovers and also provide roosting places for the avian fauna.

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Chief Minister Nitish Kumar visited the pond and spent some time watching the birds through binoculars.

The water body, which was virtually moribund not long ago — was earlier used to rear fishes, but has now been developed from environmental protection point of view.

CM Nitish Kumar visited the pond and spent some time watching the birds through binoculars. IANS

Forest Officer Arvind Kumar Sharma said that a 12-foot wide pathway has been built around the water body to facilitate the movement of visitors and plans are afoot to develop the area further.

Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: देशी-विदेशी परिंदों के लिए नया आश्रयस्थली बना राजधानी जलाशय

Though the birds start arriving at the spot from August-September onwards, the influx increases around December. However, this year, the arrival of the avian guests increased in November itself due to heavy snowfall in areas inhabited by migratory birds.

“Not only from Siberia, but birds also arrive here from as far as Europe and Africa,” said forest officials.

Arvind Kumar Mishra, founder of Mandar Nature Club at Bhagalpur and an avian expert, said that birds did not arrive at the water body till a year ago, but began to flock to the spot in their hundreds after the Forest Department developed it virtually as a bird paradise.

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“The migratory birds go to hotter climes in December, but they have now started coming here in November due to heavy snowfall in their original habitats and the consequent shortage of food. During the breeding season, all these migratory birds return to their native lands,” he said. (IANS)



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.

ALSO READ: Jeff Bezos Used To Review Products On Amazon

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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