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New ‘habitability index’ to help find alien life

The hunt for alien life may get easier; thanks to a ‘habitability index’ created by scientists that can point out which of the thousands of exoplanets discovered so far have a better chance of hosting life.Traditionally, astronomers have focused the search by looking for planets in their star’s “habitable zone” — more informally called the “Goldilocks zone” — which is the swath of space that’s “just right” to allow an orbiting Earth—like planet to have liquid water on its surface, perhaps giving life a chance.But so far that has been just a sort of binary designation, indicating only whether a planet is, or is not, within that area considered right for life.The new metric, called the “habitability index for transiting planets,” is more nuanced, producing a continuum of values that astronomers can punch into a Virtual Planetary Laboratory Web form to arrive at the single—number habitability index, representing the probability that a planet can maintain liquid water at its surface.
Scientists  also accounted for a phenomenon called “eccentricity—albedo degeneracy,” which comments on a sort of balancing act between a planet’s albedo — the energy reflected back to space from its surface — and the circularity of its orbit, which affects how much energy it receives from its host star. The two counteract each other.The higher a planet’s albedo, the more light and energy are reflected off to space, leaving less at the surface to warm the world and aid possible life.
But the more noncircular or eccentric a planet’s orbit, the more intense is the energy it gets when passing close to its star in its elliptic journey.
A life—friendly energy equilibrium for a planet near the inner edge of the habitable zone — in danger of being too hot for life — would be a higher albedo, to cool the world by reflecting some of that heat into space, Barnes said.Conversely, a planet near the cool outer edge of the habitable zone would perhaps need a higher level of orbital eccentricity to provide the energy needed for life.

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Grand 83rd Indian Air Force Day Celebrations

The Indian Air Force was officially established on 8 October 1932.Its first ac flight came into being on 01 Apr 1933.  It possessed a strength of six RAF-trained officers and 19 Havai Sepoys (literally, air soldiers).   Its the World's 4th largest Airforce. Its primary responsibility is to secure Indian airspace and to conduct aerial warfare during a conflict.
Personnels in Air ForceThe rank structure of the Indian Air Force is based on that of the Royal Air Force. The highest rank attainable in the IAF is Marshal of the Indian Air Force, conferred by the President of India after exceptional service during wartime. MIAF Arjan Singh is the only officer to have achieved this rank. The head of the Indian Air Force is the Chief of the Air Staff, who holds the rank of Air Chief Marshal. The current Chief of the Air Staff is Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha with effect from 31 December 2013.

Some Important facts about Indian Air Force 

Aircrafts Fighter aircrafts - Su-30MKI, Mirage 2000, MiG-29, HAL Tejas, MiG-21
Helicopters -     Dhruv, Chetak, Cheetah, Mi-8, Mi-17, Mi-26, Mi-25/35

1. The IAF got its first woman Air Marshal in the form of Padmavathy Bandopadhyay.
2. IAF has a base in Farkhor, Tajikistan. Its only base outside India.
3.At 22,000 ft (or 6,706 m), Siachen Glacier AFS is the highest Air Force Station of the IAF.
4.  The IAF created a world record by performing the highest landing of a C-130J at the Daulat Beg Old airstrip in Ladakh at the height of 16614 feet (5065 meters).
5.  IAF’s first HAL-made fighter was HF-24 Marut.
6. The Tejas is the second supersonic Light Combat Aircraft developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
7. Operation Rahat was the biggest civilian rescue operation in the world carried out by any air force using helicopters.
8. The highest achievable rank in the air force is Marshal of the Indian Air Force. Arjan Singh is the only officer who has achieved this rank. Sachin Tendulkar is the first civilian (without any aviation background) who was awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by IAF. 

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Nobel Prize in Chemistry to Mr. Lindahl, Mr. Modrich and Mr. Sancar for DNA repair studies

Mr. Lindahl is from the Francis Crick Institute. "He demonstrated that DNA decays at a rate that ought to have made the development of life on Earth impossible. This insight led him to discover a molecular machinery, base excision repair, which constantly counteracts the collapse of our DNA," said the Nobel Institute in a statement. Mr. Lindahl is also the 29th Nobel Laureate born in Sweden.
Mr. Modrich is from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Duke University School of Medicine. "He demonstrated how the cell corrects errors that occur when DNA is replicated during cell division. This mechanism, mismatch repair, reduces the error frequency during DNA replication by about a thousandfold. Congenital defects in mismatch repair are known, for example, to cause a hereditary variant of colon cancer," added the release.

Mr. Sancar is from the University of North Carolina. "He has mapped nucleotide excision repair, the mechanism that cells use to repair UV damage to DNA. People born with defects in this repair sstem will develop skin cancer if they are exposed to sunlight. The cell also utilises nucleotide excision repair to correct defects caused by mutagenic substances, among other things," said the release.
"Their work has provided fundamental knowledge of how a living cell functions and is, for instance, used for the development of new cancer treatments," said the press release.

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Physics Nobel Awarded to akaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald For Work On Neutrinos Metamorphosis

Two scientists from Canada and Japan have won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 for opening "a new realm in particle physics," the Nobel Prize committee says. Working far apart, both Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald showed how neutrinos shift identities like chameleons in space.The revelation that neutrinos — the subatomic particles that are more numerous than any other in the universe except for particles of light — undergo a metamorphosis led to a second and shocking conclusion: that they have mass.
With that discovery, Kajita and McDonald changed the field of particle physics, which had for years held that neutrinos, which rarely interact with matter, have no mass.
The discoveries about a fundamental and yet mysterious particle were made in two huge physics labs that were built deep underground — one in an old nickel mine in Canada and the other in an abandoned mineral mine in Japan. At depths of a kilometer or more, thousands of sensors at each facility are shielded from cosmic rays, allowing them to focus on detecting neutrinos' behavior.

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New Disease Goat Pox is Detected in Mizoram

A disease called Goat Pox is behind the mass deaths of Serows, a wild goat-antelope animal that is Mizoram’s state animal and a Schedule-1 protected species under India’s Wildlife Protection Act, according to veterinary experts who warn “Serows in Mizoram are under threat of extinction” and that the disease is zoonotic, meaning it can also spread to humans. the virus which causes Goat Pox — capripox — was detected in laboratory tests. The college is an affiliate of the Central Agricultural University in Imphal. 

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ISRO develops hailstorm app to assess crop damage

To fasten payment of crop insurance claims to farmers, the Centre on Monday launched a pilot programme Kisan, which will use satellite and drone-based imaging and other geospatial technology to get timely and accurate data on crop yields. Also to access large-scale damage to standing crops, it launched an Android-based app for collection of data of hailstorm. The app will be used by State agriculture officials and the data will help the Union Agriculture Ministry in having very fast assessment of damage to crops because of hailstorm.

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Ajay Sharma Indian-Origin Diplomat Appointed UK's Ambassador to Qatar

Ajay Sharma, an Indian-origin diplomat, will be the new British Ambassador to Qatar. Mr Sharma, currently the charge d'affaires to Iran, will take up his new assignment in November, an official release said. He will succeed Nicholas Hopton, who will be transferred to another post, according to a release on UK government's website. Mr Sharma has earlier served as the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Head of Iran department and non-resident chargA© d'affaires to Iran. Britain had reopened its embassy in Iran in August this year, four years after it was stormed and ransacked in November 2011 by activists angry over Britain imposing sanctions on Iran. Mr Sharma has earlier served in different capacities in Turkey, Russia and France among other countries, according to the information available on UK government's website.

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Nobel Prize in Medicine Awarded to William C. Campbell,Satoshi Omura and Youyou Tu for Parasite-Fighting Therapies.

Three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering “therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases,” the Nobel Committee announced . William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won for developing a new drug, Avermectin, which has radically lowered the incidence of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis). They shared the prize with Youyou Tu, who discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced death rates from malaria. Parasitic worms, which cause river blindness and lymphatic filariasis, among other diseases, afflict a third of the world’s population, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease called by single-cell parasites that invade red blood cells, kills more than 450,000 people a year, most of them children.

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Shashank Manohar elected unopposed as BCCI President

Shashank Manohar of the Vidarbha Cricket Association takes over as BCCI president after he was declared elected unopposed at a special general meeting at the Cricket Centre in Mumbai.A BCCI by-election needs only one proposer from the zone which is electing the president and it was the East’s turn this time. 

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Former Australian cricketer Lindsay Kline dies, aged 81

Kline is best known as the man who faced the last ball of the first tied Test, between Australia and the West Indies in 1960.A left-arm wrist spinner, Kline played 13 test matches between 1957-61, capturing 34 wickets at an average of 22.82. He took a hat-trick in just his second test, against South Africa in Cape Town in January, 1958

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