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Dinanagar (Punjab): Satpal, Darshan Kumar and Nanak Chand are no ordinary people as they are the ones who saved scores of innocent lives in this Punjab town during a terror attack.
While the limelight of the 11-hour long intense gun-battle with terrorists has been hogged by the SWAT and special units of the Punjab Police in Monday’s terror attack on Dinanagar town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district, it was the pro-active role played by unsung heroes of this small town which saved scores of lives from the mayhem planned by the terrorists.
The death toll in the terror attack could have been many more than the figure of seven, including one police officer and three home guards personnel, had these three men and their associates not shown alertness and courage.
The terrorists, who had besieged Dinanagar town from 5.30 a.m. on Monday, had planned more casualties by wiring five live bombs on the railway track on a small bridge on the Pathankot-Amritsar railway section.
A tragedy was averted as alert railway staff detected the bombs just five minutes before a train loaded with passengers was to cross the bridge, five km from here.
“I was going to get milk from nearby as I did daily. I saw something wired to the bridge. I sent a youth to inform railway staff about the suspicious things on the bridge,” Satpal, a railway gate man, said.
“The timely detection of the bombs saved many lives,” Satpal added.
Railway employee Darshan Kumar, who was told about the suspicious items on the railway bridge, immediately asked a railway key man to run and get the passenger train stopped.
“I realized that the train had already started from the Parmanand railway station with many passengers. I asked the key man to run and stop the train. He was able to stop it in the nick of time. Otherwise, there would have been so much damage,” said Darshan Kumar, who later went about his daily duty in his khakhi uniform.
The passenger train was carrying over 250 people and the bombs were wired to the track on a small bridge over a rivulet.
“We stopped all trains on the Pathankot-Amritsar section immediately. Four trains run on this section daily. The alertness of the staff saved several lives,” a senior railway official said.
State-run Punjab Roadways bus driver Nanak Chand was another hero of the day.
Chand had never imagined that he would come face to face with terrorists in the early hours of an otherwise normal day.
The driver did not panic even when one terrorist fired at the bus, after trying to signal it to stop. Chand instead scared the terrorist by driving towards him. The firing by the terrorist left 2-3 passengers injured with gunshot wounds.
“I saw a man in army uniform with a scarf covering his face and carrying a weapon signalling me to stop. I suspected trouble as army people don’t cover their faces. I turned the bus and sped away despite the firing,” Nanak Chand said.
The driver took the bus towards Gurdaspur town, nearly 20 km away, and stopped at the civil hospital to enable the injured to get treatment. He then informed the police about the incident.
There were over 70 passengers in the bus at that time when the incident took place around 5.30 am. The bus was on its way from Bamiyal town to Chandigarh.
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.
The immune system has to be educated not to attack one's own tissues and organs to prevent autoimmune disease. But pregnancy presents a unique challenge since the fetus expresses proteins found in the placenta as well as proteins whose genetics are distinct from the mother.
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"It was a conceptual leap to link Aire-expressing cells, which are critical for preventing autoimmune disease, to pregnancy," said Tippi Mackenzie, Professor of Surgery at UCSF's Center for Maternal Foetal Precision Medicine.
In the thymus, Aire-expressing cells begin interacting with other immune cells very early in life to teach them what not to attack. The thymus begins to shrink and is nearly gone by adulthood, by which time most immune cells have been educated. But as the thymus shrinks, the population of eTACs in lymph nodes and the spleen expands, the researchers explained.
The study suggests a healthy pregnancy may depend on having these cells around, they added. (IANS/KB)
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.
It's not surprising that over half of those surveyed feel more comfortable using emojis than talking on the phone or in person.
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This applies to less intense situations too. Dating, for example, can be tricky — especially when it's online or via digital apps, as it often is now.
The study also found that emoji even helps people overcome language barriers and form connections that would otherwise be difficult to do.
In celebration of World Emoji Day on Saturday, Adobe's '2021 Global Emoji Trend Report' surveyed 7,000 people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. (IANS/KB)
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
Sirisha flew to the US in 2011 to pursue a Master's in mechanical engineering from the Michigan Technological University.IANS
Bezos, his brother Mark, aviation pioneer Mary Wallace 'Wally' Funk, and other passengers are set to liftoff from west Texas and travel just beyond the edge of space on July 20. Blue Origin announced this week that Oliver Daemen, an 18-year-old high school graduate from the Netherlands, would join the crew.
Oliver is the son of millionaire Joe Daemen, Founder, and CEO of the Dutch investment company Somerset Capital Partners. Blue Origin, however, did not reveal how much Daemen paid for his son's trip to space. Bezos chose July 20 as the launch date to honor the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
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The launch site for Blue Origin's first human flight will be in a remote location north of Van Horn, Texas, from where the firm had launched New Shepard for previous flights. Blue Origin has received final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to carry humans on the New Shepard rocket into space.
On July 12, Bandla touched the edge of space with three others, including Virgin Galactic's billionaire CEO Richard Branson. Bandla vaulted into space onboard VSS Unity 22. After the successful spaceflight, Branson carried the Indian-American on his shoulders while celebrating their flight to space, at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (IANS/KB)