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FILE -An undated photo shows a shadowy shape that some people say is the Loch Ness monster in Scotland. VOA

Scotland’s fabled Loch Ness Monster might most likely be a giant eel, a study of samples of DNA in the lake’s murky waters has found.

Neil Gemmell, a geneticist from the University of Otago in New Zealand, led the study that tried to catalog all living species in the lake by extracting DNA from water samples.


“Eels are very plentiful in the loch system — every single sampling site that we went to pretty much had eels and the sheer volume of it was a bit of a surprise,” Gemmell said.

“We can’t exclude the possibility that there’s a giant eel in Loch Ness, but we don’t know whether these samples we’ve collected are from a giant beast or just an ordinary one — so there’s still this element of we just don’t know.'”


A tourist boat is seen on Loch Ness in Drumnadrochit, Scotland, Sept. 5, 2019. VOA

The study did rule out the possibility that Nessie, the favorite of folklore, is a long-necked ancient reptile called a plesiosaur. The study also rejected speculations that it might be a Greenland shark or a giant sturgeon.

The first written record of a monster relates to the Irish monk St. Columba, who is said to have banished a “water beast” to the depths of the River Ness in the 6th century.

Thousands have tried to photograph or capture the elusive monster since. The most famous picture of Nessie, known as the 1934 “surgeon’s photo,” shows a head with a long neck emerging from the water. It was later revealed to be a hoax involving a toy submarine outfitted with a sea-serpent head.

More recently, a high-tech marine drone found a monster in the Loch Ness in 2016 — but it turned out to be a Nessie-shaped beast created for the 1970 film “The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes,” which sank nearly 50 years ago.

Also Read- Three-Quarters of Americans See Weather Disasters, Like Hurricane Dorian, Worsening

“People love a mystery. We’ve used science to add another chapter to Loch Ness’ mystique,” Gemmell said. (VOA)


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As the economy continues to recover from the prolonged pandemic.

By Rohit Vaid
The Centre might bestow infrastructure as well as industry status to new sectors to boost several pandemic hit industries in the upcoming Union Budget. Industry insiders said that several sectors and sub-industries such as hospitality, automobile retail, specific diganotics facilities and companies engaged in installation of EV charging stations amongst others might get the status.
The infra tag will enable these sectors to avail tax breaks, incentives and credit on lower interest rates. "Sectors which are in greenfield or which would need capex augmentation to help them overcome the pandemic can be looked from the lens of an infrastructure sector," said Jagannarayan Padmanabhan, Director and Practice Leader, Transport & Logistics, Crisil Infrastructure Advisory. "Also many of the already identified sectors need a sustained policy push which will help them get visibility both in terms of quantum and the time period of applicability."

Till now, activities associated with laying of power and telecom transmission and distribution lines, roads, highways, railways and construction of facilities such as hospitals, affordable housing, power generation units, water treatment plants, SEZs and certain type of hotels amongst others were given such status.

Besides, these sectors are a part of harmonised master list for infrastructure sub-sectors. However, in April 2021, exhibition-cum-convention centre was included in the list. "Given the focus around electric vehicle, and need for significant investment in charging stations, if the government adds the sector in infrastructure list, the benefits arising out of it will be significant," said Vishal Kotecha, Director, India Ratings and Research. "Infra tag on sectors increases ability to raise funds, access to dedicated funds and lenders, foreign capital, lower interest rates among others."

Electric car Given the focus on electric vehicles, the advantages of including the industry in the infrastructure list will be enormous. Free SVG

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A team led by chief scientist Ravi Shankar, is working on two combinations to provide the safest medication to coronavirus patients. "Experts say that a combination of antivirals with different mechanisms can be more effective to counter the viral pandemic. We are working on two combinations - Umifenovir with Molnupiravir (an antiviral) and Umifenovir with Niclosamide (anti-parasitic)," he said.

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Molnupiravur drug has received only Emergency Use Authorisation in India and abroad. Though its usage showed reduced hospitalisation during clinical trials, its biggest drawback are the side-effects, he added.

"Now, we are trying to keep a low dosage of Molnupiravir in its combination with Umifenovir which may weed out the side-effects such as the risk of cartilage and muscle damage. If successful, it will make Umifenovir more effective in Covid-19 treatment," said the chief scientist. The other combination is Umifenovir with Niclosamide.

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MEA Jaishankar instructed Indian envoys to Canada and the US, "to urgently respond to the situation."

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Friday instructed Indian envoys to Canada and the US, Ajay Bisaria and Taranjit Singh Sandhu, "to urgently respond to the situation" where four Indian nationals including an infant have lost their lives on the US-Canada border. The minister said this in a public tweet. Neither of the two missions have responded on the microblogging site till the time of filing of this report.

In a statement Thursday without identifying the victims, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) stated that "on the morning of January 19, 2022, RCMP officers with the Integrated Border Enforcement Team received concerning information from their counterparts in the United States".

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) RCMP officers received concerning information from their counterparts in the United States.Wikipedia

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