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Venus like Exoplanet Possess a Thin Oxygen Atmosphere

23 Aug 16

Astronomers were intrigued by a distant planet GJ 1132b after its discovery last year. This planet has a temperature of approximately 450 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas it is situated just 39 light-years from Earth.


A Harvard astronomer Laura Schaefer and her team looked at the query of what would happen to GJ 1132b over a period of time if it began with a steamy, water-rich atmosphere.


The planet orbits around its star at a distance of only 1.4 million miles and is overflowing with ultraviolet or UV light. UV light breaks apart water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen and these can be lost into space. While hydrogen is lighter it escapes on a faster rate, whereas oxygen remains behind.

The planet has a strong greenhouse effect, adding to the star’s already extreme heat, since water vapor is a greenhouse gas. As a result, the surface could stay molten for millions of years.


Laura Schaefer stated that “On cooler planets, oxygen could be a sign of alien life and habitability. But on a hot planet like GJ 1132b, it’s a sign of the exact opposite-a planet that’s being baked and sterilized”.


Only about one-tenth of a “magma ocean” would interact with the atmosphere absorbing some of the oxygen. Whereas the remaining 90% of the oxygen streams into the space.


The model of the magma-ocean atmosphere can assist scientists to explain how Venus evolved over time. Most likely Venus began with Earthlike amounts of water, which would have been broken down by sunlight. Yet little signs of lingering oxygen is seen. The problem of the lost oxygen continues to puzzle astronomers.


Schaefer forecast that this model will offer insights into other, alike exoplanets. This work has been accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.


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How Stress Changes Our Brain?

16 Mar 18

Stress is a feeling of strain and pressure. Just like physical disorders, stress and other mental disorders are equally fatal. In a recent research conducted by the Jaideep Bains, PhD, and his team at the Cumming School of Medicine's Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI), at the University of Calgary, it has been revealed that stress transmitted from one person to another can affect the brain just as real stress can. In the long run stress and emotions can be 'contagious'. The team of researchers conducted the study using pairs of male or female mice. During the process, they separated the two mice from each other and exposed one of them to mild stress before they again united. The team then examined the responses of certain specific cells known as the CRH neurons. The recorded responses of the pair of mice revealed that the networks of the brain of both the stressed mouse and its naïve partner have undergone same kind of change. They further used optogenetic approaches to engineer these neurons, making them capable of being turned on and off with light. The team then silenced the neurons during exposure to stress. As a result, the changes in the brain did not occur. Also, when the stressed partner interacted with the other partner, the transfer of stress did not happen. On the activation of these neurons with light, even in the absence of stress, the brains of both the partners underwent a change, just as happens in case of exposure to stress. The team further discovered that the activation of these CRH neurons leads to the release of a chemical signal, an 'alarm pheromone', from the mouse that alerts the partner. The team believes that this may be true for humans as well. The present research concludes that stress and social interactions are deeply connected and these have long lasting consequences.

By: Anuja Arora

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180308143212.htm

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Earth’s Vegetation and Global Warming.

15 Mar 18

The rapid deforestation can majorly effect the rising temperatures of the earth. Forest has a great role to play in regulating the surface temperature. A plant has a major role to play in climate change. There are several ways in which forest helps in altering the surface temperature of the earth’s atmosphere. Plants use the energy from sun to draw carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and process photosynthesis. As Carbon dioxide also happens to be abundantly available greenhouse gas, removal of carbon dioxide plays a very vital role in warming of earth as a whole. Plants sweat, a process known as transpiration. When the surrounding atmosphere gets heated plants transpire and release evaporated water into the atmosphere thus cooling themselves as well as the surrounding atmosphere. Areas covered with dense forest can note visible increase in water vapor in the atmosphere resulting in precipitation and cloud cover over that area.  

European Commission Joint Research Center had conducted a research based on data collected from satellite from 2000 to 2015 and links the changes to the surface balance of energy. The study also analyzed changes between different types of vegetation like evergreen forest, the savannas, shrub lands, Grass lands, crop lands and wetlands. It was noted that the removal of natural tropical green cover for farming and agriculture and urban development is mostly responsible for the rising temperatures in such areas. People living in these areas will be directly and immediately exposed to   escalating temperatures.


By: Madhuchanda Saxena

Content: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180220143516.htm

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A Noble Start To A Fit Tomorrow

14 Mar 18

You must have probably heard your grandparents recalling their day when they had to walk 5-7 miles for school or probably they could eat one full-sized hen. To some extent though these stories seems to be exaggerated but most of it are true.

Even sometimes back in the 20th-century, kids probably were unaware of kurkure, funflips, hullygully, chips, cheese balls, o-yes, kinder joy, nachos and the similar. I do agree that all these time pass snacks were gradually introduced in the late 90s. But kids of today are growing up with burgers, pizzas, pastries, hot dogs, maggi and various other carbonated drinks.

The outcome is heading towards an obese generation with India securing the second major country with obese children population. Children these days lead a morbid life and remain glued to the virtual world, be it smartphones, television or computers while the playgrounds are left vacant.

Parents find it difficult these days as children are not willing to go out and play and specially girls exempt from sports at a very tender age. Overweight and obesity predispose towards a sedentary adulthood triggering a zillion of lifestyle diseases.

In such a context, engaging children with co-curricular activities of their choice and giving their a plethora of options ranging between indoor and outdoor games along with a bouquet of art and craft activities to choose from would be perfect enough to keep them a busy bee.

By:  Subrata Dey

Content:  https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/78/6/1068/4677514

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Survey Reveals Mumbai To Be The Most Expensive City For Expats

13 Mar 18

The financial capital of India - Mumbai has been revealed to be the most expensive city in the world for expatriates. It has left behind cities such as Seattle and Frankfurt. The rankings are according to the Mercer's 2016 Cost of Living Survey. Mumbai was ranked on 82 among a list of countries that also ranked New Delhi on 130 and Chennai on 158. With the rankings, Mumbai has surpassed major global cities such as Seattle (83), Frankfurt (88), Canberra (98) and Berlin (100). Both the National capital and the Financial capital of India have become more expensive over the years and their rankings have gone up too.

Bengaluru has experienced the highest jump on rankings because of a huge surge in prices specially on items that are included in food and personal care. The city is also termed as one of the costliest city in India in terms of transportation due to an increase in prices of everything from taxi fares, cost of auto, its parts as well as running costs. There are a large number of Indian MNCs that are looking to expand abroad and 70% of them are expecting expatriate assignment to surge in the coming two years.

Inflation and currency stability in Indian cities has a direct impact on the cost of expatriation for the Indian multinationals. Organisations will continue to leverage the global expansion strategist and become more competitive for growth.


By: Neha Maheshwari

Content: https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/economy/indicators/mumbai-most-expensive-city-in-india-for-expats-survey/articleshow/52870241.cms

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Atmosphere Around Exoplanet WASP-39b

12 Mar 18

WASP-39b is an extrasolar planet discovered in 2011 by the WASP project. It is known for containing a substantial amount of water in its atmosphere. In a recent research, an international team of scientists have studied the atmosphere of the hot exoplanet WASP-39b. They put to use the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

This research in combination with the older data has resulted in producing the first ever complete study of an exoplanet atmosphere. Such studies help in determining that how and where the planets form around a star. The WASP-39b orbits around a Sun-like star and is often referred to as "Hot-Saturn". It is called so because of the similarity of its mass with Saturn and its closeness to its parent star. The present study has asserted that despite being similar in mass, the two planets are hugely different from each other. It has also been found that WASP-39b has a puffy atmosphere which doesn’t contain high-altitude clouds. It was because of this feature that the Hubble telescope could peer deep into its atmosphere. The team further confirmed the presence of atmospheric water vapours.

They stated that WASP-39b contains three times as much water as Saturn does. This further confirms the presence of large amount of heavier elements in the atmosphere around WASP-39b. Therefore, it becomes clear that this planet has undergone bombardment by icy material. As a result, it was inferred that this planet formed much further away from its host star than it is right now. This incredible inward migration of WASP-39b has brought it eight times closer to its parent star. In the near future, the team aims to put to use the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope so as to capture an even more complete spectrum of the atmosphere of WASP-39b. 

By: Anuja Arora

Content: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180301144131.htm

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