20% Special Sale Ends Today! Hurry Up!!!

[Newsbits] 3-5.02.2024: Magh Bihu, Candida Auris, Widow Year & more

newsbits mindmap notes
/ Space
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission mind map
Recent News
Super-Earth in habitable zone
Earth-sized planet with 'Lava Hemisphere'
Synchronized dance of a 6-planet system
Large, gaseous planet in unexpected orbit
Over 5,500 exoplanets discovered
Water vapor in WASP-18 b's atmosphere
Planets observed by Kepler in final days
Rocky, Earth-sized planet with two-day orbit
When
Launched in April 2018
Five-year anniversary in April 2023
Second extended mission began September 2022
5,000 exoplanet candidates milestone December 2021
Why
To identify transiting exoplanets
Focus on bright, nearby stars
Study G- and K-type stars
Enhance understanding of exoplanets
What
All-sky survey
Targets approximately 200,000 stars
Special focus on 1,000 closest red dwarfs
Predicts thousands of new exoplanets
Expects to find rocky planets in habitable zones
Instruments
Four wide-angle telescopes
CCD detectors, 192 megapixels total
Data
Monthly data transmission
Public availability
Where
Space-based observatory
Observes stars in Milky Way
Who
Led by MIT and Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian
Principal Investigator: Dr. G. Ricker
Collaborators: MIT, Orbital, NASA Goddard, NASA Ames
International TESS Science Team
How
Monitors stars for brightness drops
27-day continuous observation per sector
Overlapping sectors for extended coverage
Uses full-frame images for sky survey
Significance
Enhanced understanding of exoplanets
Large dataset for future research
Identifies planets of all sizes
Contributions to astronomy and astrophysics
Challenges
Challenges in data analysis
Limitations in detecting very small or distant planets
Way Forward
Ongoing data analysis and research
Collaboration with other missions like JWST
Public engagement in exoplanet discovery

The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission, an initiative led by NASA in collaboration with MIT and other organizations, is focused on discovering new exoplanets. Launched in April 2018, TESS employs an all-sky survey method, targeting approximately 200,000 bright, nearby stars, including 1,000 closest red dwarfs. The mission aims to find transiting exoplanets around these stars, focusing particularly on G- and K-type stars. Using four wide-angle telescopes and CCD detectors, TESS monitors these stars for temporary drops in brightness caused by planetary transits. Over its course, TESS has made significant discoveries, including over 5,500 exoplanets, some in habitable zones, and others exhibiting unique characteristics like ‘Lava Hemispheres’. The mission has also celebrated milestones like its fifth anniversary and the commencement of its second extended mission. TESS’s contributions are vital in understanding the diversity and nature of exoplanetary systems, enhancing our knowledge of the universe.

/ Geography, Space
Super-Earth mind map
Recent News
NASA discovers TOI-715 b
Location
137 light-years away
Characteristics
1.5 times Earth's width
Orbits red dwarf star
In habitable zone
Potential
Liquid water presence
Supports life
Dual Planet System
Possibility of second Earth-sized planet
TESS Involvement
Played crucial role in detection
Other Discoveries
GJ 667Cc
Location
22 light-years away
Mass
At least 4.5 Earth masses
Characteristics
In habitable zone
Potential to host life
Multiple super-Earths
Detected by TESS
Studied for atmospheres using JWST
When
Discovery Dates
TOI-715 b
Announced January 2024
GJ 667Cc
Announced February 2012
Why
Exoplanet Exploration
Understanding planetary formation
Searching for life beyond Earth
What
Definition
Exoplanet
Larger than Earth
Smaller than Neptune
Planet Types
Gas Giant
Neptune-like
Super-Earth
Terrestrial
Detection Methods
Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS)
High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planetary Search (HARPS)
Webb Telescope
Analyzing atmospheres
Detecting signs of life
Where
Locations
TOI-715 b
Red dwarf star system
GJ 667Cc
Triple-star system
Who
Discovering Teams
TOI-715 b
International team led by Georgina Dransfield
GJ 667Cc
Team led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé
How
Detection Techniques
TESS
Observes orbital durations
HARPS
Monitors gravitational tugs of stars
Significance
Advancements in Exoplanet Research
Understanding exoplanet atmospheres
Potential for discovering habitable worlds
James Webb Space Telescope
Ability to peer into exoplanet atmospheres
Challenges
Uncertainty in Habitability
Missing crucial information
Atmospheric composition
Planetary density
Distance Challenges
Planets located many light-years away
Way Forward
Future Studies
Intensive investigation using JWST
Further characterization of discovered planets
Theoretical Developments
Unified theory of planet formation
Proposed by Caltech scientists
Explains formation of rocky super-Earths

Super-Earths are a category of exoplanets larger than Earth but smaller than Neptune, with recent discoveries including TOI-715 b and GJ 667Cc. These planets are particularly interesting due to their potential habitability, with characteristics like being in the habitable zone of their star systems and possibly hosting liquid water. Their discovery and study, conducted by international teams using telescopes like TESS and HARPS, contribute significantly to our understanding of exoplanet atmospheres and the conditions for life beyond Earth. Future investigations, especially using the James Webb Space Telescope, are expected to provide more insights into these intriguing celestial bodies.

/ etc), Europe (UK, France
Kosovo's Controversial Currency Ban mind map
Recent News
Kosovo bans Serbian dinar
Western countries concerned
Creates uncertainty in Serb communities
When
Ban announced in January 2024
Effective from Thursday in the same week
Why
To fight corruption, money laundering
End unregulated money flow from Serbia
What
Ban on Serbian dinar
Only euro to be used
Issued by Kosovo's Central Bank
Impact on Serbian community
Affects salaries, pensions
Challenges in financial transactions
Where
Across Kosovo
Significant impact in Serb-majority areas
Who
Kosovo government
Serbian community in Kosovo
International observers
France, Germany, UK, USA, Italy
How
Enforcement by Kosovo's Central Bank
Gradual implementation
Significance
Aims to standardize currency use
Strengthen economic control
Challenges
Risk of exacerbating ethnic tensions
Disruption in local financial systems
Western governments' concerns
Way Forward
Call for transition period
Need for clear communication to public

To summarize, Kosovo’s decision to ban the Serbian dinar, primarily aimed at fighting corruption and money laundering, has sparked a potential new crisis. The ban affects the Serbian minority in Kosovo, who have relied on the dinar for financial transactions like salaries and pensions. This move has been met with concern from Western countries and has led to uncertainty, especially in Serb-majority areas. While aiming to unify currency use and strengthen economic control within Kosovo, the ban risks exacerbating ethnic tensions and disrupting local financial systems.

/ China
Widow Year mind map
Recent News
Upcoming Year of the Dragon
Considered a Widow Year
Popular for childbirth
When
Lunar Calendar Basis
Years without "Spring Commences"
Why
Lacks Spring Commences
Sign of lacking masculine energy
What
Definition
Gua fu nian in Chinese
Lunar year without first day of spring
Chinese Lunisolar Calendar
Combines lunar months and solar terms
Leap months every 3 years
Where
Predominantly in Chinese culture
Who
Chinese people
Superstitious beliefs
Modern attitudes
Shift in adherence to superstitions
How
Calendar Adjustment
Leap months for alignment
Significance
Dragon Year
Desirable for childbirth
Challenges
Superstition
Belief in bad luck for marriages
Reality
High marriage rates in Widow Years
Way Forward
Modern Perspective
Less adherence to superstition
Personal choice over tradition

The “Widow Year” is a concept from Chinese culture, referring to certain years in the lunar calendar that lack the solar term “Spring Commences” or ‘lichun’. This absence is traditionally thought to signify a lack of masculine (yang) energy, making such years inauspicious for marriage due to the superstition that it could lead to the husband’s early demise. The Chinese lunisolar calendar, which combines lunar months and solar terms, occasionally necessitates the addition of leap months to maintain alignment, resulting in some years having two instances of Spring Commences and others having none. Despite these beliefs, modern attitudes in Chinese society show a diminishing adherence to this superstition, with many choosing personal preference over tradition. Interestingly, years like the Year of the Dragon, often coinciding with a Widow Year, are seen as auspicious for childbirth.

/ Festivals & Fairs
Magh Bihu mind map
When
January 15, 2024
Uruka Eve
January 14, 2024
Why
Harvest Festival
Marks end of winter
Onset of spring
Significance of Bihu
'Bishu' means 'to seek peace'
What
Celebrations
Community feasts
Cultural events
Traditional Dishes
Amitar Khar
Sun-dried banana peel ash
Joha Saulor Payox
Rice pudding with jaggery
Pitha
Laru
Jolpan
Activities
Uruka
Building makeshift cottages
Bhuj Night
Celebratory feast
Stealing vegetables
Used for community meal
Who
Assamese People
Devotees
Visiting temples
Praying for harvest
How
Utilizing harvest crops
Community participation
Significance
Agricultural significance
Celebrates bountiful harvest
Social significance
Community building
Unity and sharing
Cultural Significance
One of three Bihu festivals
Others: Rongali, Kati Bihu
Rooted in agricultural practices
Rural festival
Magh Bihu in Indian Context
Comparable to
Makar Sankranti
Pongal
Lohri
Regional variations
Uttarayan in Gujarat
Maghi in Punjab
Where
Assam, India

Magh Bihu, celebrated on January 15, 2024, is a vibrant harvest festival in Assam, India, marking the end of winter and the onset of spring. Known for its social and agricultural significance, it’s a time for the Assamese community to express gratitude for a bountiful harvest. Celebrations include communal feasts, cultural events, and preparing traditional Assamese dishes like Amitar Khar and Joha Saulor Payox. Magh Bihu fosters a sense of unity and sharing, embodying the spirit of ‘Bishu’ – seeking peace and indulging in community-building.

/ Diseases
Candida Auris mind map
Recent News
First Known Outbreak
Location
Washington state
Facility
Kindred Hospital Seattle
Confirmation Date
January 31, 2024
Case Details
Initial Case
Month
July
Place
Pierce County
Latest Cases
Number
Four
Status
Confirmed
Infection Source
Unknown
Public Health Measures
Patient Isolation
Disinfecting Cleaning
Notification Process
Other Facilities
When
Emergence in USA
Year
2016
Increase in Infection Rate
Timeframe
2019 to 2021
Rate
200%
Why
Concerns
Drug Resistance
Rapid Spread During COVID-19
What
Definition
Fungal Infection
Classification
Clinical Cases
Colonization/Screening Cases
Where
Geographic Spread
Initial Discovery
Japan
Spread
Global
US Cases
Several States
Who
At Risk Populations
Long-term Acute Care Patients
Patients With Devices
Examples
Catheters
Breathing Tubes
Health Organizations
CDC
Kindred Hospital Seattle
How
Spread Mechanism
Patient-to-Patient
Via Surfaces
Detection
Screening Programs
State Department of Health
Significance
Awareness
Public Health Surveillance
Infection Control Guidelines
Research
Increasing Understanding
Addressing Drug Resistance
Challenges
Drug Resistance
Common Antifungals
Asymptomatic Colonization
Mortality Rate
Invasive Infections
Percentage
45% within 30 days
Way Forward
Recommendations
Screening High-risk Patients
Strict Infection Control
Ongoing Research
Antifungal Development
Surveillance Enhancements

Candida Auris is a significant public health concern due to its resistance to common antifungal medications and its ability to spread rapidly, especially in healthcare settings. It first emerged in the United States in 2016 and has since seen a significant increase in infection rates. The fungus can spread through patient-to-patient contact and contaminated surfaces. Particularly concerning is the fungus’s ability to colonize patients without causing symptoms, which can lead to invasive infections with a high mortality rate. Public health efforts focus on surveillance, strict infection control measures, and ongoing research to address drug resistance and improve detection methods.

Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) mind map
Recent News
7th Session
When
Held from 29th January to 2nd February 2024
Where
Kochi, India
Who
109 Delegates
From 31 Countries
Latin American Countries
First-time Participation
What/Full Provisions
Quality Standards Finalized
Small Cardamom
Turmeric
Juniper Berry
Allspice
Star Anise
Grouping Strategy
Spices Derived from Fruits and Berries
Draft Standard for Vanilla
Progressed to Step 5
New Proposals Accepted
Dried Coriander Seeds
Large Cardamom
Sweet Marjoram
Cinnamon
How
Physical Meeting Post-Covid-19
Electronic Working Groups (EWGs)
Chaired by Various Countries
Continue Multinational Consultation
Next Meeting
After 18 Months
Background
Established in 2013
Hosted by India
Spices Board India as Secretariat
Part of Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC)
Established by FAO and WHO
Over 194 Country Members
Rome-based
Goals
Formulate Internationally Accepted Food Standards
Facilitate Global Trade
Enhance Food Safety
Significance
WTO Recognition
Standards as International Reference Points
Trade Disputes Resolution
Harmonization of Food Standards Globally
Consumer Health and Safety

The Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH), a segment of the Codex Alimentarius Commission established by the FAO and WHO, recently concluded its 7th session in Kochi, India. This session, the first physical meeting post-Covid-19, was attended by 109 delegates from 31 countries, including a significant first-time participation from Latin American countries. The committee achieved notable results by finalizing quality standards for five spices—small cardamom, turmeric, juniper berry, allspice, and star anise—and adopting a novel strategy of grouping spices, starting with those derived from fruits and berries. Proposals for developing standards for dried coriander seeds, large cardamom, sweet marjoram, and cinnamon were also accepted. CCSCH’s work is crucial for formulating internationally accepted food standards, enhancing global food safety, and facilitating fair trade, with its standards recognized by the WTO as reference points for resolving trade disputes.

/ Indices/Reports
Traffic Index Ranking 2023 mind map
Global Coverage
387 cities
55 countries
6 continents
Evaluation Criteria
Average travel time
Fuel costs
CO2 emissions
Notable Cities
London
Slowest city to drive
High time lost due to congestion
Dublin
Significant rush-hour delays
High average travel time
Bengaluru
Major delays in metropolitan area
Noticeable congestion impact
Economic Cost
Congestion Impact
Lost time
Increased fuel costs
Externalities
Freight delay
Inflationary pressure
Environmental impact
Traffic Management
Real-time data usage
Optimizing road logistics
Route planning
Potential Benefits
Reducing commuting times by 15-20%
Intelligent traffic light synchronization
Traffic Data Usage
Urban Planning
Infrastructure development
Policy making
Driver Assistance
Real-time alerts
Fastest route information
Major Challenges
Urban congestion
Efficient traffic management
Innovative solutions need
By
TomTom
a Dutch multinational developer and creator of 
location technology and consumer electronics

The Traffic Index Ranking for 2023 published TomTom (dutch tech company) provides a comprehensive analysis of traffic congestion in cities worldwide, involving 387 cities across 55 countries on 6 continents. This index is a vital tool for urban planners, policymakers, and drivers, offering insights into various factors such as average travel times, fuel costs, and the impact of congestion on cities’ transportation infrastructure and economy.

Notable findings from the 2023 Traffic Index include cities like Dublin, London, and Bengaluru experiencing significant time delays due to traffic congestion. For instance, in Dublin, a motorist spends on average 1 hour and 14 minutes for a typical 6-mile journey during peak hours, losing over 40 minutes due to traffic. Similarly, London’s road infrastructure contributes to it being one of the cities where motorists lose the most time due to congestion, with a 6-mile journey taking 12 minutes and 5 seconds longer on average than the optimal journey time.

The index also highlights the economic costs of congestion, including increased fuel costs and the value of lost time. These aspects are crucial for urban planning and traffic management, as they directly impact the quality of life and economic efficiency in urban areas.

Real-time traffic data from the index is used to feed algorithms for managing traffic jams, optimizing road logistics, and routes. Such measures can potentially reduce commuting times in cities by 15-20%. The data is also used for intelligent traffic light synchronization and providing real-time route information to drivers.

Overall, the Traffic Index Ranking 2023 underlines the importance of efficient traffic management and the need for innovative solutions to address the challenges of urban congestion​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.

/ Awards & Honors
Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists mind map
Recent News
2024 Awards
When
Established in 2007
Why
Recognize and support young scientists
What
Largest unrestricted prize for early-career scientists
Three main categories
Life Sciences
Physical Sciences & Engineering
Chemistry
Four separate awards programs
US Regional
Postdoctoral scientists in NY, NJ, CT
US National
Faculty-level scientists in the US
United Kingdom
Faculty-level scientists in the UK
Israel
Faculty-level scientists in Israel
Age limit
42 years and younger
Selection Criteria
Quality, novelty, impact of research
Potential for further contributions
Where
Global Reach
443 honorees from 52 countries
36 disciplines recognized
Who
Blavatnik Family Foundation
Founder
Len Blavatnik
Administered by
New York Academy of Sciences
Collaborations
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
How
Funding and recognition
Annual awards
Significance
Encourages young scientists
Addresses global challenges like COVID-19
Totalling over $15.4 million in prizes
Challenges
Limited to specific regions and disciplines
Age restriction
Way Forward
Continual support and recognition
Expanding the reach and impact

The Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists, established in 2007 by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of Sciences, are prestigious awards aimed at recognizing and encouraging young scientists and engineers under 42 years of age. They focus on three categories: Life Sciences, Physical Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry, and are split into four programs: US Regional, US National, United Kingdom, and Israel. These awards, known for being some of the largest unrestricted prizes for early-career scientists, have honored 443 scientists from 52 countries in 36 disciplines, providing significant funding and recognition to support their groundbreaking work in various scientific fields.

/ Space
Ingenuity Helicopter mind map
Recent News
Mission ended
Date
January 25, 2024
Reason
Rotor blade damage
Communication loss
Final flight
January 18, 2024
72nd flight
Contact loss during descent
Reestablished next day
Rotor blade damage discovered
Investigations
Cause of communication loss
Helicopter's orientation at touchdown
Project Legacy
Technology demonstration
Extended mission
Lasted 1000 Martian days
33 times longer than planned
72 flights in total
Traveled 17 kilometers
Over 2 hours flight time
Challenges overcome
Autonomous landing site selection
Survived Martian winter
Software updates for navigation
Inspirational impact
First aircraft to fly on another planet
Set stage for future Mars aircraft
Influenced Mars Sample Return mission
When
First flight
April 19, 2021
Mission end
January 25, 2024
Why
Purpose of Ingenuity
Demonstrate powered flight on Mars
Serve as technology demonstration
Aerial scout for Perseverance rover
Why mission ended
Damaged rotor blade
Unable to fly
What
Ingenuity helicopter details
Developed by
NASA JPL
Supported by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
Assistance from Ames Research Center
Assistance from Langley Research Center
Major components by
AeroVironment Inc.
Qualcomm
SolAero
Lockheed Space (Mars Helicopter Delivery System)
Features
Lightweight design
Autonomous navigation capabilities
Adapted for Martian environment
Mission achievements
Proved powered flight possible on Mars
Supported Perseverance rover's mission
Generated 3D elevation maps
Performed autonomous site selection
Survived Martian winter
Data contribution to future missions
Ingenuity team
Project manager
Teddy Tzanetos
Chief pilot
Håvard Fjær Grip
Where
Mars
Jezero crater region
Different airfields used
48 in total
Final airfield location
Away from Perseverance rover
Who
Involved organizations
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Manages project
NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
Supports project
Ames Research Center
Flight performance analysis
Langley Research Center
Technical assistance
AeroVironment Inc.
Design assistance
Qualcomm
Design assistance
SolAero
Design assistance
Lockheed Space
Mars Helicopter Delivery System
Key personnel
Teddy Tzanetos
Project manager
Håvard Fjær Grip
Chief pilot
Lori Glaze
NASA's Planetary Science Division director
Laurie Leshin
Director of JPL
How
Mission operations
Attached to Perseverance rover
First lifted off Martian surface
April 19, 2021
Operational challenges
Navigating Martian terrain
Dealing with Martian atmosphere
Surviving extreme temperatures
End of mission process
Final systems tests
Data download
Remaining imagery
Helicopter data
Significance
Advancements in space exploration
Demonstrated new possibilities
Powered flight on another planet
Aerial scouting for rovers
Data collection for future missions
Inspirational impact
Set precedent for aerial mobility
Influenced Mars Sample Return mission
Technological achievements
Autonomous navigation
Surviving Martian environment
Overcoming operational challenges
Challenges
Operational challenges
Thin Martian atmosphere
Difficult for flight
Extreme temperatures
Required winter operation redesign
Navigational difficulties
Featureless terrain
Mission challenges
Damaged rotor blade
Communication loss
Flight computer freezing
Way Forward
Future Mars missions
Development of new aircraft
Utilization of Ingenuity's data
Continued exploration of Mars
Ingenuity's influence
Inspiration for future missions
Template for Mars Sample Return mission
Paving way for aerial mobility on Mars

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was a groundbreaking project by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, aimed at demonstrating powered, controlled flight on another planet. The helicopter was a part of the Mars 2020 mission, arriving on Mars attached to the Perseverance rover on February 18, 2021. Ingenuity made its first successful flight on April 19, 2021, proving that flight is possible on Mars.

Over its extended mission, Ingenuity far exceeded its initial goals, originally planned for only five flights over 30 days. It completed 72 flights, traveling about 17 kilometers and spending more than two hours in the air. The helicopter faced and overcame various challenges, such as navigating the thin Martian atmosphere, surviving extreme temperatures, and performing autonomous landing site selection. Ingenuity’s final flight occurred on January 18, 2024, after which damage to one of its rotor blades was discovered, marking the end of its mission.

The helicopter’s achievements have had a significant impact on future space exploration, demonstrating new possibilities for aerial mobility on other planets and influencing the design of future missions, such as the Mars Sample Return mission. Ingenuity’s success and data will continue to inspire and inform future aircraft designs for Mars exploration.

Vayu Shakti-24 mind map
Recent News
First Time Participation
Rafale Fighter Jets
Prachand Choppers
Samar Surface-to-Air System
Full Firepower Show
77 Fighter Planes
41 Helicopters
5 Transport Aircraft
When
February 17, 2024
Where
Pokhran Air to Ground Range
Near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Who
Indian Air Force
Joint operations
With Indian Army
Aircraft Involved
Total Aircraft
121
Fighter Jets
Rafale
Mirage-2000
Sukhoi-30 MKI
Jaguar
Hawk
Mi-17
Indigenous Aircraft
Tejas
Prachand
Dhruv
Transport and Helicopter
C-130J
Chinook
Apache
Weapon Systems
Surface to Air
Akash
Samar
Air to Air Missiles
MICA (Rafale)
R-73 (Tejas)
Air to Ground Weapons
Special Operations Equipment
Why
Demonstration of Capabilities
Offensive and Defensive
Precision Weapon Delivery
Long Range Capabilities
Conventional Weaponry
Day and Night Operations
Showcasing Joint Operations
How
Operating from Multiple Air Bases
Showcasing Special Operations
Garuds (Special Forces Unit)
Indian Army Elements
Historical Context
Previous Edition
Held on February 16, 2019
Ongoing Since
1954

Exercise Vayu Shakti-24, scheduled for February 17, 2024, is a significant demonstration of the Indian Air Force’s (IAF) comprehensive aerial warfare capabilities. Set to take place at the Pokhran Air to Ground Range near Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, this exercise will showcase both offensive and defensive operations of the IAF, including day and night maneuvers. Featuring 121 aircraft, including advanced fighter jets like Rafale, Mirage-2000, Sukhoi-30 MKI, and indigenous aircraft like Tejas and Prachand, the exercise represents a robust display of India’s military prowess in the air. Notably, it will also involve joint operations with the Indian Army, highlighting coordination between different branches of the armed forces. The use of various air-to-air and air-to-ground weapon systems, including the indigenous Akash and Samar, will underline the IAF’s ability to deliver precise and effective strikes. This event, a continuation of a series that began in 1954, is particularly noteworthy for the first-time inclusion of Rafale jets, Prachand choppers, and Samar surface-to-air systems, marking a significant enhancement in India’s aerial combat capabilities.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
X
Home Courses Plans Account
20% Special Sale Ends Today! Hurry Up!!!