Dexamethasone Drug for COVID-19
•Recently, scientists administering the World Health Organisation’s RECOVERY trial have reported that dexamethasone reduced Covid-19 deaths in severe patients.
[Dexamethasone is a cheap and widely available steroid drug]
•According to the estimates, this drug can prevent one death for every eight patients treated while on breathing machines and one for every 25 patients on extra oxygen alone
•Excessive use of steroids can lead to adverse reactions like major mood swings, aggression and irritability, delusions, kidney/liver damage, increased blood pressure, etc.
【Indian doctors have welcomed the research as good news for Covid-19 patients on ventilators.
(The drug is affordable and easily available in India.)】
1st Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region
•It was published by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES)
•It is India’s first-ever national forecast on the impact of global warming on the subcontinent in the coming century.
•These projections, based on a climate forecasting model developed at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, will be part of the next report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), expected to be ready in 2022.
•In a worst-case scenario, average surface air temperatures over India could rise by up to 4.4°C by the end of the century as compared to the period between 1976 and 2005 😯!!
[Under an intermediate scenario of RCP 4.5, the country’s average temperature could rise by up to 2.4°C.]
•The rise in temperatures will be even more pronounced in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region where the average could reach 5.2°C.
•By 2100, the frequency of warm days and warm nights might also increase by 55% and 70% respectively
•Between 1900 and 2018, the average temperatures of India rose by 0.7°C
India’s Assistance for Pashupatinath Temple of Kathmandu
•Recently, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between India and Nepal for the construction of a sanitation facility at the Pashupatinath Temple, Kathmandu.
[This comes amid a raging border row between the two countries. (Don’t worry all is well or will be well:)
•India has pledged to extend financial assistance amounting to Rs. 2.33 crore.
•The facility will be constructed under the Nepal-Bharat Maitri: Development Partnership as a high impact community development scheme by India
•Dedicated to Lord Shiva, Pashupatinath is one of the most important religious sites in Asia for devotees of Shiva.
•It was conferred the status of a World Heritage Site in 1979 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
First Bell: A virtual class initiative by Kerala
•The virtual classes for state school students are being organised so that education is imparted amid Covid-19 crisis
•Classes are being streamed on a free, public-run television channel available on cable networks, direct-to-home services and over the internet.
[The government is using KITE VICTERS channel.(KITE =Kerala Infrastructure and Technology for Education) ]
•The classes were started on trial mode from 1st June, 2020. The online classes brought to focus the digital divide in the state.
•Kerala has around 45 lakh students following state board syllabus. However, a survey revealed that 2.61 lakh students don’t have access to TV or smartphone, making them out of the network of online classes.
[With the government and civil society interventions, the 2.61 lakh number has reduced to 1.20 lakh👏:)
•It is a new species of fish discovered in Arunachal Pradesh recently.
•The fish species belongs to genus Schizothorax.
•The name of this fish species has been derived from the name of the rivers where it was found- junction of River Siku and Sirum near Gakang area under Mebo circle of East Siang District
Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC): 5th State of Matter
What is Matter?
•Matter is the “stuff” that makes up the universe — everything that takes up space and has mass is matter.
[All matter is made up of atoms, which are in turn made up of protons, neutrons and electrons]
•There are five states of matter:
•There are four natural states of matter: Solids, liquids, gases and plasma.
[The fifth state is the man-made Bose-Einstein condensates]
•NASA scientists on Earth have collaborated with astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) to corral the first ever Bose-Einstein condensate (BEC)- the fifth state of matter- outside of Earth’s gravity
•The matter has been created in one of the coldest places in the universe- the Cold Atom Laboratory– a device on board the International Space Station (ISS)
•Bose-Einstein condensate is so named because its existence was posited almost a century ago by Albert Einstein and Indian mathematician Satyendra Nath Bose.
•This exotic material only exists when atoms of certain elements are cooled to temperatures near absolute zero.
•At that point, clusters of atoms begin functioning as a single quantum object with both wave and particle properties.
【Bose-Einstein condensate(BEC) is used to study quantum mechanics on a macroscopic level. Light appears to slow down as it passes through a BEC, allowing scientists to study the particle/wave paradox】