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You have read about them in comics — that was the original genre. They then transformed to the stage, to the small screen, then to the big screen and soon the streaming platform. Now, read about your favourite Marvel Superhero in book format with the seven titles that have been released making waves worldwide and also in India, where they recently debuted.
What prompted the release of these books considering that some of the original comics date back to the mid-1960s and that all of the originals, barring Thanos, have been turned into hugely successful movies?
“As with the novels Marvel themselves published previously, the Titan releases are specifically based on the comic book incarnations of the characters. In some cases, such as ‘Captain Marvel: Liberation Run’, the authors have produced entirely new stories set within the comic book canon. In others, as with ‘X-Men: The Dark Phoenix Saga’, they’ve adapted seminal storylines,” Stephen W. Saffel, Senior Acquisitions Editor at Titan Books, the London-based publisher, told IANS in an email interview.
“Our goal is to entertain as many readers as possible, so frequently we will choose the most high-profile characters. Because of their tremendous popularity, many of these characters and storylines have also led to films. Other novels will feature stories entirely new to the film and TV audiences,” Saffel added.
Among the titles released are ‘Avengers — Everybody Wants To Rule The World’, ‘Ant-Man – Natural Enemy’, ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Thanos — Death Sentence’.
Detailing the process of the transformation from the comics to the TV shows to the movies to the book format, he said Titan was not involved in the development of the television and film storylines “though certainly we follow them and enjoy them tremendously. Our focus is entirely on adapting the comic book concepts”.
This comes with challenges, though, as exemplified by ‘Avengers: Infinity’. That comic book event had many threads that fed into various Marvel comic book titles, “Yet we were tasked with producing a novel that would be self-contained and entertaining. Thus the writer had to organise the material very carefully, at times removing elements that weren’t essential to the core storyline, while expanding or reorganizing facets to keep the narrative focused and dramatic” Saffel explained.
What has been the response to these books since they were released in the West in 2018?
“We’ve had a wonderful response. The books have been very well-reviewed, and the readers have been enthusiastic. In many cases the novel has been a reader’s first introduction to the characters or comic book storylines, while in other instances the readers have enjoyed the new approach to familiar storylines,’ Saffel said.
What has prompted their release in India?
“As a publisher Titan exists to entertain as many readers as possible — an important measure of our success is the number of people who enjoy what we produce. Thus we make the English-language editions available to as many people as we can, including those who live in India. Beyond that, we frequently partner with local publishers in other countries to produce translated versions of the stories,” he said.
What is next in the pipeline?
“We very much enjoy our relationship with Marvel and the opportunity to work with such wonderful characters and concepts. While we don’t have anything ready to announce at this moment, there will be more novels, and we’ll keep doing this for as long as the readers ask for it,” Saffel said.
MARVEL COMICS opened the doors to the Marvel Universe on August 31, 1939. It marks its 80th anniversary this year. (IANS)
NASA will pay up to $1 million to people who can come up with innovative and sustainable food production ideas to feed astronauts in space, as the US space agency prepares to send astronauts further into the cosmos than ever before. Giving future explorers the technology to produce nutritious, tasty, and satisfying meals on long-duration space missions will give them the energy required to uncover the great unknown. In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has launched the 'Deep Space Food Challenge' that calls on teams to design, build, and demonstrate prototypes of food production technologies that provide tangible nutritional products -- or food.
Also Read : NASA introduces 18 astronauts for Lunar program
"Feeding astronauts over long periods within the constraints of space travel will require innovative solutions," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, DC. "Pushing the boundaries of food technology will keep future explorers healthy and could even help feed people here at home," he said in a statement. Over time, food loses its nutritional value. That means for a multi-year mission to Mars, bringing along pre-packaged food will not meet all the needs for maintaining astronaut health.
Innovative food production technology that produces safe, acceptable, palatable, nutritious food products. |UnsplashUnsplash
In October 2021, Phase 1 of the challenge culminated as NASA awarded 18 teams a total of $450,000 for their concepts for innovative food production technology that produces safe, acceptable, palatable, nutritious food products. NASA now invites both new and existing teams to enter Phase 2 for a prize purse up to $1 million. "Everything needed to store, prepare and deliver food to the crew, including production, processing, transport, consumption, and disposal of waste should be considered," said NASA. Proposed technologies such as plant growth systems, manufactured food products, and ready-to-eat solutions combined could provide the future crews with a variety of options that would provide the needed daily nutrition, it added. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : NASA, innovative, food, healthy, idea, astronaut, USA, tasty, technology, space, travel, explorer, health, nutrition, prize, solution, variety.)
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People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation, according to a new study. The study found that people with moderate or greater symptoms of depression were more likely to believe at least 1 of 4 false statements about Covid-19 vaccines.
Those who believed the statements to be true were half as likely to be vaccinated, the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicated. 'It is clear the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of Americans, especially young people," said researcher Katherine Ognyanova from Rutgers University, the US.
People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation. | Unsplash
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately one-quarter of adults in the US have consistently reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings suggest that people suffering from depression may be at a higher risk of Covid-19, highlighting the need to address mental health disorders.
For the study, the team used data from the research group The Covid States Project, which conducted surveys approximately once every six weeks since April 2020. The researchers analysed data from 15,464 adults in the US and the participants were asked to rate vaccine-related misinformation as accurate (statement is true), inaccurate (statement is not true) or not sure.
Approximately one-quarter of adults in US reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. | Unsplash
The four statements of misinformation included "The Covid-19 vaccines will alter people's DNA", "The vaccines contain microchips that could track people", "The vaccines contain the lung tissue of aborted fetuses", and "The -19 vaccines can cause infertility, making it more difficult to get pregnant". The survey participants completed a health questionnaire to measure major depressive symptoms over two weeks. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: depression, vaccine, misinformation, patients, health questionnaire, study)
The space economy is on track to be valued at a trillion dollars by the end of 2030, but assets such as navigation, weather and communication satellites that serve our society daily are threatened by space debris, an Indian-American professor has stressed. According to NASA, it is estimated that millions of pieces of space debris orbit around Earth. A major portion of these objects as well as active satellites reside in the low-Earth orbit region, at altitudes between 200 km and 1,000 km. In November last year, Russia destroyed one of its own satellites with a ground-based missile, creating thousands of pieces of debris that passed through the International Space Station (ISS).
Also Read : Scientists to predict space weather faster
The astronauts and cosmonauts had to take shelter in their Soyuz and Dragon vehicles docked at the space station, as the orbital lab continued to pass through a debris field every 90 minutes. The US identified more than 1,500 trackable pieces of debris from the event, and many thousands of smaller ones couldn't be traced. According to Piyush Mehta, Assistant Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University, the US, in low-Earth orbit, our ability to safeguard these space assets depends on modelling of the aerodynamic forces acting on the satellites, specifically satellite drag.
The astronauts and cosmonauts had to take shelter in their Soyuz and Dragon vehicles. |Unsplash
"The drag force acting on a satellite is affected by various physical parameters, however, the most crucial and uncertain are the drag coefficient and mass density," said Mehta, who leads a collaborative effort on satellite drag coefficient modelling under the International Space Weather Action Teams (ISWAT) initiative. Mehta explained that because of the interconnectedness of the two parameters, one of them is held constant, typically the drag coefficient, while the other is investigated.
However, he added that this causes inconsistencies or inaccuracies in our understanding of the mass density variability in the upper atmosphere or thermosphere. Jason Gross, Interim Chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Statler College, West Virginia University, said: "With the continued rapid increase of manmade satellites in low-Earth orbit, his (Mehta's) work towards improved orbital decay prediction becomes more important for the future of space environment sustainability with each passing day. His lab is at the forefront of this important field." (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : dollar, space, economy, debris, satellite, navigation, weather, orbit, astronaut, cosmonaut, inconsistency, aerospace, collaborative.)
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